Round 16 of the 2022 AFL kicks off with two encounters that will have a huge say on the makeup of both the Top 4 and Top 8 come season’s end.

Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs @ Gabba

Thursday 30th June, 19:20 (AEST)

BrisbaneWestern Bulldogs
Payne, Andrews, AdamsBCrozier, Gardner, O’Brien
HBB.Starcevich, Rich, ZorkoHBWilliams, Keath, Dale
CBerry, Bailey, McCluggageCHunter, Macrae, Scott
HFRayner, Hipwood, McCarthyHFJohannisen, Ugle-Hagan, Liberatore
FMcStay, Daniher, CameronFBontempelli, Naughton, Weightman
FOLMcInerney, Lyons, NealeFOLSweet, Dunkley, Treloar
I/CAh Chee, Coleman, Tunstill, AnswerthI/CWest, Bedendo, McComb, Schache

Played 59: Brisbane 24 v Western Bulldogs 35

Last Meeting: AFL SF 2021: Brisbane Lions 11.12 (78) lost to Western Bulldogs 11.13 (79)

Final Thoughts: Brisbane will be desperate to bounce back from a horror Round 15 clash that saw them smashed by flag favourites Melbourne. The clash was presented as a true test of who deserved to be the number one seed in 2022, but by the end the Lions had lengthened considerably from $5.00 to $8.00 in premiership betting. While the result won’t have a huge impact on their finals hopes (Chris Fagan’s men are still solid $1.53 Top 4 hopes), it does lay a huge seed of doubt whether they will yet again fail to make it past preliminary final weekend this season.

They face a Bulldogs outfit who have been building quietly in recent weeks and find themselves (albeit precariously) back inside the Top 8. This looms as a distinctive audit of the side, who have played just one Top 8 club (Geelong) in the last five weeks, with that clash resulting in a loss. Further, they face an uphill task against a Lions side who have lost just once in their last 16 games at the Gabba.

Tip: Margin, Brisbane 1-39 @ $2.15

Carlton v St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium

Friday 1st July June, 19:50 (AEST)

CarltonSt Kilda
Kemp, Young, SaadBWilkie, Battle, Webster
HBNewman, Plowman, DochertyHBSinclair, Howard, Clark
CC: Fisher, Cripps, NewnesCC: Billings, Ross, Hill
HFSilvagni, C.Curnow, WalshHFMembrey, Windhager, Wood
FMotlop, McKay, HoneyFButler, King, Marshall
FOLDe Koning, Cerra, HewettFOLRyder, Steele, Gresham
I/CCottrell, Kennedy, O’Brien, C.DurdinI/CJones, Wanganeen-Milera, Crouch, Higgins

Played 223: Carlton 164 v St Kilda 57 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL R20 2021: St Kilda 12.9 (81) lost to Carlton 18.4 (112)

Final Thoughts: Despite being decimated by an injury crisis that has seen almost all their key backs spend time on the sidelines, Carlton just keep on keeping on in 2022:. And it has some of the game’s most respected pundits saying that now — following a win over flag hopeful Fremantle — Michael Voss’ side is a genuine premiership chance. Given their strong recent form and St Kilda’s conversely horror three post-bye weeks, this clash should deliver the Blues another four points and solidify their Top 4 ambitions this season.

Nothing underlines the sharp decline of the Saints in 2022 than the fact that last week against the Swans they kicked just just 2.6 until three-quarter time — their lowest return after three terms since 2014. They went a whopping 63 minutes without a major within the smaller confines of the SCG. After shortening into strong $1.25 Top 8 hopes with Palmerbet, the Saints have quickly lengthened to $3.00 on the back of the defeats, and will find it tough to compete in this one should the Blues bring anything near their best.

Tip: Line, Carlton -9.5 @ $1.90

Essendon v Sydney Swans @ MCG

Saturday 2nd July, 13:45 (AEST)

Zerk-Thatcher, Laverde, RidleyBFox, T.McCartin, Rampe
HBGuelfi, Kelly, RedmanHBMcInerney, P.McCartin, Lloyd
CC: Durham, Merrett, LangfordCC: Gulden, Mills, Florent
HFMartin, Snelling, PerkinsHFHayward, Reid, Stephens
FWright, Stringer, JonesFHeeney, Franklin, Papley
FOLDraper, Shiel, ParishFOLHickey, Parker, Rowbottom
I/CHind, D’Ambrosio, Caldwell, HeppellI/CBlakey, Campbell, McDonald, Warner

Played 226: Essendon 123 v Sydney 92 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R9 2022: Sydney 14.21 (105) dftd Essendon 6.11 (47)

Final Thoughts: After all the positivity surrounding their victory over the Saints in Round 13, the Bombers were brought back down to earth with a hugely disappointing loss to West Coast last week. Not only did they fail to grab four points against a side that had lost their last nine games on the trot, but Ben Rutten’s men became the first side to concede over 100 points the Eagles in a whopping 28 games. if they replicate a similar defensive output against the Swans then victory would become a hugely difficult task.

