The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2016 AFL season.
Friday, June 10
Essendon v Hawthorn
7:50PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
Essendon confirmed their standing as wooden spoon favourites in their crushing loss to the previously winless Dockers in Perth last Saturday night. The Bombers should be disappointed in their efforts; they didn’t put up any resistance at all and made Fremantle look like a genuinely good team, which they clearly aren’t. The Hawks weren’t all that flash either, but they managed to hold off a determined Demons outfit to get the win. They seem like they’re conserving energy at the moment; just cruising by, making sure they do just enough to win. Time will tell whether they’re yet again able to go to another gear when the business end of the season comes around, but for now, another win awaits while they’re playing well below their best footy.
Betting tip: Hawthorn by 40+ @ $1.51 (LuxBet)
Saturday, June 11
Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs
1:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
This will be a really good test for both clubs. Port have the chance to beat a genuine top four contender and prove that after a slow start to the season, they’re right back in finals contention. The Dogs need to show they can win outside of Melbourne against solid opposition, and with the prize being a chance to cement their position at the pointy end of the ladder approaching the mid-season bye, there’s no lack of incentive. Both clubs played some great footy on the weekend and will be coming in feeling confident.
There is a slight query on how well the Dogs travel, but I don’t expect it to be an issue against Port. The Bulldogs are one of the best in-tight, contested ball teams in the competition, and this is one of the areas where Port struggle. They like high scoring, free flowing games of footy. If the Dogs can bring their usual high pressure game, the Power will struggle to win enough ball to get to their outside runners. The Dogs will need to be on, but I reckon they’ll get the win over in Adelaide.
Betting tip: Western Bulldogs to win @ $2.10 (Marathon Bet)
Brisbane v Fremantle
4:35PM AEST, Gabba
The Dockers finally broke their 2016 hoodoo, downing the hapless Bombers by a staggering 79 points. And they’re every chance of making it two in a row on Saturday afternoon. The Lions are struggling big time, and the Dockers seem to be making slow and steady improvements each week. If this was in Perth the Dockers would be sure things, but the Gabba factor makes things a little more tricky. And the Lions were stung by the Blues last weekend, so we have to be slightly wary of the ‘bounce back’ effect.
The other issue is making sure that a crushing win over the Bombers isn’t taken out of context: prior to that, the Dockers had lost ten games in a row. One big win over poor opposition doesn’t change the fact that the Dockers were the worst side in the competition for ten weeks. It’s a real 50/50 game this one, but I’m backing the Lions to come out firing at home and knock off a fellow wooden spoon contender.
Betting tip: Brisbane Lions to win @ $2.25 (UniBet)
Geelong v North Melbourne
7:25PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
This contest should easily be the game of the round, even if both clubs are missing some big names. Tom Hawkins will have to sit it out after a dubious MRP decision, while Roos ruckman Todd Goldstein is a fair chance to miss another week. This is another really difficult game for tipsters. It will undoubtedly be a close contest that could go either way, but at this stage it’s hard to say which team will end up with the points. If both teams play at their absolute best, I’d be backing the Cats. But the Kangaroos have been much more consistent over the course of the year, and the Cats have been up and down over the previous four or five weeks.
If the Cats are slightly off, North are strong enough and consistent enough over the ground to make them pay. So the question is, will the Cats be at their best? I think they will be. They were good against the Giants last week, and will know that only their best footy will get the job done against the ladder leaders. So I’m going with the Cats by a couple of goals in what should be a pulsating contest.
Betting tip: Geelong to win @ $1.84 (BetFair)
West Coast v Adelaide
7:40PM AEST, Subiaco Oval
The Eagles will be extremely disappointed that they again failed to beat a quality side in Melbourne, after having their chances to snatch the game from the Bulldogs on Sunday but failing to capitalise. They weren’t all that bad, but eventually they need to win those games if they want to take the next step. The Crows will be an interesting test for them. Adelaide are capable of playing great footy and should be able to take it right up to them.
