Hawthorn v Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide HT/FT Double @ 1.60
Ever since the bye, Hawthorn have played at a much more competitive level then was seen as the start of the year, winning two of their last three against both Sydney teams, and losing by just over two goals to Essendon. Their Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell has averaged 37 disposals in these three matches, whilst guys like Howe and Scrimshaw have stepped up to catapult the Hawks into a competitive team.
Port Adelaide have won 4 of their last 5, and have appeared to bounce back well after their defeat against the Cats, with a 50 point win and a 10 point win against the Suns and Swans. Travis Boak (29 disposals, 1 goal) and Wines (29 disposals, 7 clearances) were instrumental in the middle, courteously of a dominant game by Lycett (14 disposals, 38 hitouts) which was capped off by a match sealing goal.
Both teams will be missing a few key players due to injuries, but I think the odds are slightly inflated here given Hawks run of form, but they come up against a top 4 side here whom I expect to flex their muscles.
Sydney v West Coast Eagles
West Coast Eagles to win @ 1.94
The Swans are heading into this match off the back of two losses in a row against the Hawks and the Power, taking their win/loss total over the last 5 matches to 2-5. Callum Mills continued his career-best season over the weekend with a 30 disposal, 10 clearance match, whilst Luke Parker chipped in with 34 touches, a goal and 8 clearances. Franklin was dominant in the forward line with four majors, meaning he needs another 27 goals before the end of the season to hit the 1000 goal milestone.
The Eagles experienced a horror loss, losing at their home ground by 55 points to the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are a top 4 side, but if the Eagles have aspirations to play finals then this is simply unacceptable. If they can find a way to grind out a win in neutral territory, their draw gets significantly easier over the next month, as they will face North, Adelaide, St Kilda and Collingwood.
Both teams are out of form and have a relatively healthy list. I think that the Eagles are a better team heading into this, and should find a way to take care of the Swans.
Collingwood v St Kilda
St Kilda to win by 1-39 @ 2.34
Collingwood are struggling in terms of win-loss, but they have been competitive of late winning two of their last 3, and falling by two goals to Freo over the weekend after some controversial decisions. Brodie Grundy had a successful return with 22 disposals, 27 hitouts and 2 goals. Maynard (27 diposals, 6 tackles) also stepped up in the absence of Moore and Howe in the backline.
St Kilda got back on the winners list in convincing fashion, knocking off last years premiers on their home deck by 40 points. Steele (25 disposals, 9 tackles), Crouch (25 disposals, 7 tackles) and Dunstan (32 disposals, 1 goal, 11 clearances) dominated in the middle. Their defense was outstanding, keeping the Tigers to two goals for the entire match.
The Saints should be favourites in this match-up, but aren’t due to Collingwood’s strong form of late. St Kilda seem to have flipped the switch following the bye, and I think they should win this and put forth a strong run to end the season.