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The Roar


The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions Round 13: 350 up for Buddy the brilliant

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7th June, 2023
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So spake Anthony Hudson in that famous match down in Tasmania, exactly 11 years and six days ago; so it’s only fitting that the great Lance Franklin brings up what will surely be his last major milestone, 350 games, in Round Thirteeeeeen.

A champion of the game but one seemingly past his prime, the stage is made for Buddy: his Swans are struggling and desperate for a win, the opponent in St Kilda he’s played in a score of his previous milestones including his 300th (four goals), 200th (nine) and 100th (goalless) games, and it’s under the Thursday night lights in front of an adoring SCG crowd.

The week starts off with football royalty, and ends with actual royalty: the first ever King’s Birthday match presents a chance for Collingwood to officially anoint themselves as the best team in it when they face one of their biggest challengers in Melbourne minus Jordan De Goey.

In between, there are some more juicy encounters, so hopefully we don’t have another tipping week from hell like a fortnight ago!

Tim Miller

Last week: 5


Sydney, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, GWS, Essendon, Collingwood

A few weeks ago, at least we could basically rely on three teams – West Coast, Hawthorn and North Melbourne – being rubbish to let us tip a third of the games with some assurances.

Now, with the Hawks and Kangaroos vastly improved, and the games shrinking to eight this week courtesy of byes to Geelong and Gold Coast, that’s all thrown up in the air, so this looms as being another danger round for would-be tipsters.

Home ground advantage rules my thinking on Thursday night: Sydney, as patchy as their form has been this year, haven’t lost to St Kilda at the SCG since 2009. That, combined with the emotional lift from Buddy’s 350th, makes the Swans the safer tip.

Safe is the last thing I expect backing the Bulldogs to be against Port Adelaide, but even though they’re an objectively inferior outfit, Luke Beveridge’s boys always find another gear when subjected to intense scrutiny. They dragged Brisbane down to their level and beat them with experience earlier this year, and even though Port have extraordinary winning runs both this season and at Marvel Stadium in general, I have a sneaky suspicion both runs will be ending on Friday night.

Hawthorn, interestingly, haven’t lost to Brisbane since 2019, but two of their three straight wins have come in Launceston. The MCG doesn’t offer quite the same home ground advantage to the Hawks, which is enough to sway me not to tip an upset – in every feasible way, the Lions are better than the Hawks, but that didn’t stop them from knocking over St Kilda.


Adelaide by a million over West Coast in the only easy game to tip this round, before another toughie on Saturday night: Fremantle against Richmond. I’m looking forward to this game, with both sides in great form and playing exciting, free-flowing football. Like on Thursday night, I’m only confident in picking Freo because it’s a home game for them.

North against GWS on Sunday in Hobart is another tough game to tip, because the Roos have improved dramatically since Brett Ratten took the reins from Alastair Clarkson, and are probably due a win. However, the Giants have the midfield power to overwhelm the Roos, and they themselves are in excellent form notwithstanding last week’s loss to the Tigers.

Sunday night would be mighty tough to tip as well if Carlton could be trusted; I’ve been burned by them enough this year, and they’ve officially fallen below Essendon in the ‘can we trust them?’ ratings, which is a big yikes. Still, if the Blues can get enough supply to Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay up forward against an undersized Dons defence, they’ll be a chance.

Lastly, King’s Birthday: while my head is saying Melbourne plus Clayton Oliver is just as good as Collingwood minus Jordan De Goey, the heart is saying tipping against the Magpies is the most foolish of endeavours. They just win games like this, and I suspect Monday will see more of the same.

Franklin and Papley

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Dem Panopoulos

Last week: 7


Sydney, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, GWS, Carlton, Melbourne

Seven from seven! Not since a grade 2 spelling test have I finished with a mark of 100 per cent, but last round worked out rather well in tipping.

Of course, expecting that to carry forward is fool’s gold, and crashing back down to earth is the likely scenario we’re faced with here. In better news, it’s the long weekend, there’s footy stretched over a five-day period, Test cricket is back and things are on the up.

The Saints have won once at the SCG in the last 15 years and paired up with my long-standing opinion on this team and the fact they’re really built for 2024 onwards, the Swans will wriggle on by. Dane Rampe is a huge inclusion for the home sie.

What a contest Friday night appears to be. We’ve got a team needing to find a win in the Bulldogs, against one that hasn’t lost in months and are legitimate in Port Adelaide. It’s quite surprising, the fact the Power have won eight matches in a row at Marvel Stadium. I’ve still got some concerns about their defence against genuine height and leaping though, and there’s a feeling that this one could be a bit of an old-western shootout. Maybe that opens the door for the Bulldogs.

The next couple of matches are simple tips. Brisbane’s chugging along, they aren’t in my top tier of contenders yet and have a few things they need to work on, but beating Hawthorn shouldn’t be too hard. Similarly, Adelaide to bounce back and smash the Eagles is a fait accompli.

Then there’s Saturday night, a fixture that is a heart vs heart battle. I am still bullish on the Dockers, sticking fat with this team throughout the whole year. Logically, they should beat Richmond. Logic rarely comes into play for Tigers games though, so who knows how that will play out.


