Tough weekend for PuntingInDanger and fans last week as we hit on just 2/9 bets after some really close losses. Round 17 of the AFL looks to be a touch easier betting round and features some blockbuster matchups including GWS and Richmond at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night. We preview all nine games in the AFL this weekend and give betting tips below!
Just when things were starting to look up for the Blues after some gallant performances against good sides over the last month, they were smashed to the tune of 65 points against the Lions at the Gabba last weekend. They have now lost their last seven games in a row and while there are some promising signs for them in the form of Charlie Curnow and Patrick Cripps, their other youngsters probably aren’t coming along just as well as Blues fans would like them to.
After winning two games in a row against the Suns and the Demons, the Saints had the difficult task of travelling to Adeliade last weekend to take on the Power, where they were serviceable but went down by 36 points in the end. The form of Jade Gresham over the last month has been a real positive sign for the Saints as well as Jack Steele, who is providing some much needed class in the Saints midfield.
After disappointing seasons, both sides will definitely see this as a winnable game. The Saints will be desperate to get Jake Carlisle back from a punctured lung as another matchup for Charlie Curnow, however, Nathan Brown, Dylan Roberton, Josh Bruce and Paddy McCartin all remain on the sidelines. Still, it’s hard to look past the Saints form at the moment. Their goal kicking has been the major downfall over the past two seasons and it seems to have improved out of sight over the last month. I like them to cover the line here.
Hawthorn vs Brisbane (Saturday 1.45pm AEST)
After a good win against the Blues last weekend, Brisbane now have recorded three wins so far this season, one of which was a massive 56 point win over the Hawks back in Round 9 The form of midfield duo Dayne Beams and Dayne Zorko means that Brisbane are a chance to win any game they play in while young forward Eric Hipwood was on top of his game last weekend, booting six goals in the win.
Hawthorn were impressive as well last weekend, beating an in form Western Bulldogs team by 63 points at Etihad Stadium. It was good to see the Hawthorn forward line firing on all cylinders as Luke Breust, Jack Gunston and Jarryd Roughead slotted 14 goals between them. They’ll be keen to get back down to Tasmania this weekend where they play so well but will be without ruckman Ben McEvoy, who broke his cheekbone in the Round 16 game.
The Lions played with lifted spirits in an attempt to win for Luke Hodge against his old side back in Round 9 I think with so much on the line for the Hawks as they sit inside the eight on percentage alone, they won’t make the same mistake again, especially not in Tasmania.
Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs (Saturday 4.35pm AEST)
Melbourne will be back at the MCG this weekend after a successful trip to Darwin to lay the Dockers in Round 16. They captured a 54-point win over Fremantly to move to 9-6 on the season so far and currently sit in 6th place. As long as the Demons keep winning, the disappointing loss to the Saints in Round 15 shouldn’t come back to bite them. Clayton Oliver was back to best on the weekend, racking up 35 touches and booting 2 goals.
The Western Bulldogs just have too many injuries at the moment to reamin competitive. They put out a spirited display against the Cats in Round 15 but were beaten convincingly by the Hawks last weekend. It got worse this week as the news that Marcus Bontempeli will miss time after having his appendix removed. Bontempeli joins the long list including Bailey Dale, Tory Dickson, Lin Jong, Tom Liberatore, Liam Picken, Jack Redpath, Matt Suckling and Easton Wood who will all be out this weekend, however, Jack Macrae is expected to return from a Hamstring injury.
The Dogs have been making do with a battered team over the past few rounds but I feel like this could be the breaking point as Marcus Bontempeli also comes out. Melbourne can’t afford to lose as they sit inside the eight by percentage alone. They are one of the highest scoring teams in the AFL and play extremely well at the MCG. I think they record a big win here.
Gold Coast vs Essendon (Saturday 7.25pm AEST)
The Suns were competive early against the Roos on the weekend but were ultimately defeated by 37 points at Etihad Stadium. Not many other positives to take out of the game for the Gold Coast apart from the fact that ruckman Jarrod Witts was once again fantastic with 19 touches and 36 hitouts against Todd Goldstein.
The Bombers fought hard on Sunday against the Pies but also went down as the Pies were too good at the MCG. Jake Stringer will be a big loss just as the Dons were starting to gain some momentum with the forward suffering a calf injury that will likely keep him out for four weeks. Currently sitting two games outside the eight, the Bombers will need to go undefeated from here if they have any hopes of making the top eight, which should be tough with games against Sydney, Hawthorn, Richmond and Port Adelaide to come.
