My AFL betting tips have been ticking along nicely as I managed another small profit last week, which made it 6/8 profitable rounds for the 2016 season so far. The problem is that I can't seem to close out a week with a big profit. Hopefully that changes soon, starting with my 2016 AFL Round 9 betting tips.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Sydney Swans (Friday, May 20 at 7:50pm AEST)
Not many modern-era rivalries compare to the battles between the Hawks and Swans - the nail-biting 2012 Grand Final, Buddy's defection to the Swans in 2013, the lop-sided 2014 Grand Final and many epic matches in between. There is already a lot of emotion in games between these two clubs and there is going to be even more this Friday night after the news that Hawks champion Jarryd Roughead has to step away from the game indefinitely after a recurrence of a melanoma. We have heard from many of Roughead's teammates during the week and it's clear that this one is really hitting close to home. It's hard to tell what kind of effect this sort of distraction will have on the Hawks, but ultimately they are the strongest side of the modern era and will no doubt stand up and give it everything they have. This game won't be easy, however, with the Swans playing their best footy in two years.
The last time the Hawks and Swans met was at ANZ in Round 15 of last year with the Hawks winning by 89 points. The Swans are a different team this season and there's no doubt the result won't quite be the same. The game is at the MCG which generally shouldn't bother the experienced Swans, but they certainly didn't look as comfortable on the 'G in their heart-breaking after the siren loss to Richmond last week. If you put last week's game down to an anomaly or a last-minute 'brain fade', the Swans have looked far more dangerous this season than the Hawks. The Swans are the number one side for inside 50s this season and Lance Franklin has been punishing the opposition down forward, kicking 34 goals so far this season, including five last week.
It's interesting to note that Jarryd Roughead and Luke Hodge were two of the best players on the ground when the Hawks smashed the Swans late last season. The Hawks have shown they enough depth to cover their losses, but I'm not sure the Hawks deserve to be such heavy favourites here. Josh Kennedy was missing against Richmond and the Swans will be glad to get him back for this one. I'm thinking the value here is with the Swans as i'll be taking small plays on both the line and the Swans under 39.5. Regardless, this is going to be a cracking game of Friday night footy.
Tip: Sydney Swans at the line (+12.5) - $1.92 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
+ Sydney by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $3.20 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Collingwood Magpies vs Geelong Cats (Saturday, May 21 at 1:45pm AEST)
The Magpies go into this game against the Cats on Saturday with some rare confidence after smashing the Lions last week. Collingwood certainly looked like they got their groove back, but Brisbane are hardly a strong side. The Pies might just be brought back to earth against a genuine premiership-contender this week.
The Cats are 2nd on the ladder and look like like the most dangerous team in the comp at the moment. They have won their past six games by an average margin of 56 points. They are the number one team for marks inside 50 and have one of the most dominant midfields, with Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood leading the way, while guys like Cam Guthrie are starting to stand up and play elite football. The problem for Collingwood here is that they need Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams to win the midfield battle, all while finding a target up forward (where they are struggling), along with somehow doing what no teams have been able to do this year and stop the Cats from scoring. I can't see that happening. The Cats should win this quite easily.
Tip: Geelong at the line (-33.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Gold Coast Suns vs Adelaide Crows (Saturday, May 21 at 2:10pm AEST)
In my Round 8 AFL betting tips, I suggested that I clearly have been overrating the Suns this season and thus I decided to sit out betting on their game. Luckily I did, as once again the Suns were far worse than I thought, losing by 91 points to the Giants. They have lost the last three games by a combined 284 points and it looks like Adelaide will be adding to that tally this Saturday afternoon.
It's somewhat surprising to note that the Crows only have one more victory on their ledger than the Suns. They are spoken about like one of the top teams, but really haven’t proven themselves as such. Apart from a win against the Swans, the Crows haven't beaten any teams of note. That's not to say they won't win against the Suns - they will. But they need to win this game to rebuild some confidence after losing the last two games. They should do just that, especially with Gary Ablett looking like he will be sitting this one out. Once again, however, I have to opt to sit this out. The game is up on the Gold Coast and I don't know how to attack the 50-point line.
Tip: No Bet
Port Adelaide Power vs West Coast Eagles (Saturday, May 21 at 4:05pm AEST)
The Eagles got their mojo back last week, defeating the Saints by 103 points. The game was played at Domain, however, and so the debate around West Coast only being able to play good football at home continued. This Saturday at Adelaide Oval is a chance to prove they can win on any turf.
I do think West Coast's on-the-road woes have been overstated. The three games they have lost away from home this season have been to the Swans, Hawks and Cats. That is three elite teams and I think you can forgive the Eagles for those losses. The margins in those games, however, is a little more worrying as the Eagles seem to shut down when their backs are against the Wall. Despite having to get on a plane again, the positive for the Eagles this week is that they are playing a Power team that continue to disappoint. Port Adelaide lost to Carlton by 2 points last week and played really poorly when it mattered. They will be buoyed by the return of Robbie Gray this week, but I don't think that will be enough to get the job done against the Eagles. The last time the two teams met at Adelaide Oval was last year and the Eagles won by 10 points. I'm thinking this one could be a similar results.
