AFL Round 15 Tips & Preview

So it’s another feast of Football you want?

One wasn’t good enough for you?

Well luckily another feast of non-stop football is heading your way as 17 out of the next 18 days will feature a game of footy to stuff your face with.

Round 15 of the AFL kicks off at the sexy time of 5:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon and finishes at the radical time of Friday night.

A lot of people this year have lost track as to what day it is, what time it is, who’s playing who and where but fortunately we’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s with the hope of giving you six* (*six clubs have the bye) winners to build up the bank into the weekend.

Hawthorn v Adelaide
Adelaide Crows to win by 1-39 @ $3.10

The 15th placed Hawks “host” the winless Crows at Adelaide Oval in the timeslot it deserves – 5 pm (local time) on a Tuesday afternoon.

At half-time in their match against Essendon on Thursday at the same venue, the Hawks had a six-goal buffer and looked to be sailing to victory.

Then Essendon came to play in the second half, along with Joe Daniher a man that hasn’t played in about 15 years and wants to leave the club dominated resulting in the Hawks going down by 16 points.

Hawthorn played one good half of football but are far from their unsociable, dominant style we once knew them for.

Adelaide will be delighted they didn’t lose in Round 14.

They had the bye.

Currently sitting on 0 wins – 13 losses, surely they won’t go through 2020 without a victory?

Prior to the bye, the Crows went down to Geelong by 28 points at home but they didn’t disgrace themselves.

A goal from David Mackay after the three quarter time siren had them trailing by only nine points at the final break.

The Crows were highly competitive across the first three quarters, but the Cats just got the job done being the far better team.

But they are not playing a team like Geelong, they are playing Hawthorn who right now in the grand scheme of things are no good.

Sure, Hawthorn will be hurting from their loss to old rival Essendon.

You’d think they’d be able to get the job done over the Crows.

But will they?

As they say in the classics, the Crows are due.

If you’re going to back Adelaide to win a game this season, back them in this one.

West Coast v Essendon
West Coast Eagles to win by 1-24 @ $2.75

After a 27 point loss to Richmond, the Eagles will no doubt look forward to getting back home and playing Essendon…

Hang on a minute!

This game is at The Gabba.

After seven glorious weeks at their Optus Stadium fortress, the hub life has chosen the Eagles yet again – not the Eagles choosing it.

The loss to Richmond hasn’t got people questioning if West Coast are flat-track bullies just yet, but they’ll want to not only get back on the winners list this Tuesday night over the Bombers but also prove they are very much an anywhere, anytime football team.

West Coast was very much in the contest for most of the match on Thursday night, but it was in the third quarter where the Tigers piled on six goals to give them a buffer zone.

The Eagles also lost Josh Kennedy to a concussion early in the game and Andrew Gaff got plenty of the footy in the middle (32 disposals) and the likes of Liam Ryan and Jack Darling were able to kick 3 goals each.

They just couldn’t get the better of the Tigers but weren’t disgraced.

Essendon was six goals down at half-time against Hawthorn last week but went on to produce one of their best wins in recent years.

The Bombers kicked five goals to one in the third quarter, putting them nine points down at the final break before clearing away to a famous 16 point win.

Andy McGrath (32 disposals, 10 clearances) and Zach Merrett (36, nine score involvements) were brilliant and then there was Joe Daniher.

In his first game since Round 9 last year and a botched up attempt to get a trade to the Swans, Joe Daniher came out firing in the second half.

The 2017 All-Australian reminded us all of how good he is, kicking three goals, setting up two and taking a few marks inside 50. You simply love to see it.

As for this game, I can’t see Essendon getting the better of the Eagles who have lost only one game in eight matches – even if seven out of their last eight have been at Optus Stadium.

West Coast have lost four out of their six games in Queensland this year but surely they are a better team than when they first hubbed up in the Sunshine State.

However, I reckon this might be closer than the market suggests and like the 1-25 margin for the Eagles as a good value bet.

Richmond v Fremantle
Richmond (-28.5) @ $2

For whatever off-field noise the Tigers seem to attract right now, Richmond just keep on winning getting the job done over the West Coast by 27 points last weekend.

They’ll go in red-hot favorites against Freo at Metricon Stadium this Wednesday night.

It was a highly competitive contest against the Eagles, but the Tigers piled on six goals in the third term giving them a 14 point lead at the final break.

Impressive performances from skipper Trent Cotchin, Jack Graham, Ivan Soldo, Jason Costagna, Shai Bolton and even debutant Thompson Dow were amongst the Tigers best.

They bat deep this team.