Obviously the Eagles playing in Perth are a whole other proposition to playing them elsewhere, but it’ll be fascinating to see how this one pans out. You’ve got to think the Eagles at home will be too much of an ask for the Crows, but West Coast aren’t necessarily as good as some of their big, big wins might have us think. They should win, but I’m expecting the Crows to give them a real shake and keep it within four or five goals.
Betting tip: West Coast to win @ $1.46 (BetFair)
Sunday, June 12
St Kilda v Carlton
1:10PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
Pressure has begun to mount on the Saints after their pitiful performance against the Crows, with sections of the media starting to ask questions about their overall improvement and consistency of performance. They still heavily rely on veterans Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna, and desperately need some of their young midfielders coming through to step up and carry more of the load. They were decimated by injuries against the Crows, and that will surely take it’s toll in this contest, where they’ll be without Riewoldt, Sean Dempster and Paddy McCartin.
The Blues have now well and truly proved that they didn’t just fluke a few wins, they’re just a much better team this year under Brendan Bolton. Even if the Saints hadn’t lost Riewoldt and co. for this game, you’d still back the Blues; the injuries just make it almost certain that Carlton will be 7-5. Wow.
Betting tip: Carlton to win @ $1.61 (Matchbook)
Richmond v Gold Coast
3:20PM AEST, MCG
The Tigers got a sharp reality check from the Kangaroos on Friday night, after winning three games in a row leading up to that contest. They’ll be back to the drawing board, knowing that they’re still nowhere near the best clubs in the competition at the moment, and that they’ve got a massive amount of ground to make up before they can consider themselves a chance to make the final eight. Fortunately they’ve got the Suns this week, who are almost equivalent to a bye at the moment. The Suns may also prove to be slightly fatigued after playing in horrid conditions against the Swans on the weekend, which would make things even easier on the Tigers. So there’s no excuses, a percentage boosting win is a must.
Betting tip: Richmond by 40+ @ $2.80 (PalmerBet)
GWS Giants v Sydney
4:40PM AEST, Spotless Stadium
Will the Swans perhaps also be slightly worse for wear considering the conditions they played in last week? It’s worth considering, because all things being equal, this is likely to be a very, very tight game. The Giants will be disappointed they lost to the Cats, but not dispirited; they were in it up to their eyeballs until the dying minutes, away from home against one of the premiership favourites. They’re a good side this year, and will beat most clubs outside the top five or six without any hassle.
But the Swans are looking like the team to beat, and I’m not sure the Giants are up to the task. The Swans have already taken care of them this year, accounting for the Giants by 25 points at the SCG in Round 3. This time the battle of the bridge will take place at Spotless Stadium, and while that will clearly suit the Giants, I’m not sure it’s enough for them to turn the tables on the Swans.
Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $2.03 (Matchbook)
Monday, June 13
Melbourne v Collingwood
3:20PM AEST, MCG
This year’s Queen’s Birthday clash is probably the first time in a few years where these two clubs have been in really similar positions. While these have always been relatively tight games, it’s always seemed like the Pies were much further advanced than the Demons overall, but this year is different. The Demons have made ground, and the Pies are sliding. There’s now an argument over who has the better list, and who is the more likely to be an AFL force in the coming years. Some early bragging rights will go to Monday’s victor.
The Dees look set to welcome back Jack Viney from a thumb injury much earlier than anticipated, while the Pies have yet again dropped the troubled Travis Cloke. They might be best off looking to offload him come season’s end, to get something in return while he still has some value. But that’s besides the point. The Demons should win this one. The Pies were up and about for a couple of weeks, but last week regressed to the form which had many questioning Nathan Buckley’s coaching future. If they dish up more of the same, the Demons will have a field day, and the pressure on Buckley will be building once more.
Betting tip: Melbourne to win @ $1.68 (UniBet)
Best Bets of the Round
Western Bulldogs to win @ $2.10 (Marathon Bet)
West Coast to win @ $1.46 (BetFair)
All Bets: +8.69 units
Best Bets: -0.76 units