Port Adelaide Power v Collingwood Magpies

Friday 23/7/21

A must-win for the Power if they are to make any claim for the top four. Much has been made about Port’s credentials in season 2021, but the fact is they’ve now won six of their past eight. They also welcome back a trio of important youngsters, with Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma to return for this clash with the Pies, who will be without experienced quartet Chris Mayne, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Josh Thomas and Callum Brown. Losing four quality players is a big blow for the Pies and it paves the way for Port to celebrate Travis Boak’s 300th in style.

Suggested bet – 3u Port -23.5 at $1.90

Carlton Blues v North Melbourne Kangaroos

Saturday 24/7/21

Interesting clash with North having won its last four against Carlton at Marvel Stadium. There are signs both sides are starting to make improvements, with the Blues coming off a big win over Collingwood, and North winning two of their past four and losing by small margins to Essendon and the Bulldogs. There was a lot to like about the Kangaroos two weeks ago when beating the Eagles and they stuck to their guns against a flying Essendon side last week. The Blues get skipper Patrick Cripps back and perhaps even veteran Marc Murphy, while the Kangaroos get experienced midfield duo Ben Cunnington and Jed Anderson back for this clash. The Roos have covered the line 11 out of their 18 matches and I’m keen on their chances to do so again here.

Suggested bet – 1u Kangaroos win at $2.85 and 1u Kangaroos +13.5 at $1.90

Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast Suns

Saturday 24/7/21

After looking like worthy premiership favourites only a few weeks ago, the Lions have dropped two matches. They now head into this edition of the Q-Clash with a Gold Coast Suns outfit that has been playing some spirited footy in recent weeks, scoring two wins and narrowly failing to the Dogs last week. The Lions have made a mess of the Suns in this clash the past four times they’ve met and returning to the Gabba is a big plus. There’s too much at stake here for the Lions and expect them to get back to their best.

Suggested bet – 2.5u Lions -28.5 at $1.85

West Coast Eagles v St Kilda Saints

Saturday 24/7/21

Big clash here with top eight spots on the line. The Saints were unable to string four on the trot when their winning streak came to a halt against the Power last week. They were far from disgraced but had played much better in the three weeks prior. The last time these two sides met at Optus Stadium the Saints were in the contest for a long way, but that was way back in 2018 so it’s not a hugely beneficial guide. The Saints actually have a strong recent record against the Eagles and expect them to be in this one for a long way.

Suggested bets – 1u Saints win at $2.88 and 1u Saints +14.5 at $1.95

Adelaide Crows v Hawthorn Hawks

Saturday 24/7/21

Tricky clash here with the Hawks welcoming back Chad Wingard, Blake Hardwick and Jack Scrimshaw for Saturday night’s clash against Adelaide. The Crows have recalled important defender Tom Doedee. It really depends on which side turns up as both have shown glimpses of quality, despite being largely disappointing in 2021. One of the highlights of the Hawks’ season was last week’s draw against the Demons, but they’re just as likely to crash back to earth with a loss here. As for the Crows, they’ve lost four in a row and looked awful in recent weeks. Impossible to back any side with confidence here.

No suggested bet

Melbourne Demons v Western Bulldogs

Saturday 24/7/21

The highlight of the round as first plays second and the Bulldogs have gone tall for this mouth-watering table clash against Melbourne. The Dogs have recalled forward duo Josh Schache and Mitch Hannan as they look to replace Josh Dunkley. Tom Liberatore is also back for a vital clash to decide the minor premiers. Interestingly, the Dogs have lost their last three against the Demons when without Dunkley. The Demons will be hungry after last week’s surprise draw to the Hawks, while the Dogs scraped past the Suns following a loss to the Swans. There’s question marks around both sides’ recent form, but they are still clearly genuine premiership contenders. I’m happy to watch this one without betting as it could go either way.

No suggested bet

Sydney Swans v Fremantle Dockers

Sunday 25/7/21

Some key inclusions for the Swans with forward trio Sam Reid, Logan McDonald and Hayden McLean back for this clash with the Dockers. However, the Dockers also have some big ins with ruckman Sean Darcy and potent forward Matt Taberner back in the side. Sydney has now won three in a row after looking shaky mid-season, while the Dockers’ surge to finals was derailed last week when smashed by the Cats. Freo has won the past three clashes with Sydney and I give them a big change of being competitive here. The Swans only appearance at Metricon this year resulted in a heavy loss to the Suns.

Suggested bet – 1u Fremantle win at $3.40 and 1u Fremantle +20.5 at $1.90

Geelong Cats v Richmond Tigers

Sunday 25/7/21

Geelong has won its last nine matches in Victoria and lost just once from their past 10. They face a struggling Tigers side now without star Dusty Martin for the remainder of the year. Geelong’s only loss at the MCG this year came at the hands of the Demons, while the Tigers have lost five of eight at this ground in 2021.  Richmond gets Shane Edwards back from injury, but it nowhere near covers the loss of Martin. Lachie Henderson and Gary Rohan are likely to return for the Cats. The Cats appear to be building momentum for finals while the Tigers are spluttering and it’s hard to see how they regain their mojo.

Suggested bet – 2u Geelong -16.5 at $1.90

Essendon Bombers v Greater Western Sydney Giants

Sunday 25/7/21

The Bombers and Giants face off at Metricon to cap off round 19 and it will likely either make or break their seasons with both teams trying to book a place in the top eight. Dylan Shiel has been named in Essendon’s extended squad while the Giants will be aided by the handy inclusions of important duo Lachie Whitfield and Shane Mumford. The Giants will be looking to hit back after losing their way despite a strong start last week when ultimately going down to the Swans. It continued the clamps being put on the Giants’ mid-season rush to lose three from their past four, making this a must-win if they wish to play finals. In contrast, the Bombers are one of the form teams of the competition, winning six of their past nine. The past three times these two sides have met it’s been decided by a kick or less and I expect that to be replicated here. Must back the Giants as outsiders here.

Suggested bet – 1.5u Giants win at $2.26