We are nearing the halfway mark of the 2022 AFL season and the defending premier Melbourne remains undefeated.
Round 10 kicks off at Marvel Stadium with a fantastic game between two teams that are chasing the Dees with Carlton hosting the Sydney Swans.
Dreamtime at the G highlights Indigenous round on Saturday night giving the under fire Bombers a chance to turn things around.
As always, there are plenty of opportunities to build a bank and our full AFL Round 10 Tips & Preview can be found below.
Carlton continue to put wins on the board and are now one game clear of Sydney inside the top four.
Granted they have only defeated teams that are well down the bottom of the AFL ladder in the past three weeks but it is the way in which they have beaten North, Adelaide and GWS that has been most impressive.
The Blues were challenged by the Giants throughout the first half but responded to run away 30 point winners.
The most impressive part was the spread of goalkickers in the absence of their Coleman medalist Harry McKay with five individuals kicking two goals.
Sydney bounced back to winning form against Essendon after back to back losses.
This is a crucial game for both clubs’ hopes of getting a second chance come September.
No one has more centre clearances in 2022 than the Carlton Football Club and if Sydney can stop them from dominating in this area they will go a long way to winning this football game.
The Cats loss to the Saints on the weekend has many questioning the premiership credentials of Chris Scott’s team and they find themselves 5-4 through nine rounds of football.
They went down by 10 points on the final siren thanks mainly to a seven goal third term by the Saints, Geelong’s first loss against that opponent since 2016.
Delving a little deeper, I don’t think it is dire straights for Geelong who had as many scoring shots and one less inside 50.
Four of their nine matches so far this season have been against current top eight teams but they are now 1-3 against these teams which is a worrying trend.
Port Adelaide still remain outside the top eight despite four wins in a row.
They are clearly playing better football but it is tough to assess these four wins when it includes West Coast, North Melbourne and a wet weather, one-point win against the Saints in Cairns.
The Cats return to their home stadium for just the third time this year, a venue where they have beaten Port Adelaide in seven straight games.
The Western Bulldogs sit just outside the AFL Top 8 with a record of 4-5 and come into this game off the back of a 48 point point over Collingwood last weekend.
Scoring opportunities have not been an issue for the Dogs this season, they are 5th for inside 50s and 8th for shots on goal.
On top of that, the Dogs have four players inside the top 15 for Fantasy Points in season 2022 with Bailey Smith leading the competition in this area averaging 32.9 disposals per game which is the second most in the competition.
The Gold Coast Suns have put together back to back wins against two top eight teams in Sydney and Fremantle and now find themselves with the same win loss record as the Dogs.
The Dogs have won eight of their last nine against the Suns but Gold Coast has covered the line in four of their last five against the Dogs.
I can see this being a tight contest early but Luke Beveridge’s side getting the upper hand late.
Melbourne come into this game having won their last 16 games straight and the defending premiers have really started to flex their muscles in the last couples of weeks.
North Melbourne are the easy beats in season 2022 which is no surprise given their young list as a result of their rebuilding project.
They have lost their last three home matches by 60+, dropped their last five by 40+ and have failed to cover the line in nine of their last 10.
In other words they are performing even worse than expected and things don’t get any easier this week.
You can get as much as $16 in head to head betting which is unders and the 68.5 line will not be enough either.
Will the Dees outscore North by three goals in each quarter?
The Bombers returned to the firing line this week after a dismal performance against the Sydney Swans on the weekend.
I am continually astounded at the backlash they receive and it’s not because of the pathetic and soft brand of football they are playing.
It’s because punters and pundits continue to overrate this football side.
They are just not that good and the quicker people work this out the quicker they can wallow at the bottom of the ladder in peace.
One good quarter of football against the Hawks (who sit 13th by the way) saw expectations soar and it is hard to understand why.
I’m unsure who thought they were a chance against the 5th place Swans, but my advice is not to do the same against Richmond this weekend.
Keep those expectations low and at least then you may be surprised.
Probably not though.
The Saints are a tough one to get a firm handle on.
Back to back losses against Port Adelaide and Melbourne were followed by their best win of the season against the Cats.
It wasn’t a four quarter performance last weekend but they played some exciting and dominant football in parts, especially in the second half.
Adelaide on the other hand has been belted in the last three weeks.
GWS beat them by 59, Carlton by 48 and Brisbane by 36.
They had just one less scoring shot than the Brisbane Lions on the weekend, more marks inside 50 and more disposals as well as centre clearances.
I’m tipping an improved performance from the Crows in front of their home crowd on Saturday night.
West Coast have now lost 12 of their last 13 with their last five defeats coming by at least 40 points.
Despite all of their hurdles, I have been impressed with their effort in the last couple of weeks against two pretty good outfits in the Brisbane Lions and Melbourne.
They were missing 11 of their best 22 against the Dees and although they were well beaten in the last quarter, they were competitive for much of the night.
For this game, they may be able to welcome back Gaff, Hurn, Josh Kennedy and Yeo which will only be a positive.
Just like the Bombers, GWS continue to be overrated by the punters.
On paper their team looks to have plenty of ability but games are not won on paper and they find themselves in 15th place with just two wins to their name.
This looks a perfect opportunity to bounce back to winning ways but I think they will get some resistance from a rejuvenated West Coast team.
Hawthorn has struggled to put together four complete quarters throughout season 2022 which is to be expected from a young and rebuilding team.
Sam Mitchell has them playing an aggressive and attacking brand of football which means they can score quickly and hurt their opposition for periods of a game.
The fact is though, they sit 13th and bring in a four game losing streak to this contest.
The Brisbane Lions are now outright second on the AFL ladder and have just the one loss, so far this season.
They have had the second amount of shots on goal throughout the season, second only to the Cats, and the form of Charlie Cameron in recent weeks has been enormous in the absence of some of their key forward targets.
The Total Points sits at 168.5 points which will not be enough for these two teams and the Lions will prove too much over four quarters.
Fremantle suffered its second loss of the season in wet conditions on the Gold Coast last weekend, kicking just four goals for the game while going down by 36 points.
There is no denying that Fremantle has been the most impressive and surprising team of 2022 so far but a deeper look into their form may suggest we may have overrated their ability.
Five of their seven wins have been against Adelaide (14th), GWS (15th), Essendon (16th), North (17th and West Coast (18th).
The Pies bring in a record of 4-5 and have lost their last two in a row against Richmond and the Western Bulldogs.
Two teams they would hope to beating if they are a chance of playing finals football this season.
Fremantle has played in some low scoring games this season but the 147.5 total points looks remarkably small especially against a team that will be looking to make a statement after a loss.