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AFL Sunday Specials: Expect goals galore at Etihad

Sat, Apr 8, 12:39pm by Senior Writer

For the second week in a row, our three Sunday AFL games all feature very short-priced favourites, with lines of 34.5, 22.5 and 19.5. With the head to head markets offering little of interest, we’ve had to cast our net wide to see if we can find you some Sunday value.

St Kilda v Brisbane, Etihad Stadium, Sunday April 9, 1:10pm AEST

Taking $1.18 about any team who have lost their first two games of the season is fraught and the Saints this week are no exception. Brisbane ($4.95) may be the wooden spoon holders, but have already recorded their first win of the season, against Gold Coast in round 1, while they held their own against Essendon last week.

The Saints were poor against the Demons in Round 1, while poor kicking cost them in a gallant performance against the Eagles in the west last week. Have they improved from last year? It remains to be seen, but they do get back Nick Riewoldt, albeit while losing tough midfielder Jack Steven.

The Lions have lost five of their past six of this ground and have not beaten the Saints at Etihad since 2000, although they have only played them once here in eight years and that was a 58-point defeat in Round 23 last year. There were 40 goals kicked in that game, including 25 by the Saints.

There has been much discussion about the attacking footy being played in 2017, and games at Etihad this season have had an average of 215 points scored in them this year. Both these teams have suspect defences, with the Lions leaking 207 points in their games so far and the Saints a whopping 236.

With that in mind, we are happy to be on the overs in the total points market at 207.5.

Suggested Bet: Take the over 207.5 in the total points market at $1.90

Carlton v Essendon, MCG, Sunday April 9, 3:20pm AEST

These two great rivals have had such ups and down over the past five years, and their matches have tended to mirror the wildly swinging fortunes. The Bombers overturned odds of $3.20 to beat the Blues in Round 23 last year, and including their two wins to start out this year have put together three consecutive wins for the first time since mid-2014.

The Bombers go into this as $1.25 favourites, their shortest price in a game since mid-2015, while the Blues are $4 to notch their first win of the year having lost to Richmond and Melbourne in the first two rounds.

On the form of the first two rounds, the odds look fairly reasonable, although the Bombers are coming off a trip to Brisbane where they played at a wet Gabba and could be a little flat off that.

The hype of their opening win against Hawthorn has also been deflated by the Hawks’ subsequent loss to Adelaide, and John Worsfold still has a far bit to work to do before he can be convinced that his side can contend for finals.

The Blues are young, having named a fifth teenager to play this week, and are long-term project for Brendon Bolton. Accordingly, they are going to have days where they are outplayed.

I’m not convinced this will be one of them. The past four matches between these two, and six of the past seven, have been decided by less than four goals, despite the markets in those matches expecting a more lop-sided result.

The Bombers should win this game, with the under 39.5 margin priced at an attractive $2.

Suggested Bet: Essendon to win by 1-39: $2 

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