The following are previews with betting tips for Round 23 of the 2015 AFL season.
Friday, September 4
Richmond vs North Melbourne
7:50PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
A round that promised so much just a few short weeks ago is now looking very flat, with talk of many key players being rested for finals due to meaningless games. The Kangaroos seem to be happy with an 8th place finish and a rematch with the Tigers in the first week of finals, as they are one of the clubs considering resting some tired bodies. But as stated by a few in the media during the week, it’s a dangerous idea to flirt with your form this close to the finals. Especially when you’re likely to be backing up against the same team; I’m sure the Tigers would love to get a win over one of their finals competitors in the lead up to the business end of the year.
The Kangaroos were looking like they were in really good shape but that all came crashing down in their disappointing loss to the Dogs. They just didn’t get enough out of their midfield. It’s a hardworking, blue collar midfield but just seems to lack that class that’s necessary to become a really dangerous team and genuine premiership contender. I don’t see the Roos doing much damage this September and expect the Tigers to get them on Friday night.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Tigers at the line of -52.5 @ $2.10 (Sportsbet)
Saturday, September 5
Geelong vs Adelaide
1:05PM AEST, Skilled Stadium
This is one of the few contests this weekend that has any real significance. It’s an important game for a few different reasons. First of all, it’s between the two teams whose game scheduled earlier this year was cancelled in the aftermath of the death of former Crows coach Phil Walsh. It’s also a massive occasion for the Geelong footy club, as they’ll say goodbye to at least two premiership players from their golden era. It’s also, perhaps, a glimpse at the future, with Adelaide star Patrick Dangerfield showcasing his talents before possibly moving to Geelong in this year’s trade period.
Now, about the actual contest itself. The Crows will be keen to keep up their outstanding current form and they’ll also know that if they get a win there’s a possibility that they’ll jump into 5th or 6th place and snatch a home final, which would obviously be massive for them. On their current form, it’s hard to see the Crows losing this one.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Crows to win @ $1.76 (LuxBet)
Brisbane vs Western Bulldogs
1:45PM AEST, Gabba
Well, it looks like the exodus has started early this year for the Lions. After an encouraging off-season last year where they were able to land established players such as Dayne Beams and Allen Christensen, this off-season looks like resembling the horror that was the 2013 off-season in which a bunch of promising youngsters walked out on the club. With the announcement that Jack Redden wants out, an experience player who is well regarded at the club, it seems like there’s something seriously wrong at the Lions. We already know that James Aish is leaving, and unfortunately it looks like there could be many, many more to come.
On a more optimistic note, the young Dogs are looking primed for a taste of September action. They took care of an experienced Kangaroos outfit last week and are now looking forward to getting this one out of the way and charging into the finals. While you’d think they’ll be looking further ahead than this weekend, they’ll still be focused enough to beat a Lions side in very poor shape.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Dogs by 1-39 @ $2.28 (UniBet)
Port Adelaide vs Fremantle
3:20PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
The Dockers have finished the year on top of the AFL ladder and have earned the rights to a home final and a double chance. Their current ladder position also means they’ve earned the right to rest as many players as they see fit this weekend in a bid to have them fresh for the all important first final. And it’s not just going to be one or two players, it’s going to be half the team. It means that Port will go into this match as favourite and in reality, should no doubt beat a team that will more closely resemble a WAFL side than the Fremantle Dockers. You just have to look to the St Kilda clash from a few years ago to know that the Power should and will win this game easily. Not that Freo or Ross will care too much.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Power at the line of -58.5 @ $2.00 (Sportsbet)
Hawthorn vs Carlton
4:40PM AEST, MCG
This contest promises more of the same. Even at the best of times this season, a Hawks v Blues match was never something to look forward to. But now, at the end of the year, when it means nothing for either team, it’s even more yawn inducing than we may have previously thought possible. The Hawks will win and look forward to another finals campaign, and the Blues will be glad that a long season is over.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Hawks at the line of -80.5 @ $2.15 (LuxBet)
Sydney vs Gold Coast
7:25PM AEST, SCG
The Swans look like they’re starting to peak again, and with not a second to spare. The only thing they need to do now is get big Buddy up and firing again and they’re a chance to go all the way. Getting Luke Parker back wouldn’t hurt either. Unlike a few games this weekend, the result of this one actually matters. If the Swans lose, they’re likely to drop out of the top four and miss out on the all important double chance. There’s fat chance of that happening though; the Suns have shut up shop for the year and won’t be standing in the way of Sydney’s premiership aspirations this weekend. Tigers and Dogs fans will be watching closely and hoping for a miracle from the Suns, but they’ll be sadly disappointed.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Swans at the line of -57.5 @ $2.10 (William Hill)
West Coast vs St Kilda
7:40PM AEST, Domain Stadium
The Eagles have a nice opportunity here to bounce back in front of their home crowd after a disappointing loss to the rampaging Crows last weekend. They face a tired young Saints outfit who have just about had enough with season 2015, as is the case for most of the sides stuck in the bottom half of the ladder. It should be a nice easy game for the Eagles, who can finish the season off with a nice big win in front of their adoring fans and then focus on what looks like being a massive Qualifying Final against the Hawks.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Eagles at the line of -57.5 @ $2.18 (BetStar)
Sunday, September 6
Melbourne vs GWS
1:10PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
While a win in this game surely doesn’t mean a whole lot to either club on the surface, when they look back and review the season as a whole, another win might be the difference between considering it a relatively successful season or a disappointment. Obviously GWS would be disappointed to miss out on finals, but if they can manage to finish with 12 wins, the season must be considered a massive improvement on last season and a big step towards the future, especially taking into consideration the loss of big Shane Mumford, who would most likely have taken them into September action if not for sustaining a season ending injury.
Likewise, 7 wins was the goal the Demons set out to achieve this year, so if they want to meet their in-house expectations then a win here is crucial. They’d also like to give a fond farewell to Daniel Cross, who has been a great player that’s given it his all throughout his whole career, and has, from all accounts, had a hugely positive influence on the Demons in terms of setting the preparation and training standards since crossing over from the Dogs two years ago.
But I’m expecting the Giants to finish the season strongly and show everyone why they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2016.
Betting tip: 1 unit – GWS by 25+ @ $2.50 (bet365)
Collingwood vs Essendon
3:20PM AEST, MCG
This big grudge match, the biggest match-up in football, has been pushed out to the last game on the last Sunday of the regular season. It’s a rare time when both these clubs are struggling and limping towards the finish line. Obviously the circumstances that Essendon have played through this year have been tough so we’ll cut them some slack. And the Pies, we’ll they’ve actually had a really good year in terms of development. They’ll be disappointed about the second half of the year, but I don’t think they were ever going to be able to keep up the win-loss ratio they managed in the first third of the year.
There’s not much to play for here other than pride. I reckon the Pies will get up; they’ve been the better team all year and should show that playing for the last time this year on the MCG.
Betting tip: 1 unit – Pies by 25+ @ $1.95 (Centrebet)