2019 AFL Round 4 Preview

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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!

Sydney Swans Vs Melbourne

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)

 

Collingwood Vs Western Bulldogs

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

 

Geelong Vs GWS Giants

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)

 

Essendon Vs Brisbane Lions

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

 

Port Adelaide Vs Richmond

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

 

North Melbourne Vs Adelaide

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 Vs Fremantle

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 Vs Carlton

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

 

St Kilda Vs Hawthorn

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

 


2018

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!

Adelaide Vs Collingwood

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.

No Bet

GWS Giants Vs Fremantle

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)

Richmond Vs Brisbane Lions

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

Western Bulldogs Vs Sydney Swans

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)

North Melbourne Vs Carlton

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 Vs 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)

Essendon Vs Port Adelaide

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

Hawthorn Vs Melbourne

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

Geelong Vs St Kilda

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.

No Bet


2017

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 Vs Sydney Swans

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

North Melbourne Vs Western Bulldogs

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

Melbourne Vs Fremantle

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)

GWS Giants Vs Port Adelaide

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

Carlton Vs 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

Adelaide Crows Vs Essendon

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)

Collingwood Vs St Kilda

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.

No Bet

Brisbane Lions Vs Richmond

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)

Hawthorn Vs Geelong

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


2016

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 Vs Richmond

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)

Essendon Vs Geelong

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

Hawthorn Vs St Kilda

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)

Brisbane Lions Vs 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)

Carlton Vs Western Bulldogs

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

Adelaide Vs Sydney Swans

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

GWS Giants Vs Port Adelaide

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)

Collingwood Vs Melbourne

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)

North Melbourne Vs Fremantle

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