Wed, May 9, 8:24am by Staff Writer
Round 8 of the 2018 AFL season kicks off on Friday night with a blockbuster between Hawthorn and Sydney.
Saturday’s slate is headlined by the Showdown between Port and Adelaide, as well as the Eagles visit to Sydney to take on the Giants.
Hawthorn versus Sydney
Friday, 11 May 2018 at 7.50pm AEST
Hawthorn and Sydney have a habit of playing close matches, with their past four encounter decided by 15 points or less, with three of those by under a goal.
The Hawks are $1.83 favourites to knock off the Swans who are $2 outsiders.
Sydney will look to regain the services of Lance Franklin who has missed their past two games.
The Swans are undefeated on the road this season, but have surprisingly lost three of their four home games at the SCG.
Hawthorn were impressive in the second half against the Bombers last week, but this is a real test for the Hawks. If they want to push for the top four, then a win against the Swans on Friday is a must.
Sydney narrowly went down to North Melbourne last Saturday night, but the Roos dogged determination got them over the line in a nail biter.
The Swans lacked a steady avenue to goal against North and struggled for large parts of their previous game against Geelong as well.
Hawthorn will still be without Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo, but have coped well without the duo in recent weeks.
This match will be decided by a small margin, but we are going to back the Hawks at home to sneak over the line.
Best bet- Hawthorn Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.30
GWS versus West Coast
Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 1.45pm AEST at Spotless Stadium
The Eagles have been the surprise team of the 2018 season, winning six of their first seven matches to sit second on the ladder.
Conversely, GWS have been disappointing, particularly on the road where they have struggled for consistency.
Last weekend’s 10 goal thumping by Geelong was evidence of this and the Giants will look to bounce back and keep in touch with the top four when they host the high-flying Eagles.
West Coast are contesting ruckman Nic Naitanui’s rough conduct charge at the tribunal after he was cited for a tackle on Port’s Karl Amon in the Eagles 42 point win last weekend.
West Coast are $2.35 outsiders for their visit to Sydney, with the Giants $1.60 favourites.
This will be the first time these two sides have met since last year’s semi-final where the Giants crushed the Eagles by 67 points.
GWS has won the past three matches between the two sides, with the Eagles last victory against the Giants a memorable one point win thanks to a late Nic Naitanui goal.
The Giants start this match as 10.5-point favourites and while the Eagles have been impressive on the road this season, winning both of their away games, they have been against inferior opposition in the Western Bulldogs and Carlton.
If the Eagles are to lose Naitanui then their chances of winning decrease even more, so we are happy to take the Giants at the small line.
Best bet- GWS to cover 10.5-point handicap at $1.92
Port Adelaide versus Adelaide
Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 5.10pm AEST
The 44th Showdown takes place on Saturday afternoon when fierce rivals Port Adelaide and Adelaide meet at the Adelaide Oval.
Adelaide has won its past five matches against Port, including an 84-point thumping last season, the biggest margin of victory in Showdown history.
The Crows are $1.56 favourites for the match with Port $2.45 outsiders.
The Power have lost three of their past four matches and were outplayed for much of last weekend’s game against West Coast.
Touted as a pre-season top four contender, Port have had trouble scoring this season which has not been something accustomed with the free-flowing style of football Ken Hinkley’s side are renowned for.
Adelaide has won three matches in a row since their eight-goal shock loss to the Magpies in mid-April.
This will be Adelaide’s third match in a row at the Adelaide Oval and they are somewhat flying under the radar with a 5-2 mark this season. They haven’t played their best football and look to be building into the season nicely.
We like the Crows to inflict another Showdown loss on the Power by 20 points or thereabouts.
Best bet- Adelaide Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.10
Elsewhere on Saturday, rivals Essendon and Carlton meet, with both sides in the bottom four and desperately searching for form. The Bombers are 20.5-point favourites and a short $1.30 with the winless Blues $3.60.
Gold Coast takes a home game to the Gabba where they face Melbourne. The Suns are still without Tom Lynch and Steven May and are $3.50 outsiders against the Demons who are $1.31 favourites.
Saturday night’s fixtures include the Dogs ($1.38) hosting the Lions ($3.05) and the Dockers ($1.25) taking on the Saints ($4).
AFL Round 8 Odds – Sportsbet
Hawthorn $1.83 Sydney $2
GWS $1.60 West Coast $2.35
Carlton $3.60 Essendon $1.30
Gold Coast $3.50 Melbourne $1.31
Port Adelaide $2.45 Adelaide $1.56
Western Bulldogs $1.38 Brisbane $3.05
Fremantle $1.25 St Kilda $4
North Melbourne $4.10 v Richmond $1.24
Collingwood $2.40 v Geelong $1.57
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