Gold Coast Suns
The AFL is back! We’re taking a look at the best bets for each club and finding value for each team. Starting with the cellar dwellers of 2015.
WITH the home and away season coming to a close, the battle for finals positions heats right up heading into round 21.
The Swans, Tigers and Dogs are locked in a battle for the final position inside the top-four, the Hawks are still in the hunt for a top-two finish while the Cats, Giants and Crows will need to register wins to keep their finals hopes alive.
Magpies vs. Tigers
Saturday, August 22nd, 1:45pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Collingwood – $1.91 (+15.5)
Richmond – $1.91 (-15.5)
Two traditional rivals clash at the MCG to kick off Saturday’s action with the Magpies hosting the Tigers.
The Pies had their finals hopes dashed last week after they failed to capitalise on an injury-hit Sydney line up at the SCG.
The Tigers bounced back after a disappointing showing against Adelaide with a resounding win over the Suns, keeping their top-four hopes alive in the process.
Richmond regains exciting on-baller Shane Edwards after a stint on the sidelines with a hairline fracture in his leg.
The Tigers will be hopeful he can find some of his best form heading into the finals.
Collingwood blew their finals chances last week while Richmond are right in the hunt for a top-four finish and the game should reflect this.
Expect Richmond to cover the line quite easily on their way to another four premiership points.
Tip: Richmond to win – line bet (-15.5) $1.91 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most possessions group 2 – Anthony Miles $4.00 via Sportsbet
Giants vs. Swans
Saturday, August 22nd, 2:10pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS – $1.91 (+11.5)
Sydney – $1.91 (-11.5)
The game of the round finds its way to Sydney with the Giants hosting the Swans at Spotless Stadium in a match with real finals implications.
The Swans cannot afford to drop games in the lead into the finals if they are to finish the season inside the top-four, with the Bulldogs and Richmond both in the hunt for fourth.
The Giants are on life-support after a disappointing showing against the Power last week, but still remain only two points outside the finals.
The Swans have lost two prolific ball winners to injury with Tom Mitchell and Luke Parker both ruled out of the match up.
Lance Franklin again has failed to prove his fitness for the third consecutive week.
The Giants have welcomed back Adam Treloar and Stephen Cogniglio for the pivotal clash.
With the key injuries to Parker, Mitchell and Franklin, the scales tip in the favour of the Giants, who should keep their finals chances alive.
Tip: GWS to win $2.65 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most possessions group 1 – Adam Treloar $6.00 via Sportsbet
Suns vs. Bombers
Saturday, August 22nd, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast – $1.92 (-12.5)
Essendon – $1.92 (+12.5)
Saturday twilight finds its way to the Gold Coast as the Suns host the Bombers in a battle of the AFL cellar dwellers.
It has been a tumultuous week for the Dons with the sacking of head coach James Hird after the team lost 10 of its last 11 matches.
The Suns are also looking for the finish line in 2015 after another heavy loss, this time to the Tigers at the MCG.
There are five changes for both teams with Michael Hurley and Shaun McKerrnan returning for the Dons while Zac Smith and Danny Stanley make their way back into the Suns’ line up.
Hard to know where this one will go, as teams with recently departed coaches tend to offer more spirited performances then previously displayed.
It is hard to look past the Suns at home though, with the home team likely to leapfrog the struggling visitors with a win on Saturday.
Tip: Gold Coast to win $1.47 via Crownbet
Exotic: >Most goals – Tom Lynch $2.75 via Sportsbet
Saints vs. Cats
Saturday, August 22nd, 7:20pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda – $1.91 (+26.5)
Geelong – $1.91 (-26.5)
The Saints host the Cats at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night with Geelong needing a win to hold its place within the top-eight.
The Cats were smashed by the Hawks last week and will need a big lift from some of their big guns like Jimmy Bartel and Steve Johnson, who both failed to impact the match in the fashion we are accustomed to.
The Saints jumped out of the blocks to lead North Melbourne in the first half last week, but ran out of legs and could not sustain the momentum, going down by 37-points.
