Wed, Mar 28, 3:55pm by Staff Writer
Only three rounds of the 2017-18 A-League season remain, with Sydney FC able to secure top spot with a win or draw on the weekend, or a Newcastle draw or loss.
Wellington and Central Coast are both out of the finals mix, but Western Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are separated by just a single point, battling for the final position in the top six.
Perth Glory versus Sydney FC
Thursday, 29 March 2018 at 9.30pm AEDST at nib Stadium
Perth scored an upset 1-0 win against Melbourne Victory last weekend and will be looking to do the same again at home when they host Sydney FC.
Glory are $3.60 outsiders but will be desperate to register a win, as they are just one point outside of the top six.
The Sky Blues at $1.83 and have won both of their matches against the Glory by a combined scoreline of 8-0 this season, with both games in Sydney.
Their unbeaten run stretches eight matches all the way back to 2016 and includes an FFA Cup fixture, with Sydney having the edge on Perth for some time now.
The Sky Blues have not been their unstoppable selves in recent times however and needed a 93rd minute Matt Simon goal to see off a dogged Central Coast Mariners team last weekend, as heavy favourites.
Given the short turnaround and travel to Perth, coupled with the fact that their position at the top of the table is all but secure, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Sky Blues took the foot off the pedal in this one.
Despite their inconsistencies, the Glory have won their past four home games, and we expect their unbeaten streak at home to continue.
The draw at $3.75 offers the best value at Sportsbet, but consider Perth in the Draw No Bet market at $2.75 if you fancy an upset.
Best bet- Perth Glory and Sydney FC draw at $3.75
Adelaide United versus Wellington Phoenix
Friday, 30 March 2018 at 7.45pm AEDST at Hindmarsh
Adelaide produced their best football of the season last weekend when they crushed an in-form Newcastle Jets team 5-2 at Hindmarsh.
The Reds were in total control for much of the contest and despite some wobbles in the weeks prior, look set to feature in this season’s finals.
A win against Wellington as $1.40 favourites could push the Reds into the top four by the weekend’s end.
The Phoenix played out an entertaining 2-all draw with the Roar on Sunday afternoon, but travel to Adelaide as $6.50 outsiders.
Recent history between these two teams has featured draw in three of their past four matches, with the Reds victorious in Wellington earlier this season by a 1-0 scoreline.
Wellington’s last win at Hindmarsh was a shock 3-1 victory on New Years Eve in 2014 and a win on Friday night would be an enormous shock for all A-League followers.
The Reds played attacking football last weekend against some lax Newcastle defence and we expect the same to happen on Friday night.
The Reds appeal in the handicap betting market at -1.0 paying $2.25 or at the half-time/full-time market paying $2.10.
Wellington fails to inspire much confidence in punters and have been a real disappointment in the 2017-18 season.
Their road record is abysmal and Adelaide will be keen to try and break into the top four.
Best bet- Adelaide United -1.0 handicap betting at $2.25
Newcastle Jets versus Melbourne City
Sunday, 1 April 2018 at 5pm AEDST at McDonald Jones Stadium
Second versus third in Newcastle when the Jets host Melbourne City in the match of the round on Sunday afternoon.
Newcastle turned in their worst showing of the season in a 5-2 loss to Adelaide, while City had a dominant 3-0 win at home against the Wanderers.
These two teams will be hoping to make a deep run into the finals series and have played some terrific matches already this season.
Newcastle are $2.25 favourites at home, with City $2.70 outsiders.
That is despite City winning this season’s only match in Newcastle 2-1.
The 2-2 draw the teams played out just before Australia Day was an epic match full of goal scoring chances and free-flowing football.
Jets coach Ernie Merrick may want to curtail some of his side’s attacking flair this weekend in favour of more rigid defensive structures after their leakiness last weekend.
City have enjoyed reasonable success in Newcastle, winning three of their past four matches at McDonald Jones Stadium and as $2.70 outsiders are good value for the win on Sunday.
Best bet- Melbourne City to win at $2.70
A-League Odds – Sportsbet
Perth $3.60 Draw $3.75 Sydney $1.83
Adelaide $1.40 Draw $4.50 Wellington $6.50
Brisbane $1.50 Draw $4 Central Coast $5
Melbourne Victory $1.72 Draw $4.20 Western Sydney $4.20
Newcastle $2.25 Draw $3.30 Melbourne City $2.70
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