|By PAUL GOUGH
The punters are sticking with defending A-League premiers Brisbane Roar to emerge from their slump when they take on the equally out-of-form Melbourne Heart to open Week 6 on Friday.
The Roar - bidding to become the first club to win three successive championships - head to Melbourne off the back of consecutive 1-0 home losses to Western Sydney and then Adelaide last Sunday.
In all the Roar, who have slumped to second last on the table with just four points from five rounds, have not tasted success for three matches since thumping former dual premiership coach Ange Postecoglou's new team Melbourne Victory 5-0 in Week 2 - their only win of the season to date.
Yet they are odds-on favourites to win on Friday at $1.95 at sportsbet.com.au and slightly better than even money at $2.06 at Betfair, where they have attracted over 90 percent of money wagered on the match so far.
And that is because the Heart - despite playing at home - are sitting last on the A-League table after five matches, with their recent form even worse than that of Brisbane.
Heart have picked up just one point, against a second string Wellington side, since their shock opening week win over Melbourne Victory, and John Aloisi's team also fell to newcomers Western Sydney last Friday.
|Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar to draw at $3.60 at Betfair
||Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar to draw 0-0 in at $13.50 at Betfair|
With just four goals scored from five matches so far, the Heart are the second-lowest scoring team in the league to date.
But while Brisbane have scored six goals so far, five of them came against the Victory.
The Heart are paying $3.75 at sportsbet.com.au and slightly better odds at $3.80 at Betfair to win on Friday, but given both side's recent form the draw looks the way to go at $3.50 at sportsbet.com.au and $3.60 at Betfair.
Factor in both side's lack of form and confidence in front of goal and backing a 0-0 draw looks tempting in correct-score betting at odds of $10 at sportsbet.com.au and an enticing $13.50 at Betfair, although this price could well shorten come closer to game time.
*Note prices subject to change