A handful of upsets in Round 3 has set the stage for another crucial weekend of footy.
After pulling off the unthinkable last week against St Kilda, the Bombers will be looking to carry some momentum into Thursday’s game at the SCG when they take on the red-hot Swans.
Speaking of Sydney, last week’s upset over Richmond has helped set up a pivotal clash on Friday night between the Tigers and Power from Adelaide that could wind up being the future Grand Final.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Dogs and the Lions meet on Saturday in Ballarat, followed by a sure-fire classic on Sunday between the undefeated Dees and Geelong at the MCG.
In what could be a make-or-break round for several clubs, find out who we’re backing in Round 4 below!
Thursday April 8, 7:20pm, SCG
The Swans caused one of the upsets of the season last week with a 45-point win over the reigning premiers as they now look to extend their unbeaten record to 4-0 against the injury riddled Bombers.
While things have taken a turn for the worst at The Hangar, the Dons still managed to pick up a huge upset of their own last week with an equally impressive 75-point win over St Kilda.
Unfortunately, the bad news continued this week with star midfielder Dylan Shiel set to miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury – a crushing blow with Sam Draper, Jye Caldwell and now Mason Redman all on the sideline.
The absence of their key playmakers will no doubt hurt the Bombers this week against what is arguably one of the best midfields in the competition.
To make matters worse for the Dons, the back line will have to cope with not only Errol Gulden and Tom Papley, but also Buddy Franklin on Thursday night, while the fact this game is also being played at the SCG only complicates matters.
If you’ll recall, Essendon won a thriller at this ground over the Swans last year by a goal, but obviously a lot has changed since then.
Considering the Swans currently lead the league in goals scored and the Bombers rank fifth in goals allowed to opponents, this shapes up as another blowout from John Longmire’s crew.
Tip: Back the Swans 1-39 @ $2.05
Friday April 9, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
Last week’s results have only added further spice to what was already an enticing matchup.
The Tigers will head to Adelaide as the firm underdogs on Friday night following an uncharacteristically flat performance last week at home to the Swans, while the bookies seem to think Port can bounce-back from a rough trip to Perth against West Coast.
Last year saw these two sides meet twice, once in the regular season and once in the finals.
Port marched to a comfortable 21-point win in Round 11 at home before the Tigers turned the tables in a thrilling Prelim Final to win by a goal.
As far as injuries go, the Tigers do head into this game a little battered and bruised.
Dion Prestia is set to miss upwards of a month after injuring his hamstring last week, while Kamdyn Macintosh and Nick Vlaustin will both be absent for a short period of time.
On the Port front, the Power return home relatively fresh outside of Tom Rockliff, who looks set to miss up to two weeks with a concussion.
Overall, this is easily the toughest game of the round to try and pick, but if there’s one team that has earned itself a mulligan, it’s the Tigers.
Richmond has made a bad habit of losing in Round 3 in each of the last three years, only to rebound the very next week with comprehensive victories.
There’s no way Damien Hardwick’s well-oiled machine will play lazy footy like it did last week, and it’s fair to say the loss to the Swans may have been the reality check the reigning premiers needed.
With a brilliant 4-1 record in their last five games on the back of a loss, the Tigers are well worth backing with some good insurance on offer.
Tip: Back Richmond to Cover the Line (+7.5 Points) @ $2.00
Saturday April 10, 1:35pm, Mars Stadium
Saturday’s slate kicks off with a bang when the Dogs host the Lions from Ballarat.
The Dogs barely broke a sweat last week in their incredible 128-point mauling of North Melbourne, while the Lions took a big step to turning their season around with a memorable one-point win over Collingwood on the siren.
Not surprisingly, the Dogs have been installed as the short-priced favourites this week after opening the season a perfect 3-0, but if there’s one team that can foil Luke Beveridge’s plans, it’s the Lions.
Brisbane has won back-to-back games over the Bulldogs by three goals or more, and there is also some positive news on the injury front with Jarrod Berry, Darcy Gardiner and Oscar McInerney all a chance to play this week.
The fact this game is being played in Ballarat makes this a difficult task for the Lions, but if they can find some accuracy in front of goal like they did in the second half week against Collingwood, they should be able to give this a red-hot crack.
Although the Dogs have played flawless footy so far, it’s also fair to say the Lions are a little more conditioned at this point in the season.
So far Brisbane has squared off against the undefeated Swans, Geelong and Collingwood – a much tougher run than the Dogs have faced through three rounds.
The underdog has covered the line in each of the Brisbane’s last six games, so there’s a bit to like about the Lions at least keeping this close.
Tip: Back the Lions to Cover the Line (+11.5 Points) @ $1.90
West Coast Eagles
Saturday April 10, 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium
The Saints face a must-win game on Saturday when they square off against a West Coast side looking to make a push for the top four.
Now with their backs against the wall following a pair of ugly losses to Melbourne and Essendon, the Saints must dig deep to overcome their growing injury list if they wish to play finals for the second year in a row.
West Coast, meanwhile, is simply looking to build on last week’s 37-point thumping at home over Port Adelaide.
A four-goal bag from Josh Kennedy help the Eagles put Round 2’s heartbreak against the Bulldogs behind them, while Andrew Gaff and Jack Redden both chipped in with 30 disposals each.
Although the Saints can blame injuries for their troubles, it’s obvious St Kilda’s basic skills haven’t been up to scratch.
Sloppy turnovers and kicking have become a major problem for Brett Ratten’s side, two areas West Coast will look to capitalise on this week.
On one hand, the Eagles are always a risky bet when they play away from home, but on the other, the trends do favour West Coast heavily to get the job done.
Adam Simpson’s side has played to a perfect 4-0 record as the away favourite against the Saints, and based on everything we’ve seen from St Kilda over the last two weeks, it’s hard to argue against West Coast adding to that number.
Tip: Back West Coast 1-39 @ $2.15
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday April 10, 7:25pm, Metricon Stadium
This mightn’t be the most exciting game on paper, but it’s certainly important with both sides looking to improve to 2-2.
The Suns return home to the Gold Coast looking to build on a very encouraging performance last week against the Crows in Adelaide.
Likewise, the Blues will also be hoping to carry some momentum over from last week’s big win over Fremantle that saw Harry McKay kick a whopping seven goals.
The bookies appear to be having a tough time separating these two sides, but the Suns do look a good bet to keep this close.
It’s easy to forget that Gold Coast has put up a fight in two tough road games against West Coast and Adelaide, while it’s also hard to read too much into Carlton’s win last week against the Nat Fyfe-less Dockers.
The likes of Jack Lukosius, Ben King and Izak Rankine are a handful for some of the top sides in the league, let alone a vulnerable Blues back line.
With home field advantage, take the Suns with some insurance.
Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (+1.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday April 10, 7:25pm, MCG
The market tells you just about all you need to know heading into this game.
Collingwood has opened as the short-priced favourite to add to the Giants’ misery despite last week’s heartbreak on the siren against the Lions.
Now sitting 11th on the ladder at 1-2, the Pies know they need to have this one if they hold any hope of joining the back log of teams vying for a spot in the top eight.
