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AFL Sunday Specials: Eagles no easy task for Pies at Etihad

Sat, Jul 22, 1:33pm by Senior Writer

Sunday features two matches which are crucial to the finals. Third-placed Greater Western Sydney travel to the MCG to face fifth-placed Richmond while West Coast look to consolidate their spot in the eight with a win over Collingwood at Etihad Stadium.

Richmond v Greater Western Sydney, MCG, Sunday July 23, 1:10pm AEST

It’s only been eight weeks since Jeremy Cameron broke Richmond hearts at Spotless Stadium, kicking a last minute goal to complete a remarkable comeback from nearly six goals down at the final change. There will be no Cameron at the MCG on Sunday, but it will be interesting to see how both sides approach this match, knowing what happened in the recent past.

The Giants go into this match as $1.70 favourites despite having lost nine of their ten ever games at the MCG. Remarkably they haven’t played at the home of football since Round 1 last year. Given their designs on the AFL premiership, it’s an important for them to handle the big stadium well here.

Where are the Giants at? Hard to tell really. They drew against Geelong and then Hawthorn before losing to cross-town rivals Sydney last week. They have endured a considerable injury toll, and still have many key players sidelined. Pick No.5 from last year’s draft, Will Setterfield makes his debut here.

Richmond have had a mixed couple of weeks, losing to St Kilda, badly and then getting the job done against lowly Brisbane last week by 31 points. But the Tigers have only had two bad weeks in the season so far, with just two of their six loses by more than nine points. Dustin Martin has had a brilliant year and was crucial against the Giants last time. The Tigers go into this one as $2.20 outsiders and that looks considerable value.

The other bet worth considering is the Dustin Martin/Jack Riewoldt double on Martin getting more than 30 touches and Riewoldt kicking more than 3 goals. That’s at $2.25 with Sportsbet. Riewoldt has kicked 22 goals in seven games against the Giants (although 11 came in one game), while AMrtin has had more than 30 touches in nine of his 16 games this season

Suggested Bet: Dustin Martin to get 30 touches, Jack Riewoldt to score three goals – $2.25

Collingwood v West Coast, Etihad Stadium, Sunday July 23, 3:20pm AEST

West Coast are officially the punters’ bogeyman. They have lost as an underdog on seven occasions and have won as the underdog a further three times. That makes 10 of their 16 matches in which the involved where the favourite has lost. What’s even worse that all four times they have been to Melbourne this year, the underdog has prevailed.

So what do we make of them coming to Etihad Stadium to take on Collingwood? Well the punters have deserted them in droves and after being $1.66 on Wednesday are now $1.97, with the Pies backed in from $2.25 into $1.86.

That could have to do with the Eagles leaving Sam Mitchell behind in Perth, although the Magpies are without Pendlebury.

The other concern for Collingwood is where this game is being played. The Magpies have lost seven of their past eight games at the ground and lost to the Eagles there in 2015. West Coast have won four of their past six at Etihad as compared to just one of their past six at the MCG.

The betting drift makes little sense in that regard and we are happy to be on the Eagles here. Losing Pendlebury is massive for the Pies and West Coast should prove to good here.

Suggested Bet: Back West Coast to win by 1-39 at $2.60

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