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AFL Tips & Preview- Round 8

The 2023 AFL premiership rolls into Round 8 with a Friday night showdown between the Blues and Lions and will include an exciting clash between the Power and Bombers before finishing with the Kangaroos taking on the Saints.

Carlton Blues vs Brisbane Lions

History: Played 37: Lions 21, Blues 16

Last meeting: Round 21, 2022- Lions 17.12 (114) def Blues 12.9 (81) at Gabba

Team News: The Blues are only set to miss one player from last week’s game, with ruck Tom De Koning unavailable for selection. De Koning entered the AFL’s 12-day concussion protocol. However, they could receive a double boost in Jesse Motlop and Matt Owies (hamstring). Motlop will return from suspension, while Owies could return in time from a hamstring injury. The Lions will have to make at least two changes for Friday. Dayne Zoko (hamstring) and Daniel Rich (calf) will exit, and Jarry Lyons and Deven Robertson or Nakia Cockatoo are the most likely replacements.

What We Like: In the most anticipated clash of Round 8, the Blues will take on the visiting Lions. A big part of the Lions’ success has been the goalscoring of Charlie Cameron and new recruit Jack Gunston from the Hawks. Gunston has kicked over two goals in his last six interstate appearances and is paying $2.25. Eric Hipwood ($2.20) and Cam Rayner ($2.60) are another two who could payout to score 2+ goals. Hipwood has scored two or more in the Lions’ past two games, and with more attention going to Cameron, it could open the doors for the two forwards.

Final Thoughts: Sitting fourth on the ladder, the Brisbane Lions are looking to make it five consecutive wins this week after defeating the Dockers, Giants, Kangaroos and Magpies. While Carlton will be a difficult task, especially in the way they have been playing, they have emerged victorious in the past three games against the Blues. Expect this time to be no different. To win the game at $1.96, they are a steal at this price and are classified as the best bet.

Best Bet: Match Result- Brisbane Lions @ $1.96

Richmond Tigers vs West Coast Eagles

History: Played 48: Eagles 27, Tigers 21

Last meeting: Round 16, 2022- Tigers 20.8 (128) def Eagles 13.15 (93) at MCG

Team News: Jack Graham (hamstring) will re-enter the team, with Tyler Sonsise set to lose out on his spot. Starting as the sub last week, Judson Clarke may come back into the starting 22. For the Eagles, two changes are certain, with Rhett Bazzo (injury) and Samo Petrevski-Seton (suspension) being unavailable. They will be hoping to regain premiership-winner Dom Sheed, but Zane Trew is definite to be recalled. Callum Jamieson may also come into the team after returning from injury in the WAFL.

What We Like: The game between the Tigers and Eagles illustrates that although you may lose by a small amount, a loss is a loss. The Eagles have lost their last 11 interstate matches and look to extend that streak. However, midfielder Andrew Gaff has recorded 26+ disposals in 18 of his past 19 games at the MCG. To get 25+ touches, Gaff is paying $1.99, a bargain for a key piece in the Eagles’ midfield. Richmond to score over +103.5 is a bargain at $1.89, and Richmond’s total point to be 121 or more is even better at $3.75.

Final Thoughts: While this might look like a close match on paper, with both clubs managing only one win this season, the game will, unfortunately, be far from that- mainly if you’re a West Coast Eagles supporter. The game is set to be another blowout against the Eagles, a team struggling with multiple injuries to star players and poor form. Due to this, the best bet is easily in the margin section, as the Tigers should defeat by 40+ at $1.86 as they look to prove a point to the rest of the competition.

Best Bet: Margin- Richmond 40+ @ $1.86

Geelong Cats vs Adelaide Crows

History: Played 48: Cats 27, Crows 21

Last meeting: Round 11, 2022- Cats 15.7 (97) def Crows 7.13 (55) at Kardinia Park

Team News: Jack Bowes (calf) will miss out on the game, with Zach Tuohy (back) set to return against the Crows. Jon Ceglar could also be an option. Josh Worrell (hamstring) is set to be picked for the Adelaide Crows. His height will prevail against Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.

What We Like: They are many things to like about this blockbuster clash, but the main ones would be the goalkickers. The duo Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins are in career-best form, with the latter coming off a career-best eight goals last week. After kicking eight, Hawkins is a good bet to kick above three ($1.81) or four goals ($3.10). His partner in crime, Cameron, has kicked 3+ goals in each of the last six matches for the Cats. While he may not give the best odds to repeat the feat, Cameron is $1.88 to kick a bag of four or more.

Final Thoughts: Heading back home, the Geelong Cats have won four on the trot and don’t look like losing. Many might expect the game to be one-sided, but the Crows illustrated last week against the Magpies that they shouldn’t be underestimated. As Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron will take one end and Taylor Walker and Izak Rankine will take the other, a high-scoring free-flowing game is set to be on the cards. Thus, a total score over 166.5 points is a great choice at $1.88.

