The first of the bye rounds takes place in the AFL this weekend; with only six games, including a Monday night encounter between St Kilda and Carlton, taking place.
The Jack Viney suspension saga has dominated headlines in the AFL media throughout the week, which has taken attention away from what should be another exciting round of AFL football that is highlighted by the 2012 Grand final rematch between the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn.
Our team of AFL betting experts have analysed all the matches taking place this weekend and have come up with the best bets to make Round Eight of the 2014 AFL season even more exciting.
Friday – Sydney Swans vs Hawthorn Hawks
Hawthorn fans will still not have forgotten their heartbreaking loss to Sydney in the 2012 AFL Grand Final and will be hoping that their side can end the three game winning streak of the Swans.
Sydney have climbed into the top eight for the first time after their slow start to the season, but it is fair to say that they are still playing well short of their best; failing to dazzle in their wins over the lowly Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions.
Hawthorn are deserved favourites for this clash and based on their form this season should have no trouble accounting for the Swans who are going to need to their return to their form from last year to be any chance.
The Tip: Hawthorn by 28
The Bet: Hawthorn to beat the spread (-14.5 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
Saturday – Port Adelaide Power vs Fremantle Dockers
It is fair to say that not many AFL experts would have predicted that Port Adelaide would be sitting eight points clear of early premiership favourites Fremantle heading into round eight of the 2014 AFL season, but that is the case this weekend.
Along with Hawthorn, Port Adelaide have been the most consistent side this season and have quickly turned the Adelaide Oval into a fortress, while the Dockers have struggled with inconsistency especially away from home.
This is a game where home ground advantage is set to play a major factor and because of this we are giving the edge to The Power in what should be an extremely interesting game of football.
The Tip: Port Adelaide by 16
The Bet: Port Adelaide to beat the spread (-7.5 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
Monday – St Kilda Saints vs Carlton Blues
St Kilda and Carlton looked as though they were making some strides heading into last weekend, but both came crashing back to earth; with Carlton beaten by arch rivals Collingwood and St Kilda suffering an embarrassing defeat to Hawthorn.
This is a key game for both of these teams and we expect it to be much closer than the bookies suggest – who currently have Carlton as clear favourites.
It is tough to have any trust in Carlton as favourite and at this price is it is hard to ignore the Saints.
The Tip: St Kilda by 7
The Bet: St Kilda to win ($3.25 at Ladbrokes.com.au)
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