St Kilda Saints v Geelong Cats
Two big wins in recent weeks has once again announced the Cats as likely premiership contenders after a shaky start to the season. The Cats have won their past four against the Saints and will be looking to extend that by exploiting a defence without Zak Jones. With the Cats boasting in-form forward trio Hawkins, Cameron and Rohan, the Saints defence will have its hands full. So far this season the Saints are yet to fulfil the potential touted by many, and it’s hard to see that changing here. The problem for the Saints is that they can really let sides get hold of them and lose by big margins – and if they are off the mark only slightly here – it will be a repeat by the Cats.
Suggested bet – 1u Geelong -17.5 at $1.90
Sydney Swans v Collingwood Magpies
The Pies had some a tiny bit of pressure lifted off their shoulders by beating the lowly Kangaroos last week, but face much stiffer competition against the Swans in Sydney. After a scorching start to the season, the Swans hit an ordinary patch, before bouncing back with two creditable losses to Melbourne and the Cats. It’s fair to say they are likely finals contenders and should be handling the Pies here. These two sides have a history of close matches, with the Pies winning the past two, but it’s hard to see that continuing, with the Swans on the improve and the Pies in decline.
Suggested bet – 1.5y Sydney win at $1.31
Hawthorn Hawks v North Melbourne Roos
Two low sides (17th and 18th on the ladder) clash here with the Roos given what looks like their next best chance to notch a win this season after failing against the Pies last week. The Hawks overall record isn’t great so far this year, but they do have a very good record in Tasmania. Past recent clashes between these two sides have been evenly mixed, but the last time they met in Tassie, it was a convincing Hawks’ victory. Tom Mitchell just needs some help for the Hawks to play a more daring style of footy and they should get that opportunity against the cellar dwellers. The Hawks are short, but it’s just hard to see them losing in the Apple Isle.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Hawks win at $1.38
Gold Coast Suns v Brisbane Lions
After a concerning start to the season, the Lions appear back on track after four straight wins. They got the job done early against the Dockers and should have something left in the tank for this clash on the Gold Coast. The Lions have unsurprisingly dominated the Suns in recent clashes, and given their newfound momentum this season, it’s hard to see them being troubled here. The Suns are also in winning form and did smash the in-form Swans recently here at home – but they just have a few too many injury concerns to be mixing it with a Lions side back in form. Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron are combining well up forward and will cause headaches for the Suns defence.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Brisbane -21.5 at $1.90
Richmond Tigers v Greater Western Sydney Giants
An uncharacteristic performance by the Tigers last week to be trounced by the Cats and now their midfield is decimated by injury for a clash with the Giants. The Giants have won four of their past five, and after a dubious start to the season, look to have found their groove. It’s a little concerning they were made to fight hard last week to beat Essendon, but their opponents in that clash have proved difficult for good sides to shake. This is a serious test for a Tigers side lacking key personnel and coming off a concerning second half performance against the Cats. Given the Tigers injury woes and off-field distractions this week, I think the market should be slightly tighter so happy to have a small bet on the Giants.
Suggested bet – 0.5u Giants win at $2.60
Port Adelaide Power v Western Bulldogs
Match of the round as the second-placed Western Bulldogs head to Adelaide to take on the third-placed Port Power. The Power made light work of Adelaide last week in the Showdown, largely dominating the game from the opening bounce to eventually score a 49-point win. You get the feeling there was more in the locker and they’ll need it against a better opponent in the Dogs. Port also has a great record at home, winning 10 of its past 11. The past two clashes at this venue between these two sides have been hard fought, low-scoring contents. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes and we continue to see the free-flowing footy of the Dogs in 2021. The suspension of Port ruckman Scott Lycett can’t be underestimated as their big-man back-up stocks are rather limited.
Suggested bet – 1u Bulldogs win at $2.20
Essendon Bombers v Fremantle Dockers
The Bombers have been inconsistent this season, matching it with some finals contenders on a number of occasions. The past two weeks they’ve scored 100+ and lost. While they have goal-scoring firepower, it’s important to remember they’ve only won two from eight. The Dockers have a much better 4-4 record, but have won only once outside of Perth. While Essendon have won the past four encounters with the Dockers, the past two at Marvel have been decided by only six and seven points. It’s tricky to line these sides up this season, but I think the Dockers are a better side and are only outsiders because of being away from home. They played well in the second half against the Lions and can win this one at a nice price.
Suggested bet – 2u Dockers win at $2.22
Melbourne Demons v Carlton Blues
The Demons’ unbeaten start to the season survived scare last week against the Swans, but apart from that they’ve been dominant in season 2021. It’s hard to find many cracks in the Demons across the ground, and while their winning run will come to a halt at some stage throughout the year, it’s unlikely to occur against the Blues. Despite a 3-5 record, the Blues have performed admirably against some top four sides, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them competitive here. But there’s a difference between winning and losing creditably, and that’s why I’m happy to side with the Demons to keep their winning streak alive.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Melbourne win at $1.32
West Coast Eagles v Adelaide Crows
I’ve sided with the Crows on many occasions after their hot early season form, but it’s been costly as they’ve crashed back to earth with four straight losses. The loss of Taylor Walker will be a big blow and it’s hard to see where their goals will come from. West Coast will enjoy getting back on the home deck where they are unbeaten this season. It’s hard to see the Crows making this much of a contest but I’m not convinced the line should be around the 40-point mark.
No suggested bet