Fri, Apr 6, 1:51pm by Staff Writer
Round 2 of the 2018 AFL season continues on Sunday with three mouthwatering contests. From the MCG the reigning Premiers Richmond host the undefeated Hawks, while later in the day the winless Western Bulldogs face Essendon and the West Coast Eagles host Geelong.
Richmond versus Hawthorn
Sunday, 8 April 2018 at 1.10pm AEST at the MCG
Hawthorn didn’t escape their epic one-point win against Geelong on Easter Monday unscathed as they lose James Sicily to suspension and Shaun Burgoyne and Ryan Schoenmakers to injury.
The Hawks go into this match as $2.40 underdogs with the Tigers $1.60 favourites.
Richmond has the rest advantage in this match having not played since Easter Thursday and they welcome back Nick Vlastuin, Dion Prestia and Sam Lloyd into an extended squad.
Josh Caddy is suspended with Shai Bolton and Corey Ellis both omitted. The Tigers played well for the most part against Adelaide, but the Crows had a point to prove in gaining revenge against the Tigers for their Grand Final loss.
Stopping Tom Mitchell will be one of the biggest headaches Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has on Sunday afternoon. The star midfielder already accruing a maximum 10 votes by the coaches in the AFLCA award after two rounds and is very likely to have six Brownlow votes as well.
Richmond are being favoured by 9.5 points at $1.92 in this match, but we see more value in the Big Win Little Win market, with neither team a threat of a blowout.
Take the Tigers 1-39 at $2.25 at Sportsbet, but if you’re feeling adventurous and like the Hawks, the Tri Bet of either team under 15.5 points at $2.80 is also value.
Best bet- Richmond Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.25
Western Bulldogs versus Essendon
Sunday, 8 April 2018 at 3.20pm AEST at Etihad Stadium
The Western Bulldogs are reeling after a shocking start to the season. The Dogs were underdogs in round one against the Premiership favourite GWS Giants, but were favoured to beat an Eagles team at Etihad Stadium that has historically struggled on the road.
The Eagles instead produced a dynamic second quarter to blow the game open and the Dogs had no answers.
They now start this match as $2.80 underdogs against a Bombers team that will be disappointed after their limp showing in Perth last weekend. The Dons are short priced favourites at $1.45.
Essendon welcome back Orazio Fantasia, David Myers and Mark Baguley into an extended squad, giving coach John Worsfold some selection headaches ahead of Sunday’s game.
For the Dogs, they lose Jordan Roughead and Jackson Trengove to injury, severely depleting their ruck stocks. They welcome back Jack Redpath, Tom Boyd and Tory Dickson among others to try and fill that void.
The Dogs are getting soundly beaten in the midfield this season and their forward line is a serious concern, scoring an average of only eight goals per game this season.
Essendon start as 16.5-point favourites at $1.92, but given the Dogs form of the past two weeks, another blowout is not out of the question.
The Bombers at the line is an enticing option, but for added value, backing the Bombers 40+ in the Big Win Little Win market is the way to go.
Essendon are a better side than the Eagles and love playing at Etihad Stadium. Nothing we have seen from the Dogs in the opening two rounds has given us any hope of a close game in this one.
Best bet- Essendon Big Win Little Win 40+ at $3.40
West Coast Eagles versus Geelong
Sunday, 8 April 2018 at 4.40pm AEST at Optus Stadium
The closest betting match of the round takes place on Sunday night when the Eagles ($2.05) host Geelong ($1.80).
The Cats will be disappointed to lose to Geelong by only a point on Monday but many will argue the Cats didn’t deserve to be that close at the final siren.
The ease with which the Hawks scored from centre bounces, particularly in the first half would be of great concern for the Cats hierarchy.
Their defensive structure also looked frail and struggled to contend with quick, quality football coming in from the midfield.
The Eagles have had a good start to the season, falling to a Buddy Franklin master class in round one before bouncing back with a big win in round two.
The Eagles are still without Josh Kennedy but welcome Mark Hutchings and Will Schofield into an extended squad. The Cats have no omissions, with Scott Selwood and Jordan Murdoch among those on the extended bench.
This match comes down to a coin flip and in such a close contest, we are getting the home team as the underdog, which is a tough proposition to turn down.
The Eagles should be able to spread the ball against a Cats side that may have a bit of fatigue after only a six-day break and a tough match on Monday.
We are backing the Eagles to get home narrowly at home.
Best bet- West Coast Eagles to win at $2.05
AFL Round 2 Sunday Odds – Sportsbet
Richmond $1.60 v Hawthorn $2.40
Western Bulldogs $2.80 v Essendon $1.45
West Coast $2.05 v Geelong $1.80
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