AFL Round 4 Preview and Betting Tips

Season tally so far

Units Wagered = 50.75 units
Units Won = 60.54 units
Profit/Loss = +9.79 units (19.3% profit)

See the bottom of the article for a more detailed analysis of betting results.


Cheeky Weekend Multi

Andy’s Bet:

Jay Schulz most goals in Port Adelaide v Brisbane match @ 4.00

Jeremy Cameron most goals in GWS v Western Bulldogs match @ 4.00

1 unit @ combined odds of 16.00 (Sportsbet)


Friday 5 April

Richmond v Collingwood

7:50 PM AEDT, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Richmond v Collingwood

Two of the league’s largest supporter groups will flock to the MCG this Friday night to see their teams battle it out for a crucial four points in the race for the top 8. Richmond have been quite underwhelming to start the year, bagging a narrow victory over Carlton in between defeats against 2013 non-finalists Gold Coast and Western Bulldogs. Collingwood also sit on 1-2, but at least the Pies can say they have had a tough set of fixtures, only facing sides from last year’s top 4 thus far.

Richmond are without elite midfielder Brett Deledio for a second successive week due to injury, however the Tigers do get to welcome back ruckman Shaun Hampson and mature-age recruit Sam Lloyd has been promoted for his debut. There are no major changes at Collingwood with the only selection swaps involving fringe players.

The media spotlight has focussed on high-profile Magpie stars Travis Cloke and Dane Swan this week. Burly forward Cloke has been held goalless in two games already this year, while Swan has struggled to influence any matches from his midfield role. Both players have enjoyed playing against Richmond in recent years, with Cloke picking up the 3 Brownlow votes last year, while Swan picked up 2 votes last year and the 3 votes on each of the three occasions before that. If Swan and Cloke are going to get back into form, this is the game they will do it.

The Pies are still missing key backmen, but Jack Frost has performed reasonably well against Lance Franklin and Tom Hawkins in the past fortnight, although Hawkins did get off the chain to kick three crucial goals in the final term last week. Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt kicked four goals in the second half last week and with a likely match-up on Frost, he looms as one of the Tigers few match-winners.

Despite Riewoldt’s potential to exploit his match-up, I think Collingwood are travelling better than Richmond at this stage of the year and should get the job done in a close game to continue their winning record over the Tigers that stretches back to 2008. Watch out for Swan and Cloke to silence their critics as well.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Collingwood to win @ 1.63 (Pinnacle)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 unit on Travis Cloke to kick 3 or more goals @ 2.50 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Dane Swan most disposals in Group 1 @ 6.00 (Sportsbet)


Saturday 6 April

Carlton v Melbourne

1:45 PM AEDT, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Carlton v Melbourne

Two winless teams will be running around on the MCG this Saturday afternoon, and after watching some of the fairly disturbing football they have served up so far this year, viewer discretion is advised for this one. Melbourne have kicked only 17 goals for the whole season, so the advantage is surely with the Blues who have at least played a few quarters of really good football against Port Adelaide and Richmond before the debacle against Essendon last Sunday night.

A couple of high-profile Carlton forwards have paid the price for some disappointing displays, with both Jarrad Waite and Jeff Garlett omitted from the team for this match. In a glimpse to the future, the Blues have promoted solidly built clearance player Patrick Cripps for his debut. Melbourne suffered more bad news during the week as key forward Mitch Clark retired from the game due to mental health reasons. I hope Clark is able to conquer his personal problems now that he is away from the spotlight. Back to the on-field action and the Demons will be very excited to see the return from injury of marking target Chris Dawes, who should provide the sort of tall forward option that the Dees have been lacking so far this year.

Carlton have been bad. Melbourne have been terrible. Maybe the Demons can play the Blues back into form. With Waite out of the team, Lachie Henderson will be the main man for Carlton in attack and is a good option to snare 3 or more goals.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Carlton at the line (-35.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Lachie Henderson to score 3 or more goals @ 2.75 (Sportsbet)


Port Adelaide v Brisbane

2:10 PM AEDT, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Port Adelaide v Brisbane

The other Saturday afternoon match is played at the newly refurbished and very picturesque Adelaide Oval between Port Adelaide and Brisbane. The Power are one of the more entertaining teams to watch with their exciting and hard-running brand of football, and Ken Hinkley’s team will be out to prove a point in this one after some mid-game injuries left them in the unusual position of being the team that was run down in the last quarter. Normally it’s the other way around.

