AFL 2023 Round 20 – Betting Tips, Odds & Predictions

James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
AFL 2023 Round 20
AFL 2023 Round 20

The AFL season just keeps getting closer, and though we have a little more clarity after Round 19 there’s still a huge amount left to be decided in the run home. The top four looks, at this stage, likely settled after Melbourne’s victory, while the Dockers are all but out of finals contention and the Crows and Suns will find it pretty tough from here, too. But just a game and a half separates the Dogs in fifth from the Swans in 12th, meaning that even after this round, plenty could change. To make it that little bit better, we also happen to have a plethora of quality games this weekend, kicking off with what should be a pulsating affair between the Magpies and Blues on Friday night. The next day, the Showdown takes centre stage on Saturday night alongside a significant clash between the Bombers and Swans, before Sunday will see the Demons take on the Tigers and, weirdly, the Eagles take on the Kangaroos, which should be great viewing for the football sadists among us. Below, we’ve previewed each and every game set to take place over what looks like a cracking weekend of football, so read on!

Round 20 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Magpies vs BluesFriday, July 28 at 7.50pm$1.33$3.30
Cats vs DockersSaturday, July 29 at 1.45pm$1.07$8.50
Bulldogs vs GiantsSaturday, July 29 at 1.45pm$1.53$2.50
Suns vs LionsSaturday, July 29 at 4.35pm$3.50$1.30
Bombers vs SwansSaturday, July 29 at 7.25pm$2.05$1.77
Crows vs PowerSaturday, July 29 at 7.40pm$2.85$1.42
Hawks vs SaintsSunday, July 30 at 1.10pm$2.15$1.70
Tigers vs DemonsSunday, July 30 at 3.20pm$2.65$1.48
Eagles vs KangaroosSunday, July 30 at 4.40pm$2.15$1.70

Collingwood Magpies vs Carlton Blues

Two of the oldest clubs in the league kick off Round 20 with Collingwood facing Carlton at the MCG, and it shapes up as one of the matches of the round. The Magpies are, of course, absolutely humming, having ticked another box by knocking off the Power in yet another come-from-behind thriller, Jamie Elliott once again proving his late game wares with a boundary line goal to give the Pies the lead in the dying stages. That took them two games clear on top of the ladder, all but assuring them of a top two spot and likely assuring them of top spot. A surprise loss, however, could quickly change that, so they’ll be keen to take care of business on Friday night. But the Blues won’t prove as easy a kill as they would have a few weeks ago. They took care of business against the Eagles last weekend, with Charlie Curnow kicking a lazy ten goals, making it five wins on the bounce to put them just percentage out of the top eight – an incredible turnaround for a team which had lost eight of nine prior to that stretch and whose season seemed effectively finished. Not only have they been winning, but they’ve been doing it comfortably, winning all five of those games by 50 points or more. Don’t expect that to continue this weekend. The way they’re playing they’re certainly capable of taking it up to the Magpies, but if they win it won’t be easily. This should be a pulsating game in front of a huge crowd, but as good as the Blues are looking, the Pies should win this.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Magpies 1-39$2.10
Under 159.5 total match points$1.91
Magpies to win$1.33

Predicted Squads

Collingwood MagpiesCollingwood Magpies: B: J.Howe, D.Moore - C, I.Quaynor HB: B.Maynard, N.Murphy, S.Pendlebury C: J.Noble, T.Adams, J.Daicos HF: B.McCreery, B.Mihocek, P.Lipinski F: J.Elliott, D.McStay, S.Sidebottom FOLL: D.Cameron, T.Mitchell, N.Daicos I/C: J.De Goey, B.Hill, J.Crisp, A. Johnson

Carlton BluesCarlton Blues: B: A.Cincotta, J.Weitering - C, N.Newman HB: B.Kemp, M.McGovern, A.Saad C: B. Acres, P. Cripps, S.Docherty HF: L.Fogarty, J.Honey, J.Motlop F: J. Martin, C.Curnow, D.Cuningham FOLL: T.De Koning, G.Hewett, A. Cerra I/C: L.Cowan, O. Hollands, M.Cottrell, E.Curnow

