We have an absolute blockbuster to kick off Round 20, with the Tigers gunning for their 19th consecutive win at the MCG against a Geelong side that has lifted in recent weeks. Led by two successive 7 goal hauls by the Tomahawk, Geelong are slowly beginning to peak at the right time, winning 3 of their last 4- including impressive wins over fellow Top 8 contenders Melbourne and Sydney. Aside from the slip ups interstate, the Tigers have not skipped a beat since their incredible 2017 GF win, and they are playing breathtaking team-oriented footy. Somehow, despite being 29, Jack Riewoldt has taking his game to new heights while Jayden Short, who wasn’t selected in the Premiership side, has provided great drive from half-back and is one of the most improved players in the competition. Geelong have some absolute superstars of the game, but can they dismantle the Richmond brotherhood?
Richmond (WWLWW) – It was billed as a potential Grand Final preview, but the Tigers were always in control against an injury-depleted Collingwood side. The fact that just 6 players had 20+ disposals (with the Ellis and Edwards the two leaders with 22) compared to 4 Pies getting over 30 highlights just how even this side is, and how it isn’t a case of ‘shut Dusty down, shut Richmond down.’ 9 different goalkickers also adds weight to that fact, with Dusty breaking Greenwood’s solid tag by going forward and booting 3 goals. Who can stop them at the ‘G?
Geelong (LWLWW) – After the surprise loss to the Doggies in Round 15 that left them precariously placed in 8th, the Cats have gotten their season back on track somewhat, including a very impressive win over Sydney at the SCG. The return of Daniel Menzel has given them a much needed added dimension to the forward line while Tom Hawkins has been absolutely unstoppable of late- and you could argue the big boy is in career best form! The misfit defence (as Zach Tuohy calls it) has held up remarkably well, but concerns still center around the tail end of the list that can go completely missing sometimes.
Stats That Matter– Richmond have won a record 18 consecutive games at the MCG – Geelong won 13 consecutive clashes before the Tigers nabbed the last two – Tom Hawkins has had 3+ goals in 10 of his last 11 games – The Tigers have won 14 out of 18 fourth quarters (+240 points) – Gary Ablett has had 110+ Fantasy Points in 6 of his last 8 matches – 5 of the Cats last 6 games have gone Overs – Dion Prestia averages 117 Fantasy Points per game against the Cats – The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their past 5 matches
2018 Line: Richmond- 11-7; Geelong- 10-8
2018 Over-Under: Richmond– 9-9; Geelong- 7-11
What To Expect
The Wolf is expecting a cracking contest early before Richmond pull away in the final term- much like their Round 13 encounter. No doubt Hawkins is in outstanding form; but Astbury, Grimes and Rance should be able to deal with him. Wolfie is wary of Geelong but they have a bad habit of their disposals efficiency wilting quickly under Richmond pressure and the 1-39 market seems safe enough at the price.
How It’s Shaping UpRichmond by 17
Best Bet: Richmond 1-39 ($2.15) Value Bet: HT/FT- Geelong/Richmond ($6.00) Player Prop: TBC First Goalscorer: Josh Caddy ($12.00)