THERE is only a fortnight of football left in the home and away season, and still North Melbourne is fighting for their finals survival, but this time it’s a different combatant snapping at their heels.
Melbourne has been on a tear over the last month of football, but still need to beat Carlton and Geelong in consecutive weeks and hope the Roos stumble twice if they are to topple last year’s preliminary finalists for the final position inside the eight.
Punters who think the Dees can do it will get a $9 return on their investment at WilliamHill.com.au.
Elsewhere in the league, the Hawks and the Eagles clash in a battle for top-four positions, Sydney travels to Tassie to tackle North Melbourne, while the South Australian showdown is sure to garner plenty of attention on Saturday night.
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.
Selections for the round 22 AFL multi of the week:
West Coast to beat Hawthorn ($1.92)
Sydney to defeat North Melbourne ($1.32)
Collingwood to defeat Gold Coast ($1.32)
Melbourne to beat Carlton ($1.28)
West Coast vs. Hawthorn
Friday, August 19 from 8.10pm at Domain Stadium, Perth
The 2015 Grand Final rematch and arguably the most important home and away game in recent memory kicks off the round on Friday night as the Hawks travel west to face the Eagles in Perth.
The Eagles looked to be limping their way to the finals, but spirited win away from home against a premiership contender in GWS has breathed new life into Adam Simpson’s men, who now genuinely believe they can make an impact in September.
Sportsbet.com.au do not share the Eagles confidence, placing last year’s runners-up on the sixth line of premiership betting at $21.
Hawthorn bounced back emphatically last weekend, destroying North Melbourne in decisive fashion, booting eight goals to one in the opening quarter to set up the win.
Given the state of the eight however, a loss on Friday night could see Hawthorn slip as far as fourth by the end of the round.
The Eagles are formidable at home and they are riding high after last week. They will relish the opportunity to show the competition they are the real deal this season and should account for Hawthorn on Friday night.
Multi tip: West Coast to win – $1.92
North Melbourne vs. Sydney
Saturday, August 20 from 1.45pm at Blundstone Arena, Bellerive
Two teams that are at opposite ends of the eight match up on Saturday afternoon down in Tasmania as the struggling Kangaroos face the scintillating Swans.
North Melbourne is in freefall and the players are fighting for their finals survival, but their draw does not look favourable going into the last fortnight of the season.
After the Swans, North face GWS, and despite being at $1.04 to maintain their position inside the eight at Sportsbet.com.au, the Roos need at least one win from those two matches ensure a safe passage through to September.
The Swans are flying and they have their eye on the minor premiership, which should be a formality if the Eagles can overcome the Hawks on Friday night.
Sportsbet.com.au has the Swans as the $2.85 second favourites behind Hawthorn to finish the season on top of the AFL ladder.
Sydney is in season-best form while North Melbourne is limping into the finals, could we see another 13 goal haul from Buddy Franklin against the Roos?
It could happen, but the Swans will not need it, they should record one of the more comfortable wins of the round.
Multi tip: Sydney to win – $1.32
Collingwood vs. Gold Coast
Saturday, August 20 from 7.25pm at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Two teams that are just making up the numbers heading into the finals meet at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in the form of Collingwood and the Gold Coast.
The Magpies were magnificent last week and were unlucky to lose to the Bulldogs after dominating large periods of the game.
After back-to-back losses in matches they probably should have won, Nathan Buckley will have his work cut out getting his players up for this one.
Luckily for the Pies, they come up against a team who failed to beat the bottom of the ladder Bombers last week.
Gold Coast were at their lamentable worst after an encouraging month of football, losing to an Essendon side who had failed to register a win since round two.
The Pies bring in quality form and we are backing them to snap the losing streak on Saturday night.
Multi tip: Collingwood to win – $1.32
Carlton vs. Melbourne
Sunday, August 21 from 1.10pm at the MCG, Melbourne
The Blues and the Demons end our multi at the home of football on Sunday afternoon.
Barring an upset down in Tasmania on Saturday afternoon, Melbourne will go into Sunday’s match against Carlton still in the finals hunt, and a successful outing could see their $9 odds to make the finals in 2016 shorten significantly at Sportsbet.com.au.
Carlton’s season is just about at rock bottom.
The Blues lost to the Lions away from home, extending their horror run of losses to nine straight defeats.
The venue has not been a happy hunting ground in recent times for the Blues.
Brendan Bolton’s men have lost five of seven matches at the MCG, while the Demons have won seven of 11 matches in 2016.
It all points towards an easy Demons win, and they should salute to bring our multi home in style.
Multi tip: Melbourne to win – $1.28
AFL promotions for round 22
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