Geelong Cats vs Fremantle Dockers

The Cats were competitive against the Lions at the Gabba last weekend but ultimately proved unable to get the job done, but despite the loss they remain in the top eight and with a good chance of jumping further up the ladder over the coming weeks. That starts this weekend. With three teams just half a game ahead of them, the Cats will likely move up a couple of spots with a win this weekend, and they should be confident of doing just that against the Dockers at GMHBA Stadium. Fremantle are effectively out of finals contention following their loss to the Swans last weekend, continuing a hugely disappointing for Justin Longmuir’s men after they won 15 games last season. All is not as lost as some may have you believe, and there are plenty of sides who have had blips on the radar on the road to achieving some good things, but for this season at least, the Dockers appear headed for a low finish. After a fourth consecutive loss they will no doubt be feeling pretty deflated, and Geelong is not the ideal place for a trip for a team in bad form. This one should pose no problem for the Cats.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Cats 40+$1.70
Cats 25+$1.36
Cats -44.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Geelong CatsGeelong Cats: B: J.Kolodjashnij, J.Henry, J.Bowes HB: Z.Guthrie, S.De Koning, T.Stewart C: M.Duncan, T.Atkins, M.Blicavs HF: G.Miers, T.Hawkins, T.StengleF: O.Henry, J.Cameron, B.Close FOLL: R.Stanley, P.Dangerfield - C, M.Holmes I/C: M.O’Connor, I.Smith, T.Bruhn, Z Tuohy

Fremantle DockersFremantle Dockers: B: J.Hamling, A.Pearce - C, C.Wagner HB: J.Clark, L.Ryan, H.Young C: L.Henry, J.O’Meara, C.Serong HF: S.Switkowski, M.Johnson, L.Schultz F: B. Banfield, J.Amiss, M.Walters FOLL: L.Jackson, N.Erasmus, A.Brayshaw I/C: S.Sturt, J.Treacy, M.Frederick, J. Aish

Western Bulldogs vs GWS Giants

The first of the proverbial eight-point games will see the Bulldogs take on the Giants at Mars Stadium in a game which has massive repercussions for the teams involved in it, and those around them. These two sides currently find themselves sitting in fifth and seventh on ten wins apiece, and while the winner will either be fifth or sixth come the end of the round, the loser will potentially fall as low as 11th. Both enter the game off big wins, the Doggies having knocked off the Bombers in another eight-point game with consummate ease, while the Giants notched up their fifth on the trot in disposing of the Suns to move up to seventh. They’re playing some really good footy under new coach Adam Kingsley, and will have no doubts about their ability to come to Melbourne and knock off the Bulldogs, though at Mars Stadium they will have to overcome some dangerous Dogs’ history. The Western Bulldogs, who have played in all but one of the AFL games to have taken place there, are 6-1 in their past seven games at Ballarat, with their solitary loss coming by just a point to the Crows last year. In a game in which little is likely to separate the two teams, that ground advantage may prove to be definitive.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Bulldogs 1-39$2.15
Under 155.5 total match points$1.91
Bulldogs to win$1.53

Predicted Squads

Western BulldogsWestern Bulldogs: B: L.Vandermeer, R.Gardner, J.Bruce HB: B.Dale, A.Keath, E.Richards C: C.Poulter, M.Bontempelli - C, O.Baker HF: J.Macrae, A.Naughton, A.Treloar F: C.Weightman, J.Ugle-Hagan, A.Scott FOLL: T.English, C.Daniel, T.Liberatore I/C: B.Smith, R.West, T.Duryea, B.Khamis

GWS GiantsGWS Giants: B: J.Buckley, S.Taylor, C.Idun HB: L.Ash, H.Himmelberg, L.Whitfield C: J.Kelly, C.Ward, F.Callaghan HF: D.Lloyd, J.Riccardi, T.Bedford F: B.Daniels, A.Cadman, T.Greene - C FOLL: K.Briggs, H.Perryman, S.Coniglio I/C: C.Brown, I.Cumming, R.Angwin, N.Haynes

  • Rain is forecast at the MCG on Friday night
  • The Bulldogs have lost just one of their last seven games in Ballarat
  • The Lions have won the last nine editions of the QClash, with eight of those wins coming by 43 points or more.

