AFL Round 8 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2019 AFL season.

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Friday, May 10


Sydney vs Essendon

7:50pm AEST, SCG
View a detailed form guide for Sydney vs Essendon


The Swans are officially in rebuild mode. They sit last on the ladder after 7 rounds with just one win, and while they’ve been without superstar forward Lance Franklin for a number of weeks, their problems run much deeper than that. They need to start taking some small steps forward, and a great first step would be to play better footy at their home ground, the SCG. No one is asking them to suddenly become a top six team again, all they need to do is scrap harder to ensure they make visiting teams earn victory at the SCG, because at the moment they’re simply too easily beaten at home.

This week they’ve got a tough opponent in the Bombers, who are coming off two defeats at the hands of two of the competition’s best teams. The loss to Collingwood two weeks ago could easily have been a win, but Geelong completely outplayed them on Sunday and showed how much ground they have to make up before they can challenge the very best. They’ll fancy their chances of turning things around against the Swans this weekend, and so they should: despite their disappointing showing against the Cats, the Bombers have shown they’re capable of playing some good footy and anything close to their best should be enough to get over the Swans. Unfortunately the Swans will be missing Franklin again, while the Bombers changes are a mixed bag; Orazio Fantasia comes into the side, but big Joe Daniher is out for a week to rest up. His absence shouldn’t affect the result too much.

Betting tip: Essendon to win @ $1.62 (Bet365)

Saturday, May 11


Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane

1:45pm AEST, Mars Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane


The Dogs bounced back from four consecutive losses in stunning style on Saturday night, defeating the undermanned Tigers by 47 points. Despite missing some key players Richmond were still expected to beat the struggling Dogs, but Luke Beveridge’s men were switched on from the first bounce and out-pressured the competition’s pressure kings. The Dogs didn’t allow the Tigers any space, and when they got the ball they were balanced in their attack, going fast when the opportunity presented, and slowing things down and keeping possession when necessary. There are plenty of teams in the same boat, but the Dogs are one of the main culprits of exhibiting the football equivalent of multiple personality syndrome; one week losing to Carlton by seven goals, one week beating Richmond by a similar margin. Which Dogs team will we see this week against the Lions?

It’s almost impossible to guess, but what is certain is that the Dogs’ talls will have to work harder against Brisbane. Richmond had no key defenders to challenge young Aaron Naughton, and no one to support Tom Lynch in attack. Conversely, with the return of vice-captain Harris Andrews, the Lions have plenty of talls in attack and defence, while Stefan Martin is also sure to try to overwork young Dogs ruckman Tim English. Because of that, I think the Lions might trouble the Dogs in Ballarat; it’ll be an interesting game, but the Lions have their confidence back after a couple of wins and I expect the Dogs will find them quite difficult to match up on, so I’m backing Brisbane by a few goals.

Betting tip: Brisbane to win @ $2.30 (TopBetta)


Carlton vs Collingwood

1:45pm AEST, MCG
View a detailed form guide for Carlton vs Collingwood


The Blues let themselves down in Sunday’s encounter against the Roos, being completely uncompetitive in a game that was potentially winnable. They did have a few important players missing through injury, but that’s no excuse to lose by 10 goals to one of the other bottom teams. It’s particularly disappointing given they had shown such encouraging signs in the previous few weeks, but that’s history now; the future has Collingwood and GWS awaiting them in the next two weeks; they’ll need to be at their absolute best to avoid heavy defeats.

The Pies recovered from a slow second half against the Bombers to absolutely blitz Port in the first quarter on Friday night. It’s not often a game is over at the first break, but this one was done and dusted, despite Port’s best efforts in the second quarter. The Pies still aren’t putting it together for a full four quarters, but they continue to show glimpses of form that not many teams in the competition can match; watch out when they can do it for a full game. That shouldn’t matter this week; if they play their best footy they’ll blow the Blues away in a single burst like they did against Port. For Carlton’s sake I’m hoping they can contain the Pies, but I’m thinking it might be a big blowout at the MCG on Saturday, even if the Pies are missing both Taylor Adams and Dayne Beams.

