It’s the final round of the season and there is still so much to play for. Here’s our best tips for Round 23.
Hawthorn v Bulldogs
Essentially there’s nothing to play for with both sides all but out of finals contention. However, Hawthorn will do all they can to send Luke Hodge out a winner as will the Bulldogs with Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd.
This one will be played with tremendous emotion but we don’t anticipate it to be a high tempo clash and the greasy pitch (with showers forecast) should see goals hard to come by.
Prediction: Under 185.5 @ $1.90
Collingwood v Melbourne
Like the Demons, Melbourne need to win to guarantee them finals football but that task is easier said than done against the young Pies.
Nathan Buckley’s youthful outfit have proven to be resilient and very capable of putting on points in a hurry as we saw against the Cats last week. For Demons, Jack Watts returns to the fold and inspirational forward Jesse Hogan continues to go from strength to strength.
This one will be entertaining but with so much to play for, the Demons should produced the goods and overrun the Pies late in the second half.
Prediction: Melbourne -10.5 @ $1.90
Essendon v Fremantle
The equation is quite simple for the bombers to return to the finals . . . beat Fremantle.
John Worsfold couldn’t ask for a better opponent to face in such an important game right now, with the Dockers having racked up consecutive 104-point defeats. Fremantle have not been at all competitive of late and with so much on the line for the Bombers we can’t see anything but a heavy win for the home side – most likely off the back of star full forward Joe Daniher.
Prediction: Essendon -41.5 @ $1.90
Richmond v St Kilda
The Tigers are flying and seem determined to lock down an all-important top four spot. Damien Hardwick’s side have all their big guns fit and firing and no one can dispute that on their day, they can beat anyone.
The Saints do have a mathematical chance of playing on in September but this game will likely be their last in 2017 and the last in the great career of Nick Riewoldt. The St Kilda players will no doubt do all they can to send off Riewoldt in the fashion he deserves but Tigers will not give an inch.
As mentioned, Richmond will be primarily looking to win in order to secure a top four finish but they also be looking to avenge their surprising 67-point loss to the Saints in Round 16.
Prediction: Richmond -14.5 @ $1.90