Preview Sport

AFL Round 17 Preview

We’re into the final stretch of the AFL’s home-and-away season. Who’ll be moving up the ladder as the shadow of finals looms larger?

Port Adelaide vs Melbourne

After an incredible start to the season, Melbourne is starting to wobble. They won their first nine games in a row, but have won ‘just’ three of their last six to lose top spot on the ladder.

Travelling to Adelaide to play Port looks like a tough gig, but the Demons play very well in the South Australian capital and the Power have been rubbish against the top eight sides in 2021.

Back the Dees to bounce back here.

Demons by 20 $2.54 at PlayUp

Essendon vs Adelaide Crows

Both of these sides have probably been a bit overrated in 2021. The Bombers look to be improving in Ben Rutten’s first year in charge, but they’ve lost three of their past four and really aren’t anywhere near as close to finals as people are making out.

Adelaide, on the other hand, has only won two of their last 11 – with both wins coming by under a goal.

Essendon should get up here, but it will likely be a bit of a scrap.

Bombers by 16 $1.99 at PlayUp

Hawthorn vs Fremantle

Fremantle threw a golden opportunity to jump into the top eight away with a loss to the Blues last week. Now, they have to play a tricky Hawthorn side who’ll be fired up now that Alastair Clarkson has announced his departure at the end of next season.

A lot of people are talking up the Tassie factor for this match, but the Hawks have actually lost three of their last four in Launceston and are in danger of dropping their third straight for the first time since 2005.

The Dockers have too much to play for and should get it done.

Dockers by 9 $2.16 at PlayUp

Carlton vs Geelong Cats

No Jeremy Cameron, no Geelong? Are you kidding?

They won the minor premiership and made a grand final last year without him!

Carlton will be out for blood in this clash, but don’t be fooled by Jezza’s absence – the Cats can cope just fine without him and will do it again against the Blues.

Cats by 37 $2.00 at PlayUp

Brisbane Lions vs St Kilda

This is one of the easier games to tip this week.

Brisbane continues to go about their business quietly and fly under the radar in the premiership conversation, whereas St Kilda managed to still be disappointing despite beating Collingwood last week.

Their fourth-quarter fadeout – which has been happening a lot this year – simply won’t cut it if they want to get close on Saturday night.

Lions by 45 $2.66 at PlayUp

GWS Giants vs Gold Coast Suns

How on earth can you tip games involving Greater Western Sydney?

Over the last few weeks, they’ve lost to second-last Hawthorn, drawn with the last-placed Kangaroos and beaten the first-placed Demons. What gives?

They deserve to be favourites against Gold Coast – despite the Suns knocking off Richmond – but, given how flaky they’ve been, why not have a crack on the underdogs?

Suns by 2 $3.50 at PlayUp

Western Bulldogs vs Sydney Swans

Sydney’s 92-point annihilation of West Coast was partly their own great form, but a lot of it has to be attributed to just how shockingly bad the Eagles were.

It was a welcome return to form for the Swans after a shaky few weeks, but the pressure goes up a notch against the high-flying Bulldogs.

For now, the Doggies look to have their measure.

Bulldogs by 31 $2.00 at PlayUp

Richmond vs Collingwood

Is Richmond’s dynasty crumbling before our eyes? The players might be talking serious talk off the field, but the time has come for them to walk the walk.

There are no excuses for them not to put a horror fortnight behind them and lay down the punishment on a Collingwood side falling back into their old ways.

Tigers by 26 $2.08 at PlayUp

West Coast Eagles vs North Melbourne

The Eagles were astonishingly atrocious last week. Sydney were the favourites going in, but nobody saw that carnage coming.

Luckily for them, they’ve got the closest thing to a bye this weekend; North Melbourne at home.

Eagles by 43 $2.76 at PlayUp

A version of this preview was originally published over at The Roar


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