Western Bulldogs v Melbourne Demons
Melbourne 1-39 @ 2.58
This is perhaps the clash of the season thus far, with both teams sitting at a record of 9-1 and playing incredible football.
The Bulldogs one loss came against Richmond at the MCG, but they have bounced back well and have looked almost unstoppable at times this season, especially at Marvel where they are undefeated with an average winning margin of 43 points. Albeit that figure is inflated following their 111 point win against St Kilda over the weekend, but teams still haven’t found a way to stop them at the ground.
Melbourne suffered their first loss in a nail-biter against Adelaide, falling by one-point off the back of some Taylor Walker magic to cap off a 3 goal run to the Crows. Oliver (38 disposals, 3 goals) had his best game of the season, whilst Gawn (20 disposals, 32 hitouts) and Petracca (32 disposals, 1 goal) continued their hot form. This can almost be written off as a blip for the Demons in what has otherwise been an almost perfect season. Eight of their nine wins have been by three goals or more, as they have put the competition on notice as one of the top premiership contenders.
It is understandable why the Bulldogs are favorites in this, being at Marvel Stadium, or maybe the odds are so high on Melbourne because of recency bias and the fact that their loss was less then a week ago. Whatever the case, $2.58 is value in a match that Melbourne would probably be favorites in if it was at the MCG, but I don’t think they should find Marvel any trickier to play at.
Collingwood v Geelong
Geelong -22.5 @ 1.86
The Magpies showed some signs of life, leading Port Adelaide by 13 points at 3 quarter time before ultimately succumbing by a single point. Their spine had a huge impact, with Grundy (23 disposals, 2 goals, 33 hitouts), Moore (25 disposals, 15 marks) and Roughead (21 disposals, 15 marks) proving pivotal. Although valiant, they are an young side at the moment starting their rebuild with the likes of Pulter, McCreery, Murphy and Wilson all getting a run in recent weeks. There were some good signs for Collingwood over the weekend, but they are still have plenty of work to do.
Geelong made it 3 in a row on the weekend with their 34 point win over the Suns, and after a slow start now sit 3rd on the ladder. Cameron looks to be the recruit of the season, kicking at least 3 goals in 4 of his 5 matches thus far, with one of those being a bag of 6. Guthrie is in career best form and looks like a smokey for the Brownlow along with Mitch Duncan (who will miss this week). They still have Dangerfield to come back into this side, and once he does, they will prove to be incredibly hard to beat.
Duncan is confirmed to be out this weekend and Guthrie needs to pass some fitness tests, but in the worst-case scenario they have enough depth to cover those exclusions and should cruise past the pies with ease.
St Kilda v North Melbourne
North Melbourne +27.5 @ 1.86
The alarm bells are ringing for St Kilda after losing to the Bulldogs by 111 points, making this their 5th 50+ point loss so far this season after only 10 rounds of action. They were supposed to improve upon their finals berth in 2020, but they have struggled immensely, with three of their four wins being by 20 points or less and with key players Carlisle and Marshall sidelined indefinitely. It will not get any easier.
North Melbourne were quickly reminded of their situation, losing by 72 points against Essendon after notching their first win of the season against Hawthorn. They were competitive in their two weeks prior to that however, losing by 3 goals to Collingwood and leading midway through the third quarter against Melbourne before ultimately falling off.
North Melbourne should be competitive in this matchup off the back of their last month of form, in what looms as a danger game for the Saints. St Kilda should still hold on, but I don’t see them winning by more then the line against any side at the moment.