North Melbourne showed good signs against the Bombers, while GWS almost completed an excellent comeback against the Tigers last week. In lieu of picking a draw, which would be the second in a row in Tasmania between these two teams, midfield absences lean it in GWS’ favour. If Luke Davies-Uniacke were to somehow be named, I’d go with North, but that’s released after we submit our tips.

More coin flips are here to finish the round. While the Bombers are the better team, it’s only a matter of time until it clicks for Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay, and Essendon certainly couldn’t handle it being this weekend. I’ll go Carlton here.

Finally, the Magpies have a couple of absences for King’s Birthday, while the Demons could be welcoming back Clayton Oliver. After rarely tipping Collingwood last year, I vowed to do the opposite this season. But this fixture is season-defining for Melbourne, so it’s another slight upset tipped.

Max Gawn and Mason Cox battle.

Max Gawn and Mason Cox battle. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images).

Cameron Rose

Last week: 5


St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, GWS, Essendon, Collingwood

Enjoy the long weekend everyone!

This is a pretty interesting week on the tipping front, and I can’t help feeling like one or two upsets are in store. Pick which games go the other way, and you’re in for a serious rise; get it wrong, and the fall will be twice as harsh.

Despite the emotions of Lance Franklin’s 350th game, and the fact Sydney just don’t lose to St Kilda at the SCG, I’m backing the Saints here; reports of their demise are way too premature, they remain the most miserly defence in the competition, and the Swans have been vulnerable at home this year.

I’m torn with picking the Bulldogs again after they burned me last week, but I can’t help feeling Port Adelaide are due a loss after nine straight wins. A Dogs outfit at home smarting from a loss to Geelong is exactly the sort of team that could inflict an upset on the visitors.

Hawthorn might come to regret being scheduled to play Brisbane at the MCG rather than in Launceston, as they usually do: the Hawks have beaten them down there two seasons in a row. As it stands, though, you couldn’t tip them against the far superior Lions – ditto West Coast in Adelaide, who despite an excellent record at the Adelaide Oval won’t be coming within sniffing distance of the Crows.


Saturday night promises to be fascinating: the Tigers are in excellent form with a win and two honourable losses in their last three, while Fremantle appear to be back to their 2022 best. It’s the Dockers at home for me, who have more at stake as a legitimate finals contender – but don’t be surprised to see a shootout with both sides playing lightning fast footy at the moment.

Both Sunday games are tough, but I’ve gone with the favourites: GWS should be too strong for a vastly improved North Melbourne outfit, though a Hobart match should even them up somewhat (as well as give the Giants the empty stands they’re used to playing in front of). And on King’s Birthday eve, Essendon’s far superior ball movement should get them a win over a Carlton outfit that seems cooked at the moment.

Finally, on King’s Birthday proper, not even Melbourne getting back Clayton Oliver and the Magpies losing Jordan De Goey can change the fact that Collingwood are much, much better than the Dees at the moment.

Sam Walsh

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Liam Salter

Last week: 6

Sydney, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, North Melbourne, Essendon, Collingwood


Because of course the AFL wants to muck around with fixturing, we’re entering the second of four bye rounds where, inexplicitly, only two teams have the week off. Your guess is as good as mine. 

The round opens with the excellent Sydney vs St Kilda annual Pride Game – as an aside, if you’re wondering why the clash is necessary, just look at the Facebook comments on the Swans’ change of Facebook profile picture into a LGBT-themed club logo.

Neither team played last week, so both should be fresh. The Saints have certainly lost a little of their lustre recently, and the Swans have been impressive – I’ll be backing the home side. 

Friday’s clash is a beauty: the competition’s most in form team – Port Adelaide – up against the slightly bipolar outfit that are the Doggies. Port peculiarly created a mini-bye round in the second half of their encounter with the Hawks last weekend, and yet still won by a gazillion. Contrast their form with the Doggies atrocious kicking last weekend and Ken’s men are irresistible here. 

Saturday’s an easy day to pick, barring any upsets. Brisbane should return from their week off with a comfortable win over the better-than-ladder-position-suggests Hawthorn outfit, the Crows should comfortably outlast the Eagles and Freo will earn a fifth successive win with victory over the Tigers. 

Two teams that made a mundane last Sunday exciting despite losing open this Sunday: North and the Giants. The Giants are the better side, but to hell with it: North, in Tassie and with this much spirit, will earn a rare win.


Speaking of spirit, the Blues have virtually none. I don’t think it’s harsh to say they’re a broken side at the moment, but a win over the Bombers would be enormous. The issue for me is the Dons are simply in better form, and I’m wanting to keep it simple: they’ll pile more misery on the Blues.

And despite Melbourne winning last week, nobody who watched their game truly won. They score a personnel win with the return of Clayton Oliver, but Collingwood are just so ridiculously strong I’m inclined to back them for a fifth consecutive King’s Birthday win.

Dustin Martin of the Tigers and Nat Fyfe of the Dockers compete for the ball

(Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

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