Friday, April 17
Collingwood vs St Kilda
7:50PM AEST, MCG
St Kilda showed some very impressive signs last weekend. A few young players stood up and showed that they’re heading in the right direction, and, more importantly, they had a big morale boosting win in front of their fans. The Pies were lacklustre and couldn’t handle the pressure the Crows heaped on them when they had the ball. Their foot skills aren’t up to scratch, and even though I expect this is an area they’ll be constantly working on, there’s no overnight fix.
The Saints will probably afford them a little more room to move than the Crows did, and this should result in the Pies being able to put a winning score on the board and limit turnovers resulting in scores for the Saints. On the other hand, if the Saints are able to put relentless pressure on when the Magpies have the ball, they’re liable to turn the ball over and who knows what could happen from there.
Betting tip: Pies to win @ $1.45 (BetFair)
Saturday, April 18
Carlton vs Essendon
1:45PM AEST, MCG
Carlton’s round 2 loss was eerily similar to their round 1 performance. A solid 1st quarter-and-a-bit, before transforming into a seemingly totally different side that just couldn’t get their hands on the ball or do anything with it when they did. They’re in for a bit of a rough time over the next season or two. Mick says they’re short on talent, but he wants to continue playing the best 22. That’s all well and good, but they’d want to be getting some games into the kids at some stage this season to try and accelerate their growth and development. Sure, they don’t have to play every week, but give them a taste of senior footy so they can measure up and see how hard they need to work.
I have a feeling they might cop a bit of a belting this week against the Bombers. Essendon look to be in sparkling form, and after playing two games against tough opposition they shouldn’t have too many problems running this one out.
Betting tip: Bombers by 40+ @ $2.50 (Palmer Bet)
Adelaide vs Melbourne
2:10PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
Could Adelaide by emerging as a serious contender? It’s still early days, but they’re doing everything right so far. This week isn’t likely to give us much of a better idea, as Melbourne aren’t exactly a finals quality side, but it will be interesting to see if they can get the job done in the same impressive fashion as their first two wins.
The Demons unfortunately returned to their old selves in round 2, after giving fans some false hope that they’d turned the corner with a big round 1 win. This game will be a big test for them. They’re not expected to steal a win, but they do need to come out and play with intensity and effort for 4 quarters, something they weren’t able to do against the Giants.
Not much value in the match betting here for me, but I reckon Eddie might be able to slot one from the boundary to open up the goal scoring.
Betting tip: First goal scorer – Eddie Betts @ $7.50 (Sportsbet)
Sydney vs GWS Giants
4:35PM AEST, SCG
Could we see a repeat of last year’s early season clash between these two clubs? Maybe. Possibly. But probably not. The Giants are definitely playing some good footy, and at this stage look capable of winning 8-10 games this year. But the Swans demolition of the Power showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with, and anyone who excluded them from their 2015 Grand Final predictions might be thinking again right now.
I’m sure the Giants will be ready to test themselves against one of the best sides in the competition and I’m expecting them to come out firing, but the Swans should be too good for them in the end and run out comfortable winners.
Betting tip: Giants to lead at quarter time @ $4.50 (Centrebet)
North Melbourne vs Port Adelaide
7:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
This is a massive test for both clubs. Port are 0-2, which is not the ideal start to a season for any side, let alone a club in premiership contention. However, they can take solace from the fact that the Swans were in the same position last year and ending up playing off against the Hawks. The Kangaroos, well, they were very poor in round 1, and very good in round 2. Inconsistency has plagued them for a while, and now is definitely the time for them to start putting in consistent efforts if they want to achieve something special with this current group.
I know it’s only round 3, but this could be a season defining game for both clubs. If the Power lose, it will be incredibly difficult for them to secure a top 4 finish from 0-3. Not impossible of course, but it sets them a very tough task for the remainder of the season. For North, they’ve just got to back up from last week. Even though Port are a top side, the Kangaroos should be confident of beating them at home if they are to consider themselves premiership threats.
That being said, I think the Power will be a little too good for North and will do everything they can to avoid a 0-3 start to the year.
Betting tip: Power to win @ $1.80 (Pinnacle)
Brisbane vs Richmond
7:20PM AEST, The Gabba
I have no hesitation in labelling this game as an absolute tipster’s nightmare. Both sides have been less than convincing in what we’ve seen so far, but, at the same time, they’re both capable of playing some really good footy and knocking off top sides when they’re on song.
If this game was at the MCG, the Tigers would rightfully be heavy favourites. As it is, the game is at the Gabba, and while the Tigers are still favourites, I don’t think anyone is actually convinced about the result.
News that Brett Deledio will miss again is a massive blow for the Tigers, who missed him dearly last week. I’d say the Lions have got to be a big chance in this one; there’s some nice odds for them to get their first win of the 2015 season which I can’t ignore so I’m backing them in.
Betting tip: Lions to win @ $2.92 (BetFair)
Sunday, April 19
Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs
1:10PM AEST, Aurora Stadium
The Dogs built on their round 1 performance with another impressive win against the Tigers last weekend. Young star Marcus Bontempelli put in a showing that did nothing to halt his rapidly enhancing reputation, but it was the well rounded team effort that got the Dogs a win against the more credentialed Tigers. The Dogs will have their work cut out for them this week however, coming up against the two-time reigning premiers on the rebound from a last-gasp loss to the Bombers.
The Hawks are sure to put more pressure on the Dogs than the Tigers did, and you can expect them to give some of the important young pups a heavy work over.
I’m expecting this to be an entertaining game of footy. The Dogs won’t be blown out of the contest if they can match the intensity they brought to their previous two games, but I expect the Hawks will be a bridge too far for them in terms of strength, skill and experience.
Betting tip: Hawks by 1-39 @ $2.70 (Palmer Bet)
Geelong vs Gold Coast
3:20PM AEST, Simonds Stadium
The Gold Coast have been the biggest disappointments in the early stages of season 2015. Pre-season expectations were that the Suns would make finals this year. They look nowhere near it. It’s understandable that it takes time for things to settle down when a new coach comes in but they seem to have gone so far backwards. The loss of Gary Ablett for an unspecified amount of time obviously doesn’t help their cause.
Geelong haven’t looked fantastic either. It seems that, finally, they might not be one of the best sides in the competition anymore. Nonetheless, they’ve still got their fair share of star players, and you would expect them to beat the majority of low-to-mid range clubs, especially when playing in Geelong.
Betting tip: Cats by 1-39 @ $ 2.54 (Palmer Bet)
West Coast vs Fremantle
4:40PM AEST, Patersons Stadium
The biggest home and away game of the year for footy fans over in Perth closes round 3, and though this is one of those rivalries where ladder position doesn’t matter all that much, I think the Dockers will win this one fairly comfortably. They’re in strong form; the Nat Fyfe led midfield is firing, and the other parts of the ground aren’t letting them down. The Eagles, while being fantastic in their Friday night win over the Blues, still have too many injuries to compete with a top team like Fremantle. The loss of vice-captain Scott Selwood for six weeks leaves the midfield in a precarious situation, especially when coming up against the likes of Nat Fyfe, Michael Barlow and David Mundy. The Dockers by 5 – 7 goals.
Betting tip: First goal scorer – Matthew Taberner @ $15.0 (Sportsbet)