Round 12 is the first of the bye rounds with six games to look forward to including the Queen’s Birthday showdown at the MCG on Monday.
It all gets underway with a huge game between premiership contenders Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats and ends with the annual holiday game between Collingwood and Melbourne Demons.
We preview the six Round 12 games:
Richmond Tigers v Geelong Cats
Both sides are expected to challenge for the premiership later on this season and it is Geelong that have been posted as favourites on the back of their superior record in 2019. The Cats have been the competition’s pacesetters and have won 10 of 11, while Richmond have won seven of their 11 games to date. Last weekend, Geelong held off a gallant Sydney side to win by 22 points, while Richmond went down to a rejuvenated North Melbourne outfit by 37. Look for Richmond to bounce back in this contest. The Tigers rarely produce two quiet ones in succession and should be primed to go in what is a massive clash to kick off the weekend.
Prediction: Tigers win ($2.85 MadBookie)
Carlton v Brisbane Lions
It has been another inglorious week for Carlton after the struggling club parted ways with its coach for just under four years in Brendan Bolton, who was sacked earlier in the week. The Blues have won just once this year and sit on the bottom of the ladder. They are on track to collect the wooden spoon yet again after a similar 2018 season that yielded just two wins. Brisbane have been the big improvers in 2019. After winning just five game in 2018, they have shaded that already by winning seven and are on track to play finals for the first time since 2009. It is hard to see Carlton getting near Brisbane this weekend.
Prediction: Lions -15.5 ($1.90 MadBookie)
Gold Coast Suns v North Melbourne
Both sides have generally struggled in season 2019. Gold Coast have just three wins to their credit from their 11 games, while North Melbourne have fared slightly better, winning four. Last weekend, the Suns went down by 83 points to the GWS Giants, while the Kangaroos were the surprise packets by defeating Richmond by 37. The Gold Coast Suns represent the value in the betting and have been close in all of their losses this year besides last week’s game. The home ground advantage brings them into the contest.
Prediction: Suns +17.5 ($1.90 MadBookie)
Adelaide Crows v GWS Giants
This shapes as an interesting one and it is Adelaide that are the slight underdogs, despite enjoying the home ground advantage. After a slow start, the Crows snatched victory against Melbourne last weekend and have now won six of their 11 games. GWS have won eight of 11 and come off an 83 point victory over the Gold Coast Suns. The home ground advantage brings the Crows right into this and if their forwards can finish off up forward they can register a minor upset.
Prediction: Crows win ($2.08 MadBookie)
Sydney Swans v West Coast Eagles
Sydney head into the game as underdogs after a season that has produced just three wins thus far. The Swans are likely to miss their first finals series since 2009 and come off a 22 point loss against Geelong in Round 11. West Coast are one of the teams to beat and have won eight of their 11. Last years premiers come off a comprehensive 61 point win over the Western Bulldogs and are on target for a top four finish. But the Eagles won’t be taking their opposition lightly. Sydney have a habit of featuring in close games at their home ground and this one shapes as no exception. West Coast have been the superior side but the Swans recent form brings them into it.
Prediction: Either team by under 15.5 ($2.40 MadBookie)
Collingwood v Melbourne Demons
Collingwood are one of the teams to beat this year and have won eight of their 11 games but will be keen to rebound after going down to Fremantle in the dying stages of their Round 10 match. In that encounter, a late Michael Walters goal sank the Pies. Their opponents on Queen’s Birthday, Melbourne, were also on the receiving end of a tight finish after Adelaide scraped through with a two point win. Melbourne’s Sam Weidemann missed a late shot at goal that would have reversed that result. Collingwood look to be the play here, provided they take the game on with fast ball movement through the middle.
Prediction: Collingwood -15.5 ($1.90MadBookie)