The following are previews with betting tips for Round 10 of the 2018 AFL season.
Friday, May 25
Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs
7:50 pm AEST, Etihad Stadium
The Bulldogs’ second Friday night clash in a row should be more pleasant than the first — last week they were forced to travel to Adelaide to battle the Crows in the wet, this week they’ll play under the comfort of the Etihad Stadium roof against Collingwood. Not that the Pies are an easy opponent, but the Dogs will much prefer playing at their home ground where the high possession game they love to play should be more effective than it was at the Adelaide Oval with a wet, slippery ball.
The Pies are set to back up at Etihad after their win over the Saints on Saturday night, which was a strong performance without being anything to write home about. The unfortunate Alex Fasolo comes back out of the team after injuring his hamstring against the Saints, while Daniel Wells has been managed for this important contest. Key big man Ben Reid comes back into the side, and the Pies have decided to bring Levi Greenwood in for his first game of the year to potentially tag red-hot Dogs’ midfielder Jack Macrae, who has been in blistering form over the past month. Ex-Brisbane key forward Josh Schache will play his first game for the Bulldogs, and his partnership up forward with fellow high draft pick Tom Boyd will be something to look out for.
While I expect it to be a fairly close game, I feel like the Pies are the stronger team at present and their bigger bodies, particularly through the midfield, should prove telling. I’m going with Collingwood by four goals or so.
Betting tip: Collingwood (-17.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Saturday, May 26
Richmond vs St Kilda
1:45 pm AEST, MCG
The Tigers met their match over in Perth on Sunday afternoon when they felt the full wrath of a rampant West Coast outfit. The Tigers managed to make a game of it for the first half but they couldn’t hold on as West Coast continued to press, and eventually the flood gates opened. Even the best sides let themselves down every now again, and it’s no great shame to lose heavily to the Eagles in Perth with the way they’re travelling at the moment. Nevertheless, Richmond will be doing everything in their power to atone for that performance when they host the Saints at the MCG on Saturday. St Kilda are still battling through their form issues and while they haven’t been embarrassed in any of their recent games, they haven’t really looked like winning either. This week they welcome back big men Jake Carlisle and Paddy McCartin, while they’ve lost patience with David Armitage who has been dropped back to the VFL. The Tigers have made a few unforced changes of their own, but their players should be keen to redeem themselves this week regardless of the danger of being dropped.
As much as I’d like to think the Saints will provide a good account of themselves and it’ll be a competitive contest, I think the Tigers might crush them and really rub some salt into St Kilda’s 2018 wounds.
Betting tip: Richmond By 40+ @ $1.78 (Ladbrokes)
Brisbane vs Sydney
4:35 pm AEST, Gabba
The Lions clearly didn’t want to stay as the only winless team for too long — a week after the Blues upset the Bombers to climb off the bottom of the ladder, the Lions followed suit with a brilliant surprise win over the Hawks. It was a complete performance from Brisbane; they were strong through the midfield, their defence held up, and their forwards were able to capitalise on the opportunities they were granted. All of that resulted in not just a win, but a winning margin just shy of 10 goals against one of the better teams in the competition.
They’ll be looking to back that up this week when they host another top eight side in the Swans, who are fresh off a 59 point thrashing of Fremantle. Lance Franklin was back in the team and looked 100% fit which was good to see, but unfortunately the Swans have lost young star Callum Mills for the year after he broke his ankle in an innocuous post-training accident during the week. It’s a terrible blow for Sydney’s season, but it shouldn’t impact their chances this week; Sydney should be be much too strong for the Lions, who might just still be celebrating their big win from last weekend.
Betting tip: Sydney By 25+ @ $2.10 (Ladbrokes)
Geelong vs Carlton
7:25 pm AEST, GMHBA Stadium
A week is a long time in football, and so it was for Carlton when they followed up their first win of the season with a pitiful performance that saw the Demons trounce them by over 100 points. That’s not the sort of result you want to see too often, but the Blues might be in for another tough week as things aren’t going to get any easier for them on Saturday night when they travel down the highway to take on the Cats. Not to mention that the Cats have their own embarrassing performance to bounce back from; against all odds they managed to lose to the Bombers, who prior to that had just about been the worst performed team in the competition over the past month. Both teams have swung the axe in an attempt to bring some effort and intensity back into their performances, but it’s the Blues who have the more significant in’s: the Curnow brothers are both back, and young key defender Jacob Weitering also returns to the team. They also have the most significant out, with skipper Marc Murphy again succumbing to injury.
