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AFL Tips & Preview – Round 22

Round 22 of the 2021 AFL season will give us the best indication yet who’ll feature come September, as six clubs battle for the remaining two Finals spots.

GWS Giants v Richmond @ Marvel Stadium

Friday 13th August, 19:50 (AEST)

GWS GiantsRichmond
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Stein, Taylor, CummingBVlastuin, Grimes, Astbury
HBPeatling, Haynes, WhitfieldHBStack, Short, Rioli
CKennedy, Ward, AshCBolton, Cotchin, Dow
HFLloyd, Himmelberg, de BoerHFEdwards, Lambert, Baker
FSproule, Hogan, TarantoFLynch, Parker, Riewoldt
FOLMumford, Hopper, KellyFOLNankervis, Prestia, Graham
I/CBruhn, Perryman, O’Halloran, IdunI/CMansell, Coleman-Jones, Ralphsmith, Rioli


History:
Played 15: GWS 5 v Richmond 10

Last Meeting: AFL Round 9, 2021: Richmond (87) def GWS (83)

Final Thoughts: Round 22 kicks off with the most important clash of the weekend. It’s all to play for for the Giants (currently $2.10 to finish inside the Top 8 with Palmerbet) and Richmond ($2.37), and victory edges either a step closer. The Giants go in with huge confidence, coming off the back of the biggest upset win of the season. Leon Cameron’s men started way out at $7.13 against the Cats but dug deep to secure a famous win. Given the neck-and-neck nature of the head-to-head market on this one, Toby Greene’s availability could genuinely swing the tie one way or the other.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick says his team’s ‘brand’ was beginning to return on the eve of finals. “We look at the way we’ve been playing there’s been more Richmond-like performances – if that makes sense – in the way we’ve gone about the game and the way we’ve played.” Kamdyn McIntosh is in contention to return, while defender Nathan Broad was now “50-50 to play again this year”.

Best Bet:

  • Margin, Richmond 1-39 @ $2.10

Same Game Multi:

  • H2H: Richmond
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Shai Bolton
  • Total Points: Under 161.5
  • Odds: $4.05

Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs @ UTAS Stadium

Saturday 14th August, 13:45 (AEST)

HawthornWestern Bulldogs
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
O’Brien, Hartigan, FrostBCordy, Keath, Williams
HBHowe, Scrimshaw, HardwickHBWood, Young, Dale
CShiels, O’Meara, BrambleCDaniel, Liberatore, Hunter
HFHanrahan, Lewis, NashHFJohannisen, Hannan, Smith
FWingard, McEvoy, KoschitzkeFTreloar, Naughton, Weightman
FOLCeglar, Mitchell, MorrisonFOLEnglish, Macrae, Bontempelli
I/CBurgoyne, Phillips, Worpel, BrockmanI/CDunkley, Duryea, Vandermeer, Garcia


History:
Played 163: Hawthorn 83 v Western Bulldogs 78 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 17, 2020: Hawthorn (40) def by Western Bulldogs (76)

Final Thoughts: Prior to Round 21 the Bulldogs were minor premiership favourites, however a loss to Essendon — despite starting strong favourites — sees them edged back to $2.50 with Palmerbet, behind Melbourne ($2.30). In their almost 100-year history, Footscray/Western Bulldogs have never finished a home-and-away VFL/AFL season on top of the ladder. It’s unlikely going to play a motivating factor in this one, but nevertheless the Dogs should get the task done.

However they face a Hawks outfit who have hit a sudden purple patch, largely out of nowhere. Many (myself included) assumed off-field coaching debacles would see Hawthorn fizzle out late this season with little to play for. However impressive wins over Brisbane and Collingwood shows there’s still some fight left. Players fighting for new contracts? Trying to secure their spot under Mitchell next year? Whatever the case, it’s working, and they may just make this more competitive than first glance.

