Footy, footy, footy, footy! It just keeps coming. The umpire will send the ball into the turf this Thursday night to start Round 6, just two days after an overly exciting Round 5 drew to a close. The Easter and Anzac Day long weekend was a nervous time for punters, with each of the seven games in the balance during the last quarter. In every game, the margin was within a goal deep into the final quarter. After two bad weeks this column finally earned some solid collects, posting a small profit thanks to some line bet successes on Monday and Tuesday.
Season Tally (After Round 5)
Wagered = $420
Collected = $382.60
Profit/Loss = – $37.40
% Profit/Loss = – 8.9%
Tips = 26.5*
*Note: The draw is treated differently depending on your tipping competition. I have assumed it to be 0.5 tips.
This preview will focus solely on the West Coast v Melbourne matchup on Thursday night, with a full Round 6 article to follow closer to the weekend.
WEST COAST v MELBOURNE – PATERSONS STADIUM (8.40pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Melbourne 6.10 (46) def by West Coast 10.15 (75), Round 8, 2010
AT SELECTION: The Eagles spring the big selection surprise by naming key goal scorer Mark LeCras to return from a serious groin injury well ahead of schedule. Pat McGinnity is also recalled and Ashley Smith has been named for his first game of the season. There are no changes to Melbourne’s winning side.
WHO IS MISSING? Despite LeCras’ inclusion, there are still a few significant Eagles on the long term injury list. They include defenders Mitch Brown and Brett Jones, midfielder Chris Masten and vice-captain Beau Waters. Talented midfielder Tom Scully is still no closer to a return for Melbourne.
PREVIEW: After a couple of honourable losses, West Coast will be desperate for a return to winning ways in this Thursday night fixture, playing in front of an adoring home crowd. Melbourne will be the visitors to Patersons Stadium, and the Demons will be in buoyant mood, hunting a third successive victory. The Eagles are one of many teams to deploy a manic forward press game plan. They have done this very successfully so far, and should be confident of success against the younger, less experienced Dees. The shock inclusion of LeCras will add extra firepower to West Coast’s attack, already stocked with Josh Kennedy, Quentin Lynch and first year player Jack Darling. They are a bunch of big bodies for Melbourne to cover, and I get the sense one or all of them will break free during the night. Melbourne have a tasty forward line of their own, although they mainly rely on midsized options like Liam Jurrah and Brad Green. This match will be won in the middle, and in Dean Cox, West Coast have the premier ruckman in the competition right now (sorry Aaron Sandilands). Cox will ensure the Eagles fleet of runners get first use of the ball, meaning Melbourne’s defence will be under serious pressure. I am confident of a West Coast win, but I am also confident Melbourne are too good to get blown away. Putting that all together, I fancy a West Coast win by up to 39 points as the best play for this match.
TIP: West Coast to win by 20 points
ANDY’S BET: West Coast to win by 1-39 points @ 2.43 (Centrebet)