Happy Dude’s AFL Tips for Round 3

dogshawks

Round 2 was a minefield for AFL tippers as underdogs beat the favourites over and over again throughout the weekend. While licking our wounds, we can hopefully learn a lot from the past round that will allow us to prevent mistakes in future rounds.

Let’s have a look at a Blockbuster Round 3!

Friday Night

Port Adelaide vs Essendon – AO

As predicted, Port Adelaide lost in the Showdown last weekend. I don’t think anybody foresaw the beating they’d receive though. The Power were run off the park by Adelaide in a performance which has everyone questioning Port’s chances of making the finals this year.

Essendon were the feel good story of the week, beating Melbourne in what was easily the upset of the year (to this point in time). As alluded to in last week’s write-up, I think that game says more about an inexperienced Melbourne team than a Bombers outfit that won’t win many this year.

Port Adelaide have to win this game. They will win this game. Last week’s effort from both teams will ensure that nobody takes anything for granted though. It’s season over for Port if they lose – and they’d better play like it means that much or they could get a surprise.

Port Adelaide by 37 points

nick

Saturday Afternoon

St Kilda vs Collingwood – MCG

Collingwood won the unwinnable game against Richmond last Friday night. My betting was dead before it started courtesy of the Magpies’ last minute heroics. They were ordinary in the first half but you can’t knock their intent and desire in the second half.

The Saints struggled against the Bulldogs in a game that showed the gulf in class between the two young teams. St Kilda will win games this year, bit being young it is hard to tell when those wins will come.

If this game was at Etihad, I’d be tempted to tip St Kilda. Collingwood at the MCG are good enough to beat this Saints lineup 7 times out of 10 and that is good enough for me to tip them

Collingwood by 13 points

 

Richmond vs Adelaide – Etihad

Richmond should be really dirty with themselves. The world has been against them for most of the week, picking apart every decision made in the past 5 minutes of last week’s game. They’re better than those 5 minutes suggest, but how much better?

Adelaide were great! Are their kids as good as they seem? Can they play interstate? Were they made to look good by a poor Port effort?

I don’t want to tip Richmond. I really don’t want to tip Richmond.

But I think it’s going to be one of those years…

Richmond by 20 points

 

Sydney vs GWS – SCG

Sydney beat a bottom 4 headed, Carlton last week in one of the few predictable results. Sydney look good. Top 4 good, most probably.

GWS upstaged Geelong in the nation’s capital in a match that showed off the very best of the Giants and the very worst of the Cats.

GWS are big, strong and fast. Can they beat Sydney? Absolutely! GWS are coming but I think Sydney will make sure they stay on top this week. Sydney have the offensive weapons to stretch the GWS defence. That’s the only part of the field I can split these teams though. It isn’t a sure thing.

Sydney by 34 points.

gazjudd

Saturday Night

Gold Coast vs Carlton – MS

Gold Coast had their best win in franchise history over the Dockers in Perth. Carlton lost as predicted (but weren’t embarrassed) to Sydney.

Gold Coast are fast and skilful and have the best player in the league running around. They are on their way to their first finals appearance and should be just about unbeatable at home this season.

Carlton look well drilled. They won’t be terrible for long under Bolton. They do have some aging players hanging around but hopefully they can mentor the kids rather than hold them back.

Gold Coast have to win this game if they are to be taken seriously.

Suns by 49 points.

 

West Coast vs Fremantle – DS

The first Western Derby of the year shapes as important barometer for where both teams sit in the premiership race.

West Coast faltered last week against the Hawks in the grand final rematch whilst the Dockers continued to disappoint against the Suns at home.

West Coast look to be the most capable in this contest. Freo appear to have tinkered with their gameplan – or they’re just not playing as well as we’re used to.

I think West Coast will win but don’t be surprised if this game goes to the wire.

Eagles by 5 points.

cheer

Sunday Afternoon

North Melbourne vs Melbourne – Hobart

The Kangaroos were good enough against the Brisbane Lions in Brisbane last week. They weren’t great but they got the job done in a game where they were expected to get the 4 points.

As suspected, Melbourne struggled under the weight of expectation against the Bombers. The young Demons continue to be a work in progress that are capable of both causing and being a victim of upsets.

Neither team inspires much faith but it is hard to go against North in their adopted home away from home (Hobart).

Kangaroos by 31 points.

 

Western Bulldogs vs Hawthorn – Etihad

The young glamour team of the league comes up against the reigning heavyweight champs in what is without a doubt the match of the round.

The Doggies continue to impress this year and on current form look hard to beat – but have they really beaten anyone worthy yet?

The Hawks are wounded, older, slower and have a depleted list. But they are still the Hawks and proved last week that they can dish up a belting to anyone on their day.

I think enthusiasm will defeat stubborn determination this week. These Bulldogs have some bite.

Dogs by 25 points.

 

Geelong vs Brisbane – SS

The Cats lost away to a good young team and the Lions lost at home to an ok old team.

It’s hard to get excited about this game. Brisbane have an interesting spread of recycled leftovers that makes them competitive. It will be good to see Christensen and Walker up against their old team.

Geelong have the makings of a top 4 team but last week’s failing raises questions about their desire and ability to be so. The Cats just didn’t look good enough at times against GWS. And when they briefly did look like they could win, were let down by careless skill errors and basic hunger for the ball. Geelong’s bottom 6 players in any given match day squad looks ordinary in comparison to the best teams and traditionally this spells trouble when it counts.

But they’ll beat the Lions at home…

Cats by 54 points.

