Eagles play the blues: Round 10 AFL preview

Carlton are big favourites against West Coast but the Eagles will make it a contest, writes Nick Tedeschi of Betfair.

Carlton Blues Training SessionOn paper, all signs point to Carlton killing West Coast on Friday night. West Coast have not won away from Subiaco this year. Both teams are struggling but with West Coast it was expected while with Carlton it is the talent that has been underperforming. The Blues destroyed West Coast the last time they played. And West Coast have lost three straight matches at the Docklands going back to 2007.

But all is not well at Carlton and West Coast have not been as bad as their ladder position and season stats might suggest.

Carlton have won only two of their last seven with their only victory against a quality team being their win against the Western Bulldogs. The Blues have lost key tall Jarrad Waite for the season. And superstar forward Brendan Fevola is having a forgettable year.

With West Coast having won four of their last six against Carlton and with the Eagles having not been beaten by more than four goals in the last six weeks, including a very impressive performance against the in-form Sydney at the SCG, the Eagles can be tried with confidence at the big plus that is nearing five goals.

The Bulldogs have won their last three against the Swans and have won two of three at Manuka Oval, a ground that suits their expansive style. Sydney were mighty impressive last week but come up against a Bulldogs team keen to atone for last week’s heartbreaking loss to Geelong. Bet the Dogs spotting up to 10 ½ points.

North have won only three of their last thirteen against the Lions with two of those wins coming at Carrara. Brisbane were impressive in almost beating St Kilda last week and against a young Roos team, they should prove too strong. Try them down to 1.68.

St. Kilda has beaten Melbourne by an average of 55 points over the last two years and this year’s Saints are a much more formidable outfit. The Dees have shown plenty of fight this year but they are likely to be touched up by a red hot St. Kilda playing with confidence.

Fremantle, simply, cannot be trusted as favourites and with Richmond winning both encounters between the two teams last year, those looking for an interest should side with the Tigers with any start in excess of two goals.

Hawthorn have won their last three against Adelaide but two of those matches were decided by less than a goal and prior to that the Crows had put together four straight victories. After their confidence building win against Carlton last week, the Crows can be supported as an outsider and in particular with any start above 8 ½ points.

Geelong have won fourteen straight at the Docklands and have come out on top in six of their last seven clashes with Essendon. The Dons have been playing with courage this season but they should prove no match for the undefeated Cats at their favourite venue. Bet the Cats down to 1.08.

Collingwood have won four of their last five against Port Adelaide while Port have only won one of four away from Footy Park this season. With Port coming into this on the back of 55 point loss to Sydney and a lucky win against Richmond, traders almost have to side with Collingwood. Bet the Pies down to 1.45 and at the minus.

The best bet of the week is West Coast with a start of anything in excess of 26 ½ points. The Eagles have been playing competitive football over the past six weeks and Carlton look ripe for the picking after last week’s disastrous effort and the loss of Waite.

The next best is Adelaide with anything above 8 ½ against Hawthorn. The Crows found some form last week while the Hawks were not all that convincing in beating Melbourne. The Crows look ready to make a little run and can make it back-to-back victories with a result over Hawthorn.

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