Collingwood Magpies: 14th
Melbourne Demons: 10th
Collingwood Magpies: 1-2
Melbourne Demons: 1-2
Collingwood Magpies: $1.69 with WilliamHill.com.au
Melbourne Demons: $2.70 with Sportsbet.com.au
Collingwood Magpies: -11.5 ($1.91 with CrownBet.com.au)
Melbourne Demons: +14.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au)
IT has been a long, long time since the betting in a Collingwood vs. Melbourne match has been this close.
And it is almost a surprise the Pies are a $1.55 favourite with CrownBet.com.au against the vastly improved Demons, at a juicy $2.70 over at WilliamHill.com.au, given the way they have been travelling.
Although they are two teams who appear to have completely different form, both sides sport the same record at 1-2.
But the Pies are under fire this week after being whacked by St Kilda on the weekend by 29 points, 18.11 (119) to 14.6 (90).
Hard man Taylor Adams continued his fine start to the season with 28 disposals, while Tom Langdon and Scott Pendlebury had 27 each, while four players booted two goals each.
But the Magpies were not hard enough at the footy and appeared to just not want it enough against a fired up Saints line up.
The heat is on coach Nathan Buckley. Bucks’ best mate, president Eddie McGuire, has said he’d be happy to sack the club legend if it was in the best interests of the Pies.
Meanwhile, the Demons are coming off an inspiring performance against North Melbourne, that ultimately fell short, 21.10 (136) to 20.11 (131).
In blustery conditions, Melbourne fought back from a six goal quarter time deficit to take a seven point lead into the main break. The Roos took an 18 point lead into the last quarter, but almost surrendered it, Dean Kent booting a goal – one of three for the quarter and four for the match – with 30 seconds to go to bring the margin to five points and then Billy Stretch missing a snap at goal that ended up being disallowed because he made connection after the siren.
Max Gawn was a monster and looms as a massive danger to the Pies after he had a massive 63 hit outs to go with his 16 disposals and two goals, while Bernie Vince led all possession winners on the ground with 32.
It’s only round four, but there is plenty on the line here, the side who wins is rejuvenated, while the loser’s season could be just about shot, almost before it began.
Match result: Melbourne Demons to win ($2.70 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Line: Melbourne Demons +14.5 ($1.92 with sportsbet.com.au)
The smart money says stick with the Pies to bounce back, but if the Demons can produce a similar performance this week, they will be very hard to beat. What a massive test of resilience for the Pies. And the bookends might be the key. Both Travis Cloke and Jesse Hogan have copped stick this season, Cloke for his poor performances (which can almost be traced back to the multi million dollar contract he signed – has he mailed it in?) and Hogan for his poor body language on the ground (did he give up?). Both men are at different stages of their careers, but share immense talents. Whichever one of them plays the best will probably be on the positive side of the winners’ ledger. In the guts, it will be exciting to see the likes of Vince, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson and Jack Viney up against Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and Steele Sidebottom. The Demons won the last game between these two in round 18 last year and this one has a classic written all over it. We’re backing the Demons in to continue their improvement – and consign the Pies to some serious soul searching – in a tight result.
Pick your own disposal tips
Scott Pendlebury to get 30 or more disposals ($2.90 with sportsbet.com.au)
What the hell is wrong with Pendles. For the first time, his captaincy and his game is starting to be questioned. Is he the right leader for the Pies? Is he injured? whatever it is, he has been down on form and has not exceeded 30 disposals this season. That means this bet might seem like a stretch, but you must remember this is a guy who had 30 or more possessions eight times last season. He’s a Rolls Royce and he’s under fire – back him to deliver at super odds.
Clayton Oliver to have 20 or more disposals ($1.64 with sportsbet.com.au)
The red-headed jet is part of what is shaping as one of the best AFL rookie classes of all time. The hard nut is a contested possession beast, putting his body on the line at every stoppage and extracting the footy with fire and skill. And he knows how to find it. The Pies have had a penchant for being destroyed by rookies so far this season – just ask the Swannies kids how easy it is – and Oliver has exceeded 20 disposals in two of his three outings so far in his career.
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