AFL Round 15 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 15 of the 2019 AFL season.

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Thursday, June 27


Essendon vs GWS Giants

7:20pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Essendon vs GWS Giants


The final margin would have you think the Bombers challenged the Eagles on Thursday night, but they were incredibly lucky to be so close; the Eagles smashed them in every facet of the game but were simply inaccurate in front of goal. The Bombers were always going to struggle in Perth against the reigning champs, but nevertheless it was a disappointing result. They have another Thursday night clash this week, again against strong opposition: the third-placed Giants. GWS will travel to Melbourne fresh off the bye, looking to consolidate their position in the upper echelon of the ladder. This is potentially a danger game for the Giants, but one they need to ensure they win if they’re to nab a top four finish.

The Bombers are a good team on their day, and the Giants can occasionally let themselves down, particularly in Victoria. If GWS don’t bring their best pressure game it’ll allow the Bombers to run and carry and play their free-flowing style of footy, which is hard to defend when they’re full of confidence. That’s the worst case scenario for the Giants; if they turn up to play and make sure their defensive pressure is high, they’ll be able to dominate a contested style game. That’s not Essendon’s strength, and GWS have the ability to win the contest and then make their opposition pay when the ball gets out into open space. I expect the Bombers to bring plenty of intensity early in the contest, but feel the Giants will grind them down to run out comfortable winners.

Betting tip: GWS to win @ $1.59 (BetFair)

Friday, June 28


Geelong vs Adelaide

7:50pm AEST, GMHBA
View a detailed form guide for Geelong vs Adelaide


Geelong’s post-bye curse continued into 2019, with the lacklustre Cats going down to Port on Saturday evening to record their second loss of the year. It wasn’t an ideal start to the second half of the season, but the fact is they’re still a game clear on top of the ladder and have clearly been the best team in the competition. They return home this weekend to take on the other South Australian club, and it’s shaping up to be another tough game; the Crows have been building over the past month and should be fresh after having last weekend off.

Daniel Talia is a perfect match-up for Tom Hawkins and will look to quell him again after his quiet night against Port, and the Crows’ engine room is good enough to match it with the Cats in the middle. That being said, the Cats have gelled beautifully as a team for much of the year, with each facet of the team complementing the others — the defence intercepting and rebounding quickly, the mids breaking from clearances and delivering the ball in space to the forwards, and the forward half pressuring and tackling to lock the ball in. It’s hard to beat, particularly in Geelong, and while the Crows are in good form at the minute I expect they’ll fall short in this one.

Betting tip: Geelong (-22.5) @ $1.95 (TopBetta)

Saturday, June 29


Hawthorn vs West Coast

1:45pm AEST, MCG
View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn vs West Coast


The Hawks have officially bowed out of the race for finals in 2019, losing four of their past five games to fall two wins behind the top eight. The Eagles have fared much better in the same time frame, winning four of their last five to put them right in the frame for a top four finish. They should be able to notch up another win in this one, with the Hawks presently at their lowest ebb in a long while. The Eagles have previously struggled at the MCG, but last year’s premiership win should have erased any mental demons there so that shouldn’t be an issue for them. I don’t expect it be a blow out, more of an arm wrestle that the Eagles lead all day by a couple of goals.

The return of West Coast star Nic Naitanui is the big point of interest in this game; if the Eagles can get him up and running in the next month or two their premiership chances will rise dramatically. He’ll probably take a while to get going, but his impact will be huge once he has a month of footy under his belt. Other than that, there’s not much of interest for me in this one; I think it’ll be a fairly pedestrian game of footy that the Eagles should win easily.

Betting tip: West Coast to win @ $1.60 (BetFair)


Sydney vs Gold Coast

4:35pm AEST, SCG
View a detailed form guide for Sydney vs Gold Coast


This is another contest that’ll probably lack any great excitement, with the resurgent Swans looking to make it three wins on the trot when they host the Suns at the SCG. Gold Coast would have no doubt planned a few things over the bye weekend to stop the downward spiral they’ve found themselves in — having lost their past nine games — but whether there are any changes they can make at this stage of the year that will have meaningful results is questionable; it looks like being a slow, drawn-out finish to the year for Stuart Dew and his players. They do play Carlton again before the season is out, so that might be their best chance at another win.

They’d need to be at their absolute best to knock off a team like the Swans, and I don’t think they have it in them right now. Even without Lance Franklin, Sydney would need to be right off the boil to drop this, and I feel as if they got their share of poor performances out of the way earlier in the season; I can’t see them going back to that now, especially not when they’ve got a great chance to make some ground on the top eight.

Betting tip: Sydney (-31.5) @ $1.82 (TopBetta)


Collingwood vs North Melbourne

7:25pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Collingwood vs North Melbourne


The Pies weren’t at their best against the Dogs on Sunday — in fact, coach Nathan Buckley seemed to think it was one of their worst performances for the year — but they still managed to win without too much stress. Star ruckman Brodie Grundy was again influential, and while they were admittedly down in some key areas, they’ll be pretty content that they could still overpower a determined Dogs outfit. They’ve got a similar task in front of them this weekend when they take on the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium; the Roos don’t lack effort, but probably aren’t as skilful or talented as the Pies. So long as Collingwood come to play — and I expect they’ll get a big rev-up from Buckley pre-game after his disappointment in last week — they should dispose of North without too much trouble.

