The 2016 AFL season continues to get more and more interesting every week. There also continues to be plenty of surprising results, along with some predictable ones. I once again managed a profitable week of AFL tips in Round 6, but my profits were a little thin with just +0.6 units. That is, however, my fifth profitable week of the season as I offer my 2016 AFL Round 7 betting tips.
Richmond Tigers vs Hawthorn Hawks (Friday, May 6 at 7:50pm AEST)
Two of the biggest clubs in the AFL take to the MCG this Friday night and it's looking like it's going to be another disappointing loss for the 1-5 Tigers. Although, if the Hawthorn doubters are to be believed, this team is over the hill after an expansion team smashed the Hawks by 75 points last week. To me that just means the Hawks will be looking to powerfully rebound with a big win.
There is no doubt this year's Hawthorn team is not the same as the 2015 team that was so dominating. They lost a lot of experience in the offseason and have had a lot of injuries this season - including losing Luke Hodge in last week's game against GWS. It looks like their veteran players are starting to feel the pinch as well. But they are still a champion team. I think there has been quite a bit of overreaction during the week and they should quieten some of that noise this week by managing a strong win over the Tigers. Not just because the Hawks are such a good side, but because the Tigers are quite simply in shambles.
Most punters - myself included - thought the Tigers would win against Port Adelaide last week. The Power were without their best players and have been been pretty poor with them anyway. But the Tigers showed us just how much they are struggling. And now they go into this game without Trent Cotchin after he was injured against Port, while Alex Rance will once again miss due to suspension. Can the Tigers win this game? Absolutely not. Will they be smashed? I think it's a strong possibility.
Tip: Hawthorn at the line (-40.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
NOTE: Line has moved 10 points since early in week, very happy to take Hawks -30.5 and make that an official play.
Collingwood Magpies vs Carlton Blues (Saturday, May 7 at 1:45pm AEST)
Collingwood vs Carlton is the most bitter rivalry in the AFL and it feels like it should be a Friday night game, but with the Blues so poor over the last few years it's probably better suited to a Saturday afternoon.
Somehow the Blues are coming into this game with the chance of winning three games in a row. They were admirable a fortnight ago when they defeated Freo, but they played some horribly ugly football to get a win against Essendon last week. I don't think they would have beaten any other team in the competition with that performance and I really don't think they are good enough to beat Collingwood. It seems crazy to say a first-year player being out could leave such a big hole in Carlton's team, but Jacob Weitering has been so good down back and I don't think the Blues can cover his loss.
Usually I stay away from Collingwood lines as I think they are over-bloated due to the nature of the club's popularity to the general punter. But this line looks just about right and I think the Pies can cover.
Tip: Collingwood at the line (-21.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Geelong Cats vs West Coast Eagles (Saturday, May 7 at 2:10pm AEST)
The Eagles travel to Simonds Stadium to take on the Cats this Saturday afternoon and this one is looking like the game of the round with the Cats coming off a 120-point thumping of the Suns and the Eagles dealing with the Pies by 62 points.
For the Eagles the question around this game is whether they can win outside of Western Australia. They have lost four of the last five on the road, while the fifth was only a draw. The last time these two teams met in Geelong, the Cats won by 66 points. That was back in 2014, however, and the Eagles have no doubt improved immensely since then.
On their day I think the Eagles are a better side, but they have been inconsistent so far this season. They also clearly have problems travelling, especially to Simonds where they have lost the last four by an average of 64 points. I like the Cats to win a very competitive game, but also like the look of the total game score. These teams are ranked 1 and 2 for marks inside 50 and both teams have put up big scores this season. While the high-scoring Dogs and Roos changed it up and had a defensive low-scoring game last week, I think this could be an old fashioned shootout at times. Geelong kicked 25 goals, 18 behinds at Simonds last week and while they won't put up such a big score against the Eagles, I could easily see this game going towards 200 points.
Tip: Geelong by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.20 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
+ Total Game Points OVER 183.5 - $1.88 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Sydney Swans vs Essendon Bombers (Saturday, May 7 at 4:35pm AEST)
It gets harder and harder every week to analyse Essendon games. They are clearly going to be very inconsistent this year. The Swans are paying $1.01 and the line is 65.5. It's hard to bet on a team to win by 11 goals plus, but the Bombers aren't going to have it easy this Saturday afternoon at the SCG.
The Bombers are simply going to be smashed in the middle. My 2016 Brownlow vote predictions have Hannebery and Parker both near the top and there is no chance the Bombers can win the midfield battle with the likes of these guys plus Keiran Jack, Tom Mitchel and Josh P Kennedy. The Bombers then have to contend with Lance Franklin and co down forward. This could be a disaster, but I'm not willing to bet at the line. There's just not enough value there. Sit this one out and watch the carnage.
