Wed, Jul 4, 11:39am by Staff Writer
Round 16 of the 2018 AFL season features a 2017 Grand Final rematch on Friday night between the Tigers and Crows, as well as a match that will shape who ‘wins’ the wooden spoon, when the Lions and Blues meet on Saturday.
Sydney versus Geelong
Thursday, 5 July 2018 at 7.20pm AEST at the SCG
Sydney faltered last weekend under the pressure of the Tigers but will be looking to maintain their spot in the top eight when they host Geelong on Thursday night.
The Swans will start as $1.45 favourites at Sportsbet, with the visiting Cats $2.78.
Geelong suffered its worst loss of the season last weekend as a $1.15 favourite, losing to the Western Bulldogs by two points.
The Cats cling to a spot in the top eight and have looked lethargic and are missing a spark at the moment.
When these two sides met in round six this season in Geelong, it was a rousing final quarter comeback from Sydney where they booted seven goals to one that was key in their 17 point win.
The Cats have a mixed record at the SCG in the past 10 years, splitting their four matches two apiece. Contests between these two sides have also recently taken place at ANZ Stadium.
Despite their slip up last weekend, the Swans are the better side in this one. Giving away only a 14.5-point start, they should be able to cover that line with some ease.
Geelong will not mind playing on a smaller ground such as the SCG, but have been underwhelming in recent weeks and only beaten much poorer sides.
Best bet- Sydney to cover 14.5-point handicap at $1.92
Richmond versus Adelaide
Friday, 6 July 2018 at 7.50pm AEST at the MCG
Richmond have only lost three times this season, but one of those losses was in round two against the Adelaide Crows.
The Tigers will start the second Grand Final rematch of the season as short priced favourites at $1.22 to beat the Crows who are priced at $4.35.
The 2018 season has been onwards and upwards for the Tigers, who sit first on the ladder and are favourites to win back-to-back flags.
The same can’t be said for the Crows. They are languishing in 11th position on the ladder and are a game outside the top eight.
A stirring come-from-behind win against the Eagles last Saturday afternoon when they trailed by 26 points may be the fire starter the Crows need to make a push towards September in the closing rounds.
Taylor Walker was in fine form last weekend and the Crows will need him and many others to fire at their full potential if they hope to stop the Tigers.
Richmond’s three losses this season have come interstate, but at the MCG they have looked unstoppable.
Richmond are 15-0 at the MCG in the past year, including their 48 point Grand Final triumph.
By contrast, Adelaide’s record at the home of football is grim reading. They have an 11-1-16 record at the MCG during the past decade and suffered a 56-point thumping by Hawthorn just three weeks ago at the G.
Adelaide put together an inspiring quarter of football to save their season last weekend, but Richmond are the best team in the competition and are unrelenting. The Tigers should roll.
Best bet- Richmond Big Win Little Win 40+ at $2.37
Brisbane versus Carlton
Saturday, 7 July 2018 at 1.45pm AEST at the Gabba
One of the more surprising results of the season came last weekend when the Lions crushed the Dockers in Perth by 55 points.
It was a coming of age win for the young Lions, who led at every change and produced their best performance under second-year coach Chris Fagan.
Brisbane are $1.42 favourites to win their third match of the season against the bottom-of-the-table Blues who are $2.89.
Carlton improved upon a woeful performance a fortnight ago against the Dockers who they lost by 21 points to Port, but still look short of confidence.
Outside of Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow and Kade Simpson, there has been little to get excited about for Blues fans this season.
The Lions mix of experienced players in Dayne Beams, Luke Hodge and Dayne Zorko, coupled with some exciting youngsters in Eric Hipwood and Cam Rayner has them looking a well-balanced team.
Carlton are 3-6 at the Gabba over the past decade and have lost their past two matches against the Lions at the venue, including a five goal loss in round 18 last season.
The Lions have been a favourite once this season and lost to the Suns, while the Blues have been underdogs in every game since round two this season.
In a battle of two lowly, unpredictable teams, we are backing the home side in a close match given they are the team in better form.
Best bet- Brisbane Lions Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.20
Elsewhere on Saturday, Port Adelaide ($1.13) will be looking to continue their march towards the top four when they host St Kilda ($6.05) at Adelaide Oval.
In the evening, Hawthorn ($1.49) will be hoping to bank four points against the Dogs ($2.65) at Etihad Stadium. In Darwin, Melbourne ($1.14) needing to end their three game losing streak with a win against the Dockers ($5.80) if they have top four hopes.
AFL Round 16 Odds – Sportsbet
Sydney $1.45 Geelong $2.78
Richmond $1.22 Adelaide $4.35
Brisbane $1.42 Carlton $2.89
Port Adelaide $1.13 St Kilda $6.05
Western Bulldogs $2.65 Hawthorn $1.49
Melbourne $1.14 Fremantle $5.80
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