Wed, Jul 6, 8:22pm by Staff Writer
Time, Date and Venue: 7.50pm Thursday July 7 at Adelaide Oval (Live on Channel 7, Fox Footy)
It’s a sobering fact for the rest of the league that the three-time reigning Premiers are a game clear at the summit despite not being at their best this season. The Hawks are favourites but that shouldn’t deter punters, as Port were the only club to defeat them twice last year. The fourth Thursday night match of the season is a great way to start the run home to September as both sides have so much to play for.
All the money has been with Hawthorn to continue on their merry way, Sportsbet has reeled them into $1.52, with the Power at $2.55.
The three-time reigning premiers have won five in a row and are set to welcome back last year’s Norm Smith medallist Cyril Rioli who flew to Darwin last week for his grandfather’s funeral.
Question marks have been raised over the Hawks attack but despite not having a dominant big man inside forward 50, they still rank fifth for scoring. A man who typifies their evergreen nature is Sam Mitchell, averaging nearly 30 disposals from his 12 games. The man who’ll most likely be tagging him is his namesake Kane Mitchell who’s was outstanding last week, nullifying Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin whilst gaining 24 touches and kicking a goal himself.
It’s all or nothing here for the Power, who can’t put a foot wrong if they are to squeeze into the finals. If they drop this one and the Eagles beat North Melbourne in the west on Sunday they will find themselves three games out of eighth position with seven games remaining.
If they are to cause an upset here they’ll have to clean up their ball use, they’ve butchered the ball this year and are ranked first for clangers.
The bookies are expecting a tight contest with the line at just 8.5 with Sportsbet. Port Adelaide have won three of the past four in this fixture but they didn’t win the one that counted, the 2014 Preliminary Final. I’m backing the Hawks to make it six on the trot and stay a game clear at the top of the ladder.
Best Bet: Hawthorn to win $1.52
*All odds provided from Sportsbet and were correct at time of publication
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