Round 21 is highlighted by a massive top 4 clash between the Demons and Magpies at the MCG on Friday night footy.
Melbourne Demons (2nd) vs Collingwood Magpies (3rd)
Melbourne bounced back from a 10 point loss against the Dogs with a crushing 46 pt win over the Dockers in Perth on Friday night. Jack Viney dominated in the wet conditions and Fritsch/Pickett combined for 7 goals up forward. The Dees will be looking to avenge their Round 13 loss against the Pies in what will be a huge clash for 2nd spot.
The Pies just keep winning the close games as they come off a 6 point win over the Power on Saturday afternoon footy. They’ve won 10 straight games and the last 6 have all been by under a 2 goal margin. So despite a tough run home, the Pies should be confident of locking up a top 4 spot. Jamie Elliott will also bring up 150 games in this one.
Collingwood looks nice value at the line considering they did beat the Demons this season and they’re 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games at the MCG.
Melbourne are 6-3 at the MCG this season. Collingwood are looking for an 8th straight win at this venue.
Head to Head Record
The Pies have the wood over the Dees after 6 wins in the last 7 meetings.
The Hawks 3 game winning streak came to end against the Saints on the weekend as they went down 75-63. They do have a good record in Tassie and will be looking to avenge their 67 point loss against the Suns in Round 11.
The Suns held off a late charge by the Eagles and came away with a 107-104 victory. Chol celebrated his 50th game with 5 goals and Touk Miller continued his stellar season with 31 disposals. Despite a poor away record, the Suns did beat the Hawks in NT this year and should be confident as they travel to Tassie.
This is a tough game to pick with tight head to head odds. So we do like the Over, which is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Gold Coast have given up 100+ pts in their last 3 and the Hawks play well at this venue.
Hawthorn have won 3 of their last 4 at this venue. Gold Coast have never won at this venue in 5 attempts.
Head to Head Record
The Suns won the earlier season meeting by 67 pts and hold a 4-3 record since 2017.
Greater Western Sydney Giants (16th) vs Essendon Bombers (14th)
The Giants were listless in the Sydney derby on Saturday as they kicked just 39 pts in a 73 point defeat. So they need to show something against the Bombers on Saturday or this could get ugly.
The Bombers crushed the Roos on Sunday and their second half resurgence has been a positive in what has been a disappointing season. Zach Merrett was brilliant in the midfield and they did overcome a late injury to Shiel. They could get Parish/McGrath back for this one but Shiel will be doubtful with a hamstring.
Essendon are playing much better footy compared to the Giants and they’ve covered in their last 5 games. The Bombers midfield and forward line should be far too strong.
GWS are 6-2 at this venue in their last 8. Essendon have lost 4 of their last 5 at this venue.
Western Bulldogs (10th) vs Fremantle Dockers (6th)
The Dogs faded badly against the Cats last week and have now fallen to 10th on the ladder. They do play the Giants and Hawks in the last 2 weeks. So a win over Freo would give their top 8 hopes a huge boost. They should also be able to get Treloar back from injury. Caleb Daniel will bring up his 150th game and the Dogs will likely get around their star rebounding defender.
The Dockers woes in the wet continued on Friday night as they kicked just 5 goals in the 85-39 result at Optus Stadium. However, they do have a good record at Marvel and the conditions under the roof should suit their ball movement against the Dogs.
This is a tough one to pick considering both sides should enjoy fast ball movement out of their midfield at Marvel. So we prefer to look at Daniel’s disposal markets in his 150th. He has recorded 30+ disposals in three of his last four appearances at Marvel Stadium.
The Dogs are 7-2 at Marvel this year. Fremantle hold a 3-1-1 (1 draw) record in their last 5 at Marvel.
Head to Head Record
The Bulldogs are looking for a 4th straight win over Freo.
Geelong overcame a fast start by the Bulldogs to win 94-66 and they celebrated Joel Selwood’s 350th in style. They were brilliant in the 3rd quarter as they kicked 8 goals to just 3 behinds and this really setup the victory. Tom Stewart also made a successful return from injury and Danger looked back to his best in the midfield.
