The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2018 AFL season.
Friday, June 8
Port Adelaide vs Richmond
7:50 pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
After a few disappointing Friday night matches in a row, a clash between the Power and the Tigers at the Adelaide Oval should hopefully liven things up this week. Port will be keen to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Hawks; they didn’t play their best footy, yet they were in front at the 24 minute mark of the final term and had more than enough chances to ice the game. This week they return to the more comfortable surroundings of the Adelaide Oval, but are up against a Richmond side that have only lost two of their eleven games.
The very, very good news for Port Adelaide is that Richmond superstar Dustin Martin won’t be playing; he’s off to New Zealand for the weekend, taking some calf soreness along for the trip. How will the Tigers fare without Dusty? He rarely misses, in fact, Richmond haven’t been forced to play without Martin in any of their previous 83 games, so it’s hard to say. He’s obviously a hugely important part of their side, but we’ll find out just how important he is on Friday night. Anthony Miles comes in as his replacement, while Jasper Pittard takes Jack Hombsch’s spot in the Power defence in preparation for the smaller, mobile Richmond forward line.
It should be a ripping game of footy. Port will fancy their chances taking on the Tigers at home without Martin, but I think the reigning champs will still be too strong. If they can keep up their high pressure, contested style of game I feel the Power will wilt eventually and not be able to go with them for four quarters. It’ll definitely be fascinating to watch — I’m going with the Tigers by three goals.
Betting tip: Richmond to win @ $2.22 (BetFair)
Saturday, June 9
Geelong vs North Melbourne
1:45 pm AEST, GMHBA Stadium
This clash between the Cats and the Kangaroos probably wasn’t one too many people put on their calendars when the 2018 fixture came out, but it’s now shaping to be a huge contest — both clubs are sitting on seven wins and are looking to be likely finalists. The Cats have been up and down, with their best form making them really difficult to beat but their worst bordering on embarrassing, while the Roos have been consistent throughout their campaign to date.
Jarrad Waite was a late withdrawal from the team that took on the Lions last week, and while they didn’t have any issues without him against the Lions, he would be incredibly handy against the Cats this Saturday. Geelong may have just built some confidence up in their thrashing of the Suns last week, with Gary Ablett playing his best game of the year so far and proving that he’s still got what it takes to be an elite midfielder.
The Kangaroos aren’t going to bow down easily and will push the Cats all the way, but I think Geelong will be too strong for them at home. The margin won’t blow out, but the Cats should lead most of the day and get home by four goals or so.
Betting tip: Geelong (-15.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
GWS vs Gold Coast
4:35 pm AEST, Spotless Stadium
The Giants got their season back on track with a hugely important against-the-odds win over the Crows at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. It was the type of win that could turn a season around, and as they’re beginning to regain a few players from injury, that might be exactly what’s happening. It also helps that this week — their last game before the bye — they take on the lowly Suns at Spotless Stadium.
After a bright start to the year, things have taken a turn for the worse for the Gold Coast and their new coach Stuart Dew. In a big game where they would’ve been keen to make a statement — taking on former skipper Gary Ablett for the first time — they let themselves down by barely giving a yelp, eventually going down by 85 points. Things aren’t looking great when you consider that superstar forward Tom Lynch was waiting until around about this time of year to see if the Suns were competitive before making his decision on whether to stay, or leave the club for greener pastures. It’s looking more and more likely that Lynch will leave, and I don’t expect the result from this contest to help change his mind; the Giants should win with ease.
Betting tip: GWS (-45.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
St Kilda vs Sydney
7:25 pm AEST, Etihad Stadium
The Saints put in another good showing against the Eagles last week, making it hard to argue against the fact that they’ve improved significantly over the past month, but unfortunately, they still don’t have a win to show for their efforts. They’ll be looking to change that this week when they host the Swans at Etihad, but it’s not going to be easy — the Swans have now won four in a row and are positioned nicely heading into the bye, sitting in fourth position.
