Wed, Mar 29, 3:08pm by Head Editor
The footy is back and what a return it was, there were plenty of surprises across the four days with the underdogs winning five of the nine games. The single round attendance record was broken with more than 400,000 people clicking through the turnstiles to welcome the boys back for another season.
Round Two kicks off on Thursday night when two powerhouse Victorian clubs – Richmond host Collingwood – meet at the MCG.
Just a few kilometres down the road on Friday night, Etihad Stadium will be rocking for the Grand Final rematch between the Dogs and the Swans.
On Saturday, Hawthorn host the most impressive winner of all from round one, the Adelaide Crows. A few hours later the Giants are short-priced favourites ($1.13) to get their first win of the year against the Suns ($6.05) before the Bombers run out onto the Gabba to play the Lions.
WATCH: Our Preview of AFL Round 2
We had a solid profit of 33% last week, with three of our five best bets saluting. Check back on Saturday for our Sunday best. Here’s our best bets for Round Two:
Richmond v Collingwood, MCG, Thursday 30 March, 7:20pm
Round Two kicks off on Thursday night when two of the biggest clubs in the land, and two that are under pressure to perform this season – Richmond and Collingwood – square off at the home of football.
There’s not much separating the two clubs in betting, the Pies were gallant in defeat against the reigning Premiers last week, going down by just 14 points and they’ll start as slight favourites at $1.75.
The Tigers cruised to a 43-point win over Carlton, with Dustin Martin putting on a masterclass and putting an even bigger price tag on his head come season’s end.
The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and is a restricted free agent. His side are a $2.10 chance to start the year with two straight wins.
As good as ‘Dusty’ was last week in amassing 33 touches, four goals and four tackles, he won’t find it as easy this week, coming up against a Collingwood midfield that bats deep with the likes of Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom and Taylor Adams.
The Pies impressed me last week, and if it wasn’t for several schoolboy skill errors, they could have pinched that game against the defending Premiers. I’m going to take the $1.75 about the Pies here, although it will be tight.
Suggested Bet: Collingwood to win: $1.75
Western Bulldogs v Sydney, Etihad Stadium, Friday 31 March, 7:50pm
179 days after the Western Bulldogs beat the Sydney Swans at the MCG to win their first Premiership in 62 years, the two sides will meet again, just a few kilometres down the road, at Etihad Stadium.
It’s a history-making night for the sons of the West, they’ll raise the 2016 Premiership flag in a pre-match ceremony. John Schultz and Chris Grant have been named among several club legends who’ll be taking part in the event.
The Premiers’ clean ball use was one of the keys to their win over the Pies last week, but they’ll need to win more clearances against the Swans, an area they lost in last start. They’re at $1.57 to win their second match in a row.
Sydney’s loss to Port Adelaide in Round One was the biggest upset of the round, they were sloppy in defence and their normally reliable midfield had an off-day.
The Swans will be looking to make amends for the Grand Final. They have not lost three in a row since the 2013 qualifying final so expect them to come out hard. You can get $2.39 for them to bounce back with a win.
Interestingly, Sydney have won the past three games between the two sides at Etihad Stadium by an average margin of 60 points but those contests were before the Dogs’ recent successes.
This will be a tight affair so the $1.83 for either side to win by under 25 points is a sensible wager here as both sides are evenly matched and it’s early in the season.
Suggested Bet: Either side to win by under 25 points: $1.83
Hawthorn v Adelaide, Saturday 1 April, 1:45pm, MCG
The most impressive of all the winners in the opening round were the Adelaide Crows, who stormed past the Giants by 56 points. Next up, they meet a side they haven’t beaten since 2011, Hawthorn.
It was a different story for the Hawks, who lost to the Bombers by 25 points. Their new recruits – Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara were good, the former racked up 37 disposals while the latter finished with 23.
They’ll need to be much better than they were first up if they are to compete with the red-hot Crows who booted 22 goals without their skipper Taylor Walker, who is back this week.
Walker will join a forward line that is one of the most talented in the league, boasting the likes of Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Mitch McGovern. It could be a tough day for the Hawthorn defenders.
Luke Hodge is set to return for the hosts as they aim to win for just the third time in their last eight home and away matches, stretching back to Round 20 last year.
Suggested Bet: Adelaide to win: $1.65
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining all the below for $5.28 at Sportsbet
Collingwood to win: $1.75
WB v Syd: Either side to win by under 25 points: $1.83
Adelaide to win: $1.65
AFL Round 2 odds:
Richmond $2.10 (+3.5) v Collingwood $1.75 (-3.5)
Western Bulldogs $1.57 (-10.5) v Sydney $2.39 (+10.5)
Hawthorn $2.26 (+3.5) v Adelaide $1.65 (-3.5)
Greater Western Sydney $1.13 (-37.5) v Gold Coast $6.05 (+37.5)
Brisbane $3 (+17.5) v Essendon $1.40 (-17.5)
West Coast $1.14 (-35.5) v St Kilda $5.30 (+35.5)
Geelong $1.25 (-29.5) v North Melbourne $4 (+29.5)
Melbourne $1.20 (-30.5) v Carlton $4.60 (+30.5)
Port Adelaide $1.27 (-23.5) v Fremantle $3.78 (+23.5)
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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