There’s nothing but pride on the line this Saturday at Marvel, where North Melbourne look a good chance to win their third game of the season against the Gold Coast Suns.
North look value to cover and even pinch an upset here.
The Roos have been a much better team under Leigh Adams, beating Richmond and covering in three of five games. In the two games they didn’t cover, Champion Data’s expected scoring had them only losing by 7 and 13 points respectively, indicating they were more unlucky than uncompetitive in those fixtures.
They were level with Adelaide at the final change last week, but with only one fit player on the bench, simply ran out of legs. Tarryn Thomas and Jason Horne-Francis should return off good VFL form, which is a net upgrade on injured veterans Jack Ziebell and Jed Anderson.
While the Suns have taken a big lead forward this year, they would be disappointed with the final quarter of their season, only winning two of their last eight and failing to cover in their last three. Stuart Dew’s men have only covered in one of their last five at Marvel and average just 54.2 points scored in those games.
With the opportunity to avoid their second straight wooden spoon with a win, a 20-point start for the Shinboners looks generous.
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These two teams concede more disposals than any other team and only one player went over 26 disposals last time they met. With plenty of points expected (see below), let’s look to the goal kickers.
Cam Zurhaar has booted 15 goals in his last five games while Jy Simpkin has had 30+ touches in five of his last six.
Former first rounder Elijah Hollands has kicked three goals from his four games.
As mentioned, North are a good chance for a final round victory here.
This is the largest total of any game this year but it isn’t big enough. The last eight Kangaroos games have gone over with an average total of 191.75 points in the last four. A dead rubber under the lid at Marvel should see this total approach 200 or even more.