AFL Round 5 Preview and Betting Tips

Season tally so far

Units Wagered = 70.75 units
Units Won = 85.30 units
Profit/Loss = +14.55 units (20.6% profit)

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


Cheeky Weekend Multi

Andy’s Bet:

Essendon to win by 60 points or more @ 2.90

Chris Masten most disposals in Group 2 @ 4.75

1 unit @ combined odds of 13.78 (Sportsbet)


Saturday 19 April

Collingwood v North Melbourne

1:40 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Collingwood v North Melbourne

After shaky beginnings to the season in Round 1, both these teams have recovered strongly and enter this match in good form. Collingwood have won two of their past three matches, while North Melbourne are doing even better and have won three on the spin, which has seen the Kangaroos bounce into the top 8.

There are no surprises at the selection table with Collingwood naming an unchanged side to the one that outplayed Richmond last week, and North Melbourne have made just the one change, bringing in big ruckman Daniel Currie for little man Robin Nahas. That change was as much for team balance as anything else, with Nahas a late inclusion for Currie last week as the Kangaroos opted for a smaller line-up to combat the wet weather in Sydney.

It will be interesting to see who Collingwood tagger Brent Macaffer goes to at the start of this match. His successful job on Richmond’s Trent Cotchin was highly publicised last week, but one of North Melbourne’s strengths is that they have an even spread of midfielders and if one of the players gets tagged out of the game, it doesn’t effect the outcome of the match as significantly as it does for teams like Richmond that rely so heavily on a player like Cotchin.

Collingwood’s backline has suffered injuries to experienced players and has a very youthful feel about it. For the past three weeks it has been held together by the renaissance of former skipper Nick Maxwell, however North Melbourne might have too many dangerous forwards for Maxwell to deal with.

These teams played two fantastic matches last year, sharing the spoils in high scoring encounters. This should go right to the wire again, but North Melbourne’s lineup has a more balanced feel about it and I think that will enable the Kangaroos to continue their winning streak. It is also worth noting that 5 of the last 6 matches between these clubs have resulted in total match scores of 177 points or more. It might be worth having a nibble at that market as well.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on North Melbourne to win @ 2.05 (Luxbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Total match score over 177.5 points @ 1.91 (Bet365)


Sydney v Fremantle

4:40 PM AEST, SCG, Sydney

View a detailed form guide for Sydney v Fremantle

Sydney were certainties for the top 4 in everybody’s pre-season predictions, but the Swans have suffered a shaky start to the season, losing three matches in their home city that they were heavy favourites to win (against GWS, Collingwood and North Melbourne). With last year’s Grand Finalists heading east from Fremantle, there is a very real danger that Sydney could slide to 1-4 after this round.

Fremantle have been a mixed bag this season, producing three outstanding performances to thrash Collingwood, Gold Coast and Essendon, balanced out by one truly horrible showing against Hawthorn. Given what we’ve seen from Fremantle during the past 14 months, I’m inclined to treat that loss against the Hawks as an outlier.

Sydney lose important trio Tom Mitchell, Ryan O’Keefe and Gary Rohan for this match, with Mitchell missing due to an ankle injury, while O’Keefe and Rohan have been dumped due to poor form. No big-names have been included in their place, so the Swans will require improvements from established players like Kieran Jack and Dan Hannebery who have been down on form.

The Dockers welcome back gun midfielder Nat Fyfe and mid-sized forward Chris Mayne, with both players significantly improving Ross Lyon’s side. Fremantle should really dominate the ruck with Aaron Sandilands coming up against Mike Pyke, especially considering Pyke is really struggling this season while playing the number one ruck in Shane Mumford’s absence.

With the head-start provided by Sandilands’ stoppage dominance, Fremantle should be able to get the points in this one.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Fremantle to win @ 1.67 (UniBet)


Essendon v St Kilda

7:40 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Essendon v St Kilda

Last week against Fremantle in Perth, Essendon paid the price for managing its playing list ahead of two six day breaks on the back of an interstate trip. The Bombers realised they were unlikely to beat the Dockers last Sunday and rested veterans Paul Chapman and Dustin Fletcher as well as chronic injury victim David Myers. The result was a 53 point defeat, but all will be forgotten if the Bombers can recover to beat St Kilda and Collingwood in their upcoming fixtures.

