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There were three shocks in the first round of Australian Football League games and one thinks that the second round will commence with West Coast on the end of another upset.
West Coast was one of the three Australian Football League Round One favourites that tasted defeat, going down 87-97 at Western Bulldogs. West Coast was the Australian Football League’s most accurate team – it kicked 14 goals to just three behinds – but the Eagles were lucky to end up losing by only 10 points because Western Bulldogs was inaccurate.
Maybe that is a little bit harsh on West Coast because the Eagles suffered the latest serious injury setback midway through the Australian Football League match at Etihad Stadium, Mitch Brown tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee as he turned to chase the ball. Brown has undergone surgery that will rule out him for the rest of the Australian Football League competition, leaving West Coast painfully short of key defenders for the rest of the year.
West Coast veteran Darren Glass retired at the end of the 2014 Australian Football League season and the Eagles lost their most influential defender, Eric Mackenzie, during one of the meaningless NAB Challenge games in which the 18 sides experiment ahead of the real stuff. Most Australian Football League teams have a maximum of three key defenders, players who can lock down a dangerous forward on the opposition side and prevent them kicking bags of goals. It would be fair to say that West Coast does not have any fit key defenders.
The plight of West Coast has sparked debate among Australian Rules football fans as to the merits of a mid-season draft or trade period so that teams such as the Eagles could bring in players to plug holes in their starting sides. Australian Rules football is one of those sports in which opponents can exploit weak links ruthlessly because it is about one-on-one contests all over the field. West Coast is weak in defence and, therefore, one wants to oppose the Eagles when they entertain Carlton at Domain Stadium on Friday, the first match of the Australian Football League’s second round.
Carlton lost its Australian Football League opener 78-105 to Richmond at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Carlton led 44-43 late in the second quarter before Richmond’s class started to tell and the Tigers pulled away from its traditional rival. Carlton does not look like one of the Australian Football League’s top eight teams but neither does West Coast and the Blues has strengthened its forward line.
Backing Carlton at odds of 7/4 2.75 +175 1.75 1.75 -0.57 with 888Sport and Unibet is one way to attack its Australian Football League game at West Coast but the primary purpose of this weekly column is to highlight attractive bets at working man’s odds. And the bet that fits the bill is Carlton to defeat West Coast by 25-plus points at odds of 7/1 8.00 +700 7.00 7.00 -0.14 with Bet365. Bookmakers are unlikely to go up with team-specific points markets until the day before the Domain Stadium match but also of interest would be prices about Carlton scoring more than 100 points.
Carlton to beat West Coast by 25+ points
10th April 11:10 GMT
Odds: 7/1 8.00 +700 7.00 7.00 -0.14
Where to Bet: Bet365