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  • 06:49:13 AEST
  • Sunday, 16 December 2018
Brisbane Lions Cameron Rayner

AFL Betting Tips Round 18: Saturday night footy

Tagged: AFL

Roaring Lions look for four in a row

Three interesting games to kick back and watch on Saturday evening.

The twilight fixture sees the Dockers aiming for back-to-back upsets to keep their very slim finals chances alive. 

But the two big games coincide on Saturday night. The Lions are looking to continue their superb run over the last three weeks with a win over a Taylor Walker-less Crows.

Then the Cats and Demons square off at the Cattery in a game that has massive ramifications for the top eight.

 

Missed our preview of the early games? Read it here.

 

Essendon v Fremantle

AFL Odds: Essendon $1.19 (-33.5) / Fremantle $4.75 (+33.5)

Without Nat Fyfe and under the pump, the Dockers put in a typical Ross Lyon performance to get the upset win over Port Adelaide last week.

This low-scoring and narrow victory at home means that Fremantle are still a mathematical chance to make the eight.

They would need to win every game until the end of the season to give themselves a chance, and that starts here.

With an awful record outside of Perth, still without Fyfe, and coming up against a side that is also in a desperate scramble to make the eight, it would be unlikely if the Dockers were to pull off back-to-back upsets. 

Essendon have won have won four of their last five. If any team is going to come from a long way back to sneak into September footy, it looks to be them.

While they didn't set the world alight in last week's win over the Suns, the Bombers just have too much firepower for the dour Dockers.

They will also have the added motivation of revenge after going down to the Perth side in Round 2. 

AFL Player In Orazio Fantasia (Essendon, likely), Harley Bennell (Fremantle, likely)

AFL Player Out None

AFL Weather Another game under the closed roof. This will definitely be a hindrance to Freo who like to keep it low-scoring.

AFL Player StatsKey AFL Stats

  • The home team has triumphed in the last 6 games between these two sides: Essendon to win head-to-head @ $1.19
  • The Dockers have covered the line in each of their last 4 meetings with the Bombers: Fremantle to cover the +33.5 point line @ $1.92
  • Fremantle have lost their last 9 interstate away matches as an underdog.

AFL Betting TipAFL Betting Tip: Essendon to win by a margin of 1-39 points @ $2.25

Reasoning: Fremantle's away form has been terrible this year, only beating the bottom-placed Blues outside of Perth.

However, after a confidence boosting win last week, they will endeavor to keep it tight.

The Bombers might kick away, but the most likely outcome is a narrow win for the Melbourne-based side.

 

Any idea who the best AFL expert tipsters are? Check out the leaderboard here

 

Brisbane v Adelaide

AFL Odds: Brisbane $2.22 (+6.5) / Adelaide $1.67 (-6.5)

Watch out Adelaide because the red-hot Lions (that's right, the red-hot Lions) are aiming for their fourth consecutive win.

The last time Brisbane won four on-the-trot was way back in the first four rounds of 2010.

Knocking off the Hawks from their Tasmanian perch last week will give them bags off confidence to get their teeth stuck into the Crows this week.

The Lions have played their best footy at home all year, and expect the biggest crowd of the year to pile into the Gabba to get behind their club.

While the experience of their two Daynes, Beams and Zorko, have really stepped up of late, it has been Brisbane's younger generation and their aggressive, attacking style of play that has got people talking. 

The Lions will still come in as underdogs against a resurgent Adelaide outfit.

The Crows are just about back to full strength and put in a commanding performance to get the job done against the Cats last week.

With every game crucial if they want to be playing finals footy, Adelaide have plenty to play for in the Sunshine State. They will have to cope without suspended skipper Taylor Walker.

AFL Player In Luke Hodge (Brisbane, likely), Mitch McGovern (Adelaide, likely)

AFL Player Out Taylor Walker (Adelaide)

AFL Weather No rain about, which will draw a bigger home crowd.

AFL StatsAFL Stats in Focus

AFL Stats

If Brisbane are to win, it will be off the back of their clean ball use through the middle of the park, kicking the ball to the advantage of their forwards.

They won't be able to do this as effectively against Adelaide's star-studded midfield, but should still have enough quality and polish to make sure this game goes down to the wire.

Key AFL Stat

  • The Lions' worst performance at the Gabba this year was a 27-point loss to GWS.

AFL Betting Tip AFL Betting Tip: Either team to win by less than 15.5 points @ $2.60

Reasoning: Expect this to be a tight game, with both teams having so much to play for.

The Lions could carry on their merry way, while the Crows could snatch the win in their quest for finals footy.

Games at the Gabba have been close all year, and this is another game that will likely go down to the wire. 

 

Geelong v Melbourne

AFL Odds: Geelong $1.60 (-9.5) / Melbourne $2.35 (+9.5)

At the same time as the highly anticipated Brisbane v Adelaide game is this clash in Geelong, which just looks to edge its counterpart for game of the round.

The Cats and Demons are only separated by one win inside the top eight, with the winner of this encounter set to sure up their spot.

The loser meanwhile will feel their finals position under threat, ramping up the stakes in this huge game.

Geelong are always a fearsome opponent, but especially when playing at the Cattery.

Their record at Kardinia Park has been consistently impressive in the last decade. They will look to employ a fortress mentality to get the job done against the raiding Demons.

Speaking of the Demons, they will be full of confidence after winning by half a century against the Dogs last week.

The highly-skilled Angus Brayshaw had 38 touches, further demonstrating his importance to Melbourne's finals push.
 

He will need to help his side overcome a worrying statistic, that the Demons have lost all four games against top 8 teams in 2018.

AFL Player In  None

AFL Player Out None

AFL Weather A fine night forecast in Geelong. Expect a big home crowd to get behind their beloved Cats.

AFL StatsAFL Stats in Focus

AFL Stats

The battle in the midfield will be crucial. Melbourne's midfield have been superior in 2018, outranking Geelong's stars in most midfield based stats.

It has been Geelong's defence that has kept them in most games, and where they will again have the advantage here.

If the Cats can win as much ball in the centre of the park as their rivals, their superior defenders will get them over the line.

Key AFL Stat

  • Only the Swans have defeated the Cats at GMHBA Stadium in the past two seasons.

AFL Betting Tip AFL Betting Tip: Geelong to win by a margin of 1-39 points @ $2.20

Reasoning: The Cats' superb home record when playing in Geelong, combined with Melbourne's 0-4 record against top 8 teams this year both point to a win for the home side.

Melbourne are a good enough team to keep it tight, and it should be a great game to watch.

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