Best Bet:

  • Line, Hawthorn +24.5 @ $1.90

Same Game Multi:

  • Line: Hawthorn +24.5
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Tim English
  • Total Points: Over 164.5
  • Odds: $5.39

Geelong v St Kilda @ GMHBA Stadium

Saturday 14th August, 16:35 (AEST)

GeelongSt Kilda
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Henry, Blicavs, HendersonBWilkie, Howard, Highmore
HBStewart, Kolodjashnij, BewsHBSinclair, Webster, Hill
CHolmes, C.Guthrie, SmithCHannebery, Byrnes, Ross
HFDahlhaus, Cameron, HigginsHFButler, Crouch, Higgins
FClose, Hawkins, RatugoleaFKing, Membrey, Kent
FOLStanley, Selwood, DangerfieldFOLMarshall, Steele, Jones
I/CO’Connor, Menegola, Z.Guthrie, ParfittI/CCoffield, McKenzie, Dunstan, Sharman


History:
Played 217: Geelong 132 v St Kilda 84 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 9, 2021: St Kilda (47) def by Geelong (68)

Final Thoughts: Coming off the back of a brilliant upset win against the Swans, St Kilda need to repeat the dose if they’re any hope of securing a Top 8 spot. At $11 to seal a finals spot, Brett Ratten will need to win his final two games and rely on some other results going their way. But the pressure, taking-the-game-on footy they showed against Sydney bodes well and there’s no reason they can’t cause an upset here. Hunter Clark may return from concussion while Ratten has a big call to make on Dan Hannebery and whether he too returns.

The Saints come up against a wounded Cats side who, traditionally, rarely play two poor games in a row. Geelong lost to $7.13 outsiders GWS in Round 21 — the biggest upset of the 2021 season — and will be desperate for a return to form in the penultimate round of the year. There’ll be a close look at the selection table for this one, with a host of big-name Cats to both return and miss this clash.

Best Bet:

  • Margin, Geelong 1-39 @ $1.91

Same Game Multi:

  • Margin: Geelong 1-39
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Jack Higgins
  • Total Points: Over 151.5
  • Odds: $4.67

Port Adelaide v Carlton @ Adelaide Oval

Saturday 14th August, 16:35 (AEST)

Port AdelaideCarlton
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Burton, Clurey, AliirBStocker, Weitering, Newman
HBBergman, Jonas, Byrne-JonesHBSaad, Plowman, Williamson
CDuursma, Wines, HoustonCWalsh, Cripps, O’Brien
HFAmon, Georgiades, ButtersHFMurphy, C.Curnow, Martin
FGray, Dixon, RozeeFBetts, McGovern, Honey
FOLLycett, Boak, DrewFOLDe Koning, Kennedy, Dow
I/CMarshall, Bonner, Ladhams, FantasiaI/CKemp, Newnes, Fisher, E.Curnow

 

History: Played 34: Port Adelaide 20 v Carlton 13 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 5, 2021: Carlton (68) def by Port Adelaide (96)

Final Thoughts: Had Carlton beaten the Suns last week — as they arguably should have — this might have been one of Round 22’s biggest blockbusters. But with the Blues now out of the AFL Finals race, it’s billing is perhaps down a rung. Still, the Power can seal a Top 4 spot with four points here. They’re a short $1.04 with Palmerbet to finish inside the double-chance spots with Palmerbet, however a loss here would set up an intriguing Round 23 clash against the Bulldogs given Brisbane (fifth) have a relatively straightforward run to finish (Collingwood and West Coast).

The Power have a stranglehold over Carlton and start solid favourites. Earlier this season they comfortably took care of David Teague’s side at the MCG — their fifth-straight win over the Blues. Speaking of Teague, a poor performance here could see him out the door sooner than later…

Best Bet:

  • Line: Carlton +33.5 @ $1.90

Same Game Multi:

  • Line: Carlton +33.5
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Charlie Curnow
  • Total Points: Under 163.5
  • Odds: $4.19

Brisbane v Collingwood @ Gabba

Saturday 14th August, 19:25 (AEST)

BrisbaneCollingwood
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Gardiner, Andrews, StarcevichBRuscoe, Roughead, Maynard
HBBirchall, Lester, RichHBCrisp, Madgen, Mayne
CMcCluggage, Bailey, J.BerryCHoskin-Elliott, De Goey, Daicos
HFMcCarthy, McStay, ZorkoHFThomas, Cameron, Henry
FAh Chee, Daniher, CameronFGinnivan, Mihocek, Elliott
FOLMcInerney, Lyons, NealeFOLGrundy, Sidebottom, Adams
I/CCockatoo, Coleman, Prior, FullartonI/CBianco, McCreery, Macrae, Murphy


History:
Played 49: Brisbane 21 v Collingwood 28

Last Meeting: AFL Round 3, 2021: Collingwood (72) def by Brisbane (73)

Final Thoughts: A strange clash, this one, with no huge carrot dangling in front of either club. Collingwood, of course, are destined to finish in the bottom four or five while Brisbane are almost certain to finish fifth or sixth, which has already locked in a home (Covid pending) elimination final. The only way they can leapfrog Port Adelaide in fourth is if they win their remaining two games and the Power lose both of theirs, which would appear unlikely.

