Simonds Stadium, spiritually known as Kardinia Park, is one of the few remaining suburban grounds in the Australian Football League and a venue at which only the brave bet against Geelong. One is not that brave this week.
Geelong versus Adelaide is the clear match of the Australian Football League round because it pits the third-placed Cats against the ladder-leading Crows but one cannot comprehend how bookmakers have come up with the hosts as the underdogs.
The consolation of Australian Football League grounds in the state of Victoria means that genuine home advantages are few and far between these days but Geelong, which is located 75 kilometres south west of Melbourne, does have its own home stadium unlike the rest of its fellow Victoria-based sides.
Simonds Stadium was undergoing significant renovations until earlier this month, which explains why Geelong did not play an Australian Football League game there until its Round Nine match versus the defending premier, Western Bulldogs. Geelong won that blockbuster Australian Football League game, which is generally what happens whenever the Cats strut their stuff at their beloved home venue. Geelong has won 13 of its last 14 Australian Football League matches at Simonds Stadium and the Cats, after experiencing a mini slump, are signalling that they will be one of the teams there at the end of the season competing for the trophy.
According to one’s Australian Football League collateral form analysis in which one assigns 12 points for what one rates as a genuine home advantage, Geelong trails Adelaide 3-0-4 based on their respective results against their seven common opponents. That piece of Australian Football League number crunching supports the ladder on which Geelong is one win below Adelaide but seven is a relatively small sample size and one does not get too excited about seven head to heads in the soccer world – normally, one does not pay a lot of attention to collateral form until the number of rounds played is into double figures and, ideally, more than 12.
What is more significant is that Geelong has won each of its two Australian Football League games at Simonds Stadium and it has beaten a couple of premiership contenders, Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, in those matches. Adelaide has played four Australian Football League games away from Adelaide Oval for three wins and one loss but the Crows have not visited a side that is likely to make the top eight yet, including losing 86-145 versus North Melbourne at the Blundstone Arena base of the Kangaroos in Tasmania.
Paddy Power, which owns Australia-based Sportsbet, is well out of line in offering odds of +110 about Geelong getting the better of Adelaide on Friday and taking out its sixth consecutive Australian Football League match at Simonds Stadium. Adelaide is 3-0-16 lifetime versus Geelong at Simonds Stadium, the Crows losing on each of their last nine Australian Football League trips to the ground formerly known as Kardinia Park since registering a 76-59 success there in June 2003. And Adelaide has lost to Geelong by at least 27 points in each of the last five Australian Football League clashes between the teams at Simonds Stadium.
In the current Australian Football League climate, no side should be odds on to beat Geelong at Simonds Stadium and Cats backers can be very hopeful of Patrick Dangerfield, arguably the best player in the competition, having a monster game for the hosts against his former team.
Geelong to beat Adelaide
Friday 2nd June, 10:50 GMT