Wed, Sep 26, 8:58am by Staff Writer
The last Saturday of September is upon us and that means only one thing in Australia- it’s AFL Grand Final day.
The crescendo to the season takes place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood Magpies.
Two unlikely teams battle it out for the 2018 AFL Grand Final on Saturday when West Coast faces Collingwood.
It is the Magpies who are favourites to win the match at $1.67, with the Eagles priced as $2.25 outsiders.
Collingwood won through to the Grand Final after a stunning 39-point win against Richmond in the preliminary finals.
The Pies booted 10 goals to two in the first half to blow the minor premiers and reigning champions away.
Mason Cox was best on ground for Collingwood in a career-best performance from the American tall forward, where he took 15 marks and kicked three goals.
Jordan de Goey booted four goals for Collingwood as they ran riot at the MCG, knocking out the premiership favourites.
West Coast produced a similarly dominant showing against Melbourne at Optus Stadium, kicking 10 first half goals to nil to end the match at half-time.
The Eagles prevailed by 66 points in a one-sided match that showcased how unstoppable they can be when they get the ball in open space and direct it into their forward line.
Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling kicked seven goals between them as the Demons were left reeling in a rudderless performance.
It is the West Coast Eagles that boast a 2-0 record against Collingwood this season, with one of those wins coming just three weeks ago in a qualifying final in Perth.
On that night, Collingwood led by 10 points at three-quarter time before surrendering five goals to one in the final term to lose by 16 points.
Elliot Yeo had 36 touches for West Coast, while Jack Redden and Dom Sheed chipped in with 32 and 27 disposals respectively.
It was the usual midfielders for Collingwood who accumulated plenty of ball, with Steele Sidebottom leading the way with 27 disposals.
It was a wayward night kicking for goal for Josh Kennedy who only kicked two goals from six shots.
West Coast snared its first ever win against the Pies at the MCG in round 17 this season when they comfortably accounted for Collingwood by 35 points.
Josh Kennedy returned to the Eagles side after time off with injury and kicked three goals, as did team mate Jack Darling.
Jordan de Goey had four goals for Collingwood and Josh Thomas kicked three majors.
The Pies led at quarter time but were left to rue poor kicking for goal, as the Eagles piled on seven goals in the second half to just three for the Magpies and ran out convincing winners.
The Pies are favourites for this match based largely on the fact that the game is being played at their home ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Eagles have won only seven of 22 matches at the MCG since 2008, but are 3-3 since 2016.
Collingwood is 10-6 at the MCG this season, winning by an average of 13 points in matches played at the venue in 2018.
The Eagles were last in a Grand Final in 2015 when they lost to Hawthorn by 46 points.
Collingwood’s last Grand Final appearance was a triumph in the 2010 replayed Grand Final where they thumped St Kilda by 56 points.
In handicap betting Collingwood are 7.5-point favourites at $1.92.
In margin betting it is the Pies by a 1-39 point winning margin that is the shortest priced option at $2.25, while the Eagles to win by the same margin is paying $2.80.
An unlikely draw after four quarters is priced at $51, but unlike in 2010 where the match was replayed the following week, there will be extra time should scores be level at full time.
Josh Kennedy is $8.50 to be the first goal scorer in the match, with Jordan de Goey ($9), Jack Darling ($12) and Mason Cox ($14) also in contention.
The Norm Smith Medal is given to the player from either side adjudged best on ground in the Grand Final.
Steele Sidebottom leads the market at $8, ahead of Collingwood team mates Brodie Grundy and Scott Pendlebury at $10.
West Coast midfielders Elliot Yeo ($10) and Jack Redden ($12) are the shortest priced options for the Eagles.
There is a high (70 per cent) chance of showers forecast for Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, which makes the total match points of over/under 160.5 look steep at this stage. Both options are priced at $1.90.
A number of Grand Final’s in recent years have been blowouts, but this game has all the makings of a close contest, all the way up to the final siren.
It is hard to dispute Collingwood’s momentum and the fact they knocked off the premiership favourite last weekend.
They should be able to account for West Coast for the first time this season, particularly if the weather is wet and rainy, which curtails the Eagles’ forward line considerably.
Best bet- Collingwood to cover 7.5-point handicap at $1.92
Value bet- Collingwood Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.25
Norm Smith Medal- Jeremy Howe at $34
First goal scorer- William Rioli $23
AFL Grand Final Odds
West Coast $2.25 Collingwood $1.67
Handicap: Collingwood -7.5 ($1.92)
Margin: West Coast 1-39 $2.80, 40+ $11
Collingwood 1-39 $2.80, 40+ $11
Total match points: over/under 160.5 ($1.90)
Norm Smith Medallist
Steele Sidebottom $8
Brodie Grundy $10
Elliot Yeo $10
Scott Pendlebury $10
Adam Treloar $11
Jack Redden $12
Josh Kennedy $12
Luke Shuey $12
First Goal Scorer
Josh Kennedy $8.50
Jordan de Goey $9
Jack Darling $12
Mason Cox $14
Brody Mihocek $15
Jaidyn Stephenson $19
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