AFL Round 18 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 18 of the 2016 AFL season.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this round
View the form guide for this round

Friday, July 22


Collingwood v North Melbourne

7:50PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Collingwood v North Melbourne


The Pies had their opportunities against the Crows last Saturday night, but in the end were too wasteful and not quite good enough to contain the Crows’ offensive power. Still, it was another step in the right direction, and they’ll definitely be looking forward to having a crack at a struggling Kangaroos outfit. 

The Roos went down yet again, this time to Port Adelaide. It was a game they really should’ve been able to control, but they never really looked like it. Port were on top from the opening bounce, and the Kangaroos didn’t put up much of a fight all game. Needless to say, their season is rapidly unfurling, and they desperately need to stop the rot with a win against the Pies. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be by a big margin, it just needs to be a win.

You’d think they’d be able to get the job done, but their confidence levels look to be at an extreme low, and the Pies are back to feeling pretty good about themselves. I’m backing the Kangaroos in, but it’s no doubt another real danger game for them. A loss here could potentially result in them not making the eight, which would be catastrophic after a 9-0 start to the year.

Betting tip: North Melbourne to win @ $1.83 (Matchbook)

Saturday, July 23


Sydney v Carlton

1:45PM AEST, ANZ Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Sydney v Carlton


The Swans lost another close game after leading with just minutes left on the clock. It’s becoming a bad habit that they’ll need to shake come September. They should’ve iced the clock and beaten the Hawks but they weren’t able to, and now they’re left fighting for a coveted top four spot instead of sitting pretty in the box seat for a double chance.

The Blues were much better against the Eagles and were nearly able to snatch another big upset. There’s a lot to look forward to down at Princes Park, but a win against the Swans is incredibly unlikely. Sydney will be much too good at home as they look to bounce back from a disappointing week on and off the field. They need to win and win well to stay in the race for a top four finish. As mentioned last week, percentage looks like being very important, so the Swans will do well to win this game by at least seven or eight goals. And I expect they will.

Betting tip: Sydney by 40+ @ $1.60 (Ladbrokes)


Gold Coast v Fremantle

2:10PM AEST, Metricon Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Gold Coast v Fremantle


The Dockers would’ve beaten the Cats on Friday night if they had a forward line, but they continually kicked the ball long and high to no one. Well, no one if you exclude all of the Geelong defenders. They’re in desperate need of a key forward, so you can understand why they’re throwing the kitchen sink at Jesse Hogan, one of the best young key forwards in the game. The Suns have one of the other best up and coming forwards in Tom Lynch, who is in career best form at the moment and marking absolutely everything that comes his way. 

This is a really tough game to pick. The Suns have no midfield to speak of, and the Dockers have no forward line. They also don’t have a key defender capable of playing on Lynch, so he could have a field day if he gets enough supply. I’m expecting a tight contest but think the Suns might be good enough up forward and down back to get the win, despite most likely being beaten in the midfield. The Suns to get home in a close one.

Betting tip: Gold Coast to win @ $1.90 (Matchbook)


West Coast v Melbourne

4:35PM AEST, Subiaco Oval
View a detailed form guide for West Coast v Melbourne


The Eagles survived a major scare at the MCG against the Blues, which would’ve only added to concerns they won’t be able to do any damage away from home come finals time. Still, they got the points and will be squarely focused on doing the same against the Dees on Saturday. Back at home you’d think they do it a lot more comfortably and build up some more precious percentage. 

Melbourne once again disappointed when having to play under the roof at Etihad. It seems like they’re just not able to adjust to something about the ground, because they’re almost always quite poor when playing there. Domain Stadium is another ground that opposition teams generally find difficult to play at; let’s hope they’re better this week against what is no doubt a stronger opponent. I expect the Eagles will be looking at another 10 goal win at home, but if the Dees can keep it below six or seven they’ll have done well.

Betting tip: West Coast by 25+ @ $1.50 (Luxbet)


Western Bulldogs v St Kilda

7:25PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Western Bulldogs v St Kilda


The Dogs missed out on a valuable percentage boosting opportunity against the Suns, with poor kicking restricting their victory to 48 points when it could’ve been double that. They’re now almost at the stage where they won’t be able to catch the Cats or Swans on percentage; if they want to make the top four they’ll just need to keep winning and stay above them on points. Which means every game is crucial from here on in, and they won’t want to take the Saints lightly. 

