AFL Round 20 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 20 of the 2016 AFL season.

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

Friday, August 5


Richmond v Collingwood

View a detailed form guide for Richmond v Collingwood


After only managing to score a pitiful 23 points against the Giants, it’s been a tough week for the Tigers. The pressure has ramped up on the board and the coaching panel, and there are obvious feelings from supporters and the media alike that significant changes need to be made urgently. The Tigers are in a strange place at the moment. Their top six players are probably as good as any in the league, but the next notch let them down. They’re just not good enough as a 22 to challenge good footy sides.

The Pies are in a similar boat, but are a more even side. They’ve got a few stars, but they’ve also got a more even spread of contributors, and that showed in their impressive upset win over the Eagles on Saturday. Pendlebury was brilliant as he often is, but all of Adams, Grundy, Smith, Treloar, Sidebottom, Crisp and Aish chipped in to do some of the heavy lifting through the middle. Not to mention the first half of Darcy Moore, taking marks and kicking goals up forward, earning him an overdue Rising Star nomination.

Surely the Tigers will be stung into action by the fallout of their poor performance last week. You’d be expecting a much better showing from them this time around, but after the massive disparity in performances last weekend, it’s hard to see them beating the Pies. Collingwood should be able to withstand the Tigers and run out five or six goal winners.

Betting tip: Collingwood to win @ $1.44 (Bet365)

Saturday, August 6


Sydney v Port Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Sydney v Port Adelaide


Players from these two clubs might be in for a slight shock this week. They might actually find themselves under some pressure at some stage during the game, something that will no doubt shock them after their casual kick of the footy last weekend, when the Swans beat the Dockers by 90 points and Port took care of Brisbane by a lazy 94 points.

For Port, there’s not much they would’ve gained from last weekend. They’re not playing finals, so they’d much rather test themselves against good opposition than take an easy win and a percentage boost. Which is why this contest should mean a lot more to them, and give them much greater insight into their prospects beyond 2016. 

On the other hand, the Swans would’ve been grateful for a big win considering the tightness at the top of the ladder. But they’ll need to make sure they’re ready for a stronger opponent this weekend, because Port can cause some trouble when they’re on song. I wouldn’t be stressing too much though if I were a Swans fan – it would take the Swans at their worst and Port at their absolute best for an upset to occur in this one. The Swans should get the four points without having to work too hard.

Betting tip: Sydney at the line of -16.5 @ $1.67 (Ladbrokes)


Melbourne v Hawthorn

View a detailed form guide for Melbourne v Hawthorn


The Demons got out of jail against the Suns last weekend, just sneaking home by a measly two points after the Suns had their opportunities to steal the victory. And the Hawks, well they did what was necessary against the Blues, and nothing more. And that might be what we see again this weekend. I expect the Dees will be looking forward to the challenge of going up against the best and should be ready to give it their all, but the Hawks will be too strong for them. 

It’s getting hard to tell whether the Hawks will crush a side, or just hold them at arm’s length. So what’s in store for the Demons this weekend? I think the Hawks will win comfortably, but don’t expect it to be a massive margin. They’ve got a few challenges coming up – the Kangaroos, followed by the Eagles in Perth – so it might just be a typical Hawthorn game of keeping their opponent at bay until the final siren sounds. The Demons aren’t good enough to trouble the Hawks too much so it should still be at least a four goal margin I’d say.

Betting tip: Hawthorn by 25+ @ $1.65 (Luxbet)


Gold Coast v GWS Giants

4:35PM AEST, Metricon Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Gold Coast v GWS Giants


The Suns will be shattered they let the Demons get past them on the weekend. It was a game that could’ve gone either way the whole way through, but when you’re up with a couple of minutes left and then end up going down you’re always going to feel like you’ve let one slip. And they’re probably not going to be able to make amends this weekend when they come up against the Giants, who are showing no signs of dropping off as they charge towards their first finals appearance. 

GWS smashed the Tigers last weekend and will fancy their chances of doing the same against the Suns this week. They’ll win the midfield battle hands down, and should be able to kick a big score against the undermanned Suns. The Suns still have arguably the best forward in the competition, so if they can get it down to Tom Lynch often enough the margin won’t blow out too much (i.e. 100+ points), but if not, the Giants might be in for a big, big win.

Betting tip: GWS by 25+ @ $1.42 (William Hill)


Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne

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


Another week, another couple of injuries to key Bulldogs. This time it was Tom Liberatore, who did an ankle and may be out for the remainder of the year, as well as a minor hamstring tweak for midfielder Jack Macrae. It makes it really hard to beat good teams when you continue to lose players, especially mid-game. They were right in the contest with the Cats, but as soon as they lost Libba it was always going to be an uphill battle considering he was probably the best player on the ground at that stage. 

