AFL Round 15 Preview: Betting, Odds & Predictions

Round 15 looms as the most significant of the year, with every team inside the top eight playing one another and many of those looking to work their way into a finals spot also set to face off. Come the conclusion of this round, the landscape of the AFL may look very different to how it looks now, meaning it will be compelling viewing from the first bounce of the top-of-the-table clash between the Demons and Lions which kicks things off on Thursday night. Let’s take a look at how all nine games are shaping up. 


Melbourne Demons ($1.68) vs Brisbane Lions ($2.18)

Thursday, 23rd June, 19:20, MCG (Melbourne)

Round 15 could hardly start off on a better note, with the second-placed Demons hosting the first-placed Lions at the MCG on Thursday night. These two have occupied the top couple of spots for much of the season, but with Melbourne having lost three on the trot and Brisbane two of their last four, suddenly they both look vulnerable. The stakes in this one are huge; the winner will almost certainly finish the round on top of the ladder, while the loser will be teetering on the edge of the top four.  

The Dees will head into the game without Max Gawn as a result of a syndesmosis injury, meaning young prodigy Luke Jackson will likely bear the brunt of the ruck load in one of the biggest games of the season. That will be just one of many individual storylines taking place throughout the game; the midfield battle will be one to behold, while how Melbourne’s elite defence manages against Brisbane’s myriad of talented forwards will also be fascinating to watch. With so much on the line and the very real possibility that this game will be a preview of one to come late in September, expect both sides to come out breathing fire.


>> Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions betting markets


Western Bulldogs ($1.40) vs Hawthorn ($2.95)

Friday, 24th June, 19:00, Marvel Stadium (Melbourne)

The Doggies have gradually been working their way back into the finals race after a slow start to the season, after four wins in their last five games and with a match against the 14th-placed Hawks to come this weekend, they could potentially find themselves in the top eight at the end of this round.  

Hawthorn, however, are not the easy beats their record might suggest they are. Though they’ve lost three on the trot, the last two of those have been by just a combined 17 points against the Dockers and the Magpies, while a couple of weeks prior to that they beat the Lions by five points. They won’t be playing finals, but are more than capable of having an influence on who does. As the AFL Round 15 betting odds suggest, the Bulldogs should be winning this one, but don’t be surprised to see the Hawks make them earn it. 


>> Western Bulldogs vs Hawthorn betting markets


West Coast Eagles ($2.90) vs Essendon Bombers ($1.41)

Friday 24th June, 20:40, Optus Stadium (Perth)

At long last, the Eagles put in an improved showing last weekend, taking it to the Cats for much of their game at GMHBA Stadium and ending the game just 18 points in arrears. Unsurprisingly, that result came following the return of a number of their established stars, but whether they can maintain that level of competitiveness on a weekly basis remains to be seen.

If they can find those levels Friday night, they are a great chance to notch up their second win of the season. The Bombers have been equally as disapointing as the Eagles this season, though they too were a lot better last weekend. They went one better than West Coast’s gallant defeat, actually earning themselves four points in a comfortable win against the Saints. This is hardly a clash of the titans, but both sides will be eager to put in a good showing in what is a rare winnable game for both of them.


>> West Coast Eagles vs Essendon Bombers betting markets 


Carlton Blues ($2.08) vs Fremantle Dockers ($1.74)

Saturday 25th June, 13:45, Marvel Stadium Melbourne

Saturday’s line-up of games is as good as any day so far this season; three clashes between top eight sides, beginning when the Blues host the Dockers. Carlton are coming off their second loss in three weeks – first to the Pies and then the Tigers, no doubt much to their chagrin – and with a tough draw coming up, they need to get back on the winners’ list. It will be no mean feat, however, doing so against a team which it could be argued is the best in the league right now. 

Fremantle have won three on the trot – two of which were against Melbourne and Brisbane – to take their record to 10-3, and they are now just a percentage off top spot. They appear to be gradually shaking the proverbial Melbourne monkey off their back, having won against the Dees at the MCG a couple of weeks ago, and along with those, Demons are the hardest team to score against in the league. If Carlton bring their best, this should be a pearler of a contest.


>> Carlton Blues vs Fremantle Dockers betting markets


Geelong Cats ($1.90) vs Richmond Tigers ($1.90)

Saturday 25th June, 16:35, MCG (Melbourne)

The high-quality action doesn’t stop there, with the fourth-placed Cats set to take on the sixth-placed Tigers in a game between two of the most in-form teams in the league. Two of the dominant sides of the past decade or so, these aging teams are regenerating on the fly and somehow managing to stay relevant. Both have relatively friendly draws over the remaining rounds of the home and away season – something which can’t be said for many of their similarly placed competitors – and will be eyeing off a top four spot and yet another tilt at a flag.