Fortunately, Nathan Buckley has a little less to worry about this week with the Giants battered and bruised right across the pitch.
Stephen Coniglio is out for the next two months after injuring his ankle last week in the loss to Melbourne, a tough blow for the club with Phil Davis, Matt de Boer, Harry Perryman and a handful of others also on the sideline.
The Pies, meanwhile, received some good news on the Chris Mayne front with their key midfielder cleared of a broken jaw.
There’s obviously no love lost between these sides after playing out a thrilling Prelim final two years ago, but it’s still tough to see the Giants putting up much of a fight against this hungry Pies outfit.
Injuries aside, Collingwood’s forward line looked lethal at times last week against Brisbane – worrying sign for a Giants team that has allowed the second-most inside 50s in the competition.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Cover the Line (-25.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday April 11, 1:10pm, Marvel Stadium
With a chance to rejoin the top four, the Crows will be looking to take full advantage of another favourable matchup on Saturday against the hapless Kangaroos.
Adelaide had its hands full for the entirety last week against the Suns before a stirring fourth quarter effort saw the Crows over the line by 10 points.
North, on the other hand, suffered a historic 128 point loss against the Bulldogs that has consequently seen them firm even further in our wooden spoon market.
The Roos have the wood over the Crows after winning last year’s contest by a whopping 69 points, but it’s likely we see the roles reversed on Saturday.
Not surprisingly, North currently leads the league in goals and inside 50s allowed to opponents, two worrying numbers considering the form Tex Walker has shown through the first month of the season.
With the injury list also starting to pile up at North, the Crows appear a very safe bet to cover what is seemingly a very generous line.
Tip: Back the Crows to Cover the Line (-20.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday April 11, 3:20pm, MCG
The Dees and the Cats have played out some absolute classics in recent years and Sunday’s meeting promises to be no exception.
Now 3-0, Melbourne will head into their clash with Geelong as the slight underdog in betting despite rattling off two comfortable wins over St Kilda and GWS in recent weeks.
The Cats, meanwhile, left a lot to be desired in last week’s narrow win over Hawthorn.
While the Easter Monday clash typically turns into a thriller, Geelong nearly blew another healthy lead in the fourth quarter similar to their close call against the Lions a week earlier.
Ask any Dees fan and they’ll likely tell you a few horror stories about facing Geelong.
Melbourne has lost four of its last five games against the Cats, two of which have come by no more than three points.
Geelong isn’t exciting to watch by any stretch, but the way they control the tempo of the game and pick their opponents apart piece by piece, much like they did against the Hawks last week, has worked so far.
It mightn’t be premiership winning footy, but it should be enough to see them squeak out another win against a Melbourne side that has typically come off second-best to Geelong over the last decade.
Tip: Back Geelong 1-39 @ $2.25
Sunday April 11, 4:40pm, Optus Stadium
We head west to Perth for the final game on Sunday in what is shaping up to be an intriguing battle between two 1-2 teams.
The Hawks have played some encouraging footy over the last two weeks against Richmond and Geelong, but that hasn’t been enough to sway the bookies in their favour ahead of this 2013 Grand Final rematch.
As for Freo, let’s just say the jury remains undecided.
The Dockers showed plenty in their win over GWS two weeks ago, but they looked completely lost last week in a 45-point defeat to Carlton with their skipper Nat Fyfe absent.
Fortunately, the two-time Brownlow Medalist is set to return this week from concussion – a huge boost for coach Justin Longmuir with the injury list growing even longer.
As far as betting on this game goes, there’s plenty to suggest it will be close.
The Hawks typically come prepared when they venture to Perth, evident in the fact they’ve beaten Fremantle in two of their last three home games.
Inaccuracy in front of the sticks was the sole reason for Hawthorn’s letdown last week, but the signs are very strong for this young side with Tyler Brockman, Changkuoth Jiath and Mitch Lewis all providing plenty of excitement.
Most importantly, the Hawks have covered the line in all three of their games so far, making them one of the top betting plays of the week at +9.5.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Cover the Line (+9.5 Points) @ $1.90
The ladder paints an interesting picture as we prepare for Round 4 with teams three through eight all tied on eight points each.
GWS and Collingwood headline the Friday night game in a rematch of last year’s Prelim, while there’s also a top-eight battle on the cards on Sunday between the Hawks and North Melbourne from Marvel.
If you’re looking for some tips before the bounce, we’ve got you covered in our complete 2020 AFL Round 4 Preview below!
Thursday June 25, 7:40pm, SCG
The Dogs and the Swans are both hoping to make it two in a row on Thursday following much-needed victories in Round 3.
Five goals in the third quarter helped Sydney fend off North Melbourne last week, a result that has left the Swans sitting a surprising seventh on the ladder at 2-1.
After some roughhousing and biff, the Dogs finally got revenge on the Giants for last years Elimination Final loss, but more importantly, got their first win on the board for the season.
Sydney could potentially welcome back key ruckman Sam Naismith, and while he won’t play this week, it does seem as though Buddy Franklin is poised for a return sooner rather than later.
Despite the big win last week, the Dogs did lose key midfielder Josh Dunkley to an ankle injury, one that might cost him six weeks.
Sydney are the rightful favourites here at home, but as the market suggests, there isn’t a whole lot separating these two sides.
Both midfields were outstanding last week, but out of the two sides, the Swans look to be the most vulnerable based on how close they came to blowing their lead to North Melbourne in the fourth quarter.
The Dogs have also been a great betting play as the line underdog against Sydney, covering in six of their last eight meetings, so even without Dunkley, they should keep this close.
Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (+2.5 Points) @ $2.00
Friday June 26, 7:50pm, Giants Stadium
Only four points stood between Collingwood and GWS when they met in the Prelim last year, but based on the way this season has unfolded so far, things might turn out a little differently on Friday night.
The Pies were dominant last week in their 44-point win over St Kilda, largely due to the craft of Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury.
GWS, on the other hand, were more focused on intimidating the Bulldogs in their 24-point loss, a result that leaves Leon Cameron with plenty of work to do now sitting 12th on the ladder.
The absence of Toby Greene was felt instantly last week up forward for GWS, and at time of publish, there appears no guarantee he returns this week from a knee injury.
The same also goes for Lachie Whitfield, who needs to pass the concussion protocol.
On the Collingwood side, the Pies could potentially bring back Adam Treloar and Mason Cox, but after last weeks performance, Nathan Buckley won’t be in a rush.
With Greene in some doubt and Jeremy Cameron struggling for goals, Collingwood appeals at the $1.70 quote.
The Pies have won 11 of their last 13 away games, so take Collingwood to remain undefeated.
Tip: Back Collingwood to Win @ $1.70
West Coast Eagles
Saturday June 27, 1:45pm, Metricon Stadium
Undefeated Port Adelaide can further cement themselves as flag contenders this week with a big win over the struggling Eagles.
The Power seemed to enjoy life on the Gold Coast last week with a comfortable win over Fremantle, while the same can’t be said for West Coast after coming up short to the Lions at the Gabba.
Port’s attacking play has been exceptional since the season resumed, but they’ll have to carry on without key midfielder Xavier Duursma after the youngster suffered a hamstring injury last week.
