Unfortunately, PuntingInDanger and fans hit on just two of six bets in last weekend’s AFL action as the lines continue to be a tricky customer. With another bye round on the cards this weekend, Round 14 kicks off on Thursday night again with the West Coast Eagles hosting the Essendon Bombers in a massive clash from Optus Stadium. We take a look at the Round 14 opener and give our betting tips below.
West Coast’s fantastic 10 game win streak is now bookended by two losses to the Sydney Swans in Round 1 and last week in Sydney. The Eagles went down by 15 points in a tight game which saw them relinquish their top spot on the ladder. They can claim it back this weekend however, as Richmond, who currently have the same amount of points as the Eagles, have the bye.
West Coast were arguably the better side for the majority of the game against the Swans, but just couldn’t convert their chances as they kicked 7.15 on the night. One of their marksmen on the season so far and their 2nd leading goal kicker, Jack Darling, remains on the sidelines with an injured ankle. Apart from that, the Eagles look pretty good on the injury front and start this game as hot favourites at home.
Essendon will be entering the Thursday night clash on the back of their bye so should be relatively fresh. They bounced back from a 71 point loss to Richmond in Round 11 by beating the Lions in Brisbane by 22 points before the bye. They’ll be looking to carry some of that momentum into this game, however, Optus Stadium has proven to be a fortress for the Eagles this year.
The Bombers will be without a few key players through injury in Davis Zaharakis, Darcy Parish, Josh Begley, Patrick Ambrose and of course Joe Daniher, who is still troubled by a groin injury. Skipper Dyson Heppell should suit up for the red and black, however, after a concussion forced him to miss the majority of the Lions game.
The Bombers have been a funny team this year that has taken it up to some of the best teams in the competition but has also looked abysmal in other games. Wins over Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Geelong and GWS highlight the season, but inconsistency has been the main theme of the year so far. West Coast on the other hand, have been a pillar of consistency. While they have lost to the Swans twice this year, Round 1 seems an eternity ago and no one can blame them for going to Sydney and losing in a tough match on Friday night, especially without Darling in the side.
Josh Kennedy should have his work cut out for him this weekend having to deal with a Hurley/Hooker combo in defence, but I think the Eagles should still be far too strong for the Bombers at home. The 32.5 line is the only question here. The Bombers were beaten convincingly by the Tigers back in Round 11 and although they’ve had the break to freshen themselves up, I still think punters will back this line out closer to 40 by Thursday night.
Value seems to be with the Eagles at the moment and I’d take them at the handicap all the way up to around the six goal mark!
West Coast are the third highest scoring team in the competition so far this year. They have scored over 90 points in six games so far while Essendon allow the sixth most points per game in the league. I think the Eagles score over 100 points in good conditions in Perth on Thursday night and the two teams surpass the 151.5 mark.
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