AFL Preview Round 16: Eagles v Giants

The last game of Round 16 is an 8-point game for both the Eagles and the Giants when they do battle at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The top 2 forwards for both sides are out, and the outcome of the midfield battle will have a huge say in the result. A double chance and a home final would surely be the only way the Weagles can win their way through to the Prelim or Grand Final, can they prove Optus Stadium is a fortress after all and prove they belong in the Top 4, or will the Ferrari crash the party?

Form

West Coast (WWLLL) – After being favourites for the Minor Premiership, the Eagles have taken a nose-dive after the injuries to Kennedy, Darling and LeCras. What has been lost in all that, however, is the performance of the midfield. When pundits (including Wolfie) wrote the Eagles off at the start of the year, it was due to the midfield losing Mitchell and Priddis and having doubt around who could be a consistent, A-grade contributor and perform when the pressure was hottest. They’ve been smashed in the midfield over recent weeks, with Naitanui’s lack of form not helping either. They desperate need someone to step up and win it in tight to give their makeshift forward line a chance.

GWS (LWWWW) – They’ve won four in a row, but crucially, they beat Hawthorn last round without Jeremy Cameron to climb into the 8 for the first time since Round 7. Kelly returning has no doubt been a huge factor in their return to form, but the whole midfield was prolific last round, with their clearance dominance laying a great platform for the smaller forward line to take advantage of. The 194cm Harry Himmelberg and part-time forward Rory Lobb will have huge roles in the absence of Cameron and Patton over the coming weeks. 

Stats That Matter
– The Giants have won their past 2 games in Perth
– West Coast are averaging just 62 points per game in their last 3 matches
– Josh Kelly has averaged 35 disposals and 120 Fantasy Points in his past 3 games against the Eagles
– The Eagles have not covered the spread in 4 consecutive matches
– Andrew Gaff had 32 touches in their Round 8 encounter, and is averaging 30.2 disposals per game in 2018
– In Perth fixtures since the start of 2017 the Eagles have won 14 from 19
– Callan Ward averages 102 Fantasy Points per game against West Coast

Betting Data

2018 Line: West Coast- 8-6; GWS- 4-10

2018 Over-Under: West Coast- 6-8; GWS- 6-8

What To Expect

The shine has been taking off this match somewhat, with all of the injury dramas affecting both sides robbing the game of some absolute superstars. Losing Jon Patton to a 3rd ACL injury in an innocuous training incident on Thursday afternoon was a bitter blow to the Giants, but they are hitting momentum at just the right time, and their midfield should give them the ascendancy to triumph here. Optus Stadium isn’t the fortress it was a few months ago now.

How It’s Shaping Up
GWS by 9

Recommended Bets

Best Bet: GWS +12.5 ($1.91)
Value Bet: gws 1-24 ($4.10)
Player Prop: Jo
sh Kelly 120+ Fantasy Points ($3.00)

First Goalscorer: Luke Shuey

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