West Coast v Essendon Thur 8:10pm at Optus Stadium
Once again we are treated to Thursday night footy, when Round 14 kicks off in Perth; where the 2nd-placed Eagles have a chance to reclaim top spot against the erratic Bombers. Essendon come into this after a week off and will be desperately searching for a win- something only 1 of the 6 sides has managed to achieve immediately following a bye. With a couple of tough games coming up, the Bombers must start to win, and win well, if they are any chance of making the finals (they are currently $13 to make the 8) but it is hard to see that happening in Perth, where the Eagles have won 6 on the trot. The dangling carrot of being on top of the ladder should be the perfect motivation for the Eagles to get the win at home.
West Coast (WWWWL) – West Coast have suffered just two losses this season- and both were to Sydney…..which is certainly nothing to be ashamed about! Sydney is a very hard place to win in, but the Eagles certainly keep it tight early. Unfortunately a younger forward line without the services of the red-hot Jack Darling clearly struggled against the stingy, experienced Swans defence. Adam Simpson will certainly be pleased with their clearance dominance (+10 clearances) and the opportunities they generated (+11 Inside 50’s) but ultimately it was the ability of the Swans to convert their opportunities, in the big moments, that won them the game. Definitely something the Eagles can fix.
Essendon (WLWWL) – As their form line would suggest, the Bombers have had a very up-and-down season, with a record of 5-7; and their chances of playing Finals are remote, at best. They faded embarrassingly in Round 11 against Richmond (where they lost the second half 14-54) before getting the job done in a scrappy encounter against Brisbane before the bye. Joe Daniher’s absence might have hurt them last year, but the form he was in before his injury-enforced break means the side has been better off, with Jake Stringer relishing the role as top dog. He, despite a lot of errant disposals, is providing good impact around the ground and has been a dangerous prospect up forward when he hasn’t been busy gesticulating at umpires or throwing a dummy spit.
Stats That Matter– The last 3 meetings have all seen margins over 50 points – Since they beat Port in Round 4, 7 of Essendon’s last 8 games have gone Unders – Zach Merrett averages 107 Fantasy Points per game against West Coast – West Coast are 5-3 ATS as favourites – The Bombers have won just one 3rd quarter this season for a percentage of 44% – Josh Kennedy has been the leading Goalscorer in the last 3 Eagles matches – The Eagles average 106 points per game at Optus Stadium – Essendon has lost 7 consecutive games in Perth
2018 Line: West Coast- 7-5; Essendon- 5-7 2018 Over-Under: West Coast- 5-7; Essendon- 3-9
What To Expect
Wolfie has re-written this paragraph with the news JJK is out with a leg injury. West Coast should still be too good at home, but the big line of +31.5 is too good for Wolfie to ignore about an Essendon side that can be very tough to play when they decide to turn up. Hell, even the $4.90 looks good. The Wolf is sniffing an upset with the Bombers mosquito fleet likely to cause the Eagles defence a few headaches. Get on early punters, these prices are definitely trending down.
How It’s Shaping UpEssendon by 4
Best Bet: Essendon +31.5 ($1.91) Value Bet: Orazio Fantasia 3+ Goals ($4.50) Player Prop: Elliot Yeo 110+ Fantasy Points ($2.50) First Goalscorer: Scott Lycett ($17.00)