Mick Malthouse: Round 7 Preview
Mick Malthouse is back on the William Hill team in 2018 and Mick’s Picks will be a weekly article throughout the season.
The big surprise from last week was Sydney getting up down at Geelong despite the absence of several key players. They didn’t have Lance Franklin, but this may have ended up benefiting them as they were forced to spread the load. If they continue to rely too heavily on Franklin they will be in for a disappointing finals campaign, not because he isn’t good enough but because they put all their eggs in the one basket and the good teams will be able to stop them. The Swans come up against the real disappointment of last round, North Melbourne, who didn’t give a yelp against Port Adelaide. Collingwood continues to improve and they were right in the game for three quarters of it, even though the final result was a blowout. Coming off the shorter break from ANZAC Day may have contributed to that as well as Essendon were similarly taken apart in the second half by Melbourne.
Round 7 Tips
|Geelong v GWS (Fri 19:50)||Geelong -19.5 ($1.91)|
|Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast (Sat 13:45)||Bulldogs 1-39 ($2.20)|
|Essendon v Hawthorn (Sat 14:10)||Hawthorn -10.5 ($1.91)|
|West Coast v Port Adelaide (Sat 16:35)||West Coast -6.5 ($1.91)|
|Sydney v North Melbourne (Sat 19:20)||Sydney 1-39 ($2.15)|
|Adelaide v Carlton (Sat 19:50)||Carlton +55.5 ($1.91)|
|Richmond v Fremantle (Sun 13:10)||Fremantle +37.5 ($1.91)|
|St. Kilda v Melbourne (Sun 15:20)||Melbourne 1-39 ($2.15)|
|Brisbane v Collingwood (Sun 16:40)||Collingwood -20.5 ($1.91)|
Geelong v GWS (Fri 19:50)
Both teams are missing key forwards with Daniel Menzel being out still for the Cats, while Jeremy Cameron will miss for the Giants, along with Brett Deledio. GWS need to have a serious look at why their injury list is always so long, it is seriously inhibiting their ability to reach their full potential. As much as the Cats were disappointing last week, GWS are down on manpower and down on confidence. Patrick Dangerfield has been playing well below his best and this is a great opportunity for him to impose himself on a team that has been decimated by injuries.
Mick’s Pick: Geelong -19.5 ($1.91)
Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast (Sat 13:45)
Gold Coast have lost their bookends in Tom Lynch and Steven May, who I rate as in the top echelon of their positions right across the league. I think the Suns have been very gallant so far this season but the constant travel takes its toll, and it contributes to some of the injuries that they are suffering from. The Dogs have the chance to stay in the hunt for the Top 8 by winning here, they have got some of their run and dash back, and against a depleted side they should win fairly comfortably.
Mick’s Pick: Bulldogs 1-39 ($2.20)
Essendon v Hawthorn (Sat 14:10)
There is one ungracious faller from my ladder at the start of the season and that is Essendon. They can’t find any consistency, and their run is lacking which is unusual from a side who I rate as one of the fastest in the competition. I don’t think Hawthorn are playing great football, and they continue to miss Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo, but the return of James Sicily and Liam Shiels should help them. John Worsfold has given the Bombers a tough week on the track which might turn them around, but in the end I don’t think they have the consistency to match it with the Hawks.
Mick’s Pick: Hawthorn -10.5 ($1.91)
West Coast v Port Adelaide (Sat 16:35)
This looks like being the game of the round. I originally had West Coast missing the finals but I would certainly change that prediction now. They play fast football, move the ball quickly, and their best players with the exception of Josh Kennedy have been in great form. Port were very good against North last week, but against a dominant ruckman in Nic Naitanui their weakness in the department can be exploited. At home, the Eagles should have enough up their sleeve to get over the line.
Mick’s Pick: West Coast -6.5 ($1.91)
Sydney v North Melbourne (Sat 19:20)
Both times surprised last week – Sydney were far better than I expected and North Melbourne far worse. North lacked drive from the midfield, and they come up against a very hard and tough midfield this week, led by Josh Kennedy who was exceptional against Geelong. Even though Sydney are missing Lance Franklin and Sam Reid, last week they came up with a forward structure that worked without them. North have a pretty solid defence so even though I think Sydney will win, it shouldn’t be a blowout.
Mick’s Pick: Sydney 1-39 ($2.15)
Adelaide v Carlton (Sat 19:50)
Carlton will miss Charlie Curnow but they finally regain Matthew Kreuzer who is their most important player. Adelaide regains Eddie Betts but his form this year was poor prior to injury so they will be hoping he can gain some confidence here. It’s pretty obvious that Adelaide will win; they are getting their mojo back, especially with their midfield and defence. 55.5 is a huge start to be giving away though so the Blues at the line look to be the way to go in this one.
Mick’s Pick: Carlton +55.5 ($1.91)
Richmond v Fremantle (Sun 13:10)
Fremantle’s resurgence this year has been driven by the good consistent form of Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters and Aaron Sandilands. Unfortunately, Walters is out this week which makes this assignment even tougher. Richmond are playing premiership football, they have almost no injuries to speak of, and are chock full of confidence. I thought Toby Nankervis was best on ground for the Tigers last week so his duel with Sandilands should be a ripper. Fremantle have been competitive in every game they have played this year except for Round 1, so I think they will be able to keep it relatively close.
Mick’s Pick: Fremantle +37.5 ($1.91)
St. Kilda v Melbourne (Sun 15:20)
Melbourne was horrid in the first half last week against Essendon but after half time they were the good side we know they can be. They started to use their pace again and Essendon were overwhelmed. Tom McDonald returned and showed just how vital he is for them. The Saints have been disappointing this season, they lack class and they lack finishing power. They simply lack ‘A’ grade players, with Jack Steven and possibly Jake Carlisle being the only two who would fall into that category. The Dees have a great opportunity here to win and win well, but given their inconsistency – even in the second half last week they took the foot off the pedal late – it is hard to see them blowing out the Saints.
Mick’s Pick: Melbourne 1-39 ($2.15)
Brisbane v Collingwood (Sun 16:40)
Brisbane is 0-6 for a particular reason – they aren’t good enough. It is not going to get better anytime soon. The Pies were super impressive last week for most of the game against Richmond before they tired late. Brisbane turn the ball far too often and Collingwood are very good against forcing teams to turn the ball over, and then punishing them on the counter. I expect the Pies to win and win very comfortably.
Mick’s Pick: Collingwood -20.5 ($1.91)