Collingwood v Geelong - They have put in an excellent all over performance this season thus far. Forwardline is potent and varied, midfield running and hard and defense stingy. Back by tackling all over the ground and an effective zone style when they are not in possession, coupled with a frenetic attack on the footy. Geelong in contrast, have been Geelong plus a good reliable tall forward. The impact Podsiadly has had on Geelong is enormous. Mooney has been solid and the beneficiary of a brilliant midfield, but Pods has provided a genuine KPP option who demands the ball. It has also caused a significant forwardline weakness in Hawkins to now be moved up the ground, a style that is suiting him. All up this could be a cracker, but I get the feeling the Cats might give the Pies a lesson, because whilst the Pies have been good, I think that the Cats are still better on all lines. Cats by 18
North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs - North has every chance to steal this. They are a little up and down, but have confidence, desire and form at the moment. The Dogs are also up and down and have not performed at all to expectation and last week only did what was necessary. I'm still unconvinced. My heart says the Roos, but the mind says the Dogs. Too much experience and handy ins with Griffen a replacement for Higgins and Picken an upgrade on a poorly performing Murphy. Dogs by 35
Sydney v Fremantle - Freo has had a tough few weeks, and it just got worse. Not only will Johnson drug scandal hurt their structure on field as he has been a good player, but they will be flat. Coupled with the loss to Collingwood, travel to Brisbane the week before and the travel now to Sydney and its tough. If Freo win this they really need to be considered strong. The Swans are in a form slump but that's partly a class thing and partly a personnel thing, but they are at the ground they love and their most loved player Captain Kirk, has announced that this is is last season. That and the Freo factors point to a Swans win by 25.
Melbourne v Port Adelaide - I think the Melbourne run of form is pretty much behind them now having lost the last 3. They lose significant players too in Warnock, Bruce and Bate too. Port on the other had a hiccup against a form Carlton. They'll be hungry for redemption and frankly they have form and class on their side. Port by 30
Essendon v Richmond - Richmond have improved, but so have the Dons. Obviously the Dons win over the Saints was a much more impressive effort than a 3 point loss. However, the Hawks were virtually full strength and it was the Tigers best performance by far this year. The Saints were ripe for the picking and are in disarray. So who to tip? Essendon of course! I'm just making a decent sized paragraph for a Richmond game. Whilst they aren't without hope they are big outsiders as usual so I couldn't tip them. Dons by 45
Adelaide v Brisbane - Now this is a really interesting game. Its in Adelaide for a start. On top of that they have actually put in some amazing last quarter performances. Are they about to turn the corner? Brisbane are having a shocking run and they sent their two keys to a surgeon early this week. Not good signs. Big ins for both sides pretty much nullify each other. So who is going to win? I'm going for the Crows. Its at home, they have proven that they can actually play, they just need to string it all together. This is their chance. Crows by 15
Carlton v Hawthorn - 'On paper' is a wonder thing. Really. But when it comes to the Hawks its meaningless. 'On paper' I would tip the Hawks without hesitation. They have 'names' all over the place and their structure is looking better with Skipper shoring up ruck, Burgoyne providing class and Brown steel in the backline where he has always belonged, but... they beat Richmond by 3 points...Richmond...I mean where was the 60+ point victory? OK I have not faith in the Hawks. They should win 'on paper' but they won't. The Blues in contrast have been sensational of late. Running hard and unearthing a varied and handy forward line. The big problem for the Hawks (other than their own) is that Carlton play the perfect game to beat the slow Hawks. They run and carry and move the ball quickly. The Blues should romp it in by 40 and if they don't, they'll need to take a good look at themselves, and maybe, just maybe I'll begin to reconsider my stance about the Hawks.
West Coast v St. Kilda - Intriguing game this one. The Saints are pretty much useless. Not only are they the most boring side in the AFL they are also the most reliant on a single player. Yes I harp on about it but they just keep demonstrating it. The Weagles have their tails up. A win against the Hawks (big deal I know) and then the Dees at the MCG is awesome. I find it very interesting that Glass is an omission. He's captain for christ sake so omitting is just bizarre, but if his form is that bad and there is no reasonable match up then so be it. Saint Kilda looks the better side 'on paper' but it is at home for the Eagles. I want to tip the Saints because I can't find enough reasons to tip the Eagles. So class wins out on this tip and I'm backing the Saints by 12.