Hawks v Dons - The Hawks are in good form, but really, so are the Bombers. There is no shame being flogged by the Cats, and prior to that was a close loss to Sydney and 3 wins in a row. However the losses came without Hille and I think he is a massive out, as he is probably their most important player. Hooker in is a good in for the Hawk talls though. The Hawks just keep winning. They were very good against a poor side last week and they bring in two quality players in Young and Bateman. both are runners and that will help the Hawks counter the Dons run and gun style. All up the Hawks have slowly been cobbling their team together, and it is gelling much better. I think they'll reverse the trend due to a ruck equality they didn't experience earlier in the year, and because their midfield is starting to actually work. another factor is the Geelong factor, teams that play them lose the next week, and that's the Bombers. Young bodies will be beaten and still feeling it. The Bombers can win though, if they play their do or die running style to perfection. Hawks by 28. Upset chance 40%
Blues v Dockers - This is a really tough one to tip. Freo has been up for most of the year, but are now coming of 2 losses and facing a Carlton side that has been strengthed by some good ins but structurally changed due to O'Helpless being out. Freo has brought some decent players in but can they win on the road against a Blues side keen for redemption after a shocker last week? I honestly don't know. This is one that could easily go either way. If Freo can win the middle and Pav stands up, they'll win. If Carlton win the middle and they can do without O'Helpless structurally, they'll win. Another factor, that perhaps is a bit silly is that Carlton have a win loss pattern of 2 wins then a loss, well they had a loss last week so it should be a win this week. However just as silly (in more ways than one) is that Freo have lost 2 in a row, and they are at least this year in unknown territory, not having done that or obviously 3 in a row. Flip a coin and its the Dockers by 1. Upset chance 50%
Lions v Tigers - The Battle of the Big Cats looms as a huge encounter for both sides. Can the Tigers build on their winning ways and make it 3 from 4? Can the Lions recover from ineptitude? I want to tip the Lions because they should be better and its at the Gabba. I want to tip the Tigers because they honetly have been much better, but can a young side that is learning the game plan keep winning? The Lions got flogged last week and have named an unchanged lineup. That means they have too many injuries or out of form players. Surey they have to bring someone in after that, but no. I'm tipping the Tigers (with no great confidence) because the Lions have looked lost without both tall targets, and the tigers midfield may actually have the overall edge. Tigers by 12. 50%
North v Port - The Roos continue to defy critics and keep winning. Well here is there chance to actually do what they are expected to. Port is a shambles and they have lost some imporant players, Salopek and Ebert, their only real forward. North will win becuase they are a better team, in better form, at home. Roos by 35, upset chance 15%
Eagles v Dogs - Speaking of shambles, hello Eagles. This game is a carbon copy of the North Port game, except the Eagles have the significant home ground advantage. However it won't make a difference. The Dogs must win and win well because that is the expectation. Whilst the Eagles were crap last week, they were actually handy against Geelong the week before. Still, that doesn't matter, Dogs by 60, upset chance 10%.