Mick’s Picks: Round 13 AFL Preview

Mick Malthouse: Round 13 Preview

Mick Malthouse is back on the William Hill team in 2018 and Mick’s Picks will be a weekly article throughout the season.

Richmond are clear premiership favourites but after last week they have now lost three games on the road this year. I don’t there are any problems there – it has more been a case of meeting teams in good form, and not having Dustin Martin last week was probably the difference between winning and losing. They need to make sure they keep winning to keep themselves at the MCG during the finals series. Last year’s other Grand Finalist, Adelaide, are in real strife. Tex Walker was robbed of a crucial scoring chance right on quarter time last week, and had he converted it could easily have made the difference in that game. Nonetheless, they will be disappointed with having lost to Fremantle and with 13 games now looking like the threshold to make the finals this year the Crows have a huge job against Hawthorn on Saturday night. Melbourne was the big flop of the round. Their record in big matches is questionable I have big doubts about their mental toughness.

Round 13 Tips

(Time AEST)
Mick’s Pick
Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs (Thu 19:50) Bulldogs +37.5 ($1.91)
Sydney v West Coast (Fri 19:50) West Coast +11.5 ($1.91)
Carlton v Fremantle (Sat 13:45) Carlton WIN ($2.35)
Gold Coast v St. Kilda (Sat 16:35) St. Kilda -8.5 ($1.91)
Hawthorn v Adelaide (Sat 19:25) Hawthorn -8.5 ($1.91)
Geelong v Richmond (Sun 15:20) Richmond 1-39 ($2.10)

Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs (Thu 19:50)
Port got back into the 8 last week with a solid win against Richmond and they have a great opportunity to consolidate that against the Bulldogs. The Dogs certainly needed the bye, coming off three big losses in a row, and being fresh might help them here. Port look the winner, and it is fair to say the Bulldogs have struggled in the wet this year, but given a low scoring contest is likely the 37.5-point start does look a little bit too big.
Mick’s Pick: Bulldogs +37.5 ($1.91)

Sydney v West Coast (Fri 19:50)
West Coast have been outstanding all year, but this is a huge test against the Swans. Interestingly, the Swans record on the road is perfect this season, 5-0, while they have tasted defeat three times on the SCG, to Adelaide, North and Port. West Coast’s record at the ground is historically awful, 3 from 17, but they have only played there once since 2010. The Swans have not quite been able to get their big guns all firing at the same time this season. They have displayed flashes of old form without quite being at their best. On form this year West Coast is probably the pick, but Sydney have to be better at home than what they have shown so far. This game looks like a flip of the coin so West Coast with the head start have appeal.
Mick’s Pick: West Coast +11.5 ($1.91)

Carlton v Fremantle (Sat 13:45)
Both teams have been greatly disappointing this year, with Fremantle being especially poor on the road. They have both struggled to put big scores on the board and their scoring power won’t be helped with the loss of Michael Walters. He sets up so much of their play and is just as dangerous midfield or forward. The Dockers get Nat Fyfe back but I have been disappointed with his defensive efforts this year. If Carlton can bring their best form, they should be able to win, and being fresh off the bye against a team coming off a six-day break gives them that opportunity.
Mick’s Pick: Carlton WIN ($2.35)

Gold Coast v St. Kilda (Sat 16:35)
Gold Coast have been horrid but they have legitimate excuses. Half their side is sitting in the grandstand, and the volume of travel in the first half of the season has no doubt had an effect. Having coached West Coast, I know what a relentless travel schedule can do to a team and it will probably linger with them through the year. The Saints have been smashed in the press all week and have to respond. Nathan Brown and Jake Carlisle will be welcome inclusions to the back half as we all saw what Sydney did to them in the first quarter last week. It won’t be a high scoring game but the Saints should finally win one.
Mick’s Pick: St. Kilda -8.5 ($1.91)

Hawthorn v Adelaide (Sat 19:25)
Adelaide still have plenty of talent in the grandstand and they are desperate for the bye to get some rest and get some of their best players back in the side. Unfortunately for them they come to this game off a six-day break having last played in Perth. In present form it is hard to make a case for Adelaide. Hawthorn are at almost full strength with the exception of Cyril Rioli, and while the Crows will welcome back Tom Lynch and Rory Laird, they are far from the side they were last year, or even earlier this season. The Hawks have been pretty solid at the MCG all year, and they should win this one comfortably enough.
Mick’s Pick: Hawthorn -8.5 ($1.91)

Geelong v Richmond (Sun 15:20)
Richmond have now lost three games this season but after the first two wins they bounced straight back. They should get Dustin Martin back this week, but don’t underestimate what a big loss Dion Prestia is for them. He is still a month or so off coming back and other players need to step up in his absence. Geelong have put together two big wins, but I still want to see them do it against real quality opposition away from Kardinia Park. I think Richmond should win narrowly. Some of the match ups, in particular, Toby Nankervis against Rhys Stanley in the ruck, and Alex Rance against Tom Hawkins, favour the Tigers.
Mick’s Pick: Richmond 1-39 ($2.10)


All prices correct as of 3:30pm, Wednesday 13 June.