The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2017 AFL season.
Thursday, June 8
Sydney v Western Bulldogs
7:20PM AEST, SCG
The Swans were starting to get their season back on track prior to a costly six-point loss to the Hawks the week before the bye. It was a huge setback and has probably ended their hopes of making a late run for the top eight. It’s still possible of course, but they’d need absolutely everything to go their way, starting with a win over the Dogs on Thursday night. The Swans haven’t had the best of times against the Dogs over the past few years, going down in their last four encounters, including last year’s decider. Those four Dogs’ victories include two at the SCG, so it would seem travelling up to Sydney to take on the Swans holds no fears for the reigning premiers. This week they’ll be forced to do it without key players Bob Murphy, Dale Morris, and Tom Boyd, all missing through injury. Speculative recruit Travis Cloke comes back into the side, as does veteran defender Matthew Boyd. The Swans have lost patience with big man Kurt Tippett, dumping him for ruckman Sam Naismith, while midfielder Keiran Jack is set to return.
It’s going to be a wet night in Sydney so there’s a chance we might see a late change; with both sides containing plenty of tall timber, one of the bigger guys might be rested in favour of a smaller teammate who is more suited to the slippery conditions.
While the Swans are clearly starting to hit their straps, I have to back the Dogs in this one. They’ve had the wood over Sydney for a few years now and seem to love playing in the wet at the SCG. It will be close as always, but I’m backing the Dogs to will themselves over the line once again.
Betting tip: Western Bulldogs to win @ $2.12 (BetFair)
Friday, June 9
Adelaide v St Kilda
7:50PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
The Crows only ended up going down to the Cats by 22-points last Friday night, but that margin flattered them. It was a really disappointing performance and raises further questions about their ability to beat the best teams outside of Adelaide. They look set to finish in the top four, probably the top two, so it may not become an issue for them for quite a while, but it’s something they definitely need to focus on.
This week they head back to the Adelaide Oval to host the Saints, who should be fresh from having last weekend off. There would have been plenty to focus on during the bye for the Saints, following a 40-point thumping from the Western Bulldogs. It will be interesting to see how they respond, but you would have to think a win isn’t on the cards here. Beating the Crows in Adelaide might be a stretch too far for the Saints right now, and while I think they’ll come out switched on and keep the Crows honest during the first portion of the game, eventually the Crows will get on top and run out comfortable victors.
Betting tip: Adelaide (-37.5) @ $1.96 (Pinnacle)
Saturday, June 10
Hawthorn v Gold Coast
1:45PM AEST, MCG
Hawthorn’s first half capitulation against Port Adelaide on Thursday night was an embarrassing moment in a season of serious upheaval for the once mighty Hawks. Even for the very worst team in the competition, to kick just three behinds in a half of footy is almost unheard of. They rallied in the second half to make the scoreboard look somewhat respectable, but the damage had been done.
This week they have a chance to exact some revenge for another low point in their year – when the Gold Coast Suns destroyed them by a whopping 86-points in round 3. That game was played at Metricon Stadium, this one will be at the MCG, where the Hawks are much more comfortable and the Suns are less familiar. Still, with the injuries the Hawks currently have and the confidence the Suns gained from a great win over the Eagles on the weekend, I expect this could go either way. The Suns are inconsistent, but on their day they can play some really good footy. Will they turn up this weekend? I think they will. Whether they’re good enough to beat the Hawks again remains to be seen, but I’m almost certain they’ll go close.
Betting tip: Gold Coast (+8.5) @ $1.98 (Marathon Bet)
Brisbane v Fremantle
4:35PM AEST, Gabba
After turning around their season in stunning fashion, Fremantle have left much to be desired in their last couple of weeks, returning to the disappointing outfit they were in the first two rounds of the season. The loss to the Crows could be excused as an aberration against one of the competition’s best, but losing to Collingwood on home soil was a real slap in the face, especially for a team that is gunning for a top eight finish and prides itself on being really difficult to beat at home.