The Saints held on to beat the Hawks on Saturday by 2 goals and sit in 8th position. But their run home includes 3 straight games against teams in the top 5. The trip to Geelong is never easy and the Saints haven’t won here since the late 90s.
It’s hard to back against the Cats in Geelong as their record against the Saints at this venue is very strong. The 1-39 margin looks the best bet.
Geelong hold a 6-1 record at home this season. St Kilda’s last win at this venue was back in 1999 and they’ve lost 10 straight since.
Head to Head Record
The Saints beat the Cats in Round 9 but Geelong has won 6 of the last 7.
Port Adelaide Power (12th) vs Richmond Tigers (9th)
The Power are coming off another close loss, which is kind of the story of their season. They fell short against the Pies by a goal and they’ve now lost 3 straight against top 8 opponents by under 15 pts. This should be another close contest against the Tigers and Port have been a tough team to beat at the Adelaide Oval.
Richmond rallied to beat the Lions 104-97 at the MCG in one of the comebacks of the season. They were down by 36 pts at half-time but kicked 10 goals in the second half. The win gives the Tigers a real chance of finishing in the top 8 and this is another must-win clash.
The Tigers form doesn’t look great and a trip to Adelaide against Port isn’t easy. Richmond have also failed to cover in 5 of their last 6. So the Power should get the job done at home.
Port are 6-4 at home this season. Richmond are 6-10 at the Adelaide Oval since 2014.
North Melbourne Kangaroos (18th) vs Sydney Swans (4th)
After beating Richmond, the Roos have fallen back into bad habits as they’ve lost their last 2 by a 40+ margin. They don’t have a good record at Marvel and Sydney have the wood over them. So it’s hard to see an upset.
The Swans thrashed the Giants by 73 pts on their way to a 4th straight win. In 3 of their last 4 games, they’ve kicked 100+ points and shouldn’t have much trouble against the Roos as well. They’re now in the top 4 and have a decent run home. So they should be able to position themselves for a potential home final, especially with a good percentage.
Sydney are looking strong at the moment and they should easily handle the Roos struggling backline.
North are 2-6 at Marvel this year. Sydney are 4-4 at Marvel in their last 8.
The Lions let a 40 point lead slip away against the Tigers at the MCG on Sunday and their hoodoo at that ground just continues. But they’re a much stronger team at the Gabba, highlighted by an 8-1 record at home this year. They should get Daniel Rich back this week but Zac Bailey is likely doubtful.
The Blues suffered a disappointing loss against the Crows in Adelaide and it will likely cost them in the run home. They play 3 straight games against teams above on the ladder. So they’ll need to regroup quickly. Injuries haven’t helped their cause and they’ll be missing the likes of Newman, Kennedy and Hewett.
Brisbane have conceded 90+ points in 3 of their last 4 games and the Blues forward line should give them plenty of headaches. So the Over does look the best bet. It’s 6-0 when these two sides meet at the Gabba.
Brisbane are 8-1 at the Gabba this season. Carlton have a poor 1-8 record at the Gabba since 2014.
The Eagles will send off club legend Josh Kennedy on Sunday as he retires from the AFL. They come off a close loss over the Suns on the Gold Coast by 3 points. However, their form in Perth this season has been pretty terrible and the Crows also comfortably beat them in Adelaide fairly recently.
The Crows are coming off a huge upset over the Blues and should be confident of back to back wins. Rory Laird plays his 200th game for Adelaide this week and should be a lock for another high disposal outing, especially against the Eagles.
West Coast will want to send off Kennedy in style but the Crows will likely spoil the party. Tex Walker will be dangerous up forward as the Eagles have struggled all year with tall forwards. Meanwhile, Laird will be a clearance beast in his 200th game. Crows to win.
West Coast are just 1-9 at home this year. Adelaide are yet to win at this venue in 3 attempts.
Head to Head Record
The Crows beat the Eagles in Round 12 but West Coast are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
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