The Melbourne Demons will face off against the Essendon Bombers in the first of a Friday night double header in the AFL in Round 3. As always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Our AFL experts went 6-3 on the match predictions in Round 2 with a profit of 2.95 units. They’ll be hunting more wins in Round 3, so be sure to check out our AFL Tips page for previews on every game this weekend.
Melbourne vs Essendon Betting Tips
MCG, Friday 1st April, 7.20pm (AEDT)
Injuries: Harrison Petty, Christian Salem, Daniel Turner (Out)
The Dees are looking pretty settled on the injury front. They got through their clash with the Suns unscathed and could welcome premiership defenders Jake Lever and Michael Hibberd back into the side this week.
The Dees are 2-0 and look to be settling nicely into season 2022. They didn’t win in brilliant fashion on against the Suns on the weekend, but still got the job done far away from home up North. They’ll be back at the MCG this Friday night, where they have won nine of their last 12 games.
Christian Pettracca continued his dominant start to the season against the Suns, picking up 40 disposals in another best on ground performance. The Demons are pretty stacked on every line at the moment, testament to that is the fact that the likes of Sam Weidemann and Luke Dunstan can’t crack into the side.
Injuries: Michael Hurley, Harry Jones, Kyle Langford, Zach Merrett, Zach Reid, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Out) Dylan Shiel, Will Snelling, Nic Cox (Test)
The Bombers are pretty hindered by injury at the moment and it went from bad to worse following their loss to the Lions on the weekend. Star midfielder Zach Merrett will miss at least six weeks with an ankle injury.
The Dons have had a rough start to the season, losing their first two games to the Cats and Lions. After being obliterated in Round 1, they were a little more competitive on the weekend, still ultimately going down by 22 points at Marvel Stadium. The loss of Zach Merrett is a massive one, and the likes of Darcy Parish, Dylan Shiel and Andrew McGrath will need to step up to cover the loss in the midfield.
The Dees start as strong 27.5 point favourites here. That line is a little too high for my liking to comfortably back the Demons but I do think they win this game at the MCG. They have won 9 of their last 12 games at the MCG and interestingly, only two of those wins has come by a margin greater than 39 points. They came last season over Hawthorn and Adelaide, two of the poorer teams in the league.
They have won four of their last five games against the Bombers, all four of them coming in the 1-39 point margin. The most recent was an 11 point win at the MCG in Round 15 of last season.
$2.02 2 Units
Christian Petracca has been arguably the best player in the league so far this season. He has picked up 38 and 40 disposals in his two games so far on the back of a dominant 38 disposal game in the Grand Final last year. He seems to have gone to another level in terms of accumulation. Back him to have 35+ again.
Christian Petracca 35+ Disposals ($2.10 at Ladbrokes)
Jake Stringer has kicked the first goal in three of his last six games. A pretty good strike rate considering the odds. And he is $13.00 to put the first through the big sticks again on Friday night. Like those odds.
Jake Stringer First Goal-Scorer ($13.00 at Ladbrokes)