The Bulldogs and Bombers will square off from UTAS Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the 2nd elimination final of the weekend. PuntingInDanger has a full preview, best bets and same game multi for the clash below!
Elimination Final, UTAS Stadium, Sunday 3.20pm (AEST)
The Dogs and Bombers played out an absolute thriller in Round 21 and this one is setting up to be another classic, with two of the most exciting offences in the league set to do battle.
What a terrible run home it was the Bulldogs, who lost their last three games of the regular season to fall from the top two on the ladder to all the way out of the top four. Dropping out of the top four and losing the double chance that comes with it is a massive blow tot he Dogs chances of winning the premiership, even more so given they now face the Bombers, who had their measure back in the Round 21 clash.
The Bombers ran out 13 point winners in a high scoring game that night, led by big forward Peter Wright, who booted seven goals in the win. Wright is coming into the finals in some great form as well, after kicking foru goals in the win over the Pies on the weekend to secure the Bombers place in the top eight.
The Dogs should be boosted by the return of ruckman Stefan Martin this week. They have been a much better side with Martin in the lineup this year, but will still be getting used to life without key forward Josh Bruce, whose season ended with a knee injury a few weeks ago.
The Bombers have battled a long list of injuries throughout the season but seem to have come together at the right time of the season. They will only be without a few players heading into the finals, and Kyle Langford could return to strengthen the line-up even further.
If this game was at the MCG or at Marvel Stadium, I would really like the over here, but early forecast for Launceston suggests rain on Sunday afternoon, which should turn this clash pretty sloppy.
The Dogs start as 10.5 point favourites but I think they have arguably the most polarising difference of any team in the league when it comes to perforamcne in wet vs dry weather. From 2017-2020, the Western Bulldogs had a 49.2 winning percentage in dry weather and just a 25.0 winning percentage in wet weather, the 2nd worst in the league behind only the Saints.
The last time the Dogs played at UTAS Stadium in the blustery conditions, they scored just 37 points in an embarrassing loss to the Hawks. I like both the under and the Bombers to cover the line here, more leaning towards the under.
Zach Merrett has had a stellar 2021 season, capped off with four straight games of 25+ possessions over the last four weeks. When he faced the Bulldogs in Round 21, he racked up 30 touches.
With the return of Adam Treloar to the line-up, Marcus Bontempelli spent a bit more time forward on Friday night in the loss to the Power. He had just 15 touches but booted a goal, his 26th in 22 games this year.
Treloar has been back in the line-up for three weeks now and has been increasing on midfield time each week. Has surpassed 20 touches in two of those games and when he faced the Bombers in Round 21, he had 22 disposals.
Merrett 25+ Disp.
Bontempelli 1+ Goal
Treloar 20+ Disp.
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