It’s getting serious in the AFL now. We’ve got enough of a read on just about every team so far, meaning tipping should be smoother sailing than it has been since the season began. Here’s the skinny on Round 10.
Brisbane vs Richmond
A mouth-watering qualifying final rematch – and potential grand final preview – kicks off this week’s action. The Lions have won five in a row, making their shaky start to the season a distant memory. Richmond just got over the line against GWS last week, however, and still look a little shaky at 5-4.
That’s largely thanks to a shocking injury list in the midfield. With no Trent Cotchin, Shai Bolton, Dion Prestia or Kane Lambert to worry about, Lions midfielders Dayne Zorko and Jarryd Lyons should enjoy a day out as their side makes it six on the trot.
Lions by 22 $1.38 at PlayUp
Carlton vs Hawthorn
Everyone’s been piling on the Blues for a number of weeks now, but the fact they’ve lost four of their five is quite deceiving. Those losses have come against four of the competition’s very best sides – Port Adelaide, Brisbane, the Bulldogs and Melbourne – and their average losing margin in those defeats has been a very respectable 22 points.
They’ll need to be wary of lowly Hawthorn, who will surely be fired up after their embarrassing loss to the Kangaroos. The Blues have also lost a whopping 17 of their last 18 games against the Hawks.
However, Carlton is a much better team than their 3-6 record suggests. They don’t normally blow teams away but should get up by around three goals.
Blues by 16 $1.33 at PlayUp
Geelong vs Gold Coast
The Cats are flying after a wobbly start, while it’s opposite with the Suns who look to be out of steam after a promising start. Gold Coast’s shocking effort in last week’s QClash means people are lining up to tip a demolition here, but it could be a bit closer than you think.
If you take out the West Coast and Richmond wins, Geelong’s average winning margin this season is only 14 points. When these sides played last year, the Suns only trailed by 15 points at three-quarter time and could make this one interestingly close too.
Cats by 21 $1.06 at PlayUp
Adelaide vs Melbourne
There’s no slowing down the Demons, who’ll be aiming to go 10-0 for the first time since 1956. Adelaide, on the other hand, are coming back to earth and have now lost five in a row.
Don’t be fooled by the supposed home ground advantage in this one – the Demons love playing at the Adelaide Oval, winning five of their last six games there. It’d take something truly special for the Crows to pull the upset off here, but it’s very hard to see that happening.
Demons by 29 $1.23 at PlayUp
Western Bulldogs vs St Kilda
The Doggies made a massive statement by beating Port last week and have reaffirmed themselves as one of the premiership favourites. They should have no trouble brushing aside the Saints this weekend, who’ve been very disappointing against the top sides.
They may ‘only’ by 4-5, but St Kilda’s average losing margin in 2021 is a whopping 51 points. The Bulldogs just have too much grunt, class, pace and skill all over the ground and should exact sweet revenge for last year’s finals loss with a belting.
Bulldogs by 46 $1.27 at PlayUp
Fremantle vs Sydney
This might be the hardest match of the round to pick. Sydney is in pretty decent form, but Fremantle has been a bit unlucky too and should be higher up the ladder.
The home ground factor is massive in games between these clubs. In fact, the home team has won a whopping 75% of the time whenever these sides have played.
That streak extends to the new Optus Stadium; Freo are two out of two against the Swans here and are in good enough form to cause the upset and make it three.
Dockers by 7 $1.97 at PlayUp
GWS Giants vs West Coast
A lot of people will be spooked by West Coast’s dodgy away form, which is fair enough. The only team they’ve knocked off away from Perth in 2021 is the hapless Hawks.
However, the Giants have an even bigger worry this week – Toby Greene’s shoulder injury. GWS are a completely different team without their superstar/pest – and the last three seasons prove it.
Since the start of 2018, the Giants are 23-11-1 with Greene and 11-15 without him. In fact, in 2018, all eight of their losses were when he didn’t play.
Without their main man, GWS are set to go down.
Eagles by 11 $1.76 at PlayUp
Collingwood vs Port Adelaide
Both teams come into those ones under an absolute tonne of pressure. The calls for Nathan Buckley’s head have been deafening in recent weeks, while the Power once again failed to get the job done against a contender.
Port have alternated wins and losses at the MCG since the start of 2017 and are ‘due’ for a loss (if you believe in that stuff), but it’s hard to see them doing anything other than pulverising the sorry Pies.
The Magpies defence is strong enough to stop this from getting completely out of hand – but they just can’t score to save themselves. Expect Port to get up by around six goals despite not cracking the 100-point barrier.
Power by 38 $1.41 at PlayUp
Essendon vs North Melbourne
North Melbourne finally broke their duck last week – can they do what Adelaide did last season and turn that breakthrough win into a handy winning streak?
The Kangas have lost their last five against the Bombers and have lost seven straight at Marvel Stadium. Essendon has put in a month of good footy – even if it’s only netted them two wins – and should flex their muscles here with a comfortable four-goal win.
Bombers by 24 $1.31 at PlayUp
A version of this preview was originally published over at The Roar https://www.theroar.com.au/2021/05/20/the-roars-afl-expert-tips-and-predictions-round-10-4/