Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs – AFL Preliminary Final (September 11, 2021)
Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs clash in South Australia this Saturday, September 11, as both sides aim to book their place in the 2021 AFL Grand Final.
Having sealed a comfortable qualifier victory over Geelong, the Power head into Saturday’s showdown on a seven-match winning streak. Can the 2020 minor premiers go on to clinch their first flag since 2004?
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, edged out Brisbane by just a single point in last weekend’s semi-finals. After ending the regular season on a three-game losing run, Luke Beveridge’s men will be eager to make amends in SA.
Below, I analyze both teams before breaking down the odds for Saturday’s prelim final. I then share my prediction for Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs, along with a betting pick.
Why Port Adelaide Can Overcome the Dogs
I just mentioned that Ken Hinkley’s men have won each of their last seven matches. Given the competitive nature of the AFL this year, the Power must be given huge credit for their recent run.
What I didn’t mention, though, is that Port Adelaide has picked up ten wins in their previous 11 outings. With a record like that, it is difficult to imagine them losing a game anytime soon.
Port could have faltered against a strong Geelong outfit last time out, but they punched their ticket to the prelims without any problems. Orazio Fantasia kicked four goals in a dominant 43-point win over the Cats, while Steven Motlop bagged a brace.
The Power beat the Bulldogs by just two points in their previous meeting last month, although Beveridge’s men won the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign. That said, Port’s recent record against the Dogs is impressive.
The South Australians have won six of their last eight matches against the Dogs. With three victories coming in their past four meetings, the Power will fancy their chances of winning again this weekend.
Why the Dogs Could Upset the AFL Odds
The Bulldogs can take confidence from their performance against Port back in May. Indeed, they chalked up 96 points in a 19-point victory over the SA side, with Aaron Naughton booting four goals.
Since then, however, the Dogs have struggled for consistency.
Beveridge’s boys lost six of their final 12 regular-season matches, including each of their last three. Despite producing a battling display against Port on the final weekend of the regular season, they were unable to prevent defeat.
Although the Doggies overcome Brisbane last time out, club captain Marcus Bontempelli sustained a knee injury in the one-point win. With top-scorer Josh Bruce also sidelined for the remainder of the campaign, the Bulldogs are wounded.
Of course, guys like Jack Macrae and Tom Liberatore are more than capable of getting their side over the line. But if Bontempelli doesn’t make the cut, they could struggle to cope with Port’s power.
Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs Betting Odds
In my eyes, Port Adelaide is the rightful favorite here. The Power finished eight points clear of the Bulldogs on the ladder – and the Aussie rules sportsbooks have clearly taken that into account when pricing up this clash.
Although the odds for the Port win aren’t too low, I recommend steering clear of the moneylines and exploring other markets to find better value. Keep reading to discover my Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs prediction and pick.
Port Adelaide vs. Bulldogs Prediction and Pick
Port Adelaide (-12.5)1.90
I’m confident that Port Adelaide will beat the Bulldogs on Saturday. The South Australians are in red-hot form right now, while the Victorian outfit has struggled for consistency in recent weeks.
Although the Dogs were the second-highest scorers during the regular season, they finished with the fourth-worst defensive record in the top five. On the flip side, only Melbourne and Geelong conceded fewer points than Port.
With that in mind, backing the Power with a –12.5 handicap feels like the best bet for Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs. If Hinkley’s backline can keep things tight, forwards like Charlie Dixon and Mitch Georgiades should be able to dominate at the other end of the pitch.