Grand final rehearsal? You bet
The match the whole competition has been waiting for has arrived, with the two unbeaten teams coming face to face at Etihad Stadium, writes Andy Morris.
This is the latest in the season that two unbeaten teams have met in the home and away season, and for one of them their 100 per cent record is about to come to an end.
On the strength of how they have dominated the home and away season over the past two seasons, you'd have to pick the Cats, but St Kilda have been very impressive this season.
They also go into the clash with a full strength team, whereas Geelong has lost defender David Johnson to a strained calf and ruckman Brad Ottens is still out.
The Cats have now put together the most successful period in VFL/AFL history, having won 55 of their past 58 games.
The Saints have the best defence in the AFL while few would dispute that the Cats' forward line is the best in the business. It boils down to who will produce their best form on the day, and you get the feeling that the Cats have something in reserve for this one.
They have beaten the Saints in their last three meetings and perhaps have not reached their full potential yet, but this is the time they can put it all together, so it is worth backing them in match odds betting.
Sydney should be able to shake off North Melbourne at the SCG, even without the suspended Barry Hall. They have a few players facing fitness tests, while the Kangaroos could get a few players back this week.
Three losses have made things shaky for the Swans, but the Kangaroos themselves have lost four straight and should be laid in match odds betting here.
The Western Bulldogs can dent Hawthorn's prospects of defending their premiership even further by beating them at Etihad Stadium.
Though they will be without star Daniel Giansiracusa and may lose Stephen Tiller, Hawthorn have their own injury worries. The Bulldogs have won six of their past seven matches by an average of just over 44 points, while the Hawks are in danger of missing the finals and will not be good enough here. Go with the Bulldogs in match odds betting.
Port Adelaide have some of their top names on the sidelines, including Daniel Motlop and Chad Cornes, and their absences could hurt them against Brisbane.
Port has lost four of its past five games, including a 93-point thrashing by the Western Bulldogs. Meanwhile Brisbane is gunning for the top four after winning three of their last four games, and should be backed in match odds betting here.
Melbourne face another dismal week in a poor season. Just one win so far in 13 matches, and they face West Coast Eagles at the MCG with a number of players in line for fitness tests. The Eagles themselves have been disappointing, but they beat Hawthorn last week and should be good enough, so back them in match odds betting.
Richmond have been up and down over the past month, with high points in the wins over Fremantle and West Coast but setbacks elsewhere. They face Adelaide at Carrara knowing that their opponents will be boosted by the return of Brent reilly and Brett Burton.
The Crows won't be letting their focus slide from this one, they have their sights set on the top four and should be backed in match odds betting here.
Collingwood looks for its sixth straight win as it takes on Essendon at the MCG. The Bombers have won two in a row, including a good effort in demolishing Carlton. But the Pies are the obvious choice here, they can be backed with some confidence in match odds betting.
Fremantle have been poor this season, and having lost Matthew Pavlich to a calf injury they must be opposed in match odds betting against Carlton at Subiaco.