The red hot Demons are 4-0 for the first time since 1994 and they’ve got a golden opportunity to move to 5-0 when they take on the Hawks on Sunday afternoon at the MCG. We’ll be bringing you a dedicated preview and betting tips for EVERY game in the 2021 season so be sure to check our AFL Betting Tips page regularly for updates.
AFL Hawthorn vs Melbourne Betting Tips
MCG, Sunday 18th March, 3:20pm AEST
After an impressive win in round one, Hawthorn have dropped three matches in a row after being outclassed by Freo last week in a game where the fifteen point margin flattered the Hawks. The Hawks sit seventeenth and life doesn’t get any easier for them, taking on the undefeated Melbourne, who are riding a wave of momentum on the back of a twenty five point win over Geelong.
Both teams will be forced into changes at the selection table. Mitch Lewis’ suspension means Jacob Koschitzke will likely return. Whilst injuries to Steven May and Bailey Fritsch’s injuries will likely see Harrison Petty and Mitch Brown come into the side.
The Dees have built their success on the back of their defence, which is ranked top five in the competition. Even with Steven May going off early last week, Tomilson stepped up and the Dees system remained just as strong. Melbourne are ranked third in the comp for tackles, showing they’re strong defensively across the entire ground. The Hawks are ranked seventeenth for scoring this season, averaging just 71 points per game.
Clayton Oliver (32 disposals per game) and Christian Petracca (29) have dominated in the midfield this season, with Oliver showing his ability to work through a tag, which has allowed Petracca to run riot. With Max Gawn giving his midfielders silver service, it’s hard to see the Hawks slowing down Melbourne’s midfield, which is ranked fourth for clearances.
Whilst they’ve struggled in attack Clarkson’s defensive system has kept the Hawks in games for long periods of time, with Hawthorn’s average losing margin this season just sixteen points. Impressive given they’ve played the Cats and the Tigers. Melbourne have won their last three games against the Hawks, and they’ve got too much depth across the ground for the Hawks to handle. The loss of Fritsch and May are tough, but the Demons will have enough. Given the Hawks ability to grind out games, this should be a close encounter.
Melbourne 1-39 (1.5 Units)
Jaeger O’Meara has had an excellent start to season 2021, averaging 28 disposals per game. O’Meara has tallied 30, 21, 34 and 28 disposals this season, with opposition sides having to tag Tom Mitchell given his prolific season, it’s allowed O’Meara to run free through the midfield. O’Meara plays a crucial role in Hawthorn’s high possession style, with the Hawks ranking second in the competition for disposals. The Hawks star will be set for another productive afternoon at the MCG.
After a breakout season where he finished third in the Brownlow Medal, Christian Petracca has started 2020 on a tear. The star midfielder has racked up 30, 29 and 36 disposals over the past three weeks and with teams applying a heavy tag to Clayton Oliver, it’s opening up more avenues for him to win the footy. Petracca recorded 29 disposals and 3 goals when he last played the Hawks, and you can expect him to put in another big performance on Sunday.