After starting AFL Round 5 with 3/4 of my AFL tips being winners, it ended up being a rough end to the weekend. Fortunately, however, I still managed to be +0.495 units which made it my fourth profitable round of the year so far. Hopefully it's another profitable week as I offer my 2016 AFL Round 6 betting tips.
North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Western Bulldogs (Friday, April 29 at 7:50pm AEST)
It's been a long time since the spotlight has been on clubs like North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, but there is no doubt this Round 6 Friday night will host the biggest match of the 2016 season so far. It's 1st against 2nd and it's two proud clubs with something to prove.
Early in the week the odds were even, but the Roos have tightened to $1.75 favourites at some Australian betting sites. I think this is much closer to where the odds should be if you consider the Bulldogs are without three of their backline pillars in Bob Murphy, Jason Johannisen and Matt Suckling. The Bulldogs are one of the best defensive units this year, but i'm not sure it can stay that way without these guys in the side. They are also taking on the current best attacking side this week. The Roos have averaged 122 points per game this season and if they continue to put up those kind of numbers they will be hard to beat.
Although they are undefeated and I think they deserve to be favourites here, I'm still not a huge North Melbourne believer. Apart from Adelaide in Round 1, they haven’t really been tested. They were almost beaten by Melbourne and their win against Fremantle has been proven as meaning very little considering how woeful the Dockers are travelling. I do think the Roos will have trouble with the stifling 'keeping's off' style of play that sees the Bulldogs hold onto the ball and have a lot of pressure off the ball - the Dogs are ranked first for disposals with 454.2 per game, compared to the Roos who are ranked 12th with 363.8. Where the Dogs will no doubt have the most trouble is with the Roos tall forward line. I think there was a little bit of value in betting the Roos at an even $2, but I'm not excited about $1.75. What I do think is that both teams will bring their best on a rare Friday night outing and I can't see it being a blowout. North put up big scores, but they also concede relatively high scores. I'm liking the look of either team to keep it within four goals.
Tip: Either Team UNDER 24.5 points - $1.84 at Sportsbet (2 units)
Melbourne Demons vs St Kilda Saints (Saturday, April 30 at 1:45pm AEST)
It's hard to believe Melbourne could be on a three-game winning streak if they take care of St Kilda this Saturday afternoon. They have been the surprise packet of 2016 with big wins against Collingwood and Richmond over the last two weeks. St Kilda, meanwhile, have only managed one victory this season and if we are to believe the bookies it will stay that way this week.
There is no doubt St Kilda have a talented list. They were out of sorts against the Giants last week, but a fortnight ago they were very close to knocking Hawthorn off. The Saints certainly have a better midfield than the Demons, with Jack Steven building towards being one of the top players in the comp and David Armitage a very damaging player. However, Melbourne have Max Gawn in the ruck and that could be the difference here as he should smash Tom Hickey. Throw in the in-form Jack Viney and the Demons should win the battle in the middle of the ground. I'm not sure the Demons should be such heavy favourites in head-to-head betting, but I do think they win this game. They have all the confidence and didn't show enough against the Giants last week to get behind them. It likely won't be a big margin, so i'll be taking Melbourne in a close one.
Adelaide Crows vs Fremantle Dockers (Saturday, April 30 at 1:40pm AEST)
What can I even say about Fremantle after their Round 4 effort? They are looking like every chance to win the wooden spoon the way they are going, which is unbelievable to even say considering we are in a competition that consists of a post drug scandal Bombers. Not only did they lose to Carlton at home last week, they also lost Nat Fyfe for the majority of the season. Ouch. How can they beat Adelaide this weekend? They can't.
The Dockers have a great overall record against the Crows, but have only won six of 20 contests at Adelaide oval. Throw in the fact Fyfe is out and real worries they won't be able to put up any kind of respectable score, I think Adelaide can blow this out. Confidence is at an all-time low after kicking just 9 goals in a loss to the Blues, they have to travel to Adelaide and they are without their best player. This could hurt.
Tip: Adelaide at the line (-50.5) - $1.92 at CrownBet (0.5 units)
GWS Giants vs Hawthorn Hawks (Saturday, April 30 at 4:35pm AEST)
The Hawks have had three wins by three points this season. They simply get the job done. But compared to previous years they are looking beatable. The Giants would like their chances at Spotless Stadium this Saturday afternoon.
