AFL Round 7 Preview, Tips and Odds

AFL round 7

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The 2020 AFL regular season is more than a third of the way through and the premiership race is shaping as one of the most open in recent times.

In AFL round 6, Essendon Bombers and Carlton Blues both furthered their dark-horse claims with stirring wins, surprise packets Port Adelaide Power remained on top of the AFL ladder, Geelong Cats continued their strong start to the year, and out-of-sorts heavyweight trio Collingwood Magpies, Richmond Tigers and West Coast Eagles banked crucial wins.

GWS Giants, Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn Hawks are among the teams under the most pressure to bounce back from round 6 losses.

Check out our AFL round 7 predictions and AFL round 7 tips ahead of another weekend of barn burners.

 

GEELONG CATS V COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

THURSDAY 16 JULY – 8:10PM

An out-and-out blockbuster at Perth’s Optus Stadium gets AFL round 7 underway.

The 4–2 Geelong Cats are on a three-match winning streak, accounting for high-flying Brisbane by a 27-point margin at the SCG last weekend. The Cats trailed at half-time but kicked eight majors to the Lions’ two in the final two quarters; Tom Hawkins finished with three goals, while Patrick Dangerfield led the disposals count with 26.

Geelong’s defence may not yet be as dominant as it was in 2019, but it comprehensively outpointed the Lions in the contested possession department, underpinning an impressive result.

Collingwood Magpies climbed to fifth – and emerged from a tumultuous couple of weeks headlined by off-field incidents, injuries and back-to-back losses – with a 32-point defeat of Hawthorn in round 6.

The Magpies’ brutal defence kept the Hawks to just three goals, while Brody Mihocek booted four of Collingwood’s eight goals to atone for a poor showing against Essendon a week earlier. Nathan Buckley’s charges are conceding the fewest points per game in the AFL.

These teams last met at the 2019 qualifying final stage, with Collingwood getting up 9.7 (61) to 7.9 (61) over the minor premiers. Geelong has won the last three regular-season encounters between the clubs, all by 21 points or less.

The Magpies were slight favourites midweek but AFL round 7 tips are understandably split for this one – it’s destined to go down to the wire.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Geelong Cats

Best bet: Tri bet – Either team by 15 or less

See all markets for Geelong Cats and Collingwood Magpies.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS V WESTERN BULLDOGS: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

FRIDAY 17 JULY – 7:50PM

Essendon Bombers are being touted as an AFL premiership smoky on their back of their gutsy efforts so far in 2020. Boasting a 4–1 record (their round 3 clash with Melbourne was postponed), the Bombers have seen a margin of 15 points or fewer in all five matches.

But consecutive wins over Collingwood and North Melbourne have pegged Essendon as the real deal. Andrew McGrath, Darcy Parish and Orazio Fantasia were the stand-outs against the Kangaroos, while David Zaharakis kicked three goals. On the downside, Dylan Shiel will miss round 7 through suspension.

One of the better performers since the AFL’s resumption, Western Bulldogs had their three-match winning run ended unceremoniously via a 52-point drubbing at the hands of Carlton. The Bulldogs conceded 39 points or fewer in their previous three games but became just the fifth team this season to leak over 100 as the Blues blasted 16 goals.

The Bombers are on a five-match losing streak against the Bulldogs. Last season they were humiliated by a 104-point margin in the clubs’ round 21 clash. Four Bulldogs kicked three goals and three players had 34-plus disposals.

The rivals were almost even money in the head-to-head market as of Tuesday, rendering the gritty, rising Bombers outstanding value on the Gold Coast.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Essendon Bombers

Best bet: Head-to-head – Essendon Bombers

See all markets for Essendon Bombers and Western Bulldogs.

 

GWS GIANTS V BRISBANE LIONS: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

SATURDAY 18 JULY – 1:45PM

GWS Giants, equal favourites for the AFL premiership after six rounds, host another flag contender in Brisbane Lions on Saturday afternoon. But both heavyweights are coming off losses.

Some pundits are beginning to question the 3–3 Giants’ credentials after a 17-point loss to Port Adelaide. Their accuracy in front of goal was poor against the Power, while the league’s worst stats for inside-50s and an absence of midfield grunt have been a problem all season.

Brisbane led Geelong by 10 points at half-time last Thursday night but could only muster two goals and two behinds in the last two quarters of a 27-point defeat. Lachie Neale and Dayne Zorko had some magical moments against the Cats, but the Lions’ brilliant midfield went AWOL during the third quarter.

