Wed, Jul 18, 8:28am by Staff Writer
Round 18 of the 2018 AFL season begins on Friday night with the Saints hosting the Tigers at Etihad Stadium.
Saturday’s slate features five matches, headlined by Geelong hosting the Demons in Geelong.
Collingwood versus North Melbourne
Saturday, 21 July 2018 at 1.45pm AEST at the MCG
The Pies will be looking to get back on the winner’s list after a 35-point loss to the Eagles last Sunday, when they host the Kangaroos at the MCG.
Collingwood are $1.56 favourites to beat North who are $2.45 outsiders.
The Kangaroos squandered a seven-point lead late in their match against an undermanned Sydney side and lost by a goal.
That result has left them outside of the top eight, but with matches remaining against the Saints, Dogs and Lions, a win here could do wonders for their finals chances.
Collingwood remain in the top four, but their seven match-winning streak has ended. The Eagles forward line was impressive, with the absence of Lynden Dunn providing costly for the Pies.
Collingwood has won three its past four games against the Roos, with their last match at the MCG taking place in 2015, which Collingwood won by 17 points.
Given there is little to separate these sides, a bet on either team under 15.5 points looks the play.
Best bet- Tribet either team under 15.5 points at $2.70
Essendon versus Fremantle
Saturday, 21 July 2018 at 4.45pm AEST at Etihad Stadium
Essendon are one game outside the top eight and a win against Fremantle on Saturday afternoon would have them on the cusp of the top eight.
The Bombers are short priced favourites at $1.19 to defeat the Dockers who are $4.75 underdogs.
Fremantle have been erratic this season, with their best football played at home. The last time they played at Etihad Stadium, they crushed Carlton with a 12 goals to one first half, in what was their most dominant performance on the road in some time.
The Bombers are 33.5-point favourites for this match at Etihad Stadium, after defeating the Suns by 44 points last weekend.
These sides have only played at Etihad Stadium three times during the past decade, with the Bombers winning two of those matches.
Fremantle boasts a 14-15 record at Docklands during the past decade. They defeated the Bombers by 16 points in round two in Perth, but with this match being played in Melbourne, the Bombers should be too good.
The starting line is large, given Essendon has only won three matches this season by that margin, with two of those wins by 34 and 35 points. This match may be closer than most expect, so take either Fremantle at the handicap or the Bombers 1-39 margin.
Best bet- Essendon Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.10
Geelong versus Melbourne
Saturday, 21 July 2018 at 7.25pm AEST at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
The most intriguing match of round 18 takes place on Saturday night when the Cats host the Demons.
Geelong have been installed as $1.60 favourites for the match, with Melbourne $2.35 outsiders.
These two sides met in round one this season, where a late missed shot at goal by Max Gawn was the difference, with the Cats victorious by three points.
Melbourne are sixth on the ladder after an impressive 50 points win against the Dogs last weekend.
The Cats are clinging to a position in the eight, percentage ahead of North and Hawthorn.
In 2015, Melbourne grabbed a rare win in Geelong, topping the Cats by four goals. That victory was the only one the Dees have managed at the ground in the past decade, which featured a colossal 31-goal loss in 2011.
Much like the teams around them on the table, the Cats have struggled for consistency this season. They have not won matches in a dominant fashion and in the past month, suffered losses to the Dogs and Crows, two teams below them on the table.
They will be desperate to win this match and have an impressive 57-8 record in Geelong since 2009.
Based on current form, the odds in this match should be reversed and we are happy to take the price available on Melbourne to get an upset win.
Best bet- Melbourne to win at $2.35
St Kilda ($6.05) are big underdogs when they host Richmond ($1.13) on Friday night, with the Tigers coming off a last start loss.
The Swans ($1.04) are the shortest priced favourites of the round as they host the Suns ($11) at the SCG, who are losers of 11 straight matches.
Brisbane ($2.35) have enjoyed their best form in some time during the past month and host a desperate Adelaide ($1.60) side without captain Taylor Walker at the Gabba.
AFL Round 18 Odds – Sportsbet
St Kilda $6.05 v Richmond $1.13
Collingwood $1.56 v North Melbourne $2.35
Sydney $1.04 v Gold Coast $11
Essendon $1.19 v Fremantle $4.75
Brisbane $2.35 v Adelaide $1.60
Geelong $1.60 v Melbourne $2.35
Carlton $5.90 v Hawthorn $1.14
West Coast $1.11 v Western Bulldogs $6.70
Port Adelaide $1.78 GWS $2.05
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