AFL Round 9 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 9 of the 2019 AFL season.

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Friday, May 17


West Coast vs Melbourne

8:10pm AEST, Optus Stadium
View a detailed form guide for West Coast vs Melbourne


The Demons somehow came back from the brink in their tight win over the Suns, coming from a goal down with forty seconds remaining to sneak over the line by a point. It was the definition of an ugly win; only 121 points were scored in the entire contest, and it was decided by a scrappy soccer off the ground in the final seconds. It clearly meant a lot to the Demons though; they celebrated like it was their best win of the year, and to be fair it was probably the most important, as it gives them consecutive wins and keeps their season somewhat alive.

This week they return to the venue where everything turned sour for them, when the Eagles smashed them in last year’s preliminary final. The Eagles have only just been motoring along themselves; small wins over the Suns and the Saints have kept their win tally ticking along but they haven’t exactly set the world alight. This week they’ve got the opportunity to grind out another important win and continue steadily building their premiership defence. They don’t need to be at their best at this time of year, they just need to keep winning, and you’d expect they’ll get the better of the Demons in this one. I don’t think it’ll be a massive win, but they should get up by a couple of goals in what I’m thinking will be another untidy game of footy.

Betting tip: West Coast (-23.5) @ $1.82 (BetFair)

Saturday, May 18


Collingwood vs St Kilda

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


The Pies were on the receiving end of a major scare at the MCG last Saturday; the Blues made them work incredibly hard all game but couldn’t quite keep up in the final five minutes of the contest. Again, it was the class of players like Jordan De Goey, Jaidyn Stephenson, and Scott Pendlebury that got them over the line when the going got tough, and you’d think that will continue to be the case throughout the rest of the year.

This week the Pies take on anther Victorian team at the MCG, with the Saints looking to end a three-game losing streak after going down to the Eagles on Saturday evening. They weren’t too bad, but they just weren’t quite good enough to seriously challenge the reigning champs. Unfortunately, you’d expect that to be the case again this weekend when they play 2018’s other grand finalist; you know what you’ll get from the Saints this year: they’ll work hard and give it everything they’ve got, but they’re not the most talented team, so there will be skill errors and ugly mistakes. Those mistakes will end up costing them against good sides; that’s the way it was against the Eagles, and I’d expect a similar result against the Pies this weekend.

Betting tip: Collingwood By 25+ @ $1.80 (TopBetta)


Brisbane vs Adelaide

2:10pm AEST, The Gabba
View a detailed form guide for Brisbane vs Adelaide


After a slow start to the season the Crows have now put together a decent body of work, most recently knocking off the Power in Saturday evening’s showdown. They’re back to resembling something like the team that made the 2017 grand final, and while they’ve still got a long way to go to reach those heights, sitting third on the ladder after eight rounds is a good starting point. This week they travel to Brisbane to take on another top eight aspirant in what is sure to be a tough game; the Lions will be disappointed they couldn’t take advantage of numerous opportunities in the first half against the Bulldogs, which would’ve given them a significant lead. Instead, they missed easy shots and allowed the Dogs back into the contest, and the Dogs ultimately made them pay. The blustery conditions in Ballarat probably didn’t suit them all that well; they’ll be looking forward to returning to the Gabba to test themselves against a team that is proving really difficult to score against.

It should be a fascinating game of footy; the Lions can play some great footy at the Gabba, while the Crows are in the best form they’ve been in for a long while. If the Lions can somehow find a way to get through the resilient Adelaide defence and make the most of their chances, they might trouble the Crows; if they blow golden opportunities like they did against the Dogs, they’re no chance. I think it’ll be a relatively close game but suspect the in-form Crows might be slightly too good for the younger Lions.

Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $2.12 (BetFair)


Geelong vs Western Bulldogs

4:35pm AEST, GMHBA
View a detailed form guide for Geelong vs Western Bulldogs


The Cats continued their ultra-impressive start to the year on Sunday afternoon, fending off the determined Kangaroos by four goals. Second-year superstar Tim Kelly was dominant again, while the little master Gary Ablett made his presence felt in more ways than one. Patrick Dangerfield still looked a little ginger but managed a solid game, and while skipper Joel Selwood was a late-in and then a late-out, you’d expect both will be right to play this weekend at the Cattery.

The Dogs will be full of confidence after a win at their second home, Ballarat, against a talented Lions team. The Dogs were looking shaky in the second quarter, but a late second term burst got them back in the game and in front at half time thanks to an Aaron Naughton goal after the siren. Naughton’s game mirrored his team’s day: he was quiet in the first half, before working his way into the contest and having a deciding impact in the second half. He’s now kicked eight goals in two weeks, so you’d expect the strong Geelong defence to put plenty of work into him this week to make his life difficult. He doesn’t have much support, so if they’re successful in shutting him down the Cats will find half their job done, and that’s the biggest problem with the Dogs at present. They rely on too few to do too much, and while that’s been a similar problem for Geelong over the last few years, they seem to have sorted things out this year; they’ve now got a really even contribution from their 22 players, and that’s why they sit a game clear atop the ladder. They’ve still got plenty of stars, but it’s the younger, lesser players standing up that has propelled them to premiership favouritism. They’re not going to lose many games at home this year, particularly not to a middle-of-the-road team like the Dogs; I expect they’ll win this comfortably.

Betting tip: Geelong By 25+ @ $1.60 (TopBetta)


Essendon vs Fremantle

7:25pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Essendon vs Fremantle


Essendon’s season is rapidly turning into another disappointment, and it’s easy to see why fans are frustrated: they play blistering football for two or three weeks and then revert to average, stagnant footy for the next month. They should’ve been good enough to beat the Swans on Friday night, but they didn’t play anywhere close to their best and that might come back to haunt them towards the end of the year. Perhaps they should’ve received a free kick to win the game due to Dane Rampe climbing the post, but if that’s what you’re relying on to win a game of footy against a team struggling as much as the Swans are, you’re in big trouble. Things aren’t looking great for them on the injury front either; Devon Smith is set to spend a chunk of time on the sidelines with a knee issue, with Orazio Fantasia joining him as his battle for continuity drags on.

The Dockers have had a disappointing week of their own, being completely out-played by a hungrier Richmond team on Sunday afternoon. Considering the players Richmond had missing this was Fremantle’s game to lose, and while the Tigers were undoubtedly good, Fremantle did exactly that, losing the game due to a lack of pressure and intensity. They’ll need to fix that this week if they’re to beat the Bombers away from home; in fact, whichever team brings the heat should win this game. Both teams are susceptible when under pressure, so whichever team can cause the most turnovers will be in the box seat, as simple as that. I’m backing the Bombers to lift at home, but if Freo can put them under immense pressure then it’s anyone’s game.

Betting tip: Essendon to win @ $1.47 (BetFair)


North Melbourne vs Sydney

7:25pm AEST, Blundstone Arena
View a detailed form guide for North Melbourne vs Sydney


The Swans finally managed their second win of the season and while it wasn’t a perfect performance by any means, there were some encouraging signs for the future. They’re got a chance to make it two in a row when they take on the Roos in Hobart this weekend, and while playing North in Tassie is generally a tough ask, they’ll back themselves against the Kangaroos at the moment. Neither team is playing great footy, although North put in a pretty decent effort against the Cats on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t enough to beat the ladder-leaders, but they did push them all the way to the end. There’s still no Buddy Franklin for Sydney, and the Roos will receive some defensive reinforcements with Scott Thompson, Luke McDonald, and Marley Williams all returning to the side.

I don’t think this game is going to be a highlight of the weekend’s footy, but it’s a winnable game for both clubs. The Tassie factor probably pushes it further in North’s favour, but if not for that it’d almost be a 50/50 game; I reckon North will get up by around three goals or so.

