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Melbourne v Essendon AFL tips & predictions | Round 18, 2024

Melbourne v Essendon AFL betting tips - Round 18, 2024

Melbourne Demons v Essendon Bombers AFL Betting Odds & Game Info
Best odds Melbourne +150 at PlayUp | Essendon -181.82 at Unibet
When Saturday, July 13 | 7:30pm AEST
Where MCG, Melbourne
Last time they met Essendon 15.14.104 – Melbourne 11.11.77 (Rd 5, 2023)
Watch live Seven, Fox Sports, Kayo

Melbourne v Essendon best bets

Essendon -10.5


Under 164.5 total points


Jye Caldwell 30+ disposals


Melbourne v Essendon R18 match preview

Essendon will be aiming to continue their top-four charge this Saturday night as they face Melbourne at the MCG in round 18 of the 2024 AFL Premiership season.

Melbourne enter this home game as $2.50 outsiders at PlayUp despite beating the West Coast Eagles by 54 points here last Sunday. The Demons dominated the game from start to finish, with forward pair Jacob van Rooyen and Bayley Fritsch combining for seven goals.

With the win, the pressure has eased on Simon Goodwin’s side for the moment. While the Demons sit just outside the top eight on percentage, leading AFL bookmakers have them at odds of $3 to make the finals.

In a major blow, Melbourne will be without captain and star ruckman Max Gawn for the next few weeks after he suffered a leg injury against the Eagles. Off-season recruit Tom Fullarton shapes as a likely replacement, while swingman Harrison Petty is a chance to return from a hamstring injury.

Essendon return to the MCG as $1.55 favourites with Unibet after beating Collingwood by 12 points last Friday night. After trailing by 22 in the first quarter, the Dons kicked 10 of the next 13 goals to secure the four points. Midfield pair Jye Caldwell and Zach Merrett starred, combing for 60 disposals and two goals.

While the Bombers remain fourth on the AFL ladder, a percentage of 99.9 means they could fall as low as seventh if certain results go against them this week. As such, online bookies are giving up value odds of $3 for Essendon to finish in the top four.

The Bombers managed both Dyson Heppell and Todd Goldstein in round 17, but given the excellent performance of the side, don’t expect too many changes this week.

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Melbourne v Essendon betting predictions

Missing Gawn, it will be tough for Melbourne to compete with the star-studded Essendon midfield. The Bombers have been the better side all year, and the Demons’ season seems to be coming to a disappointing finish. Back Essendon to cover the line of 10.5 points at $1.91 with leading Australian bookies.

As these are the two lowest-scoring sides in the top 12, expect this to be a cagey affair. The Demons’ pair of Steven May and Jake Lever should be strong against a slightly undersized Bombers attack, while Melbourne have averaged just 72 points scored per game in the last five weeks. At $1.90 with top online bookmakers, back this game to go under 164.5 total match points.

Essendon midfielder Jye Caldwell has arguably had the best fortnight of his AFL career. With disposal tallies of 32 and 30 across the last two weeks, the former Giant is spending more time on the ball than any other Bomber. Facing the injury-hit Melbourne midfield, back Caldwell to continue his good form with 30 or more disposals at $2.50 with Bet365.

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