The following are previews with betting tips for Round 15 of the 2016 AFL season.
Thursday, June 30
West Coast v Essendon
8:10PM AEST, Subiaco Oval
This week’s Thursday night clash is clearly going to be a bit of a fizzer. The Eagles are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their 2006 flag which will add some interest to an otherwise dull game of footy. As we saw two weeks ago against the Giants, the Bombers are capable of playing some good footy when the conditions are right, but I’m not sure they’re going to be able to put up much of a fight against the Eagles in Perth, who love beating up on a weakened opponent. Thursday night footy is a great way to kick the weekend off early, but this one will be a disappointment if you’re looking for a great game of footy. You can almost guarantee the Eagles will win by at least 10 goals.
Betting tip: West Coast at the line of -62.5 @ $1.63 (William Hill)
Friday, July 1
Port Adelaide v Richmond
7:50PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
This is more like it. A massive clash between two clubs who have struggled for consistency this season but are still in with a sniff if everything goes right from here. Port are coming off the bye after a poor effort against the Dockers the week before, which caused skipper Travis Boak to give his club a public roasting. Meaning you’d expect them to come out all guns blazing. The Tigers should be the same, knowing that their season is just about over with another loss. All of this should make for an entertaining battle, and hopefully both clubs can come out and play some really good footy because we might be in need of it after Thursday night.
It’s one of those games where both clubs have everything to play for, and whoever losses will come under serious pressure once the dust has settled, especially if the margin ends up being more than a couple of goals. After the debacle against the Dockers, I reckon Port will be too strong and will end up getting over the line by three or four goals.
Betting tip: Port Adelaide by 1-39 @ $2.20 (Sportsbet)
Saturday, July 2
Gold Coast v St Kilda
1:40PM AEST, Metricon Stadium
St Kilda’s win over the Cats is the sort of win that helps a rebuilding club make huge strides towards becoming a powerful side once again. It’s all well and good being in a ‘rebuild’, but once you’ve been down for a couple of years you need to start taking a few scalps, which is exactly what the Saints did. And right now there aren’t many bigger than Geelong, although the Cats do seem to have a problem performing well when they’re expected to win comfortably, but that’s another story.
Nevertheless, the Saints out-pressured and out-played a really strong opposition and will take enormous belief out of that game into the future. They’ve got the opportunity to back it up with a winnable game against the Suns this weekend. The Suns did look like a much improved team in their loss to the Hawks in Tasmania, and this weekend they get the opportunity to do battle back at home. If they’re able to back up last week then this should be a really close game. I reckon the Suns might be turning the corner and heading into a patch of decent footy, and I expect them to start that off with a win against the Saints on Saturday afternoon.
Betting tip: Gold Coast to win @ $1.88 (Pinnacle)
Sydney v Western Bulldogs
4:35PM AEST, SCG
This is another huge game in the context of the make-up of the final eight. A Swans win keeps them in the top four and will make it really difficult for the Dogs to end up with the double chance, while a win to the Dogs keeps all sorts of possibilities open. Last time these two clubs met was a day that might be looked back on as a key turning point for the Dogs, a gritty and determined victory in the wet against a more experienced and generally superior opponent. This time around, well it’s a sort of similar situation. The Dogs are more advanced now, but the Swans still look the better team and are odds on to get the four points.
They’re the two best defensive teams in the competition, so expect it to be a slog. Goals aren’t likely to come easy, so having players like Buddy Franklin and Jake Stringer – who can both manufacture goals from absolutely nowhere – is incredibly important. Overall, the Swans will be a little too good all over the ground for the Dogs at home and should be able to generate enough scoring opportunities to make amends for last year’s shock loss.
Betting tip: Total Match Points Under 182.5 @ $1.43 (LuxBet)
Sydney by 1-39 @ $2.12 (Pinnacle)
Carlton v Collingwood
7:25PM AEST, MCG
The Pies got back on the winners list on Friday night with a 48 point thumping of the Dockers, although to be perfectly honest neither side was all that impressive. It was a scrappy game that was at times incredibly hard to watch, but Pies’ fans won’t be complaining after an eight goal win. This week they face arch rivals Carlton, who got the better of them in their Round 7 encounter earlier in the year. The Blues have struggled a little in their past two games; it’ll be interesting to see whether they can return to the form they displayed when taking care of the Cats, Port Adelaide, etc.
And Collingwood, well they’re still hard to get a read on. Some weeks they look genuinely good, some weeks they’re average at best. I reckon the Blues are starting to feel the pinch of playing without captain Marc Murphy, and that might be the difference, allowing Collingwood to even the 2016 tally between the two clubs to one win apiece. It should be a good game of footy, but I’m backing the Pies to win a tight one.
Betting tip: Collingwood to win @ $1.82 (Bet365)
Sunday, July 3
Melbourne v Adelaide
3:20PM AEST, MCG
This will be a great challenge for the Demons. The Crows are currently one of the form teams in the competition, and I get the feeling the Dees will relish the chance to have a crack at them out on the MCG. They’re not likely to be able to contain the Crows’ firepower up forward, but if they can win their fair share of the ball and get it down to Hogan and co., they might be able to keep pace with the Crows for the majority of the game.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Crows will win, and probably win quite comfortably in the end, but I reckon the Dees should be able to stay close for three quarters if they bring their A-game. The Crows have proved they don’t mind having to travel, and they’ll enjoy the experience of getting out onto the MCG again. Especially considering it looks like they might be playing there at least once come September.
Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $1.38 (TopSport)
Best Bets of the Round
West Coast at the line of -62.5 @ $1.63 (William Hill)
All Bets: +6.64 units
Best Bets: +1.04 units