The opening round of the 2016 AFL season was even more entertaining than expected as teams like the Demons and the Blues improved immensely compared to last year, while the Dogs were electric and the Cats vs Hawks game didn't disappoint. Hopefully this week is just as riveting as I offer my AFL Round 2 betting tips! My Round 1 betting results saw me post 4 wins for +2.78 units at a 23.17% return on investment, so hopefully can see similar or better results this week. You can also head to my 2016 Brownlow Medal rolling leaderboard page as I am once again giving my vote predictions every week of the season!
Collingwood Magpies vs Richmond Tigers (Friday, April 1 at 7:50pm AEDT)
The MCG will play host to a packed crowd this Friday night as the Magpies take on the Tigers. Collingwood will be looking to bounce back after being humiliated by the Swans in Round 1 - probably their worst team performances of the last few years. The Tigers, meanwhile, managed a gritty win against the Blues after losing a big chunk of their list. It wasn't the best performance, however, so they will need to show more this week if they are going to go 2-0.
The Tigers have won the last two games against the Magpies, including a big 91-point victory in Round 21 of last year. But they haven't had to face the Pies with such a depleted list. It's looking like Brett Deledio will once again bet out, while Shane Edwards is now also in doubt after breaking his hand earlier this week. Reece Conca is out long term, along with Chris Yarren. Shaun Grigg and Shane Edwards will hopefully take the field, while Ivan Maric looks like he could be back after pulling out late last week.
The injuries might be the biggest worries for the Tigers, but even the players they had on the field like Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin and Brandon Ellis were beaten by the Blues. They will be desperate to bounce back this week and happy to take on the Pies without Dane Swan, Steele Sidebottom and Travis Varcoe. On the back of the Pies performance last week, and with those major outs, I think there is value on Richmond head-to-head here. I don't think the Pies will play as poorly as they did against the Swans, but that game certainly would have hurt their confidence.
Tip: Richmond Tigers Head-to-Head - $1.65 at Ladbrokes (1.5 units)
Adelaide Crows vs Port Adelaide Power (Saturday, April 2 at 1:15pm AEDT)
Another big South Australian showdown this Saturday afternoon at Adelaide Oval. The Crows come into this game after a tough loss to the Roos, while the Power come in after getting a win last week, albeit also in a tough game against the Saints.
Port Adelaide conceded 100 points in their victory against the Saints last week. They got the win, which is the important thing, but that's a huge score to concede and a better team than the Saints will punish that. The Crows are better than the Saints and have a fairly damaging forward line, so Port will no doubt be trying to plug this hole during the week.
There is no doubt this is one of the toughesr games of the week, but I just think the Power's pace through the likes of Robbie Gray (who fired up in Round 1) will be too tough to contend with. The Crows matchup against the Roos better than they do the Power and while anything can happen in a showdown, I will be taking the Power in a competitive game.
Tip: Port Adelaide by 1-39 points - $2.35 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Essendon vs Melbourne (Saturday, April 2 at 2:10pm AESD)
Essendon struggled just as much as expected last week, losing to the Gold Coast Suns by 61 points. The silver lining following their Round 1 game was that we got a good look at some young players with strong potential, including Darcy Parish who impressed with 25 touches. The scariest part of Essendon's year is that a game against Melbourne should be the least threatening. But after Melbourne's massive performance against GWS last week, this looms as another beating for Essendon.
There isn't too much to say about this game. Essendon's list is just not going to be good enough this year to compete with almost any club. Melbourne, meanwhile, looked very strong last week and will take a huge amount of confidence into this game. Jesse Hogan impressed late in last week's game and could really cause some headaches for Essendon. The 40-point line is relatively small considering the state of the Bombers. I think we have to take lines this small until they prove otherwise.
Tip: Melbourne at the line (-39.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Brisbane Lions vs North Melbourne Kangaroos (Saturday, April 2 at 3:35pm AEDT)
The Kangaroos head to Brisbane this Saturday on the back of a solid victory against the Crows, while the home team struggled in their 10-goal defeat from the Eagles. One silver lining from Brisbane's 1st round effort is that they managed to score 102 points. Although that might just be a sign of how West Coast play, terrible teams don't generally kick big scores like that. The Lions, did however, let Josh Kennedy kick 8 goals (and assist with a handful more) which will need to be addressed. Luckily for them the Kangaroos are a weaker team than West Coast in the forward half of the ground.
I certainly think the Roos will win this game, but Brisbane have some potential to keep this closer than expected. Rockliff and Hanley had fairly quiet games last week and Zorko comes back into the side, so if they can improve on their home turf I think taking North in a close one is the move here.
