AFL Betting: Time for some Brown and Gold magic
After letting Fremantle escape to a 30-0 lead in their reality check against the Dockers, the Cats know this one could be lost in the first quarter if they repeat the dose.
If you believe in bogey teams, hexes or mumbo jumbo, David Murdoch predicts the Hawks will need all their sorcery and wizardry to break the spell the Cats have cast over them since the 2008 AFL Grand Final.
Abracadabra, Ala Kazam.
Listen carefully and you might hear something like this rise from the Hawthorn huddle at the MCG Monday when the Hawks try to end their long running hex when it comes to Geelong.
The hoodoo has held for seven straight wins, and after the Cats very own soft opening, will be looking to summon all the black magic they can to make it eight and get off the ground in 2012.
If last week's win over Collingwood wasn't enough, the Hawks get another opportunity to frank their credentials in this clash of the Titans, and despite the three year-losing streak, start favourites.
• Hawthorn have lost their last seven matches against the Cats
• Five of those losses have been by 10 points or less
• Since 2010 had you bet to win $100 on the away team underdog, you would have made a loss of $552
While plenty in the AFL world were calling for a statue to be cast in Matthew Scarlett's honour after clipping Freo's Hayden Ballantyne, the love-tap will cost the Cat more than the three weeks on the boundary.
Buddy Franklin went ballistic in the Hawks opening round win, kicking a fistful of goals, and the Cats are going have trouble finding anyone to keep him in check with Scarlett side-lined
The Cats midfield of Selwood, Chapman and Bartel should be able to match it with Sam Mitchell, but they will need to get their fair share of clearances out of their 29-yo ruck rookie Orren Stephenson if they hope to stem the flow to Franklin.
Expect the Cats to come out guns a-blazing against the Hawks. After letting Fremantle escape to a 30-0 lead in their reality check against the Dockers, the Cats know this one could be lost in the first quarter if they repeat the dose.
It's time to put your superstitions aside: Hawthorn's 2012 brand of alchemy will be too much for the Cats.