My AFL betting tips were a roller coaster last week. After starting strong, my two highest confidence plays faltered before finishing off with winners to end up in profit for the third time in four weeks. Hopefully I can continue the upward trend with my AFL Round 5 betting tips.
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Hawthorn Hawks vs Adelaide Crows (Friday, April 22 at 7:50pm AEST)
Adelaide have started the 2016 AFL season in redhot form, losing a close one to North Melbourne in Round 1 before winning the next three - including victory against the talented Swans last week. Was that win enough to make us all Crow believers? Or is facing the Hawks in Round 5 the first true test?
The difference with this week compared to last for the Crows is that their victory over the Swans was at Adelaide Oval. This one is at the MCG which is an entirely different beast. The Crows are notoriously strong on the fast-paced Adelaide surface (similar to Etihad where they have a good record). This is going to be a tougher game. Adelaide's form can't be denied, but with this game at the MCG and with their record poor against the Hawks (they haven't won since 2011), I think the Hawks get over the line.
No doubt the Hawks had a tough game against the Saints last week, but they got the job done. It was also a chance for Hodge to have a run and he looked pretty fit and keen to get more game time. I just think the Hawks in Melbourne is too tough an ask for the Crows. The Hawks are the number one tackling side in the competition (81.3 per game) compared to Adelaide who are ranked 11th. I'm expecting the Hawks to bully the Crows and manage another tough victory.
Tip: Hawks by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.25 at Sportsbet (1.5 units)
Sydney Swans vs West Coast Eagles (Saturday, April 23 at 1:45pm AEST)
The Swans come into this daunting clash with the Eagles on the back of their only loss of the season. They will be happy to see this game played at the SCG after not looking quite at ease with Adelaide Oval in Round 4. The Eagles probably won't be too stressed, however, as they come into this game on the back of a confidence building demolishing of Richmond last week. Regardless, this is likely to be the game of the round.
The Eagles actually haven't played the Swans in Sydney since 2010. The last five battles have been at Domain with the Eagles winning only one of five - in round 17 of last season. How the Eagles handle the SCG remains to be seen, but we do know they are one of the most lethal scoring teams in the comp. This is where they will need to excel again this week if they are going to defeat the Swans. The only problem is the Swans also know how to score and Lance Franklin has looked very dangerous this year - which some of the credit has to be attributed to the fact the Swans are the leading inside 50 team in the comp. So will this be a high-scoring shootout? Maybe and If it is, I think you have to give the edge to the Swans at home. The ever-important Matt Priddis is also a game time decision with a groin injury that saw him miss last week. If he's out I'm even more confident the Swans will get the win.
Tip: Sydney by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.30 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Gold Coast Suns vs North Melbourne Kangaroos (Saturday, April 23 at 4:35pm AEST)
If the Hawks v Crows and Swans v Eagles games are the biggest of Round 4, then North Melbourne heading up north to take on the Suns is certainly the most interesting.
The Kangaroos are on top of the ladder and the only undefeated team in the competition at the moment. They have been certainly been solid, but they did look like they had leaks two weeks ago when Melbourne almost beat them and then again last week against Freo. But winning is what matters and the Roos have been getting it done.
The Suns, meanwhile, haven't really been tested this season and looked poor in their loss against the Lions last week. The thing about this game is that the Suns are a 'bogey' team for the Roos. They have won the last three, including two at Metricon. Gary Ablett seems to always rip the Roos apart and there is no reason to think he wont do that again this weekend. While I give the Roos credit, I think travelling up to Queensland this week is going to be tougher than they think. They have also been winning on the back of standout performances from old fellas like Jarrad Waite, Daniel Wells and Brent Harvey. They can't all fire up every week and I think while the hype train is strong we can find some value on the Suns.
Tip: Gold Coast at the line (+14.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (1 unit)
Note: Line has moved to +22.5 in lead up to the game.
Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane Lions (Saturday, April 23 at 7:25pm AEST)
The Lions and Bulldogs met twice in 2015 and managed one victory each at their respective home stadiums. This one is at Etihad and that might be the difference here as the young and inconsistent Lions seem to struggle outside of the Gabba.
Much of the talk around this game has been regarding the Bulldogs' injury woes after they lost important playmakers Jason Johannisen and Bob Murphy. Luckily for the Dogs they only have to meet the Lions this week where Shane Biggs and former Lion Jed Adcock should be able to fill the void. Ultimately, however, these massive outs will mean they struggle against better sides. I do think the Dogs win this game, but the 40-point line looks fishy. I could see the Dogs blowing it out if it got that point, but with the Lions bolstered by confidence following their victory last week, I'm not ready to pull the trigger on this one.
