AFL Tips Round 14, AFL Tipping 2018: Round Preview and Expert Analysis
WEST COAST vs ESSENDON @ Optus Stadium, Thursday Night 8.10pm
West Coasts perfect season seems to have hit a slight stumbling block and although it was only one loss, it could have significant ramifications to their top 4 hopes. Josh Kennedy sustained a hairline fracture and is likely to miss a month of football and with Jack Darling already out injured, it has left the Eagles forward line lacking structure and goal kicking power.
The Bombers will be hoping to catch the Eagles off guard whilst they deal with 3 key position players out (Tom Barrass is also out injured), by taking advantage of the aerial contest. With Stringer and Mckernan up forward in fine marking form, combined with Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker down back, we have to give the advantage to the Bombers.
If West coast wants to avoid back to back losses then they would be best advised to avoid kicking long to contests as they will simply be out-marked and play right into Essendon’s hands.
Sports Guru’s Free AFL Tip: Essendon +25.5
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PORT ADELAIDE vs MELBOURNE @ Adelaide Oval, Friday Night 7:20pm
The Power is firing on all cylinders and why wouldn’t they be, with 4 wins from their past 5 matches and the fantastic news of Ollie Wines re-signing for another 4 years down at Alberton. Ken Hinkley’s decision to move Chad Wingard to the middle as a permanent midfielder has been an absolute revelation for the Power, with him having 30 touches or more in the clubs past 2 wins.
The true sign of how well a team is doing isn’t by how many points they win games by, but how they bounce back from a loss. That is exactly what Melbourne fans will be holding their breath and waiting to see this week after their loss to Collingwood on the Queen’s birthday. The Demons will see Friday night’s game as the perfect opportunity to show their fans and the greater football public that they are the real deal this year and aren’t just making up the numbers in the race to September. A Friday night spectacle with these two top 8 sides makes for much watch television for any footy aficionado.
Sports Guru’s Free AFL Tip: Either team by under 39.5 ($1.25)
HAWTHORN vs GOLD COAST @ University of Tasmania Stadium, Saturday Afternoon 1.45pm
Hawthorn have displayed over the past fortnight that they will not concede in season 2018, with back to back wins since the bye against formidable South Australian opponents the Hawks find themselves in a position to make a real run for a top 8 spot in the second half of the season. The Hawks fixture opens up from here on out, as they only face 2 teams in the current top 8 for the remainder of the season.
The Suns made for a better account of themselves against St Kilda last round, however still drew criticism as they allowed a 5 goal lead slip through their fingers as they lost the game in the dying moments to a miraculous Jake Gresham goal. Coach Stewie Dew questioned the players resolve after the match and was left wondering which players actually wanted to be out there and wear the jumper with pride for the club.
James Sicily who is undoubtedly in All Australian form has risen to another level for the Hawks, it will be interesting to see how Gold Coast approaches quelling his influence and rebound from the back half. On the other side Hawthorn must contend with Tom Lynch, and if James Frawley has not recovered from the migraine effects which kept him out of last week’s game than the Hawks must rely on Kaiden Brand to play on Lynch, which doesn’t instil confidence.
Sports Guru’s Free AFL Tip: Hawthorn total points under 120.5 ($1.40)
BRISBANE vs GIANTS @ GABBA, Saturday Afternoon 4.35pm
The bye couldn’t have come at a better time for the Lions as they were missing a host of players through injury but now seem to be only missing Mitch Robinson and Charlie Cameron from their best 22. Harris Andrews has overnight become an elite defender who can be relied upon for the Lions and will be much needed in this round against Jeremy Cameron.
The Giants are missing a key ruckman for this clash, with the news of Rory Lobb sustaining a back injury that will keep him out of action for at least the next 4 weeks. Not all is bad news for the Giants as they do welcome back Stephen Coniglio into the fold after he has overcome the effects of a delayed concussion.
This will be the second time these two teams play each other this season and in the first fixture the Giants came out on top as 34 point winners. This time around the Lions will have Luke Hodge fit to play and to steady things down back and if the Giants elect to play Jonathon Patton as the sole ruckman as they did in the last encounter, expect Stefan Martin at home to make the most of the mismatch.
Sports Guru’s Free AFL Tip: Giants to win ($1.30)
WESTERN BULLDOGS vs NORTH MELBOURNE @ Etihad Stadium, Saturday Night 7.25pm
Has there ever been a bigger injury list in AFL footy than what the Bulldogs are experiencing right now? You honestly need to set aside an hour of your time just to get through the list, it’s incredible just how unlucky the Bulldogs have been. To make things worse after losing Easton Wood and Jack Macrae to hamstring injuries last week against Port Adelaide, the injury list has Bontempelli, Mclean and Tom Boyd all as tests to prove their fitness to face the Kangaroos.
North Melbourne, on the other hand, is sitting pretty on the injury front compared to the Bulldogs with only Jarrad Waite as a confirmed out for the game at this stage. The Kangaroos have surprised everyone with just how they have performed throughout the season, as many tipped them to be wooden spoon contenders.
Sitting just 4 points behind the 4th placed Demons, the Kangaroos will be backing themselves in with their young talented group and will not rule out a possible top 4 finish. To do so they must take care of business against opponents such as the Bulldogs, anything but a win will be a huge disappointment for Brad Scott and his men.
Sports Guru’s Free AFL Tip: North Melbourne to win ($1.19)
COLLINGWOOD vs CARLTON @ MCG, Sunday Afternoon 3.20pm
The Pies have hit a purple patch of late and have strung together 4 impressive wins in a row, which is only second to Sydney as the longest current winning streak in the competition at the moment. Mason Cox has proven all his doubters wrong with his past month of footy, taking contested marks, providing a real presence up forward and topping it all off with an impressive 5 goal performance on the Queen’s Birthday.
The Blues were expected to come out of the bye giving their fans a glimmer of hope for the future, with the young Blues improving on just the one win that they mustered in the first half of the season. What happened in round 13 couldn’t have been further from that sentiment. To say Carlton was embarrassing is an understatement and the supporters let them know by booing their own players off the ground.
Usually a club respond and look to repay the fans after being booed off the ground, but with this Carlton unit, we just can’t be sure of that. The Magpies are starting to become a real juggernaut of the competition and even though they will be missing Daniel Wells for the remainder of the season, we can’t see them dropping this game against a sorry Carlton.
Sports Guru’s Free AFL Tip: Collingwood to lead every quarter ($1.33)
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