West Coast are also battered and bruised on the attacking front with Liam Ryan pulling up with a sore calf and Jeremy McGovern’s ankle remaining a “wait and see”.
Port remaining unbeaten wouldn’t surprise, but the Eagles losing three in a row certainly would.
Fortunately, West Coast has been absolute money as the away underdog at the line against Port, covering in all four of their matches.
With Duursma out, there’s a lot to like about the Eagles here.
Maybe last week was the wake-up call they needed.
Tip: Back West Coast to Cover the Line (+8.5 Points) @ $2.00
Saturday June 27, 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium
No two ways about it, the Tigers were awful last week.
Aside from a spirited final 10-minutes, Richmond were completely run off the park by Hawthorn as ‘Tiger Time’ finally expired at the MCG.
St Kilda also fell by a similar margin to Collingwood, somewhat derailing the hype train following the Saints’ big win over the Bulldogs back in Round 2.
Richmond fans can breathe a sigh of relief with Dusty Martin likely to return to the side after missing last week’s game with bruised ribs.
St Kilda, meanwhile, got through last week’s defeat relatively unscathed and should remain unchanged.
The Tigers found it hard to move the ball around last week against Hawthorn, while their inside 50 entries and effort on the ground was far from what we’ve come to expect from Damien Hardwick’s side.
The good news is the Tigers have won each of their last 10 matches as the favourite following a previous loss, and while the odds mightn’t be great, it’s hard to see Richmond losing two in a row.
Tip: Back Richmond 1-39 @ $1.92
Saturday June 27, 7:40pm, MCG
It’s been a long week for the Bombers as they get back to business on Saturday hoping to keep their unbeaten record intact.Essendon comes in well-rested following last week’s COVID-19 crisis, and although there is no market available at time of publish, the Dons should find themselves as favourites.
From there, things do get a little tricky though in terms of ins and outs.
Players and staff remain in isolation, while there’s also bad news on the Dyson Heppell front with the star mid-fielder set to miss the remainder of the season with a broken ankle.
After their massive win over Geelong last week, Carlton will be hoping to capitalise on the Bombers’ off-field distractions.
Eddie Betts and Patrick Cripps were enormous in the win over the Cats, and it’s nice to see no new faces on the injury list.
Depending on how the market shapes up, you could build a real case here for the Blues.
If they bring the same pressure as they did last week, they might just catch Essendon napping.
Tip: Back Carlton to Cover the Line
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday June 27, 7:40pm, Metricon Stadium
The third-place Suns are shooting for three in a row this week as they look to lay further claims to playing finals.
Following two big wins over West Coast and Adelaide to restart the season, Stuart Dew’s side once again find themselves in a very winnable contest against the luckless Dockers on Saturday night.
Still without a win, Fremantle went down to top of the table Port Adelaide last week in wet and windy conditions at Metricon.
So far Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters have been the only real positives for Freo, but they do line up a little stronger this week with Stephen Hill likely to return.
The Suns are on an absolute roller-coaster ride led by Matt Rowell and Ben King though, and the fact they’ve covered the line in each of their last three games against Freo at home suggests they should be winning again.
Tip: Back the Suns to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $2.00
Sunday June 28, 1:10pm, The Gabba
A crowd of up to 10,000 will be in attendance at the Gabba on Sunday as the Lions look to make it three in a row.
Brisbane were at their best last week in the win over West Coast, largely thanks to the brilliance of Lachie Neale and Charlie Cameron.
The same can’t be said for Adelaide, who remain winless on the season following a 53-point loss to the Suns.
These two sides have put on a show in their last two meetings with the Crows winning by five back in 2018, before the Lions got revenge last season with a narrow one-point win at the Gabba.
Dayne Zorko needs to prove his fitness again if he hopes to be named, while Stefan Martin is 50/50 to play after suffering a hamstring injury.
The Crows are worse for wear with Rory Atkins suffering a shoulder injury last week, while it remains to be seen if Matthew Nicks makes any drastic changes following the blowout loss to the Gold Coast.
As far as trends go, the Lions also have plenty working in their favour.
Brisbane has won six of their last seven day games at the Gabba by a margin of 1-39, and considering the track record these two have, we should see a similar result on Sunday.
Tip: Back the Lions 1-39 @ $1.95
Sunday June 28, 3:35pm, MCG
The Cats are the latest team looking to bounce back from a previously shocking defeat.
Geelong lost to Carlton at GMHBA last week in what can only be described as one of the upsets of the season.
Melbourne, on the other hand, has enjoyed an extra week to rest after their game against the Bombers was cancelled due to the COVID-19 scare.
If you’re a Demons fan, the sight of a Geelong jumper is enough to bring up some old wounds, and while the added rest is positive, it’s tough to see the Cats losing two in a row.
We saw Hawthorn, Collingwood and the Bulldogs all respond last week following their previously flat performances in Round 2, and you’d expect an experienced side like Geelong to do the same.
Tip: Back Geelong 40+ @ $4.80
Sunday June 28, 6:05pm, Marvel Stadium
It’s no secret these two sides don’t like eachother, so what better way to conclude Round 4 than with a good old fashioned, top eight grudge match?
We were reminded again last week why you can never write-off Hawthorn – or Alastair Clarkson for that matter.
The brown and gold handed Richmond a hiding at the MCG to get their season back on track, and if the Hawks come out firing in the opening term again this week, they should prove tough to beat.
North were brave in their loss to the Swans, a performance they should take plenty from.
Ben Brown finally kicked a bag, but allowing Sydney to kick five goals in the third term ultimately put the game too far out of reach.
The Hawks will need to make a decision on Paul Puopolo this week, but there’s certainly no rush considering Chad Wingard’s three-goal effort against the Tigers.
North Melbourne should also welcome Ben Cunnington back into the side, while Majak Daw remains a week away from making his return.
The last three games between these two sides have been decided by 1-39 points, good news if you like betting on the margin, but the better pick might be on North at the line.
Despite the result, the Roos had a big fourth quarter last week against the Swans with some crucial goals in the final five minutes, momentum they’ll be looking to build on.
They’ve also covered in four of their last five games following a previous loss, so expect this one to come down to the wire.
Tip: Back North Melbourne to Cover the Line (+8.5 Points) @ $2.00
There’s a feline feel to the AFL ladder as the Cats and the Lions remain the only two undefeated sides in the competition.
Geelong and Brisbane are both in action on Saturday afternoon, but all eyes will be on West Coast and Fremantle as the first Western Derby of the year gets underway from Perth.
Each week is a crapshoot with plenty of upsets in-store, the only question is: who should you back?
Be sure to check out our entire 2019 AFL Round 4 Preview below!
Thursday April 11, 7:50pm, SCG
It took all four quarters last week for the Swans to dispose of the Blues, but John Longmire’s side got the job done in the end cruising home to their first win of the season.
The Demons weren’t quite so fortunate last Friday night against the Bombers, falling by 18-points in their third-straight loss this season. Melbourne looked to tilt the field in their favour fighting back from three goals down to lead at halftime, but pressure ultimately got to the Dees despite another close call on the stat sheet.