The Swans were dominant in brushing aside the Saints last weekend and another four points is here for the taking for John Longmire’s men. While they are still relative outsiders for a Top 4 finish, their run home — starting with this encounter — presents a number of ‘gettable’ games including this one, facing a side they dispatched by 58 points just seven rounds ago. Lance Franklin has kicked more goals (77) against Essendon than any other AFL club.

Tip: To kick 3+ goals, Lance Franklin (Syd) @ $1.95

Adelaide Crows v Melbourne @ Adelaide Oval

Saturday 2nd July, 16:35 (AEST)

Doedee, Butts, JonesBMay, Petty, Hibberd
HBSmith, Murray, DawsonHBBowey, Lever, Salem
CC: Hately, Laird, HingeCC: Brayshaw, Oliver, Langdon
HFRachele, Fogarty, SoligoHFHarmes, Fritsch, Neal-Bullen
FMurphy, Walker, RoweFPickett, Brown, Bedford
FOLO’Brien, Keays, BerryFOLJackson, Petracca, Viney
I/CMilera, Schoenberg, Parnell, ThilthorpeI/CSpargo, Jordon, Sparrow, Weideman


History: Played 43: Adelaide 26 v Melbourne 17

Last Meeting: AFL R22 2021: Melbourne 16.8 (104) dftd Adelaide 9.9 (63)

Final Thoughts: After a horrible period off and on the field that saw them lose three straight and have their back-to-back credentials questioned, the Dees bounced back in the most dominant way possible last week with a dominant 64-point win over then ladder leaders Brisbane. It was the Dees of 2021, in a victory that saw them back under $3.00 for the 2022 flag with Palmerbet.

While the Crows were clinical against North Melbourne last week, there’s very little to take from the victory given North are now the first ever AFL/VFL club to lose 10 straight games by 40+ points. The Dees have won their last nine games outside of Melbourne but they did, however, lose their last clash against the Crows in Adelaide — a one-point thriller in Round 10 last year.

Tip: To score 2+ goals, Toby Bedford (Melb) @ $2.75

Geelong Cats v North Melbourne @ GMHBA Stadium

Saturday 2nd July, 19:25 (AEST)

GeelongNorth Melbourne
Rohan, De Koning, BewsBMcDonald, McKay, Walker
HBHenry, Blicavs, KolodjashnijHBArcher, Corr, Turner
CC: Duncan, Cameron, SmithCC: Hall, Davies-Uniacke, Greenwood
HFMiers, Hawkins, HolmesHFPowell, Larkey, Curtis
FClose, Dangerfield, StengleFZurhaar, Xerri, Taylor
FOLStanley, C.Guthrie, AtkinsFOLGoldstein, Simpkin, Anderson
I/CZ.Guthrie, O’Connor, Tuohy, MenegolaI/CMahony, Stephenson, Young, Lazzaro

Played 168: Geelong 104 v North Melbourne 63 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R6 2022: North Melbourne 9.7 (61) lost to Geelong 17.19 (121)

Final Thoughts: Alongside the Pies, Geelong are the only side to have won five on the bounce — the latest a nail biting win over Richmond in finals-like atmosphere at the MCG last week. While coming away with another crucial four points, the victory came at a huge cost with defensive maestro Tom Stewart rubbed out for four games following a late hit on Dion Prestia. Not that the Cats should miss his absence this week in a game they start as the shortest possible price favourites.

North Melbourne are now, dispiritingly for fans, the first AFL/VFL club to have lost 10 games in a row by 40+ points. North’s average losing margin during this streak is 59 points. It perhaps comes as little surprise that, coming up against the ruthless Cats they start as whopping $16.70 outsiders — one of the biggest H2H prices this season.

Tip: To score 2+ goals, Brad Close (Geel) @ $2.60

Gold Coast Suns v Collingwood @ Metricon Stadium

Saturday 2nd July, 19:25 (AEST)

Gold CoastCollingwood
Lemmens, Collins, GrahamBNoble, Moore, Quaynor
HBMarkov, Ballard, BudarickHBMurphy, Maynard, Pendlebury
CC: Bowes, Anderson, EllisCC: Sidebottom, De Goey, Daicos
HFSwallow, Ainsworth, CasboultHFElliott, Crisp, Mihocek
FHolman, Chol, RankineFGinnivan, Cameron, Hoskin-Elliott
FOLWitts, Rowell, MillerFOLCox, Daicos, Adams
I/C Rosas, Tsitas, Flanders, BurgessI/CLipinski, Henry, McCreery, Ruscoe


History: Played 12: Gold Coast 3 v Collingwood 9

Last Meeting: AFL R7 2022: Collingwood 17.13 (115) dftd Gold Coast 14.6 (90)

Final Thoughts: Five wins on the trot, four points inside the Top 8 and a relatively favourable draw to come; things are looking good for Craig McRae in his first season at the Pies. But there’ll be little sense of comfortability given the logjam of clubs jostling to force their way in.

They start this one as marginal outsiders against a Suns outfit who fell agonisingly short of victory against Port Adelaide last weekend in a result that’ll have huge ramifications in their push for a first ever finals series. The result will perhaps make them comes out even harder in this one at Metricon, a venue they’ve won their last four at.

