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Geelong Cats: Seventh
Adelaide Crows: Second
Geelong Cats: 11-5
Adelaide Crows: 12-4
Last five match results
Geelong Cats: WWLLW
Adelaide Crows: WWWWW
Geelong Cats: -8.5 at $1.92 with Sportsbet
Adelaide Crows: +8.5 at $1.92
ONCE premiership fancies, Geelong now look ripe for the picking by a fired up Adelaide out to end their hoodoo at Simonds Stadium.
The Crows have not won down there in a very long time, but have their best chance up against a Cats side that lost two in a row and then fell over the line against a woeful Fremantle Dockers on the weekend.
Don Pyke’s men extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a workman-like win over Collingwood in Adelaide, 14.13 (97) to 10.9 (69).
They jumped out to an early lead in the opening term and then never really looked like surrendering it, even though the Pies were gallant.
Young star Brad Crouch had his second straight 29-possession game, getting in and under for the Crows, while Rory Sloane and Ricky Henderson had 27 each to be the best for the home side.
Brad’s brother Matt also continued his good form with 25.
Crouch of the Brad variety had 10 tackles to go with his 29 possessions and we think big things await the young star, who appears finally over the injuries that have plagued his early career.
But we are on the Sloane wagon for our punts this week and we feel like he will have his ex-teammate Patrick Dangerfield in his sights.
There will always be plenty in these games between Adelaide and Geelong, thanks to Dangerfield’s defection from the Crows to the Cats at the end of last season.
Sloane was the man meant to take over Dangerfield’s mantle at the Crows and, while he has been great, you feel he still has more to give. If he is going to have a big one, you’d expect him to be fired up for this clash.
With that in mind, Sloane looks like great value at better than even money ($2.10 with Sportsbet.com.au) for 30 possessions or more.
The Crows have so many weapons up forward and are always difficult to tip in first goalscorer markets, with the likes of Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Tom Lynch all circling.
Form is always a good pointer for this type of market, so we’ll go with Betts at $10 to boot the first, after his three-goal haul against the Pies.
If you’re looking for a smokey out of left field, Jarryd Lyons has been one of the finds of the season at Adelaide and, after two goals on the weekend, will be hungry to add to his tally.
You could do much worse than the $23 available at Sportsbet.com.au for Lyons to boot the first.
The Cats have had three woeful rounds, losing to St. Kilda before the bye, Sydney – at Simonds – and then just scraping over the line against Freo on the weekend, 11.12 (78) to 9.7 (61).
Were it not for Dangerfield, the Cats would have lost.
He had 31 disposals, booted four majors – including a contender for goal of the year – and just looked a cut above anyone else on the field.
And therein lies the problem.
Have the Cats become one trick ponies since Danger arrived? Captain Joel Selwood is a star, but it appears Geelong have too many passengers outside of those two players.
Old stager Corey Enright had 30 disposals as well, but power forward Tom Hawkins had an eight-disposal stinker, Daniel Menzel hardly got near it, and Mark Blicavs has fallen off the perch after a stunning start to the season.
Outside of Dangerfield, Zac Smith was the only other multiple goal-kicker with two.
Danger is $2.40 to have 35 or more disposals agains the Crows. We thought he would be far shorter, so that is the way to go.
He had 33 against Adelaide earlier this season, so he was thereabouts. He is in some brutal form and it would surprise no one if he had a huge game against his former club.
And, given that he bagged four goals last week, it might be worth doubling down on him to boot the first as well.
He obviously starts in the guts, so you will get the big odds of $17 in the hopes the first goal will be a drawn-out process and Dangerfield can get himself forward.
Outside of him, Hawkins is the favourite at $9 and Menzel is next best at $12, but both flopped last week so we’re going with the guy that has the runs on the board.
Cats vs. Crows player props bet tips
Odds provided by Sportsbet
First goalscorer tips
– Patrick Dangerfield ($17)
– Eddie Betts ($10)
– Jarryd Lyons ($23)
– Patrick Dangerfield to have 35 or more possessions ($2.40)
– Rory Sloane to have 30 or more possessions ($2.10)
Match result: Adelaide to win ($2.25 with CrownBet.com.au)
Line betting: Adelaide at +8.5 ($1.92 with Sportsbet.com.au)
History suggests Geelong win this and win it well. Adelaide have not won down there since round 10, 2003 – an eight-match losing streak.
But now is always a good time to rewrite history and, on form and cattle, the Crows have their best chance in a long, long time. The $2.25 about the 2016 AFL Premiership fancies is just too good to ignore. The Crows have won eight in a row since they were beaten by the Cats at Adelaide Oval in round eight and should make the trip east breathing fire.
The Cats, of course, could turn it on and blow them out of the water, but the odds discrepancy is just too great. We feel like Betts, Walker and Jenkins will be too tough to cover for the Geelong defenders, with midfielders Sloane and company keen to stick it to their ex-teammate Paddy, who will probably have 50 touches.