After an impressive victory over Melbourne in round two, the Bombers returned to type against Port in round three and beating the Cats on Saturday at the ‘G will be a bridge too far. It is therefore all about Geelong in this one. The Cats have sandwiched a shock loss to the Giants in round two with very good performances. Their 69-point thumping of Brisbane is a good indicator of what they will do to Essendon this weekend. We like the look of Luxbet’s $1.76 for the Cats to win by 60 points or more, and Geelong veteran Joel Selwood to have at least 30 disposals ($3.30 with Sportsbet). He had 34 against the Lions in round three.
Hawthorn’s first round defeat to Geelong seems such a long way away now. Their fighting victory over the Bulldogs at the weekend was a reminder of just how much class they have on their list. The Saints showed plenty of spirit in a 29-point triumph over Collingwood in round three, as the surviving heroes of the club’s only premiership from half a century ago watched on from the stands. But this Saturday they are at Hawthorn’s home away from home in Launceston and spirit will not be enough. The Hawks have won 37 of their 48 games at the venue, so back them to score first and win ($1.72 with Unibet) and James Sicily to kick the first snagger ($11 with Sportsbet).
Gold Coast’s cushy start to the season continues at the Gabba on Saturday when they take on struggling Brisbane in the Q-clash. We think the Suns have too much class on their list and will extend their unbeaten streak to four. That is the same number of games they won for the whole of last season. In a boost for Brisbane, utility Mitch Robinson was cleared after copping a match-day report for an alleged high hit on Joel Selwood in round three. Go for a Gold Coast/Gold Coast half-time/full-time double, paying $1.56 with Sportsbet, and in-form Sun Aaron Hall to have the most possessions ($2.50 with Sportsbet).
ENHANCED ODDS: Get a boosted $3 for Tom Lynch to kick 4 or more goals and Gold Coast to win the match. See Ladbrokes' Footy Freaks Offer! T&Cs Apply.
Carlton Blues v Western Bulldogs
How the Bulldogs respond to the loss of skipper Bob Murphy, who is out for the season with a knee injury sustained in the narrow loss to Hawthorn, will tell us a lot about their young group. Saturday night’s clash against Carlton at Docklands should be easy pickings. Sportsbet is offering $1.42 for the Doggies to lead at the end of every quarter, so snap that up. The boys from the west kept Freo to 38 points in round one, and St Kilda to 36 points in round two. In Hills and Centrebet’s "Both teams to score 50 points" market, a "no" is paying $4. Get on it!
Saturday night’s clash between the Crows and Swans at Adelaide Oval looks like the match of the round. Both teams have made impressive starts to the season, with Sydney unbeaten and Adelaide coming off two strong wins. This match will be the first time Sydney forward Kurt Tippett has played in front of the Adelaide faithful since the Crows lost him for nothing as part of his infamous 2012 contract controversy. He can expect a fiery welcome. Adelaide will miss midfielder Brad Crouch (hamstring), but on their home patch we are backing the Crows to win, which is paying about $2 with most corporates. We are also backing Eddie Betts to slot the first major ($9 with Sportsbet).
ENHANCED ODDS: Get a boosted $4 for Josh Jenkins to kick 3 or more goals and Adelaide to win the match. See Ladbrokes' Footy Freaks Offer! T&Cs Apply.
Greater Western Sydney Giants v Port Adelaide Power
Both of these teams have a point to prove in Canberra on Sunday. The Power need to show they can beat quality opposition while the Giants need to demonstrate their impressive victory over the Cats in round two was not a shock. GWS will be without defender Aidan Corr (ankle) but we are expecting them to bounce back from their loss in the Sydney derby and account for Port this weekend. Their last performance at Manuka, against Geelong, was ultra-impressive. Back the Giants to win with bet365, which is paying $1.78, and GWS to win the race to six goals at $1.78 with Hills and Centrebet. They reached six snaggers first in rounds one and two.
ENHANCED ODDS: Get a boosted $4 for Stevie Johnson to kick 3 or more goals and GWS to win the match. See Ladbrokes' Footy Freaks Offer! T&Cs Apply.
Collingwood Magpies v Melbourne Demons
Struggling Collingwood desperately need to find something against the Dees, and they will welcome back Steele Sidebottom from suspension for Sunday’s clash at the home of football. However, they will be without defender Marley Williams (ankle). Melbourne’s Bernie Vince accepted a one-game ban for his untidy hit on North’s Jamie Macmillan in round three and is a big loss. However, we are tipping the Dees, who showed plenty in a narrow defeat to the Kangaroos last Sunday, to beat the Pies this weekend. Back Melbourne to win with bet365, paying $2.90, but Magpie Travis Cloke to kick the first goal ($8 with Sportsbet). Melbourne have struggled to match up on tall forwards this year and Cloke is due for a big one.
Things went from bad to worse last Saturday night for the Dockers when they lost the derby and we are expecting them to plumb new depths this week. A month ago it would have been inconceivable to think Fremantle would start the season 0-3. However, with a tough trip to Docklands looming on Sunday against the unbeaten Roos, that lopsided win-loss ledger is going to get worse before it gets better. Losing star ruckman Aaron Sandilands (collapsed lung) is a massive blow for Freo and it does not help that North’s dominant big man, Todd Goldstein, is waiting in Melbourne. Back the Roos in a half-time/full-time double ($1.50 with Sportsbet) and North to score more than 14.5 goals, paying $1.82 with William Hill
ENHANCED ODDS: Get a boosted $3 for Nick Dal Santo to have 26 or more Disposals and North Melbourne to win the match. See Ladbrokes' Footy Freaks Offer! T&Cs Apply.