The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, the big boys are starting to distance themselves from the pretenders, the finals are on the horizon and round 22 might be the most exciting round all season with some previews of what is to come with the top 4 teams facing off.
The top of the ladder Cats ($2.02) travel to the Gabba to take on the surprising 2nd placed Lions ($1.78) outfit. Geelong, who have been the definition of inconsistent since the bye alternating with wins and losses, last week they looked a lot better restricting North Melbourne to their lowest points total in their history. Brisbane however have not lost a game since the bye and are absolutely flying. Both teams will be looking to secure a home final (If you can claim a Cats final at the ‘G as a home final) and a win here will certainly do that.
The co-favourites for the flag go head to head on Sunday, with the Eagles traveling to take on the Tigers at the home of footy. The winner will be eyeing up a top 2 spot while the loser will more than likely be travelling for week 1 of the finals. The Tigers are priced at $1.52 to get the job done while the Eagles are outsiders at $2.50. Is this a preview of the game that will be on the last Saturday in September?
The battle for the bottom two spots in the eight is heating up. Essendon sit 7th but have a shocking percentage thanks to a dismal performance last week. Then there are 3 teams only separated by percentage with Hawthorn and Freo still mathematical chances one game away in 11th and 12th respectively. The Power currently occupy the 8th spot from crosstown rival Crows in 9th with The Bulldogs lying in 10th. The Power ($1.73) travel to Marvel to take on a North ($2.08) team, whose season is all but over, looking to tighten their grip on 8th. The Crows ($1.71) host a top four chasing Collingwood ($2.12), knowing a loss could well be curtains for them, but a much-improved performance against the reigning premiers has given some punters confidence. The Bulldogs ($2.26) travel to GWS ($1.63) having looked impressive last week, while GWS the complete opposite as they were smashed for the 2nd time this season by Hawthorn. The Bombers ($2.72) looked like they had a finals spot sewn up a few weeks ago, but are now in real danger of missing out. They travel across the Nullarbor to take on Fremantle needing a win.
The feel-good story of the week will be four-time Premiership winning Hawk and all-round good guy Jarryd Roughead getting the farewell game he truly deserves, when the Hawks take on the Suns in the last game of the round.
With 7 out of the 9 games with potential September ramifications it should be a good round for viewing.
Sydney $1.99 to beat Melbourne $1.80
St Kilda $1.86 to beat Carlton $1.93
Geelong $2.02 to beat Brisbane $1.78
Adelaide $1.71 to beat Collingwood $2.12
Port Adelaide $1.73 to beat North Melbourne $2.08
Essendon $2.72 to beat Fremantle $1.45
Richmond $1.52 to beat West Coast $2.50
Bulldogs $2.26 to beat GWS $1.63
Hawthorn $1.04 to beat Gold Coast $10.25
$10 Multi returns $2149.38