This week they are off to the Gabba to take on the Lions, who are going through a rough patch of their own, albeit a slightly longer and more pronounced rough patch. The Lions haven’t won a game since beating the Suns in the opening round and will be desperate to give their suffering supporters some joy. Regardless of whether they can achieve that, there is still reason for the Lions’ fans to celebrate, with young gun Josh Schache today signing a two year contract extension following speculation he was set to request a trade back to Victoria.
After a few patchy performances, I expect Freo to bounce back against the bottom-placed Lions this weekend. It’s not a huge ask to beat the Lions, but I reckon the Dockers will be looking for a big win to make up for a couple of poor showings. They should be able to win by three goals minimum to get themselves back on the winning list.
Betting tip: Fremantle (-16.5) @ $1.91 (UniBet)
Essendon v Port Adelaide
7:25PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
Port Adelaide are looking more and more like top four chances with each passing week. Last weekend, they dismantled the Hawks in a powerful display that will have other finals aspirants hoping they won’t have to travel to Adelaide to play the Power come September. This week they face a Bombers outfit looking to bounce back from consecutive losses. Essendon are one of many clubs this year who look incredible when at their best but are plagued by inconsistency. They were solid against the Giants last week, but they’ll need to be better than that to be any chance of defeating Port on Saturday night.
There’s been quite a bit of recent talk regarding Paddy Ryder’s growing influence at Port Adelaide, so expect the Bombers to put some time into him. They’ll also need to win the ball at ground level, so much will come down to how they cope with containing Ollie Wines, Travis Boak and Robbie Gray. I’m wary that Essendon could turn it on after a few weeks of disappointment, but it’s hard to go against Port in this one. Etihad Stadium suits them as a venue and I think they’ll win this one by three or four goals in the end.
Betting tip: Port Adelaide (-21.5) @ $2.04 (UniBet)
Sunday, June 11
Carlton v GWS
3:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
Well, the Giants are back to where they were at the beginning of the season: they are the flag favourites once again. They’ve weathered a horrible injury storm and have managed to continue winning games in spite of it. They sit one game clear on top of the ladder and that shouldn’t change after this week, with a match-up against Carlton almost certain to result in another win. They would then head into their bye week sitting pretty at 10 wins and two losses. Not a bad spot to be in when you haven’t played at your best and have been hit hard by injuries.
They do, however, need to make sure their focus is firmly on the Blues this week, as a lapse in concentration and an unexpected loss would really hurt considering how tight the ladder is at the moment. The Blues are not good enough to get close to the Giants, the only way they get within six goals is if the Giants are already thinking about the week off. Leon Cameron will surely want to cement their great position and will be commanding his troops to go as hard as they can before enjoying a much deserved break, so I don’t think we’ll see a let-up, and the Giants should coast it in.
Betting tip: GWS (-30.5) @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes)
Monday, June 12
Melbourne v Collingwood
3:20PM AEST, MCG
The annual Queen’s Birthday clash is all set up to be an absolute belter. The two clubs are sitting just outside of the eight and are locked on five wins apiece. They’re both in the same position of not only desperate wanting to make the finals, but desperately needing to make the finals. There’s a lot at stake.
The Demons have generally matched up well against the Pies over the past few years, but Collingwood are in a fairly good patch of form right at the moment, and I’m not sure the Demons are travelling quite as well. We’ll wait and see how they come back after the bye, but from what they’ve produced over the past few weeks, you’ve got to say that the Pies are playing better footy than the Demons. The big issue for Collingwood is the injuries to key players Jamie Elliott, Daniel Wells, and Tyson Goldsack. Those three guys leave some gaping holes in the Collingwood lineup and swing things in favour of the Demons. I’d be backing the Pies in if they didn’t lose such key players considering their current form, but I don’t think they can cover the loss of those three. The Demons should be good enough to take advantage of the situation.
Betting tip: Melbourne to win @ $1.63 (Marathon Bet)
Best Bets of the Round
GWS (-30.5) @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes)
All Bets: -10.79 units
Best Bets: +2.18 units