The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2017 AFL season.
Friday, May 12
West Coast v Western Bulldogs
8:10PM AEST, Domain Stadium
The Eagles pulled off their most important win of the year on Saturday night, beating a strong Port Adelaide outfit at the Adelaide Oval. The margin was only 10-points in the end, but the Eagles were in front all night and were clearly the better side. A few hours afterwards, the Dogs took on the Tigers and were lucky to get away with a 5-point victory. The Dogs once more let their opposition take a substantial lead before stepping up in the second half and doing what they had to.
Marcus Bontempelli was again outstanding and you’d expect the Eagles will want to put some work into him this week. The Dogs will be without Jake Stringer and Josh Dunkley due to a knee and a shoulder injury respectively. The absence of Stringer will put pressure on the other forwards to kick a winning score, however key forward Jack Redpath has been brought back into the side after a year out with an ACL, and his accurate goal kicking should be a huge boost for the wayward Dogs.
Josh Kennedy has enjoyed playing against the Dogs in the past and he might be in for another field day on Friday night. If the Dogs can contain him then they’re every chance to win, but if the Eagles can create some open forward entries their forwards should be good enough to kick a winning score. I expect it be close, but I’m going with the Eagles by a couple of goals.
Betting tip: West Coast By 1-39 @ $2.22 (PalmerBet)
Saturday, May 13
Hawthorn v Brisbane
1:45PM AEST, University of Tasmania Stadium
It’s hard to tell whether the Hawks are completely cooked or only half-cooked with the way they are playing. They get absolutely belted one week, and the next week they come out and beat a relatively good side. They nearly let the Demons run over the top of them, but their experienced players stood up in the last few minutes and guided them to a 3-point win. They should be able to back it up with another win this week when they take on the Lions in Tasmania.
After a solid start to the season, the Lions have struggled over the past couple of weeks. The effort is still there, but right now I can’t see them winning another game before the bye. They should take it right up to the Hawks, but they’re just not good enough to beat an experienced, albeit deteriorating Hawthorn side. If the Hawks show up, they’ll win by 10 goals. If they don’t, I still think they’ll get the job done by a couple.
Betting tip: Hawthorn (-36.5) @ $1.65 (Bet365)
St Kilda v Carlton
2:10PM AEST, Eithad Stadium
In a stunning round of footy where the lower placed side won each game, the Saints were the ones to kick it off with a huge victory over the talented Giants at Etihad. They got on top of the Giants in the last quarter thanks to some Jack Steven heroics, but it was a real team effort to keep the Giants under immense pressure whenever they got the ball. If the Saints can keep that up they are a real chance to play finals this year.
On a historic day for their opponent, the Blues crashed the Collingwood party to win their third game of the year. It has to be said, the Pies didn’t look to be anywhere near their best. Whether the occasion got to them or not, the Blues definitely got the Pies on a good day. The Blues were impressive though, putting in a four quarter effort and not giving the Pies a sniff at any stage of the contest.
Marc Murphy did it again and youngster Sam Petrevski-Seton played his best game so far, earning a Rising Star nomination for his efforts. The Carlton midfield can expect to be put under more pressure by the Saints this week; if St Kilda bring the same heat from last week I’m not sure the Blues will cope with it. They are a competitive group, but the Saints should be too strong for them on Saturday afternoon.
Betting tip: St Kilda (-26.5) @ $1.97 (Pinnacle)
GWS v Collingwood
4:35PM AEST, Spotless Stadium
Collingwood’s hugely disappointing loss to Carlton on the weekend of their 125th anniversary celebration was disappointing for the club, but it has been overshadowed by the sad news of the passing of Collingwood legend Lou Richards. It has no doubt been an emotional week at the footy club and you’d expect them to be jumping out of their skin on Saturday, ready to run out and play some good footy to put a tough week behind them and make Lou and the Collingwood faithful proud. The loss of Adam Treloar to an ankle issue hurts immensely, but on the flip side, Daniel Wells will come back into the side to provide some much needed polish. In the past, the Pies have proved themselves more than capable of bouncing back from adversity, and I think they’ll put in a good showing against the Giants.
Whether it’s enough to win is another thing. The Giants are one of the best sides in the competition and are hard to beat at Spotless, but they have been hit hard by injuries in recent times and some cracks are starting to appear in their armour. Last week showed just how important Toby Greene is to them as they didn’t look dangerous up forward unless the big guys clunked it. I reckon it will be a close game and the Pies will be right in it but the Giants should be able to do just enough to overcome them.
Betting tip: Collingwood (+34.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Essendon v Geelong
7:25PM AEST, MCG
After starting the season with five straight wins, the Cats have suffered consecutive defeats to bring them crashing back down to Earth. To make things worse, they were both games the Cats would have expected to win. The Suns are a decent side when playing at home but any club with top four aspirations should be capable of beating them. The two losses have dropped the Cats back down to the pack, with a huge game coming up against the Bombers that they just can’t afford to lose.
