It was a great bounce back weekend in Round 6 as we went from a horror 2/9 performance the week before to win 7/9 bets. We’ll be looking to continue our momentum this weekend as we preview every game in Round 7 of the AFL below.
Give me a follow on Twitter at @AFLBYB if you're interested in some nonsensical live footy commentary or continuing to read the 10-1 of my totally biased Top 50 players in the AFL over the next few days.
Geelong vs Greater Western Sydney (Friday 7.50pm AEST)
See our full standalone preview for the big Friday night clash here!
Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast (Saturday 1.45pm AEST)
The Bulldogs will host the Suns in a special match in Ballarat on Saturday as they aim to win their second game in a row. They were serviceable against Carlton on Friday night last weekend, and while I still think the way they played wouldn’t have held up against the better teams in the league, they will get another relatively easy matchup this Saturday.
Gold Coast had the difficult task of travelling to Adelaide to take on the Crows last weekend and couldn’t muster an inspiring performance as they went down by 48 points. As he has been for the majority of the Suns season so far, David Swallow was the sole shinging light, racking up 32 disposals and kicking 3 goals in the loss.
The Dogs start as strong $1.17 favourites in Ballarat, and while I definitely think they will win this game, I’m sceptical over the 31-point line. Amazingly, no rain is scheduled in Ballarat for Saturday and wind levels are quite low, expect it to be good conditions for footy and with two fairly free flowing teams I expect the 164.5 total point line to be cleared.
TIP: Total points OVER 164.5 - $1.88 at CrownBet
Essendon vs Hawthorn (Saturday 2.10pm AEST)
‘Where to next?’ has been the question of the week for the Bombers as they lost their second game in a row and fell to 14th on the ladder ahead of a tough matchup with Hawthorn at the MCG. The Bombers were deplorable against Collingwood on Anzac Day and followed it up with arguably a worse performance against Melbourne on the weekend.
After a tough loss to North Melbourne in Round 5, Hawthorn bounced back on the weekend to defeat the Saints down is Tasmania. Tom Mitchell got back to his old ways, racking up 45 touches in the win while Isaac Smith booted four goals and provided a heap of valuable run.
The Hawks will love the fact that they get to play Essendon at the MCG in an away game here. The MCG definitely caters more to their play style than the Bombers and with the way Essendon have been playing lately its hard to see them winning this one. I think the Hawks cover the 9.5 point line.
TIP: Hawthorn -9.5 - $1.92 at CrownBet
West Coast vs Port Adelaide (Saturday 4.35pm AEST)
Big game between two top eight teams here as West Coast host Port Adelaide on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles have been one of the surprise packets of the season so far and currently sit second on the ladder with a 5-1 record. Their forward line has been extremely dynamic with Jack Darling already booting 15 goals on the season and the return of Josh Kennedy looking ominous over the past few weeks.
After losing two in a row to the Bombers and Cats, the Power bounced back last weekend to defeat the Kangaroos and move to 4-2 on the season. The big bonus for the Power this weekend could be the return of ruckman Paddy Ryder, who has been out since Round 2 with an Achilles injury. However, Chad Wingard will be out after pulling his hamstring on the weekend.
Tough match to call here and the bookies have it pretty close as well. I love the way Port Adelaide have gone about it early this season and the potential return of Paddy Ryder could be massive. We’ve already seen them travel to Sydney to get a massive road win and I think they can do the same here.
TIP: Port Adelaide to win - $2.10 at Sportsbet
Sydney vs North Melbourne (Saturday 7.25pm AEST)
Sydney travelled to Geelong on the weekend and captured a fantastic come from behind victory against the Cats. After trailing by almost five goals at three quarter time, the Swans, led by Josh Kennedy, rallied in the last quarter to pick up their fourth win of the season and move into the top eight.
North Melbourne couldn’t back up their fantastic performance against Hawthorn with another win as they succumbed to Port Adelaide in Round 6. They have been impressive this season but are still really hit and miss and rely too heavily on Ben Brown to kick goals. Their midfield is extremely hard and they lack a bit of class but should address that with Shaun Higgins likely to return this weekend.