The Giants boast a 7–3 record against the Lions. Brisbane ended a six-match losing streak in the rivalry with a 20-point victory in round 16 last season, but GWS atoned in a three-point semifinal thriller two months later.

Another clash with little between the combatants in the head-to-head market or AFL round 7 predictions, but the Lions – who won four straight before last weekend – look to have a significantly less ground to make up, form-wise.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Brisbane Lions

Best bet: Line – Brisbane Lions +4.5 @ $1.90

See all markets for GWS Giants and Brisbane Lions.

 

SYDNEY SWANS V GOLD COAST SUNS: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

SATURDAY 18 JULY – 4:35PM

Injury-hit Sydney Swans are on a three-match losing streak, following up convincing defeats to Western Bulldogs and West Coast with an eight-point loss to Richmond in a dour round 6 affair.

The Swans’ prospects of rallying are decreasing by the week, with Isaac Heeney out for the season and co-captain Josh Kennedy facing a six-week lay-off.

Improving Gold Coast Suns have lost their last two, going down to Geelong by 37 points and Melbourne by 17 points. They were just three points down at three-quarter time against the Demons but could only muster one goal in the final term.

Still reeling from brilliant rookie Matt Rowell’s injury, the Suns were buoyed by Izak Rankine’s stunning three-goal debut. This SCG assignment shapes as the ideal opportunity to revive their bid to stay in the hunt for the top eight.

Gold Coast are just 1–9 against Sydney since joining the AFL in 2011. All nine of the Suns’ losses were by 35-plus points, including the Swans’ 42-point success in round 15 last season.

The Swans are playing a defensive style out of necessity. The Suns’ bright young talents should secure the W for the visitors here.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Gold Coast Suns

Best bet: Margin – Gold Coast Suns 1–39

See all markets for Sydney Swans and Gold Coast Suns.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS V NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

SATURDAY 18 JULY – 7:40PM

Richmond’s eight-point win over Sydney last weekend was about as ugly as it gets. But it was still worth four competition points and lifted the defending champs to sixth on the ladder.

The Tigers scored the first three goals of the match within 10 minutes… then managed just one thereafter. Converting their opportunities at a far better rate is the key to Richmond finding flag-worthy form, because they are among the AFL’s better sides for inside-50s and forward-half turnovers.

North Melbourne has lost four straight, although the 14-point defeat to Essendon in round 6 was a vastly improved effort from a 49-point hammering by Western Bulldogs a week earlier. The Kangaroos’ forward contingent is struggling, marking just three of 43 kicks inside 50 against the Bombers.

The Kangaroos have won eight of their last 11 against the Tigers, including a 37-point upset in round 11 last season. Ben Brown kicked five goals for North and Mason Wood booted four, while Dustin Martin (three goals, 21 disposals) was a stand-out in a beaten side.

The Tigers are a mile off their best – but that should still be too good for the Roos.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Richmond Tigers

Best bet: Wire to wire – Richmond lead at every quarter

See all markets for Richmond Tigers and North Melbourne Kangaroos.

 

CARLTON BLUES V PORT ADELAIDE POWER: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

SUNDAY 19 JULY – 1:05PM

Carlton Blues were the talk of the AFL after round 6, lauded as a premiership chance following their third win of 2020 – a 52-point beat down of Western Bulldogs.

The Blues’ sustained pressure, the goal-kicking exploits of Eddie Betts and Harry McKay, and the busy, rugged performances of Will Setterfield and Matt Kennedy were key features of a significant step forward. Meanwhile, injuries to gun duo Patrick Cripps and Marc Murphy are not as serious as first thought.

Port Adelaide took another big stride towards credibility last Sunday, responding to their first loss of the season against Brisbane in round 5 with a 17-point victory over GWS. The Power sit alone at the top of the AFL ladder. Travis Boak and Samuel Powell-Pepper were among Port’s best against the Giants, while Connor Rozee had some nice touches.

Port Adelaide has won its last three against Carlton, including a 16-point result in early 2019. Travis Boak (33 disposals) and Steven Motlop (3 goals, 22 disposals) stood out for the Power, but Cripps (31 disposals) picked up the three Brownlow votes from a beaten Blues side.

The Blues have rarely been anything less than competitive in 2020 and they are getting plenty of points at the line here. AFL round 7 predictions point to a Power win but they’ll have to work hard for it.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Port Adelaide Power

Best bet: Line – Carlton Blues +15.5

See all markets for Carlton Blues and Port Adelaide Power.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS V MELBOURNE DEMONS: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

SUNDAY 19 JULY – 3:35PM

Hawthorn Hawks are seemingly at a crossroad thanks to back-to-back 30-plus margin losses to GWS and Collingwood. But they still have a 3–3 record, despite playing five of the top seven clubs in AFL premiership betting so far.

