2014 Round 18 AFL Preview (Week 2)

AFL 2017

Welcome to the Round 18 (week 2) AFL preview. No one had high expectations for the first five games of Round 18, but these encounters produced arguably the most entertaining week of football for the season. Carlton and St Kilda recorded unexpected wins and while the remaining three games were won by relatively short priced favourites, they all produced margins of 7 points or under. The biggest loser of the weekend was Fremantle, who has now fallen a win behind the current top two of Sydney and Geelong. St Kilda were priced at $16.00 pregame, making the result one of the biggest upsets in recent history. North Melbourne will also be smarting after another inconsistent performance, kissing any potential top four hopes goodbye.

We have another cracking weekend of footy ahead of us with four games that are genuinely difficult to split. They all look tight, which gives the Sportsbet 20 points or less money back offer real relevance again this week.

BEST BET

Adelaide to win head to head @ $2.05 (using Sportbet 20 point or less loss pay back)

WEST COAST ($1.56) VS RICHMOND ($2.50)

AT PATERSONS STADIUM, FRIDAY 25/07, 20:40

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R10   2013   West Coast   8.14   (62)   lost to   Richmond   16.7   (103)   at PS 

Line: West Coast -11.5, Richmond +11.5

Richmond has hit a mini purple patch over the last month or so with three consecutive victories and a comprehensive 20 point win against Port Adelaide in Round 17. The Tigers midfield is finally starting to get first hands on the ball with contested and clearance numbers spiking over those winning weeks. The bye probably doesn’t come at the right time with momentum building, but the club will take confidence flying to Perth knowing it beat West Coast comfortably at Patersons Stadium in Round 10 last year.  Things are starting to happen at Tigerland.

West Coast are still talking finals despite being eight points outside of the top eight. Everything has to go right from here for them to be any chance and that must start by making Patersons Stadium feared once again. It has lost five of nine encounters at home this year, with victories coming only against bottom ten sides. Dean Cox has called an end to his amazing career, going down in history as arguably the greatest modern day ruckman. One area West Coast are well covered in is ruckmen, with Naitanui and Lycett more than capable of filling the void. Cox will play out the season. Josh Kennedy and Mitch Brown will be brought straight back into the line-up.

I like Richmond’s chances here, despite the travel factor. Their form has built nicely over the last 5-6 weeks and Patersons Stadium will hold no fear. Winning the ball at the stoppages will be key. Will the Dean Cox factor lift West Coast?

RICHMOND TO WIN BY 10 POINTS

Suggested Bet

Richmond to win 1-39 points @$3.10 

BRISBANE ($2.80) VS GOLD COAST ($1.46)

AT THE GABBA, SATURDAY 26/07, 16:40

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R3   2014   Gold Coast   17.12   (114)   dftd   Brisbane Lions   9.7   (61)   at MS 

Line: Brisbane -14.5, Gold Coast +14.5

Brisbane really had a great opportunity to get four points against an undermanned West Coast side, but its heavy reliance of Tom Rockliff in the midfield was made obvious in his absence. The Lions lost the contested possession and clearance counts convincingly, which speaks volumes in a 12 point loss. Thankfully Rockliff returns from suspension for the Q-Clash and the Lions would give themselves every chance against a Gold Coast side on the slide.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Gold Coast Suns struggled in the absence of Gary Ablett. Considering the maturity and development the young stars have shown this year, I expected a greater output than that against the Dogs at Cairns. The Suns have lost all six games that Ablett hasn’t played since the clubs beginning in 2011, which is a hurdle that must be rectified fast. After leading the competition for clearances and contested possession for a majority of the season, the Western Bulldogs put them to the sword in both areas. A win without Ablett will boost the confidence levels, but until that happens it is difficult to tip the Suns with any certainty.

The Lions are good odds at $2.80 and must be considered despite the comfortable nature of the Round 3 Gold Coast victory.

