St Kilda v Geelong
Geelong to win @ 1.35
The Cats have been a dominant force in the last month, winning three of their last four, including a 97 point win over the Eagles and a 63 point win over Geelong. Cameron looks to have been a massive pick-up, gathering 22 disposals and 4 goals against the reigning premiers. He just might be the difference come finals time for the Catters.
The Saints have strung together a couple wins in a row after their 54 point loss against the Power in round 6, beating the Hawks and the Suns. Their midfield was dominant over the weekend, with Steele (28 disposals, 2 goals), Billings (25 disposals, 2 goals), Jones (30 disposals) and Crouch (30 disposals) all having stellar games.
The Saints have been okay, but if the Cats replicate the form of their last 4 games in this match, the Saints simply don’t stand a chance unless theirs a drastic improvement in their level of play.
Richmond v GWS
Richmond -10.5 @ 1.82
The Tigers suffered their 4th loss of the season over the weekend against the Cats, being outscored by 72 points in the second-half, proving to be a complete domination of last years premiers. To add insult to injury, two of their key players in Edwards and Bolton will miss at least a few weeks with injury, joining a already lengthy list at Tigerland, including Cotchin, Grimes, Lambert and Prestia.
The Giants on the other hand managed to cling on against a surging Bombers side, curteousy of a snap goal from young-gun Hopper. However, similar to Richmond, the Giants have added key defender Keefe to an extensive injury list already including Coniglio, Daniels, Davis, De Boer, Finlayson and Haynes.
Both sides are missing tons of talent for this matchup, but Richmond are a system based side, and although the outs aren’t ideal, they have shown many times in the past their ability to cover important exclusions, whilst the Giants might struggle more so to cover these losses, evidenced by their struggle to put away a bottom-4 side at home. Richmond should cover the line.
Melbourne v Carlton
Melbourne Demons 1-39 @ 1.97
Who would have thought at the start of the season that the Melbourne Demons would be sitting on an 8-0 record heading into Round 9. They have been setting the competition on fire and have had some tough matchups in Geelong and Richmond, and a scare against Sydney over the weekend, but they have persevered and come out on top. Max Gawn is arguably the best player in the AFL at the moment, gathering 16 disposals over the weekend to go along with his 44 hitouts, and Christian Petracca is the current favorite to take out the Brownlow.
Carlton are a side that’s close to being a force to be reckoned with, but they are not there yet. They are still at least two goals away from beating good sides consistently, which is a major improvement on past seasons where they were five goals away. Their inexperience was on show against the Doggies, who took over in the last term to win by 16 after being down by 14 points at 3QT.
The Blues have been solid this season, and are by no means an easy side to beat, however, they aren’t at the level yet of challenging top sides in the competition and are in the awkward 7-13 range of the ladder. I just can’t see them beating this Melbourne side, but they should definitely keep it competitive which is why the 1-39 seems to be good value.