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Our AFL tipping form continues to surprise many (including ourselves). Last week, a total of eight out of nine tips were correct – with seven out of nine the previous week. Without sounding too confident, this difficult AFL Round 17 Prediction will continue along the same lines!
Honestly though, this week will separate the wheat from the chaff. The best (or luckiest) tipsters will leap ahead this week – with several games going down to the wire.
North Melbourne vs Carlton
Both teams are performing worse than expected at the start of the year. Carlton bravely beat St Kilda last week (after losing four to the Saints in a row) and seem to be trending upwards. North Melbourne had a bad loss to Brisbane at the Gabba. Lindsay Thomas is back in the side, which should provide some extra potency. The Kangaroos play very well at Etihad and this should be a very close game. The loser will certainly be very disappointed. It’s a toss of the coin, but… North Melbourne by 2 points.
Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs went down gallantly to the Bombers last week. Pushing them hard throughout the game and demonstrating they have a bit of ticker. That said, Hawthorn went away to Port Adelaide and came up trumps. Very few teams can do that this year. Even without Buddy, the Hawks should prove way too much. They’re top of the ladder for a reason. Hawthorn by 72 points.
Greater Western Sydney vs Essendon
Last time these two teams played, it was close for three quarters. The Giants have not had a great year and lost to the Bulldogs several weeks ago. With young bodies, they’ll find it more difficult as the season progresses. A shaky win last week against the Bulldogs, the Bombers should be good enough to overcome the Giants – even in Sydney. Essendon by 24 points.
Gold Coast vs Collingwood
Collingwood are better than Richmond, and Richmond beat the Suns last week. Ergo sum, Collingwood should win. Ablett played last week, and should up his game this week against the Pies, but it won’t be enough. The Pies have been the best team at travelling the last few years, so should overcome the new Northern Fortress. Collingwood by 24 points.
St Kilda vs Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide are the massive improvers this year, and have defeated some great sides. St Kilda have some big players coming back into the side, and are playing considerably better than the start of the year. Should be another excellent game. St Kilda by 2 points.
Melbourne vs Brisbane Lions
Melbourne are the second worst team in the competition, while Brisbane have beaten major contenders Geelong in the last month. The Lions are notoriously up and down, but they seem to have powerful last quarters. Many of the Lions’ young players are maturing quite nicely and should get the job done against an improving Demons outfit. Even in Melbourne. Brisbane by 24 points.
Richmond vs Fremantle
Richmond have had some good wins and some unfortunate losses this year. It would be quite funny if the Tigers yet again finished 9th… Fremantle have claimed some big scalps this year, and defeated a resurgent Eagles last week so their form is pretty hot. This game is played at the MCG, so that falls in the Tigers’ favour. But the most miserly defence in the competition should win – but only just. Fremantle by 2 points.
Adelaide vs Geelong
Geelong have been the best team in the competition this year, and travel well. Adelaide pushed Collingwood last week for several quarters. Unfortunately for the Crows, the Pies are unlikely to be flag contenders so the narrow loss is not something to crow about. Quality should shine through. Geelong by 18 points.
West Coast vs Sydney
Remember those Grand Finals several years ago? With two tough, low scoring teams going head to head? Big Barry Hall was stalking the place and Darren Glass was simply not worried. Well times change. Sydney won the Premiership last year, and have looked in particularly ominous form with Kurt ‘money bags’ Tippett firing up forward. This will be an absolutely cracking game judging by the history these two clubs have. Played at Patersons Stadium, so it should be tight. Sydney by 6 points.