Fri, Aug 3, 8:37am by Staff Writer
Round 20 of the AFL season concludes on Sunday and is headlined by the 48th Western Derby between West Coast and Fremantle at Optus Stadium.
Carlton versus GWS Giants
Sunday, 5 August 2018 at 1.10pm AEST at Etihad Stadium
The bottom-placed Blues snared a rare win last weekend when they unexpectedly defeated the Suns by 35 points at Metricon Stadium.
They face an uphill battle if they hope to make it two wins in a row when they host the GWS Giants on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues are $8 underdogs at Sportsbet to win, with the Giants $1.08 favourites.
GWS are surging in the late part of the season, winning seven of their past eight games. Their only loss in that span was to the Eagles in Perth.
After a terrible first half of the year, GWS are now just two points outside the top four, after featuring in the preliminary finals during the past two seasons.
They enjoy playing at Etihad Stadium, which ranks behind the Gabba as the away venue where they enjoy the most success in the AFL.
The Giants have won four of the past five times these two sides met, with the Blues sole victory in that span a nail-biting one-point win in round 12, 2017.
Carlton will be full of confidence and will want nothing more than to win in front of their home fans for only the second time this season.
In a boost for the Blues, forward Charlie Curnow successfully appealed his one-match suspension for a high strike on Gold Coast’s Steven May.
Despite that good news, the Giants are welcoming forward Jeremy Cameron back into their side after a five-game suspension.
Cameron’s return will be a welcome boost to Leon Cameron’s team, who were 4-1 in his absence.
The line of 46.5-points is on the high side for an interstate side in Melbourne, but the Giants are playing supremely well at the moment and will be hard to shutdown for four quarters.
Best bet- GWS Giants to cover 46.5-point line at $1.92
Melbourne versus Gold Coast
Sunday, 5 August 2018 at 3.20pm AEST at the MCG
The Demons return from two matches away from the MCG unlucky to not have added two wins to their season tally.
An after-the-siren loss to Geelong was followed by a narrow 13-point win against Adelaide which keeps their hopes for a top four berth alive.
The Dees are the shortest priced favourites of the round at $1.04 at Sportsbet to defeat the 17th placed Suns, who are paying $11.
After the biggest upset in recorded AFL sports betting history in round 18 when they toppled the Swans, the Suns put in a limp second half to lose to the Blues by 35 points.
They now face a trip to the MCG where they have a 25 per cent win record to take on a hungry Melbourne side with plenty to play for.
Melbourne has defeated the Suns in their last five meetings, the most recent a 69-point win at the Gabba in round eight this season.
That match was punctuated by an eight-goal final quarter and five-goal haul to forward Tom McDonald.
The Suns have beaten the Dees at the MCG in 2013 and 2014, but Sunday’s Melbourne team is far better than that side which were at the bottom of the table.
Melbourne start as enormous 64.5-point favourites at Sportsbet, with the Suns losing by that margin or greater four times this season.
Conversely Melbourne have won only two games by that margin or greater this season, but with more to play for, the pendulum swings in the Demons favour to win this match comfortably.
Best bet- Melbourne to cover 64.5-point handicap at $1.92
West Coast versus Fremantle
Sunday, 5 August 2018 at 4.40pm AEST at Optus Stadium
West Coast hosts the 48th Western Derby on Sunday afternoon, with a win furthering their chances of a top-two finish.
The Eagles are $1.15 favourites to win the match, after winning their past six matches against the Dockers.
Freo are $5.50 outsiders at Sportsbet, with their last Derby victory coming in round three, 2015 by five goals.
Earlier this season, the Eagles were victorious by eight points in front of a then-record Derby crowd of 56,521 people.
West Coast are equal one game clear in second spot on the ladder and coming off a last-start 40-point loss to North in Hobart.
The Eagles were without Luke Shuey and Josh Kennedy for the match, with the side struggling this season, particularly without Kennedy.
When the star forward has missed game-time through injury in recent weeks, the Eagles have managed only one win and three losses.
Despite managing seven wins this season, the Dockers form over the past month has dropped off. Besides a narrow win against Port Adelaide who were injury ravaged and in treacherous conditions, the Dockers have lost three matches by an average of 47 points.
The Eagles have more to play for and will be too good for Freo in one of footy’s biggest grudge matches.
Best bet- West Coast Eagles Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.30
AFL Round 20 Sunday Odds – Sportsbet
Carlton $8 v GWS $1.08
Melbourne $1.04 v Gold Coast $11
West Coast $1.15 v Fremantle $5.50
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