The Western Bulldogs will take on the North Melbourne Kangaroos on Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in the final match of Round 16. The Dogs are overwhelming favourites but the Kangaroos will be keen to continue some good recent form to make it a competitive contest. The action kicks off at 4:40pm Sunday and we bring you our AFL tips for the match here.
Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne Betting Tips
Marvel Stadium, Sunday 4:40pm
The Bulldogs have been one of the form teams all season as they currently sit perched second on the ladder, but their form recently may have even gone to a whole new level.
The Dogs should’ve beaten the Cats on their home deck at GMHBA Stadium two weeks ago, which is no easy feat, and it was only a kick after the siren that saw them narrowly defeated. They followed that up with arguably the toughest road trip in the game as they headed to Optus Stadium in Perth and gave the Eagles an absolute thrashing in a super impressive performance.
The Dogs are flying with a massive percentage and they return to the kennel in Melbourne, just one Demons loss away from taking over top spot and a very possible minor premiership at season's end.
However they won’t want to take things lightly against an improving North Melbourne. Sure, they are still stuck to the bottom of the ladder and don’t look likely to move from there, but their recent form has been good. They claimed a draw against finals contenders in the Giants, in a game they should’ve won, and followed that up with a competitive showing against the highly-fancied Lions, before a solid win over the Suns which reads like good form after the Suns knocked off the Tigers earlier in the round.
There’s two key factors in those results for the Roos - personnel and venue. North have struggled with injuries all season but getting the likes of Robbie Tarrant, Luke McDonald, Jaidyn Stephenson and Trent Dumont back on the park has certainly filled a few gaping holes. They’ve also enjoyed playing in the windy conditions in Hobart. That’s a luxury they won’t have under the roof at Marvel Stadium against the Dogs.
Ben Cunnington and Jy Simpkin have also enjoyed themselves in Hobart, but might find it tougher in a faster-paced game against the Dogs who have a wealth of talent in the midfield and a forward line that looks unstoppable.
Marcus Bontempelli has been superb and will be hard to beat in the Brownlow this season, and the Roos really don’t have anyone who can match up on him to curtail his influence. Then up forward Aaron Naughton has been relentlessly crashing packs for fun. Can Robbie Tarrant or Ben McKay go with him? It seems unlikely.
When these two sides met in Round 3 on Good Friday, the Bulldogs won by 128 points and Josh Bruce kicked ten goals. It was the low point of the season for the Roos, and they will want to show their improvement since then, but this really isn’t a fight in matching weight divisions. The Dogs have far more fire power all over the ground, and even in second gear, they should win this comfortably.
The line is currently a massive -49.5 in favour of the Dogs, and the Dogs could easily cover that if they turn it on. However I think the Roos will be keen to continue to play positive football and take it right up to the Dogs which could see a free-flowing, high-scoring type of game. In their games at Marvel this season, the Dogs have scored 100, 167, 118, 107, 144, and 59 (vs Melbourne). The total points line has been covered in six of the last seven of the Dogs’ matches at Marvel, so that looks the play again here.
Over 165.5 points (1 unit)
Same Game Multi
For our Same Game Multi at Sportsbet we’ll take the Dogs to cover a 24.5 line and boost that with some disposal and goalscorer markets.
Jack Macrae has racked up 30+ disposals in 26 straight matches which is an incredible achievement. Surely that doesn’t come to an end against the lowly Roos? Bailey Dale also enjoys playing at Marvel and we like him to collect 20+ disposals. He’s missed that mark only three times this season - the first two rounds and then a tough matchup against Geelong. Lock it in. Finally, the goals are going to be flowing and while Josh Bruce cashed in last time, it’s Aaron Naughton who is hitting a special level of form at the moment. He’ll get plenty of attention but if the ball comes in quickly, the Roos don’t have anyone who can compete with him in the air.
Jack Macrae 30+ disposals
Bailey Dale 20+ disposals
Aaron Naughton 3+ goals