AFL Betting: Giants to be humbled by Hawks
…the resurgent Hawks at home are the play here, even against such a substantial line.
In what might be shaping up as the biggest mismatch of the season, Cliff Bingham is expecting the Hawks to thump the Giants in their Sunday AFL match-up.
NORTH MELBOURNE v (West Coast)
One unit to win with 15.5 points start @ Betfair odds of (1.85) or better
North Melbourne appear to have made significant progress over the last fortnight and they'll be looking to build on that momentum when they take on West Coast.
With the race for the final two positions in the top eight being so hotly contested, this constitutes a huge game for the Kangaroos - their last two efforts have been excellent, but a poor showing here could send them back to square one.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are having another very strong season after their massive leap up the ladder in 2011. However, they are vulnerable away from Patersons Stadium (winning only three of six matches so far in 2012).
These teams have yet to meet in a match played in Tasmania, but their last two matches at neutral venues (Carrara and Manuka Oval) have resulted in one win apiece.
I like the current form of the Kangaroos and with the Eagles having to travel cross country for this one, I'm happy to take the points and be with the underdog.
Melbourne v (RICHMOND)
One unit to win by more than 33.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.90) or better
Melbourne return home after being trounced by the Lions last weekend, and the task won't get any easier when they take on Richmond.
The Demons look to have made some progress in the past month or so, but this was coming from an extremely low base - they still have a very long road ahead of them.
For the Tigers the situation appears a little more clear-cut - if they consider themselves to be a legitimate finals contender, they have to win this game and win it decisively. Their performance against the Crows in Adelaide last week was excellent for the majority of the game - a repeat would be more than sufficient to grab the four points here.
Richmond has won the last two meetings between these teams, including a 59-point win in the third round of this season. I'm expecting more of the same from the Tigers this time around, and will therefore be backing the favourites to cover the line.
HAWTHORN (v Greater Western Sydney)
One unit to win by more than 90.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.90) or better
Hawthorn will be looking for a percentage-boosting win when they host Greater Western Sydney.
The Hawks' last six wins have all come by 46 points or more, including a 115-point drubbing of North Melbourne. The way they disposed of Carlton last Friday night was indicative of a side performing somewhere near its peak. Given that the Giants are arguably worse than (and unquestionably less experienced than) all six of those vanquished opponents, this score-line could get very ugly.
The Giants won a number of their early season games on the line when opponents rested key personnel, but as that trend has dropped off their margins of defeat have increased. With an average losing margin of 82 points when playing away from home, a triple-figure loss is on the cards here.
With all of that in mind, the resurgent Hawks at home are the play here, even against such a substantial line.
GOLD COAST (v Geelong)
0.5 units to win with 56.5 points start @ Betfair odds of (1.90) or better
The Gold Coast Suns continue to search for their opening win of the 2012 season, but it is unlikely to come at the expense of the reigning premiers this weekend.
Both teams have struggled to live up to pre-season expectations and have won only four matches on the line all season. The Suns have lost six of their last seven on the line, while the Cats have lost seven of their last eight on the line.
Geelong won the corresponding match last year by 66 points, but on average the Suns have kept their matches closer than that when playing at home, losing their last eight matches at home by an average of 44 points.
In a matchup where I have very limited confidence, the home underdog at the line gets the nod.