FINALLY the fans get what they want – a weekend full of footy.
Plenty of matches in this Round have finals implications, with the Thursday night clash between the Swans and the Power at the top of the round’s must-see list.
The Dogs have a chance to further solidify their finals credentials, while a tough assignment awaits Geelong who cannot afford another slip up.
With plenty of great odds available this week, William Hill’s multi offer is very enticing.
Along with that, on all Saturday’s games, if you correctly pick the first goal scorer in any of the matches and that player goes on to kick another in the opening quarter your return is doubled.
Plenty of great odds and offers available this week, so let’s take a look at the action.
Swans vs. Power
Thursday, July 2nd, 7:20pm, Sydney Cricket Ground
Sydney – $1.92 (-12.5)
Port Adelaide- $1.92 (+29.5)
The Swans and the Power kick off the round on Thursday night, with the Power desperate for a win to keep their faint finals hopes alive.
The Power are fresh off their bye and welcome off-season recruit Paddy Ryder back into the mix, but a cloud still hangs over on-baller Robbie Gray who suffered a nasty concussion a fortnight ago.
The Swans will be without twin-towers Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett up forward, after both men accepted one match bans for incidents in their loss to Richmond last week.
Had the Tippett and Franklin duo been available this game could have been a blowout, but their exclusions opens the door for a Power upset.
Expect the Power to cause a boil over and get their season back on track.
Tip: Port Adelaide to win $2.65 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most disposals group A – Robbie Gray $9.00 via Crownbet
Magpies vs. Hawks
Friday, July 3rd, 7:50pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Collingwood – $1.91 (+22.5)
Hawthorn – $1.91 (-22.5)
Friday night is the setting for the round’s biggest game, with Collingwood hosting Hawthorn at the MCG.
The Pies are defying all the odds this season and loom as a massive threat to the reigning premiers, who are slowing working their way into top gear in the second half of the season.
A lot of the focus will be on Travis Cloke, who has been in sparking form in recent weeks. If Josh Gibson or Brian Lake can limit the burly forward’s scoreboard impact, it will be hard for the Pies to come away with a winning score.
The Hawthorn juggernaut should roll on to another victory here, with their top four hopes growing with each passing game.
Tip: Hawthorn to win $1.28 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jack Gunstan $9 via Sportsbet
Tigers vs. Giants
Saturday, July 4th, 1:40pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Richmond – $1.91 (-29.5)
GWS- $1.91 (+29.5)
The first Saturday game of the round sees the Tigers hosting the Giants in a match that looked much better on paper a month ago.
The Giants have been hit by a raft of injuries, most damaging being the spiritual leader of the team – Shane Mumford.
The Tigers are coming off the back of their best win of the year over Sydney at the SCG and will be full of confidence that a top four finish is not out of their grasp.
Unfortunately for the Giants they just do not have their top-tier player stocks available to compete with the Tigers and they will struggle to match Richmond’s in form on-ball brigade.
Tip: Port Adelaide to win – line bet -29.5 $1.91 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer– Jack Riewoldt $7 via Sportsbet
Suns vs. Kangaroos
Saturday, July 4th, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast – $1.92 (+23.5)
North Melbourne – $1.92 (-23.5)
Saturday afternoon on the Gold Coast sees the Kangaroos visiting the Suns in a match that could get ugly for the struggling home team.
The Suns are in free fall with several unsavoury player behavioural issues off the field taking away from the fact that they have been simply abysmal on it.
The Kangaroos have had a sporadic opening half to the season, but a win here could kick start a second half revival and get them right into the finals mix.
Hard to see the Suns even posing a challenge for the Roos – even the inclusion of captain Gary Ablett cannot save the Gold Coast from here.
Tip: North Melbourne line bet – -23.5 points $1.92 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Drew Petrie $10 via Sportsbet
Bulldogs vs. Blues
Saturday, July 4th, 7:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs – $1.91 (-11.5)
Carlton – $1.91 (+11.5)
Saturday night’s first game sees the Western Bulldogs host the resurgent Carlton Blues in a match that has the potential to define the Dogs’ finals outlook.
