Footy betting, line betting, afl analysis, AFL round 20. afl finals week 1

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 22 Preview.

🍻 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!

 

AFL Round 22: Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs

Some are saying the Hawks are one of the form teams of the competition. Wouldn’t go that far. Their post-bye record is far better than the first half of the season, but for every win over a top eight side (Swans, Lions) there’s also a rather odd loss – Fremantle by 62 points, then the Crows at Marvel Stadium in a shootout.

The major improvement has been their offence. At one point 30-gamer Dylan Moore was their leading goalkicker, with a fair gap to the next highest. Luke Breust has eventually overtaken him (now out for the season) and the Koschitzke/Lewis combination is reeling him in. 14 goals in the last four games from the pair.

The Hawks come off two wins on the trot for the first time this year. The Dogs head into this one off the back of an extraordinary game against Essendon, where they couldn’t turn a 34-point expected score differential into an actual win. With this setup and a tendency to think Hawthorn are well suited to Launceston, the Bulldogs might somehow be underrated by the market here.

Despite losing Josh Bruce to an ACL injury, the Dogs’ scoring options are still hard to believe. They have the highest scoring offence in the league, a seemingly endless supply of small forwards and a habit of dominating the clearance count. They are the best Inside 50 differential side in the competition by a long way, with the Hawks all the way down in 14th.

Would happily make a case for the Hawks if we could find one. Perhaps the Tassie location and the wintery conditions might give them a slim hope. Still can’t see this upset happening unless they find a huge spike in their defensive capabilities.

Dogs to win. They couldn’t beat themselves two weeks running, surely…

Pick: Western Bulldogs by 38
🍻 Pub bet
Full-Time Tri Bet 29.5 
Western Bulldogs -29.5
$2.05 with
TopSport

AFL Round 22: Port Adelaide v Carlton

An entire week enduring coaching speculation and even more question marks over their list management and performance. Just another standard preparation for Carlton, really.

This challenge could go one of two ways for the Blues – we’ve seen teams have to hang out in the cricket nets pre-game at Adelaide Oval and come out on top. We’ve also seen plenty of sides play interstate after an indifferent week and completely fall to pieces. No Harry McKay, Liam Jones or Jack Silvagni, either. Could they do the unthinkable?

A week after the Giants posted the biggest upset (according to the starting prices) of the season, you have to give the Blues some sort of chance here (they would be the second biggest if they somehow pull it off). The problem is, it would have to come off the back of being able to defend first. Something Carlton would do once every four games. At best. A 190 pressure factor would be an absolute minimum in this one – they’ve done it three times this year, and still lost two of them to other top eight sides (Melbourne & Brisbane).

Port are used to having the ball in their forward half for long periods, and their turnover game is solid without reaching the heights of last season. It might only have to be solid here to win the ball back enough against the Blues. Their issue could be hitting the scoreboard – throughout this year they have had random games where even 60 points seems a challenge.

It’s incredibly hard to bank on the Carlton defence. Not just the defenders, but the whole side coming in with a mindset to dig in and channel the kind of four-quarter grind they produced against Fremantle in Round 16. Can they even win the tackle count? Given they’ve done it only five times this year, you couldn’t possibly bank on them doing it away from home against a side desperate to win a finals double chance.

Won’t entirely write off Carlton here. There is a game script that can see them get close – high pressure, deny Port Adelaide forward 50 marks, retain the ball and find scores from their midfielders. But it has to start with their defensive intent, rather than their offence. In that area they are very hard to trust.

Pick: Port Adelaide by 23

🍻 Pub bet
Blues +23.5
$2.55 with
TopSport

AFL Round 22: Geelong v St Kilda

If Jordan Clark doesn’t hit the middle of the ball from a snap only 15m out from goal, do the Cats win last week? Clearly an unanswerable question. They had won five games prior to last week, so the loss probably came at a good time. Just not a good time for the Saints.

St Kilda have been in reasonable form. Their ability to hit a target will make or break them here, given the Cat are so lethal on turnover. Keep an eye on the attacking midfield zone for St Kilda (between the 50m arc and the centre circle) – it is absolute death valley against a side like Geelong.

The blueprint for the Saints was delivered by GWS. The concern is whether St Kilda have the personnel to carry it out. Can they beat the Cats at ground level in their forward 50? Getting the ball in deep is their first challenge, and the second is keeping it away from their intercept markers to give their small forwards a chance.

We get our first look at Jeremy Cameron after his hamstring injury. Even if he is in warm-up mode, he might still cause the Saints some serious headaches given their issues in key defence. Hawkins rarely has two quiet games in a row, and the Cats rarely lose twice at home in a season, let alone in consecutive weeks. Look out.

All signs point to the Cats if their offence can avoid another flat one. The Saints should give them enough chances to put a score on the board.

Pick: Geelong by 29
🍻 Pub bet
Jeremy Cameron To Score 3+ goals
$2.58 with
TopSport
AFL Round 22: Brisbane v Collingwood

Great timing for the Lions to return to the Gabba, where their only loss this season was in Round 1. They might have won only 8 quarters in their past four matches, but their ability to score heavily hasn’t disappeared.

Did Collingwood’s win against the Eagles two weeks ago give us false hope they hadn’t run out of gas late in the season? Those games can often throw up a weird result, when one team is completely disinterested and the underdog enjoys a bit of freedom with nothing really at stake.

Going with the angle that their performance in Round 21 against Hawthorn is more their level at the moment. Nine of their 23 from last week had played less than 50 games. Five of them hadn’t passed the 15-game mark yet. There are still a bunch of old heads around too, but after a long season it’s no surprise to see them really tapering off now.

Can they find some energy to face the Lions on their home deck? The first quarter should tell us all we need to know. Anything less than a fairly intense start from Collingwood and they will be beaten.

Still don’t think Brisbane are defending as well as some of the other top sides. They just face a team that probably won’t post a score the Lions have trouble beating. A key tune-up for Brisbane as they head into the finals series, especially their defenders. Expecting them not to take this opportunity lightly.

Pick: Brisbane by 41

🍻 Pub bet
Full Time Line Totals Double

Lions -37.5 / Over 160.5

$3.15 with TopSport

AFL Round 22: North Melbourne v Sydney

A nice little reality check for both sides last week – the Roos put in their worst pressure game of the season, while the Swans were held to 64 points against a side unlikely to feature in the finals series.

This all comes down to the North defence against the Sydney offence. Usually it’s the Swans absolutely torching sides on turnover. The Saints flipped the script last week, so North Melbourne has a blueprint to follow which gives them a sneaky chance. Still, given the Swans are third in turnover points differential this season, we have to treat last week as a blip after a five-game winning streak the weeks prior.

Sydney copped a 190+ pressure factor from the Saints which halted their ball movement and lead to them blasting it forward instead of picking off a target like they usually do. North’s profile defensively has been pretty consistent – a competitive first quarter or half before an inevitable drop off in the final two terms. They have posted a 190+ figure only once this season. Hard to see them doing it here. And even if they manage to lift to another level, the Swans should still have them covered.

Even though the Roos grow a leg down in Tassie, it’s just hard to see how North get on top in this one. It would have to be on the back of a poor defensive showing from Sydney – as the best pressure side in the competition and a super honest workrate, we just can’t see it happening.

Pick: Sydney by 25
🍻 Pub bet
Sydney -19.5
$2.15 with
TopSport

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