The following are previews with betting tips for AFL Round 8.
Friday, May 22
Geelong vs Carlton
7:50PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
There’s so much pressure on Carlton and Mick Malthouse at the moment, and it won’t be easing up any time soon; they’re in the spotlight of Friday night footy for the next two weeks. This could be the turning point for the Blues, two high pressure games could bring out some serious effort and intent, or, on the other hand, another two poor performances could just about spell the end for Mick.
The Cats weren’t bad for most of the game against the Swans, it was just that last quarter when the Swans were able to pull away and make it look like an easy victory. They’ve been in some pretty solid form for the past 3-4 weeks, and should be able to take care of the hapless Blues without too much trouble. Carlton supporters will just be praying for a close contest. They don’t want to see another blowout. Unfortunately, going on current form, it’s hard to see how Carlton aren’t going to be belted by just about any team in the competition.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Cats by 40+ @ $2.50 (Palmerbet)
Saturday, May 23
St Kilda vs West Coast
1:45PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
The Eagles are looking more and more like a team that is likely to make finals. They’re 5-2, and have a fairly cushy draw leading up to the bye. But this is one of those games that they just have to bank in order to make the finals dream a reality. It’s a game they should win, but they just have to look at the Dogs v Saints game a few weeks to know that the Saints are capable of taking their opportunities if they’re given a sniff.
I’m expecting the Eagles to continue their good form and have a fairly comfortable day out at Etihad.
Betting tip: 1 unit – 1st Half Handicap – Eagles (-14.5) @ $1.91 (Ladbrokes)
GWS Giants vs Adelaide
2:10PM AEST, Spotless Stadium
This should be a sensational game of footy between two much improved football clubs. They’re both sitting at 5-2 and with similar percentage. It’s a big test for both clubs, but for GWS in particular. Can they continue competing with, and beating, top 8 sides? Are they mature enough to play consistent footy, week after week after week? We’re only a third of the way through the season, but you’d think the winner of this game WILL play finals, barring extreme circumstances. It’s hard to miss out once you’re 6-2. That means this is a huge game in the context of the season for these two clubs. They are probably competing for a similar spot on the final ladder, somewhere in that 5-8 area.
I really like the way the Giants are playing at the moment and think these days they are in the box seat when playing at home, regardless of their opposition.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Giants at the line of -15.5 @ $2.10 (Centrebet)
Gold Coast vs Collingwood
4:35PM AEST, Metricon Stadium
The Pies have had a slightly sobering past two weeks, after starting the season off with four wins from their first five games. They haven’t been bad, but they’ve dropped off a bit and are now right back in the middle of the pack. They’ve got an easier game this week against the Suns, who are still struggling with both form and injury. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see their form improve significantly until their injury list is quite a bit shorter. They’ve just got too many important players missing. It’s hard for any side to cover that many injuries, let alone a very young and inexperienced side like the Gold Coast.
Betting tip: 2 units – Pies by 25+ @ 2.20 (William Hill)
Hawthorn vs Sydney
7:20PM AEST, MCG
The Hawks will welcome Jordan Lewis back with open arms for the 2014 Grand Final replay on Saturday night at the ‘G. It’s difficult to predict how this one will pan out when taking form from the past few games into account. Neither team looks to be playing as well as we know they can, but not’s that to say that they’ve been anything less than really good footy teams. The Swans clearly have vengeance on their minds, even if they say otherwise. Yes, the best revenge would be beating the Hawks when it counts in September, but this win would mean a lot to them as well.
I’m expecting this to be a fantastic game and think we’ll end up with a tight finish, but I’m tipping the Swans to triumph in the end.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Swans to win @ $2.56 (Palmerbet)
Fremantle vs North Melbourne
7:40PM AEST, Patersons Stadium
Massive test for the Kangaroos. They were good last Friday night, and got a win that they needed to get. This is a very different proposition. The Dockers are clearly the best team in the competition so far. If the Roos want a top four finish, winning this game would go a long way.
Last week’s game against the Dogs showed that the Dockers aren’t perfect, and are susceptible to intense pressure and fast rebounding attacks through the corridor. If not for a five goal to nil head start, the Dockers might have had their first loss of 2015.
I’m hoping for a good game and really do expect the Kangaroos to take it up to the Dockers. I don’t think they’ll be good enough to beat them, especially over in Perth, but would hope the Roos are able to stay in the contest until late.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Dockers by 1-39 @ $2.20 (Palmerbet)
Sunday, May 24
Essendon vs Brisbane
1:10PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
I stuck with the Lions for about three weeks too long, and after their big loss to the Gold Coast, finally gave up on them and came to the same conclusion everyone else had three weeks earlier; that they were a rubbish footy team. Well, they’ve won their next two games. In their first win, they only beat Carlton, and it wasn’t the most convincing of victories. So surely they had no chance of toppling premiership fancy Port Adelaide. Wrong again. At least this time I had company in being wrong with almost every other footy tipster in the world, possibly excepting some optimistic Brisbane fans.
They look to have turned it around, but it’s only a two week sample size. Is that enough to go on? If they play like they did last week, they’ll beat the struggling Bombers. I’m not confident they’ll be able to replicate the form, but the effort should be there now that they’ve got some confidence up and I think they’ll come close to the Bombers.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Lions at the line of +23.5 @ $2.10 (LuxBet)
Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs
3:20PM AEST, MCG
Melbourne have just emerged from a horror three week period, having played Freo, Sydney, and Hawthorn. They lost all three, but that’s no surprise. The biggest disappointment was the manner in which they lost to the Hawks. They were pitiful, and the effort just wasn’t there. This week they have a chance to bounce back against a team that’s just as, if not more, inexperienced as them.
The problem is the Dogs have been playing some stunning football. They’re defending hard, pressuring the opposition into turnovers, and then running hard and linking up through the middle of the ground to create one-on-one contests for their forwards. Melbourne aren’t using the ball particular well, and if it continues this week, the Dogs will pounce on their turnovers through the middle of the ground and the half back line and then cut them up going forward. They’ve got to look at restricting the run of Bob Murphy and Jason Johanissen, two players that have begun countless scoring chains this year.
The Dogs should win this fairly easily if the youngsters are able to keep playing the demanding game style of new coach Luke Beveridge.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Dogs by 25+ @ $2.15 (bet365)
Port Adelaide vs Richmond
4:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide finish off the round once again, but they’ll be hoping for a much better result this week. They won’t just be upset about the loss last week, they’ll be embarrassed. They’re supposed to be a premiership contender, and they’ve just lost to one of the worst teams in the competition. They need to come out seething this week, and if they don’t, well, then we might have to conclude that maybe, just maybe, they’ve gotten ahead of themselves and thought that everything would just fall into place and they were bound to finish top four. There’s a lot at stake here for the Power. Not only is it a big game in the context of their season, it’s the 300th and final game for club hero Kane Cornes, and they’ll want to give him a memorable send off.
The Tigers also have something important to play for. They were also embarrassed. Not last week, but last season. Their finals exit to the Power will have eaten at them ever since. They’ll be desperate to go over to Adelaide and try to shake up the Power and prove that they’re better than that.
I’m expecting this game to have a lot of heat in it early, but once the game settles down I think the Power will be too good at home and should run out with a solid win.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Power to win by 25+ @ $2.00 (Centrebet)