The following are previews with betting tips for Round 13 of the 2021 AFL season.
Thursday, June 10
Port Adelaide vs Geelong
7:40pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
Round 13 kicks off with a bang when Port Adelaide host the Cats in a massive Thursday night clash between two premiership contenders. Both teams are fresh off the bye, and the Cats get some major reinforcements — headlined by Patrick Dangerfield — which should set this up to be a very entertaining game of footy. Last time these two teams met was in last year’s qualifying final when Port got the better of Geelong, but the respective teams are quite different this time around. Tom Hawkins is still spearheading the Geelong forward line, but he’s now got the very dangerous Jeremy Cameron next to him; their combination should give the Port Adelaide defence something to worry about. They did bolster the key defensive area by bringing in Aliir Aliir at the end of last season, and while he’s been fantastic, that’s probably still an area they can be vulnerable in against the very best key forwards.
On the other side of things, I think Port’s speed and ability to transition the ball quickly might bother Geelong if they can get the game on their terms. The Cats have improved in that area after a stop-start game style to begin the year, but I still see them as slightly shaky against teams that love to run and gun. The key, however, is playing good defence when you don’t have the ball, and that’s an area that Port have, at times, struggled with this year. I like the way both teams are building their season, but the Cats have been a little more convincing to this point. It still feels like Port are stretched thin through the middle due to some injuries, so until those guys return I’m going to be cautious with Port Adelaide. The home ground advantage should be significant here for Port, but I think Geelong will end up ever-so-slightly in front come the final siren.
Betting tip: Geelong to win @ $2.04 (Sportsbet)
Friday, June 11
Sydney vs Hawthorn
7:50pm AEST, SCG
The Swans continue to do enough to prove themselves as a top eight worthy team, beating the Saints last weekend in a hard-fought battle. They’re now three wins clear of ninth spot on the ladder, and a finals berth is there for the taking. They’ve got another relatively easy assignment this week against the Hawks, who are coming off the bye and will be searching for small signs of improvement in the second half of the year. One of those may come in the form of mid-year recruit Jai Newcombe, who will immediately come into the senior side to make his AFL debut.
The other thing Hawthorn will be looking for in the near future is clarity on what their coaching panel looks like for next year and beyond; Alastair Clarkson is contracted for 2022, but with Collingwood now sniffing around for a new coach there’s a real possibility he looks elsewhere for a fresh start. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, but you’d expect him to see out this season either way. In terms of this contest, the Swans should win fairly comfortably, and wouldn’t it be great to see Buddy Franklin kick a swag of goals against his former side.
Betting tip: Sydney (-32.5) @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Saturday, June 12
Fremantle vs Gold Coast
4:15pm AEST, Optus Stadium
If there’s one team that can genuinely point to injuries being an excuse this season it might just be the Dockers. Their backline has been absolutely decimated, and against the Dogs on Sunday afternoon they lost all of Nat Fyfe, Griffin Logue, Brennan Cox and Sean Darcy. The last quarter was particularly brutal, and it cost them any chance they had of defeating the Dogs. So now they have to do what they can to get themselves up for a battle against the Suns just six days later, and it goes without saying that they’re up against it.
Yes, it’s still a Perth game, which obviously means you can’t rule them out, but Fremantle are so depleted at the minute that the Suns should head into this as favourites. Gold Coast had a solid win two weeks ago against the Hawks, have refreshed over the bye week, and are set to regain young star Matt Rowell after a long lay-off. He’s already shown what he’s capable of on limited preparation, so there’s no reason why he can’t come into the team and immediately make them significantly stronger. The Dockers still have some strength in their midfield, but with Fyfe out and so many defenders on the injury list, if the Suns can at minimum break even through the clearances they should be able to kick a winning score. I’m going with the visitors by a few goals.
Betting tip: Gold Coast to win @ $1.87 (Bet365)
St Kilda vs Adelaide
7:25pm AEST, Cazaly’s Stadium
These two clubs will enter this week’s game feeling more than a little disappointed with their respective results from last weekend. The Saints battled hard all day against the Swans in Sydney and would’ve won were it not for some inaccurate kicking in front of goal, while the Crows gave Collingwood a big head start before pegging them back, only to allow the Pies to steady and run out narrow winners. So this week both clubs are looking to make amends, and it shapes up as quite an even contest so they’ll both be confident of doing just that.
