The final round of the 2018 AFL season is finally upon us and this weekend will feature some massively important games. The top eight looks to be set in stone, however, Port Adelaide can throw a spanner in the works with a win over Essendon in the round opener on Friday night. We preview the big game from Adelaide Oval and give our betting tips below.
Port Adelaide currently sit 9th on the AFL ladder with 48 points. Geelong sit one spot above them in eighth with the same amount of points but boast an average which is a whole 16 points better than the Power’s. For Port Adelaide to make the finals, they’ll need to beat Essendon on Friday night and hope the Suns lose to Gold Coast at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It’s an unlikely scenario for the Power, but they’ll still be keen to hold up their end of the deal and leave their fate in Gold Coast’s hands on Saturday. Regardless of the outcome, the finish to the season is a disappointing one for the Power. After sitting in 2nd place and looking pretty after Round 16, Port Adelaide have now lost five of their last six games to potentially miss finals.
The Bombers suffered a season ending loss to the Tigers on Friday night last weekend. They went down by 8 points at the MCG and now sit four points behind Port Adelaide and Geelong plus percentage points so would need to win this game by an astronomical amount to have any chance of advancing.
It’s a disappointing result to a really disjointed season from the Bombers. Injury and poor form throughout the middle part of the season will mean they miss finals when they were arguably one of the most in form teams in the competition over the final few months.
The Bombers have had the edge over Port Adelaide in their last two encounters, winning last season at Etihad Stadium by 70 points before facing them again under the roof in Round 4 of this year where they were 22 point winners. The two teams haven’t met in Adelaide since the 2016 season, where Port Adelaide were big 61 point winners, so it figures that the home team would be slightly favoured here.
2018 Round 4 – Essendon (16.10.106) dft. Port Adelaide (12.12.84)
2017 Round 12 – Essendon (19.17.131) dft. Port Adelaide (8.13.61)
2016 Round 3 – Port Adelaide (17.10.112) dft. Essendon (7.9.51)
2015 Round 17 – Essendon (17.14.116) lt. Port Adelaide (20.9.129)
2014 Round 16 – Port Adelaide (7.18.60) lt. Essendon (8.14.62)
Port Adelaide start as slight 9.5 point favourites at home, which we’re not sure about given their form of late. They have had a tough run of games, losing to GWS, Adelaide, West Coast and Collingwood over their last six games. Three of their five losses over the past few months have come by single digits and eight of their games in 2018 have been decided by 14 points or less.
Tough game to call here so we are looking to the total points line for value. Both teams will be ultra attacking as both need a massive percentage boost in the extremely off chance that Geelong underperform against the Gold Coast. The last three games between the two sides have all cleared the 171.5-point mark and we think this one should with the aggressive nature of play.
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