AFL Preview: Finals Week 2
|Western Bulldogs Line +11.5 ($1.93)
Wire to Wire – Any Other Result ($2.00)
Total Game Score – Over 164.5 ($1.90)
Hawthorn are on the ropes, but can the Dogs land the killer blow?
Hawthorn have the wobbles up, having lost three of their last five, and with one of their wins coming by one point against lowly Collingwood in Round 23. Prior to that, they had lost by 25 points to West Coast, defeated North by 39, and lost to Melbourne by 29. Their best performance in this run was last week against Geelong when they had the game on Isaac Smith’s boot, but he couldn’t deliver victory.
The Western Bulldogs had been solid but not spectacular leading into finals, winning three out of four games, but with the most prestigious win coming against an ailing North, and the loss being to 16th placed Fremantle. Coming into finals, the Dogs hadn’t beaten a team in the top seven since Round 15, but they found several gears to trounce West Coast in Perth in their elimination final.
Sam Mitchell v Caleb Daniel
These two are among the shortest players in the finals series, but also among the toughest, and while they are at either end of the experience spectrum, both are renowned for their clean hands and superior decision-making. If Sam Mitchell is causing too much havoc with his creativity, expect Daniel to put the clamps on him, as he did in their Round 3 meeting this year.
Ben Stratton v Jake Stringer
Stringer was put back to the VFL after struggling for form in the second half of the season, but was brought back in for the Dogs’ elimination final where he had some down moments again, but also played an important hand at key stages. The Hawks can’t afford to let him gain any confidence given his match-winning capabilities, and versatile Stratton will be the man for the job.
DT Talk Player Prop Bets
Kicking off the first of the two finals are the mighty Hawks and the firing Bulldogs.
After leading his team to victory last week in the west, we must look at Luke Dahlhaus once again. In Fantasy he is paying $5.50 after his season high 132 last week. He scored 121 on the Hawks when they met in round three and will be tough to stop again as he fills all stats lines. Sam Mitchell racked up another 30 possession game against the Dogs earlier this year and at $3.25, he’s very tough to look past.
With Liam Shiels set to run with Marcus Bontempelli, keep an eye out for Caleb Daniel to be turning heads again this week. He’s little and he wears a helmet but we can’t hold that against him. He had 33 touches last week and 29 on the Hawks in round three. You can find the little man if you search hard enough in group B at $3.25. He’s also in group B in Fantasy as well and is way over the odds paying $9.
If you’re looking for a tackler, then look no further than one of the league’s best, Liam Shiels. He had 11 last week and gone over double figures, six times this year. He’ll be right on Bonts hammer and will wear him all night like a glove.
Josh Gibson ($6) v Matty Boyd ($4.50) is a huge battle in the mark market. Try to say that ten times quickly.