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AFL Tips & Previews, 26th August

BetDeluxe takes an in-depth look at every game in the final round of the home and away season, including the crucial Sunday night clash between Carlton and GWS.

It’s the final round of the 2023 home and away season and we’re down to just GWS and the Western Bulldogs battling it out for the last finals position . 

BetDeluxe breaks down every game, including the possible Sunday night decider between the red-hot Blues and Giants.

game of the week: Blues vs. Giants

27th August 6:10PM

While there are blockbuster games everywhere you look in the final round of the home and away fixture, none will carry the importance of the Carlton and GWS match-up on Sunday afternoon if the Bulldogs can pull off a victory over the Cats.

Ultimately, it’s a simple equation for Adam Kingsley and the Giants – win, and you’re in the finals.

Despite dismantling Essendon by 126 points last weekend, the Giants are currently $2.32 underdogs against a Blues side on a nine-game winning streak. Finn Callaghan and Nick Haynes will undergo a fitness test later this week, but they’ll otherwise be looking for more of the same, with Jesse Hogan slotting nine goals and six players collecting 30+ disposals.

Carlton have worked their way into fifth spot on the ladder following their second straight four-point thriller. All eyes will be on how Michael Voss and the Blues selection panel handle the possible return of Adam Cerra, Matt Kennedy, Mitch McGovern and Sam Walsh.

While Carlton would love to enter their first finals campaign in a decade on a 10-game winning run, there’s no doubt this game is far more critical to their cross-border rivals.

TIP: Same Game Multi:

  • Leg 1: Giants +8.5
  • Leg 2: Over 167.5
  • Leg 3: J. Kelly 25+ disposals
  • Leg 4: H. McKay 2+ goals
  • Total: $7.50

Bombers vs. Magpies

25th August 7:50pm

After losing three of their past four, the ladder leaders will look to find form in their last pre-finals hit-out against the old foe. Jordan De Goey and Bobby Hill will both return after missing their loss to the Lions with minor injury issues. As for the Bombers, they were disgraced against the Giants (126 points) in one of the club’s worst performances of the modern era and would do well to keep this under 10 goals.

TIP: Magpies 40+ @ $2.40

Hawks vs. Dockers

26th August 1:45pm

One of the games of the round as the ever-improving Hawks host Fremantle on the MCG. Sam Mitchell’s men have been the giant killers towards the end of the season with victories over Collingwood and Western Bulldogs, but one final hoorah would take their tally to a semi-respectable eight wins for the year. The Dockers pushed Port to 16 points one week after pulling the Eagles’ pants down, so they shouldn’t be underestimated.

TIP: Hawks to win @ $1.60

Kangaroos vs. Suns

26th August 1:45pm

An emotional week for the two-win Kangaroos, as Jack Ziebell’s retirement coincided with injuries to Luke McDonald and possibly Luke Davies-Uniacke. Further, West Coast’s surprise triumph over the Bulldogs has put them in the box seat to secure the wooden spoon and Harley Reid with the number one pick. I mean, they’ll do everything they can to win the game. But the Suns have more to play for.

TIP: Suns 1-39 @ $2.10

Lions vs. Saints

26th August 4:35PM

There are no two ways about it: fear the northerners. The Lions have quietly been doing business with recent wins over Fremantle, Adelaide, and now Collingwood, putting them in second spot and in the box seat for a Gabba-based finals series. Lincoln McCarthy and Callum Ah Chee are both in doubt, but Lachie Neale, Josh Dunkley and Charlie Cameron are primed to make it four straight against the Saints.

TIP: E. Hipwood first goal scorer @ $9.50

Cats vs. Bulldogs

26th August 7:25PM

One team has nothing to play for, and the other everything. Despite the Bulldogs’ unenviable record at GMHBA Stadium, they’ll enter this one as $1.69 favourites with BetDeluxe due to the sheer number of personnel unavailable for the home side. The Cats, who can no longer play finals following their loss to St Kilda, have ruled out Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins, Brad Close, Esava Ratugolea and Mitch Duncan. The Dogs should, but they must overcome a G-Town hoodoo dating back to 2003.

TIP: Bulldogs to win @ $1.69

Eagles vs. Crows

26th August 8:10PM

If there’s any team that deserves to be deflated following the events of Round 23, it’s the Crows. How Matthew Nicks inspires his men to go one last time will be interesting to watch, but if they turn up, they’ll be against a much better Eagles outfit than the one they routed by 122 points in Round 13. Not much better, but it’s good enough to beat the Dogs by seven points at Marvel Stadium. The Eagles will farewell club champions Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn, but that won’t be enough to taste victory.   

TIP: Crows 40+ @ $2.50

Power vs. Tigers

27th July 12:30pm

The third-ranked Power will know whether they are playing for second or third spot by the start of their game, with Brisbane’s result against the Saints playing out the day prior. They returned to winning form with a 16-point victory over Fremantle, while the Tigers farewelled club champions Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt with a win over the Roos. The Power should have no issues here.  

TIP: Over (+178.5) @ $1.87

Swans vs. Demons

27th August 3:20PM

In a match-up that went awfully close to the Game of the Week, the in-form Swans will look to extend their current six-game winning streak against a Melbourne unit that could potentially finish second. While Brisbane and Port both losing is doubtful, Simon Goodwin will use the game to figure out his forward set-up, with Bayley Fritsch and Tom McDonald both likely to return. It’s a finals-like game to get us going ahead of September.

TIP: Demons to win @ $2.10

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