AFL Round 18: Sunday Match Previews & Betting Tips
Traditional rivals Geelong and Hawthorn kick off an important Sunday afternoon of footy at the MCG.
Geelong v Hawthorn - MCG - 1:10pm
Eight points clear atop the ladder after Round 17, Geelong will look to further solidify its position by downing traditional rival, Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. This will mark the second meeting between these clubs in 2019, with the first resulting in a relatively straightforward 23-point Cats victory on Easter Monday.
Recent form would indicate the Hawks could cause Geelong more trouble this time around given they have defeated both the Magpies and Dockers in their last two outings. Furthermore, despite overcoming the Saints by 27-points last weekend, the Cats have at times been underwhelming recently, having fallen to the Power and Bulldogs across the last four weeks.
Even so, Geelong has displayed strong form at this venue during 2019, winning each of its four such fixtures despite three of those encounters coming against sides currently in the top eight. As such, it could prove an uphill battle for the 11th-ranked Hawks to break that streak, but with their season on the line, they may be able to cause a shock.
Key Stat: Geelong has won its last 10 Round 18 home matches
Best bet: Geelong 1-39
Value bet: Hawthorn +19.5/Under 154.5
Melbourne v West Coast - TIO Traeger Park - 3:20pm
In need of a bounce-back performance after being upset by Collingwood, West Coast will travel to Alice Springs where 16th-placed Melbourne awaits. These sides have already met in 2019, resulting in a hard-fought 85-69 Eagles victory at Optus Stadium despite an imposing 56 hit-out, 15-disposal performance from Max Gawn.
Due to Nic Naitanui’s ankle injury, West Coast could again be vulnerable to the exploits of Gawn. However, it remains to be seen whether that would translate to a Demons victory given they have won just twice since they last met the Eagles in Round 9.
That stretch includes an eight-point loss to the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium last weekend, a result that reinforced Melbourne’s position as the league’s 15th-ranked offence. When considering West Coast currently ranks 5th in the league for points conceded this season, its miserly defence could prove influential at TIO Traeger Park on Sunday afternoon.
Key Stat: West Coast has covered the line in 16 of its last 20 day matches.
Tip: West Coast
Best bet: West Coast -15.5
Value bet: West Coast 40+
St Kilda v Western Bulldogs - Marvel Stadium - 4:40pm
Beware the caretaker coach. After St Kilda inevitably parted ways with Alan Richardson during the week, the biggest losers to come from that announcement was going to be the team they played immediately. That team is the Western Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon as they seek a fourth consecutive win, which would put them in front of the win-loss ledger at 9-8.
The interim head coach role is familiar with Brett Ratten after having taken over Carlton for the final six games of 2007 when Dennis Pagan was sacked. Ratten went 0-6 before eventually being hired as the club’s full time coach, but interim coaches are 2-0 in 2019. The Bulldogs continued their best winning streak of the season with a hard fought eight-point victory over the Demons last week and while it wasn’t convincing, they did enough to earn the four points and continue their September push.
The Dogs have won four of their past five against the Saints and their last two by an average of 37.5 points and look set to continue that trend with too much on the line.
Key Stat: St Kilda has a 2-6 W/L record against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium from 2013 onwards.
Tip: Western Bulldogs
Best bet: Western Bulldogs 1-39
Value bet: Lachie Hunter Most Disposals Group A