Live-wire small forward Jamie Elliott will be forced to spend another week on the sidelines before his return to footy, while Jeremy Howe will miss a few games after re-injuring his calf against the Dogs. Despite the continued poor luck with injury, 2019 continues to shape up very nicely for the Pies, and they should be able to add another four points to the tally against North on Saturday.

Betting tip: Collingwood (-19.5) @ $1.86 (BetFair)


Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs

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


Port injected some real life into their season with a huge Saturday night win over the top-of-the-ladder Cats. They have now beaten some very good teams: the reigning premiers, and the best team of the regular season to date. It’s the opposite problem Port had in recent seasons, when they beat lower teams but couldn’t match it with the best. Now they can beat anyone, but they need to make sure they win enough games to ensure a finals berth, otherwise it won’t matter. This is one of those games they should win, and it’ll put them in a really good position going forward. The Dogs aren’t a bad team and will definitely provide a challenge, but their scoring woes mean they’re a team Port should be pencilling in a win against, particularly at the Adelaide Oval.

Luke Beveridge’s men were probably the better team against Collingwood on Sunday in every aspect but one: their ability to score. It’s been a problem for a long time now, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Josh Schache kicked three goals in his return to the side, but he’s one of the few Dogs capable of kicking straight. The rest of the team as a whole struggle to convert their opportunities, and that makes winning games of footy difficult. I expect this week to follow a similar script: the Dogs will try hard and win plenty of the footy, but their wastefulness in front of goal will cost them and Port will win by four or five goals.

Betting tip: Port Adelaide (-22.5) @ $1.98 (TopBetta)

Sunday, June 30


St Kilda vs Richmond

1:10pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for St Kilda vs Richmond


After three consecutive losses, the Tigers have dropped out of the top eight and are now in desperate need of a win. Things aren’t much better for the Saints; a huge loss to the Lions quickly shifts the mood from almost-comfortable to being on the edge of chaos. Which is fair enough really, because it was an unacceptable performance and one that could potentially cost Alan Richardson his job. Dan Hannebery was good in his comeback game, and Jake Carlisle wasn’t bad either, but the team as a whole was well down on previous form. Those two players will improve over the next month, but they’ll need help from the rest of the team to avoid further letdowns. This week against the Tigers is a winnable game if they bring their best footy: Richmond are vulnerable, and at Marvel Stadium the Saints have a considerable advantage.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go right down to the wire, and perhaps if the Saints had’ve faced Richmond a week or two earlier they might have stolen a victory, but with the return of Trent Cotchin, Shane Edwards, David Astbury and Kane Lambert the Tigers will probably end up being too good for the Saints this week. They’re some huge inclusions and while they might be rusty at first, it won’t take them long to get going.

Betting tip: Richmond By 1-39 @ $2.12 (TopBetta)


Brisbane vs Melbourne

3:20pm AEST, The Gabba
View a detailed form guide for Brisbane vs Melbourne


It’s been a bitterly disappointing year for the Demons, but Saturday’s win over the Dockers might prove a turning point for them. It’s obviously too late to make anything significant of 2019, but getting some confidence back for next year starts now, and the performance of spearhead Tom McDonald on Saturday would have been hugely encouraging for Melbourne fans. He has epitomised the Demons’ fall from grace over the past 12 months and his form was becoming a serious worry for Melbourne, but he turned things around against Fremantle in emphatic style. Granted it was only one game, but it’ll do his confidence the world of good and might make some of his teammates walk taller as well.

They’ve got a tough assignment this week though, having to travel to Brisbane to take on the Lions at the Gabba. Brisbane are coming off a huge win over the Saints, and it was really significant for them to do that after a poor effort against the Blues a few weeks back. By smashing the Saints they’ve allayed any fears that they might’ve been pretenders in 2019, and instead can now look back on the Carlton loss as an aberration of sorts. They should win this one fairly comfortably over the Demons, even if Melbourne are feeling confident after last week’s win: the Lions at the Gabba are a whole different task than the Dockers at the ‘G.

Betting tip: Brisbane to win @ $1.53 (BetFair)


Fremantle vs Carlton

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


Fremantle’s loss to Melbourne on Saturday might end up having grave implications for their season in a few month’s time, but for now they travel back to Perth to regroup and take on the Blues in what should be an easy assignment for them. It’s the perfect way for them to bounce back, but a big victory over Carlton probably isn’t going to tell us much about this Fremantle team. I think it’s fair to say the Dockers are a very good team in Perth, and a decent-but-not-great team away from Optus Stadium. They’ve copped a few blows on the injury front in recent times which doesn’t help, but the best teams can cover that to some degree. We’ll find out how well the Dockers can cope in the next few weeks without Jesse Hogan and Stephen Hill, but you wouldn’t think they’ll have any issues with the Blues on Sunday.

In fact, after a strong couple of performances for Carlton, this week might be David Teague’s first heavy loss as senior coach; the Dockers love grinding an opponent into the Optus Stadium turf, and they’ve done it to better teams than Carlton. And with the surprise omission of Patrick Cripps due to an ankle sprain, the Blues will be missing their best player who has carried a huge load each week for the last few years, not having missed a game since 2017. The Blues are going to struggle without him, and I’m sure the Dockers will take full advantage.

Betting tip: Fremantle By 40+ @ $3.00 (TopBetta)


Best Bets of the Round

Fremantle By 40+ @ $3.00 (TopBetta)


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