Essendon can keep it close against the reigning premiers.
Essendon +27.5 ($1.90)
Melbourne are a terrible betting proposition as favourites against a large number.
Since the start of 2021 they have been favoured by 20 or more points 12 times, with only three covers to their credit. This trend continued last week when they won, but couldn’t cover a line of 21.5 against the Suns.
There is also good reason to think the Dons are better than they appear. They broke even against Brisbane in most of the key metrics last week, with bad kicking for goal (10.15 to 15.7) being responsible for the deficit.
The Dons are averaging 15 marks inside 50 this season – the most in the competition – so they are capable of pushing the Demons if they convert better.
Melbourne’s issue is that too much is being asked of Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver, especially when it comes to hitting the scoreboard. If either of them has a down game, the Dees are vulnerable.
Last year the Dons kept it close against the Dees on the back of an outstanding game from Jake Stringer. Back the red and black to do so again.
Same Game Multi
Essendon +27.5 / Total Points Under 167.5 / Jake Bowey 20+ Disposals / Jye Caldwell 20+ Disposals ($5.00)
In addition to the Bombers at the line the numbers lean strongly to the under off a high total, it has gone under eight of nine times when the Dees have been favoured between 20 and 40 points. Bowey stepped up last week in the absence of Christian Salem while Jye Caldwell is winning plenty of contested ball at present.
Melbourne 1-19 ($4.50)
The Dees should have too much class for the Dons but the value for a small Melbourne win looks compelling.