Essendon are celebrating their 150th anniversary on Friday night against one of their most bitter rivals. It will not end well.
This is a horrible match-up for Essendon.
Carlton are among the best contested teams we’ve seen over the last decade, averaging +15 contested possessions per game – ranked first. They’re second for clearances per game at +5 behind the Bulldogs with daylight to third.
The Bombers are 15th for contested possessions and 14th for clearances at -10.3 and -2.5 respectively.
Cripps, Hewitt, Kennedy (if fit) and Cerra will beat up the Bombers’ undersized mids around the contest.
Essendon have played five of the top 10 clearance teams in the AFL through 12 rounds and lost each game by an average margin of 41.5 points. Their two wins have come against Adelaide (ranked 12th in clearances) and Hawthorn (ranked 18th).
They’re a rancid team around the ground too, ranked last for pressure, equal 16th for quarters won and last for offensive contests won inside 50, A better team could have taken advantage of Carlton’s injuries to key players including Jacob Weitering, Zac Williams and Marc Pittonet, but not these Bombers.
Harry McKay is reportedly an outside chance to return this week. Either way, Essendon won’t win enough ball to get anywhere near Carlton on Friday night. A very confident bet.
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Same Game Multi
The line looks a gift here so take a larger margin if you’re feeling more adventurous.
We’ll steer away from Curnow given McKay is a chance of returning. If he doesn’t, Curnow will feast. Look for a big bag to be kicked.
Sam Walsh has had 30+ touches in his last three games while Dyson Heppell has had 20+ in eight of his last nine.
Owies has nine goals from eleven games this year including two last week against the Pies, while Wright will enjoy the absence of Jacob Weitering due to injury.
For all the reasons stated above, this is a stunning price for the Blues to punish the Bombers. Carlton have smacked some ordinary opposition over the last five weeks, beating North by 50 points, Adelaide by 48 and GWS by 30. A 60+ margin at $8.75 is absolutely worth a bet as well.