The Power and Crows enter this year’s Showdown with a bit more extra incentive after both being smashed in Round 7, while Melbourne remain the only undefeated team in the competition – but could it be short-lived against a young Swans outfit?
Here are The Wolf’s AFL tips for Round 8.
Port Adelaide (-29.5) / Bulldogs v Blues Over 173.5 Total Points / Swans (+31.5) / Lions = $6.53
Cats Cursed at MCG
We know the Cats are capable of kicking a big score, as are Richmond, but it’s a different story when Geelong play at the MCG.
Seven of the last eight games the Cats have played at the MCG have gone under the total points and they’re averaging just 62.7 points in their last six games at the venue. It’s clearly a ground this Geelong team don’t play their best football at, covering the line just once from their last six MCG games.
Notoriously Richmond v Geelong games have not been high scoring affairs with seven of the last ten games going under the total points, averaging just 143 points.
Even three of Richmond’s last four games at the MCG have gone unders including last Friday Night against a high-octane Western Bulldogs outfit, while five of the seven night games played at the MCG this year have gone under the total points line – the two that went overs involve Carlton who are conceding a lot of points this season.
The Tigers should win but these Geelong v Richmond battles can skew either way – The Wolf’s more confident that we won’t be seeing points at the MCG on Friday Night.
Same Game Multi: Under 156.5 Points / Joel Selwood 25+ Disposals / Mitch Duncan 25+ Disposals = $4.33
Not Easy for Essendon
Although GWS has won five of the last seven against the Bombers, Essendon has covered the line in five of the last six games against the Giants making this an enthralling contest.
Travelling to GIANTS Stadium won’t be easy for Essendon though, as this will be their fourth interstate trip already this season which can’t be easy for such a young team. It doesn’t help that they’ve lost all three of those interstate games this season by an average of 38 points, which includes 40+ against the Power and Lions.
But the Giants aren’t at the level of those two teams and are also fielding quite an inexperienced team. They’ve really tightened up down back conceding just 68 points per game since Round 3, ranked 6th in the AFL which includes giving up 104 points to the Western Bulldogs in Round 6 when the floodgates opened in the last quarter, conceding nine goals.
Essendon’s still having plenty of issues down back, conceding the third most points in the competition and although they can make this a contest, The Wolf expects the Giants to be too good due to their ability to lock the game down.
Same Game Multi: Giants win / Darcy Parish 25+ Disposals / Jacob Hopper 25+ Disposals / Harry Perryman 20+ Disposals = $4.20
Suns Rise Continues
This is as good an opportunity for Gold Coast to claim a win against the Saints after losing their last five clashes head-to-head.
The Suns have always played well against St Kilda without winning – they’ve covered the line in the last six occasions they’ve played, with the losing margin in the last four games less than a kick going down by 4, 4, 1 and 2.
After the Saints knocked off West Coast in Round 4 in a spirited win off the back of plenty of scrutiny, they went back to their old ways in Round 5 against Richmond – it’s quite possible this happens again after a big win over Hawthorn, who were missing key players including Jaeger O’Meara and Chad Wingard. Off the back of a 60+ point win St Kilda has won just one from their last five the following week.
The Suns have looked the goods the last fortnight and certainly provided a more consistent effort than the Saints this season, and I’m more than happy to lock them in for their third consecutive win.
Same Game Multi: Touk Miller 25+ Disposals / Brad Hill 20+ Disposals / Josh Corbett 2+ Goals = $4.33
Pie in the Sky for Roos
The Saturday twilight clash won’t be a spectacle for the neutral between Collingwood and North Melbourne but it is a game which should see the Pies clear the 23.5 line.
The Kangaroos were much better against Melbourne, but it still resulted in a 30-point loss – their equal-lowest margin this year meaning they’re yet to get within the 23.5 line against any team in 2021.
Collingwood has won five of the last seven against the Kangaroos and this is simply a must-win game for Nathan Buckley’s men. They’re clearly out of sorts, but The Wolf isn’t sure whether North Melbourne can replicate the same effort in consecutive weeks – especially now that there will be some level of expectation for the first time this season.
The winner has covered the line in the last ten clashes between these two teams and Collingwood should do so again in this. North Melbourne has lost 20 straight games when they enter as an outsider and although they’re improving, they’re still a fair way off.
Same Game Multi: Collingwood win / Josh Daicos 25+ Disposals / Ben Cunnington 25+ Disposals = $4.33
Stage Set for Swans
Can the Swans put an end to Melbourne’s undefeated season? They’ve won nine of the last ten games against the Demons and have played some great footy at the MCG recently, winning four of their last five there, all as underdogs. The 22.5-point head start for Sydney looks a great bet.
Melbourne has been on a high for a long time and they’ll need to return to their best to beat this Sydney team after a sluggish effort against North last week.