Best Bet: Total Score (166.5)- Over 166.5 @ $1.88

Gold Coast Suns vs Melbourne Demons

History: Played 16: Demons 13, Suns 3

Last meeting: Round 2, 2022- Demons 12.10 (82) def Suns 10.9 (69) at Carrara

Team News: The Suns and Stuart Dew luckily don’t have any injuries to worry about this week. Levi Casboult, who was rested last week, will be an inclusion on the side. Dew, may also choose to bring in another tall defender, with Mac Andrew or Jy Farrar the prominent choices. The Demons are awaiting Charlie Spargo and Harrison Petty to pass concussion protocols, but the club is confident the two will pass. Josh Schache (wrist) will be unavailable after his debut last week.

What We Like: After completely dominating the Kangaroos’ midfield, Christian Petracca is looking for a repeat performance. Petracca has a great record against the Suns, having recorded 32+ disposals against them in the last two games; thus, expect 30+ disposals from him at $2.40. Alex Neal-Bullen ($5.10) and Ed Langdon($1.68) are two others to watch for getting more than 20+ touches. Neal-Bullen has done it in his past five games against Gold Coast, while Langdon has done it in seven of his last nine.

Final Thoughts: The Demons will enter the game this week on a high after thrashing the Kangaroos with ease. Although the Suns have won their past two games, they have struggled against Melbourne, having lost to them in ten consecutive games. As Melbourne is sure to get the win, the Suns are still expected to be competitive; thus, the best bet is related to the line (-17.5). Expect Melbourne to cover the line at -17.5 at $1.90.

Best Bet: Line (-17.5)- Melbourne -17.5 @ $1.90

GWS Giants vs Western Bulldogs

History: Played 16: Bulldogs 10, Giants 6

Last meeting: Round 22, 2022- Bulldogs 9.8 (62) def Giants 8.9 (57) at Docklands

Team News: The Giants will regain premium midfielder veteran Callan Ward this week from suspension, but with no injuries coming out of the game, Ward may be the only change that is made. The trio of Phil Davis (groin), Lachie Keeffe (thumb) and Daniel Lloyd (calf) are all set to return to footy this week, but that may not be at AFL level. The Bulldogs are hopeful to regain Tom Liberatore (concussion), but it isn’t a certainty. The club also had no injuries, and Toby McLean was an unused substitute. Expect the same 23 this week, apart from Liberatore entering the side.

What We Like: The Giants managed to edge out the Swans but don’t expect them to succeed in getting back-to-back wins. The Bulldogs are paying $1.54 on the head-to-head market. If the Dogs are to win, their midfield will need to come in handy. Jack Macrae has managed 31+ disposals in six of the last games against GWS and is paying $2.80 to keep his record intact with 30+. Jason Johannisen is another to watch and has had 21+ disposals in his last four games. At $1.60, he is a steal.

Final Thoughts: In what will be a tough game for either side, the expected winner is only to just emerge victorious over their competitor. In saying this, the Giants are winless at Manuaka Oval in their past eight games but had a great win against the Swans at the SCG. The Western Bulldogs just managed to get over the line against the Hawks, but the return of Tom Liberatore is a massive inclusion and might be the defining factor for the end result of the match. Therefore, Western Bulldogs to win 1-39 at $2.18 is the best bet.

Best Bet: Margin- Western Bulldogs 1-39 @ $2.18

Fremantle Dockers vs Hawthorn Hawks

History: Played 40: Hawks 28, Dockers 12

Last meeting: Round 13, 2022- Dockers 14.11 (95) def Hawks 12.10 (82) at Perth Stadium

Team News: Dual Brownlow winner Nat Fyfe is set to return from injury, which is a big plus for the Dockers. However, midfielder Matthew Johnson (suspension) will be a big out for the side. Neil Erasmus is the most likely to come into his place after being used as a substitute last week. Despite no injuries, the Hawks could produce some shock changes after the omitted three first-round picks last week. If they are to make some changes, Connor Macdonald (VFL- 37 disposals), Cam Mackenzie (VFL- 30 disposals, five clearances), and Lloyd Meek (VFL- 46 hit outs, 26 disposals) are likely to enter the squad.

What We Like: In what is expected to be a low-scoring encounter, the two teams have struggled in the offence- the Hawks being marginally worse as they rank 18th for the offence. As the total score sits at 165.5, the best bet is to go under the scoreline at $1.88. The Dockers have had their way against the Hawks, winning 16 of their last 17. The same outcome at $1.36 has the favourite going over. Also, as both sides struggle offensively, the game is expected to be close, so look at the margin. In particular, Fremantle 1-39 at $2.12. Consider that the Hawks have lost their last three by 1-39.

Final Thoughts: Stamping his mark on the AFL competition last season, Fremantle midfield superstar Andrew Brayshaw has failed to do the same this season but is still averaging 26.4 disposals per game. The reigning AFLPA’s MVP has been tagged in recent weeks but doesn’t expect that to happen this round against a young Hawks side. With that in mind, Brayshaw is due for a phenomenal breakout game, which is set to happen this week. Keeping it simple with disposals, the best bet is for Brayshaw to get 30 or more disposals at $2.40.