Multi of the Week

Magpies vs Blues under 159.5 total match points$1.90
Bulldogs to win$1.53
Lions -20.5$1.90
Bet $10 for $55.23 with PlayUp

Gold Coast Suns vs Brisbane Lions

The Suns are still only a game and a half out of the top eight, but it would take a significant turnaround for them to make the finals from here, particularly given their poor percentage. They looked a long way off the pace against the Giants last weekend, ultimately going down by 40 points to make it three losses in four games and likely resign them to yet another season outside the top eight. A loss this weekend would effectively end their hopes entirely, though if they can somehow knock off the Lions in the 25th QClash, they would put themselves right back in the hunt. Given Brisbane’s form, however, and the past results in the corresponding game, it’s hard to see that happening. The Lions bounced back from their heartbreaking loss to the Demons with a hard-fought win against the Cats last weekend, solidifying their spot in the top four – and with the Power losing to the Pies, top two is now well and truly in the picture. That would be a huge result for the Lions, potentially offering them a path to the Grand Final which wouldn’t require them to leave the Gabba, so they’ll be very eager to continue their winning ways, and should be able to do just that this weekend.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Lions to win$1.30
Lions 25+$2.05
Lions -20.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Gold Coast SunsGold Coast Suns: B: C.Ballard, S.Collins, M.Andrew HB: B.Ellis, R.Atkins, B.Long C: D.Swallow, T.Miller, W.Powell HF: S.Flanders, B.Ainsworth, J.Lukosius F: N.Holman, B.King, L.Casboult FOLL: J.Witts - C, M.Rowell, N.Anderson I/C: E.Hollands, B.Humphrey, D.Macpherson, H.Oea

Brisbane LionsBrisbane Lions: B: B.Starcevich, H.Andrews, J.Payne HB: C.McKenna, R.Lester, K.Coleman C: J. Lyons, D.Zorko, J.Berry HF: C.Cameron, E.Hipwood, L.McCarthy F: J.Dunkley, J.Daniher, C.Rayner FOLL: O.McInerney, L.Neale - C, H.McCluggage I/C: C.Ah Chee, J.Gunston, J.Fletcher, D.Wilmot

Essendon Bombers vs Sydney Swans

The Bombers were perhaps the best example of just how tight this AFL season is last weekend, with their loss to the Bulldogs seeing them fall from seventh all the way down to 11th – they would likely have been fifth if they won. That loss was disappointing regardless of how it happened given what was on the line, but that they went down so meekly after being belted by the Cats the week before was of particular concern and puts into significant jeopardy their hopes of playing in September this year. But, all is not lost, and a win this weekend would put them right back in the frame. The Swans, meanwhile, have kept their own season alive with a second consecutive win, this one coming easily on the road against the Dockers to move them to within a game of the top eight. Both of these teams have their work cut out to play finals in an incredibly congested middle part of the ladder, but the winner will keep their hat well and truly in the ring. The loser, meanwhile, will need an incredible turnaround to play in September. The Swans have hit some good form while the Bombers have begun to struggle over the past fortnight, but in a tight game the home team can turn their fortunes around and keep their season alive.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Bombers to win$2.05
Bombers 1-39$2.65
Bombers +3.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

EssendonEssendon Bombers: B: A.McGrath, B.Zerk-Thatcher, J.Laverde HB: M.Redman, D. Heppell, J.Kelly C: N.Martin, Z.Merrett - C, S.Durham HF: M.Guelfi, K.Langford, J.Caldwell F: W.Snelling, P.Wright, J.Stringer FOLL: N.Bryan, D.Parish, B.Hobbs I/C: N.Cox, A.Perkins, E. Tsatas, A.Phillips

Sydney SwansSydney Swans: B: D.Rampe - C, T.McCartin, H.Cunningham HB: J.Lloyd, N.Blakey, O.Florent C: B.Campbell, L.Parker, E.Gulden HF: I.Heeney, L.McDonald, S.Wicks F: T.Papley, L.Franklin, J.Amartey FOLL: H.McLean, Ch.Warner, C.Mills I/C: R.Fox, J.McInerney, J.Rowbottom, W.Hayward

