afl round 1, afl ladder, afl round 16, afl round 17

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 19 Preview for Saturday’s 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!

More fixture changes, fewer games with crowds, a few key players still in isolation. But the show goes on.

It is absolutely worth noting though that analysis has never been as greyed up as right now. You can look through the figures all you want, establish formlines and try to predict a certain level of performance. Yet with hub life affecting some teams and others at the very least living with a lot of uncertainty, the mental game threatens to take over the physical one.

We definitely feel like we’ve got the on-field analysis worked out, giving us an edge. Is the edge then immediately lost if you have to factor in which teams will show up each week under a significant COVID cloud? Definitely food for thought. Something that has us treading warily for the last portion of the season.

Not quitting though! Let’s try and find nine winners this week, the old-fashioned way. We won’t second guess ourselves on the mental aspect and approach things like we normally would. In this period, the angles around each matchup are more important than the pick itself. Hopefully we’ve helped a few of you find the right teams along the way…

AFL Round 19: Sydney v Fremantle

We put our faith in Fremantle to make it a contest last week and got it horribly wrong. They crash into an airborne Sydney, a team thriving despite living away from home for an indefinite period.

Can the Dockers put last week behind them and challenge Sydney? Maybe it all depends on the fitness of Sean Darcy and Matt Taberner – with those two firing the Dockers should be highly competitive. But the addition of Lloyd Meek on the interchange bench suggests Darcy is in a race against time.

Fremantle do have an opportunity to exploit the Swans’ main weakness down back – defending forward 50 marks. The Giants were able to grab 10 marks inside 50 in a half against them last week on the same ground, skipping to a 30+ point lead. Sydney were able to keep them to only one mark inside 50 after half time, but they were lucky the game wasn’t already out of reach.

The Dockers were top four at forward 50 marks in the first half of the season. They have dropped off since, so they will need to recapture that early form. A lot of it has to do with Taberner’s absence – he has played only one game since Round 10. Easily the most important player to Freo’s fortunes here.

Sydney’s focus will be on containing Fremantle’s strength at stoppage and contested possession. If they can avoid a game filled with constant stoppages and get the ball to the outside, they win.

Two contrasting styles – the ball movement and turnover game of Sydney facing the contested, stoppage game of Fremantle. At a dry Metricon Stadium we will side with the Swans, but expecting Freo to making this a serious contest. An upset wouldn’t surprise at all.

Pick Sydney by 10
🍻 Pub bet
Fremantle +20.5
$1.90 with
TopSport

AFL Round 19: Geelong v Richmond

The Tigers win last week was gave us a bit of hope for this contest – they’ve got the talent and the class, it was just a question as to whether the hunger was still there. Another challenge against a top four side here. Back at the MCG, can they lift to Geelong’s level?

Don’t think so. Even though Dusty’s absence is offset by the return of Shane Edwards, the Cats just look to have far too much depth across the field. They managed 100 without Rohan and Cameron last week against Fremantle, and it would be an optimistic view to suggest Richmond are defending any better.

Rohan jumps back into the side along with Lachie Henderson. The Cats look like they’ve settled on a preferred lineup now they are reasonably injury free. Only Duncan and Cameron missing from their best 22.

Unlike Brisbane last week, the Cats have the key defenders to take care of Richmond’s tall forwards. The weather might also play a bit part – hard to see the Tigers grabbing 16 marks inside 50 against this Cats defence on a slippery MCG.

We always tend to favour Geelong when the game becomes a grind. Their bigger bodies and rock solid defence gives them a chance to just squeeze the life out of Richmond here. As long as they can find ways to score up the other end, then the Cats can march onto premiership favouritism after this weekend.

Pick Geelong by 22
🍻 Pub bet
Geelong -17.5
$1.90 with TopSport

AFL Round 19: Essendon vs GWS

One of the best matchups of the weekend, buried away at 6pm on a Sunday night! The second match of a Metricon Stadium double header. Fingers crossed the surface holds up OK after more traffic than the Monash Freeway in recent weeks.

Tricky one. Did the Bombers just take their foot off the pedal last week or are they trending towards a bit of a flat one? If they apply the same level of pressure as they did against North Melbourne then the Giants will carve them up. We saw what they could do in a half against Sydney. Essendon aren’t travelling nearly as well as the Swans.

If we believe in Essendon’s mini-evolution from a turnover side into more of a stoppage team then they face a great test here. No team has scored more from stoppages since Round 12 than the Giants. A head-to-head battle at the clearances should make for an epic contest.

Time for Sam Draper to put in a breakout game? He gets a half-fit Shane Mumford who will try to bash him to death, but if Draper approaches his ruckwork and around the ground game in the right way then he could have a massive impact on this match. The Bombers need him to set the tone, and their mids to follow.

Whitfield’s return, the form of Jesse Hogan and a midfield that is up for the contest means we will lean slightly to the Giants here. An absolute coin flip of a game, so couldn’t talk you out of any angle to finish Round 19.

Pick GWS by 5
🍻 Pub bet
Full time tri bet
Either team by under 12.5
$3.05 with TopSport

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