BRISBANE TO WIN BY 6 POINTS

Suggested Bet

Tom Rockliff to win the Marcus Ashcroft Medal @ $6.00

HAWTHORN ($2.10) VS SYDNEY ($1.77)

AT THE MCG, SATURDAY 26/07, 19.40

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R8   2014   Sydney   15.17   (107)   dftd   Hawthorn   13.10   (88)   at ANZ 

Line: Sydney -3.5, Hawthorn +3.5

This along with the Round 22 clash against Geelong are massive as to whether Hawthorn play a home Qualifying Final or not. The Hawks currently find themselves a game outside that coveted top two position and must defeat the all-conquering Sydney to get that spot back. A bye couldn’t have come at a better time for Hawthorn after an important interstate win against the Crows, giving an extra week for those with injuries and niggles to recover for the tough month or so home. Josh Gibson is set to return to face his great mate Buddy, but could find himself vulnerably underdone. Brad Hill also returns adding some much needed leg speed.

The Swans will welcome the challenge of a serious contender away from home, having lifted its winning streak to an impressive 12. A win here and Sydney is a very good chance of going into a Qualifying Final with 18 consecutive wins, but I doubt John Longmire will be looking that far ahead. Josh Kennedy has shortened to $3.50 Brownlow favouritism after 41 possessions and a likely 3 votes against Carlton last week. Those who took advantage of his $6.00 odds two weeks ago should be smiling. Kurt Tippett is back from injury, but Dan Hannebery still isn’t ready.

The Hawks are slightly shorter than I expected, as is the line. The Sydney form is currently far superior and they’ll be looking to have a strong MCG performance prior to September.

SYDNEY TO WIN BY 20 POINTS

Suggested Bet

Under 184.5 total match points @ $1.88

COLLINGWOOD ($1.77) VS ADELAIDE ($2.05)

AT THE MCG, SUNDAY 27/07, 16:40

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R9   2014   Adelaide   10.16   (76)   dftd   Collingwood   7.13   (55)   at AO 

Line: Collingwood -2.5, Adelaide +2.5

The Pies are in free fall and in serious danger of losing its top eight position. Collingwood has now lost four of its last five games, with that one victory hardly convincing against Carlton. It now faces the possibility of being replaced in the eight by its Round 18 opponent Adelaide. Strangely enough, the farcical performance against Essendon hasn’t stopped Nathan Buckley and Jamie Elliott talking up the potential premiership chances of the club, albeit with perfect scenarios in mind. Elliott is an extremely important inclusion for his side, but that has somewhat been evened out with the foot injury to Dane Swan.

Brenton Sanderson would be disappointed that his side couldn’t quite get the points against Hawthorn, but there were plenty of positives to take out of the game. After averaging 143 contested possessions a game this season, Adelaide upped the ante against the Hawks with an impressive 174 in mostly dry conditions. After being in doubt to even play, Patrick Dangerfield won an enormous 27 contested possessions to prove he is in top form at the business end of the season. Scott Thompson and Josh Jenkins are expected to be fit despite suffering from respective hamstring and ankle injuries.

Adelaide hasn’t been great away in 2014, but their performances have been credible enough. They meet a Collingwood side that is extremely low on confidence and hasn’t scored over 100 points since Round 10. The Crows are great value head to head, especially with the Sportsbet 20 point buffer.

ADELAIDE TO WIN BY 18 POINTS

Suggested Bet

Adelaide to win head to head @ $2.05 (using Sportbet 20 point or less loss pay back)

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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Author

mm

Rover

Covering all things Australian Rules Football for The Profits. I’ve been a passionate supporter and follower of AFL for as long as I can remember. Having been born into a family with deep football history and tradition on both sides, you can say it runs through my blood. I’ve got a keen interest in the stats and analysis of the game, which helped me finish in the top 100 of fantasy competitions DreamTeam and Supercoach last year. While my own local football career was cut short due to injury at 22, it has created an opportunity for me to frequently watch and build a deep knowledge of the sport at its highest level. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and views throughout the season.

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