We know the Saints are capable of playing good footy, especially at Etihad, as witnessed last weekend against the Demons. Led by their evergreen veterans, the Saints put the Dees to the sword and will be keen to do the same against the more accomplished Dogs. With so much at stake for the Dogs, you’d think they’ll make sure they get the four points, but I reckon this one could be closer than expected. The Dogs should still get up though.

Betting tip: Western Bulldogs to win @ $1.35 (Bet365)


Geelong v Adelaide

7:25PM AEST, Simonds Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Adelaide


This is a massive game in the context of the top eight, and more importantly, the top four. If the Crows get up, you can just about lock them into the top four, and the Cats may then find it difficult to make up ground lost on the Dogs and Swans. If the Cats get up, it’s back to an even playing field and anyone could sneak in. The Crows are playing incredibly good footy, while the Cats haven’t looked themselves for a few weeks now. They got the job done against the Dockers last week but it definitely wasn’t pretty. 

The fact this is played in Geelong is a huge advantage to the Cats, but with the current form line of both sides, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Crows got up. The Cats are still too reliant on Dangerfield and Selwood, and the Crows have a really even spread of contributors all over the ground. Although it’s difficult to tip against the Cats in Geelong, I’m leaning towards the Crows in this one.

Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $2.15 (Pinnacle)

Sunday, July 24


Essendon v Brisbane

1:10PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Essendon v Brisbane


It speaks volumes of the current state of the Lions that the Bombers – who have been playing all year with a heavily depleted side – are warm favourites to knock them off on Sunday. Barring an upset of the highest order over the remainder of the year, the winner of this game will almost certainly finish 17th, and the loser, 18th. Which means there’s a lot at stake, namely, the number one draft pick.

It’s been a sorry state of affairs for the Lions all year, and you’ve almost got to feel sorry for them. On the one hand, you hope they can manage a win to boost their spirits, but on the other hand, it’d probably be more beneficial if they lose and bank the number one pick. There’s no doubt they’re going to need it more than the Bombers. It’s hard to back either of these sides to win when they’ve both played 16 games and only won once each. But you’ve got to go with the Bombers considering it’s at Etihad and they’ve actually gotten relatively close to a few clubs in recent weeks.

Betting tip: Essendon by 1-39 @ $2.41 (Pinnacle)


Hawthorn v Richmond

View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn v Richmond


The Hawks solidified their standing at the top of the ladder with an epic come-from-behind win against the Swans in Sydney on Thursday night. It was a massive win, locking them into a top four spot and most likely top two as well. They now have the luxury of looking after players who need resting, making sure they’re cherry ripe for week one of the finals. 

The Tigers will continue to play the kids and look for improvement from some middle tier players. They seem to like testing themselves against the Hawks, so it’ll be interesting to see how they go on Sunday. It’s all about next year now for the Tiges, but they’d still love to shake up a few things and take a few scalps. The Hawks will be mighty tough to beat, but you never know – they might just take the foot off the pedal a little after last week. I reckon they’ll still be able to beat the Tigers, but I’m expecting a tight contest from start to finish.

Betting tip: Hawthorn by 1-39 @ $2.41 (Pinnacle)


Port Adelaide v GWS Giants

4:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Port Adelaide v GWS Giants


After a hugely disappointing loss to the Pies, the Giants bounced back with a thumping win over the Lions. They were always going to win that game easily, but this one might test them a little. Port were fantastic against the Kangaroos last weekend, and were in control of the game from start to finish. That win has given them a faint hope of sneaking into the top eight if everything goes right from here. That means beating the Giants. It’ll be a tough ask as the Giants are a very good side this year, but at home Port aren’t without a big, big chance.

The stakes are high for both clubs. Will the younger Giants crumble under the pressure, or will they stand up and march onwards towards their maiden finals campaign? I’m tempted to back Port at home, but the Giants have been the better side all year, so I’m sticking with them to notch up win number 12 for the year.

Betting tip: GWS to win @ $1.78 (Matchbook)


Best Bets of the Round

West Coast by 25+ @ $1.50 (Luxbet)

Essendon by 1-39 @ $2.41 (Pinnacle)


Season Tally

All Bets:        +6.80 units

Best Bets:     +3.65 units

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