It is the penultimate weekend of ladder action in the Australian Football League. Can leaders Hawthorn hold on to top spot?
<p style="text-align:center" class="normal"><span data-sheets-rawvalue="</span></p> <p class=" normal"><em><br />For more information and betting predictions, read our <a href="/sports-betting/free-picks/free-picks-aussie-rules-tips-betting-predictions-a-32574/" title="Free Picks: Aussie Rules Tips & Betting Predictions" target="_blank">Australian Rules Football guide</a>!</em></span></p> <div><span style="font-size:1em"><img style="font-size:1em" src="/picks-pictures/EssendonWestCoastAFL_August2013_200.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" />The playoff places are now all but settled, after <a href="/sports-betting/free-picks/free-picks-afl-premiership-round-21-betting-odds-tips-a-32786/" title="Free Picks: AFL Premiership Round 21 Betting Odds & Tips" target="_blank">defeat last weekend knocked West Coast Eagles out of the running</a>. Seven teams are now certain of making the final eight and the last place could be settled on Saturday evening, with current eighth side Port Adelaide taking on high-flying Fremantle and ninth placed Carlton hosting Essendon.</span></div> <p class="normal"><span style="font-size:1em">It is a must-win game for both sides. Defeat knocks Carlton out of the running altogether, whilst a Port loss means that they have to sweat on a final weekend game unless Carlton also lose. Port are currently big second favorites, with <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=778&book=bet365inarticle" title="Bet and Win on Aussie Rules Football at Bet365.com!" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Bet365 offering 17/4 against them winning</a>.</span></p> <p class="normal"><span style="font-size:1em">By contrast, Carlton is 3/7 to win with 888.com against a side that has already made the playoffs. Essendon remain under the massive cloud of a performance-enhancing drug scandal and it is still possible that they could be disqualified from those playoffs, but they will be anxious to stop the recent slide in form that has, understandably, accompanied that bombshell. They are 2/1 with Bet365 to do that and look the better bet here.</span></p> <p class="normal"><span style="font-size:1em">The big clash of the weekend sees second placed Geelong host third-placed Sydney. The Swans looked to have the beating of the Cats in the race to that prized second slot, but have slipped back, so this weekend could see that matter settled once and for all. Geelong are currently 7/15 favorites in the <a href="/betting-odds/" title="For the latest live and updated sports odds, visit SBRForum.com!" target="_blank">betting odds</a> with 888.com, which is surprising as, although they are the home side, they have worse recent form than the Swans, who are a best price of 7/4 with Bet365. Back them to have a good Saturday afternoon in Melbourne.</span></p> <p class="normal"><span style="font-size:1em">Hawthorn remain favorites to win the ladder, at a best price of 4/5 with Bet365. With a four point lead and only two games it looks something of a foregone conclusion that they will win this part of the 2013 competition, but that doesn’t mean that they will make good on their 2/1 odds to win the Grand Final at the end of next month. A telling point is that the Hawks have only won about half of their big games during the past month and from here on in every game is a big game for them.</span></p> <p class="normal"><span style="font-size:1em">Geelong are second favorites at 11/4 with Coral, with Sydney 15/4 at Boylesport but shortening all the time. That means that it would be a good idea to back the Swans now for your <a href="/sports-betting/" title="For the latest betting info on cricket, rugby, aussie rules football, cycling and more,visit SBRForum.com!" target="_blank">AFL picks</a>, if you think that they can go all of the way.</span></p> <p class="normal"><span style="font-size:1em">In this market, Fremantle still look to be the best bet, now at 11/2 with Coral. The Dockers now carry the hopes of Western Australians following the Eagles’ elimination and are the current form team. The best long shot <a target="_blank" title="For the latest sports picks, odds and info, visit SBRForum.com!" href="/">sports pick</a> though, seems to be Collingwood. They are 16/1 with Coral and have a chance to improve their ladder position by a place on Friday night when they take on an Eagles side that will now be missing several regulars, elimination having caused John Worsfold’s side to send them for surgery on various ailments. If the Magpies can win this one convincingly then they will be a hard side to stop in the post-season as they are a side who always seem to revel in the big occasions.</span></p> <em>Discuss the Australian football league on <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/" title="Discuss sports at SBRForum.com!" target="_blank">SBRForum's message boards</a>!</em>