Predictions and Betting Picks for AFL Round 17 (2021)

| July 7, 2021 9:59 am PDT

We have a blockbuster clash to kick off Round 17 of the 2021 AFL season, with fourth-place Port Adelaide hosting second-place Melbourne in South Australia on Thursday, July 8.

The Demons suffered a shock defeat to the Giants last weekend, enabling the Bulldogs to snatch the top spot on the ladder following an easy win over North Melbourne.

The Dogs face a potentially tricky test against Sydney this Sunday, July 11, before West Coast and North wrap up Round 17 in a rare Monday night footy fixture.

In this piece, I provide my Round 17 AFL predictions for every match before finishing with my top picks for AFL Round 17.

Let’s get started with my Port Adelaide vs. Melbourne prediction and then work our way through the rest of my AFL predictions for Round 17.

Melbourne to Beat Port Adelaide

Although the Demons surrendered first place following a surprise loss to GWS in the previous round, I’m backing them to bounce straight back on Thursday.

The Dees have only lost three of their 15 matches this season, slipping up against Adelaide, Collingwood, and the Giants. But whenever they come up against tricky opponents, they invariably up their game and rise to the occasion.

As we know, Port is a tricky opponent. The Power now finds themselves just four points behind Melbourne and head into Round 17 on a three-game winning streak, having dispatched the Suns, Sydney, and Hawthorn.

I can these two sides producing a tight encounter at Adelaide Oval, but I’m confident that Melbourne will come out on top.

Essendon to Beat Adelaide

Both teams lost three of their last four games; four points separate twelfth-place Essendon and fifteenth-place Adelaide on the ladder.

Granted, the Bombers gave a good account of themselves against Melbourne a fortnight ago before falling to Geelong last time out. The team shows promising signs, yet they clearly struggle against the top sides in the league.

Meanwhile, the Crows conceded 111 points in a 52-point thrashing to Brisbane in the previous round. Having lost nine of their last 11 games, a top-eight berth is well out of reach.

I’m backing the Bombers to return to winning ways of Friday night.

Fremantle to Beat Hawthorn

When Fremantle secured back-to-back wins over Gold Coast and Collingwood last month, it looked as though Justin Longmuir’s men were ready to push for a finals spot. However, last weekend’s loss to Carlton has left them two points outside the top eight.

The Dockers are enjoying a promising campaign, though. With Matt Taberner kicking goals for fun and Nat Fyfe dominating the midfield, Freo shouldn’t struggle to overcome Hawthorn.

At the end of the day, the Hawks will be hoping the 2021 season finishes as quickly as possible. They have lost 11 of their 15 outings this year, with two wins in their previous nine.

Hawthorn was crushed by Port last weekend – and I expect a similar result when Freo comes to town.

Geelong to Beat Carlton

Tom Hawkins (6.1) shone as Geelong thrashed the Bombers last time out, while Jeremy Cameron (3.0) and Gryan Miers (2.0) also got in on the act.

Having won seven of their past eight encounters, the Cats now sit 14 points inside the top eight and only four points shy of the two frontrunners. Good luck, Carlton!

In fairness to the Blues, they have recovered from a poor start to the season in recent weeks. They head into Round 17 on the back of successive victories over Adelaide and Freo, meaning they have won three of their last six matches.

Still, Geelong should be far too strong for Carlton this weekend.

Brisbane to Beat St Kilda

The Lions notched their third consecutive win last weekend, hammering the Crows in South Australia. Lincoln McCarthy (4.0) was the star of the show, although Charlie Cameron (3.2) and Zac Bailey (3.1) impressed, too.

Remarkably, Brisbane has now won ten of their previous 11 games. The Queenslanders also boast the second-best percentage in the league (134.72), making them genuine minor premiership contenders.

On the flip side, St Kilda still stands a chance of securing a finals berth, having won five of their last nine matches. But following a slender victory over the Magpies last weekend, I can’t help but feel the Saints will struggle to compete with Brisbane.

The Lions have kicked 100+ points on six occasions this year. Considering St Kilda has one of the weakest defenses in the league, all the signs point towards a straightforward home win on Saturday.