Tip: No Bet
Port Adelaide Power vs Geelong Cats (Saturday, April 23 at 7:15pm AEST)
I find it staggering the Power are only paying $2.35 to win this game. Yes, they are a proud club, yes this game is at Adelaide Oval. But they were abysmal last week and I think it's clear they have some real problems. Despite being at their home ground, Geelong are not going to be an easy team to beat.
The Power never looked a chance against GWS last week. They conceded 151 points and only put up 65. I think scoring is a significant problem at the moment. Charlie Dixon hasn't been getting the delivery he needs down forward, while Chad Wingard needs to regain his form of the last few years. No doubt the Power will do their best to not embarrass themselves at home, but I think all signs point to a Geelong win. They have won 11 of the last 12 against the Power and should make it 12 of 13.
Tip: Geelong at the line (-8.5) - $1.91 at Ladbrokes (2 units)
St Kilda Saints vs GWS Giants (Sunday, April 24 at 1:10pm AEST)
Another very interesting match this weekend sees the Giants head to Etihad to take on the Saints. The Giants are coming off a huge victory against Port Adelaide in Round 4, while the Saints were brave in their 3-point defeat at the hands of the Hawks.
Unfortunately for the Saints, Jeremey Cameron is back from suspension for the first time this year and there is no doubt the Giants are a better team with the big fella down forward. The scary thing is that the Giants managed to put up 151 points last week without Cameron and I'm not sure how the Saints contain him. Throw in a fast running defence and one of the most talented midfields in the comp and I think the Giants should be heavier favourites than they are. The Saints clearly gave everything against the Hawks last week and will need a similar effort if they are any chance here. Etihad shouldn't bother the Giants as they won here against the Saints last year. Jumping on the Giants to win in a relatively close game.
Tip: GWS Giants by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.30 at Sportsbet (2 units)
Fremantle Dockers vs Carlton Blues (Sunday, April 24 at 2:15pm AEST)
The Dockers must be relieved to finally play a game that looks like an almost certain victory. It's at home, it's against Carlton and it should be Fremantle's first win of the 2016 AFL season. Which means Carlton will go 0-5 and remain winless for the foreseeable future.
There really isn't too much to say about this game. Fremantle have been terrible this year, but they are good enough to win this game at home. I actually do think Freo's odds are a little short, considering their form and the line a little too big. Aaron Sandilands is still out, along with David Mundy which will be helpful to Carlton's cause. There are cases to be made for the Blues to cover the big line, but I won't be touching this game. The Dockers showed improvement against the Roos last week, but who knows what kind of performance they will be giving each week. Fade.
Tip: No bet
Melbourne Demons vs Richmond Tigers (Sunday, April 24 at 7:10pm AEST)
Not many punters would have predicted that this game between the Demons and Tigers on Sunday night would be an even matchup in terms of odds. Is this game really a coinflip?
I tend to think there is value on the Tigers. They were horrible against West Coast last week, but this is Melbourne we are talking about. They have put up some good performances this season, including last week's win against the Pies, but they also lost to Essendon. I'm not saying I think the Tigers are a sure thing, but they are a proud club who must stand up at some point. They get Ivan Maric back in the side, have to extra day's break leading into this game compared to Melbourne and I simply think they are value at these odds. Only a small play and I wouldn't be surprised if Richmond make sure I have egg on my face, but that's the way I'm going. It's a must win for Richmond and that has to mean something.
Tip: Richmond to win Hd-Hd - $1.92 at CrownBet (0.5 units)
Collingwood Magpies vs Essendon Bombers (Monday, April 25 at 3:20pm AEST)
Before the season began, the proud history of the ANZAC Day clash was looking like it was going to be disrespected with a boring blowout victory for the Pies. But the tables have turned as the Bombers have arguably shown better form than a struggling Magpies outfit.
Collingwood are the favourites - and they should be - but I'm not sure they deserve to be three-goal favourites. I might be comfortable in taking the value betting Essendon, but I think their scoring ability is a real worry. They average under 10 goals per game and that just won't be enough to win many games. I also have some concerns about the inexperienced Essendon list being able to stand up on the big stage. Collingwood, meanwhile, have a bit more experience on the field in games like this and I think they will stand up and snatch a close victory.
Tip: Collingwood by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.15 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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