A massive game to start the round on Friday night with two premiership contenders doing battle in a game where the winner will be a dramatic flag firmer.
This is a monster game for both sides. Port Adelaide was very active and aggressive in the off-season in a bid to strengthen their squad in the hope of delivering the club’s second premiership. Port is only inside the top eight via percentage has a tough few weeks coming up.
Richmond has looked bomb proof this season, they are sitting second on the ladder with a record of 9-2 with the one negative for the Tigers being their two losses have both been interstate against other genuine flag fancies.
In Round 2 they were beaten by 36 against the Crows in Adelaide and a fortnight ago they were dismantled by 47 points against West Coast in a game where scores were level at half time.
Richmond should have enough firepower to get the four points and put Port Adelaide under some pressure this season. If you are chasing a bet at longer odds take either team winning by under 15.5 points which also gives you the insurance of the draw.
Best Bet: Richmond (Win) @ $1.70
Value Bet: Either Team By Under 15.5 Points
Heading into the round both the Cats and North Melbourne have a record of 7-4 for the season.
Most experts anticipated that the Cats would go deep in 2018, adding superstar Gary Ablett to a side that made a Preliminary Final last season.
Few footy fans though expected North Melbourne to be in the hunt to play the finals and they have certainly been the surprise packet of the season so far. If they could cause an upset and beat Geelong at the Cattery this weekend, they will push their claims further to not only play finals but to be discussed in the premiership picture.
As impressive as the Kangaroos have been so far in 2018, it is hard to see them betting the Cats at home.
Geelong has dominated North Melbourne for the best part of a decade at Kardinia Park having beaten the Kangaroos in 16 of their past 17 games at the ground.
Little superstar Gary Ablett showed he is returning to his brilliant best last week with three goals and 37 disposals and look for him to again be the difference.
North have covered the line in four of their last 5 games against Geelong and if you again anticipate they can be competitive, you can help yourself to a 16.5-point start
Best Bet: Geelong (Win) @ $1.42
Value Bet: Gary Ablett 3+ goals
The battle of the expansion teams who come into this game with vastly different form lines.
GWS kept their finals hopes alive with a stunning win over the Adelaide Crows in Adelaide while the Gold Coast slumped to an 85-point loss to Geelong in a game where they managed to kick just four goals for the game.
Despite the win last week, the Giants are still stuck in 11th spot and will be keen to get the win and a much-needed percentage boost.
After a bright start to the season the Suns are looking like a disinterested and deflated side that will struggle to win many more games this season.
It was hoped that they would spike in form in the second half of the season once they had more access to their home ground of Metricon Stadium, but they are already playing like a side with little to aspire for and as a result expect to see the Giants midfielders run riot.
Don’t rule out the Giants winning by 100 points or more which might be worth a small bet at big odds.
Back the Greater Western Sydney Giants over 39.5 points and looking longer term they are still $26 to win the flag with TAB and Crownbet.
Best Bet: Greater Western Sydney Giants 40+ (Margin) @ $1.65
Value Bet: GWS by 100 points or more
The Sydney Swans are building momentum that will see them finish top four and possibly top two and give them another tilt at the premiership.
Sydney have won their last eight games against the Saints with six of those victories by 40 points or more and again it looks most likely the Swans will win by a big margin.
Lance Franklin has really dominated the Saints in recent times, kicking 17 goals the past three times the teams have met and again and looks a good bet to kick four goals or more or to be the top goal scorer.
Looking longer term the Swans are $7.50 to win the premiership with Sportsbet and TAB - they should beat the Saints this week before two massive games.
In their next two games the Swans play the top two sides on the table, hosting West Coast before tackling Richmond at Etihad Stadium.
If you anticipate the Swans will win at least one of those fixtures they look an excellent price for the flag.
The Saints were terrific in the last quarter against the Eagles last week but we need to see them do it again before we can trust them and back them to win just their second game for the season.
Best Bet: Sydney 40+ (Margin) @ $2.70
Value Bet: Lance Franklin to kick 4 or more goals
Essendon has been an enigma so far this season.
After impressive wins over Geelong and Greater Western Sydney many footy pundits were declaring that they are back in town and finals talk was again back on the table.
The Bombers though suffered a big setback last week when dismantled by 71 points against the reigning premiers Richmond at the MCG.
Brisbane has been much better than their one-win record suggests and goes into this game a big chance to cause an upset.
Dayne Beams was back to his brilliant best last week against North Melbourne kicking five goals and racking up 32 disposals.
This should be a high scoring game. Last week the Lions played in a gam where 228 points were scored and expect to see the Lions again throw caution to the wind. The total is 180.5 points, so we can confidently have something on the overs.
We simply cannot trust the Bombers. When they have won they have looked like stars, but they are riddled with inconsistency and in what should be a close game we have a slight leaning towards the Brisbane Lions at the plus.
Best Bet: Brisbane +6.5 (Line) @ $2
Value Bet: Brisbane +7.5 into over 180.5 match points
Adelaide simply must bounce back and get the win to atone for a disappointing performance last Sunday when losing to the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
After making the Grand Final last season the Crows sit just outside the top eight and they have a very tough couple of games coming up with Hawthorn away, top of the table West Coast and the reigning premiers Richmond at the MCG before they host flag fancies Geelong.
With such a tough month ahead this game is vital for the Crows and they will be buoyed by the fact Brownlow Medal favourite Nat Fyfe is suspended for one game.
Adelaide should control the midfield and expect both Matt Crouch and Rory Laird to get plenty of footy. Backing them both to cover their disposal over/under looks a good play as does backing them both to get 30 disposals or more.
Looking longer term the Crows have drifted in premiership betting and are now $21 to win the flag at TAB. If you anticipate they will have a big month then that is an attractive quote.
Adelaide should win this game comfortably so take them in Head-to-Head betting for your multis and we also think they will cover the 20.5 start too.
Best Bet: Adelaide (Win) @ $1.33
Value Bet: Matt Crouch Most Disposals.
The match of the round comes up on Monday with traditional rivals Melbourne taking on Collingwood.
The Demons have a good recent record in this clash having won four of their last five matches against the Pies.
Collingwood has come roaring back into contention this season and after losing their first two games of the campaign, have moved the ball around handsomely to gain the respect of many in the footy world. They come into this match at 7-4.
The most intriguing battle will be between the two ruckmen who are clearly the two best in their positions in 2018.
Max Gawn is now second favourite for the Brownlow, he was as much as $201 when markets opened, while Brodie Grundy has taken his game to a new level this season and his form has been the catalyst behind the Pies revival.
After getting out to $34 for the premiership when losing to Richmond, Melbourne has won six straight games and are now on the third line of betting.
If they win this game expect to see punters continue to warm to the Demons so the $7 for them to win the flag with Sportsbet does look enticing.
Best Bet: Melbourne (Win) @ $1.60
Value Bet: Jesse Hogan Most Goals.