The Bombers looked exhausted in the second half against the Dockers, perhaps having been worn down by their hectic schedule of playing three games in 13 days. Having to travel to Perth didn’t help either. I expect them to be a touch lethargic again this week and so if the game is close at three quarter time, the Cats should run away with it as the Dockers did. The Bombers have made a few changes to bring in some fresh legs – including ex-skipper Jobe Watson and number one draft pick Andy McGrath – but I think they will struggle until the bye when they can rest up and reset for the rest of the season.
Betting tip: Geelong By 25+ @ $2.00 (Bet365)
Adelaide v Melbourne
7:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
Well, that was unexpected. The Crows had just about already won the flag according to some, and maybe they were starting to believe that as well. The way they performed against North Melbourne was typical of a side who had got ever so slightly ahead of themselves. Sure, the Kangaroos may have had a really good day, but when you’re 6-0 and haven’t looked like being beaten all year, losing by 10 goals to a bottom side is almost unimaginable.
They’ll look to bounce back this week when they host the Demons, who are also coming off a disappointing loss. They didn’t show up to play until it was too late, letting the Hawks jump out to a six goal lead before slowly turning things around. They’ll need to be switched on from the first bounce this week as you can expect the Crows to be back at their best after their shock loss to the Kangaroos. We’ll find out a lot about Melbourne this weekend, but I’m not expecting them to get within three goals of the Crows. If they can keep it under five they will have done well.
Betting tip: Adelaide By 25+ @ $1.44 (Bet365)
Sunday, May 14
Richmond v Fremantle
1:10PM AEST, MCG
They lost their opening two games, but the Dockers have put themselves right back into finals contention, winning four of the next five. They’ve got a difficult assignment this week, heading to Melbourne to take on the Tigers at the ‘G. Richmond will be hurting from their close loss to the Dogs on Saturday night, as it was a game they really should have won. They were in front all night but just lacked the composure and experience to hold the Dogs at bay. They’ll take a lot out of it however; the Dogs are a good team and to push them all the way shows the Tigers are on the right track.
Ross Lyon has used Connor Blakely as a tagger this year and he’s taken some big scalps, so you’d think he heads straight to Dustin Martin at the opening bounce. I know a lot of coaches don’t like using taggers anymore but if the Dockers can quell Martin it will go a long way towards them winning, or at least getting close to it. If this was in Perth I’d be backing the Dockers but I think they’ll struggle to beat the Tigers in Melbourne. It should be a decent game but I think Richmond will kick away towards the end and get back on the winners list.
Betting tip: Richmond (-13.5) @ $1.65 (Ladbrokes)
Gold Coast v Port Adelaide
3:20PM AEST, Jiangwan Sports Centre
The historic China game. There’s been so much said about this game during the week that hasn’t really had anything to do with the actual game. The players might be affected by the air quality, the Suns have been crammed into economy, their flight has been delayed, the players might get food poisoning, etc. I don’t care if the AFL calls the game a success after the fact, it surely won’t be happening again next year considering the uproar it’s caused among certain parties. It won’t involve the Suns anyway, that’s for sure.
As for the actual game, I think it’s going to be a one-sided contest unfortunately. The Suns are up against. They’ve lost one of their best players in David Swallow, and, as has been mentioned, their trip over to Shanghai has been much more difficult than the luxury road the Power were afforded thanks to their sponsors Cathay Pacific. And regardless of any advantages they may have, Port are a much better team than the Suns. They were poor last week in their loss to the Eagles, but I think they’ll bounce back here and beat the Suns comfortably.
Betting tip: Port Adelaide (-20.5) @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)
North Melbourne v Sydney
4:40PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
In a round full of them, the Kangaroos provided the upset of all upsets, belting the then-unbeaten Crows to the tune of 57-points. It was a stunning performance that was set up by what I would call a perfect first quarter. You can’t get much better than a quarter time scoreline of 64 – 0. The suspension of big man Jarrad Waite is hugely disappointing for the Kangaroos after he slotted six against the Crows, but at least they know that when he comes back next week he’ll be in really dangerous form.
The Swans finally notched up their first win of the season, and they’ll be pleased that they did it in convincing fashion, even if it was against the lowly Brisbane Lions. Buddy kicked a bag of eight and looked capable of doing just about anything, which is sure to give Robbie Tarrant some sleepless nights over the next couple of days. Kurt Tippett and Gary Rohan are back into the Sydney team following stints on the sidelines, which will bolster their attack significantly. I still don’t trust the Swans at all, but they are starting to get some of their better players back and I think they’ll beat the Kangaroos in a close battle at Etihad.
Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $2.00 (Marathon Bet)
Best Bets of the Round
West Coast By 1-39 @ $2.22 (PalmerBet)
Geelong By 25+ @ $2.00 (Bet365)
All Bets: -12.35 units
Best Bets: +1.64 units