AFL Round 21 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 21 of the 2016 AFL season.

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

Friday, August 12


Western Bulldogs v Collingwood

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


The Pies come into Friday night after a disappointing loss to the Tigers, with coach Nathan Buckley describing their post-quarter time effort as the worst three quarters they’ve played all year. Which is a fairly big statement – they’ve played some quarters this year that would rank with the worst of them. They lost skipper Scott Pendlebury when the game was on the line, and while the news is better than expected and he’s been named to play on Friday night, there’s every chance he’s a late withdrawal. Big man Mason Cox will also miss, and Travis Cloke has been axed yet again. Young gun Darcy Moore will have to shoulder the bulk of the load up forward in his first game back from injury or they’re going to struggle. 

The Dogs were solid in an important if uninspiring win against the Kangaroos last Saturday night. Neither team had their best team on the field – and the Roos had to deal with injuries during the game – but the Dogs were the better side all night and deserved to get the win. It’ll help their confidence as well as giving them a home elimination final as long as they don’t drop a game unexpectedly from here. They should be too good for the Pies – both sides have significant injuries, but the Dogs have much greater depth, and with a significant question mark over Pendlebury an upset Pies victory is very unlikely.

Betting tip: Western Bulldogs to win @ $1.47 (Matchbook)

Saturday, August 13


Brisbane v Carlton

1:45PM AEST, Gabba
View a detailed form guide for Brisbane v Carlton


After a couple of solid games against top sides, I thought the Blues were a big chance to upset the Saints. Well, was I wrong. They played like they were absolutely spent and ended up being dealt their biggest defeat of the season, a 71-point thumping. There was definitely an element of underestimating the Saints, but the Blues have fared better against stronger opposition all year so I think it’s fair to say they might’ve just about put the cue in the rack for the year, so to speak. 

Does that mean the Lions might be a chance to knock them off? Well, it’s hard to tell, but you wouldn’t think so. The Blues were bad, but the Lions are on another level. They’re just hopeless at the moment, so bad it almost makes you wonder how they managed to beat the Bombers in Melbourne, but let’s not get into that. They’re in all sorts, and it’d be very surprising if they got with five goals of the Blues of Saturday. I feel for him, but at this stage of the year, and with the state they’re in, Justin Leppitsch just about has his papers stamped and there’s not much he can do about it.

Betting tip: Carlton to win @ $1.42 (Sportsbet)


Hawthorn v North Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn v North Melbourne


The Hawks were just about guaranteed to finish on top of the ladder before their shock loss to the Demons, but now they’re a small chance of falling out of the top four. Which just goes to show how tight the top eight is this year. They should be fine, but if they happen to drop one of their final three games there’s a fair chance they’ll end up with a double chance but not a home final, due to their low percentage in comparison with the other top four contenders. So all of a sudden this clash against the Kangaroos becomes a crucial battle.

The Kangaroos, well, they’re in trouble. They’ve been incredibly good at times this year, but they needed to have some luck to go all the way, and they’ve haven’t got it. The Dogs’ game dealt them another couple of injuries to cope with, and that might push them beyond breaking point. With a tough run home, they’re likely to finish eighth and be faced with the strongest opposition outside of the top four. They might be just about done for 2016, unless they can topple the Hawks on Saturday afternoon. But I’d say the chance of that happening are slim to none, considering their current form and injury list. The Hawks aren’t in the greatest form themselves, but they’ll get the job done.

Betting tip: Hawthorn to win @ $1.42 (Matchbook)


GWS Giants v West Coast

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


The Giants were fairly lucky to get away with a win in what was a sluggish performance against the Suns. They trailed for most of the game, but the Giants were good enough to get on top when it mattered. It leaves them in a good position, but they’ve just got to keep on winning. Considering the Eagles record away from home, you’d think the Giants are just about a sure thing on Saturday afternoon, but they’ve got to make sure they lift after last week. The Eagles had an easy game against Freo and will know they’re still a chance of snaring a top four spot if they can get the points, so they’ll be giving it everything. 

After a slight scare last week I find it hard to see the Giants losing to a team that has shown all year that they just can’t travel. The Giants should win reasonably easily and hold their top four spot for another week.

Betting tip: GWS at the line of -17.5 @ $1.64 (William Hill)


St Kilda v Sydney

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


Last weekend, the Swans were much too good for Port, and the Saints were way too good for the Blues. This week, the Swans host the Saints in a game where the stakes are high for both clubs. If the Saints are somehow able to get over the line, their hopes of making the finals may be very much alive. And the Swans, they need to win to make sure they finish inside the top four, and would also be aiming for the top two and the home final that it brings. 

