AFL preview: Round 14

IT was a great debut last week as our model finished with a profit,

Here’s our best bets for Round 14:

Collingwood v Port Adelaide

This clash on Saturday featuring fourth placed Port Adelaide and struggling Collingwood will prove to be a much closer affair than their ladder positions suggests.

Collingwood’s return of five wins and seven losses is probably better than what many expected for the Pies at this stage in the competition, but with pressure still looming over coach Nathan Buckley a loss against the Power will put the Pies’ finals contention at risk – as well as his job.

The Power have conceded the fewest points in the competition so far and are second in scoring.

Port Adelaide will be playing their first of two games at the MCG this season, and with their away-form still being their detriment a win on Saturday seems could be harder than most are imagining.

Despite being fourth on the ladder, the Power are yet to beat a top-eight side this season.

An interesting match-up in the rucks will determine who gets on the scoreboard with Paddy Ryder and Brodie Grundy providing the taps for the sides. Scott Pendlebury and Adam Treloar will keep Port’s midfield at bay.

Our model shows a win for the Pies, and given Port’s ability to restrict their opponents goal scoring prowess the 1-39 margin is a strong play here.

Prediction: Collingwood 1-39 @$2.60

Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne

With a ‘premiership hangover’ looming over the struggling Dogs they’ll have to turn things around – losing four of their past five games.

After copping a 57-points smashing at the hands of Melbourne, as well as losing Lin Jong to a season ending injury, the Bulldogs will have it all to play for against North.

Whilst the Bulldogs have struggled with putting points on the board, the Kangaroos have slumped in their disposal efficiency with their kick-to-handball ratio and rookie errors proving to be their downfall against the Saints last week.

A loss for North Melbourne could see them kiss finals contentions goodbye – so it’s a must win for both.

We backed the Kangaroos earlier in the week and our projections have them just edging this one.

Take the points on offer while it’s still above two goals.

Prediction: North Melbourne (+13.5) @$1.90

West Coast Eagles v Melbourne

Another huge home game for West Coast usually means another huge home win – and Saturday night will be no different.

Despite being poor on the road and winning just two away games this season, the Eagles have been close to unbeatable at home (with the exception of their round 10 loss to GWS).

The Demons will be without co-skipper Nathan Jones for at least a month after he suffered a quad injury in Melbourne’s win over the Premiers last week.

Coming up against West Coast in Perth is a tough ask for any side, but it’s an even bigger task when you haven’t beaten the Eagles since 2009, and not in Perth since 2002.

Jack Viney will lead the Demons solo for the first time in his career, too bad a loss to the Eagles will overshadow his moment in the sun.

Our projection has the Eagles winning 82% of the time, giving us a strong play straight up.

Prediction: West Coast @$1.48 (2 units)

Sydney v Essendon

The Swans have turned their season around winning five of their past six games, and have restored that fear factor the Bloods once had.

The Swans endured a horrible start against Richmond last week failing to score until halfway through the second quarter.

Sydney had to fight back from a large deficit against the Tigers to maintain their form which saw them beat the Premiers the week prior.

Now, for the third week in a row the Swans will face an opponent coming fresh off a bye, however fresh legs wont be enough to stop a Swans win.

Buddy Franklin will be watched very closely by Bomber defenders with the three-time Coleman Medallist averaging 5 goals a game against Essendon from his 13 matches versus the Bombers.

Buddy has not lost to Essendon since round 6, 2010 – even so, he bagged six of his sides’ nine goals that day.

Essendon have always struggled on the road and the likelihood of a win at the SCG looks slim.

We’ll make another two unit play on this one, with a strong 87% win rate in our projections.

Prediction: Sydney @$1.45 (2 units)

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