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Hawthorn tighten, Geelong shorten after Round 18

Mon, Jul 25, 11:38am by Staff Writer

Geelong CatsWith five weeks to go until the finals, the Cats were the big movers in premiership betting after their solid-win against Adelaide at home. That win gave Hawthorn a two game buffer at the summit of the ladder.

In my opinion, there are now only five teams that can win the flag with the Bulldogs dropping out of the race after a horror night on Saturday, who not only lost to the Saints but also ended up with only 19 fit players due to three severe injuries.

Sportsbet reeled Hawthorn into $3.50 from $3.75, followed by Geelong who moved in from $6 to $5 after their best performance in five weeks, defeating Adelaide comfortably at home. Despite the 30-point loss, the Crows remained at $5.50 for the ultimate prize. Sydney was unconvincing at home against Carlton and although they won by a narrow margin they slid from $5.50 to $6. Cross-town rivals GWS came in from $9 to $8 after a gutsy win in the wet in Adelaide, which moves the expansion club to second on the ladder.

Amazingly, the Bulldogs, who were sitting third on the ladder this time last week, have now dropped to seventh after the shock-loss to the Saints. They now face one of the toughest road trips in football, heading down to Geelong on Friday night. It’s a trip they’ll have to make without Mitch Wallis who suffered one of the worst broken legs seen in recent times.

Waiting for them down the highway is a Geelong team coming off a season-defining 30-point win against a fellow contender, Adelaide. They led pretty much from start to finish in their second win over the Crows this season which will please the club considering they could meet again come the business end of the year. The form of spearhead Tom Hawkins was also a massive positive, if they are to challenge he needs to fire.

My money is still with the Hawks. How could it not be? They disposed of Richmond by 70 points yesterday in Sam Mitchell’s 300th game. They are now two games clear on top of the ladder with the experience, class and toughness required to get the job done again. Whether you like them or not, we could all be witness to something special should they salute at the post on the first Saturday in October.

 

BEST BET: Hawthorn to win. $3.50

 

The Run Home:

Hawthorn:

Rd 19: Carlton (Aurora Stadium)

Rd 20: Melbourne (MCG)

Rd 21: North Melbourne (MCG)

Rd 22: West Coast (Domain Stadium)

Rd 23: Collingwood (MCG)

 

Greater Western Sydney:

Rd 19: Richmond (Manuka Oval)

Rd 20: Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium)

Rd 21: West Coast (Spotless Stadium)

Rd 22: Fremantle (Spotless Stadium)

Rd 23: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)

 

Sydney:

Rd 19: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)

Rd 20: Port Adelaide (SCG)

Rd 21: St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)

Rd 22: North Melbourne (Blundstone Arena)

Rd 23: Richmond (SCG)

 

Geelong:

Rd 19: Western Bulldogs (Simonds Stadium)

Rd 20: Essendon (Etihad Stadium)

Rd 21: Richmond (MCG)

Rd 22: Brisbane Lions (Gabba)

Rd 23: Melbourne (Simonds Stadium)

Adelaide:

Rd 19: Essendon (Adelaide Oval)

Rd 20: Brisbane Lions (Adelaide Oval)

Rd 21: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)

Rd 22: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)

Rd 23: West Coast (Adelaide Oval)


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