Brisbane opened the season with two honourable losses against Hawthorn and Geelong, but they lost all respect last week during a disastrous 53 point loss to state rivals Gold Coast. That loss was made even worse by the season-ending knee injury incurred by key Lions midfielder Daniel Rich, while key defender Daniel Merrett will miss this week due to suspension. Port also have personnel problems, with x-factor half forwards Chad Wingard and Angus Monfries both sidelined due to injury.

Port Adelaide let me down with their late fade-out last week, but they did have injury excuses, so I am going to let them off and back them in for a better second half showing this week. Brisbane’s midfield is pretty free-wheeling, so I expect Brad Ebert to get a lot of the ball and he is the standout player in Sportsbet’s second tier most disposals group.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Port Adelaide to win the second half by 19 points or more @ 1.90 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Brad Ebert most disposals in Group 2 @ 3.00 (Sportsbet)


Greater Western Sydney v Western Bulldogs

4:40 PM AEDT, StarTrack Oval, Canberra

View a detailed form guide for GWS v Western Bulldogs

The moment happened three weeks into their third season. At a midweek press conference GWS coach Leon Cameron was finally asked to address the ‘F’ word (finals). The group of teenagers has grown into men and with the Giants sitting at 2-1, and boasting the scalp of big brother Sydney, a finals berth this year is no longer an impossibility for the fledgling franchise club. Even if it is still really, really unlikely!

With all the draft concessions diverted to the expansion clubs in recent years, the Western Bulldogs recruiting staff have worked wonders to assemble some very exciting young midfield talent, which looks like it will set the club up to be very competitive for the next 6-8 years. The fruits of those drafting harvests were on show in the latter stages of last season, and resurfaced last week as the young Doggies took the 4 points against the more-fancied Tigers.

The Dogs have been dealt a double-blow at selection with injuries ruling out key defender Jordan Roughead and livewire half forward Luke Dahlhaus, although the inclusion of Koby Stevens to the midfield is a plus. The only notable change for the Giants is the suspension to Devon Smith.

In a close game, the experience of old Dogs like Matthew Boyd, Dale Morris, Bob Murphy, Ryan Griffen, Adam Cooney and Daniel Giansiracusa might see off the young pups from Greater Western Sydney.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Western Bulldogs to win by 39 points or less @ 2.25 (Sportsbet)


Geelong v West Coast

7:40 PM AEDT, Simonds Stadium, Geelong

View a detailed form guide for Geelong v West Coast

League leaders West Coast make the long journey to Geelong for this Saturday night showdown. Both teams are unbeaten this year, which is not surprising for the Cats given they are a perennial finalist, and probably not surprising for West Coast either as the Eagles have enjoyed a nice run of fixtures against some of the weaker teams to open their season. Therefore this fixture is likely to be quite instructive as a guide to where West Coast might finish up this season. Geelong’s finals longevity is well known and a gritty win over Collingwood further strengthened their claims on a top 4 position, but the Eagles ability to compete against the big boys is mostly an unknown quantity, which will become clearer as Saturday night’s match progresses.

The one caveat to obtaining a read on West Coast’s formline is that a number of key Eagles players have not made the plane trip east due to injury or suspension. Mark LeCras, Darren Glass, Chris Masten and Luke Shuey are all in West Coast’s top dozen players but won’t be lining up on Saturday night. As a general rule of thumb, visiting teams just don’t win down at Geelong, and they certainly don’t win when they have so many key players absent.

I think the Cats will kick a big score. The ‘over’ option on the home team total goals is one my best bets of the weekend.

Andy’s Bet: 3 units on Geelong to kick over 14.5 goals @ 1.85 (Sportsbet)


Gold Coast v Hawthorn

7:40 PM AEST, MCG, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

View a detailed form guide for Gold Coast v Hawthorn

The match between these teams at the MCG midway through 2013 was one game that really stuck in my memory. The Hawks entered it on a 7-game winning streak but were made to work all the way by the young Gold Coast lads, with Alastair Clarkson’s men eventually bagging a 26 point win thanks to some last quarter show time by Lance Franklin.

The Suns enter this year’s clash in good form, winning both their home games at Metricon either side of a loss in the west to Fremantle. Hawthorn, meanwhile, won ugly against Brisbane and Essendon before Fremantle played them into form during a surprisingly free-flowing game last Friday night. The Suns would be advised to guard the open spaces better than the Dockers did.

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge returns but my focus will be on his opposite number, Suns skipper Gary Ablett. The Hawks have used rookie Will Langford to do tagging jobs on Jobe Watson and David Mundy with reasonable success so far this season, however I fear for the youngster if he is tasked with stopping Ablett.