However Chris Fagan will be desperate to build on the momentum of their big win over Freo in Round 21. The Lions, who have finished second in both of the last two AFL seasons, have shown lacklustre form in the back half of 2021, and need to begin firing if they’re any chance of premiership success. Some say they’re already out of the race — they need to prove why that’s not the case.

Best Bet:

  • Line, Collingwood +37.5 @ $1.90

Same Game Multi:

  • Line: Collingwood +37.5
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Jordan De Goey
  • Total Points: Under 162.5
  • Odds: $5.79

North Melbourne v Sydney Swans @ Marvel Stadium

Saturday 14th August, 19:40 (AEST)

North MelbourneSydney
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Tarrant, McKay, TurnerBCunningham, Melican, Rampe
HBZiebell, Walker, HallHBBlakey, McCartin, Dawson
CDumont, Simpkin, McDonaldCMcInerney, Kennedy, Florent
HFStephenson, Comben, ThomasHFHayward, Heeney, Wicks
FTaylor, Larkey, ZurhaarFGulden, Reid, Papley
FOLGoldstein, Davies-Uniacke, AndersonFOLHickey, Hewett, Parker
I/CScott, Bonar, Phillips, FordI/CFox, Rowbottom, McLean, Campbell

 

History: Played 164: North Melbourne 74 v Sydney 89 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 3, 2020: North Melbourne (60) def by Sydney (71)

Final Thoughts: Defeat to the Saints last week, despite starting strong favourites, has all but ended the Swans’ remaining hope of squeezing inside the Top 4. It would take a minor miracle — winning their last two games and relying on Port Adelaide losing bother of theirs, and Brisbane to lose one — to get there. However John Longmire might’ve bitten your hand off if offered this position (a top six guarantee with two games to go) at the start of the season. His primary goal for the last fortnight of the home and away season is to gather pre-finals momentum and get game time into players that need it — namely midfield gun Callum Mills.

The Swans have a brilliant recent record over North, winning six of the last seven. However almost all of these have been tight encounters — the last four have all been decided by under two kicks. North have been impressive, competitive-wise, in recent weeks. However they will seal a first wooden spoon since 1972 with a loss in this clash.

Best Bet:

  • Margin, Sydney 1-39 @ $2.00

Same Game Multi:

  • Margin: Sydney1-39
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Sam Reid
  • Total Points: Under 165.5
  • Odds: $4.68

Melbourne v Adelaide @ MCG

Sunday 15th August, 14:10 (AEST)

MelbourneAdelaide
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Salem, May, LeverBMurray, Butts, Kelly
HBRivers, Petty, BoweyHBMcPherson, Doedee, Jones
CBrayshaw, Petracca, LangdonCCook, Keays, Seedsman
HFNeal-Bullen, Melksham, FritschHFMackay, Himmelberg, Murphy
FPickett, Brown, SpargoFMcHenry, Thilthorpe, Fogarty
FOLGawn, Oliver, HarmesFOLStrachan, Laird, Sloane
I/C (from)Jackson, Bedford, Hibberd, vandenBerg, Jordon, Weideman, Sparrow, SmithI/C (from)Sholl, Lynch, Schoenberg, McAdam, Davis, Berry, Gollant, Frampton

 

History: Played 42: Melbourne 16 v Adelaide 26

Last Meeting: AFL Round 10, 2021: Adelaide (96) def Melbourne (95)

Final Thoughts: Earlier this year it was the Crows that pulled off one of the upsets of the season to down Melbourne in a nail-biter. However it’s tough to see that result being replicated this time around. Not least after a horror week off-field at the club that saw former captain Taylor Walker banned for six games after he was found guilty of a racist comment.