Tip: West Coast by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.25 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
North Melbourne vs Carlton Blues (Saturday, May 21 at 7:25pm AEST)
Just a few weeks ago the Roos were considered the most dangerous team in the AFL, while the Blues were once again a disappointment. Cut to Round 9 and the Blues have won four in a row, while the Roos come into this game on the back of a terrible performance against the Bombers last week. They did get the win, which is what matters in the end, but there might just be some cracks showing down at Arden Street.
I'm not convinced the Blues deserve to be 30-point underdogs here. They have been quite a strong defensive unit with new coach Brendon Bolton clearly bringing some of the Hawks toughness across to Carlton. The Roos have also not been able to score too strongly in the last three weeks, averaging just 72 points per game, compared to 122 during the first five rounds. I do favour the Roos to win here, but with confidence at an all-time high at Carlton, I don't think it will be by a big margin. Matthew Kreuzer is a big loss and in fact, if he was in the side, I might even be backing the Blues at the line.
Tip: Kangaroos by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.30 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Fremantle Dockers vs Richmond Tigers (Saturday, May 21 at 5:40pm AWST)
Before last week, this was looking like the almost-certain first win of the Dockers season. After all, the game is at Domain Stadium and the Tigers have been playing woeful football. But that might have changed last week after the Tigers managed to upset the Swans with an after-the-siren miracle.
The problem with betting on Fremantle games is that it becomes more about guessing what decisions coach Ross Lyon is going to make. He dropped Michael Barlow last week who then went on to have 39 disposals in the WAFL. Barlow will surely get back in the side with Stephen Hill in doubt after injuring himself last week, but who knows with Lyon. Maybe his plan is to write this season off and play as many youngsters as possible. That being said, I ultimately think this is going to be a tough game for Richmond to win. They have to travel out west on the back of a very tough game against the Swans. Surely the Dockers see this is a big chance to get their first win. They have to come out firing and I can't get on the Richmond hype train after just one victory. I am thinking the Dockers are the play here, but I just can't pull the trigger. There are too many questions surrounding both teams. Fade.
Tip: No Bet
Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions (Sunday, May 22 at 1:10pm AEST)
The Lions are probably a more disappointing team than the Bombers this year and that is saying something. They were pathetic last week with Collingwood smashing them by 78 points. The game was also at the Gabba to just rub salt in their wounds. I can't see their season turning around this week against the Lions at the MCG.
There is no doubt the Demons have improved immensely on last year's efforts, but expectations are far higher now and so performances like last week are scrutinised. The Demons struggled with their defensive effort against the Dogs and will need to address that in coming weeks. They do still look damaging when moving the ball forward, however, and that is where they will win this game against the Lions. The Demons should also easily win the midfield battle with the Lions set to be without Tom Rockliff and Dayne Beams. Not overly confident with the tricky line, but the Demons will no doubt be too classy for the Lions.
Tip: Melbourne at the line (-33.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet ( 1 unit)
GWS Giants vs Western Bulldogs (Sunday, May 22 at 3:20pm AEST)
Two of the up-and-coming teams of the competition face off this Sunday with the Giants and Western Bulldogs currently on six wins each and only separated by percentage.
The Bulldogs have been gallant in the face of several injuries this season, but it's looking like the problems are about to compound in a way they can't combat as Matthew Boyd and Jack Redpath are out on suspension. They are added to a list of outs that includes Marcus Adams, Matt Suckling, Tom Boyd, Jason Johannisen and of course, Bob Murphy. The Dogs have been able to cover for their injuries so far, but the backline is extremely thin at the moment and it's looking like the Giants will be too tough to overcome. The Giants put up a big score last week and you can see that happening again as the likes of Jeremey Cameron only have a depleted backline to contend with. It's been hard to write-off the Dogs this season, but this looks like it might be a little blip in the road.
Tip: GWS Giants at the line (-17.5) - $1.92 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
St Kilda Saints vs Essendon Bombers (Sunday, May 22 at 4:40pm AEST)
Even though both teams lost, the emotions of St Kilda fans and Essendon fans were at the opposite ends of the spectrum last week. The usually solid Saints were smashed by 103 points last week, while the Bombers were brave against the top-of-the-ladder Roos, kicking the last six goals and losing by just 14 points.
While their defensive efforts have sometimes been commendable, the biggest problem Essendon face is their ability to score. They have only kicked 10 goals or more on one occasion this season and average just 59 points per game. That's not going to be enough to defeat just about any team and I can't see them winning against the Saints. Apart from last week, the Saints haven't been too bad this season, proving difficult for teams like the Hawks and Roos. I do think Essendon can contain a blowout, however, so will be getting on the Saints in a close one.
Tip: Saints by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.25 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
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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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