Best Bet: To Get 30 or More Disposals- Andrew Brayshaw @ $2.40

Port Adelaide Power vs Essendon Bombers

History: Played 35: Power 21, Bombers 14

Last meeting: Round 22, 2022- Power 23.8 (146) def Bombers 9.8 (62) at Docklands

Team News: Port Adelaide will be without Xavier Duursma (knee), who is a definite out for the next ten weeks. Returning for the Power include Tom Jonas (suspension) and Todd Marshall (concussion), with the duo intended to play a major role in the match. The Bombers made many changes last round after the quick turnaround from ANZAC Day. Dyson Heppell, Alwyn Davey Jnr and Jye Menzie were all missing and could be a chance to return. Sam Durham (suspension) will be omitted, but he may be one of the many changes Brad Scott will make.

What We Like: Although the Power is favourites to walk away with the win ($1.52) and beat the Bombers in five of the past six matchups, the Bombers should not be counted out at all at $2.53. The favourite has covered the line in seven of Essendon’s last eight games, and don’t expect anything different; the Power is paying $1.90 to cover the -12.5 line. Other safe bets include Ollie Wines to get 25+ disposals ($1.70) and Darcy Parish to get 30+ at $1.38.

Final Thoughts: The best bet in this game is for Port Adelaide Power forward Charlie Dixon to score three or more goals at $2.25. An ‘old school’ forward, Dixon recently returned to the side from injury and averages 1.8 goals per game. However, the Coleman Medal runner-up in 2020 and leading goalkicker of the Power in 2017, 2020 and 2021 is unstoppable when not scarred by injury. After scoring two against the Saints last round, expect him to add an extra goal to make it three against a depleted Bombers defence.

Best Bet: To Score 3 or More Goals- Charlie Dixon @ $2.25

Collingwood Magpies vs Sydney Swans

History: Played 231: Magpies 143, Swans 87, Draw 1

Last meeting: Preliminary Final, 2022- Swans 14.11 (95) def Magpies 14.10 (94) at SCG

Team News: Collingwood will lose Nathan Kreuger (rib) in a big loss, but could be provided with a big inclusion as Mason Cox’s return date is not yet set. Billy Frampton will cover Cox as he has done for the past couple of weeks. Finally, some good news is coming out of the Swans, with Robbie Fox (concussion) being cleared to play and Tom Hickey available for his first game. Hickey’s availability will push Hayden McLean out of the side. Angus Sheldrick may be omitted due to poor form at the top level, having only three disposals against GWS.

What We Like: When the Magpies take on the Swans, there are always great things to like. Keeping it simple, Collingwood has covered the line in each of its last six matches at the G ($1.90). They have also won 14 of their last 15 at the stadium, which has seen them gone to first on the table. A head-t0-head win is set at $1.44. Keeping it in the family, Nick Daicos has registered 38+ disposals in the last four weeks, and his brother Josh has kicked a goal in five previous games against the Swans. Nick is paying $2.15 for 35+ touches, and Josh is paying $2.00 for one goal against Sydney.

Final Thoughts: The Swans will finally regain some more players from injury this week but expect them to still come short against the Magpies. After just defeating the Adelaide Crows last week, the Magpies will be hoping to back it up with a comfortable win. Sitting on top of the AFL ladder, the Pies should be able to defeat the Swans easily and go wire-to-wire and lead at every quarter interval. Considering the star power in their team, it is a near certainty at $2.20 that this will happen, especially with the lacklustre form the Swans are in.

Best Bet: Wire to Wire- Collingwood Lead at Every Quarter @ $2.20

North Melbourne Kangaroos vs St Kilda Saints

History: Played 163: Kangaroos 81, Saints 80, Draw 1

Last meeting: Round 11, 2022- Saints 16.7 (103) def Kangaroos 7.8 (50) at Docklands

Team News: The Kangaroos will, unfortunately, have to make many changes this week. Charlie Comben (ankle), Callum Coleman-Jones (concussion), Tom Powell (ankle), and Jack Zielbell (foot) are all either in doubt or unavailable to play. However, they may regain Luke Davies-Uniacke and George Wardlaw from injuries- heel and knee. The Saints received no injuries last week but will have no players returning either. Jack Billings, Jacky Bytel, Cooper Sharma and Tom Campbell all made a case in the VFL to be chosen, but it’s unlikely they’ll replace anyone.

What We Like: The Roos have been horrendous, having been smashed in their past five matches. On the other hand, the Saints have been magnificent despite the fact they were defeated last week and defeated the Roos by 53 points the last time they met. The margin, line and total score are the three areas to keep track of. St Kilda 40+ is paying $2.00, while the total score over 164.5 is $1.88, and the line (-37.5) is $1.90 at St Kilda -37.5.

Final Thoughts: Just like the West Coast Eagles, the Kangaroos have struggled with a string of injuries and poor form. Add in the fact that they will lose another four key players and the great form of the Saints, St Kilda should be able to win pretty comfortably. This is an unreal bet considering it is paying $2.00, so make sure to take the Saints to win above 40 points.

Best Bet: Margin- St Kilda 40+ @ $2.00


Round 14 Preview

Kangaroos record first win of 2024 as Swans domination continues

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