The over is the bet in a game where both sides are inconsistent.
The defining characteristic of both teams in 2022 is inconsistency. Their records bear this out, the Saints (9-7) and Dogs (8-8) both being more or less a coin toss proposition.
The key problem for both sides is defence, and it has been particularly pronounced of late. The Saints rank 17th for scores conceded per inside 50 since Round 14. In the second half demolition last week against Freo they only had two fewer inside 50s, but conceded 11 goals to three.
The Dogs problems, particularly in the key defensive stocks, are well known. Alex Keath and Ryan Gardner might be adequate second and third talls, but struggle with the big jobs. Ben King, the Saints prime mover who has been inconsistent, should get his chance for a big bag.
Recent history between these sides also points to the over, with the number having gone over in four of the last five games they have played each other.
Six of eight St. Kilda games at Marvel this season have gone over, as have four of seven Dogs games. The last four Dogs games have gone over, as have the last two Saints games.
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Luke Beveridge has done a lot of tinkering with his line up so it’s hard to be confident around the Dogs. However, Josh Bruce showed he was back to his best in the VFL last week and should be the main target in attack with Aaron Naughton out due to Covid. Bailey Smith comes back from suspension and should be able to win plenty of footy.
Bruce was a candidate for All Australian selection last season before going down with an ACL. He kicked 4.5 in the VFL last week.