AFL Round 4: Saturday Night Match Previews & Betting Tips
North Melbourne get a chance to break their season duck when they host the Crows and the first Western Derby of the season sees the Eagles go in as dominant favourites despite both teams entering with a 2-1 record
North Melbourne v Adelaide - Marvel Stadium - 7:25pm
Both teams missed out on finals last season with 12 wins and were expected to climb in 2019, especially the Crows. Instead, North Melbourne and Adelaide have just one win between them to start the season with a defining match on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium.
The Crows can square the ledger at 2-2 with a win after losing both their home games to start the season, while North Melbourne squandered a golden chance to earn four points against the Hawks last week and are now staring down the barrel of an 0-4 start to 2019. Adelaide is a shadow of their former selves offensively and ranks a lowly 15th in points scored this season, a far cry from their number one ranking from their minor premiership season in 2017. Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Eddie Betts have kicked just eight goals between them over the first three weeks in what must be a real concern for Don Pyke. They may find the task slightly easier against North Melbourne who is allowing the second most points against per game so far this season (111.7).
The Kangaroos must try and sustain their good starts and play better for longer. Getting the jump against the Crows will be crucial, while the Crows will be looking to quell the influence of Ben Brown who seems like North Melbourne’s only real avenue to goal. He’s been targeted inside 50 more than any footballer over the first three weeks, but only has six goals to his name.
Key Stat: Adelaide has an 18-8 W/L record playing interstate after a loss from 2012 onwards.
Best bet: Adelaide 1-39 @ $2.30*
Value bet: Eddie Betts First Goalscorer @ $10*
West Coast v Fremantle - Optus Stadium - 8:10pm
West Coast enters Saturday night below Fremantle on the ladder but as dominant favourites as they aim to notch their 8th straight Western Derby win. The current streak is the longest by either team since West Coast won the opening nine encounters and lead the overall head-to-head 28-20. They will be confident of extending that streak after two really solid wins against the Giants and Magpies after slipping up in round 1.
The match will see Andrew Gaff play just his second match since last year’s Derby when the star Eagle was suspended for eight weeks for his king hit on Andrew Brayshaw. He showed no signs of rust last week, racking up a game-high 35 disposals and a likely three Brownlow votes. It will be interesting to see the reception he receives, but with West Coast being the home team, it may be subdued. The Dockers got back on the winners' list last week against the Saints but lost star Nat Fyfe to a sickening head knock, which is likely to keep the Brownlow Medalist from lining up in this one. Jesse Hogan has now played two games in purple and is yet to hit the scoreboard. For Fremantle to have any chance of toppling the reigning premiers they will need a bag of goals from their new recruit.
Key Stat: The Eagles are unbeaten in 15 straight games with Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling in the line-up, stretching back to the 2017 semi-final loss to the Giants.
Tip: West Coast
Best bet: West Coast -35.5 @ $1.92*
Value bet: West Coast by 60+ @ $4*