If this game was at Etihad I would probably like North Melbourne at the 32 point line, but in Sydney I think the Swans will get the better of them. Ben Brown seems to be a different player at Etihad and take him out of the safety of the roof and he could be exposed.
TIP: Sydney -32.5 - $1.92 at CrownBet
Adelaide vs Carlton (7.40pm AEST)
Adelaide were great in their Round 6 clash against Gold Coast, getting key midfielder Matt Crouch back from injury and claiming a 48-point win. It should get better for the Crows this weekend with Rory Sloane and Eddie Betts both set to return in a home match against the winless Blues. Skipper Taylor Walker is a bit of a concern with a hamstring injury but should have no problems Saturday night.
What is there to say about the Blues? They are in the midst of a hard rebuild at the moment but most fans would have expected more than what they have displayed so far. They have actually been competitive in a number of games up until three quarter time before being blown out, and will face one of the hardest tests in footy this weekend as they travel to Adelaide.
The Blues should get Matty Kreuzer back from injury this weekend but I cant see that helping a great deal as they start as 54 point underdogs here. Cant see where the Blues goals are going to come from here and a score under 50 seems likely.
TIP: Total points UNDER 170.5 - $1.88 at Sportsbet
Richmond vs Fremantle (Sunday 1.10pm AEST)
The Tigers are now resembling the team that dominated the finals series last year. Their pressure and tackling is absolutely manic and they have arguably the strongest defence in the league. They allow the third fewest points per game in the league and are ranked fourth in tackling differential. The great thing for the Tiges is that Dustin Martin hasn’t had to dominate for them to pick up wins over the last few weeks.
Fremantle were gallant in their derby loss to West Coast on the weekend, but ultimately lacked enough firepower to get over the line, especially with Michael Walters going down with injury early in the game. They have a few injury concerns at the moment including Brad Hill, which really hinders the way they’d like to play.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick described the Magpies as the best side they’ve faced so far this year, and they still picked up a 43 point win there, so I expect them to get the job done over Fremantle on the weekend quite comfortably, especially at the MCG where they play like men possessed.
TIP: Richmond -36.5 - $1.92 at CrownBet
St Kilda vs Melbourne (Sunday 3.20pm AEST)
St Kilda will be hunting just their second win of the season when they meet Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Saints impressed in their draw against GWS a few weeks ago but couldn’t back it up against Hawthorn in Tasmania in Round 7. They were beaten comfortably and kicking for goal continues to be a massive weakness.
Melbourne captured a good win over Essendon on the weekend, but I think the win says more about the Bombers form at the moment than it does about Melbourne. The Demons are having a bit of an identity crisis, and are really struggling to find avenues to goal, especially when Jesse Hogan has extended spells in the midfield. They are still without Christian Petracca and Christian Salem and Jesse Hogan suffered a minor injury on the weekend.
The Saints will welcome the return to Etihad this weekend where they really impressed me against the Giants. The smaller Etihad surface plays into the saints tackling and pressure strengths, and if they can just kick relatively straight I think they can cover here.
TIP: St Kilda +19.5 - $1.92 at Ladbrokes
Brisbane vs Collingwood (Sunday 4.40pm AEST)
The final game of the round sees Brisbane hosting Collingwood at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon. Collingwood will relish the full week of rest after two games in just five days last week. The rest should help their midfield which has been fantastic in their last two games, regardless of the disappointing result against the Tigers.
The Lions are still hunting their first win of the 2018 season and were pretty disappointing against GWS on the weekend. Dayne Beams was the sole standout performer for the Lions, racking up 29 touches and kicking a goal in the loss.
Would like to think the Lions would make a game of it at home but they have been fairly gallant in their only two games there so far but the 18.5 point line seems low for the Pies.
TIP: Collingwood -18.5 - $1.92 at CrownBet