My AFL tips started horribly last week and I thought there was a chance I would have my worst round of the season. Luckily I clawed some back over the weekend and ended up down only 0.93 units. Hopefully we can get back in the winner's circle with my 2016 AFL Round 17 betting tips.
Sydney Swans vs Hawthorn Hawks (Thursday, July 14 at 7:20pm AEST)
Round 17 kicks off with another Thursday night game as the Hawks head to the SCG to take on the fired up Swans. Hawthorn are currently one game clear on top of the ladder and there is no doubt this game will have implications on the eventual order of the top four.
Both teams are coming off stirring wins on the road and will be confident they can knock off their rival team this week. The Swans are close to fully fit as they have shown over the last several weeks they can cover for the long term injured Kurt Tippett. The Hawks, meanwhile, will be without Liam Shiels after he did his hamstring last week. Hawthorn should be able to cover for this loss, but guys like Billy Hartung really need to step up after not giving much the last few weeks.
I think you have to give the edge to Sydney here. They are usually a dominant force at the SCG with their loss to the Bulldogs at home a fortnight ago a rare blight on their record. They will want to make up for that effort and get the job done in front of their home crowd. The Swans continue to be the best contested ball side in the competition and while I think the Hawks have the ability to stand up and match it in any department, the fact of the matter is that they are ranked 13th in this department. Couple this with how good the Sydney defence was in Geelong last week and Hawthorn will have to bring their A-game to win this one.
Tip: Sydney by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.25 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Fremantle Dockers vs Geelong Cats (Friday, July 15 at 6:10pm AWST)
Friday night footy sees the Cats head out west to take on the Dockers try and play the footy we all know they are capable of. Before the season kicked off this would have looked like a blockbuster game with both teams jostling for position in the top eight, but with the Dockers not in contention, this one is all about the Cats. They need to come out firing as they can't afford to drop games like this.
The simple fact is that Geelong have struggled against bottom eight sides this season as they have lost three of the last seven against mediocre competition. They will be so focused to turn that stat around this week and no doubt with the pressure mounting, their mid-tier players will stand up with fears of being dropped currently being spruiked in the media. The Dockers also struggle with containing opposition midfields and we know how damaging the Cats can be in this department. I think the Cats will win this game, but I can't see it being a blowout and don't like the look of the 30-point line. The Dockers have played better football at Domain compared to the start of the year, winning the last two at their home ground. They can keep it within 5 goals, so I like the value in the Cats under 39.5.
Tip: Geelong by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.15 at CrownBet (1.5 units)
Richmond Tigers vs Essendon Bombers (Saturday, July 16 at 1:40pm AEST)
Every now and then Essendon bob up and play fantastic football that would worry most opponents. That's why the Tigers can't afford to go into this game thinking it's going to be a pushover. Richmond have already had a horror season and the pressure would be immense if they dropped this one.
Betting wise, it might actually be a blessing that Essendon played so good last week as the line is lower than the usual Essendon game with Richmond 6-goal favourites. You have to say Essendon are extremely inconsistent and so it wouldn't be overly likely they can put together another performance like last week. There have been promising signs, however, with multiple games scoring over 90 points - a huge improvement on their 62-point average. These two teams played in Round 10 with Richmond winning by 37 points and I think this game could be a similar margin. Not confident enough to bet the line and don't like any other markets here, so going to sit this one out.
Tip: No Bet
North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Port Adelaide Powers (Saturday, July 16 at 4:35pm AEST)
The Kangaroos have had a horror six weeks and now find themselves 8th on the ladder and desperate for a win. Despite being heavy favourites, it's not going to be easy against Port Adelaide this Saturday afternoon.
North Melbourne's current injury list is extensive and the players that are out on the field haven't been able to stand up and fill the holes. The Roos are nothing like the scoring powerhouse they were in the first eight rounds of footy and I don't think there are any real indications they are going to turn it around. They are certainly still capable of quality football, but so are Port Adelaide. What I'm concerned about with the Roos this week is their one-pace midfield as jets like Robbie Gray will really trouble them. They desperately need Daniel Wells back in the side and by all accounts he is a chance, along with Jarrad Waite. Port Adelaide are one of the fiercest tackling teams in the comp, so if the Roos are going to win this game they need Waite and Wells back in the side and they need to bring the pressure they had in the game against Hawthorn a few weeks ago. Todd Goldstein also needs to fire up and take advantage of a ruck-less opposition. I would be tempted to back the Power head-to-head, but with Waite a certainty and Wells looking a good chance, I'm taking Port Adelaide plus the points. It's not a confident pick, but it looks like the value play.
Tip: Port Adelaide at the line (+17.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (0.5 units)
Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Suns (Saturday, July 16 at 7:25pm AEST)
The Bulldogs and Suns play their annual game at Cazaly Stadium in Cairns this Saturday night with Gold Coast looking to get their first win in Northern Queensland.