The Swans are currently $3.48 underdogs, a position they appear to enjoy – they’ve covered the line in seven of their last eight games as outsiders. The Demons have struggled to score against them historically averaging just 56 points per game from their last ten meetings, with the last time Melbourne beat the Swans at the MCG back in 2010.
The return of Tom Hickey was timely last week and he now has a huge task against arguably the game’s best ruckman in Max Gawn. Todd Goldstein did a job on Max last week which gave the Kangaroos a huge chance of causing an upset – can Tom Hickey be the key to a Swans win?
Same Game Multi: Swans (+22.5) / Jake Lloyd 25+ Disposals / Bayley Fritsch 2+ Goals = $4.20
The Wolf can’t see Ken Hinkley allowing his team to have two flat weeks in a row and a Showdown may be just what he needs to spark his side.
Although Port Adelaide has won only three of the last five against the Crows, it’s the last two which immediately questions whether the line is too short in this one.
The Power smashed Adelaide last year by 75 points and 57 points in the game prior.
Port Adelaide averages 95 points in the last five Showdowns but this could easily be eclipsed on Saturday Night. Adelaide is conceding 94 points per game this season, giving up 100+ on three occasions and 84+ in six of their seven games ranking them the 14th in the AFL for points conceded.
The Power have faced four teams from the bottom 10 this season winning all four games by an average of 47 points. The Wolf’s expecting a 40+ point margin against this Adelaide team who look to be on the skids after three straight losses to bottom 10 sides.
Same Game Multi: Port Adelaide (-29.5) / Ollie Wines 30+ Disposals / Robbie Gray 15+ Disposals / Robbie Gray Any Time Goal Scorer = $4.20
Which West Coast?
West Coast are yet to record an interstate win in 2021 but they really should have. They were in a winning position late against the Western Bulldogs in Round 2 and they had St Kilda dead and buried halfway through the third quarter in Round 4. The Wolf expects them to break the Victorian drought when they face Hawthorn on Sunday.
The Hawks will need Jaeger O’Meara to return to the middle if they’re any chance of winning on Sunday, and although on paper they’re no match for West Coast, their MCG record has seen them very competitive at the ground covering the line in six of the last seven games.
Even though that’s the case, the line in this is currently set at 16.5 and with West Coast’s firepower up forward The Wolf isn’t willing to play in this space.
The Eagles have won three of the last four against the Hawks by an average of 18 points, whilst they’ve also won four of their last six at the MCG all by a margin between 1-39.
Hawthorn will be better back at the MCG but they won’t be good enough to beat the Eagles.
Same Game Multi: Andrew Gaff 30+ Disposals / Tom Mitchell 30+ Disposals / James Worpel 20+ Disposals / Jamie Cripps Any Time Goal Scorer = $5.00
This is going to be a shootout.
The Bulldogs are ranked 1 in the AFL for points averaging 98, while Carlton are creeping up ranked sixth scoring 88.6 per game. There are a number of factors why this contest will be high-scoring and easily clearing the current total points line of 173.5.
The Blues are ranked 13th for points against, conceding 91.4 per game. In five of their seven games this season they’ve had a team score 96 points or more. Now combine this with the fact it’s under the roof at Marvel which has been a high-scoring hub – 11 of the 14 games played there this season have gone over the total points line, with the average total points at 182.1 this season.
Carlton has played quite well against the Western Bulldogs recently making this a danger game for the Doggies. They’ve covered the line the last four times they’ve met and won two of the last three games scoring 100+ points in all three.
We saw Tom Lynch expose the Bulldogs key defenders last round – The Wolf thinks Harry McKay can do the same in a Sunday arvo goalfest.
Same Game Multi: Blues (+21.5) / Over 173.5 Total Points / Harry McKay 3+ Goals = $4.75
Gabba Glory for Lions
Brisbane’s back and it’s off the back of two big wins at the Gabba. They host Fremantle on Sunday evening who have had their fair share of troubles away from home this season.
Fremantle has won one of their three interstate games this year but they were quite poor in their two losses, losing to Melbourne by 22 points and Carlton by 45. On the flipside, Brisbane enter this winning 12 of their last 14 at the Gabba and averaging 96.3 points at their home ground in 2021.
The Lions have won three of their last four against the Dockers, averaging 98.5 points scored from those four games, while Fremantle has averaged just 67.5 points.
The Dockers’ draw so far this season has been rather soft, especially their recent wins over Hawthorn, Adelaide and North Melbourne. They came crashing back down to earth against West Coast and The Wolf expects them to struggle here against the resurgent Lions.
Same Game Multi: Brisbane win / Hugh McCluggage 30+ Disposals / Joe Daniher 15+ Disposals = $4.00