Predictions and Betting Tips for AFL Round 21 (2021)
The Showdown headlines what promises to be another exciting weekend of footy action.
The Crows and the Power renew their rivalry at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, August 7, with fourth-place Port leading sixteenth-place Adelaide by a whopping 32 points on the AFL ladder.
Elsewhere, the Cats will be looking to extend their winning streak to six games when the Giants come to town, while the Swans will be hoping to achieve the same feat against St Kilda.
With just three rounds of fixtures remaining before the end of the regular season, there are still two finals series berths up for grabs. In total, seven teams are in contention for the remaining two places.
Needless to say, the results in Round 21 are likely to have a huge say in the outcome of the final standings.
Join me as I share my AFL predictions for Round 21. I also look at the top AFL picks for Round 21 at the end of this post, so make sure you stick around for those!
Geelong to Beat GWS
As we approach the end of the regular season, it’s safe to say that Geelong is peaking at just the right time.
The Cats head into Round 21 on a five-match winning run and sit level with the Bulldogs at the top of the ladder. Oh, and they have only lost one of their last 12 games!
Ninth-place Greater Western Sydney sits just two points outside the finals spots. However, their results have taken a turn for the worse recently. In fact, the Giants have lost four of their previous six outings and were thrashed by Port last weekend.
This should be another straightforward victory for Geelong.
Carlton to Beat Gold Coast
Carlton secured a shock win over St Kilda last time out, notching 112 points at Marvel Stadium. The Blues have now won four of their last six games and remain in the hunt for a top-eight finish.
On the flip side, the Suns head into Round 21 on a sorry run of three straight defeats. They have only managed to win two of their previous eight encounters, with a damaging 98-point defeat coming at the hands of the Demons last weekend.
Across the past five matches, only four teams have picked up more points than Carlton. By contrast, just three sides have claimed fewer points than Gold Coast.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I’m backing the Blues to win this one.
Richmond to Beat North Melbourne
Believe it or not, there is a real possibility that Richmond could miss out on the finals series altogether this year.
The defending premiers suffered their eleventh defeat of the season last weekend, going down 55-51 to Fremantle. As a result, they find themselves four points shy of the top eight with only the eighth-best percentage in the league.
Having said that, the visit of North Melbourne provides the Tigers with an ideal opportunity to get back on track. The Kangaroos are stuck at the foot of the ladder after losing 14 of their 19 matches this year.
It probably won’t be pretty, but Richmond should come out on top here.
Port Adelaide to Beat Adelaide
Undoubtedly the tie of the round, Showdown rivals Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide go head-to-head for the South Australia bragging rights this Saturday.
Form usually goes out the window when these two sides meet. However, the mammoth 32-point gulf between the teams suggests that Port should easily get the better of the Crows this time around.
Led by 41-goal Charlie Dixon, the Power has won six of their previous seven outings and sits just four points behind the two frontrunners. At the opposite end of the standings, the Crows sit third from bottom after losing five of their last six matches.
Although the Crows are likely to rise to the occasion, I expect Port to flex their muscles and get the job done.
Sydney to Beat St Kilda
The Swans sealed their fifth straight victory last weekend, edging out Essendon in a 109-102 thriller. Tom Papley booted four goals to take his tally to 34 for the season, while Buddy Franklin kicked two goals and two behinds.
Having won 13 of their 19 games this year, Sydney still stands an outside chance of clinching the minor premiership. And let’s face it, nobody would be shocked if they won their final three matches.
On the other hand, St Kilda is one of four teams locked on 32 points just outside the top eight. If they want to secure a finals series berth, they will need to end their three-game losing streak this weekend.
Unfortunately for the Saints, I can’t see them beating Sydney. While the Swans are playing some of the best footy in the comp at the moment, the Saints have lost their way.
Hawthorn to Beat Collingwood
Earlier in the season, Hawthorn and Collingwood looked like genuine Wooden Spoon contenders. Sure, they still find themselves at the bottom end of the ladder. But they have both improved in recent weeks.