The Swans are no doubt the better team and should be good enough to beat the Saints, but it might be one of those games they need to slug out for the whole four quarters. There’s no doubt the Saints will know what’s on the line and will accordingly play as if it’s their Grand Final, but the Swans have just as much at stake and should be able to counter everything the Saints throw at them. Etihad will suit the Saints, but it would take a massive effort for them to knock the Swans off.

Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $1.45 (Matchbook)


Port Adelaide v Melbourne

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


The Demons celebrated their most important victory for years last weekend, defeating the Hawks by 29 points, after being unsuccessful in their last 13 attempts against the reigning premiers. It was a strong all-round performance from the Dees, led by young stars Max Gawn and Jack Viney, and skipper Nathan Jones. It was the type of footy Demons’ fans have been waiting years to see, and while they’re have been great signs over the past 18 months, this was probably their best, four quarter effort against quality opposition that we’ve seen for quite some time. It’s all starting to come together, but let’s see if they can play the same way again this week against the Power. 

Port are coming off a very poor showing against the Swans in Sydney which has effectively ended any chance they had of sneaking into the top eight. The Swans bullied them and made they look second rate. As coach Ken Hinkley said after the game, they were outworked, outmuscled and outplayed, and you’d expect them to bounce back with an improved performance this weekend at the Adelaide Oval. The Demons are a chance, but I reckon they’ll struggle to back it up after such a massive win, and the Power will be desperate to make sure they don’t drop this one after being embarrassed by the Swans.

Betting tip: Port Adelaide to win @ $1.52 (Betfair)

Sunday, August 14


Essendon v Gold Coast

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


These two clubs will both be looking forward to the relief of the off-season, but while the Bombers are limping to the finish line, the Suns are actually starting to hit their straps and play some really good footy despite their ever-growing injury list. They’ll be shattered that they weren’t able to hang on against the Giants, but it was a promising performance that will give them hope that they’re good enough to challenge next year given a good run with injuries. 

The Bombers will make at least four changes following their clash against the Cats, with the injured Brendan Goddard and Courtenay Dempsey to both miss. Jake Long will make his much anticipated debut, which is a nice little occasion for the Bombers to celebrate towards the end of what has no doubt been a draining season. The way the Suns have played over the past few weeks should mean they’ll be too good for the Bombers, even at Etihad. I can’t see Essendon winning another game this year, they’re just about cooked. The Suns to win by at least four goals.

Betting tip: Gold Coast by 25+ @ $2.20 (Betfair)


Richmond v Geelong

View a detailed form guide for Richmond v Geelong


After the Pies kicked four unanswered goals to start their clash against the Tigers last Friday night, alarms bells were starting to sound deafeningly down at Punt Road. To their credit, the Tigers fought back and recorded a valiant against-the-odds victory. It looked like getting ugly, but they stepped up and performed under some serious pressure. They’ve got a tougher task this week, coming up against the Cats, who are desperate to not only win, but also make up some percentage on their top four rivals.

Brett Deledio will be put on ice for the remainder of the season, while big man Ben Griffiths is out with a groin. The Cats have rested Andrew Mackie and Daniel Menzel, like Griffiths, has a groin complaint. Geelong have more to lose, more to gain, and are the superior team. There’s been some strange results lately, but I wouldn’t think the Tigers are any chance of upsetting the Cats on Sunday afternoon. The Cats will win, and I suspect they’ll cover a line of four goals.

Betting tip: Geelong by 25+ @ $1.58 (William Hill)


Fremantle v Adelaide

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


Another week, another easy game for the Crows. After crushing the Lions by 138 points, the Crows have got the opportunity to notch up another big win against the struggling Dockers. There’s not much you can take out of a 138 points. The Crows were obviously good, and the Lions poor. That’s about it. Move on to the next week.

This week should be similar. The Dockers put up some resistance against the Eagles in the Derby on Sunday, but were dealt a fairly substantial 46-point defeat in the end. After a disappointing season and with one eye on next year already, you can’t expect them to get anywhere near a quality team like the Crows. Adelaide should further boost their percentage with another win of at least seven goals.

Betting tip: Adelaide by 40+ @ $1.75 (Luxbet)


Best Bets of the Round

Hawthorn to win @ $1.42 (Matchbook)

Adelaide by 40+ @ $1.75 (Luxbet)


Season Tally

All Bets:        +0.07 units

Best Bets:     +0.32 units

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