Nth Melbourne v St Kilda Friday 4:20pm AEDT at Etihad Stadium
Easter Friday is almost upon us, and will include AFL action for only the second year in a row. St. Kilda comfortably had the wood over North Melbourne last year, including a dominant 49 point win that the Kangaroos were lucky wasn’t much more. The Saints got through their first game in the post-Riewoldt/Montagna era comfortably against the Lions, but the Kangaroos will be very worried about their lacklustre display in the wet against the Suns. Can Brad Scott’s men turn it around in their quest to prove 2018 should not be a complete write-off? The Wolf isn’t sure and thinks the Roos should prepare for all the splintering which comes with accepting a wooden spoon.
FormNorth Melbourne only scored 5 goals in the opening round clash; although in all fairness conditions in Cairns were nothing short of cyclonic. They looked much more unprepared for genuine wet weather footy than the Suns and will welcome a chance to play under the roof on Friday.
Jack Steven returned to vintage form with a dominant performance through the midfield in the Saints comfortable win against a much-improved Lions side- and the much-anticipated return of his midfield partner David Armitage was also heartening for Saints fans, after a 24 disposal performance. Alan Richardson will be very pleased with their start to the year.
Stats That Matter– St Kilda were 2-0 ATS against the Roos in 2017 – Both their games hit the Unders in Round 1 – Cunnington has averaged 31 disposals per game in his past 3 against the Saints – North have won 6 of their past 8 match-ups against St. Kilda – Ben Brown kicked the Roos first goal on 8 occasions last year – Over/Unders is 3-7 for North Melbourne in their last 10 at Etihad – Todd Goldstein averages a healthy 104 Fantasy points against St. Kilda
Betting Data2018 Line: North Melbourne– 0-1; St Kilda– 1-0 2018 Over-Under: North Melbourne– 1-0; St Kilda– 1-0 2017 Line: North Melbourne – 10-15; St Kilda– 7-18 2017 Over-Under: North Melbourne– 10-15; St Kilda– 7-18
What To ExpectThe Wolf didn’t have a huge amount of optimism about the Saints in the preseason, but he thinks they are absolute morals here. The Kangaroos, while dogged, are a completely one-paced midfield unit; and Steven, Armitage, Ross, Billings and co. all offer slightly more in the way of breaking lines. If Ben Brown has a field day North Melbourne are always a chance, but the Wolf is keen on the Saints to go 2-0 to start the season.
How It’s Shaping UpSaints by 17
Best: St Kilda by over 15.5 ($1.79) Value: St Kilda -15.5 and UNDER 199.5 Total Points ($3.20) Player Prop: Jack Steven 120+ Fantasy Points ($3.60) First Goalscorer: Jade Gresham ($TBC)