The following are previews with betting tips for Round 17 of the 2016 AFL season.
Thursday, July 14
Sydney v Hawthorn
7:20PM AEST, SCG
After a home loss to the Dogs the previous week, the Swans pulled off a much needed victory at the Cattery on Friday night. It was an emphatic win and served as a timely reminder that the Swans are as good as anyone when they’re on. They’ve got another tough task this week, hosting the top of the table Hawks at the SCG. As we approach the business end of the year – while it’s still incredibly even – it’s looking more and more probable that we might end up seeing yet another Hawks v Swans Grand Final.
Considering the logjam at the top of the ladder, this game is probably more important for the Swans, who sit a game behind the Hawks at the moment. The Hawks are starting to power up and play their typical domineering brand of footy, but I reckon the Swans might be too good at the SCG. The Hawks mids will need to be switched on from the get go if they’re to match one of the best midfields in the league but I think Sydney will prove too strong and will provide Buddy and co. enough forward opportunities for them to get home in a tight battle.
Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $1.63 (Marathon Bet)
Friday, July 15
Fremantle v Geelong
8:10PM AEST, Subiaco Oval
The Cats continued their topsy-turvy form with one of their more disappointing performances of the season against the Swans on Friday night. There was no lack of incentive to win, yet they surrendered meekly to a determined Sydney outfit. Finals are still distant enough for them to not get too worked up about a lack of form, but if they want to secure a top four position they need to make sure they win the majority of their remaining games.
They shouldn’t have any issues taking care of the Dockers regardless of the long trip over to Perth. Fremantle are coming off a visit to Darwin, so they’ve also had their fair share of travelling to do. Considering the form the Cats are in, I’d say it will be an ugly sort of game, but the Cats will surely do enough to get the points this week.
Betting tip: Geelong by 1-39 @ $2.25 (Pinnacle)
Saturday, July 16
Richmond v Essendon
1:40PM AEST, MCG
The Tigers finally unleashed some zip and aggression against the Dogs last weekend. That hard running and maniacal pressure had been missing from their game for the majority of the season, and look what happens when it returns. They still lost the game, but they were unlucky to not get over the line against the Dogs, arguably being the better side for most of the night.
The Bombers also had a close encounter, going down to the Saints in the final minutes. You can tell they’re still hungry – and most importantly still believe they’re a chance – to sneak in another win for season 2016. Could this be their chance? If the Tigers continue on from their form last week, then no. But if the Tigers take the foot off the pedal, maybe the Dons are a chance. I was really impressed with the Tigers last week and am backing them in for a big win, but I’ve definitely been burnt by them more than a few times in the past. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.
Betting tip: Richmond by 25+ @ $1.52 (Luxbet)
North Melbourne v Port Adelaide
4:35PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne’s slide down the ladder continues, with their loss to the Eagles sending them down to eighth position. It’s been a sudden fall from grace, but injuries have clearly played a large part. Their draw from here on in almost guarantees they won’t finish in the top four, but that didn’t bother them too much last year.
Port weren’t too bad against the Hawks last weekend, but it never really looked like they were good enough to actually beat the Hawks. They’d back themselves in against the Kangaroos at the moment if this was at the Adelaide Oval, but I reckon the Kangaroos will be too strong at Etihad. Especially since the Roos are in desperate need of a few wins, if only for their confidence heading into the latter part of the season. They should get the win by at least a couple of goals and put their year back on track.
Betting tip: North Melbourne by 1-39 @ $2.20 (William Hill)
Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast
7:25PM AEST, Cazalys Stadium, Cairns
The Dogs were lucky to get away with a win against the Tigers after being outplayed for most of the night. But just when it looked like they were headed for a costly loss, their two biggest stars Marcus Bontempelli and Jake Stringer stood up and dragged them over the line. They had too many passengers for most of the night and weren’t as ferocious as the Tigers, but were still fortunate enough to get the all important four points.
They need to do the same this week in Cairns even if they’re not at their best. The cause will be helped by the fact the Suns will be missing a few key players after a devastating week on the injury front, with another shoulder problem for skipper Gary Ablett, and a potentially career-ending ACL tear for Michael Rischitelli. The Suns are playing much better footy at the moment, but those big losses will be hard to cover against a team like the Dogs.
Betting tip: Western Bulldogs by 25+ @ $1.45 (Luxbet)
Adelaide v Collingwood
7:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
After a first quarter that followed the expected script, the Pies turned things on their head with a blistering second quarter assault on the shell shocked Giants, who were powerless to stop the bleeding. Travis Cloke returned to form with the help of a sticky glove and some accurate goal kicking, and all of a sudden the Pies are a dangerous opponent for teams looking to cruise into September action.
Let’s see if they can back it up against the Crows, who’ve now won seven in a row. The Crows at the Adelaide Oval is one of the toughest tasks in footy right now, so if the Pies manage a win, you couldn’t write them off from making the top eight. Reality says the Crows will be too strong for them, but if the Pies play in the same fashion as last weekend, they’ll be mighty hard to beat. Just ask the Giants.
Betting tip: Adelaide by 25+ @ $1.45 (Sportsbet)
Sunday, July 17
Carlton v West Coast
1:10PM AEST, MCG
The Eagles are no longer just a flat track bully – they’ve finally knocked off a fellow top eight side. If they’re being completely honest with themselves, the current Kangaroos team in Perth is not a massive scalp. But either way, they’ve won enough games to put themselves in with a chance come September. Another win against the Blues will keep a slim chance of a top four finish alive, which they’d absolutely love of course. It’s not likely, but what is likely is a win on the weekend.
Carlton are still trying hard, but you can tell they’re spent. They might still be able to beat some of the lesser teams in the competition, but I think the days of knocking off a good side (like Geelong) are over for this year at least. I expect it will be similar to their game against the Crows – close for a while, but the Eagles should stretch their wings in the second half and win by a fair margin.
Betting tip: West Coast by 25+ @ $1.56 (William Hill)
St Kilda v Melbourne
3:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
The Saints survived a big scare from the Dons but came through in the end to notch up win number seven. The Demons are also sitting on seven wins after taking care of the Dockers in Darwin. This should be a fascinating clash between two clubs that are in roughly the same stage of their rebuild. And it’s quite tough to pick who’s going to get the win on Sunday.
Overall I think the Demons are ever so slightly ahead of the Saints, but Etihad is a venue where the Saints play well and the Demons play poorly. The other factor that could come into play if it’s tight at the end is the fact the Dees are coming back from a slog in Darwin, while the Saints didn’t have to travel at all. It makes for an interesting situation, but I’ve got a feeling the small things might add up to a St Kilda victory.
Betting tip: St Kilda to win @ $2.16 (Pinnacle)
Brisbane v GWS Giants
4:40PM AEST, Gabba
The Giants could end up with a hefty price to pay for their shock loss to the Pies with the race for a top four spot still so even. If they miss out on a double chance by one game, they’ll deeply regret that day. Fortunately for the Giants, this weekend they get a chance to boost their percentage, something which also looks like being incredibly important. The Cats, Crows, and Giants are all within 1% of each other, so if the Giants can get a leg up on them here it could pay dividends in a month or two. Ultimately, if the Giants don’t beat the Lions by more than 10 goals, it’s another missed opportunity that might come back to haunt them.
Betting tip: GWS by 40+ @ $1.45 (Luxbet)
Best Bets of the Round
Geelong by 1-39 @ $2.25 (Pinnacle)
St Kilda to win @ $2.16 (Pinnacle)
All Bets: +7.04 units
Best Bets: +1.24 units