 This one is a Geelong home game but will be played at the MCG, something which probably tips the game in the Tigers favour; were it at GMHBA, it’s tough to imagine Geelong would be underdogs like they currently are in the AFL betting. Regardless of where it’s played, however, the sides are hard to split, and what could easily be a very close finish might be looked back upon as one which helped to define the season for these two sides.

>> Geelong Cats vs Richmond Tigers betting markets


Sydney Swans ($1.48) vs St. Kilda Saints ($2.65)

Saturday, 25th June, 19:25, Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney)

The Swans and the Saints both tumbled down the ladder courtesy of disappointing losses last weekend and now sit seventh and eighth respectively, but indicative of how close this year’s AFL season is, they are both just two games off top spot. Equally, they are only a game ahead of the Suns in 11th, so it’s safe to say there are fairly hefty repercussions for both teams in this one.

The Swans, with the fountain of youth they have spread across the park, can be forgiven for being a little erratic in their performance at times, while the Saints’ performance last week suggests their penchant for inconsistency is not yet resolved. That means that this game could easily go either way, though the fact that it is being played at the SCG certainly gives Sydney the upper hand.


>> Sydney Swans vs St. Kilda Saints betting markets


North Melbourne Kangaroos ($3.65) vs Adelaide Crows ($1.28)

Sunday 26th June, 13.10, Blundstone Arena (Hobart)

With all the top teams playing against one another, invariably there will be a couple of not-so-enticing games for the neutrals, and this is realistically one of them. Neither the Kangaroos nor the Crows will be having a whole lot of impact on the top eight, but while this isn’t exactly a finals-shaping match-up there is plenty on the line for both teams. 

North Melbourne desperately needs to find a way to at least be competitive, with the fate of coach David Noble firmly in the balance, and an uncompetitive loss to a fellow bottom four side would be a great way for him to stamp his papers. On the other side of the coin, the Crows are in something of a lose-lose. They should win this easily, so a win will simply mean they’ve ticked a box; a loss, in contrast, would be a disaster. It might not be the most attractive game we’ll watch all year, but for these two clubs it is certainly significant.


>> North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Adelaide Crows betting markets


Collingwood Magpies ($1.46) vs GWS Giants ($2.70)

Sunday 26th June, 15:20, Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne)

Though it’s been clear that the Magpies have improved under new coach Craig McRae for much of the year, many have still remained skeptical about their hopes of competing for a finals spot. Four consecutive wins heading into the bye, the most recent coming against the Demons, have gone a long way to dispelling those concerns. Now, they have a great chance to make it five on the trot and jump into the top eight against the struggling Giants.

GWS, too, are under the guidance of a new coach, but Mark McVeigh hasn’t enjoyed the luxury of a pre-season with his troops. They’ve looked a little more threatening with him at the helm, though that’s certainly been helped by the fact that they’ve played North Melbourne and West Coast in the last few weeks. The way they’ve played for much of the year they’ll probably struggle at the MCG against Collingwood, but there remains enough talent on the park for them to pose some challenge.


>> Collingwood Magpies vs GWS Giants betting markets


Port Adelaide Power ($1.39) vs Gold Coast Suns ($3.00)

Sunday 26th June, 16:10, Adelaide Oval (Adelaide)

The round concludes with an intriguing clash between two sides on the periphery of the top eight, both of whom will need to come home with a wet sail if they want to play finals. Each of them, however, is in good form; the Suns have won their past three while Port have won two of their past three, and the winner, particularly if it’s the Gold Coast, will enter the last few weeks of the season with their proverbial tail up. 

 The Power showed what they are capable of last week against the Swannies, particularly when they kicked six goals in 16 minutes to start the third quarter, and with four wins from their last four home games they are recapturing some of the traits that have made a trip to Adelaide Oval so difficult for so long. The Suns, however, are playing some of the best football in the history of their club. If both sides play at their best, this has the potential to be a terrific game of footy.

With just over a couple of months remaining in the home and away season, only three games separate first from 11th, and there is a myriad of teams who would count themselves a realistic chance of going deep into September. Come the conclusion of the season, Round 15 will likely be looked back upon as one of the most important of the year. There is no shortage of proverbial eight-point games – Melbourne vs Brisbane, Geelong vs Richmond and Carlton vs Fremantle to name just a few – and each of them will have a major impact on how the season plays out. This round, more so than any so far this season, is one not to be missed. 


>> Port Adelaide Power vs Gold Coast Suns betting markets 


**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.