Round 16 of the 2021 AFL season saw Richmond’s woes worsen, while West Coast’s horror record in Geelong continued – this time against the Swans.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Tiger troubles continue

We asked last week whether Richmond’s quest for a threepeat was done, and Round 16 provided more damning evidence to suggest it might be. The 10-point loss, to the lowly Gold Coast, in Melbourne, in a clash they started $1.14 favourites with Palmerbet, makes for grim reading for coach Damien Hardwick. Pre-game he said the clash was their most important match of the season. But the reigning premiers stuttered to a side that themselves have failed to impress in season 2021.

Not only is Richmond’s AFL premiership defence in trouble, but finals may be too. Less than a month ago, the Tigers were as short as $1.06 to make a fifth-straight finals series. Now? They’re at a much less certain $1.50. The dynasty might not be over yet, but it’s on very shaky ground. The Tigers are also out to $13 for the flag – the longest they’ve been all season.

Highway to hell

West Coast aren’t fond of going down the highway from Melbourne to Geelong. We knew this before they stepped out onto the track yesterday against the Swans in a Covid-forced fixture change. Prior to Sunday their last four performances at the venue resulted in losses of 97, 58, 44 and 75 points respectively to the Cats. Betting was more or less even prior to the first bounce, with Adam Simpson’s side marginal $1.95 outsiders. What was to come, however, was a brutal audit on where they’re currently at. The Swans dominated from the outset, winning the contested footy and when they got their hands one it, used it far cleaner than the Eagles. The Bloods had EIGHT multiple goal kickers. “They look a little devoid of confidence and very, very worried, West Coast,” Hawks great Jason Dunstall said during coverage on Fox Footy.

The loss sees the Eagles on shakier ground when it comes to AFL Finals footy. Back-to-back losses sees them shift from $1.17 Top 8 chances, out to $1.50. The Swans, by contrast, are into $1.20.

Parish polish

Brownlow-watch this week yet again focuses on Essendon’s Darcy Parish, who won a THIRD best-on-ground medal this year. You can all but pencil in nine votes for those games, plus more for his other performances in what’s been a brilliantly consistent season. It’s now without doubt he is the AFL’s most improved player in 2021, and perhaps the biggest improved player (in such a short period of time) in recent years. Let’s not forgot he was a $501 Brownlow shot at the start of the season. His Friday night effort brought him in even further, from $9 into $6 with Palmerbet.

Slimmer than a glimmer?

Back-to-back wins for Carlton has provided much-needed relief for coach David Teague. Could they now even be an outside AFL Finals hope? The Blues have shortened from $21 into $5 to make the AFL Top 8 on the back of victories against Adelaide and, in Round 16, Fremantle — a clash they started as marginal $1.85 favourites in.

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