Fri, Mar 9, 3:49pm by Staff Writer
The final round of JLT Community Series matches takes place this weekend, as the final tune up for teams ahead of the 2018 season in less than a fortnights time.
Plenty of big name players are in action for teams this weekend, with Gary Ablett a notable omission for Geelong.
On Friday night the Swans host the Giants in Blacktown. Both sides had dominant first up wins in the pre-season and will be looking to gain momentum heading into the regular season.
The Swans start the match as $1.80 favourites at Sportsbet with the Giants $2.01 outsiders.
With both sides naming strong teams, we are backing the younger Giants team to have a big more hunger and desire than a Swans side known to be in second gear during the pre season.
The Swans are without Dane Rampe, Heath Grundy and Dan Hannebery, which should allow the Giants forwards a little bit more freedom in front of goal.
Back the GWS Giants 1-39 at $2.50 in the Big Win Little Win market
Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs make a trip to the eastern Victorian town of Moe, with the Pies looking for a morale boosting win after their dismal display against the Giants last week.
Once again, both sides have named strong squad, with Dogs veterans Dale Morris and Liam Picken missing. For the Pies, Daniel Wells and Jamie Elliott are among the notable omissions.
The Dogs are justified $1.63 favourites at Sportsbet, with the Pies $2.30 outsiders.
We like the Dogs with the -7.5 point start at Sportsbet, as the Pies showed some very alarming signs last weekend in the second half against the Giants.
A local derby from Alberton sees Port Adelaide and Adelaide meet with both sides difficult to split in the betting market.
Port start as $2.20 underdogs at Sportsbet and are a value bet against the Crows who are $1.68 favourites.
Adelaide are missing three of their better players in Taylor Walker, Brad Crouch and Brodie Smith, so take the Power to cause the upset at $2.20 at Sportsbet.
A rare night match in Tasmania sees the Hawks host the Blues from Hobart.
Without only Cyril Rioli and Liam Shiels, the Hawks are big favourites for this clash, priced at a short $1.40 at Sportsbet.
The Blues are $2.96 and 15.5 point outsiders at Sportsbet. Just as they were last weekend, the Blues are being under-rated in the pre-season and should be able to cover the line, with these two teams not miles apart in terms of playing stocks at the moment.
On Sunday, the Cats host Essendon in Colac, with the Bombers looking to make amends for their horror result against Richmond a fortnight ago.
The Bombers have named a much stronger lineup for this match, with only Orazio Fantasia a notable out.
For the Cats, they will be without Gary Ablett, but start the match as $1.52 favourites at Sportsbet, with the Bombers $2.55 outsiders.
The 11.5 point start for the Cats looks good, as they will have local support and are fielding a strong team.
Gold Coast were very impressive last weekend against the Cats and once again should be too strong for Brisbane when the two sides meet on Sunday afternoon.
The Suns are priced at as $1.76 favourites but should be far shorter and they are close to our bet of the round.
The Lions are $2.07 at Sportsbet and should be soundly beaten. The Suns should win and easily cover the 3.5 point start at $1.90 at Sportsbet.
The final pre-season match from Joondalup in Western Australia features Fremantle and West Coast.
With Josh Kennedy and Nic Naitanui missing, we like the Dockers to topple the Eagles.
Freo are coming off a poor 2017 season and are $1.98 underdogs at Sportsbet, with the Eagles $1.83 favourites.
Take Freo to cause the small upset in hot conditions on Sunday night.
AFL JTL round 3 matches
Sydney $1.80 GWS $2.01
Collingwood $2.30 Western Bulldogs $1.63
Port Adelaide $2.20 Adelaide $1.68
Hawthorn $1.40 Carlton $2.96
Geelong $1.52 Essendon $2.55
Gold Coast $1.76 Brisbane $2.07
Fremantle $1.98 West Coast $1.83
*Odds at Sportsbet
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