A look at the ladder says that there is only one victory between these two sides but in reality there is a gulf.
The Dogs are coming off three consecutive victories but they have fallen in against the bottom placed Carlton, just got over the top of Gold Coast and almost lost to the wooden spoon favourite Brisbane last weekend. That being said, the Dogs are the youngest side in the competition at the moment so are doing well to notch up the wins.
This Friday night though the Crows will come out breathing fire after losing to their crosstown rivals Port Adelaide in the match of the season last weekend.
Adelaide only has themselves to blame at the moment. If it isn’t last quarter fadeouts against Essendon and the Power costing them victories, its their strength and conditioning department cooking them off the track and causing nine players to go down with hamstring injuries.
Adelaide should still have too much depth for the Dogs, who are relying too much on dynamic trio of Toby McLean, Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli.
Take the line for the Crows in a multi and start your weekend of punting on the right foot.
Best Bet: Adelaide -34.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Adelaide to win by 40-59 points at @ $4.20
We’re going to make this as simple as we can. North Melbourne has never lost when they are favourite at Blundstone Arena and they aren’t going to start now.
Most bookies had the Roos at $2.50+ for this match last week but a strong showing against the reigning premiers and an inept performance from the Giants at home to West Coast has swung the betting.
The Giants did win the corresponding fixture at Bellrevie last year but from that team that won by 42 points, they are missing Josh Kelly, Tom Scully and Zach Williams, amongst a few others who have left the club.
North are a very good side down in the Apple Isle and can get hold of teams - remember last year when they led the unbeaten Crows by 10 goals at quarter time? Have something on the Roos at a big margin and cross your fingers they kick with the wind early.
Best Bet: North Melbourne to win @ $1.85*
Value Bet: North to lead by 37+ at half time @ $14
This is the second match that the AFL has played in China after these two teams played a forgettable clash last year.
Port Adelaide should be winning this match and winning it very well.
This Gold Coast team has clocked up more kilometres than an old FJ Holden so far this season due to their home ground being used for the Commonwealth Games, with trips to Cairns, Perth twice, Melbourne, Adelaide and Ballarat, and there were signs last week that it might be catching up to them as the Demons piled on 13 goals in the last half.
There is a danger that the Power may have a lapse early after the huge build up and celebration from their heartstopping victory against the Crows so don’t be surprised to see the Suns in it for the first quarter before Ken Hinkley delivers the Port Adelaide team a rocket at quarter time to fire them up.
Look for the Suns boys to be playing for the bye and a well earned break in Guangzhou in the last quarter.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide 40+ @ $1.85*
Value Bet: Port Adelaide to win the last quarter by 33+ @ $10*
This has the feel of a game that Geelong loses and Essendon wins.
Geelong in the past few seasons have let some easy games slip in the middle of the year like against the Bombers last season and against the Suns the following week who were $3.65 while Carlton in 2016 was the Blues’ biggest upset in their history.
The Bombers on the other hand, have won matches that they expected to lose and certainly lost the ones they were expected to win.
Lets be frank, Essendon are in a tight race with St Kilda for the biggest disappointment of the season but we think they might respond in this match. To do so though, they need to bring in young inside midfielders Matt Guelfi and Dylan Clarke, who have been dominating the VFL, to try and combat the Geelong midfield of Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood, Tim Kelly and Mitch Duncan.
If the Bombers get mauled in this one the blowtorch will be applied to John Worsfold and the leadership team at Windy Hill who extended his contract earlier this season. His team needs to show something.
Best Bet: Essendon +28.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Essendon to win @ $4.65*
Sydney has been probably the hardest team for punters to get a read on this season with five of their eight matches being won by the underdog.
They have been dreadful at home with one win from four matches, but on the road have beaten West Coast, Geelong at their fortress as well as the Bulldogs and Hawthorn.
So we can’t say with a lot of conviction what is going to happen on Saturday. One thing we can safely assume is the overnight superstar Ben Ronke won’t be kicking seven goals straight in this match.
Expect Bailey Banfield to run with Josh Kennedy so avoid him in most disposals markets while Nat Fyfe could run amok again with lots of stoppages at the small SCG meaning plenty of chances for Aaron Sandilands to palm it down the Brownlow Medal favourite’s throat.
