Port Adelaide v Melbourne
Port Adelaide to win @ 1.71
The Power seem to have regained some form following their 21-point defeat at the hands of the Cats, winning three in a row by an average of 5 goals. Ollie Wines continued his rampage into Brownlow contention with a 43 disposal, 14 clearance game along with Travis Boak (27 disposals, 9 clearances), whilst Dixon and Marshall held the fort down forward with a combined 6 goals. They will however be heading into this game a little nervous, having lost all three of their matchups against teams in the top 5.
The Demons have lost three games all season, with two of those losses coming in the last three weeks. I wouldn’t be ringing the alarm bells just yet, as the two matches before they managed to knock off the Bulldogs and the Lions in consecutive weeks. They have brought back big Ben Brown for this match-up to boost their forward-line woes, making it interesting to see how they will function inside 50 with Brown, McDonald and Jackson/Gawn.
This is a tough matchup to predict, and if it was at the G I may have gone the Demons, but the Adelaide Oval will be packed full of Power supporters, and I think that will be enough to break their voodoo and get them their first win this season against a top 4 side.
Carlton Blues v Geelong Cats
Geelong to win @ 1.3
The Cats are on a roll, winning 7 of their last 8, with two of those wins being against sides currently in the top 4. They responded well after their loss against Brisbane, beating the Bombers by 41 points at their home ground, with Dangerfield having his best game since returning from injury with 37 disposals, 11 clearances and a goal. Stewart (25 disposals, 13 marks) had another stellar game along with Tom Hawkins at the other end who kicked 6 goals.
The Blues have managed to string two wins in a row together, albeit against the Crows and Fremantle. Walsh (25 disposals, 1 goal), and Mckay (3 goals) had solid games, whilst they have found a revelation in the midfield with Matthew Kennedy being given more opportunities in center bounces in the last few weeks, and he has taken advantage of it, averaging 24 disposals, and most recently having a 22 disposal, 1 goal game.
The Blues have put together a good run of form, but the Cats will be too good for them on the weekend
Richmond v Collingwood
Richmond -8.5 @ 1.89
Who would have thought that the Tigers would be sitting outside the top 8 heading into round 17, having lost their last three matches against the Eagles, Saints and Suns. The 5 goal haul by Lynch wasn’t enough against the Suns ultimately with too many Richmond players having off games, evidenced by only Martin and Houli getting more then 20 disposals. Nankervis will be a huge inclusion for them this week, but on the other hand Houli will now miss a few weeks with his injury. If the Tigers want to make the 8 this season, then this match is a must-win.
The Pies win-loss record can be misleading upon inspection, losing 5 of their last 7. However, they have managed to become ultra competitive in their matchups ever since the Cats matchup, with their last 4 losses being by an average of 2 goals. They were down by 43 points against the Saints over the weekend, and managed to storm home with a 36-point quarter whilst keeping the Saints goalless. They fell just short, but it was a very encouraging sign for Collingwood supporters along with the successful return of De Goey (32 disposals, 1 goal)
Collingwood should keep this competitive for most of the match, but I can’t see Richmond losing three in a row against teams outside the top 8, and expect the Tigers to flex their muscles and run away late in the game