Mon, Jul 17, 8:43am by Jake Equid
Sydney’s amazing turnaround has continued with a 13-point win over the team that had entered the round as equal Premiership favourites, their cross-town rivals, the Giants.
The Swans are now within a game of the top four, after leading at every change to secure their ninth win from their last ten starts. Lance “Buddy” Franklin was the difference, kicking four goals. He’s two clear in the race for the Coleman Medal, and a $1.95 favourite to win it for the fourth time.
The Swans were $126 for the Premiership following Round Six, when they had yet to register a win. They’re now on the third line of betting, at $6, while the Giants have won just once in five weeks, drifting from $4 to $4.50.
The Crows are now outright favourites for the flag, after they jumped out of the blocks with seven first quarter goals to one against an undermanned Melbourne line-up. The 46-point win sent them back to the top of the ladder, and into $3.75 for the ultimate prize.
The Demons drifted from $15 to $26 following the loss, but are set to welcome back key trio Jack Viney, Jack Watts and Dom Tyson from injury next week, when they head to Adelaide to take on Port.
Geelong moved in from $6.50 to $6 after yet another thrilling win over the Hawks on Saturday. The heroics of Brownlow Medal favourite Patrick Dangerfield had to be seen to be believed, after he hurt his left foot in a contest against Hawthorn skipper Jarryd Roughead in the first term.
He was sent to full forward, where he kicked five goals and six behinds, in a performance that is sure to see him in the votes again. He moved in from $2.10 to $1.80 for back-to-back Brownlow’s.
Port Adelaide were never in any trouble against North Melbourne, running out winners by 70 points, and coming in from $9 to $8 for the flag. That win was one of six favourites to salute this round, while four of those favourites won and covered the line.
One of those favourites who won and covered the line was the Western Bulldogs. They kept their finals hopes alive with a 20-point win over Carlton on Sunday at the MCG, and moved in from $51 to $41 to repeat last season’s heroics.
Following that game on Sunday, the Eagles also won and covered the line against their cross-town rivals, the Dockers. Josh Kennedy kicked three goals in his return from injury, in what was the final Western Derby at Domain Stadium.
Richmond got back on the winners list in the early game on Sunday, with a 31-point win over Brisbane, while Collingwood were able to do the same on Saturday on the Gold Coast, which will ease some pressure on their coach, Nathan Buckley.
Dustin Martin was once again dominant, but may come under scrutiny for a strike on Lion Nick Robertson. He’s currently on the second line of betting for the Brownlow at $2.50 ahead of Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell, who’s at $11.
Round 18 kicks off with a top of the table blockbuster from the Adelaide Oval between the Crows and the Cats.
Melbourne host Port Adelaide and Richmond host GWS, with both games set to have a huge bearing on the make-up of the top four.
Adelaide $1.53 v Geelong $2.52 Line: 12.5
Essendon $1.26 v North Melbourne $3.75 Line: 24.5
Melbourne $2.16 v Port Adelaide $1.70 Line: 5.5
Western Bulldogs $1.35 v Gold Coast $3.20 Line: 18.5
Sydney $1.26 v St Kilda $3.90 Line: 26.5
Fremantle $2.07 v Hawthorn $1.76 Line: 3.5
Richmond $2.38 v Greater Western Sydney $1.59 Line: 8.5
Collingwood $2.16 v West Coast $1.70 Line: 5.5
Brisbane $2.55 v Carlton $1.52 Line: 12.5
Greater Western Sydney $4.50
Port Adelaide $8
West Coast $21
St Kilda $41
Western Bulldogs $41
Gold Coast $501
North Melbourne $501
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