It all starts this weekend, however, and they will start as big favourites over the Suns even at Metricon. No Stringer and no Daniher leaves the Bombers a bit thin on genuine goal kickers and this game has a poor Essendon performance written all over it. I think the Suns remain competitive here.
Greater Western Sydney vs Richmond (Saturday 7.25pm AEST)
The Giants were beaten marginally by the Eagles over in Perth on Sunday and will have another tough task this weekend as they face the Tigers. They will, however, welcome the return to Spotless Stadium in what should be one of their highest attended home games for the season. They’ll be keen to impress here and jump back into the top eight as they currently trail by two points. They are 5-5 over their last 10 games but really started to come into form over the past month with good wins over Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Hawthorn in their four games before last week.
Richmond continued to roll last week as they defeated Adelaide by 47 points at the MCG. They’ll be away from their safe zone this weekend, however, as they make one of just five interstate trips this year and one of just eight games away from the MCG. While they are undefeated at the MCG this year, they are 2-3 away from home with losses to the Power, Eagles and Crows.
Jacob Hopper will return for the Giants this weekend to give the midfield and massive boost while it’ll be a massive training session on Wednesday for the Giants, who could potentially see Brett Deledio and Toby Greene finally prove fitness to return to the line-up. Giants will be fired up this weekend in front of what should be a big crows and I think they make a statement with some big inclusions.
Collingwood vs West Coast (Sunday 1.10pm AEST)
Collingwood improved their winning streak to seven games on the weekend as they defeated the Bombers to remain in second place on the ladder. It’ll be another tough test on the weekend as they face the Eagles but will play their second f four games in a row at the MCG this weekend. The Pies still have an extensive injury list but could get back a few key players this weekend as Jamie Elliot, Alex Fasolo, James Aish and Jarryd Blair could all return through the VFL this weekend.
It will be a massive training week for the Eagles this week, who could get back four of their most important players from injury in Tom Barrass, Jack Darling, Josh Kennedy and Marck LeCras. Getting just one of Darling or Kennedy back should completely reshape their forward line this week and give them a massive chance against the Pies.
Still sceptical over the Pies as they have only beaten one side in side the top eight all season and have hardly played away from their safe haven of the MCG all year. West Coast should be a massive test for them provided that Kennedy/Darling return to the line-up and I’d side with the Eagles at the moment.
North Melbourne vs Sydney (Sunday 3.20pm AEST)
Another big game between two top eight teams here as the Kangaroos host the Swans at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Roos were great against the Suns last weekend, capturing a 37 point win as Ben Brown booted four goals to extend his Coleman Medal lead. He’ll be thankful to play under the roof again this weekend but will have a tough test against one of the better defences in the league in the Swans.
Sydney were disappointing against the Cats in Round 16, losing by 12 points at the SCG on Thursday night. Lance Franklin booted four goals in the loss but ultimately their just wasn’t enough class from the Sydney midfield to remain competitive ass Josh Kennedy was the only Swans midfielder to accumulate more than 25 touches.
Sydney have fantastic talent and depth at either end of the ground but their midfield is a real issue at the moment, especially with both Kieren Jack and Dan Hannebery going down with injuries in the Geelong game. Jarrad McVeigh remains on the sidelines but Gary Rohan could return this week. Luckily they don’t have much pace to compete with this weekend as they come up against the hard nosed North Melbourne midfield. Sydney and Lance Franklin in particular play Etihad really well but it’s tough for me to find a winner here.
TIP: No Bet
Fremantle have won just 7 of their last 10 games and lost their last three in a row to slip ti 13th on the ladder. Any hopes of them making the finals are probably gone now as they sit three games outside of the eight so injured stars Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands could be put on ice for the rest of the season.
Port Adelaide currently sit 4th on the AFL ladder but have arguably the easiest run home of any of the top four teams. A win here would see them jump above either West Coast or Collingwood who play eachother this weekend while Richmond have a tough matchup against GWS in Sydney. Sam Gray and Jasper Pittard could return this weekend but potential All Australian defender Tom Jonas will miss up to six weeks with a knee injury.
Fremantle will welcome the return to Optus Stadium but cant see them being too competitive here with not much to play for, especially when the Power have so much on the line.
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