Saints skipper Jarryn Geary will be a big out for this match due to illness, while the Saints have also pulled the trigger and dropped classy forward Jack Billings after a string of quiet performances from the goal sneak. I like the way the Saints have played over the last few weeks and think they’re getting very close to their second win of the season; it might even come this weekend. The Swans have been sketchy with their consistency at times this year, and I get the feeling they might not be at their absolute best on Saturday night. They’re clearly the better team and should be able to do enough to win, but I reckon the Saints are in with a real sniff here.
Betting tip: St Kilda (+25.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Sunday, June 10
Brisbane vs Essendon
1:10 pm AEST, Gabba
Essendon’s two game winning streak came to a sudden halt on Saturday night when they ran into the Tigers in the annual Dreamtime at the ‘G clash, making it clear that while they’ve made some progress, there’s still much work to be done. They now go from facing one of the competition’s best teams in Richmond to taking on one of the bottom three teams in the Lions, but they’ll want to be on their game: Brisbane have beaten Essendon in two of their past three encounters. To make things really interesting, Essendon have actually won their past three games at the Gabba, so who knows how much to read into all of that.
What we do know is that the Lions are generally a threat at the Gabba and Essendon’s form is incredibly hard to predict. Both clubs were dealt a rough hand on the injury front last week, with Essendon’s David Zaharakis set to miss up to six weeks, while Lions’ goal-sneak Charlie Cameron is out for the rest of the season. Cameron’s absence is a huge blow for the Lions and will make it difficult for the rest of their forward line to consistently kick a winning score. I think this could genuinely go either way, but I’m backing the Bombers to bounce back from last week’s big loss and make it three wins from their past four outings.
Betting tip: Essendon to win @ $1.66 (CrownBet)
Fremantle vs Adelaide
4:40 pm AEST, Perth Stadium
Considering the issues the Crows continue to have with injuries to key personnel, this would be the perfect chance for the Dockers to take a scalp and re-ignite their flailing season, but the suspension handed to Nat Fyfe for high contact on Collingwood’s Levi Greenwood brings it back to a relatively even playing field. The Crows lost two more soldiers last week against the Giants, and handy ones at that, in Tom Lynch and Rory Laird. The only positive is that skipper Taylor Walker returns to take on the Dockers, but even so, the side that will take the field on Sunday barely resembles Adelaide’s best 22. If they can come away with the four points they’ll be very happy, no matter how ugly the game may be.
The Dockers welcome ruckman Aaron Sandilands back into the team, and his duel against Crows’ big man Sam Jacobs will be telling in this contest. Both clubs are missing arguably their best midfielder, so other guys will need to stand up and make an impact. Whichever team gets more out of their bottom six will win this game; you can’t write the Crows off but I think they’re facing an uphill battle against both the Dockers and their injuries this week. It’ll be tight, but I’m backing the Dockers to get over the line.
Betting tip: Fremantle to win @ $3.15 (Ladbrokes)
Monday, June 11
Melbourne vs Collingwood
3:20 pm AEST, MCG
As often happens to be the case in recent times, the best game of the round is saved until last, and what an outstanding contest this Queen’s Birthday Monday clash is shaping to be. The Pies sit one win behind the 3rd placed Demons and are looking to take another scalp, while the Demons have now won six games in a row, and really, they haven’t even come close to being beaten in any of those games. The season-ending knee injury to gun recruit Jake Lever is clearly a huge blow, especially as he was just starting to settle in and put together some really strong performances, but unfortunately, that’s just footy. The Demons are looking so untouchable at the moment that it doesn’t seem as if Lever’s absence will have any effect on them, but obviously it will in some capacity.
While some of the Queen’s Birthday clashes over the past few years have turned out to be close games, this one looks like being the most fiercely contested and the most entertaining one we’ve had for years. Both clubs are in premiership contention, and there’s plenty on the line. It’s hard to go past Melbourne considering their recent form, but the Pies will be up for a four-quarter fight. I can’t wait to see what happens; I reckon the Demons win, but only just.
Betting tip: Melbourne By 1-39 @ $2.20 (UniBet)
Best Bets of the Round
Geelong (-15.5) @ $1.93 (Bet365)
All Bets: -14.04 units
Best Bets: -1.34 units