The AFL heads to far North Queensland for the first time this season, as the red hot Saints host the Power at Cazaly’s Stadium on Saturday night from 7:25pm. Can St Kilda make it six wins in a row? Or will Port Adelaide cause a huge upset?
Jack Tobin has got you covered with his best tips for Saturday night football and make sure to check out BeforeYouBet’s AFL Tips page, for previews of every game this season.
St Kilda vs Port Adelaide Preview & Betting Tips
Cazaly’s Stadium, Saturday 30th April, 7:25pm AEST
Injuries: Jack Hayes, Rowan Marshall, Hunter Clark, Nick Coffield, Dan Hannebery, (Out)
After an excellent start to his AFL career, Jack Hayes suffered a heartbreaking ACL tear in the win over the Giants which will sideline the big man for twelve months. With Rowan Marshall not recovering from a corked quad, it’s a double ruck swap for the Saints as Paddy Ryder makes his return from suspension and journeyman ruckman Tom Campbell playing his first game for St Kilda. In positive news for the Saints, Jack Billings and Zak Jones are set to return for their first games this season via the VFL this weekend.
St Kilda are 5-1 for the first time since 2010, picking up an impressive win over the Giants in Canberra last Friday. Inaccuracy was the only thing that kept the game from being a blowout, with St Kilda kicking 10.17 with Max King missing out on a massive game kicking 1.7. King’s ability to consistently get shots on goal each week is a massive positive for St Kilda. Goal kicking has been a strength for the Saints, with two players in the top ten of the Coleman Medal race Max King 4th (17 goals) and Jack Higgins equal 10th (14). Tim Membery has kicked eleven goals, rounding out a high functioning Saints forward line.
Despite having a soft fixture playing just one top eight side from last season, St Kilda are playing a brand of football that stacks up. The Saints have the third best defence in the AFL conceding only 72 points per game and are the fourth highest scoring team in the competition averaging 99 points per game. The Saints are emphasising a heavy kicking game, ranking first in the AFL for kicking and eleventh for handballs. The tweak in their game plan has drastically improved their ball movement from last season, giving greater opportunities to their forward line.
Injuries: Charlie Dixon, Orazio Fantasia, Scott Lycett, Trent McKenzie, Josh Sinn (Out)
Injuries are still a big issue for the Power, missing forwards Charlie Dixon and Orazio Fantasia who combined for 76 goals last season. Port Adelaide will get their first real taste of missing Scott Lycett with Sam Hayes set to come up against Paddy Ryder in just his third game of AFL football. The positive for the Power on the injury front is that Robbie Gray and Aliir Aliir pulled up well after suffering injury scares against West Coast, meaning the Power will go in unchanged against St Kilda.
Port Adelaide picked up their first win of the season, albeit an easy kill against a struggling West Coast side at the Adelaide Oval. Although the victory was much needed, there can’t be much taken out of it given the opposition they were facing. Port Adelaide ranks 15th for scoring only 76 points per game through the first six games of the season. Jeremy Finlayson and Todd Marshall played their best games of the season kicking 5 goals each last week, but will have it much tougher this week against one of the best defences in the AFL.
Key forwards have caused Port Adelaide all sorts of nightmares this season with Joe Daniher (4 goals), Mitch Lewis (5), Elliott Himmelberg (4), Lachlan Gollant (4), Charlie Curnow (5) and Harry McKay (3) having strong performances against the Power so far this season. Coming up against one of the best key forwards in the AFL in Max King this week, Port Adelaide’s defence will be challenged in an area they’ve struggled badly in this season.
For some reason people are still dubious about the Saints, because a -7.5 line against a 1-5 opposition is ridiculously small. St Kilda’s five wins this season have come at an average margin of 35 points, while Port Adelaide’s five losses have come at an average margin of 22 points.
The Saints have been outstanding at both ends of the ground so far this season and their dynamic forward line will stretch the Port Adelaide defence that has conceded 90+ points in half of their games already this season. Paddy Ryder will give St Kilda a massive advantage in the ruck, so they should be able to control the territory game comfortably. St Kilda won’t have any issues in this clash and will continue their red hot start to the season.
St Kilda -7.5
$1.90 (2 Units)
Max King has firmly established himself as one of the best key forwards in the AFL this season, sitting fourth on the Coleman medal leaderboard. As we touched on earlier, Port Adelaide have been torched by key forwards this season, so Max King will be full of confidence coming into this clash. King has continuously been a threat each week, leading the AFL for contested marks and averaging 6.7 marks per game. King has had 34 scoring through the first six games of the season, the most of any player in the competition.
Max King 3+ Goals, $2.20 with Ladbrokes
Connor Rozee was swung into the midfield for the second half in the Power’s Round 5 clash against Carlton and completely swung the momentum of the game, which saw him earn a permanent role in the midfield last week. Rozee had a season high 19 CBA’s last week which saw him return a season high 31 disposals. Rozee presents excellent value in disposal markets this week.
Connor Rozee 25+ Disposals, $1.90 with Ladbrokes
After a quiet start to the season by his lofty standards, Jack Steele has lifted in the last month recording disposal tallies of 32, 33, 27 and 29. Steele has enjoyed playing against Port Adelaide, with the Saints skipper averaging 32 disposals across his two games against the Power in 2021.
Jack Steele 30+ Disposals, $1.72 with Ladbrokes