We are now a month into the 2017 AFL season and it is fair to say that nobody expected the ladder to look like it does.
Hawthorn, Sydney and North Melbourne were all top eight sides last season, but they are still chasing their first wins of the year and it really doesn’t get any easier for them this weekend.
We have analysed every game in the AFL this weekend and you can find our 2017 AFL Round 5 tips below!
Port Adelaide Vs Carlton
Friday 21 April, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide are one of a number of short-priced favourites in the AFL this weekend.
The Power head into this clash on the back of back-to-back defeats against both Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney, but this is obviously a much easier challenge.
Port Adelaide have struggled somewhat at the Adelaide Oval over the past 12 months and they have won only three of their past five games as home favourites for a loss.
Carlton went down to Gold Coast last weekend and they are yet to score over 90 points in a single game this season.
The Blues have actually won their past two games against Port Adelaide and they have covered the line in five of their past seven games as away underdogs.
It really would not surprise if Carlton gave Port Adelaide a scare and they are a great bet to beat the line with a start of 37.5 points.
Back Carlton To Beat The Line (+37.5 Points)
Western Bulldogs Vs Brisbane Lions
Saturday 22 April, 1:45pm, Etihad Stadium
The Western Bulldogs got out of jail late against North Melbourne and they are dominate favourites to beat the Brisbane Lions this weekend.
It is fair to say that the Western Bulldogs have not played at their best so far this season, but they have still only lost the one game.
They have won seven of their past eight games as home favourites and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
A host of skill errors cost the Brisbane Lions badly against Richmond last weekend and they still have an inability to play out a strong four quarters.
Brisbane have won only two of their past 11 games as away underdogs and they have also been a losing betting play against the line in this scenario.
The Western Bulldogs really should prove far too strong for the Lions and they can cover the hefty line of 43.5 points.
Back The Western Bulldogs To Beat The Line (-43.5 Points)
Gold Coast Suns Vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 22 April, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
The Adelaide Crows are flying high on top of the AFL Ladder and they will start this clash with the Gold Coast Suns as clear favourites.
Adelaide maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a dominant victory over Essendon and there is no reason to suggest they can’t continue their unbeaten run.
The Crows have won seven of their past eight games as away favourites for a clear profit and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
Gold Coast made it two wins on the trot with a fighting victory over Carlton, but this is obviously a much tougher challenge.
The Suns are still chasing their first win over Adelaide and it looks unlikely to come this weekend.
Gold Coast have won only one of their past six games as home underdogs and they are 2-4 in this scenario.
The Crows can continue their winning run and cover the line in the process.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-26.5 Points)
Sydney Swans Vs GWS Giants
Saturday 22 April, 7:25pm, SCG
It is fair to say that the complexion of the Sydney Derby has changed significantly over the past 12 months.
Greater Western Sydney won both games played between these two sides last season and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
The Giants have worked their way into this season and it would not surprise to see them go to another level against Swans.
Greater Western Sydney have won eight of their past ten games as home favourites, but they are only 5-5 against the line in this scenario.
Sydney produced their worst performance of the season to date against West Coast to suffer four losses from as many games.
This will be the first time in over 12 months that Sydney have started a home game as underdogs and they have not been a profitable betting team at home over the past 12 months.
The market looks to have got this game just about right and I am more than happy to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.
Fremantle Vs North Melbourne
Saturday 22 April, 7:40pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle have bounced back from their horror start to the season to win two games on the trot and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
The Dockers showed plenty of fight to take four points from their clash with Melbourne last weekend and a similar performance would be enough to dispose of North Melbourne.
Fremantle have won two of their past three games as the punter’s elect for a profit and they have an identical record against the line.
North Melbourne were far from disgraced against the Western Bulldogs last weekend, but were once again unable to come away with the four points.
The Kangaroos have now lost their past 12 games as underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.
I have been very taken with what I have seen from Fremantle over the past fortnight and they can continue their winning run this weekend.
Back Fremantle To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)
St Kilda Vs Geelong
Sunday 23 April, 3:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Geelong continued their unbeaten start to the season with a dominant win over Hawthorn and they are clear favourites to depose of St Kilda this weekend.
While Geelong are yet to lose this season they have still been a tough team to trust from a betting standpoint – they have won six of their past nine games as away favourites for a narrow loss and they are 4-5 against the line in this scenario.
St Kilda made it two wins in a row with a fairly ugly win over Collingwood and they will take confidence from the fact that they played that badly, but still came away with the four points.
The Saints have won three of their past six games as home underdogs – including a win over Geelong 12 months ago – and they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.
I am of the belief that Geelong are not as good as their current record suggests and St Kilda will give them a genuine challenge this weekend.
Back St Kilda To Beat The Line (+15.5 Points)
Hawthorn Vs West Coast Eagles
Sunday 23 April, 4:40pm, MCG
Is this the end of an era?
Hawthorn have lost all four games so far this season and they looked completely outclassed by Geelong in their traditional Easter Monday clash.
The Hawks have lost their past two games as home underdogs and have failed to cover the line in both those clashes, while it is incredibly tough to back them based on their recent efforts.
