AFL Round 2: Saturday Night Match Previews & Betting Tips
These teams played out two absolute classics in the home and season last year before the Demons exacted revenge in the elimination final.
Geelong v Melbourne - GMHBA Stadium- 7:20 PM
Two teams who are coming off differing results in round 1 meet in a blockbuster on Saturday night at a venue where the Cats needed an after the siren goal to win last season. The teams played out a thriller in round 1 where Max Gawn missed a simple late shot at goal, which would have given the Dees victory.
The two crushing defeats by under a kick surely spurred the Demons on when the teams met in last year’s first elimination final - Melbourne’s first finals victory in over a decade, which looked like it could have spelled the end for Geelong’s dominant era. However, four debutantes in their brilliant win over the Pies last week has a new optimism around Geelong who have beaten the Dees in nine of their last 11 matches.
To break that trend, Melbourne will need to find a way to free up Max Gawn after he was negated by Port Adelaide’s unsociable tactics. Gawn recorded just 21 hit outs during last week’s loss, half the amount he managed against Geelong last September. The ruck battle also proved an important factor during Geelong’s opening-round victory over Collingwood, as Rhys Stanley negated Brodie Grundy’s impact. Even if Gawn is to outplay Stanley, the Cats may yet fancy their chances of winning on Saturday night given they have only lost to the Swans from their last 28 matches at GMHBA Stadium, including two victories over the Demons.
Key Stat: Geelong has won 20 of its last 21 Saturday matches at GMHBA Stadium
Best bet: Melbourne +11.5 @ $1.92*
Value bet: Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.90*
West Coast v Greater Western Sydney - Optus Stadium - 8:10 PM
The reigning premiers meet one of their potential challengers at Optus Stadium when the West Coast Eagles host the GWS Giants. It proved a tough start to the year for the Eagles, as the absences of Josh Kennedy, Willie Rioli, Jamie Cripps, Nic Naitanui and Andrew Gaff appeared to hit home during a 44-point defeat to Brisbane. Of those names, Kennedy and Cripps are the only two in the mix for Saturday, leaving the hosts set for another stern test of their resolve.
The Giants were also missing several stars during Round 1, however, it mattered not as they annihilated the Bombers by 82-points. We know the dominance the Eagles have on their home ground, where they won 11 of their 14 matches last season and beat the Giants in both their meetings last season.
Key Stat: West Coast has covered the line in 20 of their last 25 matches as favourite following a loss
Tip: West Coast
Best bet: West Coast -12.5 @ $1.92*
Value bet: West Coast 40+ @ $4*
Friday Night Preview: Swans v Crows
Thursday Night Previews: Tigers v Magpies