Your Expert AFL Tips for 2021

The Analysts have years of AFL betting experience to go along with their own database. They’ll be posting their AFL Tips each week for the entire 2021 AFL Season. There’s in-depth analysis, betting strategy and reasoning behind each of their selections.

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Western Bulldogs v Carlton

Carlton finally hit a big spot as a big underdog against the Western Bulldogs.

The Blues cover at an excellent 62% when an underdog of 18.5 or more and that goes to 73% when Carlton are a big outsider playing in the afternoon. The Blues have also covered 8 of the last 11 against the Bulldogs. This line is too fat.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Carlton +21.5

Gold Coast v St Kilda

Gold Coast have historically proven very strong bets against St Kilda. In their 13 clashes, the Suns have covered nine including the last six. Over that run, the Suns have just a single win but the last four games have all been decided by a goal or less.

The Suns have won their last two and have covered eight of their last 11 at Metricon. The Saints cover at an awful 38% away from Melbourne.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Gold Coast -1.5

North Melbourne v Collingwood

Laying points to be with Collingwood is rarely advisable and in their current form it certainly isn’t, even against the wooden spoon favourites.

The Magpies have just a single win and now have dropped five straight, including a humiliating four-goal home loss to the Suns. Collingwood cover at just 43% as a favourite and just 35% when favoured by more than three goals. North have covered their last three and can make it four straight.

Betting Strategy

BACK — North Melbourne +23.5

West Coast v Fremantle

West Coast have dominated the Derby since 2015 and that run should continue after the Eagles were completely humiliated by Geelong last week. The Eagles have won 10 straight against the Dockers, covering nine of those.

Seven of the last nine have seen West Coast win by 30 or more points. West Coast are 23-15 against the number at Optus including 8 of the last 12. Fremantle have covered just 7 of 17 at the ground.

Betting Strategy

BACK — West Coast -6.5

Richmond v Western Bulldogs

Richmond are in a very unusual spot here as an underdog, particularly in Melbourne. The Tigers have been an outsider just 14 times across the last four seasons. They have covered three straight and five of their last six when an underdog. As an outsider at the MCG, the Tigers have covered 12 of 18. The Bulldogs cover at just 44% as a favourite.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Richmond +10.5

Collingwood v Gold Coast

Betting against Collingwood when favourite and at the MCG is typically an excellent play and that is how we are siding this week against a Gold Coast team coming off a win of 40-plus points.

Collingwood are an awful 30-47 against the number when favoured by more than two goals. When favoured by more than two goals at the MCG, the Magpies cover at a horrific 34% as one of the most overvalued teams in an overvalued spot. The Suns are hardly a bastion of consistency by a 40-point drubbing of the in-form Swans shows where this team has got to.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Gold Coast +14.5

GWS v Western Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have become surprisingly reliable as a favourite, covering seven of their last nine when the market-elect. When favoured by more than two goals, the Bulldogs have covered three on the hop and eight of their last nine. The Giants have been a poor night team covering just one of their last six.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Western Bulldogs -19.5

Geelong v West Coast

Betting against Geelong when favoured has been money of late and we will continue down that path. The Cats have been favoured four times this season. They have won three of those but have failed to cover a single one. The market well and truly overrates the Cats. West Coast have covered their last three as an underdog and they travel well, covering 12 of their last 19 away from Optus.

Betting Strategy

BACK — West Coast +9.5

Fremantle v North Melbourne

North managed to keep Geelong within 30 points at the Cattery last week and can keep Fremantle within a bull’s roar to cover this week. The Kangaroos have covered two of the last three times the teams have played in Perth and they are a solid 8-5 against the number when getting a start of five goals or more. Fremantle have covered just 7 of their last 19 when favoured by three-plus goals.

Betting Strategy

BACK — North Melbourne +42.5

Geelong v North Melbourne

This won’t be a fun watch but North have to be the play in this. Geelong have a horrific record when heavily favoured. The Cats are 5-11 against the spread when favoured by more than 50 and cover at just 35% when spotting more than five goals

North cover at 58% as a big outsider and even though they’ve been extremely poor this year, they are a play in this.

Betting Strategy

BACK — North Melbourne +56.5

Carlton v Port Adelaide

Carlton getting a start at the MCG should be money in this one. The Blues cover at 59% getting more than a goal and when it is at the MCG the Blues cover at an insane 67% over the last nine years, hitting in 8 of their last 10 in the spot.

Carlton have also covered seven of 11 against Port Adelaide including the last three in what is typically a low-scoring grind. This is a great spot and one we should be taking full advantage of.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Carlton +7.5

West Coast v Collingwood

West Coast cover at 59% when playing at Optus Stadium and have covered three of their last four at the venue off a loss. When favoured by more than three goals, the Eagles have covered five of their last six in Perth and hit at an AFL-high 62% dating back to 2012.

The Magpies have now dropped three of four this year and come off a five-goal loss against GWS. The Eagles have covered 8 of the last 12 against the Magpies and can continue that dominance here.

Betting Strategy

BACK — West Coast -20.5

Port Adelaide v Richmond

The market may have overreacted to Richmond’s bad loss to Sydney here. Happy to sign with the Tigers as an underdog. They cover at 57% as an outsider and even more compelling, make the nut at 61% when an outsider off a loss. The Tigers have also covered 10 of their last 17 off a loss.

