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AFL Sunday Specials: Cats and Roos to shoot it out at Etihad

Sat, Apr 1, 11:18am by Senior Writer

Sunday’s AFL markets see three very short-priced favourites going around, with Geelong, Melbourne and Port Adelaide all priced at around the $1.23 mark.

It makes it had to find you some value, and we either have to back these teams to win by a big margin, suffer an upset loss or we cast our net wider to find something worth betting on.

Geelong v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Sunday April 2, 1:10pm AEDT

The Scott brothers love playing down their coaching rivalry, despite the obvious comparisons between them. It’s interesting to note that while Chris has had more success, having won a premiership and made two preliminary finals, their overall head-head record is 5-5, with the Kangaroos’ Brad having won three of the past four matches.

The Roos are $4.30 to win this match, with the Cats at $1.22 and the 26.5 line in the Kangaroos’ favour looks a a bit big to us. However, they were completely outplayed by the Eagles last week, and they conceded 21 goals which must be causing Brad Scott a few headaches.

Conversely, the Cats impressed against the Dockers, especially with their multi-faceted attack. They kicked 18 goals for the match, and registered their highest score at a Subiaco match in seven years.

Geelong’s forward line was much scrutinised last year, especially after a couple of sub-par performances in the finals, but a slimmer and more athletic Tom Hawkins, with some quality small forwards around him, looks set to have a big season.

I think the over on the total points line of 187.5 appeals at $1.90. In those 10 matches between the Scotts, seven of them have resulted in totals of 188 or above and it appears that both sides are playing some free-flowing football at the start of the year.

Suggested Bet: Total score over 187.5 points at $1.90

Melbourne v Carlton, MCG, Sunday April 2, 3:20pm AEDT

It’s been well over a decade since things have been so positive for the Demons. The long rebuild under former coach Paul Roos is bearing fruit under new coach Simon Goodwin and they opened 2017 with an emphatic win over St Kilda.

They go into Sunday’s match at $1.22 to go to 2-0 for the first time since 2005 against a Carlton side priced at $4.30. The Blues were frankly disappointing in their loss to Richmond last week.

Now the Demons went into Round 2 last year with their tails up after a win over GWS and faltered at a similarly short price against Essendon, so it’s always buyer beware with them. However, this version of the Dees looks more mature and ready to make a charge to the finals.

They had 12 goalkickers last week, while they now possess the dominant big man in the game in Max Gawn, who looks to be an even stronger influence thanks to ‘third-man up’ being banned by the AFL in ruck contests.

Matt Kreuzer will also benefit from more one-on-one contests and the battle between he and Gawn is probably the highlight on what looks a fairly lop-sided around the game battle.

Carlton have lost six of their past seven games at the MCG but did beat the Demons when these teams met in Round 22 last year, with Patrick Cripps getting the three votes. Cripps was one of the Blues criticised for a below-par performance last week and will be keen to bounce back.

I think we’ll see a much-improved performance here from the Blues but you’d expect the Demons to get the points. We’ll take them in the 1-39 point range.

Suggested Bet: Melbourne to win by 1-39 at $2.25

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