The Dogs just scrapped home against the Saints in a gritty affair, making amends for their early season capitulation against the young St Kilda side.
The Blues have finally hit top gear in their season, registering their first back-to-back wins for 2015, easily accounting for the Suns last Saturday.
The Blues are improving with every passing week but the Dogs have too much to play for and too much class up forward for the Carlton defenders to contain.
Expect the Dogs to keep their finals chances alive.
Tip: Western Bulldogs – line bet -11.5 $1.92 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Tom Boyd $10 via Sportsbet
Demons vs. Eagles
Saturday, July 4th, 7.45pm, TIO Stadium (Darwin)
Melbourne – $1.92 (+25.5)
West Coast – $1.92 (-25.5)
Saturday night in the top end sees the Demons hosting the Eagles in a match that could suit the visitors given their exposure to excessive heat.
The Eagles are flying this season, sitting second on the ladder with the best percentage in the competition.
Their attack is formidable but their ball movement from the back half to the forwards is what sets them apart.
The Demons have improved this year under the second year of the Paul Roos’ reign, registering good wins throughout the season against quality opposition.
It is hard to see how the Demons can come away with a win here, and although the margin will be closer than many expect, the Eagles should be able to consolidate their position towards the top of the ladder.
Tip: West Coast to win $1.26 via Crownbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Josh Kennedy $6 via Sportsbet
Bombers vs. Saints
Sunday, July 5th, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon – $1.91 (-6.5)
St Kilda – $1.91 (+6.5)
Earlier in the year these two played out one of the tighter finishes of the season, and it would be no surprise if the Dons and the Saints game on Sunday at Etihad went right down to the wire.
The Dons have been hit hard by injuries and with an ankle aliment looking to keep forward Jake Carlisle out of the side for the next six weeks, their already depleted line up looks even more fragile.
The Saints have looked great in recent weeks and were unlucky not to register a win against the Bulldogs last week; matching their opponents for the full four quarters.
The Bombers showed better signs last week against the Hawks but are struggling to put together four quarter efforts; something the Saints have no trouble producing.
Expect the Saints to cause an upset at Etihad.
Tip: St Kilda to win $2.25 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer –Joe Daniher $7 via Sportsbet
Crows vs. Cats
Sunday, July 5th, 3:20pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide – $1.92 (-2.5)
Geelong – $1.92 (+2.5)
A battle for the final positions in the top eight is on the agenda in Adelaide this week, with the seventh placed Crows hosting the Cats, who are looking desperately to force their way back into finals contention.
The Crows are coming off the back of a strong finish against Brisbane, which saw them turn around a four goal deficit late in the game to get the win.
The Crows will be without gun on-baller Rory Sloane who will miss the next month of football with a cheekbone fracture.
The Cats have made an indifferent start to their season, putting together some strong form only to fall to lowly opposition.
They will need to be at their best to bring back the points to Victoria.
Hard to see how the Cats can knock off the Crows, who have more to play for and the home ground advantage.
Tip: Adelaide to win $1.80 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Taylor Walker $8 via Sportsbet
Dockers vs. Lions
Sunday, July 5th, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle – $1.91 (-54.5)
Brisbane – $1.92 (+54.5)
The round closes out with Fremantle playing host to Brisbane in a game that looks set to be a bloodbath.
The Lions are coming off the back of a hard fought loss against the Crows, in which they had every chance to come away with the win but could not finish the game off late in the fourth.
Fremantle ground out a tough seven point win against the Magpies last Friday night on the back of another stellar Nat Fyfe game.
The Lions have struggled to produce winning scores this week, and with Fremantle’s vice-like defence stifling even the best offences in the league, it is hard to see how the Lions can put together something close to a winning score.
Expect Fremantle to cruise to victory and remain at the top of the ladder.
Tip: Fremanlte to win 40+ @1.38 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Chris Mayne $13 via Sportsbet
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