Adelaide Crows vs Port Adelaide Power

The Showdown rarely fails to live up to expectations, and if that trend continues on Saturday night this will be one of the games of the season. Both the Crows and the Power are on the march this year, and though Adelaide have dropped back to 13th place following three consecutive losses, there’s no doubting where this team is heading. At their best they’ve been one of the most dangerous sides in the competition this season, with last week’s loss to Melbourne being no exception; they flew home after entering the last quarter facing a big deficit, very nearly stealing victory from the jaws of defeat against a team destined to finish in the top four. What’s more, they are one of just three teams to knock off their cross-town rivals this year, the other two being the Magpies (twice), and the Blues a fortnight ago against an injury-riddled incarnation of the Power. With two of those losses having coming in the past two weeks Port Adelaide will be desperate to get back on the winners’ list to hang on to their spot in the top two, for which Brisbane are coming hard, but they’ll need to play well to knock off the plucky Crows, particularly with Adelaide needing to win to keep their finals hopes alive. The intensity in this game will be off the charts and the atmosphere as good as any all season, and if a close game ensues expect it to be some of the most enthralling footy you’ll see this year. These teams don’t usually need any added incentive to get up for a Showdown, but with both of them badly needing a win they’ve got it if they’re looking for some extra. The Crows can take it right up to the Power, but Port have proven themselves to be right up there with the Pies as the best team in the league and should be able to get the chocolates.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Power 1-39$2.20
Power 1-24$3.40
Power to win$1.42

Predicted Squads

Adelaide CrowsAdelaide Crows: B: B.Smith, L. Nankervis, J.Butts HB: M.Hinge, J.Worrell, W.Milera C: C.Jones, J.Dawson - C, B.Cook HF: B.Keays, D.Fogarty, S.McAdam F: L.Pedlar, T.Walker, R. Thilthorpe FOLL: R.O’Brien, H.Schoenberg, R. Laird I/C: M. Crouch, R.Sloane, N.McHenry, P.Parnell

Port Adelaide PowerPort Adelaide Power: B: L.Jones, T.McKenzie, D.Houston HB: K.Farrell, A.Aliir, R.Burton C: M.Bergman, W.Drew, X.Duursma HF: Z.Butters, T.Marshall, T.Boak F: O. Lord, C.Dixon, S.Powell-Pepper FOLL: S.Lycett, O.Wines - C, C.Rozee I/C: J.McEntee, J.Finlayson, J.Horne-Francis, F.Evans

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Hawthorn Hawks vs St. Kilda Saints

The Hawks went heartbreakingly close to making it two wins in two weeks last Saturday, with some smooth passages of play and very accurate goalkicking taking them out to a six-goal lead against a Tigers team fighting for a spot in the finals. Unfortunately, the high pressure which they exerted on Richmond over the first three quarters ultimately came back to bite them, and they ran out of legs in the final quarter to be ultimately overrun by a solitary point. At this point in time, however, those kinds of results aren’t exactly a disaster for the Hawks – they can hang onto their 16th spot and third spot in next year’s draft, while simultaneously proving that there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about this young team heading forward. The Saints, meanwhile, still find themselves in sixth place but are arguably playing worse than the Hawks. They’ve lost four of their last six, and the only two wins have been nailbiters against the Eagles and the Roos, both of whom forced them to come from behind to win by single figure margins. It’s not exactly a form line that is reflective of a finals team, particularly given the depth of good teams which surrounds them on the AFL ladder. But sitting in sixth place, their destiny is in their own hands. Unfortunately, barring a significant turnaround in form, they don’t currently appear to have the ability to manoeuvre that destiny in the way they’d like. They simply have to win this game, but the Hawks are a dangerous team considering their record this year, and after a heartbreaking loss last week can cause an upset on Sunday and put a major dent in the Saints’ finals hopes in the process.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Hawks to win$2.15
Hawks 1-39$2.60
Hawks +5.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

Hawthorn Hawthorn Hawks: B: J.Impey, S.Frost, J.Sicily - C HB: J.Scrimshaw, B.Hardwick, W.Day C: K.Amon, D.Moore, J.Weddle HF: C.Macdonald, C.Nash, J.Worpel F: C.Wingard, L.Breust, M.Lewis FOLL: N.Reeves, J.Newcombe, F.Maginness I/C: S.Mitchell, J.Ward, T.Brockman, D.Grainger-Barras

St. Kilda St. Kilda Saints: B: J.Battle, D.Howard, C.Wilkie HB: J.Webster, J.Sinclair, N.Wanganeen-Milera C: J.Bytel, Z.Jones, M.Wood HF: J.Higgins, B.Hill, M.Phillipou F: M.Owens, A.Caminiti, C.Sharman FOLL: R.Marshall, J.Steele - C, B.Crouch I/C: J.Gresham, H.Clark, D.Butler, M.Windhager

