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!
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
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.
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.
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