AFL round 21 betting (August 11): Sleeping Giants waking at right end of the season

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Updated: August 11, 2017

It’s high stakes for the Bulldogs and Giants as they kick-off round 21 in the AFL tonight. The Bulldogs have won four on the trot to return to finals contention. Second-placed GWS flexed their muscles last week with a big win over Melbourne. They will be even more imposing with the return of Jonathon Patton and Toby Greene; overall record: 65-4-46, +40.59 units – latest AFL ladder here

AFL round 21: Western Bulldogs (11-8) v GWS Giants (12-2-5)
Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Vic
When: Friday, August 11, 7.50pm (AET)
Lines: GWS Giants -5.5, O/U 176.5
Confirmed bet: GWS Giants -5.5 (one unit @ $1.92)

TIW says: Two close results do not a rivalry make, but that’s not to say there won’t be plenty of spice when the Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney Giants go to battle once again tonight. It’s been 1-1 in those two tight affairs – the Bulldogs pinched a controversial six-point win in last year’s preliminary final week before a nail-biter in freezing conditions at the UNSW Canberra Oval in round 6. The Giants are second heading into this latest chapter with an almost identical record as they held at the same point of 2016 when fifth (14-5 last year against 12-2-5 in 2017).

It’s nothing short of remarkable that they’ve achieved such a record given the staggering list of injuries they’ve shouldered this season. That position is slightly improved for tonight’s match-up with the return of two of their top three goalkickers – Jonathon Patton (pictured below) and Toby Greene – but there’s no Shane Mumford (suspension) or Devon Smith (injury) while Jeremy Cameron remains sidelined. After losses to Sydney and Richmond, the Giants remained unconvincing in a narrow win over Freo but returned to something near their best in last Saturday’s 35-point victory over Melbourne, a margin that flattered the Demons.

 

Like the Giants, the Bulldogs have rarely had use of their best 22 but their injury list has been compounded due to the inconsistent form of several players who were pivotal in their premiership success of last year. The Dogs wouldn’t have defeated the Giants without Clay Smith’s four goals in that preliminary final, but he’s an omission for this game while Easton Wood’s season appears over due to a nasty hamstring injury. Tory Dickson (who also kicked four in that final against the Giants) returns along with Jake Stringer and Josh Dunkley while Jason Johannisen failed to make the side after his last-minute withdrawal due to a back-related hamstring injury last week.

Luke Beveridge’s side have won their past four to drag themselves back into the top eight but those wins have come against Gold Coast, Carlton and Essendon while they struggled to overcome cellar dwellers Brisbane at the Gabba last week. The Giants are the best clearance and centre clearance team this season, averaging 43.3 and 14.4 per game respectively. The Bulldogs are 14th and 17th in the equivalent categories. The Bulldogs have covered three of their past four against the Giants, however, they are just 4-11 ATS in their past 15 at Etihad, reflecting the less-than-stellar form they’ve displayed in 2017. The ‘over/under’ is 10-2 at night at Etihad when the Bulldogs are underdogs.

 

Round 20 results update: 3-0-3, -1.45 units

Three-unit bets: 17-1-6, +27.81 units
Two-unit bets: 21-2-15, +11.24 units
One-unit bets: 27-1-25, +1.54 units

Brisbane v Western Bulldogs -27.5 (three units @ $1.91) LOSE (89-103)
Richmond -3.5 v Hawthorn (two units @ $1.92) WIN (93-64)
Adelaide -12.5 v Port Adelaide (two units @ $1.90) WIN (130-46)
Essendon -26.5 v Carlton (two units @ $1.88) LOSE (84-76)
St Kilda -5.5 v West Coast (one unit @ $1.91) WIN (103-95)
GWS Giants v Melbourne +11.5 (one unit @ $1.93) LOSE (97-62)

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to William Hill (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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