Top-of-the-ladder Melbourne are now minor premiership favourites. At $2.30 with Palmerbet, they just edge the Western Bulldogs ($2.50). While the accolade means little without success in September, it should be noted that the Dees haven’t finished atop the ladder since way back in 1964. And how did they finish that season? As premiers. Perhaps an omen. Two points clear, they’ll edge a step closer with four points here. Should the Crows prevail, however (or North Melbourne lose to the Swans), Matthew Nicks will avoid back-to-back wooden spoons. A carrot of sorts…

Best Bet:

  • To score 2+ goals, Christian Petracca (Melb) @ $2.40

Same Game Multi:

  • Line: Melbourne -40.5
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Christian Petracca
  • Total Points: Over 154.5
  • Odds: $3.73

Gold Coast Suns v Essendon @ GMHBA Stadium

Sunday 15th August, 15:20 (AEST)

Gold CoastEssendon
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Powell, Collins, LemmensBLaverde, Stewart, Cutler
HBFarrar, Ballard, SwallowHBRedman, Ridley, Hind
CFiorini, Miller, SharpCShiel, Merrett, Durham
HFJeffrey, Lukosius, SextonHFSmith, Francis, Perkins
FCorbett, King, AinsworthFStringer, Wright, Snelling
FOLSmith, Anderson, RowellFOLDraper, Parish, Clarke
I/C (from)Atkins, Bowes, Brodie, Burgess, Davies, Flanders, MacPherson, TownsendI/C (from)Gleeson, Heppell, Cox, Guelfi, Waterman, Phillips, Ham, McGrath

 

History: Played 11: Gold Coast 2 v Essendon 8 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 11, 2020: Gold Coast (73) drew with Essendon (73)

Final Thoughts: The Dons snapped a winless fortnight in the best possible way in Round 21, knocking off (then) minor premiership favourites the Western Bulldogs. It’s seen them shorten from $3.50 Finals hopes pre-game, now into $1.91 with Palmerbet. With Collingwood to come next week, the prospect would appear straightforward for Ben Rutten — eight points would almost certainly see them in. After a seven-goal haul against premiership against the Dogs, forward Peter Wright says the Bombers “can beat anyone on our day”. Interestingly, Wright will face Gold Coast for the first time since he was traded to Essendon last year, after playing no AFL games for the Suns in 2020. He is currently $3.25 to kick 3+ goals against his former side.

Best Bet:

  • Line, Essendon -21.5 @ $1.90

Same Game Multi:

  • Line: Essendon -21.5
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: Alec Waterman
  • Total Points: Over 157.5
  • Odds: $5.00

Fremantle v West Coast Eagles @ Optus Stadium

Sunday 15th August, 17:10 (AEST)

FremantleWest Coast
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Walker, Logue, RyanBSheppard, Barrass, Cole
HBYoung, Pearce, AishHBNelson, McGovern, Witherden
CTucker, Mundy, ColyerCGaff, Yeo, Sheed
HFSwitkowski, Taberner, HenryHFRedden, Darling, Ryan
FSchultz, Treacy, CrowdenFCripps, Kennedy, Allen
FOLDarcy, Serong, CerraFOLNaitanui, Kelly, Shuey
I/C (from)Bewley, Meek, Blakely, Banfield, Western, Acres, Hughes, WatsonI/C (from)Waterman, Langdon, L.Edwards, Vardy, Petruccelle, Foley, Hutchings, H.Edwards

 

History: Played 52: Fremantle 20 v West Coast 32

Last Meeting: AFL Round 7, 2021: West Coast (132) def Fremantle (73)

Final Thoughts: The Eagles have won just two of their last five and, if not for a host of finals hopefuls stumbling late in the home-and-away season, their Top 8 spot could be seriously under threat. However another loss here, with the derby coming up next week, could make things really interesting for Adam Simpson who at present are $1.28 fancies to remain inside the Top 8. Simpson will take comfort know they have the recent edge over the Dees, winning the last four in a row — famously including a 66-point humbling in the 2019 preliminary final.

For the Dees, there isn’t a whole heap to play for other than gaining some pre-finals momentum. A Top 4 spot is all but sewn up (currently $1.04 with Palmerbet), and while a top two spot would be nice to secure a home final, two Victorian clubs above them means they likely won’t be travelling in the first week of the finals anyhow. Both Tom McDonald (back) and Jack Viney (suspension) are unavailable.

Best Bet:

  • Margin, West Coast 1-39 @ $2.00

Same Game Multi:

  • Margin: West Coast 1-39
  • Any Time Goal Scorer: David Mundy
  • Total Points: Over 157.5
  • Odds: $6.30

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