This week’s game sees the market favouring the Swans at home, which isn’t surprising considering the Dees are winless in their last eight games against Sydney.
The last time Melbourne defeated the Swans at the SCG was way back in 2006, and as the stats suggest, the Dees are also 1-7 in the underdog role against Sydney.
For the Swans to make it two-straight this week they simply need to shut down what is left of Melbourne’s struggling forward line. Alex Neal-Bullen, Jake Melksham and Tom McDonald managed only three goals between them last week against the Bombers, and if Sydney can also keep Angus Brayshaw quiet through the midfield, they should win this one comfortably.
Despite all the concern surrounding the Swans to start the season, Sydney still rank third in rebound 50’s and sixth in marks inside 50. That kind of quick transition play stung the Dees last week against Essendon, so bank on the Swans’ fast-tempo to do the talking this week.
Tip: Back the Swans to Cover the Line (-4.5 Points)
Friday April 12, 7:50pm, MCG
Collingwood kept things interesting last week against West Coast but ultimately fell to the same Grand Final fate in a disappointing 22-point loss at the ‘G.
The Bulldogs also came up short against the Suns at home in what was largely a lacklustre display. Luke Berveridge’s side challenged late, but the damage had already been done during Gold Coast’s whopping six-goal opening term.
The scene is now set for what could be a lively affair on Friday night, but as the odds suggest, it appears the bookies aren’t reading too much into Collingwood’s hiccup last week.
To be fair, the scoreboard didn’t do the Pies much justice against the reigning premiers. Collingwood won the disposal and contested possession count by a wide margin, but inaccuracy in front of goal cost Nathan Buckley’s side as the Pies finished with 11 goals and 10 behinds.
Collingwood has won only one of their last five games against the Dogs, but their 5-2 record as the home favourite against the Westerners makes them hard to back against.
Beveridge’s side are one of the toughest and scrappiest sides in the competition, ranking Top 10 in contested and uncontested possession. Tackling has let the Dogs down, however, and against a Collingwood side that ranks second in disposals, don’t be surprised if the Pies make a primetime statement.
Tip: Back Collingwood 40+ @ $2.25
Saturday April 13, 1:45pm, GMHBA Stadium
A 24-point win over the Crows last week not only has Geelong sitting atop the table but also tied with Collingwood as the favourite to win this year’s premiership.
The Cats look unstoppable right, not that the Giants need any reminding. In their seven meetings dating back to 2012, GWS have won only once, while last year’s 61-point blowout remains a thorn in Leon Cameron’s side.
GWS find themselves fourth on the ladder following what can only be described as a “lively” affair against the Tigers last week. The Giants were too good for Richmond in the 49-point win, but it was Jeremy Cameron’s accuracy in front of goal that must have the Cats a little worried heading into Round 4.
Of course, that mightn’t mean much with the Cats playing at home. Geelong’s fortress often overwhelms even the most polished of teams, and as the line suggests, it’ll take a mighty effort for the Giants to get the better of Chris Scott’s side on the road.
As we saw a fortnight ago in Perth, the Giants enjoyed spurts of brilliance but failed to string together four consistent quarters. On the other hand, GWS won eight games interstate last year, including two wins in Adelaide and a win over the Swans in Sydney.
With that in mind, as well as the Giants’ 4-1 record as the line underdog against Geelong, take GWS to keep this one close.
Tip: Back the Giants to Cover the Line (+15.5 Points)
Saturday April 13, 2:10pm, MCG
It’s always a chippy affair when these 2001 Grand Finalists get together, especially when the stakes are this high.
Brisbane’s perfect 3-0 start is the feel-good story so far, while the resurgent Bombers are hoping to build some momentum after last week’s thumping of the Demons.
The Lions accomplished something last week they’ve failed to do for the last decade: win a close, hard-fought game. Down by 10-points with time expiring, Brisbane found an extra gear after what was a lacklustre fourth quarter to run right through the Power.
Essendon also lifted with the Demons piling on the pressure. It was the brilliance of Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti that saw the Bombers over the line, while the lively crowd should play an important factor this week at the MCG.
Brisbane’s last trip to Melbourne saw them explode in similar fourth quarter fashion to defeat North by 20-points. Even so, the market remains dead even this week, which seems about right considering these two sides have won two games apiece over their last four meetings.
Since neither side is a favourite, it’s a bit of a coin flip on this one. Brisbane’s back line was exposed last week against the Power allowing 61 inside 50s, and you could argue Port Adelaide easily should have won if they managed to kick straight in front of the sticks.
Essendon’s forward line doesn’t get the credit it deserves, and while marks inside 50 have been few and far between, there’s too many dangerous weapons for Brisbane to account for. If the Dons can find some accuracy, they look good at this price.
Tip: Back the Bombers To Win @ $1.91
Saturday April 13, 4:05pm, Adelaide Oval
Ken Hinkley’s side will feel a little hard done by after losing by 17-points to the Lions last week. The Power were in total control in the fourth quarter but failed to clear the ball from their own half with just minutes to go, resulting in a huge Eric Hipwood mark to put the Lions in front.
Richmond didn’t cut it quite so close against the Giants, but they still made headlines, nonetheless. Dustin Martin’s on-field antics have cost him two games, ruling the 2017 Brownlow Medalist out of this weekend’s important trip to Adelaide.
The last time the Tigers won against the Power down south was in 2017, but without Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin and now Martin, it’s not surprising to see the Tigers listed as the underdog for the third week in a row.
Not since 2010 have the Tigers played a game with all of those four players missing, which spells bad news against a Power side that are hungry to make up for last week’s disappointment. Port Adelaide didn’t do a whole lot wrong at The Gabba last week, they just couldn’t kick straight – and despite their ugly 3-4 record as the home favourite against Richmond, it’s hard to see the Tigers snapping their losing streak.
Tip: Back the Power 1-39 @ $2.06
Saturday April 13, 7:25pm, Marvel Stadium
North Melbourne enjoyed a fast start against the Hawks last week only to watch it all unravel in the fourth quarter.
The Roos led by three goals at the end of the first quarter, but as so often is the case, Alastair Clarkson’s adjustments got the better of North as the Hawks fought back to win by 16-points.
Adelaide also suffered a similar fate to the Cats at home. The Crows found themselves within three points of Geelong during the third quarter, but somehow allowed four goals in the final frame to go on and lose by 24-points.
The last time these two sides got together it was a bit of a thriller, one that worked in Adelaide’s favour. The Crows won by nine-points during Round 22 at home last year, but you have to rewind all the way back to 2013 to find Adelaide’s last win over North in Melbourne.
Odds wise, it’s a little surprising to see the Roos start at such a wide price. Even so, the points market might be your best bet this weekend – neither the Crows nor the Roos have managed to put up over 90-points so far this season.
It also helps to know that both sides rank inside the bottom five in goals scored this year. With that in mind, stick with the Unders between these two unpredictables.
Tip: Under 181.5 Total Points @ $1.85
West Coast Eagles
Saturday April 13, 6:10pm, Optus Stadium
Here’s hoping this year’s first Western Derby is a lot like last year’s Round 6 meeting, as opposed to the 58-point belting the Eagles served the Dockers during Round 20 last year.
