Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs Preview
After knocking off the reigning premiers on Friday night footy last week, Port Adelaide will go in as heavy favourites at home taking on the lowly rated Western Bulldogs. The Power couldn't have been much more impressive when defeating the Tigers by 14 points and it took their record at Adelaide Oval this year to 4-1.
The Western Bulldogs are coming off three straight losses but it is their inability to score during that period which has been most damning with scores of just 26, 55 and 51. Given that there is poor weather expected in Adelaide on Thursday night it might actually be an advantage for the Dogs because it will keep the match low scoring so their poor attack won't be highlighted.
These two teams met just once last year where it was the Power winning by 17 points at Mars Stadium in a match where there was nothing between them in the betting.
Due to the poor weather the Bulldogs might be able to keep it reasonably close and the Bulldogs Line/Total Score Under double could be worth a play. The safer bet does appear to just be taking the Bulldogs total score under though as their forward line has been non existent in recent weeks.
Sydney vs West Coast Preview
It's 1st vs 3rd in what is clearly the match of the round and a game that will help play a major part in shaping the top 4 in the 2018 season.
After losing to North Melbourne in round 7 and putting serious doubts over their 2018 potential the Swans have strung together five straight wins and moved themselves back into the top 4. It is fair to say they had a fairly soft draw during that period though with all five teams currently sitting 11th or lower on the ladder and three of them sitting in the last three spots on the ladder.
The Swans are the only team to defeat the Eagles this year after they won by 29 points in their round one encounter at Optus Stadium. Since then the Eagles have won 10 straight matches and sit atop of the AFL ladder. Clearly the major hurdle for West Coast is having to play at the SCG - a ground that is completely different to either Subiaco or Optus Stadium. In fact the Eagles have only played twice at the SCG in the last 10 years and were comprehensively beaten on both occasions.
Sydney at home should be able to keep their winning streak going.
Geelong vs Richmond Preview
Another top 4 clash to round at the weekend and once again this is a match which will have big ramifications when it comes to end of season positions.
A loss for Richmond here would give them 3 losses from their past 5 matches and have them judt on the edge of the top 4 which would be a disappointing position to be in heading into the bye after they were sitting in top of the ladder a month ago. Last week they were simply out played by Port Adelaide all match and really looked to lack that class through the midfield with Dustin Martin out of the side. The fact they only managed to score 58 points which is 4 goals shy of their next lowest score was a bit underwhelming and up against the best defense in the league on Sunday they will need to find more avenues to goal.
Gary Ablett and the Cats though have returned to some of their best form over the last couple weeks. After a shock loss to the Bombers in round 9 they have won their last three matches by a combined 150 points with Ablett averaging 32 disposals and a couple of goals per match in that time. Back on the MCG and as outsiders they look a pretty decent bet to cause the upset, particularly if Martin doesn't get up from a calf injury that kept him out last week.