Tipping isn’t getting any easier as we inch closer to finals. At this rate, nobody from the top four will even make the grand final.
Upsets on all three days of the previous round saw most of us end up with five points. All of us, except Marnie Cohen, who correctly tipped Brett Ratten winning his first game as St Kilda coach, while also being the only tipper to get GWS smashing Collingwood.
That sees her rocket up to equal second on the expert ladder, tied with myself and just two points behind AdelaideDocker in the lead. Daniel Jeffrey, unfortunately, falls five points behind at the rear, while the Crowd remains five points ahead in the overall lead.
Bring on Round 19!
Richmond, Hawthorn, Adelaide, West Coast, St Kilda, GWS, Bulldogs, Geelong, Essendon
Tomorrow night’s blockbuster is the perfect start to a round of footy. I don’t have a Victorian bone in my body, but it’s impossible to deny the charm of two big Victorian clubs – who are actually in the top eight – going at it on a Friday night at the ‘G.
The Magpies followed up their shock preliminary final win with a strong Round 2 victory over Richmond earlier this year, but I can’t see a repeat happening here. Collingwood’s recent form is just too poor to give them the nod over the surging Tigers.
Things get a lot trickier form there on out. As irresistible as Brisbane have been post-bye, and as strong as their record against Hawthorn has been of late, I think this is the week they slip up.
Hawthorn have put together a good month of football and, at their Tasmanian home, should catch the Lions in a thriller.
Carlton are every chance of taking down the Crows after the latter’s insipid second-half showing last Friday night. Much has been made of Adelaide’s poor record at the MCG – zero wins from their last four appearances – but the Blues have a horror record at the ground too and will go down to a side with a bit more to play for.
Saturday night is a bit harder than it looks at first glance too. Melbourne’s last six weeks, save for the Queen’s Birthday, have actually been pretty competitive. They’re capable of catching the Saints but, with Jack Steven and Dan Hannebery potentially returning (the former is much more likely), St Kilda should prevail under the roof.
The other clash that night sees the Giants continue to try and get their season back on track against a Port Adelaide side against the wall. As good as Greater Western Sydney’s triumph was on Saturday, I’m not convinced they’re totally out of the woods yet.
That said, their superb recent run against the Power means they get the tip here.
The rest of the weekend is pretty straightforward.
North Melbourne will give West Coast a fight, but the Eagles will prevail at home, while the Lance Franklin and Callum Sinclair-less Swans have little chance of knocking off the Cats.
A one-point win over those injury-riddled Swans does not translate into favouritism for Freo in their game against the Dogs either.
In my Shoe-In of the Week, Essendon should continue their superb post-bye form with an easy win over Gold Coast.
Richmond, Brisbane, Adelaide, West Coast, St Kilda, GWS, Bulldogs, Geelong, Essendon
I feel like a broken record when I say “this is a tough week in tipping” and “most of these results could go either way”, but that’s just a reflection of how close this season is.
Friday night will be an interesting game because Richmond are on the rise and Collingwood… well, they’ve shown they’ll need more than a one-point win over West Coast to get their season back on track.
This is a huge game as winner moves into the top four and right now the Tiges look more likely of the two.
Having said that, Collingwood love coming into games against Richmond as the underdogs and then blowing them out of the water. I’m backing Richmond in but a Collingwood victory would not surprise me in the slightest.
Almost half of Brisbane’s wins last season were against Hawthorn and you would expect the same this weekend. Harris Andrews will be a huge loss for them but I think they are more than a one-man show.
I do think the Hawks are a chance – they’ll be full of confidence after a win against rivals Geelong but Brisbane are the flavour of the month at the moment and you just can’t tip against them.
GWS, too, are no one-man side and they proved that in their huge win over Collingwood last weekend. You’d think the undermanned Giants have what it takes to run over Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, but Port Adelaide do surprise you at the best of times.
Whatever the result, I hope it comes with a side of bow and arrow from Xavier Duursma.
Sunday afternoon’s fixture is exactly the sort of game the Bulldogs would lose. Against an undermanned, out of form Fremantle. It’s sort of been the story of their season – big wins against big teams and then dropping games that they were expected to win. I’ll back them in here, but I hope they don’t make me regret it.
Despite Carlton’s new-found form under David Teague, Adelaide should bounce back this weekend and look to firm up a finals spot. Same with Geelong who, despite looking a little shaky of late, should get the job done over Sydney.
West Coast should (sadly) have a straight forward win against North and you expect Essendon to return from the Gold Coast with the four points.