Exciting big man Nathan Vardy makes his way back into the Cats’ side for his first game of the season, with veteran defender Tom Lonergan also getting his chance.
The Saints have lost two of their best, with David Armitage and Sean Dempster both set to miss through a shoulder and nose injury respectively.
With finals on the line for the Cats, they will need to be at their ruthless best to get across the line against St Kilda, which should be a formality given where both teams currently sit on the ladder.
Tip: Geelong to win $1.24 via William Hill
Exotic: Jimmy Bartel to get 30 or more disposals $5.60 via Sportsbet
Crows vs. Lions
Saturday, August 22nd, 7.40pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide – $1.92 (-46.5)
Brisbane – $1.92 (+46.5)
Saturday night in Adelaide sees the Crows hosting the Lions in a match that has the potential to be a triple figure margin.
The Crows were dynamic last week, destroying Essendon at Etihad last week, keeping their finals chances alive with a special win.
The Lions climbed their way off the bottom of the ladder with a terrific win over the struggling Blues.
With the Crows in the hunt for the finals and needing wins and the Lions sitting in second last position with a litany of injuries, it is hard to see the visitors mounting a challenge.
Expect the Crows to surpass the line with consummate ease.
Tip:Adelaide to win – line bet (-46.5) $1.92 via Sportsbet
Exotic:Most possessions group 1 – Scott Thompson $5.50 via Sportsbet
Kangaroos vs. Dockers
Sunday, August 23rd, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne – $1.91 (-6.5)
Fremantle – $1.91 (+6.5)
First Sunday game of the round sees the Kangaroos hosting the top of the table Dockers in a match that means more to the home team than the visitors.
The Dockers were disappoin meant little in the overall scheme of things.
The Kangaroos stormed home to beat the Saints after trailing by four goals midway through the second quarter to record an important victory that keeps them firmly entrenched in the eight.
Luke McPharlin is a welcome return for the Dockers, who will need their centre half back in full fitness heading into the finals.
Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich will not travel with the team after succumbing to an achilles injury.
North Melbourne have lost inspirational midfielder Jack Ziebell to suspension, but regain dasher Jamie Macmillian.
With finals on the line for the Roos and a home qualifying final already locked down for the Dockers expect the home team to play with more passion and get the important win.
Tip: North Melbourne to win $1.68 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer –Drew Petrie $10 via Sportsbet
Blues vs. Demons
Sunday, August 23rd, 3:20pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Carlton – $1.92 (+15.5)
Melbourne – $1.92 (-15.5)
The bottom placed Blues host the Melbourne Demons at the MCG in a match that won’t go down as one of 2015’s finest matches.
The Blues were awful last week against Brisbane, getting belted by 10 goals against a team with a host of injuries and nothing to play for.
The Demons were woeful last week, getting smashed by the Bulldogs by 98-points that left coach Paul Roos bereft of answers.
Big news out of the match is the omission of Blues forward Lachie Henderson, who has played his last game for the club after indicating he will be requesting a trade.
With the Blues in pole-position for pick one in the national draft it is hard to see why Carlton would be too keen to register four points that will take them off the bottom of the ladder.
Melbourne should win and cover the line.
Tip: Melbourne to win – line bet (-15.5) $1.92 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jesse Hogan $7.50 via Sportsbet
Eagles vs. Bulldogs
Sunday, August 23rd, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast – $1.92 (-22.5)
Western Bulldogs – $1.92 (+22.5)
A top-four battle looms as one of the matches of the round with the Eagles hosting the Dogs over in the West.
The Eagles were brilliant last week in their Derby victory over the Dockers, bouncing out to an early lead and were never headed by their top of the table opponents.
The Dogs dismantled the Demons in a dominant display that boosted their percentage, which cemented their position in the top-four.
The Eagles welcome back Nic Naitanui after bereavement leave and Mark LeCras from a one week suspension, but lose important defender Will Schofield to a hamstring injury.
