The following are previews with betting tips for Round 13 of the 2019 AFL season.
Thursday, June 13
Adelaide vs Richmond
7:50pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
Thursday night footy is back and there’s plenty on the line in this massive clash at the Adelaide Oval. The Tigers were once again made to look pedestrian by one of the competition’s stronger teams, while the Crows had their best win of the season last week, defeating fellow premiership contender GWS at the Adelaide Oval. Both clubs now sit on seven wins, but there’s a big difference in terms of percentage, not to mention confidence: the Crows have had two big wins in-a-row and are beginning to believe they can challenge in 2019; the Tigers have lost their last two in disappointing circumstances, faltering as they approach the mid-season bye. They’re still dealing with injury and form, and the news doesn’t get much better this week with captain Trent Cotchin to miss another game, and the ever-reliable Shane Edwards to join him.
The Tigers need to get back to their best by hunting in packs and applying manic pressure, but their recent performances don’t instil any confidence that they’re capable of turning things around soon. The in-form Crows, playing in front of their home crowd, are probably going to be too much for the Tigers to deal with right now. And that’s fine, but they need to find a way to keep the margin down: all their losses this year have been significant, and it’s hurting their percentage. You can’t call yourself a premiership contender when you’re consistently losing by over six goals; let’s see if the Tigers can stop the rot without some of their leaders.
Betting tip: Adelaide (-22.5) @ $1.88 (TopBetta)
Friday, June 14
Essendon vs Hawthorn
7:50pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
This is a crucial game for these two clubs, who are currently sitting just outside of the top eight on five wins apiece. The bye week will have given them an opportunity to reflect on the season to date, and to get some much needed rest into key players, with both sides having struggled with injury so far in 2019. The Bombers will this week regain star forwards Jake Stringer and Orazio Fantasia and key midfielder Dylan Shiel, while the Hawks get big Ben McEvoy back but star recruit Chad Wingard returns to the sidelines with another soft-tissue injury.
It’ll be interesting to see how these clubs respond to having a week off; now is no time to take the foot off the pedal, in fact, the next month is likely to decide whether these clubs will or won’t play finals footy this year. I’m yet to be convinced by either team: the Bombers have the talent but lack the structure or application, while the Hawks have the nous and the determination, but lack some top-end talent. That should make this an interesting clash; I’m leaning towards the Hawks because I think they’ll be able to shut down Essendon’s outside run and play their favoured ‘keepings-off’ style of footy, but it should be a tight contest. If the Bombers can break the shackles, they’ve got plenty of scoring power, but I think the dour Hawks defenders might just win out.
Betting tip: Hawthorn to win @ $2.22 (Bet365)
Saturday, June 15
Gold Coast vs St Kilda
1:45pm AEST, Riverway Stadium
The timing of St. Kilda’s bye was perfect, not only because it was after the long trip to Shanghai and back, but because the Saints were sick and sorry and thoroughly beaten up by the Power. They’ve now had a chance to re-group, and there’s plenty of good news coming out of Moorabin as they head into this week: Jack Steven is back at the club after an extended mental health break, Jake Carlisle returns to the VFL for this first game of the season, and Dan Hannebery only needs to get through one more VFL game before he’s available for senior selection. They’re only a win and percentage outside of the eight, and with a game against the struggling Suns this week they could be banging down the door with some handy inclusions next weekend.
The Suns will be hoping the bye is just as rejuvenating for them once they get there; a win this weekend would ensure a blissful next week off, but that’s unlikely to be the case. They need a circuit breaker, and the work the coaches put in over the week off will be crucial in determining how the Suns attack the second half of the season. If they can reinvigorate the playing group and come up with some left-field ideas to action when they come back, the Suns could nab a few more wins and make something of their year. If not, it could be a long back-half of the season for the Suns. Whatever the case may be, I expect they’ll need the week off to make changes and that the Saints will get better of them this week, although it will be interesting to see how the Saints gel after making so many changes to last week’s team.
Betting tip: St Kilda to win @ $1.65 (BetEasy)
Fremantle vs Port Adelaide
4:35pm AEST, Optus Stadium
Speaking of huge games with plenty at stake; there is none bigger this weekend than Saturday afternoon’s clash between Port Adelaide and Fremantle. Both these clubs are well-poised to finish in the top eight if they can take their chances, but there’s so much yet to play out. Both clubs have six wins to this point, and with tricky assignments awaiting next week, it goes without saying that this shapes as a crucial contest for both clubs. The Dockers have won two in-a-row after going through a form slump, while Port have been up-and-down for most of the year. A big win over the Saints in Shanghai was a great building block for them, but they need to continue on with that form and nab some wins in contests where they’re not expected to get the four points.
This is one of those games, but it’s definitely winnable if they’re on their game; Port have already won in the west, stunning the Eagles earlier on in the season, so the confidence will be there. I’m not sure they’ll be able to do it again — the Dockers are in decent form at present and match up very differently to West Coast. Both teams have some welcome inclusions, with Stephen Hill returning for the Dockers and Hamish Hartlett for the Power. It should be a great game of footy, but I reckon the home team will prevail.
Betting tip: Fremantle to win @ $1.77 (BetEasy)
Carlton vs Western Bulldogs
7:25pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
The Blues finally got their second win over the season, and it came in somewhat dramatic circumstances. Initially, the first game post-Brendan Bolton’s sacking looked to be following a familiar script, with the Lions kicking out to a six goal lead early in the contest. But the Blues dug in and fought back, led by inspirational skipper Patrick Cripps, and what looked like being another dark day turned into something special. It’s relieved the pressure on the club and the players, and now they can play with some added freedom for the rest of the year, or at least for the next month.
And they’ve got another winnable game this week when they face off against the Dogs, the only other team they’ve beaten in 2019. That game was a disaster for Luke Beveridge’s men, and you’d expect them to have studied the tapes and to be on a mission to make amends on Saturday evening. I expect it’ll be a close game; the Blues match up well against the Dogs, with their tall forwards providing the Dogs with plenty of headaches, but I don’t think they’ll get the same supply they did last time. The Dogs will surely come out less lethargic this weekend, and if they bring their best footy they should be able to topple the Blues, though I do think it’ll go right down to the wire. The Dogs by two goals.
Betting tip: Western Bulldogs By 1-39 @ $2.30 (TopBetta)
Sunday, June 16
North Melbourne vs GWS Giants
3:20pm AEST, Blundstone Arena
North have now won three consecutive games, but their quest for a fourth will be difficult — the third-placed Giants await them. The game being played in Hobart gives them some hope, but the shoulder injury suffered by star midfielder Shaun Higgins makes it extremely unlikely they’ll be able to contend with a team as good as the Giants. Not to mention that the Giants are on the rebound from a tough loss to the Crows last weekend, and GWS generally don’t have two poor games in-a-row.
This will be a massive test for caretaker coach Rhyce Shaw; if he can find a way to make the Kangaroos seriously competitive in this contest it’ll be a feather in his cap, but his younger brother and his GWS teammates will make things very difficult. The Roos need to find a way to stop the dangerous GWS forwards, but other than Robbie Tarrant, I’m not sure they’ve got the defensive talent to do it. I reckon this might be a let-down for the Roos after a really solid month, but there will be no shame in that, provided they don’t let it blow out to a huge loss.
Betting tip: GWS By 1-39 @ $2.35 (TopBetta)
Best Bets of the Round
GWS By 1-39 @ $2.35 (TopBetta)