Tip: Margin, Gold Coast 1-39 @ $2.20

Richmond v West Coast Eagles @ MCG

Sunday 3rd July, 14:10 (AEST)

RichmondWest Coast
Grimes, Tarrant, GibcusBHurn, Barrass, Bazzo
HBVlastuin, Broad, RioliHBJones, Yeo, Duggan
CC: Pickett, Short, McIntoshCC: Gaff, Kelly, Cripps
HFRioli, Bolton, EdwardsHFTrew, Waterman, Ryan
FRiewoldt, Martin, LynchFWilliams, Darling, Rioli
FOLNankervis, Baker, RossFOLNaitanui, Redden, Shuey
I/C (from)Ralphsmith, Soldo, Graham, Lambert, Aarts, Stack, Castagna, MansellI/C (from)Petrevski-Seton, Hough, Petruccelle, Witherden, Rotham, West, Edwards, Culley


History: Played 47: Richmond 20 v West Coast 27

Last Meeting: AFL R7 2022: West Coast 8.8 (56) lost to Richmond 25.15 (165)

Final Thoughts: It was just nine rounds ago that Richmond hammered West Coast, who were on home turf, to the tune of 109 points. And while that result isn’t expected to be replicated given the Eagles have had a significant amount of experience return since that fateful night, the end of result is heavily favoured to remain the same. The Tigers will dust themselves from a heartbreaking loss against Geelong last week and, knowing percentage could determine the makeup of the Top 8 come season’s end, will be hunting another big win over the Eagles.

Adam Simpson’s men will be buoyed by a drought-snapping win in Round 15 and will at least be confident of being competitive in this one. The Eagles have covered the line in each of their last three games and could very well do so again.

Tip: Line, West Coast +37.5 @ $1.90

GWS Giants v Hawthorn @ Giants Stadium

Sunday 3rd July, 15:20 (AEST)

Kennedy, Taylor, CummingBBlanck, Scrimshaw, Day
HBWhitfield, Davis, IdunHBImpey, Sicily, Hardwick
CC: Bruhn, Green, O’HalloranCC: Bramble, Mitchell, Morrison
HFTaranto, Himmelberg, RiccardiHFButler, Lewis, Moore
FLloyd, Hogan, GreeneFBreust, Koschitzke, Macdonald
FOLFlynn, Kelly, ConiglioFOLReeves, Newcombe, O’Meara
I/C (from)Ward, Haynes, Ash, Wehr, Brown, Derksen, Sproule, KeeffeI/C (from)Jiath, Nash, Worpel, Gunston, Morris, Maginness, Shiels, Hartigan


History: Played 11: GWS 4 v Hawthorn 6 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R15 2021: GWS Giants 11.6 (72) lost to Hawthorn 13.12 (90)

Final Thoughts: Both of these clubs have the propensity to leak goals, underlined by the fact that both (coincidently) conceded exactly 125 points to the Western Bulldogs in the last two rounds. Neither will play finals in 2022 but that should make little difference to their mindset.

The Giants have a strong record against the Hawks at home, winning their last six encounters at Giants Stadium. And while there’s a general positive perception around the work that Sam Mitchell has done in his first year in charge at Hawthorn, the reality is that his side have won just one of their last nine games.

Tip: Total Score, Over 149.5 @ $1.88

Fremantle v Port Adelaide @ Optus Stadium

Sunday 3rd July, 17:20 (AEST)

FremantlePort Adelaide
Clark, Pearce, YoungBBurton, Jonas, McKenzie
HBCox, Ryan, WilsonHBByrne-Jones, Aliir, Houston
CC: Aish, Brayshaw, MundyCC: Amon, Drew, Farrell
HFTaberner, Schultz, WaltersHFJones, Marshall, Rozee
FFyfe, Lobb, FrederickFGeorgiades, Dixon, Powell-Pepper
FOLDarcy, Brodie, SerongFOLFinlayson, Wines, Boak
I/C (from)Blakely, Colyer, Logue, Walker, Crowden, Hughes, Sturt, BanfieldI/C (from)Motlop, Duursma, Gray, Fantasia, Clurey, Burgoyne, Mead, Frederick


History: Played 39: Fremantle 17 v Port Adelaide 22

Last Meeting: AFL R11 2021: Port Adelaide 18.7 (115) dftd Fremantle 9.15 (69)

Final Thoughts: Round 16 concludes with a clash that’ll have huge ramifications for both the Top 4 and Top 8 race. For the Dockers, looking to bounce back after a disappointing effort against Carlton (in which they started favourites) a loss here could see them outside the Top 4. For the Power, a loss would carry greater consequences given their outside push for a finals spot. In fact, given they are already at $5.50 to finish inside the Top 8 (given a horror 0-5 start to the season), defeat here would make things extremely difficult for Ken Hinkley’s men given the mid-ladder logjam in 2022.

Justin Longmuir’s men have a strong recent record against the Power at home, winning their last four encounters in Perth.

Tip: Line, Fremantle -15.5 @ $1.90