Betting tip: Collingwood By 25+ @ $1.42 (UniBet)


Gold Coast vs Melbourne

4:35pm AEST, Metricon Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Gold Coast vs Melbourne


Melbourne breathed some form of life back into their sputtering season when they managed to beat the Hawks by five points on Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t a pretty game of footy, but they won’t care; they got the all-important four points and perhaps some confidence to take into this week and beyond. They’ll back themselves to beat the Suns and make it consecutive wins, and from there, who knows what might happen. On the other hand, the Suns will also be confident they can snap their three game losing streak by defeating the Demons this weekend. The Dees weren’t totally convincing against Hawthorn, and the Suns will know that if they can jump the Dees early their confidence will drop quite quickly.

Jack Viney comes back into the Melbourne side after missing a week due to a shoulder issue, while Pearce Hanley and Lachie Weller are the big inclusions for the Suns. I’m not expecting this one to be a great spectacle to watch — these are two teams currently playing fairly workman-like footy — but I do think it’ll be a close contest. That will probably suit the Dees; they like the contested scrap, and if they can keep it that way for the majority of the game I expect they’ll be able to eke out another win this weekend, but I think they’ll continue to struggle when they come up against stronger sides.

Betting tip: Melbourne to win @ $1.47 (TopBetta)


St Kilda vs West Coast

7:25pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for St Kilda vs West Coast


The Eagles have struggled in recent weeks; they didn’t exactly put fear into the rest of the competition despite getting the win over the Suns. Still, a win was all that was required, but now they need to back that up against a Saints side that has proved a capable opponent. They haven’t had the best of weeks recently either, but a return to Marvel Stadium against an interstate opponent might be just what they need. They match up fairly well on the Eagles too, though Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling may prove difficult for them to contain. The Eagles have been struggling through the midfield, and that’s a weakness the Saints will back themselves to exploit this week. Whether they’re actually capable of doing it is another thing, but they’ll give it their best crack, as they have every week so far this year. I just don’t think they have the class and depth to match it with the Eagles, who despite their issues are still a very, very good footy team.

They might take a while to get going, but when they click they’ll make the Saints pay, and I expect that will happen at some stage on Saturday. Again, it might not be the perfect game from the Eagles, but all they have to do is keep the wins ticking over, and you’d expect them to be good enough to do that against the Saints this weekend, even if it’s only by a couple of kicks.

Betting tip: West Coast to win @ $1.64 (BetFair)


Port Adelaide vs Adelaide

7:40pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Port Adelaide vs Adelaide


Last weekend Port Adelaide were smashed by Collingwood and the Crows played in the most dour of wins against the Dockers, but that won’t dull the excitement building for this weekend’s showdown. The Crows have recovered from a slow start to the season to build into some really solid form, while Port have been up and down but have at times played great footy. It’s all set up for this one to be a ripping game, and I have absolutely no idea of how it’s going to play out; will Port Adelaide’s exuberant youth thrive on one of the biggest days on the SA football calendar, or will the experienced heads at Adelaide reign supreme? Port should have the advantage in the ruck battle, and they would hope that would translate to general midfield ascendancy, but the Crows will trouble them at either end of the ground. If Port can put the clamps on the dangerous Adelaide forward line they’re every chance to win this, but they’ll also need the likes of youngsters Conor Rozee and Xavier Duursma to bob up with a few goals.

I love the way Port are going about things and while I suspect they’ll be right in this game, I think too much has to go right for them to win now that Ollie Wines and Brad Ebert join Tom Jonas on the sidelines, while the Crows just need to keep playing consistent football and their experienced leaders should be able to get them over the line; I’m going with the Crows by two goals.

Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $1.70 (Ladbrokes)

Sunday, May 12


North Melbourne vs Geelong

1:10pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for North Melbourne vs Geelong


North Melbourne played their best game of the season last week to comfortably beat the Blues, and while Carlton were missing a few key players, it was a very encouraging performance from the Roos. They were hungry from the opening bounce, booting five goals to none in the opening quarter and continuing on to build a nine goal half time lead. Ben Brown had his best game of the season, booting four goals, and he was well supported by Cameron Zurhaar who kicked a lazy five of his own to earn a Rising Star nomination. Trent Dumont and Shaun Higgins ran amok in the midfield, while Ben Cunnington and Jed Anderson were also prominent. That’s more the standard of what we expect from the Kangaroos, but it’s one thing to do it against Carlton and another to back it up against the best team in the competition.

The positive news is that it’s a Kangaroos home game so they don’t need to travel down the highway to Geelong, but the bad news is the Cats made beating Essendon look easy on Sunday afternoon, and the Bombers got the better of North by almost 10 goals just a few weeks ago. It’s going to be a tough afternoon for North if they’re not careful, but the potential absence of Patrick Dangerfield and/or Gary Ablett would help. I doubt they’re good enough to beat the Cats even if both miss; a midfield of Tim Kelly, Joel Selwood, and Mitch Duncan is still very handy, and they’ve got a highly functioning backline to go with their re-vamped attack which continues to prove dangerous. The Cats should win this one without breaking too much of a sweat.

Betting tip: Geelong By 25+ @ $1.95 (Bet365)


Hawthorn vs GWS Giants

3:20pm AEST, MCG
View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn vs GWS Giants


The Hawks will be bitterly disappointed they weren’t able to hold on after taking the lead midway through the last quarter against the Demons. They’d kicked four consecutive goals and had all the momentum, but couldn’t capitalise and made some poor errors in the last few minutes to blow their chance of a fourth win for 2019. It now puts them right back down in the pecking order and needing a win this week to keep in touch with the top eight. Unfortunately, the Giants are in some pretty good form and despite not having a great record at the MCG will be very difficult to beat on Sunday.

The Hawks have dropped a selection bombshell, with ex-skipper Jarryd Roughead being omitted. He’s joined on the sidelines by the injured Chad Wingard, who has struggled so far in his life as a Hawk. Josh Kelly and Phil Davis return for the Giants, while Shane Mumford is out with a minor knee injury. James Frawley is also back for the Hawks but they’re still severely affected by injuries, while the Giants are regaining most of their key players; I think the gap will be too much for Hawthorn to make up. They’re a decent team who are very well coached, but that can only take them so far. They’ll win their fair share of games for 2019, but I suspect teams as good as the Giants will be too strong for them.

Betting tip: GWS to win @ $1.55 (Ladbrokes)


Fremantle vs Richmond

5:20pm AEST, Optus Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Fremantle vs Richmond


The last game of round 8 should be a fascinating one; the Tigers travel to Perth to take on the Dockers in a huge game for both clubs. These are the types of games that end up deciding whether you finish in the top four or just outside, or in the top eight or just outside. Both sides are thereabouts that level, and they’ll both need to play their best footy to get the win on Sunday. The Tigers were well down on their best last weekend, trounced by a hungry Bulldogs outfit, while the Dockers were disappointing in one of the strangest games of footy played in recent times. I’m not sure much can be taken from that one, and in Richmond’s case, a kick up the backside might not be the worst thing.

They’ll need a significant lift from their leaders if they’re to beat the Dockers, and that starts with Dustin Martin and Tom Lynch. Dusty still managed to pick up 25 touches against the Dogs but had almost no impact, while Lynch just couldn’t get his hands on the ball. He didn’t have much support to be fair, but he’ll need to be much better this week against a strong Fremantle defence, with Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling potentially the best one-two key defender combination in the league. I do expect the Tigers to bounce back to some degree, but I’m not sure they’ll beat the Dockers; it doesn’t help that they lose another two key players in Daniel Rioli and Nick Vlastuin to injury. I reckon it’ll be a tight one that Freo end up winning by a goal or two.

Betting tip: Fremantle to win @ $1.72 (Bet365)


Best Bets of the Round

Brisbane to win @ $2.30 (TopBetta)


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