West Coast returned to winning form with a comfortable win over Sydney and this really is their chance to beat Hawthorn at the MCG.
The Eagles have won five of their past seven games as away favourites for a narrow loss and they are only 3-4 against the line in this scenario.
This is another game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash.
Richmond Vs Melbourne
Monday 24 April, 7:25pm, MCG
Richmond have made a stunning start to the 2017 AFL season and they are favourites to make it five wins on the trot this weekend.
The Tigers got through what looked like it could be a trap game against the Brisbane Lions comfortably, but their recent record against Melbourne does not inspire confidence.
Richmond have won seven of their past eight games as the punter’s elect, but they are only 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
Melbourne suffered their second straight loss at the hands of Fremantle and the fact that they were unable to close out that clash has to be an alarming sign to their finals chances.
The Demons have won four of their past 12 games as underdogs for a narrow profit and they are 7-5 against the line in this scenario.
The real value in this clash is in Total Points betting markets.
Backing the Under in Richmond games at the MCG has been highly profitable in recent years and the Under has saluted in 40 of the past 66 games played by Melbourne at the venue.
Back Under 185.5 Points
Essendon Vs Collingwood
Tuesday 25 April, 5:00pm, MCG
The traditional Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood is always one of the highlights of the AFL season and this is set to be a very interesting affair.
Both these sides come into this clash off disappointing defeats, but it is Collingwood that will start this clash as favourites.
Collingwood really could not have been poorer against St Kilda last week and they are a side that is very tough to trust from a betting standpoint – they have won just three of their past seven games as favourites.
Essendon made a promising start to the season, but they were disgraceful against Carlton a fortnight ago and they were no match for a rampant Adelaide.
There really is not a great deal between these two teams and the $2.05 on offer for the Bombers really does offer some value in what really should be a pickem clash.
Back Essendon To Win @ $2.05
Round 5 of the 2016 AFL season is highlighted by the Anzac Day Clash between the Collingwood Magpies and Essendon Bombers.
The game is expected to be lopsided in 2016 due to the number of players the Bombers will be missing due to suspension, but it is still one of the biggest occasions in all of Australian sport.
It is definitely not the only exciting game this weekend as a number of other finals contenders will likely do battle, highlighted by the Saturday afternoon clash between the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles.
Hawthorn Vs Adelaide
Friday 22 April, 7:50pm, MCG
It was not smooth sailing for Hawthorn, but they were still able to get the down against St Kilda, while Adelaide stamped themselves as the real deal with a very impressive performance against the Sydney Swans.
Hawthorn have won the past six games between these two sides – including a big win in a semi-final last season – and they will start this game as clear favourites.
The Hawks are 8-3 as home favourites in the past 12 months and their record against the line in this scenario is an uninspiring 4-7.
Adelaide have not been a winning betting proposition as underdogs in head to head betting, but they are 9-6 against the line as underdogs in the past 12 months and it was impossible not be impressed by what they did last weekend.
This will be another very close game for the Hawks and I am happy to back the Crows with a start of 16.5 points.
Recommended Bets: Back The Adelaide Crows To Beat The Line (+16.5 Points)
Sydney Swans Vs West Coast Eagles
Saturday 23 April, 1:40pm, SCG
The rivalry between the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles was the most exciting in the AFL in the mid-2ooos and this weekend’s meeting is set to be another thriller.
Sydney went down to Adelaide last weekend, but they lost no admirers with their brave performance and they will start this game on Saturday as clear favourites.
The Swans are 8-3 as home favourites this season for a narrow loss and they are 5-6 against the line in this scenario, but they have won their past four games as favourites against the West Coast Eagles.
West Coast demolished a disappointing Richmond last weekend and their poor effort against Hawthorn in round two is there only blemish at this stage of the season.
The Eagles have proven to be a very successful team as underdogs in the past 12 months and they are 3-0 in head to head betting as away underdogs.
There really is not a great deal between these two sides and the West Coast Eagles are the definite value in this fixture at their current quote of $2.20.
Recommended Bet: Back The West Coast Eagles To Win @ $2.20
Gold Coast Suns Vs North Melbourne
Saturday 23 April, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
North Melbourne have flown under the radar so far this season, but they now sit on top of the AFL Ladder following their four straight wins over Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle.
North Melbourne have been a very safe betting side in the past 12 months and they are a most impressive 14-2 as favourites over this time period as well as 7-1 as home favourites.
Their record against the line is this scenario is almost as impressive and they are 6-2 away from home when giving a start.
The Gold Coast Suns promising start to the season came crashing down following their disappointing loss to the Brisbane Lions last Saturday afternoon and it will be very interesting to see how they bounce back.
The Suns have a good record in front of their hands at Metricon Stadium, but they have won just 3 of their past 18 games as underdogs and they are 7-11 against the line when being given a start.
I don’t see any reason to jump off North Melbourne this weekend and they are a great bet to cover the line of 14.5 points.
