The following are previews with betting tips for Round 20 of the 2015 AFL season.
Friday, August 14
Sydney vs Collingwood
7:50PM AEST, SCG
In the recent past, the Pies have loved going to play Sydney up in Sydney, but there’s one big difference this time. Instead of being at the most despised ground in the AFL, ANZ stadium, this one will be played at the SCG, where the Swans actually have a home ground advantage. This will make it more difficult for the Pies to pull off the upset they need to keep their faint finals hopes alive. What does help them though, is the fact that the Swans are in a significant form slump, and they’ll yet again be without Buddy Franklin. With this in mind, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if the Pies caused an upset. Surprised, but not fall-out-my-chair-Adam-Cooney-only-got-one-week shocked.
The Swans should be able to get the job done in a scrappy contest.
Betting tip: 1 units – Swans by 1-39 @ $2.15 (Ladbrokes)
Saturday, August 15
Essendon vs Adelaide
1:45PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
The Crows must win this game to keep alive the chance of a fairytale finals campaign. It wouldn’t be a fairytale in the sense that it was once fanciful thinking that they could make the finals, more in the sense that after what they’ve been through they’ve still been able to stay strong and pay tribute to their late senior coach, Phil Walsh. Considering the way the Bombers are travelling, you wouldn’t think they’d put up too much resistance for the Crows to overcome. Jot it down in the records as a win to the Crows and let’s move on.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Crows by 25+ @ $1.82 (Centrebet)
North Melbourne vs St Kilda
2:10PM AEST, Blundstone Arena
Another contest that shouldn’t throw up much of a surprise. The Kangaroos will win this game. They just have to. The Saints haven’t been a bad side this year, but they look like they’re starting to tire and might have just about shut up shop for the remainder of the year. The Roos need to get through this one unscathed in preparation for their huge game next weekend at Etihad against the Dockers. Their final three games, against the Dockers, Dogs, and Tigers, are all tough, but all winnable. Win all four and who knows where they could finish. They just need to make sure they do enough this weekend, which I’m sure they will.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Kangaroos by 25+ @ $1.61 (UniBet)
Port Adelaide vs GWS Giants
4:35PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
Port are officially done for season 2015. After last season, it was hard to believe that they were actually so average this year, and I, along with many others, kept expecting them to start their run for finals at any moment from the middle of the season onwards. But it never happened. And now their big challenge is regrouping for next year. It seems like their game plan has been worked out, but another problem for them is their lack of depth. They seem to steeply drop away in talent after their best 18 or so players. GWS don’t struggle for a lack of talent. They’re also still a chance to play finals if they can manage a win here. I reckon they’ll just get over the line in a really close game.
Betting tip: 1 unit – GWS to win @ $3.87 (Pinnacle)
Geelong vs Hawthorn
7:20PM AEST, MCG
The Cats have won four in a row and are running into some really good form at the right time of the season. Is that form good enough to match the power of the Hawks? It’s probably unlikely, but if we’ve been taught anything from the Cats v Hawks rivalry over the past decade, it’s that anything can happen. It’s not like either team will be taking it easy either, considering how much is at stake for both clubs. The Hawks need to keep winning to snatch a home final from the Eagles, and the Cats need to win to finish in the top 8. If both teams are at their best, which I expect to be the case, the Hawks will win. But it might be closer than many people think.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Hawks by 1-39 @ $2.20 (UniBet)
Brisbane vs Carlton
7:20PM AEST, The Gabba
Is this the battle for the wooden spoon, and more importantly, the number one draft pick for 2015? If the Blues win, the Lions are just about certainties to finish on the bottom of the ladder. If the Lions win, it will leave both teams with 3 wins and a similar percentage. From there it’s a toss of the coin. The biggest point of interest in this one will be seeing just how much each team wants to win. Which is probably not very much. The players will of course want to win, but it’s almost in the best interest of each club to lose.
I’m going to go with the Lions because it’s being played up in Brisbane, but it really is a toss of the coin.
Betting tip: Lions to win @ $1.78 (Sportsbet)
Sunday, August 16
Richmond vs Gold Coast
1:10PM AEST, MCG
The Tigers kissed goodbye their chance of a top four finish when they lost to the Crows in a very lacklustre display last Friday night. With the top eight as close as it is, all of a sudden, after one loss, they’ve got to keep winning just to keep their spot in the finals. Following last week, I’d expect the Tigers to come out breathing fire this Sunday and really punish the Suns. I can definitely see this one being a big blow out, but the real test for the Tigers will be in the weeks to come.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Tigers by 40+ @ $2.46 (Palmerbet)
Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne
3:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
The Dogs have amazingly found themselves in the top four after 19 rounds of the season have been played. Go back in time to just before the season started and tell that to just about any football fan, and they would have laughed at you. But now everyone is climbing aboard the Bulldogs bandwagon, and no wonder why, they’re playing a very exciting and entertaining brand of footy.
One of their few slip ups for the year was when they last played the Demons, losing at the ‘G by 39 points in what was almost certainly their worst performance of the season. They’ll be out for revenge, but what will be more motivating than revenge will be the opportunity to stay in the top four for another week. This match is also being played at Etihad, which is a ground that the Dogs love and the Demons seem to hate. All signs point to a win to the Dogs.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Dogs by 1-39 @ $2.24 (Palmerbet)
Fremantle vs West Coast
4:40PM AEST, Patersons Stadium
Round 20 comes to a close with the biggest Derby in recent memory, although, there may be a bigger one to come in just a few short weeks, with the salivating possibility of a finals Derby. This game will be interesting, because the Dockers don’t really need to win, but the Eagles most definitely do. Freo are just about guaranteed to finish on the top of the ladder, while the Eagles are fighting with the Hawks for the opportunity to finish second and host a Qualifying Final. Suffice to say, the stakes are massive for the Eagles. The big problem for them is their injuries to key defenders, although they’ve done pretty well to cover that all year. I’m backing them to get one back on the Dockers from earlier this year and continue their amazing form right into the fading stages of the regular season.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Eagles to win @ $2.60 (Betfair)
Units Wagered: 143
Units Won: 138.2