The 2023 AFL premiership rolls into Round 12 with the first bye week of the season, meaning Brisbane Lions, Fremantle Dockers, St Kilda Saints, and Sydney Swans will not take part in the round.
Round 12 will kick off with a Friday night showdown between the Demons and Blues and will include the first-place Magpies taking on the last-place Eagles.
History: Played 216: Blues 118 Demons 96 Draw 2
Last meeting: Round 22, 2022- Demons 11.13 (79) def Blues 10.14 (74) at MCG
Team News: The Demons have wingman Lachie Hunter (suspension) available, with James Harmes, the likely candidate to make way. Jake Melksham won’t be available after getting suspended in the VFL, whilst Clayton Oliver is still away for a while. The Blues are sweating on the fitness of skipper Patrick Cripps (ankle), so he can make his return. Adam Cerra is also available after having his suspension overturned at the Tribunal. However, George Hewett (concussion) will miss the game. This means it could make for the return of Paddy Dow, who had 36 disposals and one goal in the VFL last week.
What We Like: Despite being considered underdogs, the Blues ($3.02) could produce a shock victory, just like Port Adelaide and Fremantle did in back-to-back weeks. Melbourne sits at a steady price of $1.37 to walk away with the victory on Friday night. After a disappointing performance last week, the Demons can be expected to come out of the block and be the first team to score ($1.75), the first team to 25 points ($1.52), first to 35 points ($1.47) and first to 50 points ($1.40).
Final Thoughts: Carlton Blues are in dire straits at the moment and currently have a record of four wins, one draw and six losses. During these games, they have lost eight straight matches to a team higher than them on the ladder by a margin of 1-39 at $2.12. Expect the Blues to be competitive and put in a good showing but for the Melbourne Demons to walk away with the victory at the end of the match.
History: Played 38: Power 21 Hawks 17
Last meeting: Round 2, 2022- Hawks 19.6 (120) def Power 7.14 (56) at Adelaide Oval
Team News: The Power are not forced into any changes this week, although a star quartet of players could make their return. Skipper Tom Jonas is available from suspension, whilst Todd Marshall (concussion), Charlie Dixon (quad) and Travis Boak (rib) could make their way back into the team if they all pass tests during the week. Just like the Power, the Hawks will not be forced into any changes. Henry Hustwaite is closing on his AFL debut, while Ned Long (38 disposals, 12 tackles, 3 goals) and Finn Maginness (36 disposals) could also be recalled into the team.
What We Like: Whilst the Power are the likely winners of the game and are clear favourites at $1.08, there are plenty of other markets to focus on. The main market to watch is the second-half markets. A relatively young side, the Hawks are dangerous in the early stages of the game but tend to fade out. Looking at the second-half margin, Port is $3.80 to win by 37+, $4.75 to win between 25-36 and $4.10 to defeat the Hawks in the second half by $4.10.
Final Thoughts: Port Adelaide are clear favourites as they look to extend their magnificent winning streak against the Hawks. Despite another four points likely in the Power’s near future, expect the end score to be under the total scoreline of 169.5 at $1.88. This is because the Hawks’ last seven games interstate have gone under the total score.
History: Played 59: Eagles 31 Magpies 27 Draw 1
Last meeting: Round 4, 2022-Eagles 14.3 (87) def Magpies 10.14 (74) at Docklands
Team News: The Eagles will be forced into more changes with Luke Edwards (concussion) exiting the squad. His spot is set to go to Greg Clark, who was used as a substitute last week. Luke Shuey (ankle) is pushing for a return from injury and could return either this week or the next. Steele Sidebottom (ACL) will miss the clash for the Magpies. Craig McRae will likely consider Trent Bianco, Ed Allan or Harvey Harrison for his spot.
What We Like: In a battle between the first-place Collingwood Magpies and the last-place West Coast Eagles, there are many markets to watch. First off is the line, which the Eagles have failed to cover in its last five games. The Magpies are paying $1.90 to cover the line. With the absence of Steele Sidebottom, focus on Tom Mitchell, who has registered 33+ touches in his past three against the Eagles and is paying $2.07 to make it four in a row. Also, Mason Cox to kick 3+ goals ($4.60) and Jordan De Goey ($2.80) to score 2+ goals are a good shout. The duo have done it consistently in previous trips against the Eagles.
Final Thoughts: Unfortunately for the West Coast Eagles, they will have the difficult task of coming up against the 10-1 first-place Collingwood Magpies. The Eagles have a higher chance of being struck by lightning than winning the match. Taking that into account and the fact West Coast has lost its last nine by a margin of above 40, expect a blowout by the Magpies. The safe bet is taking them to win by 40+ points at $1.37.
History: Played 165: Cats 106 Bulldogs 57 Draw 2
Last meeting: Round 20, 2022- Cats 14.10 (96) def Bulldogs 9.12 (66) at Kardinia Park
Team News: Alex Keath and Josh Bruce played in the VFL last week and could be considered for a return for the Bulldogs. Star midfielder Adam Treloar is set to return after missing the past three games due to a hamstring injury. Skipper Patrick Dangerfield could return for the Cats in a big inclusion. Trio Jack Bowes, Gary Rohan and Mitch Duncan are all likely to return from injuries, while Sam Simpson should return after being managed.