 

Bets of the Week

Saints, Dockers and Bulldogs at the line – $20 for $139.36 payout

Bulldogs straight – $30 for $67.50 payout

Happy Dude’s AFL Tips for Round 2

hawks premiers

Welcome to the Happy Dude AFL blog for Round 2. Round 1 was relatively predictable with all 9 home teams taking home the points. On the face of it, Round 2 looks a little more complex. Let’s see if we can find 9 winners using some common sense and reason.

Collingwood vs Richmond

Despite being talked up all off-season, Collingwood were smashed at the hands of a ruthless Sydney last week. Meanwhile, Richmond struggled to put away an impressively performing Carlton (that will still finish bottom 4).

This therefore shapes as a battle between a couple of at best mediocre teams.

Richmond have decent players on every line but lack consistency and depth. Collingwood struggles defensively, up forward and in the ruck.

I see Richmond getting over the line here but only just.

Tigers by 12 points

 

Adelaide vs Port Adelaide

Showdowns are the most unpredictable of AFL rivalries.

Port were ok if not a little disappointing against the Saints in Round 1. Adelaide pushed North Melbourne all the way in the game of the round but fell short when it counted.

I can see both teams pushing into the top 8 this year. I rate Port slightly higher than the Crows but for this battle that means nothing. It’s a Showdown after all!!!

Always pick the underdog in the first showdown of the year. It’s a Happy Dude rule that has paid off for years. This year, the Crows should be the underdogs.

Adelaide Crows by 19 points

 

Essendon vs Melbourne

Hooley Dooley!!! Essendon were worse than even Happy Dude thought they’d be. Can they improve? I doubt it. Not this quickly.

Melbourne were impressive against GWS. It’s great to see the Demons finally playing some tough, aggressive footy.

Melbourne will win here. Maybe don’t put your house on it though. Happy Dude has a feeling that the kids are still capable of messing up when expected to win.

Melbourne by 47 points

 

Brisbane vs North Melbourne

How do you kick over 100 points in a game and still lose by 10 goals in the modern game? Brisbane found a way last weekend against an impressive Eagles team. Not sure much can be taken from the performance other than to say that at least they had a crack.

North were North against Adelaide. I was certain for most of the game that they were going to throw it away, until the old man threw on the afterburners and kicked them into the lead like he’s done so often in the past.

North have talent all over the ground and definitely have the experience to take care of the young cubs from Brisbane. As always with North though, don’t be surprised if they forget to pack their playing boots… leave them out of any multi bets.

North Melbourne by 27 points

 

St Kilda vs Footscray

Sexy Sexy Sexy!!! It might be Nick Riewoldt’s 300th game but all the post match talk will once again focus on the fast flowing, high scoring antics of the young, hungry Bulldogs.

The Saints were impressive against Port Adelaide last week but like many young teams, couldn’t get it done in the last quarter when it mattered.

Hopefully the Saints put up an effort for St Nick’s big milestone but it will take something unseen from them in the last few years to get them over the line.

Bulldogs by 48 points

 

Fremantle vs Gold Coast

Gold Coast got the job done against a poorer than expected Essendon whilst Fremantle wound back the clocks to the days of the Docker Shocker against the rampant Bulldogs.

This week, Fremantle return to Subiaco Oval where they should rediscover their form and desire. It means bad news for a Gold Coast suffering from injuries and off-season player exits.

Gold Coast will be more competitive than they’ve been against Freo in the past but that doesn’t mean much. Ross Lyon will have his troops playing their usual suffocating tactics which will frustrate the young Suns. Gold Coast won’t kick more than 10 goals here.

Fremantle by 21 points

 

Greater Western Sydney vs Geelong

Stevie J vs Geelong will be the headline. After losing a winnable game to the Demons last week, GWS will be out for redemption at home against a Geelong team that looked back to their best against the reigning champs.

For all the talk of how well Geelong played against Hawthorn, this is a danger game for them. The best teams have little trouble when travelling interstate and a sign of Geelong’s demise last season was their inability to play well outside of Victoria. If they want to consider themselves premiership contenders, Geelong must win a game like this.

GWS, however, are coming. The loss to Melbourne aside, they have quality on each line and have the skill, energy, gameplan and pace to win on their day. I think Geelong are back and will win on the back of a dominant midfield performance and their defence stopping the majority of the Giants attacking weapons.

Stevie J to kick 5 and get reported.

Geelong by 9 points

steie j

Hawthorn vs West Coast

Match of the Round! Grand Final Replay! The fit and firing Eagles get a chance at exacting revenge on an injury depleted Hawks.

The Eagles were magnificent last week against a struggling Lions team. Hawthorn were out-tussled by a rejuvenated Cats.

No Hodge or Roughead is going to test the premiers over the first half of the season as they (along with an aging Mitchell) are the most important players for the Hawks. The loss of Lake and Hale to retirement will test their depth in defence and in the ruck.

I don’t think travel comes into this. I think the Eagles will win… just.

West Coast by 4 points.

 

Carlton vs Sydney

The new Blues vs the same old Swans shapes as a match that should be predictable for tippers but will undoubtably provide us with more information about both teams that will prove vital in coming weeks.

Are Sydney the real deal? Can Buddy keep firing up forward? Can the midfield continue to dominate?

Is Bolton’s gameplan and coaching style influencing his young(ish) team? Can the Blues be competitive against anyone? Can the Blues kick a winning score? Can they play well in consecutive weeks?

Sydney should win and win well.

Sydney by 47 points (but don’t be surprised if it’s closer).

 

Bets of the Week

Richmond, Adelaide, Bulldogs and West Coast all to win – $20 to win $160

Western Bulldogs to beat the line (-27.5), Gold Coast (+35.5), Richmond (-7.5) – $20 to win $140

Stevie J – First Goal Scorer $10 to win TBA

 

Sure thing of the week – Sexy Bulldogs!