I’m expecting an improved performance from both clubs on Saturday night; while the standard of footy may not be particular high, the effort should be there this week. I reckon it’ll be a scrappy contest but expect the Cats to get away in the second half to record a comfortable win over the Blues.
Betting tip: Total Points 150-below @ $3.75 (Ladbrokes)
GWS vs Essendon
7:25 pm AEST, Spotless Stadium
On Saturday afternoon the Bombers turned a horror few weeks around by thoroughly beating the Cats at the MCG to bring some much-needed joy to Essendon supporters all over the country. The big test is now to bring that level of football week in, week out, but it’s a great start to build from. This week they take on the Giants, who are still struggling immensely due to their current injury crisis. That looks to be somewhat alleviated this week with the return of gun midfielder Josh Kelly following his long injury lay-off, as well Jon Patton’s return from a spell in the NEAFL. Which is set to make this an interesting contest: without Kelly and Patton back in the side I’d be leaning towards the Bombers causing another upset, but those two provide some much needed stability and experience in the GWS team and I think that’ll be enough to guide them over the line at home. It should be relatively close, but I’m backing the Giants to get over the line by a couple of goals.
Betting tip: GWS By 1-39 @ $2.20 (BlueBet)
Sunday, May 27
Hawthorn vs West Coast
1:10 pm AEST, Etihad Stadium
If they weren’t already, West Coast have become genuine premiership contenders following their big win against the reigning premiers on Sunday afternoon. It was a delight to watch them move the ball with such precision into the hands of dangerous forwards who can actually kick accurately at goal, unlike so many other forwards in the competition. The win over the Tigers was immense, but the real challenge might have been waiting for them this week all along: a trip to Melbourne to take on the Hawks, who will be stinging from their shock loss to the lowly Lions. We all know that the Eagles haven’t played great footy in Melbourne in recent years and whether they’re over that or not remains to be seen, but a win on Sunday would go a long way to dispelling any fears. Jaeger O’Meara is a possible inclusion to help a Hawthorn midfield that was completely outplayed by the hungrier Lions last week, while James Frawley will return to the side to help bolster a backline that will play a very important role in this match against the West Coast tall forwards.
I love the way West Coast are playing at the moment, but I have a feeling the Hawks might get them this weekend. It’s not at their bogey ground the MCG but generally they’re still not at their best at Etihad, and Hawthorn are going to come at them this week. After expending their energy against the Tigers, I think the Eagles might have a down week and the Hawks will get home in a thriller.
Betting tip: Hawthorn to win @ $2.27 (BetFair)
Melbourne vs Adelaide
3:20 pm AEST, Treager Park, Alice Springs
The Demons will be looking for a more competitive hit-out this week after dismantling the Blues in what amounted to a glorified training run, and they’re sure to get it when they face the Adelaide Crows in Alice Springs on Sunday afternoon. Talk as they may that Jake Lever is just another opposition player now, the Crows clearly weren’t happy with the way he left last year and will be chomping at the bit to make sure they get the win over him and his new club in their first clash. Both clubs should be fresh; as mentioned, the Demons had a two hour training drill last Sunday, while the Crows will have had a nine day break, so while it may be hot up there both clubs should be able to run the game out.
The Demons are in better form than Adelaide at the moment, as the Crows are just getting by with their significant injury list, but I reckon Adelaide are going to put in a really strong performance and show off their premiership credentials to just pip the Dees in what should be an epic contest.
Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $2.15 (Ladbrokes)
Fremantle vs North Melbourne
4:40 pm AEST, Perth Stadium
This should be a fascinating game of footy to end the round with: the Kangaroos have played consistently good football all year long, while the Dockers have been patchy, playing great footy one week and then horribly the next. They’re set to do battle in Perth this week which will obviously suit the Dockers, but it won’t hold any fears for North Melbourne who have shown all throughout 2018 that they give 100% effort wherever they play. Stephen Hill is back into the Freo side this week and he’s a very important player for them especially when playing at home. The main issue for the Dockers will be limiting the supply to North forwards Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite, because if they get enough opportunities they’ll kick plenty of goals against an undersized Fremantle defence. Fortunately for the Dockers, I expect they’ll do just that on Sunday and be good enough to gain the ascendancy over the Kangaroos through the middle of the ground, and that should be enough to ensure they get the four points when the final siren sounds.
Betting tip: Fremantle to win @ $1.88 (Ladbrokes)
Best Bets of the Round
Hawthorn to win @ $2.27 (BetFair)
All Bets: -11.95 units
Best Bets: -1.54 units