Round 21 will kick off with an intriguing top four clash, with Melbourne (2nd) taking on Collingwood (3rd) at the MCG.
Both sides sit a game clear in the four and the winner will almost lock up a double chance, with the loser left with plenty of work to do.
The Western Bulldogs host Fremantle at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with a win much-needed for both sides.
St Kilda travel down the highway to GMHBA Stadium to face the ladder leaders Geelong, who managed to take home the four points against the Cats last time they met.
Richmond travel to Adelaide Oval to compete against Port Adelaide, who are now playing for pride.
On Sunday, Brisbane and Carlton looms as an interesting clash, with both sides vying for a double chance and the loser likely knocked out of that pursuit.
Here at The Sporting News, we’ve put together our betting predictions for round 21:
Odds courtesy of TAB.
Last week, we scored five of our nine predictions.
The Power fell short by six points as did Brisbane (seven points), Toby Greene kicked two goals (not three) and Mitch Lewis was goalless.
The winner of this match will all but lock away a top four spot, with two games remaining after this intriguing clash.
Collingwood got the four points in the Queen’s Birthday game earlier in the year as the club began their impressive run of 10 wins in a row.
Melbourne have regained some 2021 form in the past couple weeks including a ruthless performance against Fremantle at Optus Stadium.
It does seem though the Pies’ luck is running out, winning their past five games by a combined 27 points while also trailing at certain times throughout.
Tipsters don’t think that’ll work against last year’s premiers but we’ve seen stranger things.
Jamie Elliot has been in terrific form and proves to be a hard match up for opposition sides, playing in the midfield but pushing hard forward to get on the scoreboard.
Elliot’s kicked seven goals in his past four matches and will need to slot a few majors if Collingwood is a chance.
Jamie Elliot 2+ goals – $1.95
Gold Coast’s season is still mathematically alive and they will need to be perfect in the remaining three rounds.
Hawthorn have been impressive in 2022 and would like to finish off strong and a win down at UTAS Stadium will provide some much needed belief heading into the offseason.
Mabior Chol has been a shining light for the Suns, kicking a goal in every game he’s played including a bag of five last week against West Coast.
Kicking 43 goals so far this year, the move up north has been a stroke of genius for the former Tiger and will be for a long time.
Mabior Chol 3+ goals – $2.15
GWS’ recent performance against Sydney was labelled as ’embarrassing’ by caretaker coach Mark McVeigh, with the 2019 Grand Finalists struggling in 2022.
Essendon have been one of the in-form teams in the competition, winning five of their past seven including a four point loss to Collingwood after the siren and 10 point loss to West Coast.
During their last seven matches, Jake Stringer has been a consistent performer, hitting the scoreboard on all but one occasion, kicking 17 goals and 10 behinds in that time.
‘The Package’ is one of the more exciting players to watch at full flight and is expected to get off the chain again this weekend against the Giants.
Jake Stringer 3+ goals – $1.95
The Western Bulldogs are playing for their 2022 season, sitting a game outside the eight and facing a tough task in Fremantle.
The Dockers haven’t won a game in the past three weeks, going down to Sydney and Melbourne, while stealing two points against Richmond.
If the Dogs were to lose, that would almost rule their season out, but if Fremantle lose, their double chance is all but over.
Luke Beveridge knows how to get his team going and more often than not perform when their back is against the wall.
Tipping a close game.
Western Bulldogs to win – $1.48
Geelong extended their match winning streak to 10 after taking care of the Western Bulldogs and are expected to make it 11 at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
St Kilda survived a scare against Hawthorn, claiming victory by 12 points in an unconvincing manner.
The Cats rarely lose at their home ground and will be looking to continue their impressive form as we near the finals.
The Saints can come into this match up with relative confidence, having beaten Chris Scott’s men earlier in the year.
Jeremy Cameron has been in strong form, sitting second on the Coleman standings behind Charlie Curnow and is set to have a big night.
Was relatively quiet the last time these teams met (15 touches and a goal), expect Cameron to set the world alight in Geelong’s 11th straight win.
Jeremy Cameron 3+ goals – $1.70
Port Adelaide’s finals chances are no longer following another close loss to a top four side.
The Power lost to Melbourne (13 points), Geelong (12) and Collingwood (six) in consecutive weeks, despite playing imposing football reminiscent of their 2020 and 2021 campaigns.
Richmond’s stunning 42-point comeback win against Brisbane has given them life, despite losing to Gold Coast, North Melbourne and drawing to Fremantle in the weeks prior.
Ken Hinkley’s men are now playing for pride and would give themselves a strong chance to upset the Tigers on their run to the finals.
Damien Hardwick and his team will take tremendous confidence from the win over the Lions and will need to keep that momentum rolling if they’re included in September action.
The last three contests have been super close, with an average winning margin seven points. Expect another one.
Richmond Line +5.5 – $1.90
Sydney’s season is well and truly alive, with a top four on the cards for the Swans.
Despite dropping a game to Essendon a month ago, Sydney have been faultless since, defeating Western Bulldogs, Fremantle (Optus Stadium), Adelaide and GWS with conviction.
North Melbourne’s season was doomed from the beginning and have copped too many blows to see much light at the end of the tunnel, with fans begging for the offseason to come sooner.
However, the hopeful return of favourite son Ben Cunnington in the coming weeks will provide players and supporters alike the smile that has been wiped off their faces for the better part of the last three years.
The Swans have been ruthless in their nature and will see this game as another opportunity to put pressure on the teams above them.
Tom Papley has more often than not been the man for Sydney, to kickstart his side and get them going.
Filled with plenty of energy, it’s hard not to love how Papley goes about it.
Tom Papley 2+ goals – $1.45
Brisbane’s loss to Richmond left fans with nothing but shock, as they saw their team give up a massive lead to go down in the end by seven points.
Carlton’s inconsistency has continued, dropping a much-needed win to a hungrier and more committed Adelaide outfit, who tore them to shreds in what was deemed by commentators as an ‘arrogant’ performance by the Blues.
It seems this game couldn’t have come at a better time, with the sides finally meeting since round six 2021.
Questions have arisen over Carlton’s spot in the eight, with the real possibility that they can still miss finals.
Brisbane are just outside the top four but a win here could put them back into calculations.
This clash is essentially the best offensive line up (Brisbane) versus one of the better defensive teams (Carlton).
We’re tipping the Lions. In a close one.
Brisbane to win – $1.40
West Coast were valiant in their performance against the Suns, going down by three points after multiple times it looked like getting away from them.
Adelaide snapped a four-game losing streak and were super impressive against Carlton on the weekend.
Taylor Walker has been formidable up forward for the Crows, averaging nearly three goals a game and kicking 11 in the past three weeks.
‘Tex’ seems to be the main man up front for Matthew Nicks and will be so next season also.
The Adelaide forward line does seem too much to handle for the Eagles, with Jeremy McGovern sidelined for the season, leaving Tom Barrass the sole key defender in the side.
Darcy Fogarty has also been getting off the leash lately, kicking majors in his last nine outings.
Taylor Walker 3+ goals – $1.45
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