Collingwood have an excellent record against Melbourne and can keep this one close on Friday night in front of a massive crowd at the ‘G.
Melbourne’s best footy is better than Collingwood’s but given their inconsistency, they can’t be backed to cover a decent sized line here.
The last five weeks for the Dees reads WLWLW and while those losses have come against the Cats and the resurgent Dogs, they are not exactly coming up against a minnow in Collingwood.
Melbourne have generally been a poor play as big favourites as well. In the last two years they have been favoured by 16 points or more 24 times, but covered in just nine of those games.
Collingwood beat Melbourne on Queen’s Birthday – less than two months ago – and they even managed to defeat the Dees last year when they were in premiership form.
The Pies have dominated Melbourne in recent years, having won six of the last seven and covered in seven of the last eight against the Demons.
As we touched on in their preview last week, Collingwood have been as lucky as they have been good, but they do have a 4-2 record against Top 8 sides this season.
With the line getting up towards three goals, the Pies have to be the play here.
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Angus Brayshaw reverting to a midfield role should see Christian Salem’s numbers go up as the designated ball user in the Dees back half, and Christian Petracca spending more time in the forward line.
Christian Salem’s numbers have been down in 2022 but with the Dees reverting to the defensive structure from last year, he should see much more opportunity to use those exquisite foot skills. Salem had 25 or more 15 times last year, and cracked 30 on a handful of occasions so at massive odds, that’s worth a small play as well.