AFL Round 4: Saturday Afternoon Match Previews & Betting Tips
The Giants look to make a statement against the undefeated Cats, Brisbane aims to defend their unbeaten streak when they meet the Bombers and the Tigers may have their backs against the wall in a clash against the Power.
Geelong v GWS - GMHBA - 1:45pm
A new look Geelong team have taken all before them thus far in season 2019, opening the season with three straight wins to sit on the top of the table. They will look to extend that winning streak to four when they host the GWS Giants on Saturday afternoon at GMHBA Stadium.
The Cats have won all three meetings between the teams at the Cattery and 15 of their 17 matches at their home ground since the beginning of the 2017 season - with both losses coming against the Swans.
The Giants have only beaten the Cats once in their history and are looking to win their first match away from Giants Stadium this season, where they are 11-14 over the last three seasons. Patrick Dangerfield and Tim Kelly have been outstanding to start this season but have also leaned heavily on their four debutantes from the start of the season who continue to shine. A week after Charlie Constable earned the NAB Rising Star nomination, he followed that performance up with 23 disposals and a goal against the Crows while Gryan Myers chipped in three crucial goals. The Cats backline ranked #1 last season for points against and again lead the competition, averaging just 62 points against per game after three matches. They this week face the 3rd highest scoring team in the league who are coming off 19 goals last week against the Tigers with Jeremy Cameron booting seven.
Key Stat: Geelong has a 22-3 W/L record at GMHBA Stadium from 2016 onwards.
Best bet: Geelong -17.5 @ $1.92*
Value bet: Geelong 40+ @ $3.60*
Essendon v Brisbane - MCG - 2:10pm
The traditional 2:10 pm start time at the MCG is back in round 4 as the Bombers host the undefeated Brisbane Lions. It shapes as an interesting clash after Essendon rebounded from their disastrous opening fortnight with a high scoring and entertaining win over the struggling Demons while the Lions again battled back from a last quarter deficit to run all over the Power and continue their unbeaten start to 2019.
It’s the first time since 2010 the Lions have been 3-0, but haven’t tasted victory at the MCG since 2014. The last time they faced Essendon at the venue was a decade ago where the teams played out a draw.
Cale Hooker is set for his first game of the season could be swung forward due to Shaun McKernan’s hamstring injury against Melbourne. Mitch Brown, who was dropped for last week’s match, booted five goals in the VFL and could be in line for a return also.
Brisbane currently has the #1 ranked offence in the game, having scored over 100 points in all three of their matches and will look to expose an Essendon defence ranked #16 and conceding 100 points per game on average. Lachie Neale’s start to the season has been one of the catalysts to Brisbane’s hot start with the former Docker averaging 38 disposals across the opening three weeks, leading the league comfortably. He recorded 15 clearances against the Power last week and has continued to give the dangerous Lions forward line first use, something he and his fellow midfield group will be looking to continue this week against the Bombers.
Key Stat: Essendon has a 1-7 W/L record at the MCG after a win from 2016 onwards.
Best bet: Brisbane 1-39 @ $2.60*
Value bet: Brisbane 40+ @ $7.50*
Port Adelaide v Richmond - Adelaide Oval - 4:35pm
Last week Richmond played without Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance for the first time since 2009. Not since Dustin Martin’s debut the following year have Richmond gone without three of their big four, but on Saturday will be without all four. The fourth star being skipper Trent Cotchin who will miss at least two to three weeks with a hamstring injury, adding to the suspension of Martin and longer term injuries of Riewoldt and Rance. Jayden Short will also be missing for at least two months after dislocating his elbow in what became a very costly loss to the Giants.
Their opponents this week, Port Adelaide suffered their first defeat of the season at hands of Brisbane despite hitting the lead late in the game. Five goals from first-year player Connor Rozee earned him the Rising Star nomination for Round 3 as the Power had further solid contributions from Paddy Ryder and Sam Powell-Pepper. The teams have split their four meetings at the Adelaide Oval, with the home side winning their most recent encounter last season by 14 points. The line would suggest the Power may have it a bit easier this time with four superstars missing for the Tigers and while it’s certainly no laydown misere, the Power should improve their record to 3-1 and set up a very interesting clash against the reigning premiers in Round 5.
Key Stat: Richmond have lost five of their last six interstate matches
Tip: Port Adelaide
Best bet: Port Adelaide -24.5 @ $1.92*
Value bet: Port Adelaide 40+ @ $2.80*