Collingwood’s unbelievable winning streak faces arguably its toughest test on Sunday in a blockbuster match-up between two top four aspirants.
Whether you believe the Magpies’ 11-game winning streak is due to a combination of skill, leadership and experience, or just dumb luck, it has to be respected when looking for a bet in this game, especially when recent trends are of little help.
Both Collingwood and Sydney have cleared the line in five of their last ten. Both teams’ last ten games are a 50-50 split between over and under on the total.
The Swans have covered in exactly half of their home games while the Pies have in five of eight away this year.
There is a lean for the under given it’s hit in eleven of the last twelve head-to-head but Collingwood are a much more attacking team under Craig McRae than under Nathan Buckley so that too holds little credence.
In the end, a three goal start for any team coming off eleven straight wins just looks too big. The Pies are the second-ranked defence since Round 10 and have proven themselves masters at staying in games and running over teams late. They have covered in five straight as outsiders.
Sydney have won five straight themselves, and while you can only beat who’s in front of you, their resume has been padded by three straight 30+ point wins over bottom four teams.
Eventually Collingwood’s dumb luck has to change, but they should be right in this game until the very end.
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As we, and especially Essendon, know, Jamie Elliot is a terrific set shot goal kicker and a terribly awkward match-up. He’s coming off four goals last week and has kicked 2+ in four of his last five games.
Tom Papley is having a career-best year. He’s booted 2+ in five-straight games.
It couldn’t happen again, could it?
Collingwood have won six straight games by less than 10 points. They are ranked 9th for percentage. No team has ever sat in the top two after 21 rounds with such a low percentage.
This is a big price for the Pies to make it seven nail-biting wins on the trot.