Friday, June 10 from 7.50pm AEST at Etihad Stadium. Watch on Seven Network, Fox Footy
Essendon Bombers: 18th
Hawthorn Hawks: fifth
Essendon Bombers: 1-10
Hawthorn Hawks: 8-3
Last five match results:
Essendon Bombers: LLLLL
Hawthorn Hawks: WWLWW
Essendon Bombers: $21 with CrownBet.com.au
Hawthorn Hawks: $1.01 with CrownBet.com.au
Essendon Bombers: +67.5 ($1.92 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Hawthorn Hawks: -67.5 ($1.92 with sportsbet.com.au)
AS far as Friday night footy goes, this one has all the hallmarks of a fizzer.
Essendon’s staunch early season efforts appear to be a thing of the past after they were virtually consigned to the AFL’s wooden spoon in a hammering against fellow cellar dweller Fremantle.
Hawthorn has been belted from pillar to post this season, called too old and too slow to win the premiership and tragically losing key forward Jarryd Roughead as he fights skin cancer that has spread to his lungs.
But the Hawks have just been chipping away, quietly bidding for a top five spot, despite a couple of hiccups along the way.
One of the key men in the Hawks’ success is the versatile goal machine Jack Gunston.
Norman, as he is affectionately known, has booted more goals than any other Hawk this season, with 28 from 11 games – good enough for fifth in the Coleman Medal race.
He has been so consistent, booting at least one goal in 10 of his 11 games with a bag of five and two bags of four.
He was at it again in the Hawks’ win over Melbourne on the weekend, leading all goal kickers with three in the 11.16 (82) to 10.4 (64) win against the improving Demons.
It is not just his consistent goal kicking that is driving the Hawks. Gunston has been finding plenty of the footy for the Hawks. He has had 15 or more disposals in every game but two and he is a marking machine, snaring 11 marks twice on his way to 73 for the season, good enough for sixth on the AFL list.
Gunston is a skinny $6.50 to kick the first goal of the match, but we reckon you’re on a good thing if you take a bite out of that.
With their expected domination of the Bombers, the Hawks actually occupy the top four lines of betting for first goal scorer, with Luke Bruest at $8, Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo at $10. Joe Daniher is the best Bomber at $11.
The Bombers’ leading man, David Zaharakis, had an absolute stinker in the 79 point loss to the Dockers, held to just 11 disposals by Michael Barlow.
When you consider Zaharakis has had 30 or more disposals six times and only fallen below 24 twice, that is a staggering statistics.
He only had 12 possessions against top of the table North Melbourne a month ago and he bounced back with 31 disposals against St Kilda and then 30 against Richmond.
The Hawks seem to be winning, despite allowing the opposition midfielders to run rampant.
Zaharakis would he heartened by the numbers Melbourne’s midfield set put up against the Hawks on the weekend.
Bernie Vince had 36 possessions – the most of any player on the ground – Dom Tyson had 32 and Nathan Jones had 31, all ahead of the Hawks’ best in Jordan Lewis and Isaac Smith – both with 29.
Zaharakis is $2.40 to have 30 or more disposals and, on the above evidence, we reckon that is value.
First goal scorer markets
Jack Gunston ($6.50)
Luke Bruest ($8)
Cyril Rioli ($10)
Paul Puopolo ($10)
Joe Daniher ($11)
Mitch Brown ($11)
Tim O’Brien ($14)
James Sicily ($15)
Orazio Fantasia ($15)
Kyle Langford ($21)
Ben McEvoy ($21)
Kade Stewart ($21)
Will Hams ($21)
Bradley Hill ($23)
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
To get 30 or more disposals market
Zach Merrett ($2)
Sam Mitchell ($1.80)
Brendon Goddard ($2.40)
Jordan Lewis ($2.60)
David Zaharakis ($2.40)
Isaac Smith ($7.40)
Adam Cooney ($5.40)
Josh Gibson ($10)
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Match result: Hawthorn Hawks to win ($1.01 with CrownBet.com.au)
Line betting: Essendon Bombers +67.5 ($1.92 with sportsbet.com.au)
Winning margin spread: Hawthorn Hawks to win by 40-59 points ($4.60 with sportsbet.com.au)
Death, taxes and a Hawthorn win over Essendon on Friday. They are the three certainties in life. The $1.01 isn’t even as good as bank interest, so it is almost not worth bothering.
The Bombers were woeful against the Dockers, with only Zach Merrett distinguishing himself with 37 possessions in the 20.6 (126) to 6.11 (47) loss. Captain Brendon Goddard had 24 disposals and nine marks and young buck Darcy Parish had 22, but the Bombers’ only multiple goal kicker was Daniher, with two.
By contrast, the Hawks beat Melbourne – but they had to work for it.
In trying conditions, the Demons held a lead for much of the match, but the Hawks’ experience shone through in the end.
A win for the Hawks would make it five from six, but the Bombers will take some heart from their win in round two last year.
But they simply cannot kick goals, with less than 10 goals eight times, languishing with the fewest points in the competition.
Paul Puopolo, Jack Gunston and Bradley Hill combined for 10 goals the last time these sides met, when Sam Mitchell gathered 32 disposals in Hawthorn’s 38 point win.
The Hawks have been winning, but they haven’t really been whacking teams. Even though the Bombers are on a hiding to nothing, we feel like 11 goals might be just beyond the Hawks here. The Hawks have only lost twice in their past 14 games at Etihad Stadium and we’re tipping them to do this in a canter by 56 points, which will get you some juicy odds for 40-59 points with Sportsbet.com.au.
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