Collingwood v Western Bulldogs Fri 7:50pm at Etihad Stadium
It might not be the biggest Friday night blockbuster you’ll see, but for the 10th-placed Pies and the 13th-placed Bulldogs, this game represents a crucial opportunity to stay in touch with the Top 8 and keep their finals hopes alive in 2018. After a slow, and somewhat embarrassing start, the Doggies have managed to string a few wins together- albeit against bottom tier sides- despite the backline being ravaged by injuries. They appear to match up very well with Nathan Buckley’s side, who have struggled with consistency this season despite being able to lay claim to beating Adelaide, in Adelaide, by 48 points. With so much at stake for both sides, the battle of the two midfields will be massive- with the likes of Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Treloar and Adams going up against Macrae, Bontempelli, Hunter and Dalhaus. These two engine-rooms rank first and second in the competition for total disposals- but which one will give their side the ascendancy in this important clash?
Collingwood (WLWLW) – The form line may look like a rollercoaster but the consistency of Howe, Treloar, Sidebottom, Phillips, Grundy and Pendlebury has been astounding- they just need their bottom tier players to contribute a little more. They didn’t completely disgrace themselves in the losses against the Tigers and Cats, but have clearly lack a competent forward target in big games. Jordan de Goey, despite his size, has done his best to fill the void with 12 goals in his last 3 matches. He can blame his dog all he likes if he keeps playing like this.
Western Bulldogs (LWWWL) – The Doggies 3 consecutive wins (against sides placed 14th, 17th & 18th) were book-ended by 30+ point losses; highlighting their inability to maintain their manic pressure and contested game style against the top sides. One such Dog who doesn’t suffer from the same ailment is Brownlow fancy Jack Macrae, who is averaging 39 disposals, 9 clearances and 9.5 tackles per game over the past month. He will enjoy coming up against a Collingwood side that refuse to place a hard tag.
Stats That Matter– The Dogs have won the last 5 meetings – Jordan de Goey has kicked 12 goals in his last 3 games – The Dogs are 0-3 ATS in away fixtures this season – Jack Macrae averages 27 disposals & 115 Fantasy Points per game against Collingwood – The Pies are 3-1 on the Over/Under in their last 4 matches – Scott Pendlebury averages 118 Fantasy Points per game against the Bulldogs – The Dogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
2018 Line: Collingwood- 5-4; Western Bulldogs- 3-6
2018 Over-Under: Collingwood- 4-5; Western Bulldogs- 3-6
What To Expect
The Wolf is expecting the Pies to record their sixth win of the season on Friday night. They may have lost the luckless Alex Fasolo for the season (again), but there looks to be a couple of ready-made players who are ready to step up. The Doggies looked quite top-heavy against the Crows last round, and players like de Goey, Wells, Stephenson and Hoskin-Elliott can take full advantage of that. Suspect there will be a few points in this one, with the extra class and depth of the Pies to make the difference.
How It’s Shaping UpCollingwood by 18
Best Bet: Collingwood 1-39 ($2.10) Value Bet: Jack Macrae 40+ Disposals ($5.50) Player Prop: Brodie Grundy 130+ Fantasy Points ($2.25) First Goalscorer: Jaidyn Stephenson ($15.00)