|AFL Preview: Round 22
Essendon v Western Bulldogs
4.40pm AEST, Sunday, August 21
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
|Best Bet: Both Teams to Score 60 Points – No ($1.66)
Other Bet: Under 170.5 points ($1.85)
Essendon Exact Team Total 0-50 Points ($2.65)
Essendon fans were exultant after seeing a second win for the season, while the Dogs keep finding a way to win when below their best.
Essendon defied expectations to beat Gold Coast last week, which somewhat made up for their loss to Brisbane in Round 18. In between, they were comfortably beaten by Adelaide and Geelong.
The Western Bulldogs haven’t played their best for a while now, but have won their last two, against Collingwood and North Melbourne. This came after losses to Geelong and St Kilda, when they were struck with major injuries.
Stats That Matter
Essendon lead the Bulldogs 7-3 in their last 10 meeting, with the Dons winning six of the last seven matches between the sides. All of these have been played at Etihad.
Essendon have covered the line in four of eight matches against top eight sides this season. They have averaged 55 points per game against these opponents, and conceded 115.
The Bulldogs have played 11 matches against bottom ten sides this season, winning ten at +24% POT, and covering the line in seven of them. They have covered the line in five of eight matches when starting $1.30 or less under Luke Beveridge.
The scene looks set for the Bulldogs to put on one of their classic strangling performances, against a side that has understandably struggled to put up scores against the best sides.
Essendon should start on a high, coming off a win as they are, but won’t have the class or gameplan to be able to break the Dogs down, whose main challenge will be avoiding a mental let down in their first easy game for a number of weeks.
Both sides like to play a high possession game, but the Dogs will win the pressure battle, and should set up plenty of turnovers from which to score, even though that isn’t their strength.
How It’s Shaping Up
Western Bulldogs by 58 points
The Wolf’s Round 22 AFL Tips
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