AFL Round 5: Easter Saturday Previews & Betting Tips
The Giants will look to stamp themselves as serious premiership contenders when they face the Dockers; Melbourne will be looking to continue their momentum against the Saints; and Richmond is looking to back up one of their most famous wins, while the Swans are just desperate to turn their form around.
GWS v Fremantle - Manuka Oval - 1:45 PM
The Giants can move to top spot on the ladder if they can beat Fremantle at Manuka Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Coming off a thrilling and one of the best wins in the club’s history last week in Geelong, the Giants are playing like a team full of confidence and look every bit of a premiership contender. However, they will be without co-captain and one of their favourite sons Callan Ward for the remainder of the season after he injured his ACL in the first quarter - making their last week win even more impressive.
The Dockers will regain their captain Nat Fyfe for the clash after his missed last week’s Western Derby in which Fremantle were highly competitive and could have almost pinched the win but instead fell by 13-points, dropping them back to 2-2. Joel Hamling was the latest Docker to suffer a concussion and is unlikely to play this week, a huge blow for the visitors as he would have been expected to lineup on Coleman Medal leader Jeremy Cameron. The Giants have won four straight against the Dockers and are 9-0 at their home away from home, Manuka Oval over the past three seasons.
Key Stat: The Giants are undefeated at UNSW Canberra Oval in their last nine matches
Best bet: GWS 40+ @ $2.10*
Value bet: GWS -34.5/Over 160.5 @ $3.50*
Melbourne v St Kilda - MCG - 4:35 PM
After finally claiming their first four points of the season, Melbourne will be keen to make it back-to-back wins as they look to get their season back on track when they face St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. Both teams have had surprising starts to the season for differing reasons.
Many thought the win/loss records would be the opposite, but it’s the Saints who enter the game at 3-1 and will believe they can exit the Easter weekend with a 4th win of the season, the same tally as the entirety of 2018.
Melbourne have now kicked 100+ in consecutive weeks after struggling to score in the opening two weeks of the season, but the concern is their defence is allowing the most points against in the league (105.3). All four of St Kilda’s game have fallen under the total match points line and rank 5th for defence, allowing just 72.3 points against, five goals less than their opponents. The last meeting between the teams was an absolute thriller at the MCG with the Saints prevailing 119-117 and improving their record over the Demons to 11-3 since 2010.
Key Stat: St Kilda has a 5-1 (83.3%) W/L record against Melbourne at the MCG from 2011 onwards
Tip: St Kilda
Best bet: St Kilda +16.5 @ $1.91*
Value bet: St Kilda 1-39 @ $3.40*
Richmond v Sydney - Marvel Stadium - 7:25 PM
Travelling interstate without their four best players, Richmond pulled off a win for the ages against the Power last week and will be on high on confidence that they can keep their season well and truly alive despite their depleted list.
Next up is the Swans who have started the season poorly and another slip up for John Longmire’s men means they will be staring down the barrel of a 1-4 start with a local derby to come against the Giants in Round 6. Richmond will regain at least one of their ‘big four’ with Dustin Martin a certain starter after his suspension, Jack Riewoldt will be forced to wait another week, while Bachar Houli could be set to return from his hamstring injury.
This will be Sydney’s third trip to Marvel Stadium already this season with a return of a win and a loss but the big concern for the Swans is their inability to score, ranking 14th in points for through the first four weeks and despite the fact Alex Rance is missing, the Tigers still boast a formidable defence that is hard to score against and comfortably took care of the Swans at the corresponding fixture last season.
Key Stat: Richmond has a 26-8 W/L record playing within its home state after a win from 2016 onwards.
Best bet: Richmond -15.5 @ $1.91*
Value bet: Richmond 40+ @ $3.60*