Wed, Jul 13, 12:21pm by Staff Writer
The AFL finals picture is becoming clearer with each passing week. North Melbourne (10-5) are the one on the bubble in eighth-place on the ladder after losing four consecutive games.
There’s still time for any of the four 7-8 teams to knock the Kangaroos out of the top eight, but the team to watch is Collingwood who are now on a three-game winning streak and moving up the ladder.
AFL Round 17 action starts on Thursday night with a match between Hawthorn v Sydney – the two teams atop of the ladder. There are several very intriguing match-ups scheduled this week as well.
Last week I went 2-1 (+1.0U), as both of the huge underdogs covered the line. Collingwood (+47.5) ended up defeating GWS in a massive upset that knocked the Giants down to 7th on the ladder.
Sydney v Hawthorn betting tips
When: Thursday, July 14th 2016 at 7:20 PM AEST
Where: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
Watch: Channel 7
There is definitely value on Hawthorn (12-3) to continue their winning streak. The Hawks have won six in a row since losing at home to Sydney (11-4) in Round 9. Dating back to the 2014 Grand Final, these teams have played head-to-head four times and the home team has lost every match.
Sydney have the best defence (69.5 PPG), while the Hawks rank 6th in points allowed (84.1 PPG). Hawthorn have more firepower upfront, though (Hawthorn 101 PPG – 4th / Sydney 96.3 PPG – 7th). In order for the Hawks to win at the SCG they simply need to contain the league’s leading goalkicker Lance Franklin.
Franklin has 53 goals, but there’s a sharp drop in production after Franklin, as the next leading goalkicker on the Swans is Isaac Heeney (17). Jack Gunston (36) leads the Hawks in goals, but they have four other players who have scored 23+ goals (James Sicily, Paul Puopolo, Cyril Rioli & Luke Breust).
North Melbourne v Port Adelaide betting tips
When: Saturday, July 16th 2016 at 4:35 PM AEST
Where: Etihad Stadium (ES)
Watch: Fox Footy
This is an intriguing match-up that has huge finals implications. North Melbourne (10-5) are on a slide, as I previously mentioned in the article, while Port Adelaide (7-8) are right behind them. The Power have lost three of four games, but they’re ninth on the ladder and a win at Etihad would be monumental.
Both teams have formidable offences. The Power score an average of 96.5 PPG (sixth), while the Kangaroos score an average of 95.1 PPG (ninth). Charlie Dixon (30), Chad Wingard (29) and Aaron Young (28) lead the way for the Power, while Ben Brown (27) and Brent Harvey (25) are in great form for the Roos’.
Jarrad Waite (27 Goals) hasn’t played since Round 12 for the Roos’ and his absence has hurt. The last two H2H games have been played at the Etihad and these teams have split those games (1-1). The Roos’ won 97-90 in Round 3 2014 and the Power won 113-105 in Round 3 last season. This game will be close.
Adelaide v Collingwood betting tips
When: Saturday, July 16th 2016 at 7:10 PM AEST
Where: Adelaide Oval (AO)
Watch: Channel 7
Collingwood (7-8) are 11th on the ladder, but they’ve won three in a row and if they can upset Adelaide, they could stay alive in the playoff race. While unlikely, I expect the Pies’ to come out strong and will therefore cover the huge line. Adelaide (11-4) are third on the ladder and have won seven consecutive games.
Adelaide are the highest scoring team in the league (112.6 PPG), while Collingwood rank 14th in points for (84.5 PPG). Both teams rank similarly in points allowed (Adelaide 85.1 PPG – 8th / Collingwood 90.6 PPG – 10th). However, the Pies’ are coming off a 125-point outing against the Giants and are in great form.
The Magpies will need to limit the trio of Josh Jenkins, Eddie Betts and Taylor Walker, but if they can do that, they’ll cover this huge line. Adelaide are rolling along right now and have won the last three H2H games, but the three wins were all by less than 30 points. Bet the Pies’ to cover the line.
AFL Round 17 Odds
*Straight and line odds are from WilliamHill.com.au
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