Melbourne takes on Carlton in a huge first AFL semi-final this Friday night. Read on for CODE Bet’s Melbourne vs Carlton Friday AFL semi final betting analysis, best bets, multi picks and predictions for Demons vs Blues at the MCG on Friday September 15 at 7.50pm
MELBOURNE DEMONS (4th) vs CARLTON BLUES (5th): AFL FINALS WEEK 2 – FRIDAY AFL SEMI FINAL BETTING ANALYSIS
MELBOURNE: $1.68 (via bet365)
CARLTON: $2.22 (via TopSport)
MCG, Friday, 7.50pm
Full CODE Bet Match Centre here
DEMONS vs BLUES: AFL FINALS BETTING MARKETS – WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT
- Carlton won the last matchup 60-56 to snap Melbourne’s eight-game win streak over them.
- Melbourne (2nd) and Carlton (4th) both had top-4 defences this year.
- Both teams will be missing key components due to injury (Angus Brayshaw, Harry McKay) and suspension (Jacob Van Rooyen, Jack Martin).
- Three of the last five games between the two have been decided by 5 points or less.
- The underdog has covered the line in seven of the last eight games Melbourne has played.
MELBOURNE vs CARLTON: THE AFL FINALS BETTING MATCH-UP
Melbourne hosts Carlton in the AFL’s first semi-final at the MCG on Friday, with the Demons entering the games as slight favourites, despite losing 60-53 to Collingwood last Thursday.
Carlton held on to notch its first finals win in a decade with a tight 74-68 elimination final victory over Sydney and head into this clash buoyed by the fact it beat the Dees 60-56 a month ago in Round 22.
Melbourne head into this matchup looking to avoid a second consecutive year of being bounced from the finals in straight sets and will miss the presence of big Jacob van Rooyen and his 28 goals from 20 games this season up forward.
The Dees have averaged 93 points a game at the ‘G this year, compared to Carlton’s 76, but have a top score of 87 and only averaged 75.2 in its last five games this year, while the Blues sit at 74.2 over the same period.
As befits two of the four best defences in the AFL – Melbourne has surrendered 71.1 point a game and Carlton 73.5 – three of the past five match ups between the two have hit this game’s total points under mark of 155.5. the In fact, the last two games finished with totals of 116 and 105.
So with both teams losing key offensive contributors to injury and suspension and a pair of defences keyed in, a low total could be on the cards.
Clayton Oliver of the Demons in action during the 2023 AFL First Qualifying Final. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
DEE-LICIOUS MELBOURNE MIDFIELD
The Demons had no one to blame but themselves in last week’s seven-point loss to Collingwood, booting 7 goals and 11 points from a ridiculous 69 inside-50s to notch an inside 50 efficiency of 33.3%, down from their 45.5% across the rest of the season.
The Demons also won the disposal (325 to 319) and contested possession battle (153 to 139), as well as contested marks 15-9 and centre clearances 12-7.
Simply put, Melbourne’s midfield gave the team a chance and the forward line’s goal kicking let them down.
Superstar Christian Petracca was as influential as ever, racking up 29 disposals, 6 clearances and a goal assist.
Chef Trac averages 23.2 touches a game and has 11 goals in 10 games against the Blues, but had 24 and 2 in round 22 on top of the 32 disposals and 1 goal in the round 12 clash and 24 and 1 in last year’s meeting. In fact, Petracca has had 24 touches and kicked at least one goal five of the last six times he’s played the Blues.
Clarry Oliver also stood tall against the Pies last week, managing 31 touches, 11 clearances and 10 tackles.
Oliver has good history against the Blues as well, averaging 28 disposals against them across his career. On top of that, Clarry has topped 31 disposals in four of his last five night games at the ‘G.
Jack Viney’s run of 11 straight games with 25+ disposals came to an end last week as he managed only 20. Son of Todd had 31 last time these two teams met and without Brayshaw in the mix, will be needed at the coalface again.
Melbourne gun Bayley Fritsch was on the Bayley fritz in front of goals last week, but has 2-plus goals in his six games at the ‘G and eight goals in his last four against Carlton.
With no Jacob van Rooyen due to suspension, Fritsch will need to step up and shake off last week’s disastrous display in front of the sticks.
Alex Neal-Bullen is a CODE Bet favourite for an anytime goal play, having snagged a major in 71% of his games this year.
But ANB is also averaging 17 disposals over the last six weeks, which is also his career average for disposals in finals. With the Demons looking for options up forward, the Hyphen should be a big factor.
Sam Walsh (left) and Charlie Curnow of the Blues celebrate during the 2023 AFL First Elimination Final. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
RED HOT BLUES
The Blues holding on to beat the Swans was a big moment for the club and it means the team ought to head into this semi-final with the ‘no finals wins for a decade’ monkey off its back.
Against the Swans Carlton’s midfield was led by Sam Walsh, Adam Cerra and Blake Acres, but with former Docker Acres looking like he was nursing a shoulder injury in the second half of last week, it’s tough to back him in to repeat last week’s 26-disposal effort.