The Crows will want to be wary of giving Jack Steele and Brad Crouch too much space after the pair got off the chain against Sydney, while Jack Higgins and Tim Membrey were both important up forward. Taylor Walker continues his outstanding year and will be a key focus for St Kilda, but I’m not sure there’s much you can do about Tex at the moment. That said, if the Saints get on top if the middle – which I think they will after their effort against the Swans – then they won’t have to worry too much. I’m backing the Saints to bring the same effort again this week and I think that’ll make life tough for an Adelaide team that have slowed down significantly over the past month, particularly playing outside of Adelaide.
Betting tip: St Kilda to win @ $1.91 (UniBet)
Sunday, June 13
North Melbourne vs GWS Giants
3:20pm AEST, Blundstone Arena
If the top eight isn’t already set, then the only team outside that I could see making the leap up is the Giants. They currently sit two games outside, but having played one less game due to last week’s bye they could close the gap to just four points with a win over North Melbourne on Sunday. Toby Greene will return to the side for his first game since round 9, and with a host of other important players due back over the next month there’s no reason why the Giants shouldn’t have their sights set on September action.
One thing that would help that ambition would be a nice big percentage boosting win over the Roos this weekend, and I expect that’s what we might see. It’s likely to be raining on Sunday so that might hamper this being a high-scoring contest, but I still think the Giants will dominate around the ball and will be able to force it forward often enough to put a large gap between the two teams on the scoreboard. North have been inconsistent so far this year, as you’d expect from a younger team, and while they should be ready to give a strong showing following their bye week, I expect the tough conditions will eventually wear them down and the Giants will end up comfortable winners.
Betting tip: GWS (-24.5) @ $1.91 (Bet365)
West Coast vs Richmond
7:20pm AEST, Optus Stadium
There are a couple of hugely important games for premiership aspirants this round, Thursday night between Port and Geelong being one, and this game on Sunday night between the Eagles and the Tigers being the other. Richmond look to be back on the right track, having beaten a plucky Bombers outfit in an entertaining battle last Saturday night. There were a few little signs that the Tigers are starting to turn the corner, signs that will no doubt put fear in the rest of the competition. But they’re still stuck down in eighth spot, and this clash against the Eagles will almost define how the rest of their season pans out. Do they finish in the bottom half of the top eight, or do they make a charge towards the top four and secure a double chance? Lose to the Eagles and top four becomes a pipe-dream; win, and they’re a chance.
Same goes for the Eagles, though I find it harder to see them making up enough ground regardless of whether they win this. But that doesn’t mean the stakes aren’t as high for them; West Coast are a very good side, with a bit of luck capable of winning the premiership. If they get things right at the pointy end of the year they’ll be every chance, they just need to continue notching up the wins. So can they do that against the Tigers? I think bringing the match forward a week might cost them a little, as it means Josh Kennedy might miss again, and Brad Sheppard will be out due to concussion. Fortunately Oscar Allen should be back to bolster the forward line, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough to beat the Tigers. Richmond look like they’re starting to build, and the Eagles are still so depleted I can’t see them beating the reigning champions in this one.
Betting tip: Richmond to win @ $1.73 (Sportsbet)
Monday, June 14
Melbourne vs Collingwood
3:20pm AEST, SCG
The Pies and the Demons go head to head in Sydney on the Queen’s Birthday Monday in Nathan Buckley’s final match as Collingwood coach. It’s been an eventful ride for Bucks, taking over from Mick Malthouse in a much publicised handover, then leading the Pies to a heartbreaking grand final loss to the Eagles in 2018. The writing has been on the wall for him since the beginning of this year when the Pies started poorly after a turbulent off-season, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the Collingwood footy club. They would love nothing more than to give Buckley one last win before Robert Harvey takes over as caretaker coach, but they’ll find it tough against the ladder-leading Demons.
The Dees just continue to prove themselves the best team in the competition; a week after dominating the Western Bulldogs they turned the screws on the Lions in a second half domination and proved that they’re, as of the midway point of the season, the team to beat. So while teams generally can, and do, cause upsets when a coach has announced he’s stepping down, I just can’t fathom the possibility that a team like Collingwood – who have consistently struggled to score – could end up beating the Demons, the team with the best defence in the AFL. I’d almost be surprised if the Pies can manage to scrounge out 50 points.
Betting tip: Melbourne (-29.5) @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Best Bets of the Round
Gold Coast to win @ $1.87 (Bet365)
St Kilda to win @ $1.91 (UniBet)