The Saints take on the Bombers in what should be an emotional Friday night as the home side once again celebrates the life of Danny Frawley in the annual 'Spud's Game'. As always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash from Marvel Stadium below.
Remember, you can head to our AFL Tips page for full previews on all six games across the Round 14 weekend.
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St Kilda vs Essendon Betting Tips
Marvel Stadium, Friday 17th June, 7.50pm (AEST)
Ins: Hunter Clark, Jack Billings, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Ryan Byrnes
Outs: Daniel McKenzie, Jarrod Lienert, Marcus Windhager, Mitch Owens, Mason Wood
The Saints remained pretty healthy all things considered up until their bye round, but since then they have been starting to suffer a few injuries. Luckily, they have one of the deepest squads in the league and have the luxury of bringing the likes of Jack Billings and Hunter Clark back into the line-up this week.
The Saints travelled to Brisbane last week and put up a gallant performance despite some trying conditions. They suffered three injuries throughout the game which left them with just two fit players on the bench for the majority of the 2nd half. After leading for a large portion of the match, the Lions kicked away in the last quarter to record a 21 point win.
The loss snapped a three game winning streak for the Saints, and they'll be desperate to capatalise on this game against an easier opponent before an absolute gauntlet of a run home starts next week. Their last nine games of the season include matchups against Sydney x2, Carlton, Fremantle, Western Bulldogs, Geelong and another game against Brisbane.
Ins: Andrew McGrath, Brayden Ham, Massimo D'Ambrosio
Outs: Alec Waterman, Darcy Parish, Tom Cutler, Zach Reid
The Bombers bad season got worse in their Friday night loss to the Blues as star midfielder Darcy Parish went down with a calf innjury. They are also still without Devon Smith and Nic Cox.
What a tumultuous season its been so far for the Bombers. They sit in 2nd last place on the ladder with just two wins and have lost their last four straight games. In their very slight defence, they had an absolute horror run to start the season and are yet to play the likes of West Coast, GWS, North Melbourne or Gold Coast.
That's about as much of a defence you can give the Bombers though, who have looked truly awful in some games. Their midfield inparticular has been decimated, and their stars willingness to only run one way is on full display at the moment.
Flash back to this matchup last year where the Bombers captured a monster 75 point win at Marvel Stadium and the two sides were on two very different paths. People were speculating whether or not the Saints should start a rebuild while the Bombers were touted as the next big thing.
This time around, the Saints start asbig 26.5 point favourites at home. In years gone by, I would probably think this is a big danger game for the Saints, but given the two teams form this season and the fact that they will be fired up as they honour Danny Frawley, it's hard to see them losing this one.
I think the 26.5 points is a little too high for me to take with real confidence, instead I like the 1-39 margin.
$2.15 (2 Units)
I think the odds on Brad Hill to rack up 30+ here are outrageous at $6.75. He had a down game against the Lions but his last two games before that resulted in 30 and 33 touches. He was clearly in a different role in those two games and he tends to play better when the Saints are favourites. The Bombers allow the fifth most disposals of any team in the competition.
Brad Hill 30+ Disposals ($6.80 at BetRight)
Dan Butler has been playing a little more up the ground of late while Jack Higgins has been staying closer to home. However, if this game does get out of hand in the Saints favour, then it could be a 'fill your boots' type of game for St Kilda on a Marvel deck that produces high scores. Like the odds of Dan Butler to get in on the action.
Dan Butler 2+ Goals ($3.00 at Ladbrokes)