The Crows will host the Dees on Saturday night at Adelaide Oval, in a match that could turn out to be the difference between playing or holidaying in September. Both sides have had fluctuating form lines over the past month or so, and if there is ever a time they need to get their attitudes, motivation and focus right, it is this Saturday night. Their last meeting was just a few months ago in Alice Springs at the height of Melbourne’s golden run, and Don Pyke will kill his players with his eyes if they put up another performance like that. Either way, both teams play entertaining, free-flowing footy and this is one that could go right down to the wire.
Adelaide (LWLWW) – It was always going to be a danger game up in Brisbane, and the Crows held on for a vital win despite a gallant performance from the Lions to keep their faint Finals hopes alive. Matt Crouch and Rory Laird have been in brillant form of late, and they’ve been giving some quality ball to a forward line that is finally regaining its best personnel. The combative Hugh Greenwood popped up to be the matchwinner against Brisbane, and it’s these sorts of players that Adelaide needs to lift if it is to challenge the top teams again.
Melbourne (LLWWL) – After getting their form back on track with two dominant victories over the Dogs and Saints, the Demons suffered another heart-breaking loss to Geelong thanks to a straight Zach Tuohy kick after the siren. Much was made of a couple of dubious umpiring decisions that cost Melbourne, but at the end of the day they should not have let the Cats come back from almost 30 points down in the final quarter to start with! Often it seems they want to zone off opponents and find easy ball when they are under pressure, and they will not get away with that against sides like Adelaide. The Gawn/Oliver combination is one element that has consistently good this season, and they are both crucial to Melbourne’s Finals hopes.
Stats That Matter– Melbourne won their Round 10 encounter by a whopping 89 points– Adelaide have covered the spread just once in their last 8 matches– Clayton Oliver is averaging 36 disposals and 133 Fantasy Points across his past 3 games– The Demons are 8-3 on the Over/Under since Round 7– Both Matt Crouch and Rory Laird are averaging 35 disposals per game over the past month– Melbourne have won 13 of 17 third quarters this season (+174 points)– Jesse Hogan kicked 5 goals in their Round 10 clash – The Crows are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at Adelaide Oval
2018 Line: Adelaide– 6-11; Melbourne- 11-6
2018 Over-Under: Adelaide- 7-10; Melbourne- 10-7
What To Expect
This match has huge implications for the Finals chance for both sides, with Melbourne in particular desperate to avoid the last round disaster of 2017. It was a heartbreaking loss to Geelong last round for them, and Wolfie likes them to bounce back here against an Adelaide side they slaughtered earlier in the year. Jordan Lewis will be celebrating 300 games, and his presence down back will be crucial against a potent Adelaide forward line that regains Taylor Walker. The Crows haven’t been as good at home this year as they have been previously, and they’ll need to be wary of a fired up Demons side.
How It’s Shaping UpMelbourne by 9
Best Bet: Melbourne 1-39 ($2.75) Value Bet: Both Teams 90+ Points ($4.30) Player Prop: Jordan Lewis 25+ Disposals ($1.80) First Goalscorer: Christian Petracca