Who: West Coast v Carlton
What: AFL, Rd 2
Where: Domain Stadium
When: Friday, April 10, 8.10pm AEST
Round two of the AFL kicks off at Domain Stadium in Perth on Friday with the West Coast Eagles and Carlton Blues set to go at each other.
Both sides got their seasons off to a poor starts losing their opening games, so they will both be looking to shake off the cobwebs of the pre-season and chalk up their first win of the year.
Last week saw the Blues endured a mixed bag in their first quarter against the Tigers. Dale Thomas hit the turf as though he’d been picked off by a sniper within the first two minutes while the Blues sped away to a 16-point lead at quarter time. The proverbial wheels fell off from there though. With the Blues left chasing their own tail for the remainder of the game as the Tigers scampered away to a 27-point win.
West Coast come off the back of a narrow and surprising 10-point loss to the Western Bulldogs which could almost be traced back to the fact the Eagles lost Mitch Brown to an ACL injury in the third quarter. The loss of Brown is compounded by the fact key defender Eric Mackenzie is already out injured for the rest of the year.
West Coast – $1.48 – CrownBet.com.au
Carlton – $2.70 – SportsBet.com.au
When it comes to these two sides going head-to-head history shows us that they are generally even matched. Carlton only just comes out ahead, winning 21 of the 40 games the two sides have played against each other.
Despite their respective Round 1 losses, in head-to-head betting you would have to go with West Coast thanks to the fact that they may not be full of big names, but they are full of blokes that work hard and get the job done through the middle. This fact was exemplified last year when Matt Priddis won the Brownlow and a swag load of people were left scratching their heads, wondering: “who the hell is Matt Priddis??”
The Blues seem to have about as much depth in their ranks as a kids paddle pool this year. Thankfully for Carlton Chris Judd seems to be healthy and back to his astonishing best, despite surely only being several years away from pension eligibility.
Any true blue punter would have stones in his head to back Carlton. The Blues just don’t have that many danger men across the park. Their ruck stocks are less than intimidating in the face of a fully fit Nic Naitanui. Plus their goal kicking prowess isn’t as potent in comparison to the shuffle footed Josh Kennedy.
West Coast -13.5 – $1.92 – CrownBet.com.au
Carlton +13.5 – $1.92 – CrownBet.com.au
With West Coast’s Jamie Cripps coming off a bag of five goals against the Bulldogs last week and Josh Kennedy’s ability to kick a haul it makes me think that -13.5 for the Eagles is good value.
On the other hand +13.5 for the Blues might be a little stingy. You could opt to choose your own line and pick up the Blues +20.5 at $1.57 with SportsBet.com.au which strikes me as a little more realistic and still decent value.
First Goal Scorer
SportsBet.com.au has Josh Kennedy ($7), Mark LeCras ($10) and Jamie Cripps ($11) as the top three favourite Eagles to be the first goal scorer and they would pretty much be my top three picks too. If I were feeling adventurous I’d even flirt with the idea of throwing a small punt on Luke Shuey ($21) or Nic Naitanui at $26 to be the first goal scorer.
The top three favoured Blues to be first goal scorer are a little more peculiar though. SportsBet.com.au has Lachie Henderson ($10), Troy Menzel ($13) and Liam Jones ($13). Given that Henderson didn’t even boot a goal in his last outing him being the top favoured Blues first goal scorer has me a little stumped. Again, if I were feeling a bit optimistic I would throw a bit of dosh on Bryce Gibbs ($31) or Sam Rowe ($34) who managed to jag himself two goals against the Tigers last week.
There is talk that if the Blues can’t manage to string together a couple of wins pronto that coach Mick Malthouse might find himself without a team to coach before too long. So the Blues will be feeling that added pressure to pull a decent performance out of their hats. Sadly though, I don’t think the Blues will be able to muster enough of an effort to overcome the Eagles.
Carlton were just a little too wild and loose with their talent during the off-season, allowing Jarrad Waite and Mitch Robinson to go without really bringing anyone of substance into the fold.
I’m tipping the Eagles by 20 or so with Sam Rowe from the Blues to luckily bag the first goal of the game.