Fri, Aug 24, 7:43am by Staff Writer
The 2018 AFL home and away season conclude on Sunday with two matches that have finals implications.
Brisbane Lions versus West Coast Eagles
Sunday, 26 August 2018 at 1.10pm at the Gabba
A win for the West Coast Eagles at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon guarantees them a top two finish and a potential home preliminary final.
Their regular season finale against the Brisbane Lions will be no walk in the park though, as they are set to be without some of their best players for the match.
The Eagles are $1.54 favourites to win the game, with the Lions $2.50 home underdogs.
West Coast lost Jack Darling early in their match against Melbourne and were down for much of the match. A surge in the third quarter drew the Eagles close and they took the lead in the final term, before being overrun by the Demons.
Brisbane had a narrow four-point win in the Q Clash, avenging their loss against the Suns from earlier this season.
The Lions kicked inaccurately for goal and could have won the match by more than five goals. Brisbane has had a much improved season after spending a number of seasons in the doldrums.
Coach Chris Fagan was this week re-signed for a further three seasons in a boost for the club. They are certainly assembling a talented roster and will test the Eagles.
West Coast has won the past seven matches between these two sides, who last met in round 19 last year at Subiaco.
On that day, the Eagles were 11 goal winners, with Josh Kennedy booting six goals.
West Coast also has an impressive recent record at the Gabba, winning five of its past seven games at the venue.
The Eagles have more to play for and should grab a narrow win on Sunday.
Best bet- West Coast Eagles Big Win Little Win $2.20
Melbourne versus GWS Giants
Sunday, 26 August 2018 at 3.20pm AEST at the MCG
Melbourne has a chance to leapfrog the GWS Giants on the ladder when they host the AFL’s newest team on Sunday afternoon.
The Demons could finish inside the top four if other results go their way, and will know before this game whether that is a possibility.
Melbourne are $1.44 favourites to win the match, with the Giants paying $2.80 to win at Sportsbet.
The Demons’ 17-point win in Perth locked in their first finals berth in 12 seasons, to the joy of their long-suffering fans.
The Giants are starting to run out of fit players as injuries have cruelled them in the final rounds of the season.
After holding a lead at three quarter time against the Swans, GWS conceded five goals to one in the final term and lost by 20 points.
That defeat has seen them slip from the top four down to sixth, with a win on Sunday restoring their top four chances.
The Giants have a poor 2-12 record at the MCG all-time. They won the last match between these two teams last season in Canberra by 35 points.
Melbourne can build some real momentum ahead of next week’s finals and should have enough to beat a Giants side that is limping into the finals.
Best bet- Melbourne to cover 15.5-point handicap at $1.92
St Kilda versus North Melbourne
Sunday, August 26 at 4.40pm AEST at Etihad Stadium
St Kilda and North Melbourne play out the final match of the home and away season on Sunday afternoon at Etihad Stadium.
The Roos are short-priced favourites to win the match at $1.29, with the Saints paying $3.66.
North Melbourne has certainly defied the odds this season, as they were a chance of playing finals until two weeks ago.
It has been a very disappointing year for the Saints, who have played poorly for the majority of the year.
They did put in one of their better performances in a four-point loss last round against Hawthorn, but the challenge for them is to repeat that performance this weekend.
North Melbourne weren’t disgraced in a loss to Adelaide, fighting back from more than five goals down to trim the margin to just three points with a few minutes left on the clock.
These two sides last met on Good Friday this season, with the Roos producing a dominant 52-point win.
North Melbourne had 30 scoring shots, with the Saints kicking only five goals in the loss.
With nothing to play for, both of these teams will more than likely play a lax defensive game plan, which should ensure plenty of points are scored.
Best bet- St Kilda and North Melbourne total game points over 176.5 at $1.90
AFL Round 23 Sunday Odds – Sportsbet
Brisbane $2.60 v West Coast $1.54
Melbourne $1.44 v GWS $2.80
St Kilda $3.66 v North Melbourne $1.29
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