Wed, Sep 12, 11:37am by Staff Writer
Two sides that nearly merged to become one in the 1990s meet on Friday night in a knock-out semi-final at the MCG when Hawthorn takes on Melbourne.
After featuring in the finals for the first time in 12 seasons, Melbourne is a $1.46 chance of beating the Hawks this weekend.
The Demons crushed Geelong by 29 points and if not for their inaccuracy, would have won by much more. The Dees had 25 scoring shots to 16 and led by 31 points at quarter time.
Hawthorn is priced at $2.75 to beat the Demons and suffered an injury to key defender Ben Stratton in Thursday night’s loss to Richmond.
They will have one extra day to prepare for this match, but that will be of little comfort to coach Alastair Clarkson, with his side the clear underdog in this match.
These teams played only once this season and it was a huge 67-point win for Hawthorn at the MCG in round four.
The Dees kicked only six goals on that occasion, with three of them coming from the boot of Dean Kent.
It was the Hawks of old in that match, with Luke Breust kicking four goals and Jarryd Roughead booting three. Melbourne kicked only one goal after quarter time in a dour display.
Max Gawn dominated the ruck duel the last time the two teams met, amassing 66 hit-outs. The Hawks will likely use a tandem of Ben McEvoy and Jonathan Ceglar to curtail one of the Brownlow Medal favourites.
The loss of Jesse Hogan was forecast to be huge for the Demons, with their star forward ruled out of the finals some weeks ago. The emergence of Sam Weideman as a marking presence inside 50 against Geelong allowed Tom McDonald to play across half forward last weekend and he had a greater presence in marking contests and is a great one-on-one ball winner.
Melbourne to win by 1-39 points in the Big Win Little Win market looks a worthy play at $2.10, with Hawthorn to win by 1-39 points paying $3.30, the rest of the markets are listed here.
The Demons are 13.5-point favourites to win the match at $1.92.
The total match points are set at over/under 164.5 at $1.90.
The Demons have the better midfield in this game, but it will be up forward where this match will be won. Can Melbourne finish their good work and kick more goals than points after an errant goal kicking display last weekend?
Hawthorn has so often lifted as underdogs, but they were fortunate to earn a top four berth and Melbourne is peaking at the right time of the season. They should win this game by a couple of goals.
Best bet- Melbourne Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.10
AFL Semi Final Odds
Hawthorn $2.75 v Melbourne $1.46
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