Wed, May 16, 8:25am by Staff Writer
Round 9 of the 2018 AFL season begins with the Crows hosting the Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
The pick of the matches on Saturday features the GWS Giants’ trip to Hobart to take on North Melbourne, while the Gold Coast and Port Adelaide play their second match in Shanghai on Saturday afternoon.
North Melbourne versus GWS
Saturday, 19 May 2018 at 1.45pm AEST at Blundstone Arena, Hobart
North Melbourne were gallant in defeat against Richmond last round, even taking the lead early in the final quarter as they fell by 10 points to the reigning Premiers.
The Roos are $1.79 favourites at Sportsbet to beat the slumping Giants in Hobart on Saturday afternoon, with the visitors priced at $2.02.
Consecutive preliminary finals appearance has meant there was big expectation on GWS this season and thus far they have failed to deliver.
Their trademark running, high-scoring style of football appears to have disappeared, with their forward line failing to fire this season.
Full-forward Jeremy Cameron has largely been kept in check by opposition defenders as the Giants have struggled for a consistent second forward option.
North Melbourne have exceeded expectations so far this season and will fancy their chances of knocking off a down-on-confidence Giants team.
GWS coach Leon Cameron will surely make changes to his side which was beaten by an undermanned and road-poor West Coast side last match.
The Kangaroos are the pick in this match given the recent form mismatch between the two sides.
As always in Hobart, whether could have an impact on the result, with the Kangaroos possessing an outstanding 12-5 mark in Hobart, including an 86-point thumping of Carlton earlier this season.
Best bet- North Melbourne Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.30
Gold Coast versus Port Adelaide
Saturday, 19 May 2018 at 3.15pm AEST at Jiangwan Stadium, Shanghai, China
The AFL’s endeavours in China continue on Saturday afternoon as the Suns take on the Power.
Gold Coast are huge outsiders for the match at $6.05, with the Power short-priced $1.13 favourites.
The Suns were strangled by the Power the last time these two sides met in Shanghai, with Port 12 goal winners.
In a round 23 clash last season, Port were 115 point victors in Adelaide, with the Suns managing only seven goals in two games against Port last season.
It has been a difficult start to the season for the Suns, who have been without a home ground due to the Commonwealth Games.
Last weekend’s 69-point loss against Melbourne at the Gabba was the lowest crowd at the Gabba for an AFL match, with many questioning the Suns’ viability in the AFL going forward.
Port produced a rousing comeback to defeat Adelaide in the Showdown last weekend, but will have to be all business for this trip to China.
They are 7-goal favourites on the handicap and given that Suns forward Tom Lynch won’t be playing in this game, they should be able to roll over a tired and road-weary Suns team.
Best bet- Port Adelaide to cover -41.5 point handicap at $1.92
Sydney versus Fremantle
Saturday, 19 May 2018 at 7.25pm AEST at the SCG
Sydney once against produced an impressive against-the-odds road win last weekend when they toppled Hawthorn at the MCG.
The Swans are $1.20 favourites to make it back-to-back wins when they host the Dockers who are $4.60 outsiders on Saturday night.
All four of Fremantle’s wins this season have come in Perth at Optus Stadium, while the Swans have been uncharacteristically poor at home, losing three of their first four fixtures at the SCG.
The Swans will be hopeful of regaining the services of forward Lance Franklin, who has missed their past three games through injury.
Youngster Ben Ronke was a relevation last weekend as he booted seven goals to steer the Swans to victory.
Fremantle have been led by captain Nat Fyfe and have a number of players contributing to the team’s increased scoring this season, as was evidenced last round when they had 11 different goal kickers in a five goal victory against St Kilda.
The Swans have had trouble at home this season and all of their matches both home and away have been decided by under five goals.
The 27.5-point starting handicap for this match is enormous given that statistic, with the Swans past four matches decided by less than three goals.
Backing Fremantle with the 27.5-point start is therefore the play for this one.
Best bet- Fremantle to cover 27.5-point handicap at $1.92
On Friday night, Adelaide are $1.16 favourites to topple the Dogs who are $5.30 outsiders despite winning their past two matches.
The Bombers will be looking to bounce back from another forgettable performance last weekend but are $4.35 outsiders against Geelong who are $1.22.
On Saturday night, the Pies are big favourites against the Saints at $1.32, with the hosts $3.40.
AFL Round 9 Odds – Sportsbet
Adelaide $1.16 v Western Bulldogs $5.30
North Melbourne $1.79 v GWS $2.02
Gold Coast $6.05 v Port Adelaide $1.13
Essendon $4.35 v Geelong $1.22
St Kilda $3.40 v Collingwood $1.32
Sydney $1.20 v Fremantle $4.60
Carlton $5.30 v Melbourne $1.16
Brisbane $2.80 v Hawthorn $1.44
West Coast $2 v Richmond $1.81
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