You could argue that might be wishful thinking considering just how dominant West Coast looked against Collingwood last week, though. The Eagles’ five goal fourth quarter saw them over the line easily, while Dom Sheed and Josh Kennedy also chipped in with three handy goals each.
The Dockers won narrowly over the Saints at home, but they paid the ultimate price losing Nat Fyfe to a sickening concussion. The AFL is making a huge push to rule concussed players out for close to three weeks, so it’s unlikely we see the skipper on the field this weekend.
It goes without saying Fyfe’s absence hurts the Dockers chances this weekend, but it’s hard to say whether a healthy Fyfe would have made much difference. West Coast have won seven straight Derby’s dating back to 2015, six of which haven’t even been close.
Not surprisingly, the Eagles are not only 13-3 as the home favourite over the last 12 months, but also a perfect 4-0 against the Dockers as the home side. This one isn’t worth overcomplicating.
Tip: Back the Eagles to Cover the Line (-35.5 Points) @ $1.90
Gold Coast Suns
Sunday April 14, 2:40pm, Metricon Stadium
Carlton remain winless to start the season, but the Blues would have found faith in last week’s 19-point loss to the Swans.
Gold Coast, meanwhile, hold their heads high after a dominant win over the Bulldogs away from home. For a list that so many deemed B-grade, Stuart Dew’s squad have resembled a well-disciplined side that looks capable of hanging around the Top 8 this season.
You certainly wouldn’t have had this game circled on your calendar, but after Gold Coast’s surge to as well as Carlton’s promising signs, suddenly this Sunday matinee could well be worth the watch.
Entering the year, both sides would have treated this game as one of few they could potentially win, but at least as far as the Suns are concerned, this is the type of game that could propel them inside the eight.
The last time we saw these two together it was Blues coming out 15-point winners at Metricon last year. Still, Gold Coast have won three of the last five, and with home field advantage, remain the favourites this weekend.
It’s a simple plan for the Suns moving forward: get the ball into the hands of Alex Sexton, who’s tied for second in goals scored, and rely on the midfield’s fast tempo to deliver an abundance of inside 50’s.
The Suns aren’t doing anything special on the stat sheet, but the one area they do dominate is rebound 50’s. The midfield is athletic, strong, and most importantly, quick. This should be a big test for Carlton away from home.
Tip: Back the Suns 1-39 @ $2.15
Sunday April 14, 3:20pm, Marvel Stadium
Hawthorn found themselves in trouble last week against North Melbourne, at least until Chad Wingard turned up.
On debut for the Hawks, the former Port Adelaide star booted three goals in the brown and gold, helping steer Hawthorn to a 16-point win to jump back inside the eight.
There was no such luck for St. Kilda in Perth going down by only five-points in a narrow loss to the Dockers. The Saints had plenty of opportunities, but you don’t have to delve too deeply into the stats to understand why Alan Richardson’s side lost: St. Kilda kicked 12 behinds to their nine goals.
Looking ahead now, the Saints won’t find any solace in the fact they’ve lost two-straight games to Alastair Clarkson’s side. Hawthorn held on for a narrow four-point victory in Round 22 last year, but this has typically been a field day for forward Jack Gunston – the 27-year-old has booted 17 goals in just seven matches.
As we’ve seen over the last two seasons, it was a tale of two halves for the Hawks last week. They were dominated in the first quarter against the Roos, but really lifted the pressure in the second half to win over the Inside 50 count.
If the Hawks can start fast and also see Jarryd Roughead included back into the side, this should be no trouble for Hawthorn as they prepare for Easter Monday’s clash against the Cats.
Tip: Back the Hawks 1-39 @ $2.06
We are less than a month into the 2018 AFL season and it is Port Adelaide that are the only unbeaten side left in the competition.
There is a level of intrigue surrounding every game in the AFL this weekend and the best part for punters is that our AFL Scoring Shots Payout is in play once again – if your team has the most scoring shots you will be paid out as a winner, whatever the final result of the match.
We have taken a close look at all nine fixtures and our complete 2018 AFL Round 4 tips can be found below!
Friday 13 April, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide 58 - Collingwood 106
Adelaide were far too strong for St Kilda last weekend and they will go into this clash with Collingwood as clear favourites.
These two sides playing out a thrilling draw last season, but Adelaide have won the four previous games played between the two sides.
The Crows have won ten of their past 14 games as home favourites and most impressive is the fact that they have covered the line in each of these victories.
Collingwood were able to record their first win of the season when they beat Carlton last season, but they obviously face a much tougher challenge against Adelaide.
The Magpies have won only two of their past six games as away underdogs, but they are 4-2 against the line in this situation.
This is a game that Adelaide should win comfortably, but the line of 31.5 points does look just about right.
Saturday 14 April, 1:45pm, Manuka Oval
GWS 82 - Fremantle 51
Both these teams take a 2-1 record into this clash, but it is the GWS Giants that will start as clear favourites.
Some poor kicking cost the Giants victory against the Sydney Swans last weekend and that is an area this side will need to improve if they are going to be genuine premiership contenders this season.
The Giants have won their past three games against Fremantle and they are 10-1 as home favourites, but they have covered the line in only four of their past 11 games in this scenario.
Fremantle have made a very promising start to the 2018 AFL season and they head into this clash on the back of two solid wins over Essendon and the Gold Coast Suns.
The Dockers have won only three of their past ten games as away underdogs, but they are 6-4 against the line in this situation.
Fremantle are the sort of side that can frustrate this Giants outfit and the Dockers are a great bet to cover the line with a healthy start.
Back Fremantle To Cover The Line (+34.5 Points)
Saturday 14 April, 2:10pm, MCG
Richmond 100-Brisbane 17
Richmond have an outstanding record against the Brisbane Lions and it should as no surprise that the defending Premiers will start this clash as clear favourites.
The Tigers have won the past 11 games played between these two sides and they head into this game on the back of a professional victory over Hawthorn.
Richmond have now won nine of their past ten games as home favourites and they are 7-3 against the line in this scenario.
Brisbane are still chasing their first win of the season, but they are a better side than their current record suggests and they have given St Kilda, Melbourne and Port Adelaide a genuine scare in all three of their games so far this season.
The Lions have won only one of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are an excellent 8-3 against the line in this scenario.
The betting play that stands out in this clash is the Under in Total Points betting.
Backing the Under in Richmond games at the MCG over the past 12 months has been a highly profitable betting play, while the Lions have struggled to score points in their recent games against the Tigers.
Back Under 188.5 Points
Saturday 14 April, 4:35pm, Etihad Stadium
Bulldogs 79 - Sydney 86
This is a rematch of the epic 2016 AFL Grand Final and once again it is the Sydney Swans that are favourites.
Sydney returned to winning form with a professional win over the GWS Giants and they have made a much better start to the season than they did 12 months ago.
The Swans have won six of their past nine as away favourites and they have been able to cover the line in each of these wins.
The Western Bulldogs bounced back from their dismal start to the season with a confidence-building win over Essendon and they played some excellent football in the process.
