Brisbane v Carlton - Let's hope this is a cracker. It has all the ingredients. Both clubs coming off good wins. Both clubs expected to challenge for the 8. And of course Fev v Carlton for the very first time. Of course none of that has anything to do with tipping. The big factors here are: how can Carlton effectively match up against 2 of the premier forwards in the game? How will Brisbane go after a 5 day break v a 7 day one? Then there is travel factor, and of course Ratten's coaching. Can he actually coach? I'm not sure. No Fev and no Judd takes away last years plan. So what is he going to do against a real team? I'm going safety and tipping the Lions by 20
Collingwood v Melbourne - Lets just move on. Collingwood by 60+
St. Kilda v North Melbourne - I was disappointed in the Saints last week. They are a legitimate contender and frankly did not deserve to win. However, they are a better side than North who was brave in defeat last week. But I just can't see how North will have the maturity in bodies to take it up to the Saints who will win easily, by, let's say 40.
West Coast v Port Adelaide - this could be a great game. It is an intriguing contest with two sides that performed reasonably well last week. Port held off a fast finishing Roos and WC got over run by the Lions. WC have one significant advantage, home ground. They are also pretty healthy and did well for 3 quarters against a far superior team in Brisbane. I expect class to show out and see the Eagles win by 25
Adelaide v Sydney - This is a really tough game to pick. Adelaide had a stinker last week and Sydney were excellent in defeat. Home ground to Adelaide is an advantage, as is history. The Crows consistently beat the Swans and its been awhile since the Swans have won in Adelaide (a quick search showed at least the last 4 have been losses). However, I'm am going to go with form over history for this one. Adelaide really were dreadful so I'm going for the Swans in a close one, 6 points.
Essendon v Fremantle - Would you believe Freo actually won a match at Telstra Dome in the NAB cup? Well believe it because it happened! Freo were fantastic at home last week and Essendon brave in defeat (although I am still wondering how much of that performance can be attributed to Geelong's apathy for 3 quarters). Again I'll go on form and pick Freo (going against all standard tipping rules - eg NEVER tip Freo), by...hang on, I can't do it. Essendon by 12
Richmond v Western Bulldogs - read Pies v Melb preview. Doggies by 40. OK perhaps its not quite that clean cut. Richmond were better than the result implied last week, and by all reports the Doggies threw in a shocker against the Pies. Honestly though class will prevail. I cannot see how the young Tiger cubs can can overcome a stronger and angry Doggies.
Hawthorn v Geelong - these two teams always seem to throw together some epic games, and this one should be no different. Geelong has the stronger midfield, further strengthened by Ottens who provides a ruck option (Blake and Renouf cancel each other out) and the Hawks are not going to be sharking anything from the Geelong mids. That means the Hawks lose the clearances. However, the Hawks have the better forward line thanks to Buddy and Rioli (reportedly) returning. whilst Geelong does have an excellent defense, the Cats will rely on midfield pressure stopping the ball being delivered lace out. The other end of the ground is less interesting. Geelongs' forwards aren't that threatening for a meek Hawks defense, but again its the goal scoring mids and genius of Johnson and Chapman that win out. I expect it to be close, but Cats by 15 for me