The Hawks have only lost one of their previous three outings and have managed to pick up three wins in their last eight. Meanwhile, the Magpies claimed an impressive win over West Coast in the previous round – picking up their fourth victory in eight matches.
Fourteenth-place Collingwood currently leads seventeenth-place Hawthorn by just two points in the standings, but I’m backing the Hawks to leapfrog the Pies this weekend.
With forward Luke Breust in good goal-kicking form and Tom Mitchell holding down the midfield, Hawthorn can cause Collingwood plenty of problems.
Western Bulldogs to Beat Essendon
Twelve different players kicked goals in the Bulldogs’ hefty 49-point victory over the Crows last weekend, with Josh Bruce (2.1), Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (2.1), and Jason Johannisen (2.0) all doubling up.
The Dogs have now won five of their last six outings and could clinch their first-ever minor premiership if they win their remaining three matches.
The Bombers secured back-to-back wins last month but have since suffered two straight losses. They will surely be tired after giving their all against Sydney last weekend, having racked up 102 points while losing to the Swans.
I can’t see Essendon hindering the Dogs’ charge towards the minor premiership.
Brisbane to Beat Fremantle
What has happened to Brisbane?
Thankfully for the Lions, they have already secured a finals berth. They looked like possible minor premiership contenders not so long ago, but they head into Round 21 on the back of three defeats in four games.
Still, sixth-place Brisbane remains 12 points clear of eighth-place Fremantle. Despite beating Richmond last weekend, the Dockers have only taken eight points from their previous five outings.
This is likely to be a scrappy affair between two off-form teams, but I expect Brisbane’s class to shine through.
Melbourne to Beat West Coast
Simply put, the Eagles were terrible last weekend. They ended up suffering a poor 45-point defeat to Collingwood in Round 20 – and they now have the worst defensive record in the top nine.
With a six-point gap between them and ninth-place GWS, West Coast would have to perform pretty badly in their final three games to slip out of the top eight. With that in mind, a match against third-place Melbourne isn’t what they need.
Following a draw with Hawthorn and a loss to the Dogs, the Demons returned to winning ways in style last time out – hammering Gold Coast by 98 points. Ben Brown (4.1) and Luke Jackson (4.0) were the stars of the show, while Max Gawn, Kysaiah Pickett, and Bayley Fritsch each kicked two goals.
The Demons sit just two points behind the league leaders and will still be confident of snatching the minor premiership. For that reason, I’m backing them to defeat West Coast with ease.
My Top AFL Picks for Round 21
Having scoured the top-rated Aussie rules sportsbooks, I have found three top AFL betting picks for Round 21. Here are my best footy bets for this weekend.
Adelaide vs. Port Adelaide
The Showdown is always a lively affair – and the next edition shouldn’t be any different. That’s why I’m going with the over 160.5 points market for this match.
The Crows always rack up plenty of points, but they invariably concede a lot, too. With that in mind, the Power’s talented forward line should enjoy huge success on Saturday.
- Pick: Over 160.5 Total Match Points (1.90)
Western Bulldogs vs. Essendon
Last week, I backed the Bulldogs to beat Adelaide by 40+ points. Sure enough, they chalked up 105 points in a 49-point victory over the Crows.
Considering that Essendon has one of the poorest defensive records in the comp, backing the Dogs to win by 40+ points for a second consecutive week is a no-brainer.
- Pick: Western Bulldogs to Win By 40+ Points (2.88)
West Coast vs. Melbourne
The last of my AFL picks for Round 21 takes us to Optus Stadium. However, I’m not backing the home team here. The Eagles produced a poor display in last weekend’s 45-point defeat to Collingwood and have now lost four of their last six games.
The Demons, on the other hand, notched a whopping 128 points as they dispatched Gold Coast in the previous round. If the Eagles aren’t careful, they could be on the receiving end of a similar scoreline.
- Pick: Melbourne to Win (1.60)