The 2020 AFL season is one like no other and things are about to get even weirder. Make sure you bank some brownie points with your significant other before Wednesday night, because that will be the beginning of 20 straight days of football! Round 9 will run from Wednesday-Sunday and you can check out all our previews and AFL tips below, with thanks to the team at Before You Bet.
Western Bulldogs vs Richmond Tigers
Wednesday 7:10pm, Metricon Stadium
Day 1 of 20 kicks off with a great match at Metricon between the Bulldogs and the Tigers. The Bulldogs were narrow and perhaps lucky winners against the Suns in Round 8, while the Tigers were two goal losers against the Giants in a Grand Final rematch.
In usual circumstances the Tigers would be the short(ish) favourites against the Dogs here, but the reigning champs injury list evens up this contest to a near 50/50 in the market.
The Bulldogs match up extremely well against the Tigers, highlighted by their 5-1 dominance in the H2H since 2014. Further, the Dogs have covered the line in all six of those matches and they also won both meetings in the years the Tigers won the premiership (2017, 2019). The stats are too hard to ignore, particularly when the Tigers are so undermanned. Back the Bulldogs at the line on Wednesday night.
Prediction: Western Bulldogs +2.5 @$1.90
Melbourne Demons vs Port Adelaide Power
Thursday 7:50pm, Gabba
The Demons put up a good fight against the Lions in Round 8 but just couldn’t get over the line in a four point loss. Max Gawn continues to dominate the ruck and Christian Petracca is undoubtedly the most improved player in the competition.
Port Adelaide copped a reality check in their 29 point loss to the Saints on Saturday night, which saw them drift to equal fifth in the Premiership market.
The Power have won nine of their past 11 meetings with the Demons dating back to 2011 and will be keen to bounce back from their poor loss to the Saints. History is certainly on their side and they should be able to negotiate a win and cover the spread here.
Prediction: Port Adelaide -6.5 @$1.90
Carlton Blues vs Hawthorn Hawks
Friday 5:40pm, Optus Stadium
Carlton were able to deal with the rare label as ‘favourites’ well against North last weekend to win by 7 points. They did it despite another quiet game from Patrick Cripps (16 disposals) who looks to be playing with a couple of niggling injuries.
The Hawks were woeful against the Swans last weekend and have now lost four on the spin. The scoreboard certainly wasn’t a true representation of their lacklustre performance.
Hawthorn’s skills are not up to AFL standard at the moment and they come up against a Blues outfit that has shown fantastic ability to score on the counter this season. We’re losing faith in Clarkson’s ability to turn the Hawks around this season and see this as a terrific opportunity for the Blues to jump back into the top eight.
Prediction: Carlton 1-39 @$1.86
Essendon Bombers vs Brisbane Lions
Friday 8:10pm, Metricon Stadium
The Bombers looked nothing like a top eight side in their narrow win over the bottom-of-the-table Crows on Sunday, but will be relieved to add another four points to the bank.
Likewise, the Lions weren’t at their best in Round 8 but did enough to win against a dangerous Demons unit.
The Bombers injury list is starting to pile up and they’ll likely be without 5-6 of their first choice 22 in this one. Lions to win by 1-39 looks to be the best and safest play here.
Prediction: Brisbane 1-39 @$1.78
North Melbourne vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 2:35pm, Metricon Stadium
This is a game that certainly won’t find its way onto too many highlight reels.
North Melbourne were OK against the Blues last weekend but have nothing to show for it and have now lost six on the spin.
The Crows gave their all against a depleted Essendon outfit on Sunday but still came up short, making it 0-8 for them on the season.
We’re probably seeing the worst two teams in the comp go toe-to-toe here and a bet on it is probably the only way to keep some interest. If you’re that way inclined, jump on North to cover the spread against a Crows side that likely won’t win a game this season.
Prediction: North Melbourne -10.5 @$1.95
St Kilda Saints vs Sydney Swans
Saturday 5:10pm, Gabba
This is another matchup that, at the start of the year, most would expect to be a battle of two bottom 10 sides. However, the way the Saints played against the Power last week certainly spices things up. They were simply superb and improved to 5-3 on the season as a result.
The Swans were also winners in Round 8 but theirs wasn’t quite as impressive. They secured the four points in an arm-wrestle against the Hawks who are in a world of hurt at the moment.
St Kilda have been a bit up and down this season but they won’t need to be at their absolute best to get the job done here. Expect the Saints to be full of confidence and to cover the two-and-a-half goal spread in Queensland with a goal or two to spare.
Prediction: St Kilda -15.5 @$1.90
West Coast Eagles vs Geelong Cats
Saturday 8:10pm, Optus Stadium
What a whirlwind the Eagles season has been thus far. A couple of weeks ago their finals hopes were in doubt and now they’re Premiership favourites ($4.50).
Geelong are another side that should be competing when the whips are cracking this season and come into this sitting in third spot.
Both teams were easy winners in Round 8 but the Eagles did it against a Premiership fancy in the Magpies, while the Cats were victors against the lowly Dockers in torrential rain that could result in some progressive fatigue. On their home deck, with all things considered, the Eagles look like a very solid play this week.
Prediction: West Coast -17.5 @$1.85
Gold Coast Suns vs GWS Giants
Sunday 3:35pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast gave the Dogs their best shot in the Round 8 opener but narrowly came up short. It’s a loss they may rue in the long run and they’re now an even 4-4 on the season.
The Giants found themselves in a must-win match against the depleted Tigers last weekend and they got across the line on the back of a huge Josh Kelly performance.
The Suns are an honest side that try hard every week, but they come up against a Giants outfit that has them covered for class and experience by a long way. Expect GWS to get the job done in a competitive match.
Prediction: GWS 1-39 @$1.88
Fremantle Dockers vs Collingwood Magpies
Sunday 6:10pm, Optus Stadium
The Dockers narrowly avoided posting their lowest full-time score in their history after kicked just 16 points against the Cats on Monday night. Despite the low score, young gun Caleb Serong showed plenty in game #5 with a shut-down role on Patty Dangerfield.
Collingwood were completely overwhelmed by a brilliant West Coast outfit in their Round 8 clash. No-one saw the huge 66-point loss coming and the Magpies now slip to eighth on the ladder.
The Magpies get a chance to put in a better showing at Optus Stadium this weekend when they take on the other Perth native. Expect them to bounce back from their poor performance with a comfortable win over Fremantle.
Prediction: Collingwood -14.5 @$1.90