It could be a similar story to Fremantle’s match against Richmond a fortnight ago when they had the best three players on the ground (in some pundits eyes) but still lost by 13 goals.
Still no Buddy for the Swans but there shouldn’t be any worries in this match.
Best Bet: Sydney -27.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Sydney to win by 30-39 @ $6.50*
The way St Kilda are playing at the moment, and more specifically, how they are kicking at goal, means there isn’t a side in the competition that they would beat.
How Tim Membrey has turned from the best set shot in the competition in 2016 and 2017 to one of the worst this year is an indictment on St Kilda’s new goalkicking coach Ben Dixon who continues to escape criticism.
After seeing the success of debutant Ed Phillips last week, who notched 24 disposals, don’t be surprised to see Ben Paton or maybe even Nathan Freeman debut this week for the Saints.
Collingwood have troubles of their own with getting their best team on the park as Jamie Elliot, Darcy Moore, Tom Phillips and Jeremy Howe all suffered injuries on the weekend. Lucky for them their reserves are flying at the moment and the depth in their squad is strong.
The Magpies have lost their last two against the Saints and the home side will be in this match for the first half at least, it is just a matter of whether they can kick straight, something they have only done in Round One, or not.
Best Bet: Collingwood to win by 1-39 points @ $2.10*
Value Bet: St Kilda to be leading by 1-12 points @ $5*
Carlton will have some confidence after notching their first victory last week against Essendon but a lot this week will depend on the looming suspensions for Ed and Charlie Curnow for umpire contact.
If those two miss, which looks likely, that will be four of the Blues top six players out and with Melbourne starting to find some form that will be too much.
The clash between Max Gawn and Matthew Kreuzer will be a fascinating one with last year’s best ruckman going up against this year’s. No one has been able to get close to stopping Gawn in the past month so Kruezer will have a big day at the office.
The most goals market looms as an interesting one with Tom McDonald playing the deep forward role recently for the Demons and Jesse Hogan moving further up the ground. If you can get Hogan in a most disposals market at value, have something on as the big man is averaging 21 touches this year and ran over 16 kilometres in their victory over Brisbane.
Best Bet: Melbourne -32.5 @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Melbourne to win by 50 to 59 points @ $8.50*
There are a few Hawthorn supporters that are nervous about this game.
Brisbane has showed some positive signs in the past two weeks against Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs and will be desperate to get their first win after Carlton notched theirs last week.
Their good performances have been on the back off Dayne Zorko reproducing the form that made him one of the most damaging midfielders last season. The Hawks don’t traditionally play a hard tag but expect James Cousins to get the job on keeping Zorko quiet this Sunday.
It has been nine long years since the Lions have beaten Hawthorn, though in that time they have only played once at the Gabba – in 2016 when the Hawks won by eight goals.
We reckon this one could go right down to the wire before Hawthorn’s experience comes to the fore and gets the team home for a crucial victory to set up their finals chances.
Best Bet: Brisbane +15.5 points @ $1.91*
Value Bet: Hawthorn to win by 1 to 9 points @ $8.*
All eyes will be on this one for what is the match of the season so far between the top two teams in the competition.
The Eagles will welcome back their most important player, Nic Naitanui, after his suspension and they will need him at his best against the reigning premiers.
One player that could be good value in most disposals markets is Jack Redden, who averaged just 16 disposals in the first five matches, but has been played as an inside midfielder the past three weeks and has notched tallies of 34, 32 and 29 possessions. The former Lion also had 13 clearances last week.
Dustin Martin became another victim of Ben Jacobs last weekend when he claimed only three contested possessions for the match – the equal lowest of his career. The good news for the Tiger Army is West Coast is one of Dusty’s favourite teams to play against with the midfielder polling 12 Brownlow Medal votes in his eight games against them.
West Coast are running hot with eight consecutive victories and with a refreshed Naitanui in the ruck, with think the Eagles will run away with the four points in this one.
Best Bet: West Coast to win @ $2.02*
Value Bet: West Coast to win by 20-39 points @ $5.75*