Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide Power

Friday 20/8/21

Cracking contest to kick off the round with third-placed Port coming up against a fourth-placed Bulldogs side looking to get out of a slump. After consecutive losses to Essendon and Hawthorn, there’s cause for concern with the Dogs, but they are still favourites here. There’s plenty on the line with a top two spot up for grabs and I’m confident the Dogs will return to their best back at Marvel under lights and be too good for an in-form Port side which has won eight of its past nine.

Suggested bet: 2.5u Bulldogs -4 at $1.90

Richmond Tigers v Hawthorn Hawks

Saturday 21/8/21

Both sides won’t play finals but an interesting clash nonetheless, with the Tigers making nine changes. The Hawks have won their last three and now have Jaeger O’Meara, Luke Breust and James Worpel returning. However, the Tigers have won this clash four of the past five times so it will take a big effort for the Hawks to continue their late season surge and string four wins on the bounce. The market has really factored in the Tigers’ changes and the fact the Hawks will likely want to send coach Clarkson out on a winning note. I can’t have anything to do with the Hawks at that price, but the Tigers big omissions make it hard to back them with any confidence either.

No suggested bet

Sydney Swans v Gold Coast Suns

Saturday 21/8/21

Some big inclusions for the Swans with superstar forward Lance Franklin returning, along with defender Jake Lloyd and midfielder Callum Mills. Interestingly, the Suns have won this fixture on the past two occasions – and all by 30+ margins. This is a clash which typifies just how hard the AFL season has been on the tipping front as both sides have scored some surprise upset wins this season, while also mixing in some totally unexpected losses. The Swans are a shrewd team and with the top four spot not totally out of the question at time of writing, they should be making easy work of the Suns if they are legitimate flag contenders.

Suggested bet: 1.5u Swans -28.5 at $1.85

Brisbane Lions v West Coast Eagles

Saturday 21/8/21

The Lions appear to have their mojo back and with Lachie Neale back in the fray have their midfield firing and look sure to be premiership contenders. It means they should just be too good for a flailing West Coast which has lost its past three to be on the brink of missing finals. The Eagles have also lost a swag of key players with Jeremy McGovern (hip) and Josh Kennedy (finger) out, along with important defender Brad Sheppard (concussion) and star midfielder Tim Kelly (knee). The Lions go in unchanged and will be hungry to keep their momentum up for finals.

Suggested bet: 3u Lions -37.5 at $1.90

Geelong Cats v Melbourne Demons

Saturday 21/8/21

A mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash on the eve of finals with the minor premiership up for grabs for either Melbourne and Geelong. Some interesting changes for the Cats with veteran midfielder Shaun Higgins managed, along with big man Esava Ratugolea and youngster Zach Guthrie both dropped to make way for returning forwards Gary Rohan and Gryan Miers. There’s changes at the Demons too with key defender Steven May, tall forward Tom McDonald and midfielder Jack Viney back for this clash. These two sides met earlier in the year and the Demons’ strong closing term secured victory at the MCG. Home ground advantage for the Cats makes this a slightly different story, although that hasn’t been a huge factor in this COVID-disrupted season. Still, I think it must be a bet on the Cats.

Suggested bet: 2.5u Geelong win at $1.93

Carlton Blues v Greater Western Sydney Giants

Saturday 21/8/21

With a finals spot on the line, the Giants should be able to extend their dominance over the Blues. The Giants have defeated the Blues in eight of their last nine encounters and now get gun forward Toby Greene back for this clash. While the Blues get Patrick Cripps back and will be looking to send off legend Eddie Betts with a win, I find it hard to see them having the class and game plan to score an upset.

Suggested bet: 2u Giants -21.5 at $1.90

St Kilda Saints v Fremantle Dockers

Sunday 22/8/21

A finals spot could still be on the line by the time this pair line up, but I’m confident it’ll be the Saints too good for the Dockers. While big Max King’s omission from the Saints is a blow, they still have enough forward firepower to cover him and take the four points. These two have a history of close games, but I think the Saints are better suited at Blundstone Arena.

Suggested bet: 3u Saints win at $1.71

Essendon Bombers v Collingwood Magpies

Sunday 22/8/21

Collingwood has lost four of its past five and have lost eight of its last 10 at the MCG. It paves the way for the Bombers to potentially keep their season alive. The Bombers have also won the past two against the Pies and their best footy is right up there with the best sides in season 2021. I think this will be an easy win for the Bombers.

Suggested bet: 1.5u Essendon -21.5 at $1.90

Adelaide Crows v North Melbourne Kangaroos

Sunday 22/8/21

Two cellar dwellers face off here but it has the potential to be an entertaining clash. The Crows continue to show they can match it with the top sides for periods of a game, while the Roos have exceeded most expectations in the latter half of the year. Still, they’ve lost six of their last seven, but likewise the Crows have lost seven of their past eight. The market has this about right – it’s near impossible to split these two.

No suggested bet