The upsets that dominated the opening two rounds of the AFL season were not present in round three and all nine favourites saluted, but not without some scares for the likes of the Adelaide Crows, Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats.
ANZAC Day weekend is always a massive day in the AFL and is highlighted by the annual clash between the Essendon Bombers and the Collingwood Magpies, but there are plenty of other exciting games spread right across the weekend.
We are giving AFL punters a favor this weekend by offering $2 favourites on every single game this Saturday, which means the likes of Essendon, Hawthorn and Greater Western Sydney will be available at significantly better odds with us then with any other bookmaker.
Richmond Tigers vs Melbourne Demons
Friday, April 24 – 7:50pm AEST – MCG
The Richmond Tigers bounced back from their disappointing loss to the Western Bulldogs to beat the Brisbane Lions in impressive fashion last weekend. The Tiger key performance indicators have been very strong throughout the season to date and they are currently rated the third best offensive team in the competition. The Demons may have only won one game from three, but it is fair to say that they have already performed better than what many experts were predicting. Melbourne gave the highly-rated Adelaide Crowns a genuine scare last weekend, but they need to learn to play out a full four quarters and cut down their basic kicking errors. The Demons beat the Tigers last year, but if the Tigers are serious about playing finals football they should be able to win this match comfortably.
St Kilda Saints vs Carlton Blues
Saturday, April 18 – 11:10am AEST – Westpac Stadium
Carlton have made a very poor start to the season and they are under plenty of pressure to make a successful trip to New Zealand this weekend. The Blues were unable to control the football for the majority of their game with Essendon last year and they have recorded the fewest disposals in the AFL to date this season. St Kilda made a strong start to their clash with Collingwood last Friday night, but they were completely hapless in the final three quarters of the game and the talented Magpies midfield was able to run right over the top of them. Carlton have won their past three meetings with St Kilda and if they are unable to record their maiden race win of the season there will be plenty of alarm bells ringing.
Essendon Bombers vs Collingwood Magpies
Saturday, April 25 – 2:40pm AEST – MCG
This is one of the most anticipated games of the AFL season and is always an emotional occasion at the MCG. There has been very little separating these two teams in these clashes over the past decade, but the Bombers look to have a genuine edge in quality over the Magpies heading into this game. The Bombers have made a stunning start to the season and although they played a poor final quarter against Carlton, coach James Hird would have been thrilled that the side was able to maintain the quality that they produced against the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks. The Magpies currently sit inside the top eight with two wins, but they have been flattered by two wins against the Saints and Lions. Collingwood still look like they are a step below the best teams in the AFL and I am confident that the Bombers can record a big win.
Greater Western Sydney Giants vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday, April 25 – 5:40pm AEST – Manuka Oval
The two new kids on the block have had very different starts to the season and this is a big opportunity for the Giants to consolidate their place inside the top eight. The Giants suffered their first loss of the season against the Swans last weekend, but they were far from disgraced and the infusion of talent like Ryan Griffen has made a massive difference to this side. Surprisingly, the Gold Coast Suns produced their best performance of the season to date without Gary Ablett against Geelong last weekend, but whether they can play consistently at that level is the big question. The Gold Coast Suns have won four of their both five meetings with the Giants, but the Giants should be able to cosign their rivals to a fourth straight defeat in 2015.
Port Adelaide vs Hawthorn Hawks
Saturday, April 25 – 7:40pm AEST – Adelaide Oval
This is one of three matches that could easily be considered the game of the round and it is set to be an absolute thriller. Port Adelaide finally scored their first win of the season when they toughed out a victory against North Melbourne last weekend and no side has had a tougher start to the season. The Power have already faced three likely finals teams and that will have helped them develop the match toughness that they will need to beat the Hawks this weekend. The Hawks bounced backed from their narrow loss to Essendon to comfortably beat the Western Bulldogs and Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis were able to run absolutely wild in the midfield. If the talented duo can produce a similar performance this weekend the Hawks will prove very difficult to stop and can continue their recent dominance over the Power.
Fremantle Dockers vs Sydney Swans
Saturday, April 25 – 8:45pm AEST – Domain Stadium
Fremantle and Sydney are two of only three undefeated sides in the competition and this game could decide who sits behind the Hawks in Premiership betting markets. The Dockers got off to their best start in club history against the West Coast Eagles in the Western Derby last weekend and they showed some attacking flair that is not normally associated with the defense-minded coaching of Ross Lyon. The Swans survived a few scares to beat the Western Sydney Giants last weekend, but they will obviously face a tougher test this weekend. Lance Franklin has started the season in outstanding form and the performance of the popular forward will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this blockbuster. The Swans beat the Dockers in their two meetings last year and at their current quote of $2.20 they are great value to maintain their undefeated start to the 2015 AFL season.
Brisbane Lions vs West Coast Eagles
Sunday, April 26 – 1:10pm AEST – The Gabba
Both of these sides are missing key personal and will be under big pressure if they don’t come away with the four points on Saturday. The Lions were completely outclassed by Richmond last weekend and they are clearly missing the likes of Pearce Hanley and Tom Rockliff. The Eagles defense is in absolute tatters and they simply had no answers for a rampant Dockers side last weekend. They won’t face the same sort of pressure against the Lions this weekend and the Brisbane-based side currently sits at the bottom in both points scored and points conceded. This should be a high-scoring affair and I would be surprised if the over does not salute at 181.5 points in the Over/Under betting market for this clash.
Geelong Cats vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Sunday, April 26 – 3:20pm AEST – Simonds Stadium
The Scott Brothers clash in what is a very key encounter for both sides. Geelong had to fight hard to record their first win of the season against the Suns last weekend and they will head into this clash without the likes of Jimmy Bartel, Matthew Stokes, Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie. We have been critical of the Cats since pre-season and they have not done anything to change our opinion. The Kangaroos were beaten the Port Adelaide Power last weekend, but they were far from disgraced and still look like they can develop into a top four side. The trip to Simonds Stadium is always a very tough one, but we give the Kangaroos a clear edge in this match and with our $2 favourite offer they represent outstanding value.
Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide Crows
Sunday, April 26 – 4:40pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
The Adelaide Crows were unable to replicate their dominance from the opening two rounds when they took on the Demons last weekend, but they were still able to walk away with the four points and the likes of Patrick Dangerfield and Taylor Walker remain in outstanding form. There is no question that the Western Bulldogs are playing a much improved brand of football under new coach Luke Beveridge, but they are still a team on the rebuild and they were outclassed against the Hawks last weekend. The Bulldogs were unable to stop Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis last weekend and Dangerfield should be able to run wild and lead his side to victory.
Don’t forget to take advantage of our AFL Big Hit Special! We’re offering $2 for all match favourites this Saturday. That’s boosted odds of $2 for the Blues, Bombers, Giants, Hawks and Dockers!