Wed, May 15, 6:53pm by Clarinda Campbell
Match: West Coast Eagles vs North Melbourne Kangaroos – AFL Round 8
When/Where: 6:40pm Friday, 17 May 2013 at Patersons Stadium
Recommended AFL Bookie: Bet365.com
The Kangaroos make the long trek west to take on the Eagles in a match that will be eagerly anticipated by Eagles fans. Both teams currently have 12 competition points and the result here will see one team elevated above the other on the ladder. Both sides have won their last two matches coming into this Friday night battle.
The Eagles are a $14.00 chance to win the flag and a $5.00 chance to make the top 4 with IASbet. The Roos are $41.00 to win the flag and $21.00 chances to make the top 4 with IASbet.
Eagles star onballer Daniel Kerr will be fit to play and Chris Masten will be hopeful of playing after missing last weeks’ match due to illness. Masten is West Coast’s leading ball winner and Kerr’s experience is always vital. In recent times, West Coast have been buoyed by the return of key players, which is shown by the fact that the Eagles have won both their games since Nic Naitanui returned.
North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has been cleared of what was originally feared to be a season ending knee injury and should be fit to play. Kangaroos cult hero Majak Daw will be looking to equal his 6 goal haul from last week. Daw is set to play mainly up forward against the Eagles, but is a strong chance to come up against Naitanui when he pinch-hits in the ruck.
The Eagles have 3 wins and 4 losses for the season. Their biggest victory has been by a huge 70 points and their biggest loss was by 40 points. The Kangaroos have the same win/loss record, but they have faced stiffer competition, having lost narrowly to hot title contenders Geelong and Hawthorn.
In Round 5, the Eagles went down narrowly to the top 8 side, Port Adelaide. The Eagles dominated the first three quarters, with Port Adelaide’s fitness proving too much in the fourth quarter. At one stage, the Eagles led by 41 points. The prominent feature of the match for the Eagles was there sloppy kicking in front of goal. In the same round, the Kangaroos lost by only 3 points to the Hawks. The Roos were never far away in this match although they were disappointing in terms of conversion rates – they recorded 63 inside 50s compared to Hawthorn’s 47 and had 30 free kicks to Hawthorn’s 15. This did not translate on the scoreboard and the loss is an example of what happens when a side does not take advantage of every opportunity afforded to them.
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The Eagles welcomed back some key players in Round 6 and they cruised to a 70 point victory over the poorly performed Bulldogs. It was an easy win that did not test the Eagles players to any great extent. The Kangaroos caused a slight upset when they downed the Port Adelaide Power by 10 points. The Roos took advantage of a notoriously slow start by Port Adelaide to post 7 goals to Port’s 1. North’s advantage seemed to be through their clearance work and defensive pressure across the ground.
Last week, the Eagles were expected victors over the Lions. The margin was 26 points and the Eagles only got away with the game in the final quarter. It was such a close game that scores were locked at 63 each going into the final period of play. The match was played in wet conditions without key onballers Daniel Kerr and Chris Masten. The Kangaroos also had a win; by 54 points against the hapless Bulldogs. The final quarter was a real highlight as the Roos notched up a massive 9 goals.
I like the Eagles in this, though it should be a close one. West Coast seem to improve as more of their experienced playing roster takes to the park. They are at home with the support of their feverish fans behind them. Whilst they weren’t totally convincing when defeating the Lions last week (only winning in the final quarter), they have now come off a couple of wins and will be carrying their fair share of confidence.
Admittedly, North Melbourne are also coming off a few wins and will carry the same amount of confidence coming into this match. North Melbourne have come off a few tight losses to top of the table teams and this would have hardened them for close battles. However, their coach has admitted that they still tend to suffer from lapses in their matches that cost them a win. If West Coast can pour the pressure on North Melbourne they will be on their way to a win here. They also have the superior form at the ground.
West Coast are $1.60 favourites to win the prize. North Melbourne are at $3.15. The line bet sits at 20.5 and will return $1.92 while the West Coast are rated $2.20 chances to win the match by 1-39 and $3.00 to win by 40+. The Roos are at $3.80 to win by 1-39.
If you are looking for some value, given the match should be close, it may be worth taking a punt on West Coast to win by 1-19, which is currently paying $4.20 with Bet365.com.
In the wire to wire betting, a small investment on the ‘any other result’ option at $2.15 is suggested. You would be betting against West Coast leading at every quarter or North Melbourne leading at every quarter.
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