PUNTING SPECTATOR: Following the script

The AFL grand final is only a week away and Dr Turf is hoping Geelong and Hawthorn will win through and meet up in the big one.

Let's get straight into the AFL preliminary finals.

Saturday night's game sees Hawthorn take on St. Kilda, with Hawthorn heavy favourites. The Saints were terrific against Collingwood last week but, equally, the Pies were awful. They were a very inexperienced unit who had exceeded expectations and that’s well worth keeping in mind when assessing the Saints' dominant performance.

Having said that, St. Kilda are in good form, which explains the line of 19½ points – rather low, I would have thought, for a team that is $3.55 to win. There are a couple of injury queries surrounding the Hawks. Key defender Trent Croad is the obvious opponent for Saints' star Nick Riewoldt and if he doesn’t play, it’s a big plus for the Saints. Chance Bateman is a worry as well. He is clearly the most underrated of the Hawks on-ballers and if he’s out it’s another little concern for those taking the short odds about Hawthorn. St. Kilda have picked Luke Ball again but even if he does play it will be six weeks off the scene, that’s a worry.

Ignoring all the injury queries, I still want to be on the Hawks, I don’t fancy taking $1.35 the win, but I’m happy to be them at the line.

Let’s hope Geelong and Hawthorn win through, because a grand final between those two teams is a mouth-watering prospect.

In the NRL, the Saturday night game between Brisbane and Melbourne has created plenty of headlines this week, but I will be steering clear of it from a betting point of view. Melbourne are a much better side than Brisbane, but you can never write any Broncos side off, and all the off-field dramas may actually make them even harder to beat. Keep out of this one.

Have a great weekend and remember, let's be careful out there.

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