Thursday, 6 August 2015

AFL Round 19 preview

Getting close to the business end of the season, now it's all about locking in home finals/the security of a top four finish/just getting into the eight/or performing as poorly as possible without looking like it's tanking to get the draft picks possible.

After a fantastic win last week, the Tiges are on show in the Friday night match yet again. Long may it continue!

As always, it's time to hand over to the astute blokes from @AFLRatings

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AFL Round 19 previews from AFLRatings.com.au, @AFLRatings

Only six favourites were successful last week, here are our thoughts for Round 19.

Adelaide 9-1-7 v Richmond 11-6

Adelaide were very flat last week in a 52pt loss to the Swans, the Crows had a very poor 38 tackles against Sydney’s whopping 460 Disposals. It is still hard to get a read on Adelaide with varying results to finish off the Home & Away season highly likely, a loss this week could mean they are 1.5 games outside the Final 8 with 4 games remaining underlining the magnitude of Friday Night’s game. Richmond are coming off one of their best wins in recent history, a commanding 18pt win against the all-conquering Hawks has them well placed to challenge for the Top 4. Defensively the Tigers have been great conceding just 65.7pts average from their last 10 games, they have been outstanding when starting as Underdogs in 2015 with a 6-1 record but will likely be favourites at game time with a 5-5 record when starting as Favourite. Expect a low scoring game at the Adelaide Oval in what should be slippery conditions.

Collingwood 8-9 v Carlton 3-14

Fully expecting the Magpies to bounce back with a win against the Blues on Saturday in what is forecast to be good conditions at the MCG, Carlton have averaged only 47.2pts FOR in five consecutive losses. Collingwood has also struggled to hit the scoreboard recently averaging only 64.8pts from their last four games but will take comfort in the fact the Blues have conceded the most 100pt games this season (10), expect Collingwood to be far more efficient moving the ball in to their forward line this week following 58 Inside 50s last week for only 54pts. Both teams are on a consecutive four-game streak in which neither has cleared their Betting Line, the current Line of -32.5 Collingwood could be right on the money at the final siren.

Western Bulldogs 11-6 v Port Adelaide 8-9

Port Adelaide are coming from a long way back still trying to make the Final 8 and cannot afford to lose another of their final five games, their attacking brand of footy in the last three games has yielded 118.0pts average. This should be a fast & furious game but do not forget the Bulldogs can also defend conceding just 64.9pts average from their last seven games, Robert Murphy will not play which does leave the Bulldogs a bit susceptible in defence. The Bulldogs have a 8-2 record at Etihad Stadium this season, but they will absolutely tested by the Power who have no more chances in 2015.

Brisbane 2-15 v Gold Coast 2-1-14

Surely Gold Coast are a very solid option for punters this week against Brisbane at the Gabba, the Suns have been more than competitive in recent weeks against quality opposition despite off-field distractions and an injury list that would destroy most teams. Brisbane have also been decimated by injuries this year, the Lions are on a ten-game losing streak scoring just 60.2pts FOR over the same period. Brisbane have not cleared their Betting Line for three straight games, the -11.5 Gold Coast Betting Line also looks appealing. Just a reminder that this game will be played in the twilight time slot, there may be an opportunity to take the Under Total Match Point live line at Half Time as slippery conditions should slow down scoring as the sun sets.

Geelong 9-1-7 v Sydney 12-5

Geelong can go a long way to playing Finals this year with a win against the Swans on Saturday Night at Simonds Stadium in likely slippery but fine conditions, the Cats have a 2-6 record vs Top 8 teams and a 3-3 record at Simonds Stadium this season. Sydney will be without their star key forward Lance Franklin, scoring may become an issue for the Swans as they scored just 51pts without him two weeks ago in Perth. This is shaping up to be a defensive battle that will likely diminish scoring in this game, the Under 168.5 Total Match Points does look quite appealing especially considering the expected slippery conditions. Expect a very close game with a lot on the line for both teams.

West Coast 13-1-3 v Hawthorn 12-5

West Coast can all but lock up a Top 2 position with a win against the Hawks on Saturday Night in Perth, Thunderstorms are forecast and if they come to fruition then scoring will be very difficult for both teams despite their ranking of the No.1 & 2 Scoring teams this year in the AFL. Expect the Hawks to be at their very best in this game, a disappointing and frustrating loss last week has put their Premiership aspirations on hold with likely travel commitments in Week 1 of the Finals. Both Hawthorn & West Coast have allowed a league low of conceding 100pts in a game this season (once), so before any thoughts of weather impacting this game both teams are likely to restrict scoring. A must check of the radar on game day.

Melbourne 6-11 v Nth Melbourne 10-7

Melbourne finally moved the ball with improved efficiency last week with a win over Collingwood, with six wins on the board so far in 2015 the Demons are starting to exceed many pre-season expectations but still their game style is not designed to score heavily thus conducive to low scoring games. Nth Melbourne find themselves in a vulnerable position precariously placed in seventh position on the AFL Ladder with a not so easy draw to finish their Home & Away season, the Demons will provide the Kangaroos a tough test in the early game on Sunday at the MCG. Wouldn’t be overly surprised if Melbourne delivered an upset or at least cleared their Betting Line.

GWS Giants 9-8 v Essendon 5-12

Last chances are everywhere this weekend for some teams including the Giants sitting half a game outside the Top 8, scoring has been a problem for GWS in their last nine games with only 72.8pts FOR average. Essendon has not exactly lit up the scoreboard themselves averaging 64.3pts from their last nine games, the Bombers have cleared their Betting Line in four of their last six games. If the Giants can get their running game going through the middle of the ground they will be very difficult to stop, additionally they could feast on multiple turnovers if the Bombers try to play safe with their kicking. Unlikely that Essendon can deliver an upset in this game.

St Kilda 6-11 v Fremantle 15-2

The Win/Loss record needs to be thrown out the window when these teams meet, recent history has provided two very big upsets in the last two years both at Etihad Stadium. Fremantle currently sit on top of the AFL Ladder with a 15-2 record yet are currently at around $1.50 against St Kilda with a 6-11 record, the confusing aspect is that the Dockers are no certainty to win with recent history staring us right in the face. The best way to attack this game may be after the first few minutes of play, if Fremantle look off then St Kilda may provide a little value opportunity.

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