Gold Coast Suns v Richmond Tigers

Thursday 1/7/2021

One of the major reshuffles in this COVID-ravaged fixture comes first up with the Suns ‘hosting’ the reigning premiers at Marvel Stadium. The Suns will be without ruckman Zac Smith (concussion) and onballers Noah Anderson (hand) and Hugh Greenwood (personal reasons) unavailable. Co-captain David Swallow returns from concussion as some consolation. For Richmond, Tom Lynch’s inclusion will cause headaches for an already flimsy Suns’ defence and David Astbury will bolster their defence. However, there’s a string of outs with Noah Balta, Nathan Broad, Prestia and Kane Lambert all missing through injury. Richmond hasn’t lost to the Suns since 2014, but they come off two losses including a drubbing at the hands of St Kilda last week which sounded alarm bells on their premiership defence. But their woes are nothing compared to the Suns, who have lost six of their last seven, including last week’s loss to the Kangaroos. This clash is difficult to find a bet, with past performances between these two switching from easy Richmond wins to the Suns being competitive. The six-goal head start most likely won’t be enough for the Suns, even though there are concerns lingering around how well the Tigers are going.

Suggested bet – 0.5 Tigers -30.5 at $1.90

Geelong Cats v Essendon Bombers

Friday 2/7/21

The Cats’ six-game winning streak came to a screeching halt last week going down meekly to the Lions in Brisbane. They return back to GMHBA Stadium for this clash with the Dons – a venue they’ve lost only once from their last 15 games. Essendon’s mid-season revival has hit a small bump in the past few weeks, losing two of their past three, but they were against quality sides in Melbourne and Richmond. Geelong has some key personnel changes Geelong with Mark O’Connor injured and Shaun Higgins and Esava Ratugolea rested. But there’s no changes to their potent forward line which should cases big headaches for the leaky Essendon backs.

Suggested bet – 1u Geelong -26.5 at $1.90

Melbourne Demons v Greater Western Sydney Giants

Saturday 3/7/21

The Demons have won their last nine clashes in Melbourne and return to the MCG for this Saturday afternoon tussle. They face a Giants outfit which unexpectedly fell to the Hawks last weekend, a loss which puts a sizeable dent in their finals hopes. Now they face one of the leading premiership fancies and they’ll have to do it without ruckman Shane Mumford. This gives Mumford’s Melbourne counterpart Max Gawn an opportunity to dominate and give the silky Demon midfielders first use. While I think the Demons should get the points, the plucky Giants have shown glimpse of high quality footy during periods this season. And despite the Demons strong win-loss record, they haven’t been putting sides away. I think the Giants can be competitive here and get away with the head start.

Suggested bet – 1.5u Giants +29.5 at $1.85

Adelaide Crows v Brisbane Lions

Saturday 3/7/21

With the COVID fiasco quietening down in Adelaide, home ground advantage has been confirmed for the Crows. They face a Lions team which has recorded just one blip in recent months when suffering a shock loss to the Kangaroos. Whilst the Crows have shown potential and delivered exciting footy, they still remain with only five wins to their name all season. They will likely be competitive for a couple of quarters, but inevitably outclassed.

No suggested bet

Hawthorn Hawks v Port Adelaide Power

Saturday 3/7/21

It’s a tough ask for the Hawks to celebrate Shaun Burgoyne’s 400th game in winning style at Marvel Stadium. But after two wins from their past three matches, the Hawks have hit a purple patch of mid-season form. Similarly, Port has also found some form, winning four of its past five, but this shapes as a ‘must win’ if they want anything to do with the top four. The Hawks’ chances have been dealt a blow losing young gun Will Day, forward Chad Wingard and young gun Denver Grainger-Barras to injury. It should pave the way for a Port victory.

Suggested bet – 2u Port win at $1.37

Fremantle Dockers v Carlton Blues

Saturday 3/7/21

Even though Fremantle lose home ground advantage by playing this clash in Melbourne, I’m shocked they are not favourites for this stoush with Carlton. Fremantle get superstar Nat Fyfe back from injury, but they do lose injured forward Matt Taberner. As for the Blues, they’ve recalled tall forward Levi Casboult but will be without co-captain Sam Docherty and veteran Marc Murphy to injury. Much-touted recruit Zac Williams is out due to suspension. These two sides met earlier in the year and it was a dominant victory to the Blues, but prior to that, Fremantle has been very competitive in these encounters. This is a huge chance for Freo to prove they are genuine finals contenders in 2021.

Suggested bet – 3u Fremantle win at $1.95

Sydney Swans v West Coast Eagles

Sunday 4/7/21

A tightly-matched contest between two modern rivals. Sydney has lost its past two, and now six of its last 10 after a strong start to the season. As for the Eagles they were trounced by the Doggies and are now proving one of the most difficult sides to catch this season. With this one being played on neutral territory, it’s near-impossible to have a bet here. The Swans have a better record at this stadium, but I think the market has this one about spot on.

No suggested bet

Collingwood Magpies v St Kilda Saints

Sunday 4/7/21

What do we make of the Saints after they thumped Richmond last week? The form line already looks flimsy with the Tigers going down to the Suns on Thursday night. However, at their best, I believe they’re a better side than the Pies. While the Pies have won the last two encounters between these two by big margins, they’re yet to win at this venue in their past five starts. Happy to have something on the Saints as slight outsiders.

Suggested bet – 0.5u St Kilda win at $1.97

Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne Kangaroos

Sunday 4/7/21

After creditable recent performances down in Tasmania, this is likely where the Kangaroos thud back down to earth. They haven’t won in nine games at Marvel Stadium and the high-flying Bulldogs should ensure that extends to 10. The Dogs come off a huge win in Perth over the Eagles and I doubt its as gruelling a road trip as it once was due to the teams being more comfortable travelling these days. The Kangaroos have been wiped by the Dogs to the tune of 49 and 128 points in recent games and that trend should continue. When the Dogs get going, they can really put sides to the sword and I think they’ll do the same here.

Suggested bet – 1u Bulldogs -49.5 at $1.90