The following are previews with betting tips for Round 13 of the 2018 AFL season.
Thursday, June 14
Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs
7:50 pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
After a disappointing three-point loss to the Hawks in round 11, Port Adelaide got themselves back on the winner’s list on Friday night with a hugely important victory over the reigning premiers. Port now have the opportunity to climb to 8-4 with a win over the Dogs on Thursday night, and you’d expect that’s exactly what they’ll do. Port were impressive against the Tigers, although they did receive some criticism for going overly defensive in the second half when they only managed to add a single goal, but they did enough to hold on and that’s the main thing. Their opposition this week is the Western Bulldogs, who weren’t travelling all that well prior to the bye. Perhaps they’ll come back refreshed and ready for the challenge, but if they haven’t made any significant adjustments they’ll be staring down the barrel of another substantial loss.
The conditions look set to be wet and windy, so the Dogs have opted to drop Jordan Roughead and go with Tom Boyd as the sole ruck, while Port have lost patience with ex-Demon Jack Watts. Paddy Ryder might be in for a night out against Boyd, but even if he’s still a touch sore and doesn’t dominate like he should, it won’t cause Port any major headaches; they’ll win this contest with ease and set themselves up nicely for the back half of the year.
Betting tip: Port Adelaide By 40+ @ $1.97 (UniBet)
Friday, June 15
Sydney vs West Coast
7:50 pm AEST, SCG
There may only be six games of footy scheduled for this weekend, but there’s a couple of ripping matches, and this clash between the Swans and the Eagles might be the best of them. The Eagles are still yet to drop a game since their opening round loss to Sydney. That game was played in Perth, this will take place at the SCG — based on that, you would expect the Swans win this one as well, but much has changed since round 1. The Eagles have become a genuine premiership threat, while the Swans have shown their vulnerability at the SCG with some disappointing home losses.
The Eagles are coming off the bye last week, while the Swans effectively had a bye as well; in their crushing win over the Saints, they had the game iced by quarter time. The ankle injury Jack Darling sustained two weeks ago could have a significant impact on the rest of West Coast’s season; it will certainly hamper them for the number of weeks he’ll be missing. He was absolutely flying, and now more pressure falls on the shoulders of Josh Kennedy, but fortunately for the Eagles, he’s shown in the past that he’s capable of handling it. The surprise injury to Tom Barrass is likely to cause the Eagles more trouble however; he would’ve spent the night minding Lance Franklin, so the Eagles now need to re-structure their defence.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how this one unfolds. I expect it to be a really tough contest without too many free-flowing passages of play, which will probably suit the Swans more so than the Eagles. I don’t think the margin will be large by any means, but expect the Swans to subject the Eagles to their second loss of the year.
Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $1.56 (BetFair)
Saturday, June 16
Carlton vs Fremantle
1:45 pm AEST, Etihad Stadium
Fremantle desperately needed a win against the Crows last weekend, and while it was a little scrappy, they did enough to sneak home by three points and keep their season ticking along. They might actually be in a really good position in three weeks’ time: they have Carlton before the bye, followed by the Brisbane Lions in Perth. They should win both of those and end up sitting at a very respectable seven wins from 14 games. They’re probably not a realistic finals chance, but they can’t be ruled out if they’ve got a 50% win/loss record more than halfway through the season.
The Blues, you would hope, will be feeling rejuvenated after the week off. They don’t have anything to gain for the rest of the year in terms of 2018; they’ll be keen to continue getting experience into the future generation, and hopefully steal a win here and there to keep the supporter base happy. This is potentially one of those games they could steal if they play their best standard of footy, but it’s probably unlikely. The Dockers are capable of playing some decent footy, and with the return of superstar midfielder Nat Fyfe following his one-week suspension, absolutely everything would need to fall Carlton’s way for an upset to occur. I expect the Dockers get the win by four to six goals.
Betting tip: Fremantle (-7.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Gold Coast vs St Kilda
4:35 pm AEST, Metricon Stadium
While I wouldn’t classify this as a potential pearler of a game, it will certainly be a game of high interest; both teams are floundering right now and are in need of a win, and come the final siren on Saturday evening, one of them will feel the pressure release ever so slightly, while the other will be thrown to the wolves. The Suns have plenty of excuses according to AFL chief Gill McLachlan, who this week stated that their travel schedule over the first part of the year would cause outrage if forced upon a Melbourne based club. And for the Saints, well, Gill didn’t offer up any excuses for them unfortunately. Maybe that means there’s more pressure on them to win on Saturday, or maybe not. Either way, I think they will. Surely they’re due for a win.
Things haven’t gone quite to plan for St Kilda over the past few months, but they’re more than capable of beating the lowly Suns on the road. Their team looks stronger this week – at least on paper – with the return of Jake Carlisle, David Armitage and Jack Billings. I expect this is the week they finally get their second win of the season and hopefully put a horrid beginning to 2018 behind them.
Betting tip: St Kilda to win @ $1.65 (Bet365)
Hawthorn vs Adelaide
7:25 pm AEST, MCG
The expectation after the first five or six weeks of the season was that both the Hawks and the Crows would feature prominently in September action in 2018, but that doesn’t seem so certain any longer. They both have six wins apiece, however the Crows have taken to the field one more time than the Hawks have for their six wins. When you also factor in Hawthorn’s relatively cruisy run home, they look to be much better placed than the Crows do from here on in, but that could all change if Adelaide can manage to knock them off. It’s not going to be easy; the Crows have been savagely struck down by injury in a year when they were every chance to win a flag, but that’s rapidly becoming more like fantasy than possibility. They’ve shuffled a few around this week in an attempt to get a better effort, but there’s no real important players set to come into the side for another week, so I think they’re going to struggle again. The Hawks should make the most of it and win this one relatively easily.
Betting tip: Hawthorn to win @ $1.63 (William Hill)
Sunday, June 17
Geelong vs Richmond
3:20 pm AEST, MCG
The round ends with a game to rival the Friday night clash between the Swans and the Eagles, when Geelong hosts the reigning premiers at the MCG. This should be an outstanding game of footy. The Cats are coming off a strong win over the Kangaroos on Saturday, while Richmond will be smarting from their second loss at the Adelaide Oval this year. The loss to Port Adelaide means the Tigers have yet to win outside of Victoria, but I wouldn’t think that’s too much of an issue just yet; they’re very nicely positioned in second place, with the Cats sitting a win behind them in fourth place.
The Tigers love to play high pressure, fast-paced footy, but Geelong are capable of doing the same on their day. The battle between Tom Hawkins and Alex Rance will be fascinating, as will the contest down the other end between Jack Riewoldt and Mark Blicavs. Rance has been regarded as the best full back in the game for the past three years, but Blicavs’ stunning transformation from ruck/utility to full-time defender has given Rance some competition for that title in recent weeks. He’ll need some help from his teammates as the Tigers love to share the ball around and get all of their forwards involved, but there’s no reason to think he can’t get the job done again this week.
Most importantly, Dustin Martin is back in the side, while Daniel Rioli has been named on the extended bench; his inclusion would be a massive boost for the Tigers. They’re a very good side, and I don’t expect they’ll lose two games in a row very often this year. I think we’ll see the Tigers bounce back strongly and record a solid win over the Cats on Sunday.
Betting tip: Richmond (-11.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Best Bets of the Round
Fremantle (-7.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
All Bets: -11.37 units
Best Bets: -0.41 units