Recommended Bet: Back North Melbourne To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Western Bulldogs Vs Brisbane Lions
Saturday 23 April, 7:25pm, Etihad Stadium
The Brisbane Lions finally recorded their first win off the season against the Gold Coast Suns last weekend, but they will still start this fixture against the Western Bulldogs as clear underdogs.
While the Lions showed plenty of heart against the Suns, it is still tough to trust them from a betting perspective going forward and they have won just one of their past 12 games as away underdogs, while they are 3-8 against the line in this scenario.
The Western Bulldogs have been hit by an injury crisis in recent weeks, but they were still able to get the job done against Carlton and they have more than enough talent to put away the Brisbane Lions.
The Bulldogs are 5-3 against the line as home favourites in the past 12 months and they always produce their best football at Etihad Stadium.
The Lions don’t have the talent to much it with a firing Bulldogs offense and the line of 40.5 points will not be enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The Bulldogs To Beat The Line (-40.5 Points)
Port Adelaide Vs Geelong
Saturday 23 April, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
It has been overshadowed by the poor start made by both Richmond and Collingwood, but Port Adelaide have been just as bad to start the season.
Port Adelaide were nothing short of woeful against the Greater Western Sydney Giants last weekend and a similar performance against the Cats will see them blown off the field.
This will be just the second time that the Power have started a game at the Adelaide Oval as underdogs in the past 12 months and they won that fixture, but they have won just one of their past nine games against Geelong.
Geelong produced a rusty performance against Essendon and outside of their first round victory against Hawthorn, they have been fairly lacklustre and they have not been a profitable betting side as favourites over the past 12 months.
Port Adelaide normally produce their best performances against the best sides in the competition and they can’t possibly play as bad as they did last weekend, so I am willing to take the gamble that they can return to winning form.
Recommended Bet: Back Port Adelaide To Win @ $2.35
St Kilda Vs GWS Giants
Sunday 24 April, 1:10pm, Etihad Stadium
They had their chances but St Kilda were unable to get the job against Hawthorn last weekend and it will be interesting to see what effect that close loss has on them moving forward.
The Saints have struggled at Etihad Stadium in the past 12 months and they have won just one of their past 11 games at the venue, while they are 4-7 against the line as home underdogs.
Greater Western Sydney have made an up and down start to the AFL season, but they were absolutely ruthless against Port Adelaide last weekend and a similar performance would be more than enough to beat the Saints.
The Giants don’t have a great record away from home, but they are 8-5 against the line as favourites and if they play at anywhere near their best then the line of 9.5 points will not be anywhere near enough.
Recommended Bet: Back GWS Giants To Beat The Line (-9.5 Points)
Fremantle Vs Carlton
Sunday 24 April, 2:10pm, Domain Stadium
This could be one of the most important games of the round because a Fremantle victory would just about end their chances of playing finals football.
The Dockers showed some promising signs against North Melbourne, but they were still blown away in the final quarter and they have an 0-4 record.
While they will surely be able to finally get their account off the mark against Carlton, there is no way that you could possibly dive in at the short quote and they are 5-7 against the line as home favourites.
Carlton are also winless for the 2016 season and they are another team that I am not really interested in backing until I see something – they have lost their past 11 games as away underdogs and they have been a losing betting proposition against the line in this metric.
This is the least interesting game of the round from a betting perspective and one that I am more than keen to stay out of.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Melbourne Vs Richmond
Sunday 24 April, 7:10pm, MCG
Richmond are another team that is under a enormous amount of pressure heading into this weekend following their ugly losses to Adelaide and West Coast.
There is a chance that Brett Deledio, Ivan Maric and Anthony Miles could all return for the Tigers this weekend and that would be a major boost, but it is tough to have any faith in Richmond following their past two efforts.
The Tigers have won just nine of their past 16 games as favourites and they are a horrid 5-11 against the line as the punter’s elect.
Melbourne returned to winning form with a comprehensive performance against Collingwood last weekend, but it has been consistency that has been the issue for the Demons in recent seasons.
They scored a big victory over GWS in round one before losing to a depleted Essendon and they have recorded back-to-back wins just once in the past 12 months.
There is plenty of reasons to doubt both these teams leading into this intriguing fixture and it is another game that I am more than happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Collingwood Vs Essendon
Monday 25 April, 3:20pm, MCG
The Anzac Day Clash is one of the biggest of the AFL Calendar, but it is fair to say that the lead-up to this fixture has been much different then in recent years.
This contest was expected to be a cake walk for Collingwood at the start of the season, but they are a club in crisis after back-to-back losses to St Kilda and Melbourne and another loss could spell trouble for coach Nathan Buckley.
Collingwood will still start this game as clear favourites, but they have lost seven of their past 13 games as favourites and they are a horrid 4-9 against the line.
It is clear that this Essendon list badly lacks talent, but they have given it their all in recent weeks and they were not disgraced against either Port Adelaide or Geelong.
There is a question mark over whether this young list will handle the big occasion of the Anzac Day Clash, but they do have a number of older players with big game experience and I really think they will give this game a shout.
Recommended Bet: Back Essendon To Beat The Line (+26.5 Points)