What We Like: In a blockbuster showdown between the Bulldogs and Cats, expect the experienced veterans to stand up and deliver. After a strong start to the season, Jeremy Cameron has struggled recently but has kicked 3+ goals ($2.18) in seven of Geelong’s last nine away matches. A surprising pick to look at is Zach Tuohy on the disposals market. Tuohy has recorded 26+ in Geelong’s last three of four and is paying $8.50 to register 25+ disposals again. Also, Tom Liberatore ($1.97) and Tanner Bruhn ($2.40) are steals in the anytime goalscorer market.
Final Thoughts: After a disappointing loss to the GWS Giants last week, the Cats are in need of a significant win to get back to their form from last season. Looking far from their premiership best, the club sits at five wins and six losses heading into the bye. Geelong has won its last 12 games against opponents ranked in the top eight and is paying a steal price of $2.30 to win against the Bulldogs.
History: Played 16: Crows 14 Suns 2
Last meeting: Round 14, 2022- Suns 18.8 (116) def Crows 10.13 (73) at Carrara
Team News: Gold Coast isn’t expected to make any changes from their Round 11 team that beat the Bulldogs. However, Jy Farrar could return to the starting 22 after being used as the substitute. After a successful Tribunal challenge, the Crows will not lose Rory Laird. Mitch Hinge (concussion) and Brodie Smith (back) are both available for selection after recovering from injuries and could make their way back into the team.
What We Like: The head-to-head market could go either way, with the Suns paying $1.92 and the Crows at $1.92. In other markets, 13 of the past 16 games have gone over the total score line of 159.5 and are at $1.88 this week. On the individual markets, Ben King is a shout, having kicked 3+ goals in his last two games against Adelaide at $2.20. After being cleared by the tribunal, Rory Laird’s form has improved over the season. Recording 30+ touches in Adelaide’s past three games in the Northern Territory, Laird is $1.82 to do it once again.
Final Thoughts: In what is expected to be the closest game of Round 12, the winner could go either way in favour of the Crows ($1.92) or the Suns ($1.92). Although the Crows have won 14 of its 16 previous games against the Gold Coast, expect the result to go the other way this weekend. Coming off a dominant win against the Bulldogs, the Suns will be looking to continue their form heading into the middle of the season at $1.92.
History: Played 17: Tigers 11 Giants 6
Last meeting: Round 2, 2022- Tigers 16.13 (109) def Giants 10.13 (73) at MCG
Team News: The Giants will regain forward Harry Himmelberg from concussion but will lose defender Nick Hynes to concussion protocols. With no other injuries, the two are expected to be swapped for each other. The Tigers may see the return of Nick Vlastuin (leg) and Maurice Rioli (hamstring), depending on their fitness tests. If they are to return, Hugo Ralphsmith and Judson Clarke are the likeliest to be left out, but Jack Riewoldt may be rested for the game.
What We Like: In Tim Taranto’s first match against his old club, the midfielder will be the entire focus of the whole game. On the disposals market, Taranto is paying $1.19 (25+), $1.69 (30+) and $3.15 (35+). While on the goalscoring market, he is $1.53 for (1+), $3.70 (2+) and $11.00 (3+). Apart from Taranto and the individual markets, the next best thing is the total score line. Richmond’s last eight interstate games have gone over the total score of 165.5 at $1.88. Both teams play free-flowing footy and are highly talented within their midfield and forward line.
Final Thoughts: The match result could go either way, with both clubs sitting mid-table- the Giants with four wins and the Tigers with three wins. However, according to the recent history between the two clubs, the home team has gone on to win in 14 of their last 16 matches. Add in the fact that the Giants are coming off a surprising win against Geelong away from home. They are not only considered favourites at $1.85 but are also the best bet in the game.
History: Played 162: Bombers 104 Kangaroos 57 Draw 1
Last meeting: Round 20, 2022- Bombers 17.12 (144) def Kangaroos 9.12 (66) at Docklands
Team News: The Bombers may receive Dylan Shiel back, who missed the trip to Perth, while Peter Wright is also nearing a return. Massimo D’Ambrosis will be hoping last week’s performance earnt him a call-up from the substitute spot. The Kangaroos will regain veteran Liam Shiels from concussion protocols. Aidan Corr (19 disposals) has put his name in the hat for a return following a one-match suspension. Luke Davie-Uniacke (hamstring) will not return and will be assessed next week.
What We Like: North Melbourne has lost their past nine games and is easy club to bet against. The Bombers have covered the line in each of its last four matches as a favourite and are $1.90 to do it again. Bomber Jye Menzie has scored 2+ goals in his past two games and is at a reasonable price of $3.20. Sticking with Essendon, Andrew McGrath is a good bargain at $2.20 for 25+ touches, after doing so in the last five games when the Bombers are considered favourites of the game.
Final Thoughts: Although the Kangaroos have lost each of its last nine matches, forward Nick Larkey surprisingly plays his best football against opponents ranked in the top eight. Larkey has managed to kick 4+ goals in North Melbourne’s past two matches against opponents ranked in the top eight. Larkey is paying $4.00 to do it for the third time in a row.