AFL 2021 Round 22 Predictions Odds, Previews & Tips

AFL 2021 Round 22
AFL 2021 Round 22

With just two weeks to go in the home and away season there is still plenty of jostling for spots going on, with six teams battling it out for the final two spots in the eight and the top four order completely up in the air. The round kicks off with a genuine eight-point game between the Giants and the Tigers, and is bookended by another such game when the Eagles and the Dockers collide in a huge edition of the Western Derby. Sandwiched in between are big games between the Cats and the Saints, the Suns and the Bombers and plenty more, and we’ve previewed all nine games taking place over the course of this exciting weekend.

GWS Giants vs Richmond Tigers

August 13, 7.50pm, Marvel Stadium

Round 22 kicks off with arguably the most significant game of the weekend. As it stands, the Giants are clinging onto eighth spot with just two games to go in the home and away season, but there are no less than four teams snapping at their heels just half a game behind, and the Tigers are one of them. The winner of this one will have a hold on a spot in the finals – at least temporarily – while the loser will potentially be forced to wave goodbye to their September aspirations, setting this up as a pseudo-elimination final a couple of weeks out from the finals proper. Both teams come off wins last week, with the Giants particularly impressive in beating the Cats in Geelong, but the Tigers appeared to click into gear in the second half last week, and with the reigning champs still backed up against the wall, expect them to turn back the clock with an impressive performance.

Bet on the Tigers to win @ $1.59

Hawthorn Hawks vs Western Bulldogs

August 14, 1.45pm, UTAS Stadium

The Hawks have hit something of a late-season purple patch as Alastair Clarkson winds down his illustrious career at the club, winning two games in a row to remove themselves from wooden spoon calculations. This weekend, however, it appears likely that short winning streak will come to a thundering halt. The Bulldogs are embroiled in a four-team battle for a home qualifying final, sitting equal on points (but with superior percentage) to the Cats and the Power, and half a game behind the Demons. Whether or not the Dogs maintain their spot in the top two will likely be contingent on the result of their game next week against Port Adelaide, but for now they need to dispose of the Hawks, which they should have no problems doing.

Bet on the Bulldogs to win @ $1.25

Port Adelaide Power vs Carlton Blues

August 14, 4.35pm, Adelaide Oval

The Power were a long way from their best against the Crows in last weekend’s Showdown, but they managed to sneak over the line by four points to keep what is now a four-game winning streak going, and keep themselves in the hunt for the top two. They shouldn’t have too many problems keeping that streak alive this weekend against a Carlton side under all sorts of pressure. Coach David Teague is, from all reports, virtually zero chance to coach next year after an inconsistent season by his Blues, with last week’s 19-point loss to the Suns following a stirring win over the Saints all but stamping his papers. They’ve been particularly erratic in recent weeks and so are every chance of putting in a much-improved performance, but regardless the Power should be too strong on their home turf.

Bet on the Power to win @ $1.19

Geelong Cats vs St. Kilda Saints

August 14, 4.35pm, GMHBA Stadium

The Cats had a five-game winning streak snapped by an impressive Giants outfit last week, a loss which saw them shuffled down to third place on the AFL ladder and likely needing consecutive wins to earn a home qualifying final. They should be able to notch up the first of those two this weekend, though it’s anyone’s guess which version of the Saints will turn up to GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon. St. Kilda is still a mathematical chance of playing in September courtesy of an impressive win against the Swans last weekend, but it is likely too little too late after they lost three in a row prior to that game. If they bring their A-game they could keep it close, but the Cats rarely lose at home, let alone twice in two weeks, so expect them to bounce back.

Bet on the Cats to win @ $1.26

Brisbane Lions vs Collingwood Magpies

August 14, 7.25pm, Gabba

Brisbane are virtually guaranteed either fifth or sixth spot on the AFL ladder at the end of the home and away season, and the only question left to answer for them over the next two weeks is who they will play in week one of the finals. They theoretically don’t have a whole lot to play for this weekend – though a top four spot is still mathematically in sight – but nonetheless they will want to head into September with some form behind them. They were terrific last week against the Dockers in Perth, and come up against significantly feebler opposition this week in Collingwood. The Magpies have put together an okay last month or so of footy to close out what has been a tumultuous season, but they have nothing left to play for this year and will likely notch up a 15th loss of 2021 this week.

Bet on the Lions to win @ $1.21

North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Sydney Swans

August 14, 7.40pm, Marvel Stadium

The Kangaroos could hardly have hoped to have been more impressive in the second half of the season after a terrible start, and they again demonstrated their drastic improvement in their first 60 minutes against the Tigers last weekend. Unfortunately they just as quickly reminded us why they are still on bottom of the ladder, collapsing in the second half, but it’s not the worst result for the club, who should still hang on to the number one draft pick. Though a win here would actually put that in jeopardy, they’ll still come out all guns blazing as they have for much of the past two months, but the talent differential will likely be too significant for them to overcome. Sydney are marching their way towards a September appearance which few would have predicted at the beginning of the year, and should have no problems collecting their 14th win of the season this weekend.

Bet on the Swans to win @ $1.35

Melbourne Demons vs Adelaide Crows

August 15, 2.10pm, MCG

The Demons jumped back into the top spot which they have occupied for such a large portion of this season, and if they can salute in each of their next two games they will end the season there. Next week won’t be easy against the Cats, but they should have no problems remaining on top against the Crows at the MCG this Sunday. Adelaide were impressive last weekend after a difficult week, but still ultimately went down at the hands of their cross-town rivals by just four points. Another performance like that would certainly force the Demons to work for their win, but it’s hard to envisage any result other than a comfortable Melbourne victory in this one.

Bet on the Demons to win @ $1.09

Gold Coast Suns vs Essendon Bombers

August 15, 3.20pm, Metricon Stadium

These two teams enter this match in drastically different situations. The Suns’ season is, for all intents and purposes, over, with finals out of the equation and not a lot of reasons to win other than morale. In contrast, the Bombers are locked in a fierce battle for seventh and eighth spot, and courtesy of a brilliant win over the Dogs last weekend they are primed to leap past either GWS, the Eagles, or both over the next two weeks. They are still technically reliant on other teams’ results with two games to go, but if they can win this week and beat the Magpies next week, the only thing that will stop them from a finals berth is consecutive wins to both the Eagles and the Giants, or a couple of huge victories from the Tigers. Their season is on the line, and against a team they are better than anyway and which has nothing to play for, the Bombers should be too good.

Bet on the Bombers to win @ $1.40

Fremantle Dockers vs West Coast Eagles

August 15, 5.10pm, Optus Stadium

If the round-opener between GWS and Richmond is arguably the biggest game of the week, this one might be its main challenger. The Western Derby is always a big event, but when those two teams are fighting for the same spots in the top eight with just a couple of weeks left in the season, it takes on a whole new significance. The Dockers, realistically, have their work cut out to make it after a bad loss last weekend, but they are just half a game out of the eight and two wins will give them a fighting chance. The Eagles, meanwhile, might be able to sneak in with just one win from their last two games, and they would love to get it this week. Both of these sides have been inconsistent of late and are hard to pick, but after they finished hard on Monday night, we’re just leaning the way of the Eagles in a close one.

Bet on the Eagles to @ $1.42

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James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.

All Predictions by James Salmon

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