St Kilda’s good start to the season came undone in spectacular fashion last week as the Saints were thrashed by 86 points against a previously winless Adelaide. Unfortunately for Saints fans, I think heavy defeats are going to be the norm for the rest of the season.

As expected, the Bombers have immediately recalled rested trio Chapman, Fletcher and Myers, while the return from injury of Paddy Ryder is a significant boost considering the team played without a recognised ruckman for the past two games. The one downside for Essendon is that elite midfielder Brendan Goddard injured his groin against Fremantle and misses this match against his former club.

The Saints have made five changes at selection, with the most notable exclusion being midfielder David Armitage due to a knee injury. The key inclusion is ruckman Tom Hickey, who is back after a week on the sidelines due to injury. Hickey’s replacement Billy Longer was comfortably beaten in his position by Adelaide counterpart Sam Jacobs last week.

Both teams served up some ordinary stuff last week after a promising first three matches, but I saw enough from Essendon in their first three matches to realise they are a team that will challenge the top 4. St Kilda may have managed two wins to start the season, however those results only came against Melbourne and GWS, so I still have the Saints as a bottom four team. Given I rate this as a top 4 team versus a bottom 4 team, the scoreboard could get lopsided.

Andy’s Bet: 3 units on Essendon at the line (-41.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Jobe Watson most disposals in Group 1 @ 3.50 (Sportsbet)


West Coast v Port Adelaide

7:40 PM AEST, MCG, Patersons Stadium, Perth

View a detailed form guide for Gold Coast v Hawthorn

This is a game between two teams currently residing in the top 4. Most weeks that would be enough to give it match of the round status, but with Hawthorn and Geelong facing off on Easter Monday, I’ve got a funny feeling most interest will lie at the MCG rather than Patersons Stadium. Nonetheless, this should be a cracking game between two clubs that sit on 3-1 with healthy percentages.

I’ve been fairly repetitive with my message on Port Adelaide this year, constantly warning of their running capacity and ability to wear the opposition down over four quarters. That wearing the opposition out thing has historically been a trait of West Coast, so it will be fascinating to see which of these teams will finish strongest on Saturday night.

The Eagles travelled to Geelong last week and went with a similar selection philosophy to the Bombers, leaving out a number of key players under the assumption that they were unlikely to win the game anyway, and then they could recall a bunch of their best players fit and ready for this week. That has proved to be the case with defender Darren Glass and midfielders Chris Masten, Luke Shuey and Matt Rosa all recalled immediately. Port Adelaide will also be boosted by the return of classy half-forward Chad Wingard.

I know West Coast were bad last week, but with some key players back they represent good value at nearly even money in a home game against visiting interstate opposition.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on West Coast to win @ 1.91 (BetEzy)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Josh Kennedy most goals @ 4.00 (Sportsbet)


Sunday 20 April

Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney

1:10 PM AEST, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v GWS

I underestimated Adelaide last week, but now I have seen them in good form, I will try not to make the same mistake again. It was clear in the off-season the Crows were recruiting for a Premiership push in the short-term, picking up veteran forwards James Podsiadly and Eddie Betts. 0-3 was not a good way for the Crows to start the year, but they did play three of last season’s top six to start this campaign, and with a nicer set of fixtures for the next two months, Adelaide could be back in top 8 contention very soon.

GWS have just come out of a nice run of fixtures, playing the other three teams from last year’s bottom four. However, the Giants could only manage one win from that trio of matches and could be set for a tough few months as they begin playing some of the stronger teams.

Daft Punk’s 2001 track “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” could easily be applied to Adelaide in the matchup. The Giants are improving, but Adelaide have an experienced side and should win this match comfortably.

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Adelaide at the line (-39.5) @ 1.92 (Sportsbet)


Melbourne v Gold Coast

3:20 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Melbourne v Gold Coast

After a bleak period of continuous losses, Melbourne players, coaches and fans finally had something to smile about last Saturday as the club beat Carlton to post their first victory since June last year. Their opponents this week are Gold Coast who, ironically, put in a Melbourne-like performance last week during a 99 point loss to Hawthorn. The Suns sit at 2-2 and are out of the top 8 due to their dismal percentage, making a win this week very important for Gold Coast to maintain momentum in their quest for a first ever finals berth.

Melbourne’s recipe for success last week was simple. Keep the forward line open for the ‘slingshot’ counter-attack and put a lot of tackling pressure on the opposition, which was assisted when Carlton were unable to stick to their own structures and largely resembled a team of individuals. But credit to Melbourne for being in a position to capitalise on those errors, with a particular highlight being Jack Viney’s field kicking to the leading forwards.