Port are not a great bounceback team, covering just three of their last nine off a loss of five or more goals.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Richmond +5.5

Collingwood v GWS

This is a perfect trends game with Collingwood a strong bet-against team when heavily favoured. Collingwood cover at just 44% when favoured and at just 36% when favoured by more than three goals. When favoured by more than three goals at the MCG, the Magpies are a shocking 8-25 against the number.

The Giants have covered 13 of 16 when an outsider of more than three goals.

Betting Strategy

BACK — GWS +22.5

Sydney v Essendon

Sydney have been stunning this season, one of the genuine surprise packets. It is time to get on the bandwagon before the market flips on them. Favoured by fewer than five goals at home against a struggling Essendon, the Swans absolutely look value.

Sydney have won all three games this year by a margin of at least 31, including a 45-point thrashing of premiers Richmond. Essendon come off a big win over St Kilda following two losses but don’t usually put two strong performances together, covering just 6 of 18 off scoring 120-plus.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Sydney -27.5

Richmond v Sydney

Since 2017, Richmond have been almost impossible to not only beat but cover against at the MCG. The Tigers are 41-7 over the last four years, with a 33-15 cover record over that span.

Off a win at the MCG the Tigers cover at a very good 72%. Richmond have covered 8 of their last 11 against Sydney and look primed to kick away with another strong victory.

Betting Strategy

BACK — Richmond -23.5

West Coast v Port Adelaide

It is astonishing that West Coast are underdogs at home against Port. The Power are no doubt flying but the Eagles have a great record at Optus, covering at 60%. As an underdog at the ground, West Coast have covered two of three. The Eagles have covered four of six against Port. They are a confident play.

Betting Strategy

BACK — West Coast +1.5

North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

There is little question that North Melbourne are likely on their way to the wooden spoon this year. They are awful. Their two losses this season have been by margins of 52 and 59. These are dire times at Arden St.

They look a good play though getting a huge start against the Western Bulldogs. Underdogs of 42.5 or more off a loss of 40-plus cover at 56%. The Bulldogs cover at just 42% when favoured and just 31% when favoured by more than five goals.

Betting Strategy

BACK — North Melbourne +42.5

The AFL season is nearly upon us and there is plenty of value to be found in futures markets.


There is no reason to look beyond the obvious. Richmond have won three of the last four flags and look primed for a fourth. Tigerland has become a winning machine and with Damien Hardwick, Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin at the helm, that will not change anytime soon.

No team can peak at the right time better than the Tigers. There have been no notable changes to their list and the fact is the AFL is built for dynasties to last. The Tigers are favourites but they still present plenty of value in the premiership market.

If one team can leap from outside the Top 8 to become genuine title contenders it is Melbourne. They have been major disappointments in the last few years but their percentage last year was good enough to match a number of teams in the Top 8.

The addition of key forward Ben Brown gives the Demons some much-needed goalkicking impetus and if the midfield can show just marginal improvement then the Dees can offer plenty in 2021.

BACK — Richmond at $5.20

BACK — Melbourne at $36


The Cats come into this season off an impressive Top 4 finish in 2020 and yet another Grand Final appearance. The Cats project to be the biggest Pythagorean improvers in 2021 from inside the Top 8 and they were not far off the minor premiership last season.

They were then uber-aggressive in the trade period, landing Jeremy Cameron as well as Isaac Smith and Shaun Higgins. The Cats are talented and deep and look primed for another big season.

BACK — Geelong at $4.90


Success is built on defence and West Coast and the Eagles certainly are building from the defensive side of the ball under Adam Simpson. The Eagles have made the playoffs in six straight seasons and have finals wins in four of those years. Tim Kelly was an outstanding pickup last offseason and the list is well balanced. A little more attacking flair and West Coast are in the top echelon of title contenders.

BACK — West Coast at $3.05


The Blues have long been underrated and can finally emerge with a talented young list. The Blues should have played finals football last year but lost key matches in the back half of the season that cost them dearly with poor periods in games the difference for them. The Blues have a talented young list led by Patrick Cripps and the team has a lot of upside under the astute David Teague.

Collingwood are typically a play-against betting proposition, a terribly overrated public team. They do look to be well on the slide too. The offseason dramas had to have taken some toll, particularly on a coaching staff that had to front up to much of it.

Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson have been moved on and the list is aging and not gracefully. The Pies finished eighth last season and it is hard to see any improvement coming from a team that has not brought in any AFL-ready talent.

BACK — Carlton at $2.28

LAY — Collingwood at $2.02


The Bombers were horrendous at the backend of last season and there were few excuses to justify just a single win in their last 10 matches. They are clearly looking to blow things up. John Worsfold has moved on as coach with Ben Rutten taking over.

Veterans Adam Saad, Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia are among a host of senior players moving on. The third-worst percentage last year showed that the Bombers’ 13th placing last year well and truly inflated their true showing.

BACK — Essendon at $8.00


One thing you will be sure to get with West Coast big Josh Kennedy is a sight. The two-time Coleman Medal winner has been in the Top 7 nine times in the last decade. The Eagles big man is one of the few players in the AFL still capable of kicking a bag. He is excellent value on a team that will be returning to the finals.

BACK — Josh Kennedy at $10


The No.1 pick in the 2019 AFL draft certainly delivered for the Gold Coast in a sublime debut season. The crafty midfielder played just five games for the Suns but accumulated nine Brownlow votes and marked himself as an out-and-out star of the future. The Suns are a team on the up and Rowell is their star.

BACK — Matt Rowell at $23

Current Results

Total Units Staked: 21.00

Total Units Returned: 21.73

ROI: 3.45%

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