GWS to Beat Gold Coast

Only three teams have beaten Melbourne this season – and Greater Western Sydney is one of them. The Giants produced a spirited display to down the Dees last time out, with Toby Greene booting three goals.

GWS still sits two points inside the top eight. But with three sides directly below them on 28 points, the Giants can’t afford to slip up this weekend.

The Suns’ hit-and-miss season continued last weekend, as they secured a shock win over Richmond. Funnily enough, Gold Coast headed into the previous round on a run of six losses in seven games.

Let’s face it – last weekend’s victory against the Tigers was a freak result. I can’t see the inconsistent Suns claiming back-to-back wins at the moment, so I’m backing the Giants to win this one.

Western Bulldogs to Beat Sydney

With the Bulldogs in top spot and the Swans sitting pretty in sixth, this matchup has the potential to be the tie of the round.

Following successive defeats to Hawthorn and Port, Sydney appeared to be fading. However, John Longmire’s men bounced back in style last weekend – thrashing the Eagles by 92 points while limiting them to just 26 (3.8).

The Dogs also kicked 100+ points in Round 16, with Cody Weightman (4.1), Mitch Wallis (3.0), and Tom Liberatore (2.2) contributing to a 29-point victory over North.

Not only are the Dogs the highest scorers in the AFL, but they also boast the second-best defensive record. With that in mind, I just can’t see them faltering against the Swans.

Richmond to Beat Collingwood

What has happened to Richmond?

Suddenly, the defending premiers are in real danger of missing out on the finals altogether. In fact, they head into Round 17 on a super rare three-match losing streak, having suffered a below-par defeat to the Suns last weekend.

Thankfully for the Tigers, they have an ideal opportunity to get back on track this Sunday. The Magpies are up next for Richmond – and they have only picked up four wins from 15 games this year.

The Tigers can’t lose four matches in a row, can they? Well, with struggling Collingwood on the horizon, I don’t think they will.

West Coast to Beat North Melbourne

There is no hiding from the fact that West Coast has taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks. After notching just 43 points in a 55-point loss to the Dogs a fortnight ago, the Eagles could only manage a measly 26 points in last weekend’s 92-point thrashing to the Swans.

But just like Richmond, they should be able to put their woes behind them and return to winning ways in Round 17.

Although the Kangaroos seem to have turned the corner of late, they still find themselves six points adrift at the foot of the ladder. I mean, they have only won two matches in 2021, so they can’t exactly complain.

The Eagles currently hold a giant 22-point lead over the Roos, making them the firm favorites to seal the victory on Monday night.

My Top AFL Picks for Round 17

Now that you’ve made my Round 17 AFL predictions, it’s time to get stuck into the best AFL bets for this weekend. Remember – if you’re betting on AFL Round 17, place your wagers with the top online Aussie rules sportsbooks.

Essendon vs. Adelaide

I expect Essendon to win this match. However, odds of 1.33 for the home win are far too low to bother with. Instead, I recommend backing over 163.5 total game points.

Despite sitting twelfth in the standings, the Bombers are the third-highest scorers in the league. They also have the third-worst defensive record, though, meaning this clash should dish up plenty of points.

  • Pick: Over 163.5 Total Game Points (1.90)

Hawthorn vs. Fremantle

With Hawthorn priced at 2.00, the bookies think this will be a relatively tight match. But in my eyes, Fremantle should claim a comfortable victory on Saturday.

The Dockers sit 12 points clear of the Hawks on the ladder and stand a genuine chance of finishing in the top eight. Considering that incentive, Freo will be fired up for this clash.

  • Pick: Fremantle to Win (1.80)

West Coast vs. North Melbourne

At 1.20, West Coast is the clear favorite to win this game, while North is priced at 4.50. To get better value, I recommend back the Eagles to seal a winning margin of 25+ points.

Yes, the Eagles have recorded a couple of iffy results lately. But with the Roos stuck at the bottom of the standings, West Coast should be able to secure a high-scoring victory on Monday night.

  • Pick: West Coast to Win By 25+ Points (1.73)
Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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