Thu, Sep 13, 10:18am by Staff Writer
Collingwood and GWS meet in a knockout final on Saturday night, with the winner progressing to a preliminary final next weekend to play flag favourites Richmond.
The Pies are $1.60 favourites to win the match, with the Giants $2.35 underdogs.
The Giants possess an abysmal 2-13 win-loss record at the MCG, but did prevail against the Pies at the ground in round two this season.
Collingwood returns to the MCG after a 16-point loss to the West Coast Eagles in Perth last weekend.
The Pies led by 10 points at three-quarter time but couldn’t hold back the fast-finishing Eagles, who booted five goals to one in the final term.
The Giants thrashed their rivals the Sydney Swans in a very one-sided elimination final at the SCG.
The Giants 49-point win could have been even greater if not for their poor kicking at goal.
They had 29 shots to Swans’ 10, as they held the hosts to just two goals to three-quarter time.
GWS has made the preliminary finals in 2016 and 2017, losing on both occasions to the Western Bulldogs and Richmond respectively.
There are few statistical advantages for either side in this match up, with the teams evenly matched in disposals, clearances, inside 50s, contested possessions and tackles this season.
Collingwood will have the advantage in the ruck though, with the tandem of Brodie Grundy and Mason Cox sure to test the Giants’ ruckman Rory Lobb. The Pies average 10 more hit-outs than the Giants this season.
GWS will be sweating on the fitness of Josh Kelly who came off injured in against the Swans. It is believed he will miss this game, but is hoping to feature again this season, should the Giants progress.
Collingwood’s Rising Star winner Jaidyn Stephenson has been a revelation for the Pies this season. He has kicked 35 goals this season and has been a livewire up forward.
The Giants’ own small forward, former All-Australian Toby Greene escaped the ire of the Match Review Officer after his fly-kick marking style was again brought into the spotlight last weekend.
Greene has had an injury-riddled season and managed only eight games for the Giants in 2018. He has kicked 16 goals in limited game time and is one of the most potent small forwards in the competition.
The Pies are 9.5-point favourites on the handicap at Sportsbet at $1.92 for this match.
In margin betting, it is the Pies at $2.10, which is the shortest-priced option. The Giants to win by 1-39 is paying $2.88.
The total match points are set at over/under 154.5 at $1.90.
When these sides met earlier this season, it was the Giants that led at every change and finished with a five-goal final quarter. Jeremy Cameron and Stephen Coniglio each kicked three goals for the visitors.
Whether or not they will be able to overcome their poor record at the MCG in front of a partisan black and white crowd will be one of GWS’ biggest challenges on Saturday night. We think they can get the job done and set up a repeat of the 2017 preliminary final.
Best bet- GWS Giants Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.88
AFL Semi Final Odds
Collingwood $1.60 GWS $2.35
Handicap: Collingwood (-9.5) $1.92
Margin: Collingwood 1-39 $2.10; 40+ $5
Margin: GWS 1-39 $2.88; 40+ $14
Total match points: over/under (154.5) $1.90
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