Wed, Jun 21, 9:35am by Head Editor
The bye rounds are over so we’re back to a full fixture of nine games this weekend over four days, in five different states.
Being the hardest season to predict, it was no surprise that four of six games last week were won by the underdog.
With that in mind, it’s interesting that there is only one match this weekend with a line in single figures, with the other eight having a clear favourite. That match comes on Saturday, when Collingwood ($2.10) host Port Adelaide ($1.74) at the MCG. The line here is just 4.5 points.
Four of this week’s games have a line of over four goals, and the other four have a line of over two goals.
Here’s our best bets for Round 14.
Adelaide v Hawthorn, Thursday June 22, 7:50pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
The top-of-the-table Crows are the biggest favourite of the round, when they host the 17th-placed Hawks at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.
Both sides are coming off the bye, but before that the hosts were way too strong for the Saints, while the visitors lost to the Suns at home.
The market has been solid all week, with the Crows at their mark of $1.10 to salute, the Hawks opened at $7.50 but have come in slightly to $7, while the line has drifted from 45.5 to 48.5 points. That’s the longest price Hawthorn have been in a game in the ten years that such records have been kept.
That line may look large, but the hosts have won six of their seven games at home this season, by an average of 61 points.
The biggest worry for Hawthorn comes with their tall defenders, they’ll be without James Frawley and Josh Gibson for this one, and are coming up against the team with the most inside 50 marks (15.3 per game) in the league.
The other serious issue for the brown and gold is scoring, they average just 78 points per game, while their opponents average 118. Things could get ugly here.
Suggested Bet: Adelaide to cover the line (-48.5): $1.92
WATCH: Our Preview of Round 14 of the AFL
Sydney v Essendon, Friday June 23, 7:50pm AEST, SCG
The Swans are aiming for their sixth win in seven games when they host the Bombers, who are coming off the bye. After losing their first six games of the season, Sydney now sit just one game out of the top eight.
Therefore, the $1.44 for them to beat the Bombers seems fair, they’ve been at that mark since Monday, as have the Dons at their mark of $2.80. There was some money for the Swans to cover the line of 14.5 at the start of the week, which has seen it drift out to 16.5 points.
The boys from the Harbour City looked down and out last week, trailing Richmond by 36 points early in the second term, but they stormed home, kicking eight of the last nine majors to secure a stunning win.
As mentioned, the Swans have found their form of last season in the last six weeks – they’ve averaged 102 points in that period – but it’s been their defensive work that has allowed them to turn their season around, and seen them concede just 70 points per game over that time.
The last time that the Bombers beat the Swans at the SCG was way back in Round 15, 2009. They’ve lost their last four here, and their last six against the Swans overall.
Essendon were impressive in their last outing before the bye, defeating Port Adelaide by a whopping 70 points, so they should be able to keep it close here. They have lost three of their four interstate games this season though, so I’m taking the Swans by 1-39 points.
Suggested Bet: Sydney to win by 1-39 points: $2.10
West Coast v Melbourne, Saturday June 24, 7:40pm AEST, Domain Stadium
After beating the Bulldogs by a massive margin of 57 points on Sunday, many experts have announced the Demons’ arrival as a premiership contender. This week provides another big challenge though – West Coast in Perth – as the Demons aim to play in September for the first time since 2006.
Both these sides sit at 7-5 and they are both coming off wins against fellow finals aspirants. The Eagles defeated the third-placed Cats at this venue last Thursday night.
The hosts should go into this one fresher, they’ve had an extra three days to prepare and haven’t left Western Australia since Round 11. However, the Dees are set to welcome back All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn for this one.
The return of Gawn could be a decisive one, with the Eagles playing with a make-shift ruckman all year. The hosts are still without their spearhead Josh Kennedy, while the Demons with be without co-captain Nathan Jones, who suffered a quad injury last week.
The visitors will have to overcome a deplorable recent record in this fixture, they’ve lost their last nine against the Eagles, six of which were by more than 50 points, but they are a much more competitive outfit this season.
They kept the reigning premiers to just 56 points on Sunday, so I like the $1.92 for them to keep this one close.
Suggested Bet: Melbourne to cover the line (+16.5): $1.92
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining all the below for $7.74 at Sportsbet
Adelaide to cover the line (-48.5): $1.92
Sydney to win by 1-39 points: $2.10
Melbourne to cover the line (+16.5): $1.92
AFL Round 14 odds:
Adelaide $1.10 v Hawthorn $7 Line: 48.5
Sydney $1.44 v Essendon $2.80 Line: 16.5
Collingwood $2.10 v Port Adelaide $1.74 Line: 4.5
Brisbane $5.75 v Greater Western Sydney $1.14 Line: 34.5
Western Bulldogs $1.42 v North Melbourne $2.90 Line: 16.5
West Coast $1.42 v Melbourne $2.90 Line: 16.5
Geelong $1.17 v Fremantle $5.10 Line: 36.5
Richmond $1.46 v Carlton $2.75 Line: 13.5
St Kilda $1.26 v Gold Coast $3.90 Line: 26.5
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and correct at the time of publishing*
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