They have won two of their past three games as home underdogs and they have won four of the past five games played between the two sides.
There is a genuine question mark over the ability of the Bulldogs to string together two positive performances – they are 4-5 on the back of a win over the past two months – and Sydney should be able to make it two wins on the trot.
Back Sydney To Cover The Line (-16.5 Points)
Saturday 14 April, 7:25pm, Blundstone Arena
North 116 - Carlton 30
North Melbourne have taken this home game against Carlton to Blundstone Arena in Tasmania.
The Kangaroos have an excellent record in the Apple Isle and they have won 11 of their 15 games at Blundstone Arena, while they have covered the line in each of these victories.
With a record like that, it is no real surprise that North Melbourne will start this game as favourites, but this is not a position in which they have thrived in recent seasons.
North Melbourne have won only two of their past six games as the punter’s elect and they have failed to cover the line in each of their past six games in which they have given away a start.
Carlton’s impressive opening round performance against Richmond now feels like an age ago after they suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of the Gold Coast and Collingwood.
The Navy Blues have won only two of their past ten games as away underdogs, but they are 6-4 against the line in this scenario.
This should be a tight affair and I am keen to back Carlton to cover the line with the insurance of a 10.5 points start.
Back Carlton To Cover The Line (+10.5 Points)
West Coast Eagles
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 14 April, 8:10pm, Optus Stadium
West Coast 139 - Gold Coast 59
The West Coast Eagles will go into this clash with the Gold Coast Suns as dominant favourites.
West Coast stamped themselves as a genuine contender with a tough win over Geelong last Sunday and their record against the Suns is outstanding.
The Eagles have won six of their past nine games as home favourites and they are 4-0 against the line in their four previous meetings against the Suns in Perth.
Gold Coast suffered their first loss of the Stuart Dew era when they went down to Fremantle last weekend and they have spent the entire week in Perth ahead of this clash.
The Suns have won only one of their past nine games as away underdogs and they are 3-6 against the line in this scenario.
Gold Coast have done plenty of travel so far this season and they played like a tired outfit against Fremantle last weekend.
This is the type of game in which the Eagles generally thrive and they should be able to record a very comfortable win.
Back West Coast To Cover The Line (-35.5 Points)
Sunday 15 April, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon 106 - Port 84
This shapes as one of the most interesting matches of the weekend.
Port Adelaide are the only unbeaten side left in the competition after they survived a scare against the Brisbane Lions last weekend and they will start this clash as favourites.
The Power have won three of their past five games as away favourites and they have covered the line in each of these wins.
Essendon started their season with an impressive win over Adelaide, but they head into this clash on the back of two poor performances against both Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs.
The Bombers have won four of their past six games as home underdogs and this has generally been their pattern – they save their best form for the top teams in the competition and save their stinkers for sides outside the top eight.
Essendon beat Port Adelaide by 70 points the last time that these two teams did battle and they are good value to record an upset win.
Back Essendon To Win @ $2.20
Sunday 15 April, 3:20pm, MCG
Hawthorn 115 - Melbourne 48
This could be the game of the weekend and is a genuine test of exactly how good these two teams are at this stage of the season.
Melbourne made it two wins on the trot with a comfortable victory over North Melbourne – their first in the past 17 matches between the two sides – and they will go into this clash as favourites.
The Demons have won eight of their past 13 games as the punter’s elect for a clear loss and they are 5-8 against the line in this scenario.
Hawthorn may have suffered their first loss of the seasons at the hands of Richmond last weekend, but they were not disgraced and this has been a very promising start to the season for this side.
The Hawks have won 14 of the past 15 games played between these two sides and their record as underdogs is strong – they have won seven of their past 14 games in this scenario for a big profit and they are 9-6 against the line in this scenario.
This is a big task for Melbourne and I am yet to be convinced that they are up for the challenge.
Back Hawthorn To Win @ $2.15
Sunday 15 April, 4:40pm, GMHBA Stadium
Geelong 103 - St Kilda 56
This is a crucial game for these sides and they both head into this clash on the back of a pair of defeats.
Geelong came-up just short against both Hawthorn and the West Coast Eagles over the past fortnight, but they will still go into this clash with St Kilda as clear favourites.
The Cats have won only three of their past six games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are a woeful 0-6 against the line in this scenario, while they will go into this clash without Gary Ablett and a host of other injury issues.
St Kilda were very flat against both North Melbourne and Adelaide and it doesn’t get any easier for them this weekend.
The Saints have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.
These are two teams that are both tough to trust from a betting perspective and this is a clash that I am happy to stay out of.
We are less than a month into the 2017 AFL season, but it has been a truly fascinating start to a massive year of footy.
Very few experts would have predicted that both Sydney and Hawthorn would be winless after three rounds, while the fact that Richmond are currently sitting in second position is just as big a shock.
Will the upsets continue this weekend? Below you can find our complete 2017 AFL Round 4 tips and we are confident that we have found a number of winning plays.
West Coast Eagles
Thursday 13 April, 8:10pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 91 - Sydney Swans 65
The Sydney Swans start to the season went from bad to worse when they lost to Collingwood last weekend and it does not get any easier for the Swans this weekend.
West Coast suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Richmond last weekend, but they will still go into this clash at Domain Stadium as clear favourites.
The Eagles continue to be extremely tough to beat in front of their home fans at Domain Stadium and they have won nine of their past 11 games as home favourites, while they are 7-4 against the line in this scenario.
It is fair to say that Sydney were a touch unlucky against Collingwood last weekend, but their inability to come away with the four points is a big concern for a side that was expected to be in the Premiership mix once again.
The big question is whether the Swans are as bad as their record suggests and I really don’t think that they are.
Sydney have won three of their past four games as away underdogs for a clear profit and it is impossible to get a side with this much talent as long as their current price.
The Swans are a club with plenty of ticker and it really would not surprise if they silenced their critics with a big win this Thursday night.
Back Sydney To Win @ $2.95
Friday 14 April, 4:20pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne 86 - Western Bulldogs 89
The AFL has finally bit the bullet and North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are set to do battle in what both clubs hope will become a traditional Good Friday clash.
The Western Bulldogs suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Fremantle last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with North Melbourne as clear favourites.
While there is no doubt that the Bulldogs are suffering from a minor premiership hangover, they really should prove too strong for North Melbourne.
They have won 12 of their past 15 games as favourites, but they are only 7-8 when giving away a start against the line.
North Melbourne have not been disgraced in all three of their defeats so far this season, but their inability to close out games has been a big issue.
The Kangaroos have lost their past 11 games as underdogs and they are a very poor 3-8 against the line in this scenario.
The market looks to have got this game just about right, but the Under in the Total Points betting market really does stand out.
The Under has saluted in 54 percent of the past 200 games played at Etihad Stadium and 19 of the past 29 games played by the Western Bulldogs at the venue.
Back Under 187.5 Points
Saturday 15 April, 1:45pm, MCG
Melbourne 104 - Fremantle 106
Melbourne went down to Geelong last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with Fremantle as clear favourites.
Melbourne would be happy to have a 2-1 record at this stage of the season and they really have improved their record as favourites over the past 12 months – they have now won five of their past six games as home favourites for a clear profit.