Tip: North Melbourne by 1-39 points - $2.25 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
St Kilda Saints vs Western Bulldogs (Saturday, April 2 at 7:25pm AEDT)
The Western Bulldogs were the talk of the town after their Round 1 performance against the Fremantle Dockers. They won by 65 points and made last year's minor premiers look like the Bombers. They dominated every aspect of that game and will be very hard to beat if they put up that performance every week. No doubt the Saints will be going through the game tape extensively this week and hoping to try and get their first win of the year after losing to Port Adelaide.
The Saints were actually very good for 3 quarters of their game last week. They were firing on all cylinders with Montagna, Armitage and Steven putting on cracking performances. Where the Saints ended up struggling was when the Power got the ball moving quick and into the hands of guys like Robbie Gray who kicked 4 goals. The Bulldogs have their own version of Gray in Jake Stringer and the move ball in a similar fashion to the Power. They will also likely have Tory Dickson back in the side who is also very damaging in front of the goals. I don't want to be too reactive after what might have been a one-off performance from the Dogs, but I think the line looks coverable. Nick Riewoldt is playing his 300th game, so maybe stay away from my tip if you think these sorts of things play a role in performance, as no doubt he is a club legend.
Tip: Western Bulldogs at the line (-26.5) - $1.92 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Fremantle Dockers vs Gold Coast Suns (Saturday, April 2 at 4:40pm AWST)
The Gold Coast Suns head to Western Australia this Saturday as the Dockers look to regain some confidence after being humiliated by the Western Bulldogs in Round 1. All the signs point to the Dockers being able to get a much-needed confidence boost, despite the Suns looking solid against the Bombers last week.
The Dockers will have Sandilands back in the ruck this week after being sorely missed against the Bulldogs. Last week also saw a rare poor performance from Nat Fyfe and he will no doubt be looking to bounce back in front of a home ground and against the only player in the league better than him in Gary Ablett. The Suns will need everything to go right to win this game. I think last week was a blip on Fremantle's radar and have faith Ross Lyon will know how to ensure it doesn't happen again. With the line at 34 points, however, I will be staying away from an official play. For those interested, I do lean towards the Dockers to cover, but I think the smart move is to wait and see how the Dockers bounce back before betting on their games.
Tip: No Bet
GWS Giants vs Geelong Cats (Sunday, April 3 at 1:10pm AEST)
Geelong may have proven me wrong with their performance against the Hawks last week. They looked elite and at times looked unstoppable. Patrick Dangerfield couldn't have started the season stronger and they will have a huge amount of confidence going into this Sunday's game against the Giants.
All signs point to a Geelong victory here after Round 1, but I don't think we should write the Giants off at their home stadium. They played some really good football against the Demons at times and still have some elite players who will cause some dramas for the Cats. The Giants also effectively have two extra days’ break going into this game. If they can improve their accuracy (they kicked 10.18 in Round 1), I really think they are a chance to win this game, or at least keep it close. Dangerfield is a freak, but last week had to be a freak performance. The Giants will look to stifle his influence and if they do that, see how it affects the scoreline. If the Cats trounce the Giants by 3-4 goals plus here, I will be a believer, but until then I think there is value with the home team.
Tip: GWS Giants at the line (+16.5) - $1.91 at Ladbrokes (0.5 units)
Hawthorn Hawks vs West Coast Eagles (Sunday, April 3 at 3:20pm AEST)
The game of the week is no doubt when the Hawks take on the Eagles this Sunday at the MCG. The Hawks are coming off a rare loss against a fired up Cats, while the Eagles impressed with a 10-goal win over the Lions.
The Eagles did let the Lions score too much last week, but as long as the Eagles kick 26 goals, that won't necessarily be a worry. I'm honestly surprised the Eagles are only slight favourites in this game after the Hawks added Luke Hodge to their injury list which includes Roughead, Shiels and Bradley Hill. The Eagles do have a bad record at the MCG, but now is the time to turn that around and show they are a premiership contender. Xavier Ellis is a big out for the Eagles, but if McGovern stays on the park, I think this is where most the value is found this week.
Tip: West Coast Head-to-Head - $1.85 at Sportsbet (2 units)
Carlton Blues vs Sydney Swans (Sunday, April 3 at 4:40pm AEST)
Despite their loss last week, the Blues were one of the surprises of Round 1. They showed huge improvement on last year and will take confidence from their 9-point loss to the Tigers. However, they have a daunting task as they take on the Swans following their demolishing of the Magpies.
If the Blues once again get big performances out of Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson, Patrick Cripps and Marc Murphy, then they could be competitive here. They are also coming off the back of an extra long break with their game being played on Thursday during Round 1. You couldn't say they can win this game, but I put the Swans huge win down to a really poor performance from the Pies last week, so I think there is value in the Swans winning this in a tighter game than the line would suggest.
Tip: Swans by 1-39 points - $2.35 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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