2018 AFL Round 18 Betting Preview: Odds, Game Trends, Week Analysis

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Jamie Cripps of the Eagles is tackled by Tom Langdon of the Magpies (left) and Tom Phillips of the Magpies (right) during the 2018 AFL round 17 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 15, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images

With six weeks to go in the AFL season, there are still 12 clubs who have a chance of lifting the premiership cup on September 29 at the MCG. This weekend provides a few key matchups that will go a long way to deciding who makes the final eight.

The first comes up at the MCG on Saturday afternoon when the third-placed Collingwood Magpies host the ninth-placed North Melbourne Kangaroos.

Just two wins separate these two clubs on the ladder, which gives you an indication of just how tight the race to the final is going to be and how important it is to keep winning.

Nathan Buckley's charges headed into last Sunday's match against the West Coast Eagles on the back of seven straight wins but came up short by 35 points, which sees them drop back to just one win ahead of sixth place.

North's last month has gone loss-win-loss-win, which leaves them in a precarious position just outside the eight. Having won three of the last four against the Kangaroos, the Magpies are listed at $1.56 AUD to secure the 12th win of their campaign, according to AustralianGambling, while the Kangaroos are out at $2.45.

A couple of hours after that contest wraps up, the eighth-placed Geelong Cats host the sixth-placed Melbourne Demons at Kardinia Park. The hosts were favoured to beat the Adelaide Crows last week, but the 15-point loss means they are hanging on to their spot in the top eight by percentage.

Being at home, it is the Cats who will head into this one as favourites ($1.60), but the $2.35 about Melbourne may be value.

The following day sees Port Adelaide Power ($1.78) host one of the hottest teams in the competition, the Greater Western Sydney Giants ($2.05).

Last season's preliminary finalists, the Giants, have won five of their last six outings, including a two-point win over the 2017 Premiers Richmond Tigers last weekend, which has seen Leon Cameron's side move from 11th to seventh on the table.

Speaking of the Tigers, they are the second shortest-priced favourite of the round at $1.13 to beat St Kilda Saints ($6.05) on Friday night, while the Sydney Swans are $1.04 on the AFL betting lines to make light work of the Gold Coast Suns ($11).

Essendon Bombers ($1.19) and Adelaide Crows ($1.60) can keep their final hopes alive with wins over Fremantle Dockers ($4.75) and Brisbane Lions ($2.35), respectively, while the Hawthorn Hawks ($1.14) meet the lowly Carlton Blues ($5.90) on Sunday ahead of the Western Bulldogs' ($6.70) trip to Perth to take on West Coast Eagles ($1.11).