Can the Dogs bite?: Round 17 AFL Preview

The Bulldogs are the latest to try to end St Kilda’s remarkable sequence of wins, writes Andy Morris of BetFair.

Western Bulldogs Training SessionAnd form suggests that they have the best shot of any team in the rest of this competition.

However, these two sides met in round six and the outcome was a decisive 28-point win for the Saints, and St Kilda is also boosted this week by the likely return of key veteran Michael Gardiner, while Max Hudghton will probably be recalled to replace the suspended Zac Dawson.

St Kilda has now gone 16 games without defeat this season, having disposed casually and forcefully of an Adelaide side that had won its previous seven games.

The Bulldogs have only lost twice in the past 10 games, each time by two points or less, but this could be a challenge too far. For all their good form, and their rise to third place, they have not beaten a top-four team yet this year and so St Kilda is the logical choice in match odds betting.

When the draw was made before the season started, the clash between Geelong and defending premiers Hawthorn would have looked like a stand-out fixture.

But Geelong’s star has dipped recently with two defeats, while Hawthorn is battling to make the top eight. The Cats have good news coming into this one, with Jimmy Bartel and James Kelly seen as likely to get through their fitness tests.

The Hawks could miss Trent Croad and Stuart Dew, and they know that each game is vital at this stage of the competition, as they sit in 10th place on the ladder with an 8-8 record.

Revenge is on the cards here for what happened last September, and the Cats should have all the motivation they need, so they can be backed in match odds betting.

Adelaide can move within one of Port Adelaide in terms of wins in their match-ups by beating them at AAMI Stadium on Sunday.

The Crows have won 12 to the Power’s 14 in head-to-head meetings, with the Power winning by 26 points in the match in round six this year.

Adelaide come into this one on the back of a poor performance against St Kilda last week, while Port Adelaide beat the West Coast Eagles last time out so will be high on confidence.

Port needs to win to keep alive its hopes of making the top eight, but the wise money is on the Crows being able to get back to their previously excellent form by picking up a comfortable win, so they can be backed in match odds betting.

Ignore history to some extend when picking a winner in the Brisbane-North Melbourne clash. The Lions usually come out worse off, but they have had by far the better season this time and the Kangaroos’ draw last week was a rare semi-success.

The Lions won well at Fremantle last week, and look to have the edge in the midfield so they should be backed in match odds betting.

Fremantle’s season has been little short of a disaster, with nine straight losses to this point. So it could be the cue for the West Coast Eagles to pick up their first western derby win since round three of 2007.

Matthew Pavlich should be back for the Dockers, but even though West Coast have had a shorter rest period since their Adelaide trip they should be considered favaourites and backed in match odds betting.

Essendon has won three of its past five games going into the meeting with Richmond at the MCG, meanwhile the Tigers will be at a low after squandering a 43-point lead against North Melbourne last weekend.

The Bombers have won four times in their five MCG dates this year and can be taken with confidence in match odds betting.

Carlton, winners of three games on the trot, take on Collingwood who need to bounce back after a poor effort against Hawthorn last time out.

The Blues pounded the Pies in round eight, winning by 51 points, and they can be taken in match odds betting.

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