There are only four rounds and three weeks of finals left to see who will play the mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) in the Grand Final this year.
However, as they say in the classics “we’re just taking it one week at a time” and have our preview for Round 20 of the 2019 AFL Season.
With some fascinating contests ahead of us, we give our unique insight into the upcoming weekend of Footy.
We allegedly have a Friday night “blockbuster” on our hands with this one as 14th placed North host 11th placed Hawthorn.
Granted, both teams are still in somewhat contention to find themselves playing finals football but they both need to keep winning and a lot of things to go their way.
Hawthorn was owned by the mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) in Tassie last week which put a stop to their momentum.
North has been pretty good of recent but has lost their past three games and while September is mathematically possible, it’s fetch – it’s not going to happen.
The Roos are eight premiership points behind the currently eighth-placed Crows and a heap of percentage.
Fans of the Kangas can spend as much time as they like on AFL ladder predictor but it’s over.
It can only go the way of one team this Friday night and something tells me this has a keepings off for three quarters followed by a close finish written all over it.
This game is an elimination final for Hawthorn, not North – their season ended last week.
If my prediction is true you’re best to just tune into this game for the last quarter and back the unders.
The Power remains a mystery and the Bombers were very lucky to avoid an embarrassing loss to the Gold Coast last week.
This game is a fascinating one from a punting perspective.
On paper, you’d think the Dons would do everything they can to cement their spot in the eight, are playing at home and should get the job done over Port.
Cale Hooker and Jake Stringer saved the day and a heap of being the butt of all jokes this week.
The Bombers have to win this game.
However, this is the kind of game Port would win when they bother to show up.
When Port Adelaide show up, they are actually an alright football team.
Port Adelaide remain in finals contention and could find themselves in the eight if results go their way.
They were persistent against the Giants last week and fell agonizingly short.
If the Power can bring that persistence and get a few early goals in the game they could find themselves with the four points especially if Essendon repeat their performance of last week.
With that in mind, the Power at the 1-39 margin looks to be worth a shot.
The “battle of the bridge” heads to GIANTS Stadium in Homebush as cross-town rivals GWS take on their big brother the Sydney Swans to fight it out for who the AFL exec loves the most.
GWS simply keep on winning despite the obstacles with injury and the Swans look to be having a more successful rebuild than the Stadium next door to the SCG.
Sydney was reasonably competitive against the top of the table Cats and can never be underestimated.
For the Giants, their resolve and fast starting are one of the clubs greatest assets.
The Swans will need to make sure that GWS won’t pile on a few quick goals in the first quarter as has been the case in recent weeks.
I don’t think this will be a great day for the Swans.
Expect a Jezza Cameron to kick a bag and the likes of Toby Greene and Harry Himmleberg dominate.
Pencil this in as a win for the Giants.
At present, watching Fremantle play is right up there with a tax audit or a trip to the dentist.
Since the bye, Geelong has been a bit so-so and their past three wins have all been by a margin of 27 points.
For the Cats, the win last week against the Swans was much needed and back to back road trips isn’t easy but fortunately, they are playing Freo – a team on a bigger slide than Wet ‘N Wild.
Geelong is still on top of the ladder and belting of the Dockers on the road would do them a world of good and send a message to the football world that they mean business.
Expect plenty from the Tomahawk and for Tim Kelly to realize that perhaps going back to Perth isn’t a great idea.
This Cats team is due to belt someone, and that someone is the Dockers.
Take the 40+ bet.
Can you believe both these teams made it to the preliminary final last year?
Well, for Richmond you can.
Not Melbourne though.
They are shocking.
Or as the Germans would say shizenhousen.
The Dees are sitting on 17th spot on the ladder and their 2019 has been nothing but an embarrassment to their fans and the competition.
They will not beat Richmond on Saturday night.
The Tigers are back to their best, find themselves as premiership favourites and have easily accounted for anyone who’s got in their way of recent weeks.
Richmond’s first half against Collingwood was clinical and sensational to watch.
