Essendon v North Melbourne

Saturday July 22, 1:45pm AEST – Etihad Stadium

North Melbourne have won five of the last six against Essendon, including a win in round eight this year. However, the current Kangaroos are beyond out of form. They’ve lost six games in a row and their injury list is forcing them to blood players who aren’t ready. They can’t expect help from their VFL players either, as they lost by 102 points last weekend.

Additionally, the Bombers are in imposing form. They dominated the Saints by 10 goals and beat the Magpies by six goals the round before that. Joe Daniher is fast becoming one of the league’s toughest matchups and the Dons are getting contributions from every player. James Kelly and David Zaharakis are recapturing their best, collecting almost as much of the ball as the prolific Zach Merrett.

We predicted North Melbourne to battle it out for the wooden spoon this year and Essendon’s soft draw to put them in finals contention, and it appears both options will still be alive after the weekend.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Essendon -24.5

Sydney Swans v St Kilda Saints

Saturday July 22, 7:25pm AEST – SCG

We’re surprised the line isn’t bigger in Sydney. When St Kilda lose, they give up. Their smallest losing margin this year is 19 points, with the other six losses coming by 30 points or more.

The Saints are not only coming off a 61-point loss to Essendon but they have a horrible record against Sydney. They’re probably their most feared opponent. Sydney have won the last seven matches by an average winning margin of 69 points, including a 50-point win earlier this year at Etihad.

If St Kilda can’t cause a shock upset, recent history says they’ll be losing by more than five goals.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Sydney -27.5

Brisbane Lions v Carlton Blues

Sunday July 23, 4:40pm AEST – Gabba

We’re not sure how Carlton are favourites in Brisbane. They’ve only won two more games than the Lions this year and have lost four in a row. Patrick Cripps is out for the season and their depth is being tested with injury clouds hanging over Silvagni, Marchbank, Thomas, Buckley and Byrne.

The three win Lions don’t exactly have a fortress at home but their youngest players seem to be contributing more and more each week. Alex Witherden is the latest potential star in Brisbane, remarkably collecting 20+ disposals in all four of his AFL games and already assuming the kick-out duties. There’s renewed optimism at the Gabba and we think they’ll be set for this game.

We recommend backing the Lions before they shorten further.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Brisbane Head to Head

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