An interesting round of AFL football gets underway on Friday night as the resurgent St Kilda Saints take on the hottest team in the AFL in the Geelong Cats. As usual, PuntingInDanger has a full preview and AFL betting tips for the clash below. Don't forget we have AFL Round 9 tips for every match of the round!
AFL St Kilda vs Geelong Betting Tips
Marvel Stadium, Friday 14th May 7.50pm (AEST)
The Saints were tasked with the toughest strength of schedule in the league in the pre-season and this Friday night clash will be the first of two games against Geelong in 2021. Can they win their third straight game or will the Cats rack up another convincing win?
The Saints didn’t look fantastic but they got the job done in Round 8 as they travelled to Gold Coast to take on the Suns. Midfield recruits Zak Jones and Brad Crouch were fantastic in the win, racking up 61 touches between them while Crouch kicked the match-winning goal late in the last quarter. The return of Paddy Ryder to the Saints outfit has been the biggest factor in their two game win streak, combining with Rowan Marshall to form one of the best ruck duos in the league.
How good were the Cats in Round 8? There were some question marks hovering over their squad entering the Friday night clash against the Tigers but they were expelled in dominant fashion as the Cats booted 13 goals to 2 in the second half to run out 63 point winners on the night. Jeremy Cameron continues to absolutely dominante in the blue and white hoops, botting another six goals in the win on the weekend while Gary Rohan and Tom Hawkins added another nine between them.
After dealing with plenty of injuries troubles to start the season, things finally seem to be coming together for the Saints. Jake Carlisle, Jarryn Geary, Dan Hannebery and Dean Kent are all nearing returns, which will leave just Ben Paton and Jade Gresham on the long term injury list. The Cats injury list is pretty lengthy but luckily for them, there isn’t a whole lot of star power on there. Patrick Dangerfield remains the only noteable out, giving the Cats an extremely strong squad to select from for Friday night.
The Cats start as 16.5 point favourites here which actually seems a little bit low considering how dominant they were against the Tigers last Friday night. One thing that I do think makes this contest a little more even is the venue. The Cats are yet to play at Marvel Stadium this season and the Saints absolutely love playing their fast paced style under the roof.
I still the Cats are probably a bit too good for the Saints here, especially given their form. However, I do think the Saints are capable of avoiding a blow-out loss. They have some great matchups for the Cats big forwards, with Dougal Howard likely going to Jeremy Cameron, Callum Wilkie to Rohan Marshall and either Carlisle or James Frawley could come into the side to handle Tom Hawkins. I certainly don’t think they combine for 15 goals again on Friday night, which will allow the Saints to stay within 39 points.
Geelong 1-39 (1 Unit)
We were originally looking at Zak Jones to have a big game in the midfield, but he's out of the team with a quad injury. Instead we're going to back in rising star Hunter Clark. With the shuffling of cards through the St.Kilda midfield this season, one of the switches that has proved a positive one is the return of Brad Hill to the backline. That has in turn bumped Hunter Clark up the ground where he has looked at home floating around a wing and through the middle. It will be a bit tougher this week against a stingy Cats midfield, but Clark picked up 22 disposals last week against the Suns and 26 two weeks ago against the Hawks. Before that, he's had 33 against Richmond, 22 against the Eagles, and 24 against the Giants this season. With a line of 22.5 disposals, a positive role change and missing soldiers through the middle, this looks a good spot for Clark to be right in the thick of the action and cover that line.
Hunter Clark Over 22.5 Disposals
Bit of a SGM builder here but I quite like the value of Mitch Duncan to kick a goal on Friday night. The midfielder booted four a few weeks ago in the dominant win over the Eagles and added another one week later against Sydney. In 10 career games against the Saints, Duncan has booted nine goals and with the decent matchups that the Saints have against the Cats forwards, the midfield could chip in for extra goals here.