The Australian Football League Finals Series is under way and the last match of the first week, Port Adelaide versus West Coast at Adelaide Oval, is ripe for an upset result.
West Coast, one of two Australian Football League teams based in Perth, has been labelled a flat track bully by journalists and fans of other clubs. West Coast qualified for the Australian Football League Final Series as the eighth ranked side with a 8-3 home record and a 4-7 away ledger. West Coast has been difficult to beat at its Domain Stadium home for many years and, this season, the Eagles got the better of, among others, Adelaide, Geelong, Sydney at the soon-to-be abandoned venue. But, excluding its Western Australia derby against Fremantle, West Coast only won three real road games. Interestingly, though, the only Australian Football League Finals Series participant that West Coast defeated on its travels was fifth-ranked Port Adelaide.
West Coast visited Port Adelaide in Round Seven of the Australian Football League regular season in May. Never did West Coast trail Port Adelaide in that match, leading 25-15 at quarter time, 45-37 at half time, 76-55 at three-quarter time and 97-87 at full time. Port Adelaide had the better of West Coast on most of the game statistics – the exceptions being contested possessions, rebound 50s and, of course, goals. The dimensions of Adelaide Oval are similar to those of Domain Stadium, which goes a long way to explaining why not only did West Coast do the business versus Port Adelaide in the City of Churches this term but also in each of the previous two seasons. Actually, West Coast has played six Australian Football League matches at Adelaide Oval since the South Australian teams moved to the refurbished ground and the Eagles have won five of those away games. Contrast that with how West Coast has fared in Australian Football League matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground recently – the Eagles have not won a big game there since defeating Sydney 85-84 in the unforgettable Grand Final of 2006.
Adelaide Oval is similar to Domain Stadium in that both venues are relatively long and narrow. Port Adelaide will have 50,000 supporters cheering their every move but, for West Coast, the Power are the best possible Australian Football League Finals Series hosts. Port Adelaide reached the Australian Football League Finals Series with just two victories over fellow top-eight sides so one could argue that the Power are flattered to be the number five seeds.
Marathonbet is offering odds of +190 about West Coast making it four wins from four Australian Football League matches against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. None of West Coast’s five Adelaide Oval wins since 2014 have been by more than 31 points so, in the hunt for an even bigger payout, maybe it is worth backing the Eagles to prevail by 1-24 points at odds of +335 with 32Red and 888Sport. Australian Football League Final Series football is tough football and an away win by more than a four-goal margin appears unlikely. If West Coast does qualify for an Australian Football League Semi Final versus Greater Western Sydney, it is likely to be as a consequence of a hard-fought success over Port Adelaide with key forward Josh Kennedy kicking a bag of goals.
West Coast Eagles to beat Port Adelaide
Saturday 9th September, 10:50 GMT
West Coast Eagles to beat Port Adelaide by 1-24 points
Saturday 9th September, 10:50 GMT
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