Tip: No Bet
Gold Coast Suns vs Melbourne Demons (Saturday, May 7 at 5:10pm AEST)
The Demons heading to the Gold Coast on Saturday evening is no doubt the most interesting matchup of the round. The Suns are coming off a 120-point embarrassment at the hands of Geelong, while Melbourne weren't good enough against the Saints. The Demons are slight favourites, but even on the back of Gold Coast's performance last week, I'm not sure this should be the case.
More than most games this might actually come down to just one player on each team - Tom Lynch at Gold Coast and Jesse Hogan at Melbourne. Both teams have solid midfields, but it's the tall timber forwards that swing a game for these teams. However, in saying that, Jesse Hogan kicked 7 goals last week and the Demons still couldn't get it done. I just think at this price and at Metricon Stadium, the Suns are the value play here.
Tip: Gold Coast to win Hd-Hd - $1.95 at CrownBet (2 units)
Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide Crows (Saturday, May 7 at 7:40pm AEST)
The Western Bulldogs showed us that they might not be coping too well with their immense injuries. All the talk out of the kennel was that players could come in and fill the shoes of Bob, Jason Johannisen and Matt Suckling, but clearly their absence is having a rippling effect. It's going to be another tough one without them this Saturday night against Adelaide.
The big storyline around the game is an elimination final rematch. The AFL used that 2015 final as the poster child for entertaining football. Will this one be just as thrilling? I do think the Bulldogs will really be trying to free up and play the running style they weren't able to against the Roos last week. The Dogs do have a great record against the Crows at Etihad, winning six of the last seven. They will also be happy to get little jet Caleb Daniel back in the side. Ultimately, however, I think the Dogs have too many outs to bet on them to win. In addition to the backline woes, Tom Boyd being out has clearly hurt the Dogs forward line, with Jake Stringer unable to handle being double-teamed by the two best defenders. It will be a competitive game, but the value is with the Crows.
Tip: Adelaide by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.50 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Fremantle Dockers vs GWS Giants (Saturday, May 7 at 6:10pm AWST)
The Giants are the darlings of the AFL after defeating the mighty reigning premiers by 65 points last week. By this time next week they would have defeated the reigning minor premiers as well.
The Giants have never won a game in Western Australia, but surely that will change this week. Amazingly, the Dockers will likely be 0-7 after this game, even if they do like their chances at home this week. Without Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands, the talented GWS midfield will rip Freo apart. The meaty GWS forward line will also cause Freo problems as the Dockers have conceded 622 points over six games so far this season. If this game as in Sydney I would love the 23.5 line, but it smells fishy. Freo haven’t won a game this season and the Giants are coming off that massive win over the Hawks. Lots of money will be on the Giants at the line and you just have to think the bookies want it that way with such a weird line. With this game in the west, I'm going to get on the Giants in a competitive game.
Tip: Giants by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.15 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
St Kilda Saints vs North Melbourne Kangaroos (Sunday, May 8 at 3:20pm AEST)
The Saints and Roos meet at Etihad this Mother's Day Sunday and despite an impressive win last week, St Kilda fans would not be excited at the prospect of having to face the team at the top of the ladder.
North Melbourne have won most of their games with a dominating performance up forward. Even in their gritty defensive win against the Dogs last week, it was the tall forward line led by Jarrad Waite that was the difference. The young talented Saints let Jesse Hogan kick 7 goals last week and still go the victory, but if Waite or the like are let off the chain like that, this could be a blowout. In general, however, I think the Saints have proven they are an emerging talent and should be competitive this Sunday.
Tip: North Melbourne by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.25 at Sportsbet (1.5 units)
Port Adelaide Power vs Brisbane Lions (Sunday, May 8 at 4:10pm ACST)
Port Adelaide returned to form last week against Richmond. But then again, it was only against Richmond. what was a big positive, however, was the Power got a victory without their best players. That will give them confidence going into this game against Brisbane on Sunday.
The Lions are coming off a gallant effort against the Swans last week and will be happy that Port is without Robbie Gray, Chad Wingard and Matthew Lobbe. If this game was at the Gabba, I think you could argue the Lions should be favourites. Stefan Martin should be able to dominate in the ruck and with Tom Rockliff getting better every week, I think the Lions at the line is the play here. The Power were brave last week, but they still have their best players out and Richmond have proven to not be much of an opponent.
Tip: Brisbane Lions at the line (+25.5) - $1.92 at Sportsbet (2 units)
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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