Walsh, meanwhile, isn’t great value across the board, despite an average of 28 touches a game this year, which is down on last year’s absurd 32 a game.
The former No. 1 pick has had 22, 27 and 30 in his past three games against the Demons, but has managed 28 and 29 over the last two Blues games, and has gone for 25+ in 21 of the last 22 times he’s played at the ‘G.
Cerra, meanwhile, missed the round 22 game but had 30 in his last time out against Melbourne in round 12. If Acres struggles to get up, Cerra should be a good look for 25-plus again.
Captain Patrick Cripps had 29 and a goal against the Demons in round 22 and was handy against the Swans in his first ever finals appearance, with 21 and a goal. Over his last four against the Demons the 2022 Brownlow winner has ripped off 29, 23, 26 and 27 disposals for an average of 26.2.
Another Blue among the best on ground last week and having racked up the possessions over the last six weeks is Nic ‘Hello’ Newman. Considering the power and strength of the Demons midfielders, Newman and his fellow Carlton half back flankers Sam Docherty and Adam Saad should see plenty of the pill. Newman has averaged 29 disposals an outing over his last six games.
Charlie Curnow of the Blues in action during the 2023 AFL First Elimination Final. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
BAGGERS WHO COULD BAG A BAG
Up forward is where the Blues may struggle with the loss of Jack Martin’s playmaking and Harry McKay size and strength (if not his accuracy).
Back-to-back Coleman Medal winner Charlie Curnow will likely once again have a tough time of it going against the Demons backline of Steven May and Jake Lever. Charlie has only managed four goals over the past three games against the Dees.
But. If Curnow goes big in what looms as a tight contest, it will be a game-breaking effort.
Outside of Curnow’s slim markets, it’s better to look for a small forward like Matt Owies to pick up the slack.
Owies has kicked 2-plus goals in three of the last four and had two in his last meeting with Melbourne.
With McKay out and no Jack Silvagni available for the Blues, Tom De Koning is likely to swing forward more. Big TDK has managed a goal in three of his last five games.
MELBOURNE vs CARLTON: BEST GOAL KICKER PROP BET
– CHECK OUT CODE BET’S MELBOURNE vs CARLTON BEST FIRST GOAL KICKER BETS HERE–
Christian Petracca has averaged over a goal a game this season with 27 in his 24 games to date, and has multiple snags in six outings in 2023.
He missed out on hitting the scoreboard last week against Collingwood, so look for Chef Trac – who had three goals in two games against the Blues this year – to slot a couple.
Tom De Koning (left) and Adam Cerra of the Blues celebrate during the 2023 AFL First Elimination Final. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
MELBOURNE vs CARLTON: WHO WINS?
After fending off Sydney last week, Carlton has a chance to ride some momentum and throw caution to the wind after snagging its first finals win in a decade.
Both teams’ woes up forward means that the Blues midfield will need to combat the Demons superstars and provide defensive help, but either way expect a close one: three of the last five games between the two have been decided by 5 points or less.
Overall, the underdog has covered the line in seven of Melbourne’s past eight games, so Carlton at the line is the play.
That line has also shortened from 7.5 to 6.5, but the value is still there. Just.
Christian Petracca of the Demons is tackled by Tom Mitchell of the Magpies during the 2023 AFL First Qualifying Final. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
‘DEMONS GET THE BLUES’ – MELBOURNE vs CARLTON AFL FRIDAY SEMI FINAL BETTING – SAME GAME MULTI
- Clayton Oliver – 25+ disposals
Clarry has had 31+ in four the last five night games he’s played at the ‘G.
- Christian Petracca – 25+ disposals
Trac has had 24+ in five of his last six against Carlton.
- Lachie Hunter – 20+ disposals
Hunter averages over 22 touches a game this year: without Angus Brayshaw he’ll be expected to step up.
- Christian Salem – 20+ disposals
The Melbourne half-back flankers has 20+ in eight straight games against Carlton.
- Sam Walsh – 25+ disposals
Walsh has hit 25+ in 21 of his last 22 when playing at the MCG.
- Patrick Cripps – 20+ disposals
The Blues captain has a great record against the Demons, averaging over 26 a game in his last four.
- Nic Newman – 20+ disposals
Newman has hit 25+ in five of his last six games: he should manage at least 20 in this one.
- Sam Docherty – 20+ disposals
Doc has racked up 25+ touches in 13 of his last 16, so keep him at 20 for this one.
- Charlie Curnow – 2+ goals
The Coleman Medallist struggles against the Demons backline of Lever and May, but without Harry McKay cooking it in front of him, Charlie should get loose for a few clean looks.
- Bayley Fritsch – 2+ goals
The Man With The Immaculate Hair has 2+ goals in six straight at the ‘G.
- Matt Owies – anytime goal
The small forward has managed at least one goal in 10 straight games.
- Alex Neal-Bullen – anytime goal
ANB will be expected to fill the gaps up forward for the Dees and has booted a goal in 71% of his games this year.
12-LEG MELBOURNE vs CARLTON SAME GAME MULTI @ $41.69 (via Ladbrokes)
[all odds as of September 14]