Another big round in the AFL kicks off on Thursday night as the Western Bulldogs play in their third straight round opening game. They will face the red-hot Sydney Swans from Marvel Stadium and Andy Rosos is back to provide his full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Our BYB experts went 6-3 on match predictions in Round 2 for a profit of 2.95 units and will be hunting more winners in Round 3. Head to our AFL Tips page for betting tips on all nine games over the weekend.
Western Bulldogs vs Sydney Betting Tips
Marvel Stadium, Thursday 31st March, 7.20pm (AEDT)
Injuries: Josh Bruce, Sam Darcy, Jason Johannisen, Toby McLean (Out) Aaron Naughton (Test)
Bailey Smith missed the clash against Carlton due to a hip injury but should be back in the line-up for the Thursday night game. The Dogs have a few confirmed out but the only 50-50 call they will be waiting on will be key forward Aaron Naughton, who will need to prove fitness from a calf injury before Thursday.
The Dogs have had a rough start to the season with back to back losses to Melbourne and Carlton. The road doesn’t get any easier this week as they face arguably the hottest team in the league in the Swans. It’s been a tough schedule to start the year, but following next week’s game against the Tigers, the road gets a little easier for the Dogs with games against North Melbourne, Adelaide and Essendon across the next three.
They have some key players out, but more importantly, their midfield has largely remained intact. The likes of Bontempelli, Macrae, Treloar, Dunkley, Smith and Liberatore need to build some momentum if they want to avoid a 0-3 start to the season.
Injuries: Tom Papley (Test)
The Swans are really healthy at the moment and could even get one of their most important players in Tom Papley back for the Thursday night clash. Will there be any COVID related backlash from the fan engagement after Buddy’s 1000th goal? We will wait and see on that one.
Sydney are one of the hotter teams in the AFL at the moment, and you could have already made a decent little cash-out profit if you took our pre-season tip of the Swans to win the flag at $13.00. They have no real injury concerns to speak of and will be riding high after big Buddy Franklin booted his 1000th goal in the moment of the season so far.
The Swans are 2-0 with quality wins over two sides who could push for top eight spots this season in GWS and Geelong, and if they can get through the Dogs unscathed, the road becomes much easier with games against North Melbourne, West Coast and Hawthorn over their next three.
Interestingly, the 0-2 team start as favourites over the 2-0 team here, with the Doggies currently around $1.85 to win at Marvel Stadium. The old adage is the hungry dog runs faster, and without a win on the board so far, the Western Bulldogs are certainly the hungrier dog coming into this clash.
If I was forced to pick one side here I’d probably go with the Swans, but I think it’ll be a close clash that could go either way. The average margin of the four games involving these two teams this season has been 22 points while their last four matchups against each other have an average margin of just 17.7.
Either Team by Under 24.5
$1.80 (2 Units)
Isaac Heeney has been one of the more dominant players in the competition through two rounds. In Round 1 he racked up 25 touches and booted three goals and in Round 2 he had 21 disposals and five goals. With Tom Papley potentially coming back into the side, Heeney could be pushed up into the midfield a bit more, back him to have 25+ disposals.
Isaac Heeney 25+ Disposals ($2.20 at Ladbrokes)
Interestingly, Sydney has been one side that Jack Macrae hasn’t been able to get a stranglehold on over the last few years. In his last two games against Sydney, he’s been held to just 25 and 22 disposals, way down on his season averages in those years. In fact, in his last 10 games against the Swans, he’s only gone over 33.5 disposals once.
Jack Macrae Under 33.5 Disposals ($1.88 at Pointsbet)
I think this one will be a hotly contested battle that goes just under. The Dogs are lacking avenues forward at the moment with no Bruce and Naughton potentially out, while the Swans have arguably the most structured defence in the league at the moment. Only one of the last nine meetings between these sides has gone over 174.5.
Under 174.5 ($1.90 at Pointsbet)