Betting tip: North Melbourne to win @ $1.52 (Sportsbet)

Sunday, May 19


Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast

1:10pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast


The Suns have now disappointingly lost four consecutive games, and really, that should not be the case; when you’re up by a goal with forty seconds left, you shouldn’t be losing. Worst case scenario is a draw, but a loss is almost unfathomable. How they allowed Melbourne to waltz out of the centre square twice consecutively to have shots at goal will be the topic of serious debate at Gold Coast HQ this week, but unfortunately there’s no overturning the heartbreaking loss. They need to re-group as quickly as possible for this week’s contest with Port, which will be at the more hostile Adelaide Oval rather than in Shanghai this year. The Power will be looking to bounce back from a showdown loss to Adelaide; they need a win now to keep in touch with the top eight, and with three winnable games before the bye their season could go either way from here.

Playing a Gold Coast side missing Pearce Hanley and Touk Miller should help; after a bright start to the year, Gold Coast are battling away now and may have wasted their best chance for a win last week against the Demons, because you wouldn’t think they’ll get close to Port in this one.

Betting tip: Port Adelaide (-34.5) @ $1.91 (BetEasy)


Richmond vs Hawthorn

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


This will be one of the most interesting games of the round, after both clubs managed to overcome the odds for a victory last weekend. It was a much needed win for both of them, and those wins will definitely raise the interest for this Sunday afternoon; you’d suspect some Hawks fans will be disappointed they didn’t make the effort to attend last week, perhaps not believing their team was a chance to beat the Giants. It was a pitiful crowd for one of the biggest clubs in the league, but that won’t be an issue this weekend. Whether the Hawks can win again is another issue, with the Tigers sure to challenge them more than the Giants did.

Richmond were surprisingly good in their win over the Dockers in Perth; they were undermanned, but they brought their trademark pressure and really hunted the Dockers when the ball was in dispute. It resulted in a big win for the club after a completely lacklustre performance the previous week. Hawthorn’s win was equally impressive, albeit in a different manner: where the Tigers were manic, the Hawks were calm and composed, executing their plan to absolute perfection. They didn’t allow the Giants to get their hands on the footy, and it worked beautifully. It was a similar game style to the one Collingwood have used to great effect against the Tigers, so it’ll be interesting to see if it works again this week. I suspect the Tigers might put too much pressure on the Hawks for them to properly execute it, and that should allow the Tigers enough opportunities to kick a winning score.

While Richmond are set to lose ruckman Toby Nankervis for an extended period, the returning Daniel Rioli and Nick Vlastuin are two of their most important players. I think it’ll be an arm wrestle for a while before the Tigers get on top and win by five or six goals.

Betting tip: Richmond to win @ $1.74 (BetFair)


GWS Giants vs Carlton

4:40pm AEST, Sydney Showground Stadium
View a detailed form guide for GWS Giants vs Carlton


The final game of the round sees the Giants hosting Carlton, and after such a poor effort at the MCG, the Giants will be very happy they get to return to NSW this week. The belting they copped from Hawthorn will have dented their confidence to some degree, so a home game against the bottom-placed Blues is probably the best match-up they could’ve hoped for this week. Still, Carlton showed on the weekend that they are capable of challenging good teams, and with a bit of luck could have potentially beaten the Pies. It wasn’t to be and they lacked some composure in the end, but sooner or later they’ll start winning those close games occasionally.

I don’t think they’ll get the chance this week however; the Giants are a different team at home, and they’ll be desperate to make amends. They need to sort out their MCG woes if they’re to make any significant impact on the 2019 season, but let’s not forget how good they can be on their day. They’re the sort of team who will absolutely crush lesser opponents on their home deck, and unfortunately that’s how I see this one panning out on Sunday. The Blues were great against Collingwood last week, but I think this might be a down week for them; I’m going with the Giants to win by plenty.

Betting tip: GWS By 40+ @ $2.10 (TopBetta)


Best Bets of the Round

GWS By 40+ @ $2.10 (TopBetta)


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