Even though six rounds remain, there is no doubt the intensity displayed by clubs desperately seeking top 4 or top 8 positions is reaching boiling point!
Sydney, Adelaide and Hawthorn cemented 1, 2 & 3 on the ladder respectively with strong showings and between them have lost just 1 of their last 15 games.
Further down the chart, Geelong, North Melbourne, Fremantle and to a lesser extent Carlton, all staked their claims for positions 7 and 8. St Kilda and Richmond appear the biggest losers of the weekend, as their valiant attempts to knock off higher placed teams fell away in the dying stages of their respective matches.
Desperate times mean desperate measures. It can also be a punters nightmare, as was proven when the Cats handed out a thumping of the Bombers to the tune of 67 points. Beware the team with ‘back to the wall’ status, as this can be incentive enough to play inspired footy. This week’s watch will be on the Bombers ($5) and injury-riddled against the Hawks ($1.19).
Let’s look at the games for Round 18:
Essendon ($5.00) vs. Hawthorn ($1.19):
Stewart Crameri has been selected to play, but there is no doubt he has been struggling with that knee/hamstring. Heath Hocking is a good inclusion, but I suspect the ins of Guerra and Hodge are better. The Hawks look sublime at present and their abuse of Collingwood last week was bullish. To think they’ll have Hodge and Franklin back in the next time they meet is scary – not as scary as Alistair Clarkson though! Whilst the location (Etihad) will certainly favour Essendon and likely keep them within arms length of the Hawks, you’d be brave to suggest they will be victorious. That said, I have put my hoodoo on the Hawks in my introduction and a Friday night upset is more common than not!
Suggested bet: Hawks at the margin (1-39) @ $2.35
Geelong ($1.70) vs. Adelaide ($2.20):
The Cats certainly lived up to their promise of beginning with passion last week and they’ll need more of that this week as well if they want to hold out a rampaging Adelaide outfit. Whilst the Crows record at Skilled isn’t great (lost last 5), they have been competitive there before. Hard to judge the impact of the Bartel in, Scarlett out exchange, but I usually count the loss of Scarlett as the worst possible kind when assessing Geelong. Perhaps it is offset somewhat by the Walker/Tippett exchange at Adelaide! If you believe the Cats are back, then stay on them. If, like me, you are still a bit suspicious about them, the Crows are great value. Suggested bet: Cats to win @ $1.70
North Melbourne ($1.10) vs. Melbourne ($7.50):
Hard to pump this one up as anything but a gift for the Roos, who have steadied since the bye and are playing good quality footy. They’ve won their last 9 games against Melbourne dating back to 2006 and I can’t see the tide turning this weekend. The only way this match would generate any interest is if Petrie wandered out to full-forward in a Demons jumper – I’d like to see that!
Suggested bet: Roos at the margin (40+) @ $1.72
GWS ($41.00) vs. Collingwood ($1.00):
Bring out ya dead! Any chance the Pies have a little on GWS to fund their end of season trip away? Only joking, they wouldn’t do that. What price is Nick Maxwell to kick the first goal? Hehehehe.
Suggested bet: None
Carlton ($2.20) vs. Richmond ($1.70):
Both teams are now on the outer in terms of finals chances and fair to say the loser will have nothing more than a mathematical chance beyond Saturday. You’d expect a tight contest and it may just be that, however the Tigers record against Carlton is appalling at best. Their last five results (all losses) read 44, 103, 20, 89 & 56. Obviously, they’ve struggled to match up on the Blues and I can’t put a finger on the reason for it. Heart says Tigers, head says Blues.
Suggested bet: Tigers to win @ $1.70
Gold Coast ($11.00) vs. Sydney ($1.05):
The Suns nearly pulled off a home ground victory last week and it was agonising to watch. They peppered the goals for the last 20 minutes with little joy before succumbing to the Lions with late goals, which were inevitable from my vantage point. They won’t get that close here. The Swan sit atop the ladder and 15 teams rest between them and the Suns, and for good reason. The only match-up to date being a 70 point win to the Swans.
Suggested bet: None
Port Adelaide ($2.50) vs. Fremantle ($1.56):
The Power did well to run over the top of Melbourne last week and they may take a good deal of confidence from that victory. Another win here and perhaps another two before season’s end (8 total) might be enough to enter the pre-season with some confidence and Travis Boak? The Dockers must win this one though as their final 8 chances hang on a thread. They cannot afford to lost winnable games and this is certainly winnable. Their quality players (Pavlich, Johnson, Hill) seem to be playing more consistently and should Mundy and (inclusion) Fyfe light up, they will be strong to the line. I don’t see this match as a good betting option though.
Suggested bet: None
St Kilda ($1.15) vs. Western Bulldogs ($5.57):
Both teams enter this match off disappointing losses. The Dogs had a real chance against the Blues last week, leading for a long way and the Saints faded late against the Swans in Sydney (not a bad loss). The Saints are heavy favs here though and it is hard to argue a case for the Doggies given recent form this year (5 straight losses) and against the Saints (5 straight losses). They have no avenue to goal and that has haunted them all year. They’ll lose this one, but how do we make coin from their loss?
Suggested bet: Saints at the line (-34.5) @ $1.92
West Coast ($1.16) vs. Brisbane ($5.50):
My shakes have started again! Last time these two teams met the Lions stunned the Eagles and tipped us out of a $1k collect – ouch! Not sure they can pull off a similar win out west, but they do have a great record against the Eagles. Must stick with the quality team.
Suggested bet: West Coast at the margin (1-39) @ $2.35
Not impossible to tip 9 winners this week. Going to stick with the quality teams and multi up for better odds:
1. Multi: Hawks, Cats, Roos, Tigers, Swans, Dockers, Saints & Eagles for $100 @ $8.27
2. Multi: Hawks (25+), Roos (25+), Swans (25+), Saints (25+) & Eagles (25+) for $100 @ $7.10
PS. My wife is nagging me about a new pair of earrings and the kitty is looking extremely bare at the moment. I need a few good punters to reply with some solid wagers to help ol’ Max stay sweet with the missus!
Tags: Footy Betting