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Cats falls in flag betting after faltering in round of AFL upsets

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GEELONG has blown out to double figures for the first time in a month after suffering back-to-back losses at the hands of Collingwood and the Gold Coast.

The Cats – who were as short as $7 at just two weeks ago – are now $12 for the 2017 premiership, placing them on the sixth line of betting.

Saturday night’s 25-point loss to the Suns was a bitter pill to swallow for the Cats, given they were looking to bounce back after a poor performance against the Magpies the week before.

Geelong coach Chris Scott said his side is bordering on becoming a “mediocre side” if they cannot swing their ordinary form around quickly.

“We played poorly again, so we’re really disappointed in that,” Scott said.

“There’s clear things in our game that we need to improve, we’re going through a flat spot. On one level it’s easy to identify and hopefully relatively quick to fix.”

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Despite their lacklustre recent run, Geelong will go into Saturday night’s match up against Essendon at the MCG as $1.35 favourites at

On the opposite side the market, St Kilda ($21 at has firmed onto the seventh line of betting after their sparkling 23-point win over the GWS Giants on Friday night.

The Saints entered the season as one of the expected improvers this year but failed to make an impression early, losing the opening two games of the season and blowing out in premiership betting.

However, two strong wins against Hawthorn and GWS respectively have breathed new life into the Saints, and coach Alan Richardson said the catalyst for the revival was a strong message delivered to the group following their capitulation against Geelong in round five.

“I challenged our midfield after the Geelong game. We need to be strong late; we need to learn our lessons. There were many positives, but that was the real positive for me,” Richardson said after his side’s win on Friday night.

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“I was really challenging on the group after the Geelong performance because we have high expectations of the group that are coming through.”

One of the main instigators of the Saints’ turnaround has been the form of prolific on-baller Jack Steven, who has firmed into Brownlow contention.

The man with the mullet is now on the sixth line of Brownlow Medal betting via at the $26 quote alongside Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe and Port Adelaide powerhouse Ollie Wines.

Steven, who missed two games after puncturing his lung early in the season, has been dynamic since his return and will be in contention for the three votes after a decisive contribution on Friday night.

Richardson was full of praise for his young midfield brigade following the win.

“Blokes like Seb (Ross) and (Blake) Acres, I think Acres had 10 (possessions) and kicked two (goals) in the last quarter.

“Jack Steven had seven (clearances) and kicked a couple in the last quarter.

“I wouldn’t have said we had 22 contributors at half time but guys worked into the game and we had a really even performance.”

The Saints have an opportunity to further solidify their position inside the top-eight if they are able to justify their $1.25 odds at to beat Carlton on Saturday afternoon at Etihad Stadium.

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