The Dogs have named Tom Boyd in their forward line and will be looking to expose the lack of height in the injury-hit Eagles defence.
On paper it looks like the Eagles should have no trouble sweeping aside the Dogs, but Luke Beveridge’s men have built their reputation on disproving the critics this season.
The match should be closer than the odds suggest but expect the Eagles to have too much experience through the middle for the young Dogs.
Tip: West Coast to win $1.29 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Josh Kennedy $7 via Sportsbet
ROUND 17 looms as the most important week of football for the 2015 season to date, with many pivotal clashes taking place which will help shape the finals.
The Eagles and the Swans are facing off in a match that should dictate who finishes top two, GWS and Geelong are playing for their finals lives, while the loser of the Dogs and Pies game can just about kiss season 2015 goodbye.
Blues vs. Hawks
Friday, July 24th, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton – $1.92 (+66.5)
Hawthorn – $1.92 (-66.5)
Round 17 kicks off at Etihad Stadium with the Blues hosting the Hawks in what will be the easiest game of the round to pick.
The Hawks have been in red-hot form, dispatching two of their closest rivals for the flag on the march towards the finals and look in ominous form.
Carlton were gallant in the west against Fremantle, but were ultimately overpowered by a much stronger team.
On paper this looks to be an absolute walkover, and even with an 11 goal head start on the line betting, the Hawks should comfortably cover that on their way to another four premiership points.
Tip: Hawthorn to win – line bet -66.5 $1.92 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most disposals group 1 Jordan Lewis – $4.50 via Sportsbet
David Parkin Medal: Jordan Lewis – $6 via Sportsbet
Giants vs. Cats
Saturday, July 25th, 1:45pm, Startrack Oval (Canberra)
GWS – $1.91 (-2.5)
Geelong – $1.91 (+2.5)
Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital sees the Giants hosting the Cats in a do-or-die clash for both teams.
The Giants fought out a gutsy win against the Suns last week on the Gold Coast, with on-baller Devon Smith stepping up to fill the void left by injured superstar Dylan Sheil, booting four goals.
The Cats held off a fast finishing Western Bulldogs outfit to keep their September hopes alive, and will travel to Canberra full of confidence that their run can continue.
Geelong welcome back captain Joel Selwood who missed last week’s clash through suspension.
Joel Patfull finds his way back into the Giants side after missing over a month of football.
This one is a true toss of the coin, but the return of Selwood, as well as the overall experience factor plays in the Cats’ favour, who should prove too strong for the Giants.
Tip: GWS to win $2.00 via Crownbet
Exotic: Joel Selwood to get 30 or more disposals – $4.40 via Sportsbet
Crows vs. Suns
Saturday, July 25th, 2:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide – $1.91 (-28.5)
Gold Coast – $1.91 (+28.5)
The first Saturday game of the round sees the Crows hosting the Suns over in the South of Australia.
The Crows are flying high after a spirited victory over cross-town rivals Port Adelaide last week, and look to be playing inspired football as the reality of a potential finals campaign kicks in.
The Gold Coast Suns were better last week but seemed to lack the polish to get over the Giants at home, despite a huge effort from captain Gary Ablett.
The Crows have been able to welcome back injury-hit star Rory Sloane, who has missed significant chunks of the season with a cheekbone injury.
The Suns have lifted Harley Bennell’s club imposed exile, while dominant forward Charlie Dixon has shaken off his ankle injury.
Despite the handy ins for the Suns, the Crows should be too strong at home, plus they have too much to play for.
Tip: Adelaide to win $1.67 via William Hill
Exotic: Taylor Walker to score the most goals $3.75 via Sportsbet
Tigers vs. Dockers
Saturday, July 25th, 4:35pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Richmond – $1.92 (-3.5)
Fremantle – $1.92 (+3.5)
The Melbourne Cricket Ground plays host to the game of the round, with Richmond facing off against the top-of-the-table Dockers.
