Mon, Apr 10, 9:49am by Head Editor
Just as we saw in Round One, Round Three has seen the underdogs salute in five of the nine games, with punters left scratching their heads.
The trend started off in the first game of the round when Collingwood – who started the game as a $3.55 outsider – beat last season’s runners-up – the Swans – by a single point on their home deck.
A late goal by former-Giant Will Hoskin-Elliott was enough to see the Pies home and ensure the Swans drop to their worst start to a season since 1999.
On Saturday, North Melbourne also slipped to 0-3 with a 42-point loss to the Giants. It could have been even worse for the Kangaroos, who were smashed in the stats, including a 71-49 inside 50 count.
The Giants kicked six goals to two in the last quarter in what was one of only four matches that went the way of the favourites.
Half an hour after the Giants cruised home, the Tigers were locked in a battle with the Eagles at a wet MCG. The match actually started off in 28 degree temperatures but as the skies got greyer, the Tiger-Army got more confident.
The thrilling match could have gone either way, but once the rain came, Richmond’s game lifted, and they eventually ran out 11-point winners to give the club its second 3-0 start since 1995.
Once again Dustin Martin was the hero for the winners, playing with a fractured cheekbone, he finished with a remarkable 15 clearances, and a game-high 40 possessions, including two goals.
Another club who went to 3-0 with a win was Geelong, who played the same afternoon as the Tigers but escaped the weather, under the roof at Etihad Stadium.
The Cats are yet to hit any great heights this season, but coach Chris Scott will be happy with their accuracy in front of goal, they finished with the remarkable score line of 20.6.126 to Melbourne’s 13.19.97.
Compounding the red and blue’s first loss of the season, is the injury to their All-Australian ruckman – Max Gawn. The 208cm giant suffered a serious hamstring injury that could keep him out for up to eight weeks.
On Saturday night, the Crows moved to the top of the ladder, and came in from $8 to $5.50 following their 17-point win over Port in Showdown 42.
A record crowd of 53,698 crammed into Adelaide Oval and they were treated to a Rory Sloane masterclass, he finished with 31 disposals and a goal, while his skipper Taylor Walker booted four majors.
Even further west, in Perth, the Dockers stunned the reigning Premiers by 16 points. The winners started the match as the biggest outsider of the round at $4.75, but the new-look side – who had six debutants – deserved the win.
The Saints got their first win of the season on Sunday when they beat the Lions at Etihad Stadium. They were given an almighty scare in the third term before kicking four of the last five goals of the game to run out 31-point winners.
The upsets continued with the Blues ($4.60) beating the Bombers ($1.20) in a dour affair at the home of football. The 15-point win ended Essendon’s unbeaten start to the season.
Carlton did the basics better in the rain-affected contest, and were led brilliantly by their skipper Marc Murphy, who finished with 32 touches and two goals.
Just when you think the upsets were finished with, the Gold Coast Suns destroyed Hawthorn by 86 points in the final match of the round. It’s the first time the Suns have tasted success against the Hawks, and the biggest win in the history of the club.
The scoreboard had to be seen to be believed and leaves the Hawks alongside Sydney and North Melbourne at 0-3. This is the first time in history that three finalists from the previous year have gone into the fourth round without a win.
Onto our best bets and although we backed just the two winners, overall, we were down by just 10%.
On Friday, we had the Swans to win but we bounced on Saturday with a pair of $2.25 wins when Geelong and Adelaide won by under 40 points. On Sunday, we took the overs in the Saints-Lions match and Essendon to win.
The first ever Good Friday match will see North Melbourne ($4.35) host the Western Bulldogs ($1.22) while the traditional Easter Monday clash will see Hawthorn go in as a big underdog ($2.72) when they face Geelong ($1.46).
Round 4 (Sportsbet)
West Coast $1.43 (-14.5) v Sydney $2.83 (+14.5)
North Melbourne $4.35 (+26.5) v Western Bulldogs $1.22 (-26.5)
Melbourne $1.32 (-20.5) v Fremantle $3.40 (+20.5)
Greater Western Sydney $1.34 (-19.5) v Port Adelaide $3.30 (+19.5)
Adelaide $1.23 (-26.5) v Essendon $4.20 (+26.5)
Carlton $2.16 (+5.5) v Gold Coast $1.70 (-5.5)
Collingwood $2.03 (+2.5) v St Kilda $1.79 (-2.5)
Brisbane $2.97 (+16.5) v Richmond $1.40 (-16.5)
Hawthorn $2.72 (+13.5) v Geelong $1.46 (-13.5)
Greater Western Sydney $4.50
Western Bulldogs $6.50
West Coast $11
Port Adelaide $21
St Kilda $31
Gold Coast $151
North Melbourne $151
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