The final eight is now finalised with the Demons pulling off an incredible victory against West Coast on Sunday evening, meaning they will play finals for the first time in 12 years.
There is still plenty to play for in round 23, the final home and away round of the 2018 AFL Premiership season, with top four finishes and home finals up for grabs.
The round kicks off on Friday night with the Essendon taking on Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval.
7:50pm Port Adelaide Power vs. Essendon Bombers @ Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide were outclassed by Collingwood last weekend to go down by 51 points at the MCG. Like the Bombers, Port have missed out on finals this year but both teams will want to finish on a high as they look forward to an improved performance in 2019.
A few soft losses early in the season have come back to haunt the Bombers, who will miss the 2018 finals series despite being one of the form teams of the last half of the season. They pushed the Tigers all the way to the end last week but as we predicted, the Tigers had the class to hold out the game.
It’ll be a tough game for Essendon at the Adelaide Oval, but they are playing the better football and we will take them to win at the early head-to-head odds.
Betting tip: Essendon to win @ $2.36 (BET NOW)
Essendon by 20
1:45pm Geelong Cats vs. Gold Coast Suns @ GMHBA Stadium
Geelong scored a VFL/AFL record 23 unanswered goals last week in their 133-point annihilation of Fremantle. They play a weaker opposition again this week, and whether they win or lose, it looks like they will be playing the loser of the Sydney vs. Hawthorn match in week 1 of the finals.
Gold Coast put in a much better performance in their 4-point loss to the Lions last week and travelling to Geelong is a tough way to finish the season.
There’s no doubt Geelong will win this one and the only question is by how much? We think Geelong will have another big win but will take the Suns at the huge +75.5 line.
Betting tip: Gold Coast +75.5 @ $1.92 (BET NOW)
Geelong by 60
2:10pm Richmond Tigers vs. Western Bulldogs @ MCG
Richmond have won the Minor Premiership and were too good for the Bombers last week, even when resting some of their star players.
The Bulldogs have now won three in a row but they were not as convincing against the Blues on Sunday afternoon and they face the red hot Premiership favourites who have now won 20 in a row at the MCG.
Richmond will make it 21 in a row this week and we will pick them to cover the opening -43.5 line.
Betting tip: Richmond -43.5 @ $1.92 (BET NOW)
Richmond by 64
4:35pm Fremantle Dockers vs. Collingwood Magpies @ Optus Stadium
Fremantle are having a season to forget but will want to salvage something after last week’s insipid performance against Geelong.
Collingwood continue to notch up solid wins and will lock in a top four spot with a win against the Dockers – they have a lot to play for here.
Collingwood will not take this game lightly and the opening -33.5 is far too small – they will have a big win here and we expect to see the margin increase significantly. This is our pick of the round – get on early.
Betting tip: Collingwood -33.5 @ $1.92 (BET NOW)
Collingwood by 66
7:25pm Carlton Blues vs. Adelaide Crows @ Etihad Stadium
Carlton were competitive against the Western Bulldogs last week but faded in the last 15 minutes of the game to claim the wooden spoon.
The Crows managed to hold on against the fast-finishing Roos on Sunday evening and will be looking to finish the season with a good win against a much weaker opposition.
The Crows win this one and win well. We’ll take them to win 40+ at the current odds.
Betting tip: Adelaide 40+ @ $1.67 (BET NOW)
Adelaide by 54
7:25pm Sydney Swans vs. Hawthorn Hawks @ SCG
Match of the round! A blockbuster at the SCG on Saturday night.
There’s a lot to play for here with the winner to lock in a top four finish and claim the all-important finals double-chance.
The Sydney Swans are finishing the season with intent and they are a team to be feared come finals time. They can never be taken lightly and can still beat any team on their day.
The Hawks had a hard-fought victory against the Saints and playing Sydney in Sydney is never an easy task, but the Hawks are up to the challenge.
This is a hard one to pick a winner in and we’ve been having a lot of success with our tri-bet picks lately, and we’ll once again go with the tri-bet for either team to win by less than 15.5 points (odds should open at around the $2.50 mark).
Betting tip: Either team by less than 15.5 @ $2.40 (BET NOW)
Sydney by 6
1:10pm Brisbane Lions vs. West Coast Eagles @ Gabba
The Lions have shown a lot of improvement towards the end of the 2018 season and managed to hold out the Suns last week, but they have a difficult task against the Eagles in Round 23.
West Coast went down to the Demons last week and a win against the Lions at the Gabba will seal second spot on the ladder, and give them a home final.
The Eagles will not want to take the Lions lightly here and with so much to play for, we expect that they wont. The -13.5 line for the Eagles is very small and punters should be on this one early.
Betting tip: West Coast -13.5 @ $1.92 (BET NOW)
West Coast by 38
3:20pm Melbourne Demons vs. GWS Giants @ MCG
The Demons had an emotional win over the Eagles in Perth on Sunday afternoon and sealed a finals birth for the first time in 12 years. They have struggled against top 8 teams this year but they can never be ruled out.
GWS have been savaged by injuries yet again and it cost them dearly against the Swans last week when they had no fit players on rotation. They will be under-manned this week against the Demons and will be hoping to get through the game unscathed as they look forward to finals.
The Demons will be on a high after last week and will be looking to carry further momentum into finals. We’ll take them for the 1-39 victory against a battling GWS.
Betting tip: Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.25 (BET NOW)
4:40pm St Kilda Saints vs. North Melbourne @ Optus Stadium
The Saints were much improved in their 4-point loss to the Hawks last week. If they can bring the same intensity against the Roos, they’ll be in with a show.
North Melbourne were finishing like a freight train last week against the Crows, before two terrible umpiring decisions in the final minute of the game robbed them of any chance to win the match. It was a heart-breaking loss but they will be looking to finish the season on a high, as they look to 2019.
The Saints can’t be taken lightly here and we think this game will be a close one, but we’ll take the Roos to get the win at the 1-39 margin.
Betting tip: North Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.10 (BET NOW)
North Melbourne by 22