Thu, Jul 7, 4:58pm by Staff Writer
Time, Date and Venue: 7.50pm, Friday July 8 at Simonds Stadium (Live on Channel 7, Fox Footy)
Two of the standout teams of 2016 go head-to-head in what is the match of the round and could even be a Grand Final preview under the bright lights of Friday Night Football in Geelong.
Both teams fell agonisingly short last start, blowing their chances of going to the top of the ladder in games they quite simply should have won. This one is compulsory viewing with the loser likely to find themselves as low as seventh position by the end of the weekend.
Punters are happy to give Geelong another chance after their shock loss to St Kilda, which has seen Sportsbet install them as heavy favourites at $1.45 with the Swans at $2.75.
Coleman Medal favourite ($2) Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin has amazingly never played at this venue in his 12-year career. The Swans mids can be a bit predictable going forward, when the game was on the line last week they tried to get the ball to Buddy on every occasion. The experienced Cats backline will employ a team defence on him so the Swans may need to find other avenues to goal.
Premiership favourite ($4.25) Geelong will be happy to be back at home after three consecutive games at Etihad Stadium. Their record against top 8 teams has been exceptional in 2016, winning 6 of 7 but they have dropped three games to teams outside the 8.
Coming off the bye, they’ll need to ensure they start well, something they weren’t able to do last year when they looked extremely sluggish following the mid-season break, losing to North Melbourne by 41 points.
One man who’ll be happy for the game to start for more ways than one is Sydney’s Kieran Jack. In a week that he should have been celebrating his 200th game, his bitter feud with his parents was made public, thanks to a tweet by his mother. All eyes will be on the co-captain who’s known for his competitiveness and desire.
I’m backing Geelong to win a tight one, so tight that I’ll also have a nibble on the Swans at the line (+16.5)
BEST BET: Geelong to win $1.45
BEST OUTSIDER: Sydney to cover the line of 16.5 at $1.92
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