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AFL Best Bets: Dogs search for first pre-season win

Wed, Mar 8, 3:51pm by Senior Writer

For the first time in 2017, all 18 AFL clubs will be in action in Week Four of the JLT Community series. It’s also the final official pre-season hit out for each side, giving the weekend a little more relevance, as each club will be keen to enter the season on a high.

First up, we’ll see the reigning premier Western Bulldogs, who are yet to win this pre-season, head north to play Gold Coast.

The Dogs’ team has bene boosted by the return of skipper Robert Murphy, as well as Luke Dahlhaus, Lachie Hunter, Zaine Cordy, Travis Cloke, Fletcher Roberts, Tom Liberatore, Caleb Daniel and Jason Johannisen.

The match is set to have plenty of quality on display with Gary Ablett named for the Suns while his midfield counterpart Marcus Bontempelli will line up for the Dogs. The visitors are $1.46 with the Suns at $2.72.

Following that game will be the West Coast Eagles taking on Melbourne from Perth. The visitors have finally named Jack Watts, after he was surprisingly left out of the club’s opening two games.

West Coast have named a strong side, and are $1.37 to end their pre-season with their second win from three games. Melbourne are $3.09.

On Friday, the Giants host North Melbourne at Manuka Oval and will be looking to bounce back from their 12-point loss at the hands of their cross-town rivals, the Swans.

That match had a little more on the line than your regular pre-season outing, with both the Sydney clubs wanting to gain a bit of a mental edge over the other.

Lance Franklin took the field for the first time in 2017, and also the first time since he went under the knife for shoulder surgery in the off-season. He starred in the win, booting two goals and sending an ominous sign to the rest of the competition, that he’ll be back better than ever this year.

North Melbourne defender Sam Wright will play his first game in nine months as the $3.52 outsiders with the Giants at $1.30.

It may only be February, but there is never a good time for a 92-point loss, and that’s exactly what the Blues copped on the weekend. They now must travel all the way to Perth for a hit out against Fremantle on Friday night.

Carlton sit on the bottom of the ‘pre-season ladder’, with two losses and a percentage of 38.

At the other end of that ladder are five clubs, St Kilda, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Gold Coast and Richmond, who are all unbeaten.

Richmond are favourites ($1.80) to enter the season on the back of three wins from as many games when they take on Collingwood ($2) on Saturday.

St Kilda ($2) meets Sydney ($1.80) on Sunday, which will give Saints fans, and the rest of us, a good indication of where they are at, ahead of the season.

Suggested Bet: Bulldogs to beat Suns by 1-39: $2.10

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The Brisbane Lions were on the second last line of betting at $12 when the AFLW Premiership odds came out, they are now the only undefeated team, and have come into favouritism for the inaugural flag, at $1.85.

The hung on to win Saturday night’s enthralling top-of the table game at Norwood Oval by three points, and we hope you took our advice with the either team to win by under 15.5 points option in the Adelaide v Brisbane match last week, for a return of $1.57.

They are $1.36 to make it a perfect six from six when they host the Bulldogs ($3.16) at South Pine Sports Complex on Saturday.

The Lions are now one game clear of the Crows, but don’t write the South Australians off just yet, should Brisbane drop one of their remaining two games, and the Crows win both of theirs, then Adelaide’s superior percentage will see them leapfrog their rivals.

The first of those matches for the Crows is against Melbourne ($2.88) at Darwin’s TIO Stadium.  They will start as solid $1.42 favourites, and will be hoping for more of the same from Erin Phillips – the Olympian once again starred for the Crows last week, with 21 touches.

The carrot dangling in front of the club’s is the right to host the Grand Final, which comes with the minor-premiership.

Melbourne are currently fourth on the ladder, but only one game behind the Crows, so they’ll be out to push for a Grand Final berth themselves.

The Blues are on the same amount of wins, in third place, and they head to Perth to play the Dockers on Friday night. Carlton are $1.61 to keep the pressure on the top two with a win. Freo are at $2.35 after going down to the Magpies by a single point last week.

Suggested Bet: Either team to win by under 15.5 points in the Fremantle v Carlton match: $1.62

JLT Round 4
Gold Coast ($2.72) v Western Bulldogs ($1.46), 5:50pm, Metricon Stadium, Thursday 9 March
West Coast ($1.37) v Melbourne ($3.09), 8:40pm, Domain Stadium, Thursday 9 March
Greater Western Sydney ($1.30) v North Melbourne ($3.52), 5:50pm, Manuka Oval, Friday 10 March
Fremantle ($1.27) v Carlton ($3.80), 8:40pm, Domain Stadium, Friday 10 March
Richmond ($1.80) v Collingwood ($2), 1:10pm, Ted Summerton Recreation Reserve, Saturday 11 March
Adelaide ($1.42) v Brisbane ($2.85), 4:10pm, Hickinbotham Oval, Saturday 11 March
Port Adelaide ($2.15) v Hawthorn ($1.70), 1:10pm, Hickinbotham Oval, Sunday 12 March
Geelong ($1.92) v Essendon ($1.88), 4:10pm, Queen Elizabeth Oval, Sunday 12 March
St Kilda ($2) v Sydney ($1.80), 7:10pm, Lavington Sports Ground, Sunday 12 March

AFLW Round 6:
Fremantle ($2.35) v Carlton ($1.61), 6:05pm, Domain Stadium, Friday 10 March
Brisbane ($1.36) v Western Bulldogs ($3.16), 11:05am, South Pine Sports Complex, Saturday 11 March
Adelaide ($1.42) v Melbourne $2.88, 6:10pm, TIO Stadium, Saturday 11 March
Collingwood ($1.51) v GWS $2.58, 11:05am, Olympic Park Oval, Sunday 12 March

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