It was a tough start to the AFL season for punters with 5 out of 9 favourites going under in Round 1 including Sydney, Hawthorn and Gold Coast who were all 20 or more point favourites to win. We will see if some of those underdogs can back up their Round 1 performances this week.
Richmond vs Collingwood
Both clubs had fairly positive starts to the year with the Tigers outclassing a fairly poor Carlton team, while the Pies took it right up to the reigning premiers and were only over run late in the game.
Richmond’s win came mostly on the back of a dominant performance by Dustin Martin, whereas the Pies seemed to have a more even spread at the top with Pendlebury, Adams, Treloar and Sidebottom all racking up 30+ disposals. The Collingwood midfield does look far deeper than what Richmond have to offer and will give them much more cause for concern than the substandard quality of midfield they faced from the Blues in Round 1.
Western Bulldogs vs Sydney
A repeat of last years Grand Final and even though the Dogs won that match i think there is value about Sydney here as outsiders. Sydney had the better overall season in 2016 and went into the GF as favourites but have opened up outsiders @ $2.39 with Sportsbet for this match. Given there has only been 2 matches played in between that time i think the market has overreacted a bit and i would still have Sydney as the slightest of favourites to win this match.
Sydney were a bit disappointing in their Round 1 loss to Port Adelaide at home, but fast teams have always caused problems for the Swans so we should see a better performance out of them on the weekend.
The Bulldogs came out of their match 14 point winners over Collingwood in a match where they were probably outplayed for most of it but were still able to come away with the 4 points. This is sure to be a hard tight contest like when they met in the GF but i think we have to give Sydney the slight edge.
Hawthorn vs Adelaide
This looks to be the bet of the round. The Crows have opened up at $1.63 to win with Sportsbet and on form that looks tremendous value.
Adelaide come into this match on the back of a crushing 56 point win over the flag favourites GWS where they dominated the match from Quarter Time onward. Their forward line looked very potent and hard to stop and with Taylor Walker likely returning to their team this week they will only improve further. The Crows sent out a big warning signal to the rest of the competition last week and if they can retain that form could be the team to beat this season.
Hawthorn by comparison weren’t the team we are used to seeing. Tom Mitchell played well in his first game, but without Sam Mitchell and Lewis in that midfield it is lacking a lot of experience and class. Really they were outplayed from start to finish against the Bombers on Saturday night and this is going to be a much tougher match up again. This looks like it could be a tough year for the Hawks.
GWS vs Gold Coast
Coming off a loss to the wooden spoon favourites last week it is hard to get enthused about the Suns taking on the flag favourites GWS away from home. It was an atrocious start to the season for Gold Coast getting outscored 11 goals to 3 in the first half against a team they were expected to beat comfortably. They came back to their credit and only ended up going down by 2 points, but their level of play was just not up to standard for most of the match and if they play that way against the team predicted to finish on the bottom of the ladder then they are going to run into a lot of problems this week taking on the team most people think will win the flag away from home.
GWS didn’t play a whole lot better in Round 1 themselves to be truthful. After starting the match well they were quickly worn down by the Crows and put away by almost 10 goals. It has to be said the opposition they faced is a lot stronger than what the Suns faced however and they did seem to have a lot of problems dealing with the extreme heat conditions that were around. Back at home this weekend against a lowly ranked opponent they should be fired up and ready to turn things around and i wouldn’t be shocked to see a huge drubbing on the cards.
Brisbane vs Essendon
With the wild weather around the north east coast at the moment it is probably worth avoiding a lot of markets here, particularly the larger lines and total overs. The Gabba is a very good draining ground but with 150mm of rain predicted in the two days leading up conditions could be tough.
Brisbane started their 2017 in very strong fashion, getting off to a fast start against the Suns and holding on to win by 2 points. But the Bombers had an even better start to their season, knocking off the Hawks by 25 points in Round 1. We can probably expect a let down from some of the Bombers players after such a big build up to their return last week, but they were highly impressive so on form you have to back them to get the job done again against the lowly ranked Lions.
Geelong vs North Melbourne
More bad news on the injury front for North Melbourne with Jarrad Waite going down with a shoulder injury. Their forward line is going to be pushed to the limits this week and it is hard to see where their goals are going to come from.
The Roos kicked off their season with a loss at home to West Coast but most worrying was their failure to be able to shut down the Eagles mids. With Jacobs out of the side they don’t have anyone who can run with the opposition and keep them down as we saw with all of Mitchell, Shuey, Gaff and Priddis getting off the leash in Round 1. Last time these 2 teams played Dangerfield ran wild with 48 possessions so we could be in for another similar performance here.
Melbourne vs Carlton
The Dees looked sensational after quarter time in their Round 1 match against St Kilda. They outscored the Saints 16 goals to 7 after the first break on their way to a 30 point win with Jordan Lewis fitting in perfectly at his new home racking up 32 touches.
The Blues had a much more disappointing start to their season, getting trashed by Richmond to the tune of 43 points despite their stars in Murphy, Simpson, Gibbs and Kreuzer all having very good games. They just lack the depth to go with most teams and with next to no goal scoring options up forward they are going to continue to struggle this season.
Port Adelaide vs Fremantle
The Power were extremely impressive in their Round 1 win over Sydney, but backing up that performance here is going to be their big test as they only won back to back matches twice in 2016.
The Dockers were fairly comfortably outplayed from start to finish in their match against the Cats. Their forward line is relying too heavily on Cam McCarthy and Nat Fyfe to perform and while that is the case they are going to struggle to be competitive.