St Kilda Saints v Carlton Blues
Carlton finally gets exciting pair Charlie Curnow with Harry McKay back together to form an exciting forward line once again, but will it be enough to counter an improving Saints? Despite losing their past two, the Saints are surging towards finals and have won their past five here at Marvel. Carlton is no doubt capable at their absolute best, but I believe the Saints are the better team of the two and will be hungry to return to the winners’ circle and get their finals aspirations back on track. The Saints also have a strong recent record over a Carlton side which we must remember fell to the cellar-dwelling Roos last weekend.
Suggested bet – 1.5u St Kilda -11.5 at $1.90
Western Bulldogs v Adelaide Crows
Adelaide faces the Bulldogs in a cold and empty Ballarat and the market unsurprisingly suggests this will be a one-sided affair. It should be an automatic win for the Bulldogs, however the Crows have proven they can mix it with the better teams (example – beating the Demons earlier this year). While I can entertain the possibility of a closer-than-expected affair, the Bulldogs have been a real bogey side for the Crows in recent encounters, going down by big margins. Dunkley is a big inclusion also for the Dogs so I’ll stay out here.
No suggested bet
North Melbourne Kangaroos v Geelong Cats
Geelong seems to be hitting their straps at the right part of the season and their easy run of games appears to continue here against the Roos. But I’m not sure it’ll be the walk in the park many expect. The Roos are building something positive, evidenced by winning three of their past five and beating Carlton convincingly last weekend. Veteran defender Robbie Tarrant returns for the Dogs but Zurhaar, Thomas and Cunnington are among a list of key players unavailable for the trip to Tasmania. Higgins is back for the Cats to play his 250th game against his former side while Joel Selwood is also named, but Lachie Henderson and Gryan Miers miss due to injury. While I’m keen on the +36.5 line for the Roos, their key outs are a concern. This is a big test for the Roos but they are a side playing with an air of confidence. Let’s hope that continues.
Suggested bet – 1u Kangaroos +36.5 at $1.90
Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne Demons
Originally scheduled for Darwin, this game will now take place at Metricon Stadium, meaning a home game for the Suns against Melbourne. However, Suns have failed in each of their last nine attempts against the Demons and it’s hard to see that changing here. Melbourne will be hungry to atone last week’s loss to the Dogs, which came mainly at the hands of poor kicking in front of goal. The Suns took it to the Lions in the first half last week but fell in a hole in the second. They have also taken it to the Demons in the two recent times they met, but with plenty at stake, I think they’ll have their work cut out to be competitive.
Suggested bet – 2u Melbourne -25.5 at $1.90
Collingwood Magpies v West Coast Eagles
Collingwood welcomes back Jeremy Howe, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Chris Mayne and Josh Thomas – four important inclusions. While much has been made of the Eagles poor form away from home, the Pies have lost seven of their last eight matches here at the MCG. The Eagles will also be wanting to honour skipper and stalwart Shannon Hurn who plays his 300th game. They should have too much class but the odds are certainly skinny given the key inclusions for the Pies and the fact Liam Ryan will leave a void across half forward for the Eagles.
Suggested bet – 1u West Coast -6.5 at $1.90
Essendon Bombers v Sydney Swans
A must-win game for both sides with the Swans pushing for the top four, and Essendon hoping to keep their finals prospects alive. The Swans are airborne after winning their past four and have proven capable of putting sides away in 20 minutes of scintillating footy. As for the Bombers, three wins from their past five has put a dent in their finals hopes. These two sides have produced extremely even contests in recent times, with the past four being decided by 10 points or less. I’m putting faith in the Swans being the better side and also more suited at the Gabba. They smashed the Lions here in their only match at this venue this season, while the Bombers were destroyed by the Lions in their only crack at this ground in 2021.
Suggested bet – 2.5 Swans -18.5 at $1.90
Hawthorn Hawks v Brisbane Lions
The Lions head down to Tassie to take on the Hawks this Sunday and are rightful short-priced favourites. Last week it was a tale of two halves for the Lions as they looked set for a shock loss to the Suns, before storming home in the second half to win comfortably. Perhaps that was the wake-up call the Lions needed to continue their charge to September. The Lions have also won their last seven matches played during the day. The trick is the Hawks have been competitive against the Lions in recent outings, even pulling off an upset victory last year. However, there’s much more at stake here for the Lions with a chance to really cement a top four spot and push for the top two.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Lions -28.5 at $1.90
Greater Western Sydney Giants v Port Adelaide Power
A very tricky contest but the Power have proven a solid betting proposition this season. The Giants have also been a team worth following at the right time but have dropped games they simply shouldn’t if they want to be serious finals contenders. While the Giants get Toby Greene back, I’m still concerned about their forward line’s ability to kick a decent score. Orazio Fantasia also returns for a Power side. While the Power won this clash last time, the Giants won these encounters the prior four times they met. I’m still not convinced where the Power are at in season 2021, they have beaten the sides they’re supposed to – but where do the Giants sit on the AFL pecking order? The odds are a little too high here for the Giants in a clash I think will be tight.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Giants win at $2.70
Fremantle Dockers v Richmond Tigers
A Sunday clash which is virtually the final chance for Richmond and Fremantle to keep their finals hopes alive. Dockers’ trio Michael Walters, Nat Fyfe and Alex Pearce are out through injury while Dion Prestia is likely to return for the Tigers. I’m still surprised Richmond have come up short-priced favourites. They travel to Perth and it’s been well-documented they are without Dustin Martin for the season remainder. The Tigers have also lost five of their last six. I think their season is absolutely over, but it’s hard to back the Dockers without Fyfe and Walters. Once those two went down last against the Swans, they went to water and were obliterated. Richmond unsurprisingly have a good record against the Dockers, but is this the same Tigers of recent years?
Suggested bet – 0.5u Fremantle win at $2.50