|By PAUL GOUGH
Melbourne Victory may have lost star Brazilian Gui Finkler for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury, but that has not stopped punters from making them the best-backed team of Week 15 in the A-League ahead of their home clash against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Victory suffered a dual blow last time out against competition surprise-packets West Sydney at Parramatta Stadium, not only losing 2-1 to surrender third spot on the table to the Wanderers, but losing Finkler for the rest of the season.
Finkler leads the league for assists and his quality delivery from set-pieces will certainly be missed by the Victory.
But despite Finkler's absence, Ange Postecoglou's side are clear favourites at home against seventh-placed Phoenix on Saturday.
TAB Sportsbet's Adam Hamilton said the Victory have been the best backed team of the round at $1.67 to beat Wellington, while Betfair's Daniel Bevan said - such is the Victory's dominance of betting - the home side have attracted well over 90 percent of money wagered on the match so far.
The Victory are slightly better value at Betfair at $1.73, with the Phoenix priced at $4.90 and the draw at $3.95.
|Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United and Perth Glory to win at Betfair
||Melbourne Victory to win 3-1 v Wellington Phoenix at $13.50 at Betfair|
One of the main reasons Victory have been so heavily backed this weekend is the Phoenix's appalling record in Melbourne.
The Phoenix have never beaten the Victory in Melbourne and have lost on their past three visits, with the hosts scoring three goals in each of those wins.
That statistic makes a 3-0 Melbourne Victory win look appealing at $16.50 in correct-score betting at Betfair, but with Jeremy Brockie having scored 10 goals for the Phoenix already this season, the visitors are more than capable of scoring themselves.
With that in mind, we like the look of a 3-1 Victory win at odds of $13.50 at Betfair.
In the other two games on Saturday, Perth Glory are short at $1.67 at Betfair but should win at home against bottom-placed Sydney FC at $6, while second-placed Adelaide - having got back on track with a 3-0 win over Sydney last time out - look good value, paying $2.68 at Betfair to beat Newcastle away at $2.70 with the draw priced at $3.60.
* Note prices subject to change