It's the Friday night footy between a Tiger's team on the rise and a Saints side finding its mojo again that has Roo most intrigued in this weekend's round of the AFL.
St Kilda vs Richmond
The match of the round is Friday night when in-form sides St Kilda and Richmond clash at Etihad Stadium.
Both sides come into the game having recorded resounding victories against top-four aspirants in Sydney and Hawthorn last weekend. The Tigers are firing on all cylinders and the army is stirring. The big man with the mullet, Ivan Maric, is quite possibly the recruit of 2012. He is dominating in the ruck and giving the Tigers' key on-ballers Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Brett Deledio and Nathan Foley first use of the footy. This will be a distinct advantage for the Tigers, given the Saints' lack of ruck options in the absence of Ben McEvoy and Rhys Stanley.
The game could well be decided in the battle of the Riewoldt cousins, with both Jack and Nick at the pointy end of the Coleman Medal tally. The Saints' stars are also beginning to fire, with Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo and Brendon Goddard all in good form, and Scott Watters will need them at their firing best on Friday night in order to beat Richmond. The Saints will also need to overcome their third six-day break in succession, but will hold an advantage under the roof, having won 13 of their last 15 games on the line at the venue, while Richmond have lost their last three by an average of 36 points.
This game should be tight, but given their imposing record at Etihad Stadium, I think the Saints will cover the line of 2.5 points @ Betfair odds of ($1.96).
Geelong vs GWS
The GWS Giants travel down to Geelong on Saturday afternoon for one of the toughest road trips in footy.
While Geelong has won 31 of their last 32 games at Simonds Stadium, their current form is very ordinary. They did enough to beat the Bulldogs last Friday night, but were less-than-convincing, and find themselves outside the top eight.
GWS showed some good signs against Essendon, with Tom Scully, Adam Treloar and Callan Ward all impressing in the midfield, and Jeremy Cameron kicking three goals. The line in this match is 74.5 points, and given Geelong has only three scores over 100 points this year, I'm just not sure they can kick a big enough score, especially without Tom Hawkins.
It's a great challenge for the Giants, and although I don't think they can win, they certainly will with the 74.5pt start @ Betfair odds of ($2.02).
Fremantle vs Adelaide
Adelaide travels to Perth to take on an out-of-sorts Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.
The Dockers are struggling under new coach Ross Lyon, having lost their last two matches and being held to a paltry five goals six in the Derby. While defence hasn't been a huge problem for them, scoring has, and they're ranked 15th ahead of only the Gold Coast, Melbourne and GWS in the 'scores for' column. Their opponent in Adelaide has scored a whopping 224 points more than them - that's 37 goals!
Their midfield is really struggling without Nat Fyfe, and despite getting good supply from Aaron Sandilands and Zac Clarke in the ruck, Freo are ranked 15th for clearances.
Adelaide is obviously in terrific form and just fell away in the fourth quarter against Collingwood last week. If Adelaide can play the way they did in the first three quarters and overcome Freo's significant home ground advantage, they could blow Freo away and easily cover the line of 10.5 points @ Betfair odds of ($2.02).
Collingwood vs Gold Coast
In the final match of the round, Collingwood will front up against the Gold Coast at the MCG.
The Pies are flying under the radar a little, with much of the media attention centred around West Coast and Essendon at the top of the table, despite the Pies being only one win behind. They are in terrific form, and although they have been dealing with a multitude of injuries, they are finding players to fill the holes.
The absence of Nathan Bock from the Gold Coast means Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes could have a field day, but predicted rain and strong winds could play a factor here. Sit tight until just before the game to have a bet.
If the weather is good, get all over the Pies to cover the line of 60.5pts @ Betfair odds of ($1.80), I think they can get the job done.