Finally, tipping Brett Ratten and his Saints to make it two from two this weekend against Melbourne this weekend because, no matter how close the Dees look like winning, they can never seem to get the job done.
Richmond, Hawthorn, Adelaide, West Coast, Melbourne, GWS, Western Bulldogs, Geelong, Essendon
With as full-strength a side as they’ll have for 2019, Richmond deservedly head into tomorrow night’s clash against the Magpies as favourites. Collingwood have struggled to control the ball in attack recently – they’re a net -55 for inside 50s in the past four games – and with Darcy Moore out, they’ll struggle to contain the Tigers down back too.
I need to make up some tipping ground, so I’ll take Hawthorn in an upset over the Lions. The Hawks have been in strong recent form, are a tough team to beat in Tasmania and, for some reason, second-placed sides have struggled all year. I’ll tip Brisbane to continue that trend.
Form suggests the Blues should be far too good for the Crows, who were woeful in the second half last week. Adelaide desperately need wins this week and next to keep a hold on eighth spot, and that might just give them the edge in a rare MCG appearance.
At home, West Coast should be too strong for the Kangaroos, whose finals chances look just about shot, while I’ll tip Melbourne to get the better of St Kilda after pushing the Eagles last week.
As for Port Adelaide, I’ll revert to refusing to tip them for a while after last week’s effort – particularly given the win GWS are coming off.
Sunday’s fixtures look a little more straightforward (famous last words, I know). Fremantle didn’t offer enough last week against the Swans to suggest they can top the Bulldogs on the road, the Swans certainly didn’t offer enough against the Dockers to raise hopes of a win against the table-topping Cats, and the Suns haven’t offered enough since, well, name a date, to suggest they’ll do anything but lose to Essendon.
Richmond, Brisbane, Adelaide, West Coast, St Kilda, GWS, Bulldogs, Geelong, Essendon
On Friday night, attention turns to a struggling Collingwood and resurgent Richmond, as the duo compete for probable top four spots. The latter are deserved favourites headed into this one, given the Pies’ desperately poor form of late. Collingwood is a good outfit in poor form; let’s go Richmond to win by a couple of goals.
Tasmania begins our Saturday, with Hawthorn hosting the top-two Lions in a big clash. Hawthorn were lovely in their upset win over the Cats’ last Sunday, while Brisbane garnered a not-at-all-controversial win over North at the Gabba.
Brisbane’s recent history has been strong against Alistair Clarkson’s men, but this Hawks side has proven they can beat the best. Expect Brisbane to be a little more hungry at the contest, and to pinch the win.
On a kinda-related segue from pinching wins, how deplorable were Adelaide in doing the opposite last round? The Crows face a Carlton outfit gunning for three in a row. I’m tipping the Crows for some semblance of ‘sense’, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.
North travel to Perth to face West Coast in the twilight clash. Easiest tip yet, Eagles will win.
St Kilda host Melbourne for a Saturday night clash; this one has a lot of intrigue surrounding it. Was St Kilda’s strong win last week a one-off? Can Melbourne’s continual displays of good form win ‘em one eventually? I’m backing in the Saints for two in a row, but I’m pretty unsure.
Port host GWS at the concurrent time, and with this in Adelaide, the tip is a little hard. Port’s a pretty bad team in essence and GWS dominated Collingwood last week, but Port had two bad weeks in a row. So, does that mean Port is overdue for two good weeks? We won’t find out – they’ll lose to the Giants.
The Western Bulldogs and Fremantle will kick off Sunday’s suite of matches. This is the clash that will kill off season 2019 for one of the teams. The Doggies’ home ground leans me their way, and I’ll have to tip them.
Sydney host Geelong in the free to air clash, and this is Geelong’s to lose. Lose they won’t. Finally, Gold Coast host Essendon in the final game of the round. This is pretty self-explanatory, eh? Essendon by plenty.
|Round 19||Stirling||Marnie||Daniel||ADocker||The Crowd|
|COL vs RCH||RCH||RCH||RCH||RCH||RCH|
|HAW vs BL||HAW||BL||HAW||BL||HAW|
|CAR vs ADE||ADE||ADE||ADE||ADE||ADE|
|WCE vs NM||WCE||WCE||WCE||WCE||WCE|
|STK vs MEL||STK||STK||MEL||STK||MEL|
|PA vs GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS|
|WB vs FRE||WB||WB||WB||WB||WB|
|SYD vs GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE|
|GCS vs ESS||ESS||ESS||ESS||ESS||ESS|