If Gold Coast were fielding a full-strength team I would say this would be a relatively competitive game. However, with Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli on the sidelines, this is a good chance for the Dogs to boost the percentage. The Bulldog midfield simply has to dominate to make this a certain victory, otherwise Gold Coast's damaging forward line could cause them headaches. Peter Wright and Tom Lynch are big boys and the Dogs don't have any real matchups for them. In saying this, however, the Bulldog defense is ranked 2nd in the league, conceding an average of only 72 points per game. I think the Dogs will win, but I don't like the 5-6 goal line. The Dogs haven't been scoring enough and even if Tom Boyd comes back in the side to help bolster the forward line, I can see Gold Coast keeping this within 6 goals. Taking the value on the Dogs under 39.5.
Tip: Western Bulldogs by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.20 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Adelaide Crows vs Collingwood Magpies (Saturday, July 16 at 7:10pm ACST)
Adelaide are absolutely flying and looking like a real premiership threat at the moment. They will be keen to keep the momentum going this Saturday night at home against the Magpies.
The Crows have won seven in a row, including victories against the Giants, Kangaroos and West Coast on the road. The way they rebound off halfback and move the ball into the forward line has been impressive. They have also shown themselves to be scoring powerhouses, averaging 112 points per game. They are really going to trouble the Pies this weekend. The Crows are the best clearance side in the comp, while the Pies are last in this stat. The Crows should punish the Pies and get a convincing win at Adelaide Oval. Everyone got overexcited by Collingwood's win over the Giants last week. That game seemed more like an off-day for GWS than the Pies really turning their season around. Let's not forget how poor the Pies were a fortnight ago and beyond. Credit for the effort last week, but playing Crows on the road after a road-trip last week is going to be a very tough ask. Happy to take the Crows to cover.
Tip: Adelaide at the line (-32.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Carlton Blues vs West Coast Eagles (Sunday, July 17 at 1:10pm AEST)
It wasn't too long ago the media was suggesting West Coast might miss out on the top eight. Since then, the Eagles have won three in a row including a rare win on the road. Their record at Melbourne hasn't been good, but they will be looking to change that this Sunday against the Blues.
The Eagles simply don't play at the MCG too often and when they do, it seems to always be against Hawthorn. The last two times they have played at the stadium was against the Hawks and they lost each of those games - one of them being last year's Grand Final. The other games they have lost in Victoria this year were against the Bulldogs and Geelong, so really we can't say travelling is the real problem until they have some easier competition. There are lots of reasons to think the Blues can't compete in this game. They haven't been scoring well, whereas we know how well the Eagles can score. The last time these two teams met JJ Kennedy kicked 10 goals. The Blues have also struggled with some of the better midfields - including Adelaide last week - and will definitely have trouble with the Priddis / Gaff and Shuey combo. Carlton haven't scored more than 65 points in any of the last three games and will have to make some drastic changes to be any sort of chance in games like this. I'm expecting a focused West Coast to come out and silence the 'flat-track bully' critics.
Tip: West Coast at the line (-33.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
St Kilda Saints vs Melbourne Demons (Sunday, July 17 at 3:20pm AEST)
One of the most competitive games in Round 17 should be when the Saints take on the Demons at Etihad on Sunday.
Interestingly, the Demons have lost the last 13 consecutive meetings against the Saints and they will be looking to get two monkeys off their back this week as they also have a horrible record at Etihad Stadium. They've only managed one victory in the last 24 games at Etihad. Both the Saints and Demons have been inconsistent this season, but overall I think the Saints are a more capable side. Jack Steven is one of the best midfielders in the comp and when Nick Riewoldt fires up he can still be the most damaging players in the league. This will be a very tough contest, but there is value on the Saints as the slight underdogs. I'm going to have two one-unit plays here - one head-to-head and another under 39.5.
Tip: Saints Head-to-Head - $2.00 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
+ Saints by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.60 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Brisbane Lions vs GWS Giants (Sunday, July 17 at 4:40pm AEST)
Brisbane continue to disappoint at every juncture during the 2016 AFL season and they won't be excited to face the GWS Giants this Sunday afternoon.
Amazingly, the Lions are actually in a battle for the wooden spoon with Essendon at the moment. It's crazy to think that any other team could be a chance for the spoon after all the drama of the Essendon saga. The Lions just look like an unorganised mess. I have absolutely no doubt the Giants will win this game, but it's looking like a 'no bet' for me. I just want to see how GWS respond to their very disappointing loss last week. We know champion teams like Hawthorn often come out after poor performances and put in herculean efforts. How will GWS respond? Sit this one out and wait and see.
Tip: No Bet.
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