They ended a lenghty losing streak against Fremantle last weekend and they will go into this clash with plenty of confidence
Fremantle snapped their losing streak with an upset win over the Western Bulldogs and it will be interesting to see whether they can back-up that performance.
The Dockers have lost their past nine games as away underdogs and they are just 2-7 against the line in this scenario.
Winning back-to-back games has been a big issue for Fremantle and I expect Melbourne to return to winning form this weekend.
Back Melbourne To Beat The Line (-19.5 Points)
Saturday 15 April, 4:35pm, Manuka Oval
GWS Giants 112 - Port Adelaide 81
Greater Western Sydney have taken their home game to Manuka Oval and they will go into this clash with Port Adelaide as dominant favourites.
The Giants ended up recording a comfortable victory over North Melbourne last weekend and they have found their rhythm following their opening round loss at the hands of Adelaide.
Manuka Oval has turned into a happy hunting ground for the Giants and they are 4-1 both in head-to-head betting and against the line at the venue.
Port Adelaide had their winning run ended by local rivals Adelaide last weekend, but there is no doubt that they have improved in 2017.
They still face a tough task against the Giants, but their record as away underdogs does inspire some confidence – they have won three of their past five games in this scenario.
This is another game that the market looks to have got just about right and the value is in the Total Points betting market.
The Under has saluted in 18 of the past 30 games played at Manuka Oval and nine of the past 15 games played by the Giants at the venue, so it would surprise if these teams combined for more than 190.5 points.
Back Under 190.5 Points
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 15 April, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton 82 - Gold Coast Suns 102
Both Carlton and the Gold Coast Suns recorded upset wins last weekend and this shapes as one of the most competitive games of the weekend.
Gold Coast were nothing short of outstanding against Hawthorn last weekend and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
Winning away from home has proven to be a massive issue for the Gold Coast and they have not done it in 12 months – losing two games as away favourites in that period.
Carlton scored their first win of the season with a very scrappy victory over Essendon and they scored less than 90 points for the third time this season.
The Blues have proven tough to beat at home over the past 12 months and they have won four of their past ten games as home underdogs for a big profit.
Carlton were able to string together wins last season and they are 4-3 on the back of a win, while the Gold Coast are 1-3 over the same period.
The Suns are a team I am always happy to take on as favourites and Carlton do represent a touch of value at their current price.
Back Carlton To Win @ $2.15
Saturday 15 April, 7:40pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Crows 153 - Essendon 88
The Adelaide Crows currently sit on top of the AFL Ladder and they will go into this clash with Essendon as clear favourites.
Adelaide produced another high-quality performance to account for Port Adelaide and they are unbeaten despite having one of the toughest starts to the season.
The Crows have won seven of their past nine games as home favourites and they are a profit 5-4 against the line when giving away a start.
Essendon produced easily their worst performance of the season to date to go down to Carlton last weekend and this is obviously a much tougher assignment for the Bombers.
Winning away from home has proven to be an issue for Essendon and it really is tough to see them turning it around following their extremely lacklustre performance against Carlton last weekend.
Adelaide have played some scintillating football so far this season and they are a good bet to record another comfortable win.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-30.5 Points)
Sunday 16 April, 3:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Collingwood 55 - St Kilda 69
The market suggests that there is very little between Collingwood and St Kilda and this should be one of the closest games of the weekend.
St Kilda survived a late scare to record their first win of the season when they beat Brisbane last weekend and they will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
The Saints have a strong record as the punter’s elect and they have seven of their past eight games as favourites for a clear profit.
Collingwood eased the pressure on Nathan Buckley somewhat with their one-point win over the Sydney Swans, but stringing together back-to-back quality performances has been an issue for the Magpies.
They have won five of their past 14 games as underdogs for a profit and they have covered the line in nine of their past 14 games when giving away a start.
This is a match that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Sunday 16 April, 4:40pm, The Gabba
Brisbane Lions 67 - Richmond 119
Richmond have made an unbeaten start to the 2017 AFL season and they will go into this clash with the Brisbane Lions as clear favourites.
The Tigers stamped themselves as the real deal with their victory over West Coast last weekend and the question now is whether they can maintain this form or are they an early season flash in the pan?
We are unlikely to get an answer to that question this weekend as they really should prove too strong for the Lions.
Richmond have won the past nine games played between the two sides and the Lions have not beaten the Tigers at the Gabba since 2004.
The Tigers have won three of their past four games as away favourites and they have an identical record against the line.
Brisbane were one of the cusp of another upset win before they ran out of puff late against St Kilda, but there is no doubt that they have improved significantly so far this season.
The Lions have won just one of their past nine games as home favourites and they are a poor 3-6 against the line in this scenario.
Richmond should win this game very comfortably and the line of 16.5 points will not be enough.
Back Richmond To Beat The Line (-16.5 Points)
Monday 17 April, 3:20pm, MCG
Hawthorn 48 - Geelong 134
The traditional Easter Monday clash between Hawthorn and Geelong has even more significance this year as the Hawks are still chasing their first win of the season.
An end of an era was declared after Hawthorn were flogged by the Gold Coast Suns on Sunday night and they will go into this clash with Geelong as clear underdogs.
Hawthorn have won only one of their past four games as underdogs and they have been a losing betting play in just about every scenario.
Geelong have flown under the radar to start the season, but they have recorded three wins from as many starts following their comfortable victory over Melbourne last weekend.
The Cats have won 15 of their past 20 games as favourites for a clear profit, but they are only 9-11 against the line in this scenario.
I doubt that Hawthorn will be disgraced like they were last weekend, but Geelong should prove too strong in the end.
Back Geelong To By 1-39 @ $2.12
A number of teams in round four of the AFL season are set to start as short-priced favourites, but that is often when a string of upsets occur.
The Friday night clash between the West Coast Eagles and Richmond should be an absolute ripper, while the rivalry between the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns has developed into one of the fiercest in the AFL.
There are three interesting games on Sunday, but the highlight will be the clash between Melbourne and Collingwood, with the Demons hoping to score their second straight win over their rivals.
West Coast Eagles
Friday 15 April, 6:10pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast Eagles 125 - Richmond 57
It has been a tough start to the season for the Richmond Tigers and it does not get any easier against the West Coast Eagles this Friday night.
Richmond will take confidence that they have won their past three games at Domain Stadium, but it remains the toughest road trip in all of football and West Coast are 11-0 in front of their home fans as favourites in the past 12 months as well as an incredible 10-1 against the line in this scenario.
There is also plenty of data in favor of Richmond and they have been an excellent betting team away from home in the past 12 months – they are 4-1 in both head to head and line betting markets as away underdogs.
While Richmond have been bad this season, they are still a better team than the betting suggests and the line of 35.5 points definitely seems excessive.
Recommended Bet: Back Richmond To Beat The Line (+35.5 Points)
Saturday 16 April, 1:45pm, MCG
Essendon 42 - Geelong 72
Essendon were not disgraced against Port Adelaide last Friday night, but the lack of quality across the list told late and it is very tough to see them being able to match it with Geelong this weekend.
