|AFL Preview: Round 23
North Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney
7.25pm AEST, Saturday, August 27
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
|Best Bet: North Line +13 ($1.91)
Other Bet: Wire to Wire – Any Other Result ($2.00)
North Melbourne can’t lose their top eight position, while GWS will know whether they have a realistic shot at the top four by game time.
North are coming off three losses in a row against fellow top eight sides, but they have been far from disgraced, going down to the Dogs by 14 points, Hawthorn by 39, and Sydney by nine points last week.
GWS crushed Fremantle last week, which was their third win by 13 goals or more in the last six weeks; the others came against Brisbane and Richmond. They also beat Port and Gold Coast in this time, but also lost to West Coast on the last kick of the day.
Stats That Matter
GWS are yet to defeat North, with the Roos holding a 5-0 advantage. The wins have been big too, with an average margin of 75 points.
North is eight from 12 at Etihad this season, at +15% POT and 58% ATS, with 75% of those matches gong the under, including nine of the last ten.
GWS are six from nine on the road this season, at -13% POT and 44% ATS. The Giants have started favourite seven times in Victoria in the last two years, for three wins at -43% POT and 14% ATS.
DT Talk Player Prop Bets
For some unknown reason, Heath Shaw loves playing the Roos and loves playing at Etihad Stadium where he has scored 116 and 131 Fantasy points this year. Against the Roos he has scored 128 and 123 in his last two games and at $4.50, it’s hard to say ‘no’. He’ll need to take some marks ($2.50) like he did last week when he pulled down 11 in his ninth double figure effort this year. Finally, did you know that the big Shane Mumford has laid nearly 10 bones crunching tackles a game over the last three weeks? At $6, he’ll need to beat Swallow and could easily get the job done.
There is a strong chance that this match-up will be repeated in the first week of finals, except at Spotless Stadium instead of Etihad. Both sides would obviously like to take a win into that match, but learning what works and what doesn’t against each other will be just as important.
North are playing for a home final in some respects, given a Kangaroos win may see them playing Western Bulldogs at Etihad in the first week of finals. Lose, and they will likely have to play GWS again up in Sydney.
The Giants have been somewhat flaky in recent times, while the Roos showed better form against Sydney, and if they bring their intensity again, they can cause an upset. The great unknown is how the announcement of the forced retirement of the North greats will emotionally effect the Kangaroo players.
How It’s Shaping Up
North by 11 points
North Line +13 ($1.91)
Other Recommended Bets
Wire to Wire – Any Other Result ($2.00)
The Wolf’s Round 23 AFL Tips
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