Gold Coast beat Melbourne in both matches between the teams last season and I expect this year to be no different. The Suns should have too much class. But the bookies have got the odds just about spot on, so I am going to have a small nibble on the unders in the total match score market. The total match score in Melbourne’s games this season have been 119, 153, 126 and 139, so the option of under 173.5 points look a good bet. Plus I am going to bet on Gary Ablett and no explanation is required for any bets on him!

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Total match score under 173.5 points @ 1.91 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Gary Ablett most Super Coach points in Group 1 @ 3.00 (Sportsbet)


Western Bulldogs v Carlton

4:40 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Western Bulldogs v Carlton

Carlton might have hit rock bottom last week, suffering the ignominy of losing to Melbourne and sliding to a disastrous 0-4 record. High-profile coach Mick Malthouse has a mountain of work in front of him to restore some confidence to his players and get them to play as a team rather than as individuals. There are no such problems for Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney, who has piloted his team to back to back wins over Richmond and GWS.

The Doggies upset the Blues during their only meeting last season, with that late season result nearly scuppering Carlton’s quest to secure a finals berth. The Dogs midfield was totally dominant that day, with Ryan Griffen and Adam Cooney both gathering over 30 possession, while Carlton pair Marc Murphy and Chris Judd were well held.

After missing the first four games of the season due to injury, Judd is back for this match and will be required to get up to speed immediately as Murphy and Bryce Gibbs have struggled to carry the load in his absence. Despite having Judd back, I still give the midfield edge to the Bulldogs as they have more options to rotate through that part of the ground.

Expect a better showing from Carlton this week, but the Doggies winning form leads me to tipping them for the victory.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Western Bulldogs to win by 39 points or less @ 2.35 (Sportsbet)


Monday 21April

Geelong v Hawthorn

3:20 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Hawthorn

As discussed earlier, this is most definitely the game of the round. Heck, it might even be the game of the home and away season. You have probably seen these stats a million times already this week, but the recent history between these clubs is so fascinating that I feel compelled to post it again. Since Hawthorn’s win in the 2008 grand final over Geelong, the Cats won the next 11 matches against the Hawks, which was the longest winning streak by any team following a VFL/AFL Grand Final loss to their opponent. What makes things more amazing is that 9 of those 11 wins were by ten points or less! The winning streak ended in spectacular style last September as Hawthorn won the Preliminary Final against Geelong by 3 points after coming from 20 points down in the final quarter.

Scarily for a team that has been playing so well, Hawthorn is able to recall last year’s Norm Smith Medallist Brian Lake for his first game this season after suspension, while ruckman Ben McEvoy is back from injury and will play his first game for the Hawks in one of these fixtures. Geelong have lost up-and-coming midfielder Josh Caddy to a broken foot, so the selection news definitely favours Hawthorn.

I think both team’s best football is as good as each others, but Hawthorn play their best football more frequently than Geelong, so I am going for the Hawks to win what will hopefully be a classic contest.

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


Betting Summary

Round by Round

Round Units Wagered Net Result (Units) % Profit Cumulative Net Result Cumulative % Profit
1 18.5 13.24 71.6% 13.24 71.6%
2 16.5 1.17 7.1% 14.41 41.2%
3 15.75 -4.625 -29.4% 9.785 19.3%
4 19 4.26 22.4% 14.045 20.1%
5 1 0.5 50.0% 14.545 20.6%


Bet Type

Bet Type Bets Net Result
H2H 8 7.31
2-leg Multi 5 5.25
Supercoach player H2H 1 3
Team Goals (line) 1 2.55
Goals Pick Your Own Line 3 1.75
Dream Team Individual Line 1 1.74
Line 10 1.56
Second Half Line 1 0.9
Either Team 15 points or less 1 0.825
25 points or more 1 0.82
16 points or more 1 0.68
Most Disposals in Group A 3 0.3
Most Disposals in Group B 4 0.25
Dream Team Group 1 -0.5
Half Time/Full Time 1 -0.5
Time First Goal 1 -0.5
Either Team 24 points or less 2 -1.5
39 points or less 9 -1.55
Win Q4 1 -2
Most Goals 6 -2.25
Total Match Score (line) 4 -3.59
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