AFL Betting: Wounded Pies still the goods
The Magpies have won eight of the last nine between the two sides, including all three played at Etihad Stadium
Even with a mounting injury tally to equal any other side in the league, Cliff Bingham still can't imagine Collingwood succumbing to a somewhat resurgent Port Adelaide when they meet them at Etihad Stadium this weekend in the AFL.
COLLINGWOOD v PORT ADELAIDE
0.5 units on Collingwood to win by 1-39 points
Port Adelaide have been noble in defeat at their previous two showings, but the task won't get any easier with a trip to Etihad Stadium to take on Collingwood.
In the past two weeks the Power have shown excellent effort at the contest but succumbed to a more poised side with greater experience and depth in the ruck - the same outcome is likely here, with Jolly controlling the ruck and Swan and Pendlebury providing the class.
The Magpies have won eight of the last nine between the two sides, including all three played at Etihad Stadium by an average margin of 49 points. Last year the Pies won by 75 points in the corresponding game and then belted the Power by 138 points at AAMI Stadium in Round 20, albeit that the gap between the two teams has definitely closed since then.
The statistics all point to Collingwood winning by plenty.
However, their recent form, ongoing injuries and the current tense climate between Nathan Buckley and Mick Malthouse all point to a club that is far from on song at the present time, so I think Port can be quite competitive.
GEELONG v RICHMOND
0.5 units to win by over 34.5 points
After opening their premiership account last week against the Demons, Richmond's tough early season draw resumes against the defending premiers, who desperately need a 'statement game' after their loss to North Melbourne.
The Tigers looked good in belting Melbourne last week, although Melbourne aren't much of a form reference. Their two performances prior (losing by 44 and 21 points to Carlton and Collingwood respectively) give much greater insight. Podsiadly and Hawkins will pose match-up dilemmas for the Tigers' defence, although they were able to effectively negate similar tall timber in Cloke and Dawes a fortnight ago.
Head to head the Cats have won the past seven straight and nine of the last 10. The last three matches between the sides at Simonds Stadium have resulted in wins to the home side by 108, 20 and 70 points.
I have a hunch that Geelong will be out to offer their fans something special at home - my only reservation is their poor defence to date this season (conceding an average of 109 points per game) makes covering the significant handicap line a tougher task. If their defence improves, I think they'll win handsomely.
SYDNEY v NORTH MELBOURNE
1.5 units on Sydney to win by more than 4.5 points
North Melbourne may be running on a high after their win over Geelong, but they'll need to keep that momentum going to topple the Sydney at the SCG.
The loss of Adam Goodes for one week to suspension hurts the Swans, but they still have plenty of firepower in the midfield to go with a very accountable and stifling defensive unit. We can expect their high defensive pressure across the ground to really put North Melbourne's handball-focused style of play to the test.
The last nine games between the teams have resulted in seven wins to Sydney, one to North Melbourne and a draw. The last four matches played in Sydney have all gone to the Swans by an average margin of 29 points.
The largest winning margin in the last 10 matches was a 40-point win to the Swans in 2010, while eight games have resulted in 185 or less total points being scored and six have resulted in 165 or less total points. Keep an eye out for a potential 'unders' play in total points markets.
It all points to a tough, high pressure, contested footy-oriented match - Swans footy down to a tea, and they'll get the four points as a result.