Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
Only three matches remain in season 2017 but there is still so much to look forward to. This weekend Patrick Dangerfield is heading back to Adelaide with the Cats to play his old side and Brett Deledio will line-up with the Giants on the MCG against the Tigers for the first time.
The Tigers and Crows have outperformed expectations and led the line ladder all year. Can they get it done again on preliminary final weekend?
LINES – Preliminary Finals
Adelaide -17.5 / Geelong +17.5
After Geelong’s loss in their qualifying final against Richmond, they seemed dead and buried in this finals series. But now after knocking out the in-form Swans last Friday night in convincing fashion they are back as serious contenders. And if you accept the Richmond loss in week 1 of finals as an aberration, the Cats form is very good – they’ve won four of the last five including wins over Richmond (round 21), GWS and Sydney.
Adelaide have won three of their last five matches including losses to Sydney and West Coast in the last two weeks of the home and away season followed by a big win over GWS in the qualifying final at Adelaide Oval two weeks ago. Two concerns for the Crows this weekend are the hamstring injury to Mitch McGovern and the lack of match play due to the bye after round 23 and the week off in week 2 of finals.
Dangerfield returning to Adelaide in such a high stakes match will also be a main talking point.
With a 10-3 record at Adelaide Oval this year the Crows are understandably favourites going into this preliminary final but the line is pretty big considering they are playing the team who finished 2nd on the ladder. Cats at the +17.5 point line.
Adelaide -17.5 points – Ding Dong, Moose Dogs, Shan
Geelong +17.5 points – Dusty, Hollywood
Richmond -8.5 / GWS +8.5
These teams have played twice already in 2017 and have split the points with the Giants pinching a win in the dying seconds in round 9 and the Tigers taking advantage of the wet conditions at the MCG in round 18 which suited their small forwards.
Conditions may be a factor this weekend at the MCG as well but the Giants are also playing a smaller line-up now due to injuries to Jeremy Cameron and Shane Mumford.
As with the Crows in the other preliminary final, the Tigers have only played one game in 26 days due to the bye after round 23 and bypassing week 2 of finals. Whether this helps or hinders those teams may come to light over the weekend – last year Geelong and GWS were in the same position and they both lost their preliminary finals.
With over 90% of the 90,000+ crowd cheering for the yellow & black that may serve as a 19th player on the field for the Tigers and help them win the match and the -8.5 point line.
Richmond -8.5 points – Dusty, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan
GWS +8.5 points – Ding Dong
The line tipping table after week 2 of finals:
Results from the preliminary finals and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..