As we roll around towards the business end of the season, the race for playing finals footy continues to heat up. It’s currently a stacked up middle of the AFL ladder with a heap of teams still a mathematical chance of making the top eight.
Billy Bestford has a full preview and betting tips for the Saturday night clash between the Crows and Hawks in Round 19 below.
Marvel Stadium, Saturday 7:40pm AEST
Two sides who are probably very unlikely to make those finals are the Crows and the Hawks, who do battle tonight at Marvel Stadium. Adelaide come into this after yet another loss, going down to West Coast here at home by 42 points last week. They’ve now lost four straight matches and desperately need to fix their defensive inefficiencies. They’ve conceded at least 11 goals in 11 of their last 12 matches and continue to leak points on a weekly basis. To go with that, they have only managed to kick 10 goals combined across their last two games. They won’t get a better chance to buck the trend however, coming up against a Hawthorn side who are sitting below them on the ladder.
The Hawks season just hasn’t got going at all and they sit in a lowly 16th with just five wins to their name. You could argue they are in a rebuilding phase at the moment and just don’t have the star power which they did have. They have turned their form around in recent weeks and come into this after a gritty 79-79 draw with the high-flying Demons. They’ll take plenty of confidence out of that performance and it showed that they can compete with some of the top tier teams in the competition.
I’m happy to side with the Hawks here on the back of last week’s effort. Expecting they will be full of confidence and carry a lot more momentum into this match than their opponents. You’d also think the Hawks will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon and a win here will be a crucial step towards that. These sides have met once already this season, with Hawthorn coming out 3 point winners after being down by as many as 32 in the third quarter.
Expecting the Hawks to be too good and I usually like playing my SGM around the big game players due to their consistency. Rory Laird has been a ball magnet in a struggling Crows midfield while Tom Mitchell just does what he does and racks up possessions for fun. Chad Wingard has a very good record against the Crows, kicking 2 or more goals in four of his last five matches against them. He will add a bit more juice to the multi.
Wingard Anytime goal
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