West Coast Eagles vs. Western Bulldogs Final
Betting Odds & Tips
A 24 week season has built to this week. The AFL finals series is here and it kicks off with the first elimination final between the Bulldogs and the Eagles on Thursday night. The Eagles raced home in their best form of the season, pushing passed the likes of GWS, Adelaide and Hawthorn to earn themselves a home final. By comparison, the Dogs had a rough ending to the season with injuries piling up, though they were still able to put together three wins from their last five games.
The last time these two teams met was round 11 where the Bulldogs were too strong, winning by eight points. However, their last encounter in Perth, which is where this final will take place, saw the Eagles demolish the Bulldogs by 77 points at the end of last season.
Many may think the Western Bulldogs would be suited to the vast expanses of Domain Stadium, but their game style has been a lot slower this season and they’ve really abandoned the speedy ball movement that has defined them under Luke Beveridge. Despite that, if the likes of Jason Johannisen and Luke Dahlhaus get off the leash and get room to run, they could impact the result.
From a West Coast standpoint, a lot will rest on the shoulders of ruckman Jonathan Giles. With Nic Naitanui out injured and doubt over Scott Lycett, the reserve ruckman will have to shoulder most of the workload against a Bulldogs side that leaves itself vulnerable in the ruck position.
The Dogs will need to stop Josh Kennedy and Mark LeCras who have kicked a combined 23 goals in their last five games against the Bulldogs. The most prolific Bulldogs goal kicker in the last five encounters between these teams is Lachie Hunter with three. They’ll need a bit more than that this time around.
It’s hard to see the Eagles making any changes from the side that dominated the Crows in round 23. As already mentioned, the only injury cloud hovers over Scott Lycett and you’d expect Mitch Brown to replace him if he can’t get up for the game. Brown has worked as a back-up ruckman for West Coast in the past. Former Brisbane midfielder Jack Redden is probably the only one who could really force himself into the side, but with the form of guys like Dom Sheed and Mark Hutchings, there’s no real need to make the change.
The Dogs rested a few players for their trip to Perth in round 23 against the Dockers so you’d expect them to make a couple of changes. Easton Wood and Jordan Roughead are obvious inclusions if fit and Jake Stringer seems to have earned his recall from the reserves side after being left out of Footscray’s VFL side. Midfielders Jack Macrae (hamstring) and Tom Liberatore (ankle) are longer odds to play, but remain in the mix. The Dogs will seemingly make at least three changes for the aforementioned players. Joel Hamling will make way for Wood. Will Minson’s role in the side has been non-existent this year and he’ll be replaced by Roughead and Stringer comes in for one of Nathan Hrovat, Lin Jong or Bailey Williams depending on team balance.
- Australian Betting Organization Estimations
- West Coast likelihood to win: 75%
- Western Bulldogs likelihood to win 25%
Best Australian Bookmaker Odds:
West Coast to win: $1.20 at Sportsbet
Western Bulldogs to win: $4.65 at William Hill
West Coast by 1-19 points at $4.25 at Centrebet
Final Analysis & Betting Tip
Our analysis seems to indicate that West Coast should win this game and do so comfortably. Their forward line will be tough to stop and their home turf will give them a big advantage. The Dogs are known for long scoring encounters and if that trend continues, you can expect a close margin. That leaves West Coast by 1-19 points at centrebet.com.au as decent value for this game.
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You’ll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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