Round 18 of the AFL season saw the premiership favourites stumble yet again, while the new-coach-bounce struck for a third time.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Cat slip

The season that was going along so swimmingly for Geelong has all of a sudden hit a speed bump. With three losses in their last five games, the Cat’s stronghold on the premiership market has softened. At 11-1 after round 12, Chris Scott’s side were at $3 with Palmerbet to claim the flag – the shortest any side has been this year. But after going down again on the weekend – this time to Hawthorn by 24 points at the MCG – they’ve slipped back to the pack (click here for updated AFL futures). Despite going into the clash as $1.34 favourites, they failed to finish on the right side of this famous modern rivalry. What’s worse, it was their final chance to play at the ‘G before September. Tim Watson believes their lack of standout big men could come back to hurt them.

Tigers continue post-bye run

While the Cats have struggled post-bye, Richmond seems to have been invigorated by the break. With four wins on the bounce – the latest a comprehensive 38-point win over Port Adelaide – Damian Hardwick’s side look on-track for a real tilt at AFL premiership glory in 2019. The Tigers were out to as much as $18 after a third-straight loss in Round 13. But they’ve come in considerably since then (click here for updated AFL futures). And with their remaining five games all at the MCG, they look set to finish the home-and-away season in the top four.

The first of those five games is against Collingwood this Friday night. Insiders are already tipping a 90,000+ crowd for the high-stakes encounter. The early market with Palmerbet has Richmond as $1.50 favourites in that one after the inconsistent Pies again revealed their flaws on the weekend, humbled by the Giants to the tune of 47 points.

New coach strikes again

We’ve seen interim coaches Rhyce Shaw and David Teague have immediate impact at North Melbourne and Carlton this season. And after a third AFL coach was sacked this week in Alan Richardson, St Kilda interim Brett Ratten has only gone and done it again. The Saints were $2.81 outsiders against the Dogs on Sunday afternoon but turned in one of their best performances of the year. The victory not only give Ratten a winning start but snapped a four-game losing streak. The new-coach-bounce, working wonders again it seems.

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