Pete Roberts from Behind The Footy is sharing some of his great content with us for the 2021 AFL season. Pete spent fifteen years in AFL coaching boxes as an analyst. He now shares those insights with footy fans. Here’s his AFL Round 15 Preview: Sunday Games

🍻 Pub bets Watching a game and want an interest? We’ve thrown in the pub bet for that very reason… it might just be a smart way to play based on Pete’s excellent analysis!
GWS v Hawthorn

This one flipped on its head a little when it moved from Giants Stadium to the MCG. If GWS are looking on the bright side, they should relish the opportunity to get back to the home of footy, a place where their last win was a gutsy 30-point victory over Collingwood in Round 4.

The Hawks have looked a vastly improved side defensively over the past two weeks. Yet they still failed to salute against Essendon last week. In theory the Giants and Bombers are pretty level in terms of their form, so this will be another test for the Hawks to be able to defend as well as put a winning score on the board.

The Giants have the fourth-highest scoring offence since Round 7. Clearly that figure has been helped by games against North Melbourne, Carlton and Essendon, yet they’ve still managed 83 against Richmond (where they were unlucky to fall short) and 93 in a stirring win over the now in-form Eagles.

The only team to score 80+ against the Hawks and lose was the Bombers in Round 1, who gave up a 41-point lead to do it. Even away from home and with the potential for a slippery deck, you’d think the Giants have at least 80 in them on Sunday. They don’t rely on marking the footy for their goals regardless, so as long as they bring the right attitude, a wet MCG shouldn’t faze them.

The game script for Hawthorn to win would be a rock solid first quarter and a confident start from their forwards. Anything less than that and the Giants should have enough quality across the board to get the job done.

Pick GWS by 6
🍻 Pub bet
Full time Tri-bet
Either team under 15.5
$2.50 with TopSport

West Coast v Western Bulldogs

Just look at those team changes for West Coast – in comes three of their top ten players in Shuey, Kelly and McGovern, and coming along for the ride is All-Australian Brad Sheppard. Oh, and Jack Petrucelle and Nathan Vardy.

The Eagles have mixed their form, yet in front of a home crowd they rarely fail to compete. One blemish against Essendon when they lost two critical soldiers in the first half and were overrun shouldn’t overshadow their record at Optus Stadium.

The Dogs have faced the rather odd adversity of having to quarantine in Western Australia despite their home state being relatively free of restrictions. We’ve seen teams perform under strict conditions previously this year so it shouldn’t be a huge factor, even if it’s far from ideal.

This is a classic case of the speed and spread of the Dogs up against the ball control and marking power of the Eagles. And the Dogs are well and truly in this.

The real query on the Eagles might be the match fitness of Shuey, Kelly and McGovern. Against this in-form Dogs midfield, it’s a big ask to have arguably their two best mids coming in first-up and having to perform over four quarters. Can the Dogs stay in touch for long enough and let their fitness prevail in the end? That was the case in Round 2, so why not the same here?

Defensively the Dogs need to hang in there, or at least find a way to limit supply. You can’t expect them to keep the likes of Darling, Kennedy and Allen down for a whole game, but maintaining possession could be their best form of defence. They have the engine room to do it, and the Dogs’ chances probably hinge on their output.

After fifteen rounds it would be a brave person to suggest the Eagles are a better side than the Bulldogs. So we have to make the case for an upset here. West Coast clearly play near their optimum level at home but the Dogs have the kind of side to really test them.

It’s a scary proposition, picking against the marking power of West Coast, but just get the feeling this Bulldogs team can keep things under control and score enough at the other end.

Pick Western Bulldogs by 8
🍻 Pub bet
Western Bulldogs H2H
$2.20 with TopSport

Carlton v Adelaide

What a way to end the round. All eyes on the Blues, who have had to endure another week with the blowtorch. Round 14 was a terrible time to lose by 30+, given there were only five games across the weekend.

So how will they respond? This is the perfect bounce back spot for a side who have been fine offensively and terrible defensively. Externally, their defence has been spoken about all week. Guarantee it would’ve been spoken about a lot more internally, which usually means a spike in intensity the next time they play.

Up against a Crows side that really should be coming off three losses in a row (only the Saints disappearing act two weeks ago saved their bacon), Carlton can put the foot to the floor and get the knockers off their back for a while.

The Blues defence has been awful over the past couple of months (some would say all year), yet the Crows aren’t far behind. Bottom four in points conceded along with Carlton – a problem given the Blues have shown they can score quite well when you give them enough chances.

If the Crows win here then you’d expect the media to be parked out the front of Ikon Park early Monday morning. Think the likes of McKay, Walsh, Cripps and Weitering will stand up and save them the trip… for now.

Pick Carlton by 11
🍻 Pub bet
Total over 171.5
$1.90 with TopSport

Pete Roberts from Behind The Footy is sharing some of his great content with us for the 2021 AFL season. Pete spent fifteen years in AFL coaching boxes as an analyst. He now shares those insights with footy fans.

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