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AFL Sunday Specials: Tight affair at Etihad, Tigers to roll on

Sat, Apr 15, 11:56am by Head Editor

Being Easter Sunday, there’s only two Sunday AFL games to preview. The first match between the Magpies and Saints is a tight betting affair with the line at just 4.5 points. Next up, Richmond are a short-priced favourite to make it four wins from as many games against the Lions. The line there is 18.5 points.

Collingwood v St Kilda, Etihad Stadium, Sunday April 16, 3:20pm AEST

After surprising everyone last week with a thrilling one-point win over the Swans, the Pies can even their season ledger at 2-2 with a win over the Saints on Easter Sunday. St Kilda also picked up their first win of the season last weekend when they defeated Brisbane Lions by 31 points at this venue.

After playing some of their best football in years in the opening term against the Swans, the Pies are a $1.73 favourite to make it two wins in a row. St Kilda are $2.15. I think that Collingwood are unders here, they played well last week but these two sides are evenly matched.

The Saints win never reached the heights of their opponents’ and to be honest they haven’t really got into gear yet this season. They were given a scare against last season’s wooden spooners when the visitors fought back in the third term but they settled in the fourth term.

This game is a rare Collingwood home game at Etihad Stadium but they do have a good recent record here against the Saints, winning their last three. The last time they lost to the Saints at this venue was 2010 – the year these two clubs met in the Grand Final.

Collingwood’s midfield continues to prove itself as one of the best in the league, making this assignment even harder for the Saints is that they’ll once again be without Jack Steven.

Fortunately, David Armitage is set to return from a groin injury. For the Pies, Jamie Elliot, who proved his fitness in the VFL booting five goals, comes in for Chris Mayne.

Where the Saints will have the edge is with their tall forward line. Nick Riewoldt dominated last week and if he can bring more of the same, then it’s game on.

We haven’t seen the best of the Saints yet but there’s no doubt they can match it with the Pies. Let’s not forget they won six of their last eight games last season. With that in mind, I’m going to take either side to win by under 24.5 points.

Suggested Bet: Take either side to win by under 24.5 points: $1.83

Brisbane Lions v Richmond, Gabba, Sunday April 16, 4:40pm AEST

The Tiger Army is up and about with the boys from Punt Rd starting the season with three straight wins. They are a solid favourite to make it four from four here against an inconsistent Lions side.

That win is priced at $1.38 with Sportsbet, while the Lions are $3.10 to notch their second win of the year having beaten the Suns in Round One.

On the form of the first three rounds, the odds look fairly reasonable, although the Tigers are coming off a tough slog in the wet against the Eagles and the Lions are a competitive outfit at home.

The hosts – led by their skipper Dayne Beams – have played some good football in patches, but outside of the opening round, haven’t been able to string it together for long enough.

Plenty has been said about Dustin Martin’s form, and rightly so, but his skipper Trent Cotchin is also in superb touch, averaging 26 disposals over the opening three rounds.

Richmond’s recent record against the Lions is remarkably good, they have won their last nine and their last seven at this venue. The Lions are improving and are a competitive outfit at home but I can’t see them snapping their poor run against the Tigers here.

Suggested Bet: Richmond to win by 1-39: $2.10

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