Hawthorn look to have a better spread of goal kicking options than Gold Coast and should cover the line even if they can’t cover Ablett.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Hawthorn to win at the line (-24.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)


Sunday 7 April

Sydney v North Melbourne

1:10 PM AEST, SCG, Sydney

View a detailed form guide for Sydney v North Melbourne

Both teams put in impressive performances last week to silence the critics that were already starting to circle. North Melbourne’s win over Port Adelaide was an improvement on their gritty but untidy win over the Western Bulldogs the week before, while Sydney found their mojo as they thrashed Adelaide and posted their first win of the season.

This is Sydney’s first game at the SCG this season, a venue they have enjoyed playing at during recent seasons. The Swans won 7 of their 9 SCG games last year, drawing once against Fremantle and losing narrowly to Geelong. Of those seven wins, all were by margins of greater than 20 points and six of the seven were by greater than 40 points. Sydney at the line of 17.5 points looks a safe play.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Sydney at the line (-17.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)


St Kilda v Adelaide

3:20 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for St Kilda v Adelaide

St Kilda’s surprising form has been one of the early season feel-good stories. Expected by many (including myself) to be propping up the ladder, the Saints beat fellow battlers Melbourne and GWS to start the year, before pushing West Coast all the way in Perth last Saturday night. But for every positive story there is a negative one, and Adelaide’s sluggish start to the year is in direct contrast to what St Kilda have managed to produce.

The Crows have been contending for the victory at three quarter time in all of their matches but they have been plagued by a trio of horrendous last quarters that they have lost by 33, 24 and 38 points. Their fade-outs are on par with Greg Normal circa 1986.

This is an interesting game in that St Kilda have the better form but I think Adelaide’s team looks stronger on paper. For interest’s sake, I will have a very small outlay on the in-form Saints to take the points.

I have more confidence in experienced Saints midfielder Leigh Montagna to pick up more super coach points than rookie teammate Luke Dunstan. Dunstan did score very well last week, but he has only played three games of senior footy, so I expect him to take time to find some consistency. Montagna in this head to head is my best bet of the weekend.

Andy’s Bet: 0.25 units on St Kilda to win by 39 points or less @ 2.70 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 4 units on Leigh Montagna to score more supercoach points than Luke Dunstan @ 1.75 (Sportsbet)


Fremantle v Essendon

4:40 PM AEST, Patersons Stadium, Perth

View a detailed form guide for Fremantle v Essendon

Just like when I save a delicious potato cake to the end of my fish and chips meal, the AFL are also saving the best till last this weekend by scheduling this mouth-watering clash between Fremantle and Essendon in the Sunday twilight timeslot.

There are a few similarities in the way the Dockers and Bombers have started the year, with both clubs picking up two big wins balanced out by losses to the high flying Hawks. Fremantle were very un-Fremantle like in their approach last week, providing minimal pressure and allowing their Hawthorn opponents the freedom of the MCG in the Grand Final rematch. It will be interesting to see whether Dockers coach Ross ‘the boss’ Lyon will be able to get his troops to stick to the high-pressure game plan this week.

Fremantle are still without midfield linchpins Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow, which tilts the balance in favour of Essendon who bat very deep in that area of the ground led by skipper Jobe Watson. Adding to Fremantle’s problems are the injuries to mid-sized forwards Michael Walters and Chris Mayne, while rebounding defender Garrick Ibbotson will be another absentee. Essendon were expected to rest red hot forward line star Paul Chapman, but the instant fan favourite has been selected to play, although he may still be a late withdrawal.

If it wasn’t for Aaron Sandilands, I would pick Essendon with fairly good confidence due to Fremantle’s injuries. However the Bombers are missing their two best ruckman and Sandilands will be a big factor. This could go either way, so I will hope for a repeat of last year’s low-scoring tight contest.

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Total Match Score under 170.5 @ 1.91 (Bet365)


Betting Summary (after Round 3)

Round by Round


Units Wagered

Net Result (Units)

% Profit

Cumulative Net Result

Cumulative % Profit




















Bet Type

Bet Type


Net Result




2-leg Multi



Goals Pick Your Own Line






Dream Team Individual Line



Either Team 15 points or less



25 points or more



Most Disposals in Group A



16 points or more



Dream Team Group



Half Time/Full Time



Time First Goal



Either Team 24 points or less



Total Match Score (line)



Most Disposals in Group B



Win Q4



39 points or less



Most Goals



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