The Tigers held off a fast finishing St Kilda last week to keep their momentum rolling on towards a potential top four finish in 2015.
The Dockers did what they had to against the Blues to keep one game clear atop the AFL ladder.
A big question lingers over the fitness of Fremantle superstar on-baller Nat Fyfe, who has struggled with a corked thigh which he sustained in the devastating loss to Hawthorn in Tasmania.
Fyfe is without a doubt the most important player in the game today, and if he is unavailable it is hard to see the Dockers mounting a challenge away from home against the Tigers.
Even if Fyfe is able to take to the field against Richmond, it will be difficult to holt the Tigers, who are full of confidence and look ready to take another big scalp.
Tip: Richmond to win line bet – -3.5 $1.92 via William Hill
Exotic: Most possesions/most goals – Trent Cotchin/Jack Riewoldt $15 via Sportsbet
Bombers vs. Power
Saturday, July 25th, 7:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon – $1.91 (+17.5)
Port Adelaide – $1.91 (-17.5)
The Bombers and the Power are set to battle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in a match that looked so much better on paper prior to the start of the season.
This will be Paddy Ryder’s first game in Port Adelaide colours, and he should experience a hostile reception from the Bomber faithful.
The Bombers were terrific for a half last week, but fell away sharply against North Melbourne. However, they did show signs that all the pieces are still there.
Port Adelaide looked set to steamroll their cross-town rivals in the final quarter of the Showdown last week, but feel just short of pulling off the miracle.
The Power welcome back speedster Matt White after he recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the game for just under a month.
The Bombers have experienced a great run against the Power, winning their last five matches, and this trend should continue with the visitors now acutely aware their finals chances are now gone.
Tip: Essendon to win $3.15 via Crownbet
Exotic: Most disposals – Dyson Heppell $7.00 via Sportsbet
Lions vs. Kangaroos
Saturday, July 25th, 7.20pm, GABBA
Brisbane – $1.92 (+21.5)
North Melbourne – $1.92 (-21.5)
Saturday night in Brisbane sees the luckless Lions hosting the resurgent Kangaroos in what promises to be an entertaining contest.
North Melbourne premiership superstar Brent Harvey plays his 400th AFL game for the club, becoming only the fourth living player in the history of the game to achieve the milestone.
The Kangaroos did what they had to in last week’s win over the Bombers, overturning a half time deficit to record a 25 point win.
The Lions were woeful against Melbourne, in what many dubbed to be the worst game of the season.
It is hard to see how the Lions can mount a challenge in this one, despite North’s spasmodic form on the road.
The Kangaroos have too much to play for, with their milestone man’s big game, as well as a finals berth beckoning.
Tip: North Melbourne to win by 40+ $3.10 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Jarrad Waite to score the most goals – $6 via Sportsbet
Bulldogs vs. Magpies
Sunday, July 26th, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs – $1.91 (+4.5)
Collingwood – $1.91 (-4.5)
The first Sunday game of the weekend kicks off at Etihad Stadium with the Bulldogs hosting the Magpies.
Both sides are looking to secure a place in the finals with the Dogs and the Pies both firmly entrenched in the four team battle for the final two spots in the eight.
The Dogs were gallant down in Geelong but fell short after trailing for most of the match, but will take confidence that their young boys withstood a lot of pressure from seasoned pros.
The Pies were disappointing last week against the Eagles, never really looking like they were in the contest after losing Travis Cloke in the opening minutes.
The loss of Cloke is vitally important to the Pies, as he has been their sole focal point up front, with Jamie Elliot and Jesse White struggling to make an impact on the scoreboard.
The Dogs look ready to take another scalp here, and with the loss of Cloke the Pies forward line looks bereft of goal kicking firepower.
Tip: Western Bulldogs to win $2.10 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Tory Dickson $10 via Sportsbet
Sutton/Rose Medal: Mitch Wallis – $26 via Sportsbet
Melbourne vs. Saints
Sunday, July 26th, 3:20pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne – $1.92 (-3.5)
St Kilda – $1.92 (+3.5)
A battle of the bottom looms at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday with the Demons hosting the Saints.
