Saturday football kicks off with a massive clash at Marvel Stadium as St Kilda hosts Gold Coast from 1:45pm. The Saints are in hot form with three wins on the trot, while the Suns are coming off an upset win over Carlton. Can St Kilda keep their top four form up? Or will the Suns move to 3-2?
Jack Tobin is here with a full preview and tips for Saturday afternoon football, and make sure to check out our AFL Tips page as the Before You Bet team provides coverage on every game this season.
St Kilda vs Gold Coast Betting Tips
Marvel Stadium, Saturday 16th April, 1:45pm AEST
Injuries: Jack Billings, Nick Coffield, Hunter Clark, Dan Hannebery, Zak Jones (Out) Jimmy Webster (Health & Safety Protocols) Jarryn Geary, Jack Higgins (Test)
Despite a 69 point thumping of Hawthorn last week, it’s been a chaotic week at selection for the Saints. Paddy Ryder has been suspended for two weeks after a high bump on Will Day, with Jack Hayes likely to earn a recall. In positive news for St Kilda, Jack Higgins and Jarryn Geary are a chance to return from concussion protocols. Jimmy Webster and Coach Brett Ratten will miss due to health and safety protocols, with assistant Brendan Lade to take the reins this weekend.
After a disappointing loss in Round One, the Saints have peeled off three consecutive wins which has them sitting in fourth on the AFL ladder. Hawthorn kicked the first two goals of the game but it was all St Kilda after that, kicking 22 goals to 8. The Saints dominated the midfield battle, recording plus 74 disposals, plus 20 contested possessions, plus 12 marks inside 50s, plus 12 tackles. Winning the tackle count despite having 74 disposals was a huge tick in the development for the Saints, whose effort was questioned on many occasions last season.
St Kilda are playing with some serious substance, ranking 1st for scoring, 2nd for disposals and 5th in defence. Jack Steele (29 disposals per game), Brad Crouch (28), Jack Sinclair (27) and Jade Gresham (25) have created a depth to a midfield that has been one paced for a long time. Couple that with Max King leading the Coleman Medal with 13 goals through four games, this St Kilda outfit is incredibly dangerous forward of centre.
Injuries: Jack Lukosius, Jack Bowes, Joel Jeffery, Bodhi Uwland, Ben King (Out), Charlie Constable, Jy Farrar (Test)
It’s pretty positive news on the injury front with Jack Lukosius cleared of any significant injury and is only expected to be out for 1-2 weeks with a knee injury. Jy Farrar was subbed out with a hamstring injury against Carlton, however he has trained this week and is a chance to be available for selection. Caleb Graham will likely come back into the side given the amount of height in the St Kilda forward line.
The Suns caused arguably the upset of the season last weekend, with a five goal win over Carlton last weekend. Young gun Noah Anderson led the way with 35 disposals, while captain Touk Miller bounced back from a poor showing in Round Three with 32 disposals. Gold Coast will be looking to put plenty of pace on the game through the midfield, in what will be a fascinating battle.
With Paddy Ryder out and Rowan Marshall struggling for form this season, Jarrod Witts is going to have a huge impact on this clash. Witts leads the AFL in hitouts, averaging 34 per game. Witts’ dominance last week in the allowed the Suns to win the clearances 43-27 and inside 50 battle 64-48, and if he can continue his excellent form, the Gold Coast will be well and truly in this game.
Gold Coast bounced back against the Blues last week, but it’s difficult to see them bringing the consistency required to knock off top four teams in back to back weeks. The Saints are playing an enterprising brand of football with some serious speed, and playing at Marvel Stadium will suit them well. Gold Coast will be looking for Jarrod Witts to give them a sizeable advantage out of the ruck, but if Rowan Marshall can get close to breaking even then St Kilda will be well positioned in this game.
St Kilda have won six consecutive games against the Suns and Marvel Stadium isn’t a happy hunting ground for Gold Coast. The Suns have lost five of their last seven games at Marvel Stadium by an average of 68 points. St Kilda are coming off 33 and 69 point wins in the last fortnight, and will cover the -19.5 line in this clash against the Suns.
St Kilda -19.5
$1.90 (2 Units)
Max King has catapulted himself among the best key forwards in the league in just his fourth season in the AFL. King leads the Coleman Medal race with thirteen goals through the first four games of the season, with four goal hauls in each of his last three games. The goals are exciting, but it’s the marking that's providing the substance to have confidence in his ability to hit the scoreboard each week. King has plucked 6, 6, 7 and 11 marks this season, ranking 1st in the AFL for contested marks and 2nd for marks inside 50.
Max King 3+ Goals, $2.10 with Ladbrokes
Jack Sinclair recorded a game high 35 disposals last night, as his improvement of the last two years continues to make him one St Kilda’s best players. Sinclair has seen an increase in his midfield opportunities this season, recording 33 centre bounce attendances through the first three games of the year. Sinclair didn’t attend any centre bounces last week, but it didn’t have any impact on his ability to find the footy and his average of 27 disposals per game this season ranks inside the top 20 ball winners in the AFL.
Jack Sinclair 25+ Disposals, $1.70 with Ladbrokes
A value selection to round out our prop bets, we’re going with Jade Gresham to 2+ goals. Gresham is coming off a four goal haul and has six goals so far this season and has kicked goals in his last four games against the Suns. Gresham is continuing to get better every week after a couple of injury interrupted seasons and his explosiveness has been crucial in the Saints hot start.
Jade Gresham 2+ Goals, $3.25 with Ladbrokes