The Hawks, who could only manage three goals against the Magpies’ furious defence, will be viewing this encounter with Melbourne Demons as a must-win. James Sicily and Tom Mitchell combined for 61 disposals last week and will be aiming to spark Hawthorn again on Sunday.

The 2–3 Demons eased some pressure – and inched their way to 15th – with a 17-point win over the promising but injury-hit Gold Coast in round 6. They led by just three at three-quarter time but outscored the Suns four goals to one in the final term.

Max Gawn (15 disposals, 30 hit outs), Christian Petracca (2 goals, 25 disposals) and Clayton Oliver (24 disposals, 5 tackles) were in tremendous touch for the desperate Dees.

For the first time in 20 years, Melbourne chalked up consecutive wins over Hawthorn in 2018–19. Following on from a momentous 33-point semifinal victory in 2018, the Demons won a five-point nailbiter in round 7 last season.

A potentially season-defining encounter for both teams. Momentum from last week’s quality win holds the Demons in good stead against the slumping Hawks in what’s another struck-match showdown as far as AFL round 7 predictions go.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: Melbourne Demons

Best bet: Margin – Melbourne Demons 1–39

See all markets for Hawthorn Hawks and Melbourne Demons.

 

FREMANTLE DOCKERS V WEST COAST EAGLES: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

SUNDAY 19 JULY – 6:35PM

Fremantle Dockers are endeavouring to halt a nine-match Western Derby losing streak when they meet arch rivals West Coast Eagles on Sunday afternoon.

The slow-starting neighbours both come into this crunch clash on a two-match winning streak.

The Dockers have recovered from an 0–4 start with consecutive wins over Adelaide and St Kilda. They fought back from a 31-point deficit to edge the Saints by six in round 6, with Lachie Schultz burying the late matchwinner. Nat Fyfe’s (2 goals, 18 disposals) surprise return from injury, playing predominantly in a forward role, was also to vital to the upset, while Andrew Brayshaw has maintained his high level of form.

The Eagles have improved to 3–3 with convincing victories over Sydney and Adelaide. Dom Sheed racked up 24 disposals in both wins, while Tim Kelly was the midfield star against the Crows.

West Coast – among the top title contenders according to AFL premiership odds – has had a relatively soft start to the schedule and needs to cash in against Fremantle to stay on track.

Only two of the Eagles’ current streak of nine straight wins over the Dockers were by a margin of fewer than 24 points. After a relatively tight 13-point result in round 4 last season, the Eagles demolished the Dockers by 91 points in round 16. Jack Darling, Jamie Cripps and Jarrod Cameron each kicked four of the Eagles’ 19 goals, while the Dockers kicked an abysmal 2.19.

The Dockers are on the improve but the Eagles look a good bet to make it 10 straight Western Derby wins.

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: West Coast Eagles

Best bet: Line – West Coast Eagles -16.5

See all markets for Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles.

 

ADELAIDE CROWS V ST KILDA SAINTS: AFL ROUND 7 PREDICTION

MONDAY 20 JULY – 7:40PM

Can a long-running hoodoo get the battling Adelaide Crows off the mark in season 2020? The Crows have won their last 10 games against St Kilda Saints, with the last nine by 22-plus margins.

Last season the Crows beat the Saints by 29 points at Marvel Stadium in round 6 and by 22 points at Adelaide Oval in round 20.

But the 0–6 Crows have been far-and-away the AFL’s worst team of 2020. All five of their losses since the restart were by 20-plus margins, including last week’s 33-point defeat to West Coast. A lack of scoring strike power is their clear problem, with the team averaging a competition-low 42.5 points per game – although leaking a league-high 78.3 points each week also isn’t helping.

The Saints, after winning three of their first four after the AFL’s restart, threw away a big lead against Fremantle in round 6. St Kilda led by 31 points during the second quarter before imploding, then clawed back a 19-point deficit with a three-goal surge to level in the fourth quarter – only to concede a goal at the death.

Ben Long will be missing through suspension for St Kilda this week.

This is arguably the most straightforward match of the weekend for AFL round 7 tips and AFL round 7 predictions – the Saints will surely get back into the winner’s circle on Monday night. 

AFL footy tips: round 7

Head-to-head: St Kilda Saints

Best bet: Line – St Kilda Saints -17.5

See all markets for Adelaide Crows and St Kilda Saints.

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