North Melbourne v GWS

Saturday 19th May, 1:45pm EST – Etihad Stadium

North Melbourne

In Round 9, the Roos will be returning to their surrogate home-ground in Tasmania with their first 2018 appearance there resulting in a thorough flogging of the Blues by 86 points. This time around, they’ll be facing some stiffer competition in the Giants in a match-up that most observers at the start of the season would have written off as an easy victory for the visitors. However, in what has been an unpredictable 2018, the Roos will start as favourites against a Giants outfit that continues to get decimated by injuries. With the loss of Giants’ co-captain Phil Davis, local boy Ben Brown will be hard to stop and with veteran Jarrad Waite providing another strong contested marking option up forward, a big score for the home team may be on the cards. One thing we do know is that the Roos love to play in Tasmania having won 8 of their last 10 matches at Blundstone.

Greater Western Sydney

The Orange Tsunami have been playing like a shadow of the premiership favourite team they once were and while some of that can be attributed to key injuries, a large part of it is also a clear drop in effort in recent games. Their injury woes get worse this round with Davis and DeBoer added to their growing injury list leaving them with a team missing almost half of their best 22. Their biggest concerns will be in their backline with our model rating all their defenders as below average with the exception of Shaw. There will have to be a significant increase in effort in their midfield to take the heat off their defenders and their ability to keep the ball in their forward half will be critical to their chances to winning. On paper, despite their injuries, they still have the better midfield, but given how they’ve been playing as of late, this may not be as obvious an advantage as it should be.

Betting Strategy

The Kangaroos should have the better of this contest and we see the current odds of $1.64 as value against an injury-depleted Giants.

 BACK – North Melbourne

Gold Coast v Port Adelaide

Saturday 19th May, 1:35pm EST – Jiangwan Stadium (China)

Gold Coast

After winning their first two games of the season, the Suns have dropped 5 of their last 6, with the lone win coming from the bottom of the ladder Lions. We can’t help but feel that almost two months on the road has taken its toll and it doesn’t get any better this round with a long flight to China. The Suns will still be without their co-captain Lynch and the loss of Sam Day to suspension will put further strain on their forward line. The Suns have shown they can be competitive and May will need to organise his troops up back to ensure that they can repel the quick inside 50 attack that the Power is known for or else they may be in for a big score posted against them. It’s hard to see how the Suns can win this one, but they will look to keep it close and competitive such that they can return to Metricon after the bye with some confidence.

Port Adelaide

The Power are coming into this game after a thrilling Showdown finish where a Motlop goal in the last minute stole the win from a fast finishing Crows. The Power have had an up and down season but showed last week that when they play at their best, they are able to contend with the top teams in the competition. They will be fielding an unchanged line-up from last week and the clear mismatch will be in their forward line which should be too much for the Suns defense to handle. One thing we know about the Power is that they love to post large scores against the poorer teams and this match falls into that category. All-Australian Robbie Gray will likely play the majority of the game up-forward and expect him to be their main target as the Suns will find it hard to contain his mobility and strength in the contest. The last time these two met in Shanghai, it was a one-sided affair with the Power winning by 72.

Betting Strategy

The Power should be too strong for the Suns and we see the line on the Power of -39.5 as generous and would take this over the skinny odds on the head to head.

 BACK – Port Adelaide -39.5

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