Mick’s Picks: Round 17 AFL Preview

Mick Malthouse: Round 17 Preview

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

Collingwood virtually finished Essendon’s finals hopes last week and it was a vital coaching mistake that cost them that game. When the match was up for grabs in the final term Tom Bellchambers was left sitting on the bench, which allowed Brodie Grundy to dominate the ruck contests and Collingwood were able to move the ball out of the centre almost without any contest. As a result, Collingwood have consolidated themselves in the Top 2, while with a record of 7-8 and a percentage of 94.2%, Essendon are on track to miss out on finals, even though their best football is brilliant. The other vital game was West Coast and GWS. West Coast managed to find a way to win and arrest their three game losing streak, while the Giants just couldn’t convert. If Jeremy Cameron was playing, rather than sitting in the stands as a result of suspension, I have no doubt they would have won the game. It is small moments and decisions like these on which entire seasons can turn.

Round 17 Tips

(Time AEST)
Mick’s Pick
Adelaide v Geelong (Thu 19:50) Geelong WIN ($1.82)
St. Kilda v Carlton (Fri 19:50) St. Kilda 1-39 ($2.05)
Hawthorn v Brisbane (Sat 13:45) Brisbane +29.5 ($1.91)
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs (Sat 16:35) Melbourne 1-39 ($2.50)
Gold Coast v Essendon (Sat 19:25) Essendon -30.5 ($1.91)
GWS v Richmond (Sat 19:40) GWS +13.5 ($1.91)
Collingwood v West Coast (Sun 13:10) Collingwood -14.5 ($1.91)
North Melbourne v Sydney (Sun 15:20) North WIN ($1.97)
Fremantle v Port Adelaide (Sun 16:40) Port -22.5 ($1.91)

Adelaide v Geelong (Thu 19:50)
Adelaide are two games and percentage outside of the eight so if it is to be for them, it is now. Geelong had a very good win on the road against Sydney last week and if they bring that form they should be too good. Adelaide Oval holds no fears for them as they are one of four sides outside of the tenants who possess a winning record at the ground. From a personnel point of view, they match up well with the Crows, and the return of Daniel Menzel will be most welcomed.
Mick’s Pick: Geelong WIN ($1.82)

St. Kilda v Carlton (Fri 19:50)
Both sides are at the bottom of the ladder but the Saints have certainly been the better side over the last few weeks, winning two in a row before being beaten without being disgraced last week against Port Adelaide. Carlton on the other hand are coming off a pretty significant defeat against Brisbane, and even though Patrick Cripps and Charlie Curnow lead the way, their injury list is mounting and they simply lack for support. The game being under the roof should suit the Saints as well.
Mick’s Pick: St. Kilda 1-39 ($2.05)

Hawthorn v Brisbane (Sat 13:45)
There is a good case for Brisbane getting close to Hawthorn this week. They beat them earlier in the season, and they are coming off their best performance of the year against Carlton last week. Hawthorn can’t afford to lose this game but this is a danger one for them if they aren’t focused and ready to play. With something approaching a five goal head start the Lions have plenty of appeal.
Mick’s Pick: Brisbane +29.5 ($1.91)

Melbourne v Western Bulldogs (Sat 16:35)
The Bulldogs injury woes continue, this week losing Marcus Bontempelli to appendicitis of all things. For the Demons, they got themselves back on track with a dominant win over Freo in the top end even though they would have won by more if they had kicked better. As always, the risk with Melbourne is that they get too far ahead of themselves and lose focus. They can’t afford to let this one slip.
Mick’s Pick: Melbourne 1-39 ($2.50)

Gold Coast v Essendon (Sat 19:25)
I touched on Essendon in the introduction and they will be tremendously disappointed how they let the game against Collingwood slip through their fingers last week. Gold Coast on the other hand are really struggling, they have lost ten in a row and their injury woes look like getting worse before they get better with Steven May set to miss. The Bombers should get their win loss record back to 8-8 and they need to try and improve their percentage. This is their chance.
Mick’s Pick: Essendon -30.5 ($1.91)

GWS v Richmond (Sat 19:40)
The pressure is finally on Richmond with their injury list mounting. They are missing several key pieces and their depth has not been tested like this for more than twelve months. Also, their interstate form has been patchy with several losses this year on the road. This game could easily go either way. If Jeremy Cameron was playing rather than sitting in the grandstand he could well make the difference once again. Nonetheless, GWS have a real chance here so with a 13.5 point headstart they have strong appeal.
Mick’s Pick: GWS +13.5 ($1.91)

Collingwood v West Coast (Sun 13:10)
West Coast managed to find a way to win against GWS last week and they welcome back some key personnel this week, with Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling heading the list of possible inclusions. Nonetheless their form at the MCG is a major concern. They get sucked into moving the ball laterally, which plays into Collingwood’s hands. The Magpies defend brilliantly against teams that don’t move the ball quickly through the corridor. They also have midfield depth and a forward setup that other teams are struggling to overcome at the moment.
Mick’s Pick: Collingwood -14.5 ($1.91)

North Melbourne v Sydney (Sun 15:20)
North Melbourne’s strength, a terrific backline, comes up against Sydney’s weakness, a one dimensional forward line that lacks anyone other than Lance Franklin who can kick multiple goals. Scott Thompson is having a brilliant season and he will get the role on Buddy, so unless the Swans can find someone else to step up they will struggle to get a score on the board. The Swans midfield looks slow and one dimensional which certainly doesn’t help with putting pressure on the opposition backs. I’m expecting North to record their second win of the season against the Swans.
Mick’s Pick: North WIN ($1.97)

Fremantle v Port Adelaide (Sun 16:40)
Port Adelaide don’t seemingly play brilliant football but they have won five in a row now and are making a serious assault on the Top 4. Port need to get more out of players like Charlie Dixon who doesn’t impact games enough for a player of his size and talent. Tom Jonas will be a big loss for them as he is a vital cog in their backline and is in ripping form. Fremantle are back at home this week but with Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands still in the grandstand it is hard to make a case for them getting close.
Mick’s Pick: Port -22.5 ($1.91)

All prices and markets correct as of 4:30pm, Wednesday 11 July.