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AFL Round 7 Preview

Time for the regular weekly contribution from @AflRatings, it's the Round 7 preview of the greatest sport in the world!

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AFL Round 7 Preview
aflratings.com.au
@aflratings

So far the 2015 Home & Away season has provided a host of upsets, only 63.0% of favourites have been successful following 6 Rounds of AFL. In comparison, 70.7% of favourites were successful in 2014. What will Round 7 deliver this week? Here are our thoughts.

Essendon v Nth Melbourne

Both teams have had mixed results in 2015, off field distractions could play a part in the Bombers output in this one. Essendon are returning from Perth and will also be on consecutive 6 day breaks, if you remove the 105pts they scored against Carlton in Round 3 the Bombers are averaging a miserly 64.2pts per game. Nth Melbourne are one of the more reliable teams when starting favourite in 2015 with a 3-1 record, will that be tested on Friday Night?

Adelaide v St Kilda

The Saints on the back of one of the more remarkable comebacks last week are almost at full strength, the same cannot be said for the heavily favoured Adelaide in this game. The Crows are now missing Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas and Brad Crouch all through injury, their midfield depth is sure to be tested against any opponent. St Kilda has already surpassed many expectations this season and are +2 vs the betting line in 2015, despite a poor performance against the Crows last time at the Adelaide Oval this might another opportunity at the line considering Adelaide’s current injury issues.

Hawthorn v Melbourne

There are upsets and then there are upsets, this simply won’t be an upset. Reigning Premiers Hawthorn do have a 3-3 record but that could have easily been a 6-0 record with the three losses all being by 10pts or less, the Hawks are ranked first in the AFL scoring an average of 107.5pts per game and Melbourne are ranked 17th scoring 68.2pts per game. Since Round 1, the Demons have scored only 58.8pts per game and will be up against it to cause what would likely be the upset of the 2015 season.

Carlton v GWS Giants

The Giants are far more talented than Carlton all over the ground and are 3-1 in travel games this year, a win against Hawthorn last week will have provided this team with the confidence that they can mix it with the best. A let down game is a distinct possibility for the young Giants team but they are up against a Carlton team devoid of any confidence, the Blues have conceded 100pts or more in four of six games and appear to be on a road to nowhere this season. The Giants are 3-0 when starting favourite this year and shouldn’t be troubled by the Blues who haven’t shown any fight at any stage this season, the Giants could rack up healthy number at Etihad Stadium.

Sydney v Geelong

The Swans demolished the Cats by 110pts this time last year at the SCG, a good win against the Magpies last week has breathed a little life in to this contest. This is a must win for Sydney, they are one game ahead of other top four contenders Hawthorn and Port Adelaide in a chase for what could be one last top two spot and a first-up home final remaining. This game is at ANZ Stadium, keep a track on the weather as this ground is known for throwing up the odd low scoring game. This certainly won’t be any type of lockdown game, but forecast rain will impact playing conditions. Defensively Geelong has been ok conceding 78.5pts per game between Rounds 3-6 whilst Sydney is ranked no.2 conceding just 65.8pts per game. The Swans are 3-1 when starting favourite in 2015.

West Coast v Gold Coast

The Eagles are another team that has been underestimated this season, a solid win over Port Adelaide last week has established them as a final eight contender this year. West Coast has won both games at Domain Stadium in Perth against Interstate teams in 2015, the Eagles only loss at home was to Fremantle which is no great shock. Gold Coast are hit hard with injuries and are struggling to contain teams this season, the Suns have conceded 100pts or more in five of six games this season and are ranked 17th conceding 102.7pts per game. West Coast are the no.2 scoring team in the AFL this season, but heavy forecast rain could be a great equalizer and provide an opportunity for the Suns to at least cover the big line on offer.

Western Bulldogs v Fremantle

The Bulldogs have played some great clean fast moving football this year, despite coughing up a 55pt lead last week against the Saints they will be ready for a challenge against the best performing team to date this season. Fremantle have covered the betting in all six games in 2015, a current six-game streak covering the betting line was not achieved by any team in 2014. Fremantle has outscored opponents by +181pts in the 1st half and by only +10pts in the second half of games this season, it is fair to say they play shutdown conservative football when the game is in hand. There may be an opportunity or two at or around half time in this one.

Richmond v Collingwood

Collingwood has struggled at times against teams that play on very quickly and directly towards goal, Richmond are not one of those teams which may play right in to the hands of the Magpies. Collingwood conceded 100pts for the first time last week but are still ranked No.3 conceding 70.7pts per game, Richmond has scored an average of 67.0pts FOR per game between Rounds 4-6. Not expecting this game to reach high quality status, but would be surprised if the Magpies didn’t win this game at the MCG on Sunday.

Brisbane v Port Adelaide

The Power have struggled for many weeks now and paid for their poor form with a home loss to the Eagles last week, Brisbane finally achieved their first win of the season last week against Carlton at Etihad Stadium and also cleared the betting line for the first time in 2015. The Lions have given up four scores of 118pts or more in four of six games this season, they might struggle to contain the Power scoring at the Gabba late on Sunday afternoon. It may take a while to get clear of Brisbane, but Port Adelaide should come away with the four points.

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