Wed, Apr 12, 4:49pm by Head Editor
Just like Round One, Round Three was a nightmare for punters, with the underdogs saluting in five of the nine games. Of these, the biggest upset – according to the bookies – was Fremantle, who beat the reigning premiers by 16 points.
Collingwood’s thrilling one-point win against the Swans, and Carlton’s hard fought 15-point win over the Bombers were also among the surprises.
This week’s matches fall on the Easter weekend and are spread across five days, with matches being played across five states/territories.
Round Four kicks off on Thursday night when Sydney aim to win their first game of the season against the Eagles in the West. History will be made the following day when North Melbourne host the Bulldogs in the first ever match to be held on Good Friday.
Easter Sunday is set to deliver more than just chocolate with a pair of intriguing games. Richmond are $1.38 to remain unbeaten with a win against Brisbane ($3.08) and Collingwood will start as slight favourites ($1.80) over St Kilda ($2).
Hawthorn’s slide has been a lot more severe than was expected by the experts, they lost by 86 points on the Gold Coast on Sunday and now face Geelong in the traditional Easter Monday blockbuster.
It’s one of the greatest rivalries in the modern era but Geelong will go in as heavy favourites at $1.41 with the Hawks at $2.94.
Here’s our best bets for Round Four:
West Coast v Sydney, Thursday April 13, 8:10pm, Domain Stadium
The Swans head west after making the club’s worst start to a season since 1999. The team waiting for them were in front at half time before falling to the Tigers when Melbourne’s weather did what Melbourne’s weather does.
While the lead up to Round 4 has surrounded the demise of Hawthorn, the Swans are in a similar positon, although they’ve been much more competitive than the Hawks.
The Eagles have copped their fair share of criticism too, and deservedly so, they were in a winning positon against Richmond but when the rain came they look like a fish out of water – even though they were in water, and they are actually birds.
Kurt Tippett is expected to be back in the Swans side for this one, but it will still be a few weeks before the club can field a near full-strength team. Dane Rampe is the one that they’ll really miss this week, with Eagles’ spearhead Josh Kennedy sitting equal top of the Coleman medal race.
I’m taking the hosts by 1-39 points but I also like the overs in the total match points market which is set at 182.5 points ($1.90). The Eagles love putting big scores on the board at home and two out of Sydney’s three losses have gone over that total.
Suggested Bet: West Coast to win by under 40: $2.10
North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs, Friday April 14, 4:20pm, Etihad Stadium
Good Friday footy is finally here, and the club that has been working towards it for many years – North Melbourne – will get the opportunity to play in the history making event against the 2016 Premiers.
The Dogs go into this clash 2-1 on the back of a loss to Fremantle last week and maybe we should have seen it coming as the Dockers were actually the last team to beat the Bulldogs in 2016.
North are a big outsider ($3.60) to avoid starting the season with four straight losses for the first time since 2011. They have played some decent football this year but lack quality a couple of quality ball users.
They were smashed by the Giants last week, and were lucky in wasn’t more than a 42-point loss in the end, given they trailed the inside 50 count 71-49. They also had 17 less scoring shots.
A man who has had more than 17 shots on goal is new-Bulldog Travis Cloke, he was poor last week, and there is even some talk he may be left out of the side for this one. Liam Picken also suffered a concussion last week and the club will be hoping he recovers in time .
Considering this Good Friday experiment is North Melbourne’s initiative, they will come out hard but I’m expecting the Dogs to be too classy in the end. They’ve won seven of their last nine at this venue.
The match is also being named “Kick For The Kids”, with organisers expecting a big crowd and several fundraising initiatives by the AFL will go towards proceeds for the Good Friday Appeal.
Suggested Bet: Western Bulldogs to win by under 40: $2.20
Melbourne v Fremantle, Saturday April 15, 1:45pm, MCG
Melbourne host Fremantle on Saturday in a match they would have pencilled in as a win two weeks ago but the Dockers surprised everyone last week, rolling the Dogs.
The Demons are a $1.32 favourite to bounce back from their disappointing loss to the Cats last week, a game they dominated for large parts and had six more scoring shots in.
Even more disappointing for the club is the hamstring injury to ruckman Max Gawn. The All-Australian big-man went under the knife during the week and is expected to miss up to three months. Jake Spencer will be tasked with the job of filling his massive shoes.
Fremantle are at $3.40 to repeat their heroics of last week, a match in which they looked nothing like a normal Ross Lyon-coached side. They played an attractive, attacking brand and unearthed a star in the making – Brady Grey.
The real test for them is to see whether they can back it up this week, the Melbourne midfield ran riot the last time these clubs met – round 16 last season – when they won by 32 points and I’m taking them to win by a similar margin here.
Suggested Bet: Melbourne to win by under 40: $2.10
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining all the below for $9.70 at Sportsbet
AFL Round 4 odds:
West Coast $1.35 (-18.5) v Sydney $3.21 (+18.5)
North Melbourne $3.62 (+22.5) v Western Bulldogs $1.29 (-22.5)
Melbourne $1.36 (-23.5) v Fremantle $3.18 (+23.5)
Greater Western Sydney $1.30 (-22.5) v Port Adelaide $3.55 (+22.5)
Adelaide $1.14 (-35.5) v Essendon $5.80 (+35.5)
Carlton $2.10 (+4.5) v Gold Coast $1.75 (-4.5)
Collingwood $1.80 (-2.5) v St Kilda $2.02 (+2.5)
Brisbane $3.08 (+17.5) v Richmond $1.38 (-17.5)
Hawthorn $2.94 (+16.5) v Geelong 1.41 (+16.5)
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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