Round 20 will kick off with an intriguing clash between Fremantle and Melbourne at Optus Stadium on Friday night.
Both sides are needing to secure a win to remain in the hunt for a double chance come finals time as well as much needed confidence that they can knock one another off.
The Dockers took home the points last time they met.
Geelong face Western Bulldogs down at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday in what is tipped to be a close one, while Collingwood host Port Adelaide at the MCG in what could be the Power’s last chance.
Richmond take on Brisbane at the home of football on Sunday, as their season hangs in the balance, while St Kilda must defeat Hawthorn to give themselves every chance to play finals.
Here at The Sporting News, we’ve put together our betting predictions for round 20:
Odds courtesy of TAB.
Last week, we scored three of our nine predictions.
Mitch Lewis and Isaac Heeney didn’t kick three, while Izak Rankine didn’t kick two.
Andrew Brayshaw, Nick Daicos and Jack Sinclair were all kept to under 30 disposals.
It’s fair to say that both sides haven’t been in the best form in recent weeks.
Fremantle have won two of their past five, while also escaping with two points in the draw against Richmond.
Melbourne have lost two of their past three and five of their past eight as they attempt to hold onto a top two spot.
The Dockers managed to walk away with the four points the last time these two teams met and will take enormous confidence in being able to do so again.
Bayley Fritsch has been a consistent performer for the reigning premiers, kicking 40 goals from 18 games while recording a major in every match.
If Melbourne are to win, Fritsch needs to get on the end of a few.
Bayley Fritsch 2+ goals – $1.40
Collingwood have jumped into the four after their ninth straight win and another close victory, as Jamie Elliot kicked a goal after the siren to break the hearts of the Essendon faithful.
Port Adelaide’s past fortnight has been impressive but unfortunately didn’t come away with the chocolates, going down to Melbourne and Geelong by two goals.
The Pies’ good fortune seems to be slowly weening out, as they can’t possibly continue to win these tight contests.
The Power’s season hangs in the balance and they must win at the MCG on Saturday if they’re even a chance to play finals.
Ken Hinkley’s men have brought the heat over the past month and will match up well against Collingwood, especially since they’ve won the last three encounters.
Port Adelaide to win – $2.15
Sydney is one of the more in-form teams in the competition, playing a tough and ruthless brand of football that is worthy of a top four finish.
The Giants are in the midst of securing a new coach and managing a re-jig of the playing list, with season 2022 deemed a waste based off their recent campaigns.
The Battle of the Bridge usually brings about a hardened and gritty contest, as both sides try to assert their dominance over their rivals.
The Swans are heavy favourites and should extend their win streak to four.
Toby Greene seems to rise to the occasion against their cross-town enemies, hitting the scoreboard more often than not.
The star forward has kicked 33 goals from his 13 matches and should be included in the All-Australian conversations.
Toby Greene 3+ goals – $1.75
This is a must-win contest for St Kilda if they’re going to stake their claims as genuine finals contenders, as the race for eighth spot heats up each week.
Hawthorn have won three on the trot (albeit against teams lower then them) and are playing a strong brand of football under Sam Mitchell.
The Saints have won the last three encounters, including back to back 69-point thrashings but must be weary of the challenge on Saturday afternoon.
Mitch Lewis got off the chain in the round four clash, kicking three goals and five behinds in a dominant display.
If the Hawks are to cause an upset, Lewis will be the man leading the charge.
Mitch Lewis 2+ goals – $1.40
Geelong’s ninth straight win was anything but easy, with Port Adelaide putting a scare into the ladder leaders, despite the Cats coming away with the premiership points.
Western Bulldogs have jumped back into the eight following a thrilling 10-point victory over the reigning premiers and have given themselves another shot at a final series.
The Cats have had the wood over the Dogs in recent times, claiming the last three wins by an average of 10 points, including a goal after the siren at GMHBA Stadium.
Tom Stewart is set to return to help counter the firing attack consisting of Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Josh Bruce.
A tight contest is set to ensue on Saturday night with plenty to play for for both sides.
Line – Western Bulldogs +19.5 – $1.90
Adelaide have lost their past four matches but have been playing strongly against their opponents.
Carlton seem to be flying under the radar, sitting a game outside the top four and doing enough to keep a double chance alive.
The twin towers for Michael Voss continue to terrorise opposing sides, with Charlie Curnow kicking 12 goals in the past three games and leading the Coleman.
The Blues were able to hold off the Crows back in round eight earlier this year and will look to get a similar result.
Sam Walsh continues to go from strength to strength, collecting high possession counts, hitting 30-disposals 12 times in 2022.
Averaging 32 touches, expect Walsh to hit his mark.
Sam Walsh 30+ disposals – $1.45
Gold Coast’s inaugural finals series is hanging by a thread but a strong win over West Coast could put them into genuine calculations.
The Eagles’ year has gone from bad to worse and they will look to rebound in 2023.
The Suns have taken a massive step in 2022 and look like building toward the future, as a long list of strong performances has fans excited by what they can produce.
However, games like this can loom as danger games with the young, talented side being on the wrong side of results in recent weeks.
Tipping a close one.
Gold Coast to win – $1.15
Richmond haven’t won a match in the past three weeks, losing to North Melbourne and Gold Coast while drawing to Fremantle.
Brisbane continue to notch wins, but questions have risen over their ability to defend against the better teams, conceding high scores and being beaten around the ball.
The Tigers must win to keep their final chances alive or start looking at holiday destinations.
Chris Fagan’s men have an MCG hoodoo but will try rectify that before the finals, given their last win at the ground was back in 2014, losing 10 straight games.
Another close one on our hands.
Brisbane to win – $2.00
Essendon were unlucky not to record their fourth straight victory against Collingwood, but a lapse in concentration and individual brilliance by Jamie Elliot after the siren halted their win streak.
North Melbourne had a brief period of excellence, taking the Pies to the wire while also defeating Richmond in an upset under the roof, before getting thrashed by Hawthorn.
The Bombers deservedly are tipped to win and win big, with plenty of their players threatening to get off the leash.
Zach Merrett is likely to have polled some Brownlow votes over the last month, especially the last month, averaging 32 touches and winning the ball in the centre.
Merrett’s season has been clouded by Essendon’s failure (in terms of wins) but has been a consistent performer for Ben Rutten.
Zach Merrett 30+ disposals – $1.50
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