WE’RE just three weeks away from finals in the AFL, but for the Roos and the Saints, the battle to etch their name in the finals’ stone continues for at least another week.
The Kangaroos still hold eighth position on the ladder, but North face a horrendous run home which sees them play first, second and fourth on the ladder to end the season.
North Melbourne remain the $1.04 favourites at Sportsbet.com.au to play finals this year, but if the Saints are able to cause an upset this week against the Swans, their ever-shortening odds of $10 to snatch that final spot in the eight will come in significantly.
For the sides who have their position solidified, a tussle to secure a top-four berth ensues, so we can expect the top sides to put the foot down against the lower-ranked sides this weekend.
All odds this week are provided by Sportsbet.com.au, which is running a sensational deal for new customers.
Place your first bet at Sportsbet and it will be matched as a bonus bet up to the value of $501.
AFL Round 21 multi of the week selections:
Carlton to beat Brisbane ($1.45)
Greater Western Sydney to defeat West Coast ($1.31)
St Kilda to defeat Sydney ($3.50)
Geelong to beat Richmond ($1.18)
Brisbane vs. Carlton
Saturday, August 13 from 1.45pm at the GABBA, Brisbane
A battle of the cellar dwellers kicks us off on Saturday afternoon as the 17th placed Lions host the 15th placed Blues at the GABBA.
Both teams are counting down the hours until they can put a pin in their respective seasons.
The Lions are in massive trouble off the field, but their plight on the park is just as dire.
Brisbane’s losing margin across the last two matches totaled 242 points, a margin that is unacceptable at under-10s level, let alone the top competition in the country.
The Blues had plenty of hype around them after they entered a purple patch in the middle stages of the season, but Brendan Bolton’s men have now lost eight consecutive games.
Surprisingly the Lions have won three of the last four matches between the sides, but their last meeting back in round 11 this year was over at quarter time after the Blues blew Brisbane away.
We are not expecting a similar 38-point margin, but Carlton should have no trouble snapping their elongated losing streak.
Multi tip: Carlton to win – $1.45
Greater Western Sydney vs. West Coast
Saturday, August 13 from 4.35pm at Spotless Stadium, Sydney
A match that could determine who finishes the season inside the top-four is set to take place during the Saturday twilight fixture in Sydney as the Giants host the Eagles.
Greater Western Sydney is the incumbent holders of fourth position on the ladder and are $1.31 to retain their spot, while the Eagles – who are a mere game back in fifth – are at the huge $23 mark.
If ever a team needed a win away from home to affirm that they are a genuine flag contender it is the West Coast Eagles.
The Eagles’ home form has been formidable, but away they have been lamentable.
The Giants scrapped home last week after struggling to overcome the Suns in a tight contest.
The home side should welcome back prolific midfielder Dylan Shiel who has arguably been the Giants’ best player this season.
The Giants have never beaten the Eagles since entering the competition, but we expect them to jump this hurdle en route to securing a maiden top-four and finals berth.
Multi tip: Greater Western Sydney to win – $1.31
St Kilda vs. Sydney
Saturday, August 13 from 7.25pm at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
An interesting contest between two sides who enjoy the fast track of Etihad Stadium awaits on Saturday night as the Swans travel to Melbourne to face the Saints.
It is do-or-die for the Saints now if they expect to play finals in 2016.
St Kilda seemingly blew their chance to force their way into the eight a fortnight ago after losing to the Kangaroos, but North Melbourne’s defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs last week kept the door ajar for an unlikely finals berth.
Alan Richardson’s men duly obliged after North’s stumble, hammering Carlton at the MCG to keep the dream alive.
The Saints are at $10 to play finals in 2016, coming in from the $15 price we reported on earlier in the week.
The Sydney Swans are flying in second position, and after smashing Fremantle and Port Adelaide back-to-back, they are putting themselves in the frame to win the minor premiership.
Sydney is the $4 second favourite at sportsbet.com.au to finish on top of the AFL ladder.
The Swans have won seven of the last eight matches against the Saints in a dominant period that extends back to 2012.
It is now or never for St Kilda and we are expecting the Sainters to come out accordingly to record a famous win to keep their finals flame alight.
Multi tip: St Kilda to win – $3.50
Richmond vs. Geelong
Sunday, August 14 from 3.20pm at the MCG, Melbourne
We end the multi on Sunday, where the toothless Tigers host the top-four aspirant Geelong in a match that could get ugly for the men from Punt rd.
Richmond were brave last week in their victory over Collingwood on Friday night, but it ultimately meant nothing given the finals are out of the picture.
It was a typical Richmond end of season performance – winning a meaningless match against a more fancied opponent.
The Cats are playing for a double chance.
Geelong coasted home against Essendon last week, recording a comfortable 11 goal win, but the margin should have been much more.
The Cats are under the pump to up their percentage given it is the second lowest total of those inside the top five positions on the ladder and we are expecting them to do that.
Expect the Cats to crush the Tigers to bring home our dividend.
Multi tip: Geelong to win – $1.18
AFL promotions for round 21
The best place to put our multi on is WilliamHill.com.au, which is continuing to run its fantastic money back and enhanced parlay deal this weekend.
Place a four or more legged multi across any sport this weekend, and if all but one of your selections is successful you get your cash back up to $50.
In addition, get a tiered bonus up to 40% added to your winnings.
Bonus are paid as Bonus Bets from 2.5% (4 leg multi) up to 40% of winnings (12+ leg multi); Max Winning Bonus $5,000 Bonus Bets.
Only interested in the Aussie Rules footy across round 21?
Sportsbet has the multi insurance you are after.
Spend up to $50 on your five or more legged AFL multi this weekend, and if you fail by one leg you get your cash back.
To go with that, Sportsbet continue its cash back special on head-to-head investments.
Place a bet on any match for the remainder of the home and away season and if your team lead at any break but go on to lose, you get cash back up to $50.