Fri, Mar 30, 12:03pm by Staff Writer
The traditional Easter Monday clash between Geelong and Hawthorn concludes an exciting second round of matches in the AFL.
Western Bulldogs versus West Coast Eagles
Sunday, 1 April 2018 at 3.20pm AEDST
The Western Bulldogs were far and away the most disappointing side in round one. The Dogs fell to the Giants by 82 points and did not give a yelp after quarter time.
Despite that they are $1.66 favourites at Sportsbet to beat the Eagles who come to Melbourne as $2.25 outsiders.
The Dogs to win 1-39 is the best backed of the margin markets at $2.30, with the Eagles 1-39 at $2.80.
The opening handicap is set at 7.5-points favouring the Dogs at $1.92.
Coach Luke Beveridge has only one unforced change to his team, with Fletcher Roberts omitted.
Tom Liberatore will be out for the remainder of the season after rupturing his ACL in the first quarter in Canberra, with Hayden Crozier also out injured.
Tom Boyd has been named and if he makes the final team will play his 50th game of AFL.
The Eagles were admirable in their fightback against the Swans late in the third quarter and early fourth quarter when all looked lost.
West Coast still lost the game by close to five goals, but Sydney are an elite team and the Eagles are a level below that this season.
Both teams’ forward lines remain a concern with the Eagles without Josh Kennedy and the Dogs forward line simply failing to fire last weekend with the likes of Easton Wood and Jackson Trengove in the goal square.
It is staggering that the Dogs are favourites for this match and the Eagles are definitely a value bet of the round, even on the road.
You can take your pick of your preferred market, with the handicap offering a 7.5-point buffer, but the Eagles should be good enough to win this outright.
Best bet- West Coast Eagles to win at $2.25
Sydney versus Port Adelaide
Sunday, 1 April 2018 at 4.40pm AEDST
Two round one winners in Sydney and Port Adelaide will meet at the SCG on Sunday afternoon, with one team starting the season perfectly at 2-0 after the clash.
The Power are $2.95 outsiders at the SCG with the Swans $1.42 favourites, but Port have enjoyed some recent success at the ground.
In round one last season they shocked the Swans with a 28-point win, their first win against them since 2013.
Sydney started the 2017 season 0-6 something which they won’t be repeating in 2018 after a 29-point win against West Coast last weekend.
Lance Franklin kicked eight goals and was unstoppable on Sunday night. He is $6 to be the first goalscorer this weekend and $1.91 to kick the most goals in the match.
Paddy Ryder is a big omission for the Power through injury but they welcome Robbie Gray and Jake Neade among others into an extended squad.
Sydney have Gary Rohan and Dan Hannebery named in their extended squad, with at least two players expected to drop out.
The loss of Ryder will prove crucial to the Power as they won’t be able to get possession out of the centre of the small SCG as much as they need to.
The 16.5-point start for Sydney is a little too long given the Power’s firepower, so we are more prepared to take the Swans 1-39 for a bit more safety.
Best bet- Sydney to win 1-39 at $2.20
Geelong versus Hawthorn
Monday, 2 April 2018 at 3.20pm AEDST
Geelong will count themselves lucky to have escaped round one with a win after Max Gawn missed a regulation shot at goal in the dying seconds, as the Cats held on for a three point win.
This week the Cats face old foe Hawthorn and start the match as $1.60 favourites, with the Hawks priced at $2.40.
The big team news for Geelong is the return of Patrick Dangerfield who missed last weeks game with a hamstring injury.
Hawthorn used an explosive second quarter to make a statement to Collingwood and never look back, with the Hawks looking slick in their 34-point win last Saturday night.
These two sides have always played close matches no matter where they are placed on the ladder. Last season Dangerfield was hobbling on one leg in the forward line and booted five goals, six behinds and the Cats crawled over the line by three points.
With a close result more likely than not, the 1-39 margin markets come into focus, with the Cats 1-39 at $2.30 and the Hawks 1-39 at $2.88.
Dangerfield might be a bit rusty coming into this match and the Hawks will want to make a statement to the competition that they are a force to contend with in 2018.
In an upset, we are backing the Hawks to sneak past the Cats on Monday afternoon.
Best bet- Hawthorn 1-39 at $2.88
AFL Round 2 Sunday and Monday Odds – Sportsbet
Western Bulldogs $1.66 v West Coast $2.25
Sydney $1.42 v Port Adelaide $2.95
Geelong $1.60 v Hawthorn $2.40
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