High prized recruit Tom Lynch has found his groove and is now a scary prospect up forward.
Richmond will win this game and it’s a matter of how much.
For me, I like the value of the 40-49 point mark.
At first, glance looking at this market I asked myself “How on earth are Adelaide favourites to win this?”
They were woeful against Carlton last week and have dropped games they were in a winning position in of recent.
Adelaide is a broken club.
Why on earth would you back them?
The coach has lost the players, the players have lost the coach, the coach has “the full support of the board” and not even another trip to a Collective Minds camp can fix this problem at Adelaide.
The Saints, on the other hand, have won two in a row under caretaker coach Brett Ratten who should have the job at seasons end.
Or he could apply for the vacant job at the Crows in a few weeks’ time.
Jack Ross, Josh Bruce and Jade Gresham are amongst the Saints best at the moment and what better confidence booster than for the Saints than a big win on the road.
At $3.05 it’s easily the best bet of the Round.
The injury list for Collingwood is long and there’s every chance that Joffa and Eddie could get a call up for the Pies this week as they take on the Gold Coast Suns.
Had it not been for Jordan DeGoey last week, it could have been very ugly for Collingwood who was mauled by the Tigers.
Only some junk goals brought the loss to a respectable 27 point margin but it could easily have been much more.
Playing the Gold Coast Suns could be seen as a much-needed morale and percentage booster for Collingwood but it won’t be a cakewalk as their theme song suggests.
After some horrible losses, the Suns have been relatively competitive in recent weeks, taking it up to Carlton and unlucky to not get over the Bombers last week.
The Suns led by 17 points at quarter-time, 16 at half time and at one stage in the third were 27 points up.
Chris “Baby John” Burgess almost looked to have snapped their 13 game losing streak last week only to have two late goals from Essendon break their hearts.
There hasn’t been much to play for at the Gold Coast Suns but they’ve at least shown something in recent weeks.
While you’d think the Pies would be too good for them, they could at least give them a scare and with the line being at 34.5 it might be closer than you think.
Hard to believe that Carlton is 16th on the ladder having won five of its past seven and looked like a very good football team against the Crows last week.
Unless they hire Alistair Clarkson or find a way to bring Ron Barrassi back to his peak, David Teague has the job.
Patrick Cripps is easily one of the AFL’s best, youngster Sam Walsh is a star and the veterans in Kade Simpson and Marc Murphy keep on keeping on.
The Blues are a great football team to watch right now.
But the bubble is going to burst and the West Coast Eagles are the team to do it.
West Coast easily accounted for North Melbourne last week on their home deck and with the premiership hype tending to be focusing on Richmond, the Eagles are flying under the radar.
The Eagles are no flat-track bullies either.
Their record in Victoria is perfect this season.
While Carlton may be rejuvenated and some may consider this a “danger game” for them, I highly doubt it.
Expect West Coast to give the Blues a reality check as to where they need to get to should they want the glory days to return to Princes Park.
Take the Eagles at the 40+, I expect them to be ruthless.
We’ve saved the best ‘till last.
THE BRISBANE LIONS ARE PLAYING FINALS IN 2019.
THE BRISBANE LIONS (proudly sponsored by Neds) ARE PLAYING FINALS IN 2019.
Before you book your airfare to Melbourne for the Grand Final, there’s still a bit of footy to play including three in a row at the Gabba.
A perfect opportunity for Chris Fagan and his men to cement a top-two finish.
The Bulldogs on their day can be a fast, attacking team and a great matchup for Brisbane.
This should be a highly entertaining contest.
The @BrisbaneLions are going to the finals and our resident Lions Nuff Ned Merrett-Murray is trying to contain himself as he previews the #AFLLionsDogs clash this Sunday.#AFL #Uncaged
— NedsAU (@NedsAus) August 1, 2019
The best value bet in this I feel is the half time/full time.
Brisbane has a habit this season of being down at the main break only to come home like a steam train.
Expect it to happen again on Sunday and worth a shot at a sold $6.50!