It’s another huge clash between two archrivals when the Bombers take on the Pies at the MCG on Sunday afternoon, with both sides coming into the game in some good form. Essendon have been electric in their last three games, and are completely free of inhibition- but they will come up against a well-coached Collingwood side that has rocketed to 2nd place on the ladder and is now a genuine shot of what previously seemed a highly unlikely Top 4 berth.
Essendon (WLWWW) – Just when it seemed their season was dead and buried after losing to the previously win-less Carlton, the Bombers beat Geelong comfortably before winning 4 of their next 5 to sneak into 12th-placed on the ladder; one game and a significant chunk of percentage outside the 8. Joe Daniher’s injury-enforced absence has allowed the forward line to flourish, and when the ball is being sent forward by players like Merrett, Heppell, Saad and Fantasia- you know the forwards will be at a huge advantage given the defenders are likely on the back foot. Exciting side, but probably not quite a Finals side. Collingwood (WWWWW) – Let this sentence sink into your brains…..Collingwood are 2nd on the ladder, after 15 rounds! They’ve won 6 on the trot, with an averaging winning margin of 37.5 points, although there is somewhat of an asterix on that form line given only one of those games has been against a club in the Top 8. Their forward line, after being questioned in the preseason, looks to be one of the most dangerous, balanced and multi-pronged in the competition- and how about Jaidyn Stephenson as the deep forward, what a (rising) star! The loss of Lynden Dunn for the rest of a season is a huge blow to their structure, and the Pies will be hoping Darcy Moore can come back soon and actually have some sort of an impact as a key defender.
Stats That Matter– Essendon are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 matches – The Pies are 6-3 on the Over/Under in their past 9 games – The Bombers have won just one 3rd quarter this season (-192 points) while Collingwood have won 11 from 14 (+93 points) – Orazio Fantasia has scored 11 goals in his last 3 games against Collingwood – Essendon have won just 1 from 5 games at the ‘G this season – Brodie Grundy has had 100+ Fantasy Points in every game since Round 1 – Taylor Adams averages 28 disposals per game against the Bombers as a Magpie
2018 Line: Essendon- 7-7; Collingwood- 8-6
2018 Over-Under: Essendon- 4-10; Collingwood- 7-7
What To Expect
Much like ANZAC Day a few months ago, both sides come into this game in very good form and it promises to be an absorbing encounter. Given the game is at the MCG, the Wolf is going to play it nice and simple, and tip the Pies to win. No doubt the Bombers can win, but their frenetic game style is far less effective at the ‘G (they’ve lost 4 from 5 there this year) and the Pies midfield is a class (and significant depth) above Essendon. Wolf followers had an absolute fill-up last round in the Bombers game with Both Teams 80+ paying $3.65 and the bet practically saluting at half-time! Looks like there will be a few points in this one on a perfect day for footy but expecting Pendlebury and Sidebottom to lead the Pies to a win.
How It’s Shaping UpCollingwood by 17
Best Bet: Collingwood WIN ($1.60) Value Bet: Both Teams Score 80 Points ($4.30) Player Prop: Steele Sidebottom 110+ Fantasy Points ($2.00) First Goalscorer: Orazio Fantasia