View UniBet’s preview of Round 16 of the 2016 AFL home and away season below.
Port Adelaide v Hawthorn | Thursday, July 7, 7.20pm (AEDT), Adelaide Oval
Port have a good record against the Hawks of late, winning 3 of the last 4. That sole defeat was a 3-point loss in the 2014 preliminary final at the MCG.
Since that day Port have proved such a disappointment to their fans, let alone people that have backed them each week.
Last round was a good win against Richmond, but before that they failed miserably against Fremantle, both moderate opposition.
The same can’t be said for Hawthorn. While they’re not quite the side they were, they’re still a very slick and efficient side when moving the ball forward.
Cyril Rioli returns to the side and his goal scoring ability and forward pressure could be enough to get the Hawks home.
Last time they met: Rd 21, 2015 – Hawthorn 86 lost to Port Adelaide 108
Line tip: Port Adelaide +11.5
Geelong v Sydney | Friday, July 8, 7.50pm (AEDT), Simonds Stadium
A fascinating encounter between two of the premiership heavyweights here has Geelong as the favourites due to home ground advantage.
The Cats seem to handle top 8 sides more easily than bottom 8 sides. Whether this is psychological or something else is hard to determine.
The Swans are smarting after losing to the Bulldogs on the final siren and need a win here to stay in top four contention.
Lance Franklin will again be the difference between winning and losing. His speed and long range set shots for goal is a unique combination.
If the Swans’ back six can contain the tall Geelong forwards, then the tough Sydney midfield can help Buddy kick a score and upset the Cats.
Unibet Odds: Geelong $1.43 Sydney $2.85
Last time they met: Rd 19, 2015 – Geelong 95 def Sydney 63
Line tip: Sydney +15.5
GWS v Collingwood |Saturday, July 9, 1.40pm (AEDT), Spotless Stadium
The swashbuckling Giants shouldn’t have too many problems accounting for Collingwood, especially at home where they are unbeaten this season.
The margin is a little tricky to work out as the Magpies have several top players ready to return from injury. Former Giant midfielder Taylor Adams and small forward Alex Fasolo are possible quality inclusions.
Even if they’re right to play, these players will take time to reach their best form.
The Giants to keep up their relentless drive to the top.
Unibet Odds: GWS $1.08 Collingwood $8.50
Last time they met: Rd 11, 2015 – Collingwood 119 def GWS 77
Line tip: GWS -46.5
Gold Coast v Brisbane | Saturday, July 9, 4.35pm (AEDT), Metricon Stadium
As predicted in this blog last week, Gold Coast returned to the winner’s circle with a thumping win over St Kilda.
A repeat performance should be a formality against the dysfunctional Lions.
This week’s talk of top midfielder Tom Rockliff’s possible departure at season’s end wasn’t well timed and the gloom that has descended over the Gabba surrounding Justin Leppitsch’s possible departure should his team’s current form continue, is in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Suns at home should have too much verve and dare.
Unibet Odds: Gold Coast $1.19 Brisbane $4.75
Last time they met: Rd 4, 2016 – Brisbane 107 def Gold Coast 94
Tip: Gold Coast
Line tip: Gold Coast -31.5
Western Bulldogs v Richmond | Saturday, July 9, 7.25pm (AEDT), Etihad Stadium
On paper this seems a mismatch between the surging Bulldogs and the toothless Tigers.
It’s also a mismatch on the field as Richmond’s ultra-slow style of play will be too easy for the determined Bulldogs to defend against.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has been giving mixed messages all year about the state of his playing list.
One week it’s his best ever list, the next he’s talking of taking one step back to go two steps forward, then last week he declared they’re not up to it. Bulldogs to bolt in.
Unibet Odds: Western Bulldogs 1.20 Richmond 4.60
Last time they met: Rd 2, 1015 – Richmond 66 lost to Western Bulldogs 85
Tip: Western Bulldogs
Line tip: Western Bulldogs -32.5
Melbourne v Fremantle | Saturday, July 9, 7.40pm (AEDT), TIO Stadium, Darwin
The Demons are again giving away their MCG advantage by playing an interstate team in the Northern Territory.
They have already lost to Port Adelaide in Alice Springs and now take on the Dockers in Darwin.
On recent form Melbourne should trounce Freo but they do mix their form and tend to play down to the lesser team’s level as they did against Essendon earlier in the season.
In their favour is that Fremantle are hardly setting the world on fire, in fact they froze last start against Collingwood in what was an appalling performance.
They had great trouble moving the ball from their half back line and could only kick five goals against one of the worst defences in the comp.
Gamble on the Demons taking their MCG form to the top end.
Unibet Odds: Melbourne $1.40 Fremantle $3.00
Last time they met: Rd 22, 2015 – Fremantle 108 def Melbourne 54
Line tip: Melbourne -19.5
Carlton v Adelaide | Sunday, July 9, 1.10pm (AEDT), MCG
The battling Blues are facing the rampaging Crows at exactly the wrong time of the season.
Carlton’s season has hit a flat patch in the last fortnight, getting hammered by GWS and going down in a shocking game to an ordinary Collingwood side.
The Crows on the other hand are going from strength to strength with wins away to West Coast and Melbourne and recent home decisions over North Melbourne and GWS.
Exciting young player Brad Crouch has been added to the Crows’ midfield.
After injury problems, he had his best game against Melbourne in his side’s exciting come-from-behind win at the MCG.
Melbourne played very well but still could only get within four goals of in-form Adelaide.
Crows by a cricket score.
Unibet Odds: Carlton $5.00 Adelaide $1.17
Last time they met: Rd 10, 2015 – Carlton 90 lost to Adelaide 99
Line tip: Adelaide -31.5
West Coast v North Melbourne | Sunday, July 9, 3.20pm (AEDT), Domain Stadium
The Eagles appear vulnerable and face a desperate North Melbourne anxious to get their season back on track by knocking off a fellow top 8 side.
In this endeavor they’ve been disappointing in recent weeks, going down to Adelaide, Hawthorn, Geelong and Sydney.
If they can get Daniel Wells back and possibly key forward Jarrad Waite, then North have the game to worry West Coast.
The Kangaroos have the edge in the rucks with Todd Goldstein set to have his own way in Nic Naitanui’sabsence.
The famed ‘Weagles Web’ defence that took them to last year’s Grand Final now seems a long time ago, and doesn’t seem to hold up against the good sides.
Unibet Odds: West Coast $1.38 North Melbourne $3.10
Last time they met: Preliminary Final, 2015 – West Coast 80 def North Melbourne 55
Tip: West Coast
Line tip: North Melbourne +17.5
Essendon v St Kilda | Sunday, July 9, 4.40pm (AEDT), Etihad Stadium
What can be said about this match? Not much.
Of main interest is whether the Saints can get back to the form that saw them outgun Geelong two games ago.
They seem to reserve their best, free running attacking style to Etihad Stadium. When they take their game on the road they fail terribly.
Perhaps there’s some sort of psychological block they develop when they get away from indoors at Etihad and into the sunshine.
Unibet Odds: Essendon $6.75 St Kilda $1.12
Last time they met: Rd 9, 2016 – St Kilda 109 def Essendon 63
Tip: St Kilda
Line tip: St Kilda -41.5