Sydney v North Melbourne

Saturday 5th April, 7:50pm EST – SCG

Sydney

The Swans enter round 7 coming off a surprise win against the Cats where they were missing superstar forward Franklin and core midfielder Hannebery. In a game where many had written off their chances, they filled the void left by Franklin with a less predictable, more even contribution in their forward line and the loss of the full forward may have been a blessing in disguise. They will be facing the Roos with a virtually unchanged line-up and although they will start as significant favourites, they will need to continue that same style of gameplay if they are to beat a surprisingly competitive North Melbourne outfit. Expect Rampe to have the job of containing in-form forward Ben Brown and his ability to stop him from sticking marks inside 50 will be key in supressing the Roos ability to score. The Swans have had the better of the Roos recently having won 4 of their last 5 clashes.

North Melbourne

The Roos’ momentum was halted last week when they lost to a Port Adelaide outfit that beat them in most areas of the game. They will be travelling to Sydney to face the Swans in what will probably be their toughest test so far this season. Higgins will be a welcome addition to the side returning from concussion and the positive for them is that they will be coming into the game almost at full strength, with the exception of a rested Waite. Goldstein should have an advantage over Sinclair in the ruck and their mids will need to make sure they can capitalise on this mismatch much better than they did last week, especially as they come up against one of the most consistent midfields in the competition. Clearances have been an issue for the Roos this season and Cunnington who has been in stellar form this season will need to find a way to extract the ball out from what is likely to be a congested midfield.

Betting Strategy

The Swans are rightfully favourites but the model sees the current odds of $5.3 on North Melbourne as too long and the +32.5 handicap too big.

BACK – North Melbourne


St Kilda v Melbourne

Sunday 6th May, 3:20pm EST – Etihad Stadium

St.Kilda

The Saints have without a doubt been the biggest disappointment of the competition so far. Despite many believing that they could scrape into the 8 at the beginning of the season, that reality has become less and less probable as the season has gone on. Although they have some talent on their list in the likes of Steven and Ross, what has let them down is their poor decision making and goal kicking once they get inside their 50. They have only been able to slot more goals than behinds in one of their games thus far and in total are only registering 40% of their scoring shots as goals. They will need to clean up this area of their game if they are to win against the Dees with what seems to be more a confidence issue than anything else. If they can convert some set shots early, it may set the tone for their accuracy for the rest of the game.

Melbourne

The Dees are coming into this match sitting in 12th spot on the ladder in a season that has been up and down for them thus far. Like the Saints, at the beginning of the season, they were also pegged as having the list to be able to break into the 8 and the prospect of that happening is still very possible. The area that has hurt the Dees the most has been their consistency where they seem incapable of playing high quality football for a full 4 quarters which was most evident from their capitulation against the Hawks in Round 4 despite dominating the first quarter. Probably the biggest mismatch against the Saints will be in the Ruck where big man Gawn will have a significant advantage over his Saints counterpart which should put the Dees’ mids in a good position to deliver some quality ball inside 50. The recent history between the two sides is fairly even with the Dees having won both their encounters in 2017 but dropping the 3 prior to that.

Betting Strategy

Although the Saints ratings have been on a downward slide, the model sees the current odds of $3.3 as value and the +20.5 too large.

 BACK – St Kilda

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