Freo was thumped by GWS in their farewell Perth game last week.

David Mundy, the Docker veteran who’s given Richmond plenty of headaches in the past, kicked back-to-back goals in the first five minutes of the third quarter before the Giants piled out five out of the next six to have the game done by three-quarter time.

It was probably the only highlight for Freo last Saturday as they went down to the tune of 38 points.

A lot has changed in the world since Richmond and Fremantle clashes resulted in David Mundy breaking Tiger hearts on an annual basis.

Richmond will look to make the most of this game to boost their percentage and ensure their top-four spot remains as they head into a bye.

They remain unbeaten in all four of their games at Metricon Stadium this season with an average winning margin of 40 points.

Tigers by plenty.

Sydney v Melbourne

Punters beware!

This game has an all-too-familiar feel for the Melbourne Football Club.

The Dees sit in eighth place on the ladder, have won four out of their past five and face a team that they should be easily beat to help cement their spot for finals contention.

Every single Melbourne supporter is currently having doubts going into this game against the Swans in Cairns.

Strange things are known to happen up North.

Think of the epic monsoonal weather the ground was subject to in its most recent AFL game back in 2018.

Picture Karmicheal Hunt kicking the winning goal after the siren to win the game for the Gold Coast Suns against Richmond.

I’m here to assure Dees fans casting doubt that this won’t be the case on Thursday.

Melbourne are in good form.

Christian Peteracca is an outright superstar – who’s four goals ensured the Dees got the job done over the Saints, only just.

The likes of Jake Lever, Clayton Oliver, Steven May and big Maxy Gawn have been excellent.

Now Melbourne has a history of stuffing up good chances best rest assured, the form line in 2020 suggests otherwise with the Dees 5-1 against teams outside of the top eight.

Sydney is not a bad team for 16th on the ladder.

They have a crack and their efforts against Port Adelaide last week proved they are no easy beat, as has been the case when they’ve faced the better teams of the competition this season.

The Swans have also won seven out of their last 10 against Melbourne and did beat them by 53 points when they last met in Round 22 of last year, which feels like a lifetime ago.

The short turnaround from playing in Alice Springs, and then going up to Cairns is a brutal travel schedule, but Melbourne should be able to get the four points in this one.

Just expect Sydney to make it difficult for them, they are good like that.

Carlton v GWS Giants
GWS Giants (-11.5) @ $2

Both fans of GWS and Carlton have feverishly given the AFL Ladder predictor a good workout this week with the Giants and Blues needing to get the wins if they want to play finals this year.

This Thursday nights clash is make or break for both these clubs.

Carlton was in front at half time last week against a depleted Collingwood.

The Blues led by eight points and the main break and two points at three-quarter time, but failed to kick a goal in the second half and allowed a depleted Magpies to get on with a 24 point win.

You wouldn’t blame Blues fans who might be getting a bit tired of the “re-build” talk.

To put it in simple terms, the aim of the game is to kick goals – having goalless second halves isn’t a winning strategy. (Radical hot take, I know.)

Patrick Cripps with a knee injury isn’t an ideal situation for Carlton and will make life a lot more difficult for them.

They must win on Thursday night if they want to play finals otherwise they can start to plan Mad Monday 2020, provided the venue has a COVID-safe plan.

GWS kept the flame burning for their finals hopes last Saturday with a great win over the Dockers.

In just his second game, Jake Riccardi booted four goals along with big Jezza Cameron.

Lachie Whitfield also starred with 31 touches of the Sherrin with nine intercepts.

The Giants go alright against Carlton, having won six out of their last seven.

Expect this one to be a decent contest, but I think the Giants should win and make things interesting in terms of how the final eight will shape up.

Brisbane Lions v Collingwood
Brisbane Lions to win by 1-24 @ $2.60

The third-placed mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) take on sixth-placed Collingwood to finish off the round in what is a ridgey-didge gen-u-wine blockbuster this Friday night at the Gabba.

The lions have had the bye, hopefully, some time to focus on straight kicking and have won six out of their past seven before having a spell.

Collingwood has had a few setbacks but have managed to get some decent wins over North Melbourne and Carlton in the past couple of weeks.

Brisbane will open the market as the rightful favourites, however, history suggests otherwise.

The Pies have won their past six games over the Lions.

Brisbane haven’t beaten Collingwood at the Gabba since 2010 and the home ground advantage isn’t much of a factor given this is the Magpies fifth game at the venue for this season.

It’s time this hoodoo was broken, it may not be pretty and could be a bit of a grind but the Lions should cover the line and keep on with their winning ways.