AFL Round 21 - Demons vs. Saints
MATCH UP STATS
AFL Round 21 - Demons vs. Saints
First goalscorer tipsMelbourne: Tom McDonald - $8.50 at SportsbetSt Kilda: Tim Membrey - $9.50 at Sportsbet
Last five resultsMelbourne: W L W L LSt Kilda: W L L L W
THE loser of Sunday’s AFL clash at the MCG will almost certainly wind up on the wrong side of the cut at season’s end.
And with Adelaide expected to beat eighth-placed Essendon on Saturday night, whomever wins will move within striking distance of a finals berth.
Three defeats in four weeks have seen Melbourne come right back to the pack after climbing as high as fifth on the ladder.
They were bright early against Greater Western Sydney last week, booting the first three goals of the game.
But it all went south after that as the Giants shifted gears and sped away to a cruisy 35-point victory.
With dreams of September fading fast, Dees coach Simon Goodwin and his selectors have had little choice but to swing the axe.
— CrownBet.com.au (@crownbet) August 10, 2017
Out go Christian Salem and Jack Frost – part of a dodgy defence that conceded eight unanswered goals at the back end of the opening quarter in Canberra.
Into the extended squad come Mitch Hannan, Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman and also Angus Brayshaw, who has not featured in the seniors since round two.
St Kilda have one notable absentee of their own – Nick Riewoldt, who was concussed in last weekend’s clutch win over the West Coast.
Jack Billings was the hero in that game, kicking the last-minute clincher from a tight angle as the Saints put a stopper on their three-game losing run.
Alan Richardson’s men were flying a month ago, but now they look a mere shadow of the team that demolished Richmond in round 16.
The irreplaceable Riewoldt is a big loss, especially with so little time left on his career clock.
Back in the mix are veteran defender Sam Gilbert and ruckman Tom Hickey, who has not played since St Kilda’s defeat to the Bombers in round 17.
Also on the extended bench are Jack Lonie and Daniel McKenzie.
Sebastian Ross to have 30 or more disposals – -149.25
Under 174.5 total match points – -111.11
Melbourne to win by 1-39 points – +110
Whether St Kilda win or lose, Seb Ross always ranks well on the stats sheet. The Saints have lost nine games this season, with Ross having 30 touches or more in six of those. That makes him a very solid anchor in the disposal betting.
While the Saints are averaging a tick over 86 points per game, that figure is much, much lower when you only count defeats. If you are with the majority in backing Melbourne to win, do not be at all surprised if the vanquished contribute fewer than 10 goals to the overall points total.
The Demons should win this, but by how much? St Kilda’s tame scoring record in losses should open the door for a big one, but Melbourne have hardly set the world alight either in recent weeks. Expect the red and the blue to win it by three or four goals.
Demons vs. Saints AFL bookie specials
Our top-ranked AFL betting sites have loads of footy bonuses and bet specials in play for Sunday’s clash:
– +200 at Ladbrokes for Clayton Oliver to have 31 disposals and Melbourne to win
– +450 at Ladbrokes for Tim Membrey to kick three goals and St Kilda to win
– +800 at William Hill for Seb Ross to have most disposals in round 21
– +2200 at William Hill for Jeff Garlett to score most goals in round 21
– Early head-to-head payouts at Sportsbet if your team leads by 24 points or more at any stage
– Boosted odds for any Melbourne vs. St Kilda first goalkicker selection at Ladbrokes