Geelong v Western Bulldogs
Geelong Cats HT-FT Double @ 1.95
The Cats have been on an absolute tear of late after a sub-par start. They have now won 7 of their last 8 matches (including their last 5), and with Dangerfield returning last week and Guthrie set to return this week, they are fully healthy and there is no signs of them slowing down. Their most recent win was against Port Adelaide in Adelaide, where they scored 38 points in the last quarter to come away as 21 point winners. Cameron had his second 5+ goal bag for the Cats, whilst Hawkins and Rohan also combined for 7.
The Dogs have also been doing well of late, winning 4 of their last 5 and sitting 2nd on the ladder only behind the Demons. Their most recent match before the bye saw them come away as 28-point victors, with Bontempelli (27 disposals, 2 goals) , Macrae (35 disposals) and Hunte (27 disposals, 1 goal) carrying the load in the middle in the absence of Treloar and Dunkley.
This is the match of the round, and although the Dogs have been very good, this Geelong outfit is fully healthy and are back at their stomping ground of GMHBA. I foresee a dominant performance by the Cats, and expect them to be leading throughout.
Gold Coast Suns v Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide -14.5 @ 1.91
The Power have done well this season without setting anything on fire. They are sitting 5th on a record of 8-4, however, those 4 losses are all against top 8 teams in West Coast, Lions, Bulldogs and Geelong. The only top 8 team they have managed to beat this season is Richmond. This is far from ideal, but they are doing enough to be within striking distance of the top 4 whilst they are still figuring out how to play their best football.
The Suns looked primed to enter the 2021 season improved after xhowing signs of life in the 2020 season, but it is now evident that there is still a long way to go before we can consider them genuine threats week in and week out. They have lost 4 of their last 5, with the sole win coming against the Hawks. There are positive signs however. Touk Miller is having a career best year, whilst young guns such as Lukosiuc, Rankine and King are building chemistry and improving with each round.
This is going to be played at Metricon, but that shouldn’t play too much of a role as I expect Port Adelaide to continue their dominance against teams outside of the top 8.
Hawthorn v Essendon
Essendon to win @ 1.54
The Bombers have excited the competition as of late, winning three of their last four (loss coming to Richmond) with their young core stepping up, including Nik Cox who is favourite to take home the rising star award. Parish is in career best form, and with Draper and Smith set to return this week, things are looking up.
The Hawks caused a huge upset last weekend, beating the Swans at their home ground by 38 points. Mitchell (34 disposals, 1 goal) had a big game in the middle, whilst the late-call up in Ceglar paid dividends with the big man tallying 20 disposals, 35 hitouts, 11 clearances and a goal. This was a reassuring sign for Hawks fans, who haven’t had much to smile about this season, as prior to this game, they had lost 9 of their last 10.
I can’t see Hawthorn backing up their performance and winning two in a row, and I think that the odds for the Bombers are slightly inflated from the win against the Swans. Essendon should win this match, and the odds provide some value.