Sydney Swans v St Kilda
St Kilda +19.5 @ 1.88
The Swans have strung together some solid performances the last five weeks, being competitive against the top-tier teams in Melbourne and Geelong aswell as Fremantle at Optus, losing by 9 points or less, whilst also getting wins against sides that they were favourites against in Carlton and Collingwood. Heeney had his best game of the season with 22 touches and 3 goals, whilst Franklin kicked another 3 to continue his quest to 1000. Tom Hickey will also be a massive inclusion for them this week.
The Saints have been one of the most disappointing teams thus far in the season, with five of their losses being by 50 points or more. They did manage to get a win back on the board over the weekend, albeit against North Melbourne, but it may be just what they need to get some confidence in themselves. Mason Wood had 18 touches and 3 goals against his old side, whilst Dunstan had one of the best games of his career with 26 touches, 7 clearances and 13 tackles. Hunter Calrke and Frawley are expected to make returns this week, and should bolster them even further.
The Saints deserve to be so severely overlooked in the market, but we have seen glimpses from them in recent weeks, especially against the Cats where they would have arguably won if they weren’t so inaccurate in front of goal. The Swans should win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints pull off an upset, and I think they can definitely come close to covering the line.
Adelaide v Collingwood
Collingwood +13.5 @ 1.86
The Crows started off the season impressively, but have recently reverted back to what was expected of them at the start of the season, losing 4 of their last 5 by an average of 44 points. Their upset win against Melbourne was quickly soured as they fell by 28 points against the reigning premiers, where they let Jack Riewoldt off the leash for 5 goals. Ben Keays had another impressive game with 31 disposals and 11 clearances, and looks set to be a key component of the Crows midfield for many years to come. Walker (4 goals) and Sloane (29 disposals) did their best, but the Crows ultimately lacked some polish across the board.
Collingwood played in one of the worst games of the season against Geelong. They failed to kick a goal in the first half with seven behinds, before finally registering their one and only major up to three quarter time. They did manage to score 5 goals in the last quarter to outscore them by 14, but it was too late. They were competitive also against Port Adelaide the week before, succumbing to a defeat by a point. Brodie Grundy is a huge loss for them, especially coming up against O’Brien this week, but on the bright side, Jamie Elliott will be looking to make his return.
Collingwood have been far from horrible over the last few weeks, sticking it out against two top teams in Geelong and Port Adelaide, wheras the Crows have been losing by a 44 point average in their last 5 weeks, excluding the game against the Demons. It is at Adelaide Oval and they will be without Brodie Grundy, but I think they can put in a solid performance off of their recent form, and at least keep it close against the Crows.
Carlton v West Coast Eagles
West Coast Eagles to win @ 2.02
Both of these teams haven’t lived up to expectations so far this season, but there is plenty of time for these clubs to turn the ship around. Carlton are sitting on a 4-7 record that is equal with the Suns and the Crows. Their most recent loss came against the Swans where they were competitive until three quarter time being within a goal, before ultimately losing by 22 points. Cripps had a field day with 27 disposals and 3 goals, whilst Walsh continued to show why he went #1 with another 33 disposal, 8 clearances. McKay was innacurate in front of goal (3.5) which played a crucial part in their loss, but they need more from their recruits. Zac Williams, who is playing more minutes in the midfield, has failed to get past 20 touches in 3 out of his last 4 games. There was talks of them competing for finals this year, and they need to sort out their act quickly to make that into a reality.
West Coast on the other hand are sitting on a better record of 6-5, but have experienced problems of their own, with all 6 wins being at their home ground at Optus. They have struggled immensely away from home, and last week they also struggled at home, losing their first game of the season at the ground to an Essendon side that outscored them by 33-points in the second half. Elliott Yeo was a welcome return, albeit quiet with only 14 touches, and will be much needed now that Kelly is out for the next 4-5 weeks.
West Coast struggle away from home, but this provides them with a unique opportunity to get a win on the board as Carlton will also be away from their preferred home ground. I think the Eagles should nonetheless be favourites wherever this game gets played and $2.02 is value.