Richmond Tigers vs Melbourne Demons

The biggest game of Sunday’s lineup will see the winners of four of the past six Premierships go head to head at the MCG, with the Tigers looking to jump inside the top eight for the first time since the first couple of weeks of the season and the Demons hoping to solidify their spot in the top four. Since Mini McQualter arrived at Tigerland, things have swung around for Richmond, with five wins in the past six games taking them to 9-8-1 and out of the top eight on percentage alone. Plenty has changed under the new coach, but perhaps the most significant is that they’ve won their close games, with the Hawks the latest victim after a stirring come-from-behind win which saw them fight back from a six-goal deficit to steal the lead courtesy of a Liam Baker snap with just over a minute remaining. That kept them right in the finals hunt, and an upset win over the Demons would put them in the box seat to earn a spot in September. The Demons won’t be complacent, but they do have some reason to rest on their laurels after last week’s tight win over the Crows, their third in a row; they’re now two wins and percentage clear in second, and with two more games and percentage separating them from Port in second, it’s very unlikely that they’ll either fall out of the top four, or work their way into the top two. Last time these two sides met, the Tigers came out of the blocks hard and looked excellent in the first half, only to be overrun in the second. With the Dees likely to have let out a collective sigh of relief after hanging on against the Crows last weekend, it’s feasible that the Tigers once again get a jump on them this Sunday. But even with Clayton Oliver set to miss another week, the Demons midfield and defensive prowess, particularly against an undermanned Tigers forward line, should be too much for Richmond to overcome.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Demons 1-39$2.20
Richmond/Melbourne half-time/full-time double$7.00
Demons to win$1.48

Predicted Squads

Richmond TigersRichmond Tigers: B: N.Balta, D.Grimes - C, T.Young HB: N.Vlastuin, N.Broad, D.Rioli C: K.McIntosh, T.Taranto, J.Ross HF: J.Graham, L.Baker, J.Hopper F: J.Riewoldt, D.Martin, B.Miller FOLL: I.Soldo, D.Prestia, S.Bolton I/C: S.Banks, M.Pickett, T.Cotchin, J. Short

Melbourne DemonsMelbourne Demons: B: C.Salem, S.May, J.Lever HB: J.Bowey, A.Tomlinson, J.McVee C: L.Hunter, J.Viney, E.Langdon HF: K.Pickett, J.van Rooyen, T.Sparrow F: A.Neal-Bullen, B.Brown, T.Woewodin FOLL: M.Gawn - C, A.Brayshaw, C.Petracca I/C: J.Melksham, J.Jordon, T.Rivers, K.Chandler

West Coast Eagles vs North Melbourne Kangaroos

What to say about this one? At least, I suppose, there will be a bit more parity across the rest of the league this weekend, with none of the multitude of teams battling for the same spots in the finals getting a freebie against in particular the Eagles. This is a game which certainly won’t attract many eyes to screens in the hope of a high-quality game, but which may for the same reason that people slow down to look at the scene of a car crash. The Eagles are just about the worst team in the history of the AFL, and while the Kangaroos are a whole lot more competitive, they’ve also lost 16 in a row, so aren’t exactly going strong. Whoever wins this the Eagles will likely win the Wooden Spoon courtesy of their sub-50% percentage, unless they somehow win a second game in the run home, so this game is really all academic. It’s not a game which is going to reach any great heights, but it will at least give one of these teams a chance to record a victory – something which they’ve managed a combined total of seven times over the past two years. The Roos have, at least, been competitive, something which can’t be said for the Eagles with the sole exception of their loss to St. Kilda a couple of weeks ago, so maybe at long last this young team can break their extended losing streak to round out Round 19.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Kangaroos to win$1.70
Under 170.5 total match points $1.91
Kangaroos -5.5$1.87

Predicted Squads

West Coast EaglesWest Coast Eagles: B: A.Witherden, T.Barrass, T.Cole HB: L.Duggan, S.Hurn, B.Hough C: C.Chesser, N. Long, J.Hunt HF: A.Gaff, J.Darling, E.Hewett F: R.Maric, O.Allen, J.Cripps FOLL: B.Williams, D.Sheed, T.Kelly I/C: L. Edwards, J.Petruccelle, J.Williams, X. O’Neill

North Melbourne North Melbourne Kangaroos: B: A.Corr, B.McKay, La.Young HB: J.Goater, T.Thomas, L.McDonald - C C: E.Ford, H.Sheezel, B.Scott HF: W. Phillips, D.Tucker, J.Stephenson F: C.Harvey, N.Larkey, P.Curtis FOLL: T.Xerri, L.Davies-Uniacke, C.Taylor I/C: T.Goldstein, J.Archer, C.Lazzaro, J. Ziebell

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