Round 17 of the 2020 AFL season will see a more traditional weekend of footy take place, with nine matches spread across Thursday-Monday night. Each team has just two matches left this season and there’s still plenty that can change from a ladder standpoint, which will make for some exciting footy over the next fortnight.
As always, we bring you our best AFL tips for each match of the upcoming round, with thanks to the guys at Before You Bet.
St Kilda Saints vs West Coast Eagles
Thursday 7:10pm, Gabba
We’ve got a huge game on our hands to kick off Round 17, with the Saints taking on the Eagles at the Gabba. The Eagles (5th) are coming off a narrow defeat against the Bulldogs, while the Saints (6th) were victorious against the Hawks last time out.
It’s likely that neither club will finish in the top four or slip out of the top eight, but this is still a huge game in terms of deciding the makeup of the eight and the potential matchups in week one of the finals, so expect a hot footy on Thursday night.
The Eagles are certainly the more talented of the two clubs, but their form away from home this season has left a lot to be desired. On the other hand, the Saints have been playing inspired footy in the hub and should be able to negotiate the win against their injury-depleted opponents.
Prediction: Saints to win @$1.91
Geelong Cats vs Richmond Tigers
Friday 7:50pm, Metricon Stadium
Another huge match in Round 17 takes place on Friday night between the 2nd placed Cats and the 3rd placed Tigers. Geelong will be looking to ramp up the pressure on Port in top spot with a win, while the Tigers can jump into the top two if they’re able to salute.
These clubs have played each other in some big games in recent years, and it’s been the Tigers who have benefitted most from this matchup. Despite that, we love the way the Cats have been playing in the back half of the season and aren’t totally convinced that the Tigers have hit their straps just yet. We’re expecting a statement game from the Cats, who deserve to be the premiership favourites as it currently stands.
Prediction: Cats -4.5 @$1.90
North Melbourne vs Fremantle Dockers
Saturday 2:10pm, Adelaide Oval
North Melbourne have had a season from hell and are coming off yet another blowout loss after getting outworked by Port Adelaide in Round 16. The Kangaroos have now lost six straight games since their win over the Crows.
Fremantle were able to bounce back from a disappointing performance against GWS to pull off an upset win over a desperate Melbourne outfit. The Dockers have now put in six solid performances from their last seven games and look to have a bright future ahead.
The season couldn’t come to an end any quicker for North, while the Dockers are enjoying a purple patch in performance. All signs lead to a big Dockers win, so we’ll be taking them by 40+ as our best roughie of the round.
Prediction: Dockers 40+ @$5.20
Port Adelaide Power vs Essendon Bombers
Saturday 5:05pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide continued on their winnings ways against North Melbourne, powering past them by six goals at home. The Power remain on the top of the tree for the 16th consecutive round.
Essendon were completely and utterly embarrassed by a classy Geelong unit in their last outing, effectively putting any finals hopes to bed.
The Bombers have been poor of late and will now be without the motivation of playing for a finals spot. We’re fully expecting a Power bloodbath in their final home game of the season.
Prediction: Power -29.5 @$1.90
GWS Giants vs Melbourne Demons
Saturday 7:40pm, Gabba
Just when we all thought GWS were coming into some good form, they go and lose to the bottom-of-the-table Crows by two goals. The Giants remain in the top eight, but they certainly aren’t a threat for a flag in 2020 unless something drastically changes.
Melbourne had the ball in their court and failed to land a blow against a lowly Dockers outfit in Round 16, which has left their finals hopes hanging by a thread.
This is a very tricky match to predict because both sides are inconsistent at the best of times. With that said, the Giants best is head and shoulders above the Demons best, and they have been in the slightly better form of the two. We’ll back them at the line, but in a low-bet game.
Prediction: Giants -7.5 @$1.90
Carlton Blues vs Adelaide Crows
Sunday 1:05pm, Metricon Stadium
Carlton were playing like a side that knew their finals chances had slipped through the cracks when they took on the Swans in Round 16. They trailed by 39 points during the second quarter, but were able to claw their way back into it and eventually come away with the four points.
Adelaide went from a team that we all thought would go without a win in 2020 just a couple of weeks ago, to a team on two-game winning streak and with a genuine chance to increase it to three.
The Crows have found a gear we didn’t think they had over the past two rounds, but they couldn’t possibly make it three wins on the spin – could they? We don’t think so. We favour the Blues in another low-bet game.
Prediction: Blues to win @ $1.43
Hawthorn Hawks vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday 3:35pm, Adelaide Oval
Hawthorn put in a much better effort against the Saints than they did in their horrible loss to the Crows, but they still finished the game as losers. It’s been a bitterly disappointing season for the Hawks, who have some huge decisions to make in the off-season.
Western Bulldogs played their part in a thrilling do-or-die match against the Eagles in Round 16 and were able to come out on top by two points. They’re still on the outside of the eight looking in, but will have some chances to launch into the top eight in these two remaining rounds.
The Hawks don’t have anything to play for and the Bulldogs have it all to play for – that’s how you should view this match from a betting perspective. We expect the Bulldogs determination and intensity to be unparalleled as they dispatch the lowly Hawks on Sunday.
Prediction: Bulldogs -16.5 @$1.90
Sydney Swans vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday 6:10pm, Cazaly’s Stadium
Sydney looked on their way to back-to-back wins when they led the Blues by six goals in Round 16, but it wasn’t to be. Inconsistency was always going to plague their young squad this season, but at least they’ve shown some decent upside in some patches.
Brisbane were big winners in the Q-Clash again on Wednesday night when they made light work of Gold Coast. A top four spot has now just about been locked in for the Lions.
The Lions will be looking to finish off the season in dominant form to push for a top two spot and secure some home finals. They get the easy kill against the Swans this weekend and we expect them to take it with both hands.
Prediction: Lions to win @ $1.39
Collingwood Magpies vs Gold Coast Suns
Monday 7:10pm, Gabba
Collingwood went into their clash with the Lions on a two-game winning streak, but it didn’t count for much as they ended up eight-point losers. The Magpies remain in the top eight, but still have some work to do to secure a finals berth.
Gold Coast were outworked and outclassed by their crosstown rivals in Brisbane. It’s been another tough second half of the season for a Suns side that came out of the blocks firing.
The Magpies haven’t been in great form, but they simply must win this match to retain their top eight spot. We expect their intensity and desperation to get them over the line pretty comfortably here. Look for a line bet when odds are available.
Prediction: Magpies to win @ $1.30