GWS got the win on the back of a 7-goal haul from Jeremy Cameron the last time these two teams met. Cameron played his first game of the season last week and managed five goals. He will cause headaches for the Hawks who have been relying on small forwards like Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo to put their scores on the board. That's actually where the Hawks have faltered the most this season. They are averaging 96 points at the moment, compared to 109 last year and 111 in 2014. The one thing the Hawks haven't lost is their pressure. They are the number one tackling side in the comp, whereas the Giants are ranked 18th in this department. That's why I'm not quite as bullish about the Giants chances here as some. Like the Bulldogs v North game, I think this is another one which will likely be a close battle.
Tip: Either Team UNDER 24.5 points - $1.84 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Richmond Tigers vs Port Adelaide Power (Saturday, April 30 at 7:25pm AEST)
Are there bigger disappointments this 2016 AFL season? This is the battle of two teams we thought would make the finals, but almost certainly won't. Both teams are probably excited at the prospect of a possible win, but with Brett Deledio very likely to be back on the field and this game in Melbourne, I think Port Adelaide will be slightly more worried about yet another loss. Thankfully for Port Adelaide, however, Alex Rance is on the sidelines after his cowardly brain fade last week.
Port Adelaide were simply horrible last week. They embarrassed themselves on their home ground. On that form I would bet Richmond here. They weren’t completely dead against Melbourne. But Rance is such an important player, so it's hard to know how such a depthless team will plug that hole. While I lean towards Richmond, I won't be touching this game.
Tip: No Bet.
Note: Not an official play, but with key outs including Robbie Gray, happy to back Richmond here.
Geelong Cats vs Gold Coast Suns (Saturday, April 30 at 7:25pm AEST)
I overrated the Suns against North Melbourne last week, but I don't think they deserve to be 40-point underdogs against the Cats this Saturday night. Am I overrating them again? Considering this game is at Simonds Stadium, maybe I am. That's why I'm going to tread carefully with this game.
It was in the centre clearances that the Suns lost the game against the Cats last week. Which was surprising to me considering how highly I rate the Suns midfield compared to North Melbourne's. I don't, however, give the Suns the edge over the Cats... And how could you with Selwood and Dangerfield out there. This is just another one of those spots where I have to sit out the head-to-head betting, but I don't mind the look of the total points market. Geelong can put up some big scores at Simonds Stadium and I think they will play a relatively free-flowing game against the Suns. These two teams are ranked 1st and 2nd for marks inside 50 and I think all signs point to a high scoring afair. Each of the last four times these teams have met have gone over 180 points and with the weather looking fine, I'm happy to take the overs here.
Tip: Total Game Score OVER 180.5 points - $1.88 at Sportsbet (1.5 units)
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans (Sunday, May 1 at 1:10pm AEST)
Sydney head to Brisbane to take on the Lions this Sunday and they will like their chances of going 4-1 and settling themselves firmly in the top four.
The Swans are simply firing on all cylinders. Lance Franklin is crushing up forward, their midfield is looking like the most dangerous in the league and their backline is getting the job done. The Swans are the top-ranked inside 50 team in the comp, while the Lions are ranked 16th. The Lions won't be able to stop the Swans putting up a big score. Can the Swans win by 7-8 goals plus at the Gabba though? They won by over 70 points in brisbane two years ago and I think they can do it again. The Swans will cause the Lions more headaches than the Bulldogs did last week, so I'm back the Swans to cover.
Tip: Sydney at the line (-39.5) - $1.92 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Carlton vs Essendon (Sunday, May 1 at 3:20pm AEST)
The Blues are coming off a rare win this weekend after getting it done against Fremantle and it's looking like they will make it two in a row this Sunday against the Bombers.
Essendon have won 4 of the last five meetings against the Blues, but never have they played as poorly as they did against Collingwood in last weekend's ANZAC day match. Both teams are poor scorers, both teams struggle with centre clearances and both teams would think they have a chance to win this game. I just think this will come to down to Carlton being just a little more confident and a little more experienced. I don't think there will be another opportunity this year for Carlton to win two games in a row, so they should take it by the throat and win in a relatively competitive game.
Tip: Carlton by 1-39 points (under 39.5) - $2.10 at CrownBet (1 unit)
West Coast Eagles vs Collingwood Magpies (Sunday, May 1 at 2:40pm AEST)
Collingwood fans were very excited on Monday night after they smashed Essendon, but the bubble is going to burst this Sunday when they head to Domain this Sunday to take on the Eagles.
The Eagles struggled in Sydney last week, but they are probably the hardest team to beat at home. While Collingwood's midfield looked dangerous last week as Pendles, Treloar and Sidebottom were all up and about, I think the Eagles are just a little more solid in this department. They also have a far more dangerous forward line that the Magpies will not be able to contain. The problem here is that I'm not confident with the big line. I lean towards Eagles covering, but I’m choosing to sit this one out.
Tip: No Bet
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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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