Round 2 in the 2022 AFL season kicks off on Thursday night as the Western Bulldogs take on the Carlton Blues from Marvel Stadium. As always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the Round 2 opener below.
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Western Bulldogs vs Carlton Betting Tips
Marvel Stadium, Thursday 24th March, 7.20pm (AEDT)
Injuries: Jason Johanissen, Josh Bruce, Toby McLean, Sam Darcy (Out) Tim O'Brien, Marcus Bontempelli (Test)
The main injury concern for the Bulldogs after Round 1 is skipper Marcus Bontempelli. The midfielder was clearly hampered by an ankle in the loss to the Demons and will face a fitness test to be cleared to play ahead of Thursday night. Former Hawk Tim O'Brien could make his debut for the Dogs on Thursday night.
It was a disappointing start to the season for the Western Bulldogs on Wednesday night. They were unable to avenge their loss to the Demons in the Grand Final, going down to them once again in the season opener, this time by 26 points.
There were a few promosing signs in the loss, including the form of star forward Aaron Naughton, who booted four goals. Their midfield was at their accumulating best, but ultimately wasn't damaging enough to keep up with the Demons.
Key defenders were once again a bit of an issue for the Bulldogs, with Ben Brown and Bailey Fritsch combining for five goals. The addition of Tim O'Brien could be a massive bolster to the Dogs defence as they go up against McKay and Curnow on Thursday night.
Injuries: David Cunningham, Josh Honey, Caleb Marchbank, Liam Stocker, Sam Walsh (Out)
Sam Walsh remains on the sidelines, the major injury concern for the Blues. They will also be without Marchbank, Stocker and Cunningham. All in all though the majority of the Blues spine is intact, which is a promising sign heading into Round 2.
The Blues were victorious over the Tigers in the Round 1 clash for the first time since all the way back in 2012, when they won by a margin of 44 points. They trailed for the majority of the game but a seven to one goal final quarter helped the Blues run out 25 point winners.
In the absence of his running mate Sam Walsh, skipper Patrick Cripps put on a show for Blues fans, racking up 30 touches and booting three goals in a best on ground performance. Matthew Kennedy and new recruit Adam Cerra were also impressive in the win, combining for 63 touches while the return of Sam Docherty was a successful one as the running defender had 26 disposals.
The shift of Mitch McGovern down back was also a massive success for the Blues. The former forward had five marks and was one of the more influential players on the ground for the Blues, who now look to have elite evel talent all the way down their spine.
The Dogs start as 12.5 point favourites here and I must admit, at that line I dont really fancy either team. I Blues look like a much improved and much better structured side this season and after their Round 1 win over the Tigers, it looks as though they have the ability to match it with the best in the league.
I like the overs here. The Blues look like they are going to play a very attacking style of play this season, putting up 101 points in their win over the Tigers. The Bulldogs still managed to boot 11 goals in their loss and they have been one of the higher scoring teams in the league for the last few seasons.
Marvel Stadium promotes a high scoring brand of football and when these two teams last met, they put up 198 points.
Over 170.5 Points
$1.90 (1.5 Units)
Sam Docherty had an inspirational return to football after fighting of cancer. He had 26 touches and kicked a goal. I expect him to keep improving on this, and at $2.00 to have 25 touches this week, it looks great value.
Sam Docherty 25+ Disposals ($2.00 at Sportsbet)
It's really a toss up from week to week who is going to be the midfielder that hits the scoreboard for the Dogs. It was Adam Treloar last week, but with Marcus Bontempelli potentially out on Thursday night, I think Josh Dunkley could be spending a little more time forward. He is the biggest body from the rest of the midfielders and has plenty of experience forward.
Josh Dunkley Anytime Goalscorer ($2.50 at Sportsbet)
The Dogs got out to pretty hot starts in the first half of both the Grand Final and the Round clash against the Demons. On the contrary, the Blues took a little time to find their groove against the Tigers. I think the -2.5 point first quarter line seems value for the Dogs here.
Bulldogs -2.5 Points - 1st Quarter ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
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