The Demons got back on the winners list last week, but did not do it with any great style, winning against the Lions at home.
The Saints surged home against the Tigers at Etihad last Sunday but just fell short.
The Saints have played exciting football at times this year, with their midfield of Armitage and Leigh Montagna amongst the best pairings in the AFL.
The Demons forward line has been dysfunctional at times, but Paul Roos would have to be happy with the progress of young forward Jesse Hogan, who booted four goals last week against the Lions.
A true toss of the coin match this one, but the edge has to go to St Kilda, with the more polished midfield and the exciting duo of Nick Reiwoldt and Josh Bruce up forward.
Tip: Port Adelaide to win $1.93 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Josh Bruce $7 via Sportsbet
Eagles vs. Swans
Sunday, July 26th, 4:40pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast – $1.91 (-17.5)
Sydney – $1.92 (+17.5)
The final game of round 17 sees the Eagles hosting the Swans in a match that could determine who finishes inside the top four with a double chance.
The Swans were woeful last week against the Hawks, getting exposed in all areas of the ground and were made to look especially slow through the midfield.
The Eagles were brilliant against the Pies, and if not for some wayward goal kicking could have put their opponents away much earlier in the match.
The Swans will be without two important key posts in Kurt Tippett – who misses with a broken hand – and Ted Richards, who copped a one week suspension.
The Eagles lost intercept marking king Jeremy McGovern to a hamstring injury.
The home side are in red-hot form at the moment, and the Swans look in free fall.
It is hard to see how the Swans can mount a challenge in the west, with too many key players out and the Eagles in blistering form.
Tip: West Coast to win 40+ $3.40 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jack Darling $10 via Sportsbet
HMAS medallist: Luke Schuey – $15 via Sportsbet
THE third and final bye week again sees a protracted weekend of football, with a clash in the West kicking off the round on Thursday night.
That game will see the Dockers and the Pies clash in a match with top-four ramifications, while in other games the Crows, Tigers and Bulldogs will need to register wins to keep their finals chances alive towards the tail end of the top eight.
Plenty of interesting matches to assess this week, so let’s get straight into it.
Teams with the bye in Round 13:
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Port Adelaide Power
West Coast Eagles
Thursday, June 25th, 7:50pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle – $1.92 (-24.5)
Collingwood – $1.92 (+24.5)
The third and final bye week of the year kicks off on Thursday night with Fremantle hosting Collingwood in Perth.
Both teams are fresh off their respective byes, but bring in spectacular form given they were two of the most impressive teams during the first half of the season.
The Fremantle forward line has been bolstered by the return of Chris Mayne, who missed the win against Gold Coast two weeks ago with a bout of gastro.
The Pies welcome back small forward Jarryd Blair, with Ben Kennedy the man to make way.
The Pies will travel West with plenty of confidence after a quality win against GWS before the bye, however beating Freo on their home track is an ominous task which should prove too much for Buckley’s brigade.
Tip: Fremantle to win 1-39 points $2.10 via William Hill
Exotic: Most disposals group 1 – David Mundy $14 via Sportsbet
Swans vs. Tigers
Friday, June 26th, 7:50pm, Sydney Cricket Ground
Sydney – $1.91 (-25.5)
Richmond – $1.91 (+25.5)
Friday night at the SCG sees the Swans hosting the Tigers in a battle that should be a lot closer than the odds would have you believe.
The Tigers have been in terrific form over the last month but were unable to register the win against the Eagles at home last week, leaving them locked on points with five other teams for the final two spots in the eight.
The Swans return after their mid season bye last week.
The Tigers this week will be buoyed by the re-signing of key defender Alex Rance, who will no doubt get the job on Lance Franklin.
Franklin is the key to the match up and, if the all-Australian defender can limit Buddy’s output, it will go a long way to securing the points for his team.
