Fri, Apr 20, 3:16pm by Staff Writer
Round 5 continues on Sunday afternoon with two matches, followed by the now traditional pre-ANZAC Day match between Richmond and Melbourne. The following day sees one of the biggest home-and-away matches for over two decades takes place at what will be a packed MCG when Essendon and Collingwood meet.
Brisbane Lions versus Gold Coast Suns
Sunday, 22 April 2018 at 4.45pm AEST at the Gabba
Both Brisbane and the Gold Coast come into this match off the back of heavy round four defeats. The Lions mustered only two goals in their defeat to Richmond on Saturday afternoon, while the Gold Coast were easily dispatched by West Coast.
The Lions enter this match as $1.78 favourites with the Suns $2.05 outsiders.
Gold Coast had spent the past fortnight in Perth after back-to-back games at Optus Stadium so will relish the opportunity to return to Queensland.
The Lions have only played one home game at the Gabba this season, a narrow loss to Melbourne.
There is very little to split these two teams, with the Lions winning three of the past four matches between the two sides.
Tom Lynch has had a quiet fortnight but should be dominant in this contest with Brisbane’s backline undersized to deal with his height and that of fellow forward Sam Day.
The Lions’ performance last week was inexcusable and they should fire up for this match, but there is no value in taking Brisbane to win this match in a coin-flip match up.
We are backing the Suns to get the job done and win their third game of the season.
Best bet- Gold Coast Suns to win at $2.05
Melbourne versus Richmond
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 7.25pm AEST at the MCG
Melbourne suffered their worst loss of the season last weekend after Hawthorn limited them to only one goal after the first quarter on their way to a 67-point loss.
The Demons have been over rated this season, despite only winning two games against Brisbane and North Melbourne.
The Dees are $2.65 to beat the reigning Premiers Richmond who are $1.49.
After a loss at the Adelaide Oval a fortnight ago, the Tigers were in total control against Hawthorn and Brisbane, winning both games with ease.
There have been many people question Melbourne’s toughness after a turbulent off-season and new recruit Jake Lever is under enormous pressure to perform given his huge salary and the club crying out for another superstar.
With Melbourne touted as pre-season finals certainties, their performances through the first month of the season have done little to inspire faith in their fans.
The 13.5-point handicap start to Richmond looks too short in this match, with the Tigers a cut above Melbourne at the moment.
Rather than take the Tigers in margin market, the handicap look the play given that the Dees were blown away last weekend.
Best bet- Richmond to cover 13.5-point handicap at $1.92
Collingwood versus Essendon
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at 3.20pm AEST at the MCG
Arch-rivals Collingwood and Essendon meet on ANZAC Day once again in a day which has become a fixture on the AFL calendar since 1995.
The Bombers enter this match as slight underdogs at $2, with the Pies favourites at $1.81.
This is Essendon’s first match at the MCG this season and it comes after their best performance of the year in beating Port Adelaide by 22-points on Sunday.
The Bombers showed excellent intensity from the outset and were deserving of the victory.
The Magpies were the surprise team of round four, beating Adelaide by eight goals at the Adelaide Oval.
Few gave Collingwood a chance in the wet and windy conditions, but they adapted better than their opponents, with youngster Jaidyn Stephenson booting five goals.
Essendon won last year’s ANZAC Day match after a few lean years and will be buoyed by their victory last weekend.
Collingwood’s skills can be hit or miss and it will be interesting to see if a player of Stephenson’s youth will be able to stand up on a stage as big as the MCG with over 90,000 fans in the stands.
Essendon are the play as underdogs either at the head-to-head at $2 or to record a narrow win in the 1-39 margin market at $2.50.
Best bet- Essendon Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $2.50
AFL Round 5 Odds – Sportsbet
North Melbourne $2.75 v Hawthorn $1.46
Brisbane $1.78 v Gold Coast $2.05
Melbourne $2.65 v Richmond $1.49
Collingwood $1.81 v Essendon $2
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