With a spate of byes we are met with five matches to analyse and it begins with Geelong playing the Western Bulldogs.
An upset might be brewing in Sydney as the best bets lob for another weekend of AFL.
Geelong vs. Western Bulldogs
June 18th 7:50pm
A potential grand-final rehearsal might be on show this Friday night when Geelong square off against the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium.
Geelong produced arguably its best performance of the year with a 21-point win over Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval last week.
The Cats went goal for goal with Port in a shootout but the ‘three-headed monster’ consisting of Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins and Gary Rohan proved the difference on the night.
The Bulldogs bounced back after a tough loss to Melbourne with a grinding 28-point win against Fremantle as it headed into the bye last week.
Jackson Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli continued to show why amongst the best mids in the competition but will be met with stern opposition.
Macrae had 35 disposals, while Bontempelli kicked two goals from his 27 disposals.
Recent head to head fixtures between both the Cats and Bulldogs has seen neither really gain an advantage but Geelong did win by 11 points when the teams met in Round 14 last season.
Geelong’s forward line could simply just be too big of a task for the Western Bulldogs’ backline to handle.
With Patrick Dangerfield returning well from ankle surgery, if the Cats get on top in the midfield, expect the home team to take home the four points.
Prediction: Geelong by 17 points
Suggested Bet: Geelong -7.5 at $1.89
Gold Coast vs. Port Adelaide
June 19th 1:45pm
Gold Coast open its doors to Port Adelaide for a Saturday afternoon clash at Metricon Stadium.
In a game the market expects Port Adelaide to be winning, Gold Coast, despite sitting in 15th place, has been a tough nut to crack at home.
Port Adelaide were outclassed and outgunned by Geelong last week to go down by 21 points a shootout, while Gold Coast fell to Fremantle by 27 points with Matthew Rowell making a successful return from a PCL injury.
In 12 games between both the Power and Suns, it is the visitors who have managed to win 11 games in a row.
Gold Coast has not defeated the Power since its first ever win as a football club dating back to 2011.
Ken Hinkley’s men would have fond memories last time it played at Metricon after coming away with a resounding 47-point victory.
Charlie Dixon hit some ominous form against Geelong last week and he will be on the radar of Stuart Dew and the Gold Coast defence.
If Port is serious about its premiership aspirations, this game has to be a win.
Prediction: Port Adelaide by 28 points
Suggested Bet: Port Adelaide -17.5 at $1.90
North Melbourne vs. Brisbane
June 19th 4:35pm
Brisbane attempt to get back into winning form when it faces last placed North Melbourne on Saturday evening down in Tasmania.
After stringing together seven wins in a row, the Lions were left to rue a poor second half against Melbourne in a 22-point loss but will now be refreshed after a week off.
North Melbourne, too, missed a golden opportunity to snatch four points after relinquishing a 28-point three quarter time lead to play out a 94-94 draw against Great Western Sydney.
Blundstone Arena will definitely assist the North Melbourne chances of winning and there might be some confidence in the blue and white camp given it ran the Lions to within a point during their Round 12 clash last season.
Aaron Hall could prove a handful for Brisbane and Ben Cunnington is returning to his best form.
Brisbane have match winners all over the park and none more so than Charlie Cameron and Joe Daniher.
This should be a Brisbane win but North will put a up fight.
Prediction: Brisbane by 19 points.
Suggested Bet: North Melbourne +33.5 at $1.89
GWS Giants vs. Carlton
June 15th 7:25pm
Carlton head into the second half of its season with more pressure mounting on David Teague and it will not get any easier when his side face Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium.
The bye could not have come at a better time for the Blues following a disappointing loss to injury depleted West Coast.
The Giants have not exactly set the world on fire either after stumbling to a 94-all draw against wooden spoon bound North Melbourne.
There might be sense of opportunity for Carlton in this game given the mood in its camp would have been uplifted with Harry McKay penning a new deal.
The Giants hold the aces in midfield with Tim Taranto, Josh Kelly and Jacob Hopper likely to cause headaches for a wafer thin Carlton midfield bar Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh.
McKay and Eddie Betts could also be a thorn for a Giants defence which looked shaky against North Melbourne.
Blues look the value here.
Prediction: Carlton by 2 points.
Suggested Bets: Carlton +7.5 at $1.91
Hawthorn vs. Essendon
June 20th 3:20pm
Traditional rivals Hawthorn and Essendon trek down to The Apple Isle for a Sunday afternoon clash in Launceston.
It’s been a tail of comebacks the last two times both these teams have met each other.
In Round 1 this season the Hawks scored a memorable one-point victory after trailing by 40 points, while Essendon produced a stunning comeback of its own after trailing by six goals in Round 14 last season to notch up a 16-point win.
Hawthorn did start the $1.8 favourite in Round 1 and that has to be respected despite its poor form throughout 2021.
But a sensational upset victory over Sydney at the SCG last week should Alistair Clarkson’s men ready to face a fresh Essendon team who have rested the legs during the bye round.
Prediction: Hawthorn by 8 points
Suggested Bets: Hawthorn head to head at $2.47