Sydney should be able to get the points in this match, but it might be closer than expected. That’s why a Richmond line bet – a generous 25.5 point head start – is the preferred bet this week.
Tip: Richmond line bet +25.5 $2.25 via Crownbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Lance Franklin $7 via Sportsbet
Hawks vs. Bombers
Saturday, June 27th, 1:10pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Hawthorn – $1.91 (-42.5)
Essendon- $1.91 (+42.5)
First Saturday game of the round sees the reigning premiers facing off against the horribly out of form Bombers.
The Hawks are coming off a terrific road win against the Crows. They controlled the game from start to finish, dismantling the home team with fierce pressure and ferocious attack on the man and ball.
The Bombers are coming off the bye, but still managed to maintain their horrible season of wretched luck.
Ruckman Tom Bellchambers and livewire Travis Coyler were both ruled out for the year with foot injuries during the week.
This is the second match up between the two sides this year, with the Dons stunning the Hawks in round two to register their first win over their rivals in over five years.
The Hawks will not let that happen again, though, and should get the points with a thumping win.
Tip: Hawthorn to win 40+ points $1.78 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jack Gunston $9 via Sportsbet
Lions vs. Crows
Saturday, June 27th, 4:35pm, GABBA
Brisbane – $1.92 (+23.5)
Adelaide – $1.92 (-23.5)
Saturday afternoon in the North sees the Lions hosting the Crows at the GABBA.
The game is a must win for the visitors after their disappointing effort against the Hawks last week.
The Crows are locked in the 24 point logjam in the middle rungs of the ladder and cannot afford to lose winnable games.
The Lions are coming off the back off a 72 point hammering at the hands of the Bulldogs and may be without superstar midfielder Dayne Beams who sustained a shoulder injury in that match.
Inspirational captain Tom Rockliff will also miss the match, but is expected to return the following week.
Unfortunately for the Lions they just do not have the players on the park right now, and the Crows are hungry for finals action.
It all points towards a healthy win to the visitors.
Tip: Adelaide to win $1.22 via Crownbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Josh Jenkins $11 via Sportsbet
Saints vs. Bulldogs
Saturday, June 27th, 7.20pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda – $1.92 (-13.5)
Western Bulldogs – $1.92 (+13.5)
Saturday night sees a rematch between the Saints and the Dogs, who played out of one of the games of the year just over a month ago.
The Saints came back from 55 points down to record one of their best wins ever, stunning the Bulldogs who were then top-four contenders.
The Saints will be well rested after their bye, which should mean captain Nick Reiwoldt will be fit to play after sustaining a knee injury late in their stirring win over the Demons a fortnight ago.
The Dogs are in sparkling form after destroying the Lions with young forward on the rise, Jake Stringer, being particular dominant when scoring five goals.
Positive signs for key forward Tom Boyd too, with the off-season recruit booting four goals on the way to earning himself a Rising Star nomination.
Do not expect the Dogs to be complacent in this match, they should score a big win to keep them in finals contention.
Tip: Western Bulldogs to win – 40+ points $3.80 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Tom Boyd $10 via Sportsbet
Blues vs. Suns
Sunday, June 28th, 3:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton – $1.91 (-9.5)
Gold Coast – $1.91 (+9.5)
The sixth and final game this weekend sees the resurgent Blues up against the struggling Suns in one of the more interesting matches of the round.
The Blues are fresh off the back of their best win in two years, outlasting a fast finishing Power side to record just their second win of the season.
The Gold Coast will be well rested after their bye and should be ready to face the second half of the season with renewed vigour after a spirited performance against the Dockers a fortnight ago.
The Suns will be boasted by the return of the great one, Gary Ablett, who is expected to return after a long layoff with a shoulder injury. The big question will be whether or not he will have the match fitness to run the entire game out.
The Blues have been fantastic since the removal of Mick Malthouse as coach and their terrific form should continue.
Tip: Geelong to win -32.5 points $1.58 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Levi Casboult $10 via Sportsbet