Wed, Jul 11, 2:01pm by Staff Writer
Round 17 of the 2018 AFL season begins with the final Thursday night game of the season when Adelaide host Geelong.
The standout match on Saturday is the Tigers visit to Sydney to take on the Giants, with the visitors hoping to win their first interstate match of the season.
Adelaide versus Geelong
Thursday, 12 July 2018 at 7.50pm AEST at the Adelaide Oval
Adelaide are in desperate need of a win on Thursday night when they host Geelong if they hope to keep their season alive.
The Crows are $2.05 underdogs as they host the Cats who are $1.78 favourites.
It is back-to-back interstate trips for the Cats who downed the Swans by 12 points last Thursday night.
That result was much needed for the Cats who have struggled in recent weeks. They remain in the top eight on percentage ahead of Hawthorn and North Melbourne.
The Cats were soundly beaten in their last trip to Adelaide Oval to take on the Crows. On that occasion, Adelaide scored 21 goals in the preliminary final to down the Cats by 61 points.
Geelong aren’t afraid of a trip to Adelaide Oval, possessing a 4-3 win-loss mark at the venue, which is one of the best in the competition for travelling sides to the ground.
Despite hanging with Richmond for three quarters last Friday night, the Crows were dominated in the final term as the Tigers booted six goals to one.
This is a difficult game to read given Adelaide’s poor run of recent form. Their last victory came after trailing by 26 points to an undermanned West Coast Eagles team.
Geelong is the better team and will have the defensive structures in place to frustrate the Crows and almost end their finals hopes.
Best bet- Geelong Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.30
Melbourne versus Western Bulldogs
Saturday, 14 July 2018 at 4.35pm AEST at the MCG
Melbourne hosts the Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, with a win keeping their top four chances alive.
The Demons are $1.20 favourites to topple the Dogs who are $4.60 outsiders at Sportsbet.
Melbourne’s inaccuracy cost them an even bigger win than their nine-goal margin against Fremantle in Darwin last weekend.
The Dees booted 13 goals and 24 behinds and with percentage at a premium in the lower parts of the top eight, they could be left to rue their missed opportunities in front of goal.
The story of the Western Bulldogs season has been their terrible second halves and that continued on the weekend. A two point half-time lead quickly evaporated, as the Dogs were crushed by the Hawks by 10 goals.
When these two sides met earlier this season at Etihad Stadium, it was a comfortable 49-point win for Melbourne.
After a scratchy first quarter, the Dees dominated from thereon, with the Dogs managing only seven goals for the game.
Over the past decade the Dogs have rarely played at the MCG but have recorded 14 wins from 25 starts, including four in a row during the past two seasons.
The opening line for this match looks generous, with the Demons only being given a 33.5-point start at $1.90.
The Dogs have little to play for and haven’t shown little resistance when the opposition pressure is overwhelming. We are backing Melbourne to have a big win.
Best bet- Melbourne to cover 33.5-point handicap at $1.90
GWS Giants versus Richmond
Saturday, 14 July 2018 at 7.25pm AEST at Spotless Stadium
The match of the round takes place in Sydney with the Giants hosting Richmond at Spotless Stadium.
Richmond are $1.50 favourites to win the match, with GWS $2.60 outsiders.
The Giants fought admirably against the Eagles on Sunday, but surrendered a final quarter lead in a narrow loss.
Despite that, they remain in the picture for a finals berth, just two points outside the top eight in 10th.
Their task does not get any easier this weekend as they face Premiership favourites Richmond.
The Tigers are winless on the road this season, losing in Adelaide twice and in Perth, but are otherwise undefeated.
This is the first time the two sides have met this season, with their last meeting in last season’s preliminary final.
On that afternoon, a spirited Richmond side were six goal winners and reached the Grand Final.
The Giants are still without the suspended Jeremy Cameron, which is an enormous blow to their forward line.
GWS were narrow three point winners in their last meeting against the Tigers at Spotless Stadium last season. Despite that, the Giants will have their work cut out for them, as the Tigers seek to remedy their only blemish this season and that is an interstate win.
Best bet- Richmond Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.10
Friday night football features two bottom four sides in an unappealing fixture. St Kilda are short priced favourites ($1.32) to defeat Carlton ($3.40) at Etihad Stadium.
On Saturday, the Hawks ($1.25) nearly flawless record in Tasmania will be put to the test against a Lions ($4) side that has won two on the trot and thumped the Hawks earlier this season.
The Suns ($4.60) will be hoping to arrest a 10-game losing streak when they host the Bombers ($1.20) at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
AFL Round 17 Odds – Sportsbet
Adelaide $2.05 v Geelong $1.78
St Kilda $1.32 v Carlton $3.40
Hawthorn $1.25 v Brisbane $4
Melbourne $1.20 v Western Bulldogs $4.60
Gold Coast $4.60 v Essendon $1.20
GWS $2.60 v Richmond $1.50
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