The Kangaroos have also had their fair share of injury troubles, and it looks like Jarrad Waite has again jarred his hip and will miss at least this week. It’s absolutely pivotal that the Kangaroos are able to get a fit Waite on the field in time for finals, because when he’s in form he can be a genuine match winner. This week they’ll have to do without him, but I expect they’ll be able to cover him and get the four points over the Dogs. The Bulldogs have been brave, but they’re missing too many of their best 22 to be able to beat the Kangaroos.

Betting tip: Kangaroos to win @ $1.73 (Matchbook)


Adelaide v Brisbane

7:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v Brisbane


I’d be astonished if Justin Leppitsch is still senior coach of the Lions next year. Things are incredibly bad at the moment, and they don’t look like getting better. Last week they were smacked at home by Port, the weaker of the two Adelaide teams, this week they face the stronger Crows in Adelaide. After a club and league high water mark in the early 2000’s, a dozen years later they really couldn’t get much lower. 

The Crows generally aren’t a side that take it easy against the weaker teams and do just enough to get the win, they go all out and win by as much as possible. So I’d say it’s going to be another huge loss for the Lions this week. The Crows will be without key players Sam Jacobs and Scott Thompson, but they welcome back skipper Taylor Walker who might just have a field day against the Lions. Or maybe it’ll be Josh Jenkins. Or Eddie Betts. Whoever it is, it’s going to be raining goals at the Adelaide Oval. Hopefully the Lions can put up a fight, but I’m very doubtful.

Betting tip: Adelaide at the line of -74.5 @ $1.67 (William Hill)

Sunday, August 7


Carlton v St Kilda

View a detailed form guide for Carlton v St Kilda


Both of these clubs went through similar scenarios last weekend, playing in what were ultimately scrappy games and coming up short against stronger opponents. The Blues had to travel down to Tasmania to face the ladder-leading Hawks, while the Saints did battle with the Kangaroos in an error-riddled match under the Etihad Stadium roof. 

During the week, Andrew Walker, the number two draft pick from 2003, announced his retirement effective as of the final siren on Sunday. It’s fair to say he never reached the heights some thought possible considering the amount of talent he had, but he’s been a loyal servant of the Carlton footy club for more than 10 years, and the Blues will be keen to give him the proper send off he deserves. 

It’ll be an interesting match. These two clubs have both shown that their best can be very good, but have struggled with consistency. It could go either way, but I feel that the MCG will suit the Blues and they’ll be fired up to make sure they get the win for Walker. It should be close, but I’m backing the Blues by a couple of goals.

Betting tip: Carlton to win @ $2.49 (Pinnacle)


Geelong v Essendon

3:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Essendon


Last Friday night’s clash against the Bulldogs was the last time the Cats will face another top eight side until the finals come around. Which means they should win their next four matches and cement their standing in the top four. The Cats have dropped some games they should’ve won over the course of the season, but you’d think with so much at stake they’d be making sure they’re switched on in every one of their next four games.

Regardless, the Bombers aren’t going to challenge them. They continue to have a crack, but they have too few AFL-standard players at the moment. With only four weeks left in the season and the finish line in sight, we might see the Bombers cop a few more beltings yet, as they limp towards the end of the 2016 season. At Etihad the Bombers might be able to put up some resistance for a while, but you’d expect the dam wall to burst at some stage and the Cats to win by more than just a couple of kicks.

Betting tip: Geelong at the line of -59.5 @ $1.63 (William Hill)


Fremantle v West Coast

4:40PM AEST, Subiaco Oval
View a detailed form guide for Fremantle v West Coast


The Dockers were up against one of the best teams in the competition, but they’ll be disappointed with the way they performed against the Swans in Matthew Pavlich’s 350th game milestone. They’ll be looking for a much improved performance in what will be his last ever Derby against the Eagles. And speaking of the Eagles, they’ll also be hoping to bounce back after just about kissing their top four hopes goodbye with a poor showing against the Pies at the MCG. Their lack of form away from Perth is still a huge issue. They should beat the Dockers by quite a bit, but it’s not going to mean a lot if they can’t win away from Perth. Still, if they keep winning games of footy they might be able to lock in a home elimination final and take it from there.

The Dockers and the Eagles are both set to welcome back their star ruckmen, Aaron Sandilands and Nic Naitanui respectively, which will be an interesting side battle to watch. They are both incredibly important players and each club will be hoping they’re able to come in, stay fit, and have an immediate impact. Anyway, the Eagles will beat their Perth rivals comfortably and gain a nice little percentage boost along the way.

Betting tip: West Coast by 25+ @ $1.65 (William Hill)


Best Bets of the Round

Sydney at the line of -16.5 @ $1.67 (Ladbrokes)


Season Tally

All Bets:        +2.45 units

Best Bets:     -0.35 units

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