Geelong bounced back to winning form with a very comfortable win over the Brisbane Lions and they are once again involved in a game where they are dominant favourites.
The Cats are a disappointing 5-7 against the line in the past 12 months and are 1-3 away from home, while they have covered the line just twice in six games since 2013 in which they have been giving away a start of over 51 points.
I will stick to my pledge I made at the start of the season to stay out of Essendon matches for at least the first month of the season and hopefully I can find a bet in their match next weekend.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 16 April, 2:10pm, Aurora Stadium
Hawthorn 87 - St Kilda 84
This is another game with a very short-priced favourite and Hawthorn will be giving up a start of almost 50 points against St Kilda.
Hawthorn were outplayed at times against the Western Bulldogs, but they still managed to come away with the four points and it is very rare that the Hawks drop a game to a team like St Kilda.
The Hawks have been a losing betting proposition as favourites in the past 12 months, but their record at Aurora Stadium is excellent and they have covered the line in 11 of their past 15 games at the Tasmanian venue.
St Kilda produced easily their best performance of the season to date to beat Collingwood last weekend and they are sure to take some confidence from that performance, but their record against Hawthorn is extremely poor.
The Saints have won three of their past ten games as underdogs away from home for a narrow loss and their record in this scenario is a disappointing 4-6, while they are 1-5 against the line on the back of a win in the past 12 months.
Hawthorn always turn it on when they make the trip to Tasmania and they will prove far too strong for their rivals this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Hawthorn To Beat The Line (-49.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns
Saturday 16 April, 4:35pm, The Gabba
Brisbane Lions 107 - Gold Coast Suns 94
The Gold Coast Suns have made a flawless start to the season and they take a 3-0 record into this fixture after wins over Essendon, Fremantle and Carlton.
The Suns don’t start many games as favourites, but their record as the punter’s elect is exemplary and they have not lost a game as favourites in the past 12 months and they are 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
In contrast, the Brisbane Lions have been a losing betting proposition across every metric and they have shown very little signs of improvement against West Coast, North Melbourne and Geelong during this season to date.
The Lions are 4-5 against the line as home favourites in the past 12 months and they will be missing star midfielder Tom Rockliff due to injury once again.
Gold Coast are clearly the superior football team to their Queensland rivals and if they are serious about being a genuine finals contender they should be able to record a very comfortable win.
Recommended Bet: Back Gold Coast Suns To Beat The Line (-21.5 Points)
Saturday 16 April, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
Carlton 49 - Western Bulldogs 85
There are plenty of mismatches in the AFL this weekend and this is another one of them.
The Western Bulldogs pushed the defending premiers all the way last weekend, but they were unable to get the win and to make matters worse they lost inspirational captain Bob Murphy to what is likely a season-ending injury.
How the Bulldogs bounce back from this loss will define their season, but even without Murphy they should prove far too strong for a Carlton side that continues to struggle.
In saying that, there is no value available at the Bulldogs current quote, but they are 7-6 against the line as favourites.
Carlton showed some signs of improvement against Richmond in the opening round, but that might be more of an indicator of the Tigers’ quality this season and the Blues have won just two of their past 20 games as underdogs.
Their record against the line in this scenario is a middling 9-11 and I really can’t find a bet that I am willing to entertain in this fixture.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 16 April, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Adelaide 113 - Sydney Swans 103
This is one of the most interesting games of the round and will be an excellent test of where each of these teams sit at this stage of the season.
Adelaide suffered a narrow loss to North Melbourne in round one, but they have since bounced back to record convincing wins over both Port Adelaide and Richmond.
The Crows will start this game as narrow underdogs – despite having the benefit of the home ground advantage – and the Crows are a middling 3-3 as away underdogs.
Sydney have flown under the radar so far this season, but they have still recorded three comfortable victories and they are deserving favourites for this clash.
The Swans have an outstanding record as away favourites and they are yet to lose a game in this scenario in the past 12, while they are 5-2 against the line over the same period.
Sydney have looked like the real deal so far this season and they are a good bet to make it four wins on the trot.
Recommended Bet: Back Sydney Swans To Win @ $1.83
Sunday 17 April, 1:10pm, Spotless Stadium
GWS Giants 151 - Port Adelaide 65
This is the other game this weekend that the market suggests will be a very close affair.
Greater Western Sydney head into this game on the back of a loss to the Sydney Swans, but they will still go into this clash as narrow favourites.
The Giants don’t have a great deal of experience as favourites, but they are a very impressive 6-1 as the punter’s elect in front of their home fans at Simonds Stadium and they are 5-2 against the line in the same scenario.
Port Adelaide scored their first win of the season when they beat Essendon last weekend, but it was still not a particularly impressive performance and there is a real question mark over just how good the Power are in 2016.
Their record as away underdogs is an inconclusive 1-2 and they are 2-2 at the line against the Giants.
The data really comes up inconclusive for this fixture, but the total points betting market does stand out.
Port Adelaide and the Giants were both unders teams in 2015 and while Port Adelaide have been involved in some high-scoring games this season, Spotless Stadium lends itself to fairly low-scoring football and the under has salute in 57 percent of the games played at the venue since 2013.
Recommended Bet: Back The Under (176.5 Points)
Sunday 17 April, 3:20pm, MCG
Collingwood 67 - Melbourne 102
The pressure is back on Nathan Buckley and Collingwood after they lost to St Kilda last weekend and there will be serious trouble at Magpie land if they fail to beat Melbourne this weekend.
Collingwood will start this game as a clear favourite and this is a position in which they have struggled in the past 12 months, they are 6-6 in head to head betting and a very poor 4-8 against the line.
Melbourne bounced back from their shock loss to Essendon to produce a stellar performance against North Melbourne and they really should have walked away with the four points.
They should still take plenty of confidence from that performance as well as the fact that they finally ended their losing streak against the Magpies at the end of last season.
The Demons have won six of their past 19 games as underdogs for a narrow profit, while you would also have earnt out a small advantage backing them at the line in this scenario.
This match will be closer than the betting market suggests and the Demons with a start of 13.5 points might be one of the best bets of the weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back The Demons To Beat The Line (+13.5 Points)
Sunday 17 April, 4:40pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne 132 - Fremantle 101
The rot has well and truly set in for Fremantle and they are staring down the barrel of an 0-4 record if they are unable to record an upset victory over Fremantle this weekend.
The Dockers were no match for their Western Australian rivals last weekend and the new style of football that Ross Lyon has injected into his side clearly is not working.
Fremantle don’t start many games as underdogs, but when they do they have an awful record and they are 1-6 as underdogs in both head to head and line betting markets.
North Melbourne showed a mental toughness that has been missing in recent years when they held off a fast-finishing Melbourne to win last weekend and they take an unbeaten record into this fixture.
The Kangaroos have won 13 of their past 15 games as favourites, while they have a positive record against the line as favourites at Etihad Stadium in the past three seasons.
North Melbourne should be able to win what will be a fairly low-scoring affair and the $2.25 for the Kangaroos to win by between one and 39 is a great bet.
Recommended Bet: Back The Kangaroos To Win 1-39 @ $2.25