Port Adelaide v Geelong Cats
Port host Geelong at Adelaide Oval in what shapes as a blockbuster for a surprise (and welcome) return to Thursday night footy. The Power come off two wins, but they’ve been far from convincing – limping past Collingwood before beating poor travellers Fremantle at home. Geelong are on a four-game winning streak, but likewise, those wins haven’t signalled they are a team in top gear. The Cats bring in four big guns, headlined by Patrick Dangerfield. Mark Blicavs, Mitch Duncan and Mark O’Connor also return from injury. However, Cam Guthrie was unable to prove his fitness and will miss another week. There’s no real theme in recent encounters between these two to suggest any one team has a distinct advantage. With such important inclusions for the Cats, they are a must bet as underdogs.
Suggested bet – 2u Geelong win at $2
Sydney Swans v Hawthorn Hawks
Sydney should have no trouble breezing past the lowly Hawks in front of a home crowd at the SCG. The Swans have been pressing for a top four spot and now hold a 6-0 record against interstate sides at home. The Hawks have only tasted victory twice this year and are currently in the midst of a five-game losing streak. Nothing about the rebuilding Hawks’ past performances suggest they’ll get near the Swans.
Suggested bet – 1u Swans -32.5 at $1.90
Fremantle Dockers v Gold Coast Suns
These two sides are playing a level of footy at a very similar mark this year, with the Suns having four wins and the Dockers five. Whilst this is being played on the Dockers home deck, they are a side ravaged by injury, which has been exacerbated by Nat Fyfe going down last week. The Suns were hit by injury earlier in the season, but they’ll be significantly bolstered by the return of young gun Matt Rowell. These two sides have only played at this venue once in recent years, where the Suns were very competitive until the Dockers took hold in the final quarter. The Suns have also won the past two overall encounters between these two sides. The injury losses for the Dockers, coupled by the huge inclusion of Rowell swings this one in the Suns’ favour.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Gold Coast win at $1.92
St Kilda Saints v Adelaide Crows
The Crows have lost seven of their past eight, and while there’s been some creditable performances peppered among those defeats, they simply are failing to get the job done. At the start of the season, the hyped-up Saints would’ve been clear favourites for this one, but they’ve limped along throughout the first half of the season. They showed improvement against a quality Swans side last week and we’re largely denied victory due to inaccuracy. This is a hard one to line up – made even tougher by the game being played in Cairns.
No suggested bet
North Melbourne Roos v Greater Western Sydney Giants
The Kangaroos have lost 18 of their last 19 so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise the Giants should be way too good here. The Giants have enjoyed a resurgence after a horrible start to the year, and have now won five of their past eight, which includes last week’s loss to Brisbane and a close defeat to Richmond. It was a little concerning how uncompetitive they were against the Lions, but it should mean they’ll be raring to bounce back. Toby Greene, Phil Davis and Matt de Boer further boost the Giants who should be far too good for the Roos.
Suggested bet – 2u Giants -24.5 at $1.90
West Coast Eagles v Richmond Tigers
A cracking Sunday night clash in Perth, with the Eagles fresh off shaking the tag of being unable to win away from home. Last week’s win over Carlton in Melbourne should inject further confidence into a side which has been dominant on home turf this season, losing only once. That one loss came a fortnight ago when the Dons pulled off a miraculous comeback. I’m not too sure what to make of the Eagles this year. They are unpredictable, and I’m also hesitant to read too much into beating an under-pressure Carlton last week. Richmond is playing similarly patchy footy but recorded wins over Adelaide and Essendon in recent weeks. I’m not overly keen on this match, but at the price I’ll happy to have something small on the Eagles. The last time Richmond ventured to Perth to meet the Eagles they’ve been demoralised by 50+ points. The Eagles also have some key inclusions with Oscar Allen and Josh Kennedy adding goal-kicking firepower.
Suggested bet – 0.5u Eagles win at $2.10
Melbourne Demons v Collingwood Magpies
An interesting Monday tussle with the main talking point being how the Pies react to coach and favourite son Nathan Buckley stepping down from his role. The Pies face a Melbourne side which has moved seamlessly back into winning form after their only slip-up of the season came at the hands of the Crows three weeks ago. The Pies come off a stirring win over Adelaide away from home, and interestingly, they have won four of their past five against the Demons. It’s clear this is a very different Melbourne outfit in 2021, and while the Demons should have far too much firepower and cohesion’s across the ground, I’m wary of how the Pies respond to Buckley’s departure so happy to sit this one out.
No suggested bet