Thu, Apr 26, 9:02am by Head Editor
Round 6 of the 2018 AFL season continues on Sunday with three matches, including Collingwood and Richmond meeting for the first time this season at the MCG and the traditional derby game between Fremantle and West Coast, the first at Optus Stadium.
Essendon versus Melbourne
Sunday, 29 April 2018 at 1.10pm AEST at Etihad Stadium
The closest betting match of round 6 features Essendon hosting Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
The Bombers will start as narrow $1.84 favourites at Sportsbet with Melbourne $1.97 outsiders.
Both sides will be playing after short turnarounds, with Essendon’s ANZAC Day match on Wednesday night not finishing until 6pm AEST and Melbourne having played on Tuesday evening.
Melbourne is a contender for the most disappointing team through the first five rounds of the season and they were soundly beaten by Richmond on ANZAC Day eve by 46 points, with the final margin flattering the Dees.
The Bombers have been inconsistent this season, beating both Port and Adelaide in Melbourne, but losing to the lowly Western Bulldogs.
Essendon appear to be either ‘on’ or ‘not’ in 2018, so a lot of their capabilities on Sunday will be judged by the opening exchanges and whether or not the team is ready for the contest after an emotional match on Wednesday afternoon.
Melbourne recorded a rare win at Etihad Stadium, a venue where they have a 20-38 all-time record in an early-season match against the Bombers in 2017 which kick-started the Dees season.
Essendon play this ground better than any other team in the competition and despite not looking at their best this season, should manage a tight win over the Dees in this one.
Best bet- Essendon Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.40 at Sportsbet
Collingwood versus Richmond
Sunday, 29 April at 3.20pm AEST at the MCG
Collingwood were deserving of their win against Adelaide in round 4 after a superb performance at both ends of the ground, but it will be interesting to see how they bounce back after ANZAC Day against the ladder-leading Tigers.
Richmond go into the match as $1.45 favourites at Sportsbet which looks too long given their recent form, with the Pies $2.78 underdogs.
The Tigers were clinical against Melbourne, adopting their trademark pressure football around every contest, suffocating the Demons and opening the game up late in the match.
Collingwood’s issue this season will be goal scoring and if their midfielders aren’t contributing goals against Richmond they will struggle to win.
The Tigers are 15.5-point favourites at $1.90 for this match and have won four of the past five home-and-away matches against Collingwood, with their only loss a narrow one-point defeat in 2016.
Across the park Richmond should be too good for the Pies, with the Tigers more than accustomed to the big occasion nowadays against an arch-rival.
Best bet- Richmond to cover 15.5-point handicap at $1.90
Fremantle versus West Coast
Sunday, 29 April 2018 at 4.40pm AEST at Optus Stadium
The 47th Western Derby takes place on Sunday afternoon, the first at the new Optus Stadium when Fremantle host West Coast.
The Eagles enter this match with a 4-1 record and are $1.71 to win, with the Dockers $2.15 outsiders.
Freo played tremendously against the Dogs last week, dominating the second half to win by 54 points.
West Coast has won the past five derby matches, all by margins of greater than four goals.
Fremantle’s last win in this fixture was a five-goal win in 2015. They play their best football in Western Australia, with all three of their wins this season coming at home.
The Eagles have been good both at home and away, with two wins in Melbourne this season already, albeit against the lowly Dogs and Blues.
The West Coast forward line looks bigger and stronger than that of their opposition, with the Dockers punching above their weight in recent weeks.
In front of what will be the largest crowd at the AFL match in Western Australia, West Coast are excellent value to beat Freo for the sixth straight time and win their 28th derby.
Best bet- West Coast Eagles to win at $1.71 at Sportsbet
AFL Round 6 Odds – Sportsbet
Western Bulldogs $1.44 v Carlton $2.80
Geelong $1.45 v Sydney $2.75
North Melbourne $2.75 v Port Adelaide $1.46
GWS $1.11 v Brisbane $6.70
Hawthorn $1.30 v St Kilda $3.56
Adelaide $1.10 v Gold Coast $7
Essendon $1.84 v Melbourne $1.97
Collingwood $2.78 v Richmond $1.45
Fremantle $2.15 v West Coast $1.71
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