AFL Round 3 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 3 of the 2016 AFL season.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this round.

Friday, April 8

Port Adelaide v Essendon

7:50PM AEST, Adelaide Oval


Apologies to Essendon. I was certain they weren’t going to win a game all year, and they’ve gone and proved me wrong in week two. To be honest, I’d probably forgotten how good John Worsfold is as a senior coach. He already has the Bombers playing really cohesive footy. The list he’s got to work with is, for obvious reasons, severely limited, but it’s clear that the players getting senior games are hungry and, most importantly, playing as a team, which is commendable considering the way they’ve been quickly cobbled together.

So, now that they’ve won a game, it’s time to reassess: how many teams will they beat this year? It still won’t be many. Melbourne were seriously bad on Saturday, much worse than they’re capable of playing, and realistically that’s the only way the Bombers are going to get their wins – against a bottom six club who aren’t totally switched on.

Could Port fall victim to the newly confident Bombers? They’re without Chad Wingard, and they were shocking on the weekend. Still, over in Adelaide you wouldn’t expect them to drop this one.

Betting tip: Port Adelaide by 40+ @ $1.79 (TopSport)

Saturday, April 9

St Kilda v Collingwood



The Pies pulled off a genuine last-minute jail break against the poor Tigers on Friday night. They managed to hang in all game to keep themselves in with a chance, and were then good enough to take their opportunities in the dying stages to snatch the lead in the final seconds. But it was by no means a victory they should be particularly proud of. Sure, it showed resilience to keep their heads up despite being 3 goals down with just minutes to spare. But the standard of footy played over the four quarters was below par, and that’s putting it as kindly as possible.

This is a big test for the Pies; it’s a game they’re expected to win, but will by no means be an easy contest. I guarantee that if they dish out more of the same as Friday night, the Saints will roll them. I am, however, expecting them to lift considerably, and while it should still be a tight game, Collingwood should be good enough to keep the Saints winless for another week.

Betting tip: Collingwood to win @ $1.55 (TopSport)

Richmond v Adelaide

2:10PM AEST, Etihad Stadium


It would have been comical if it weren’t so embarrassing. The Tigers have found some crafty ways to lose games over the years, but Friday night just about topped them all. It’s astounding that a team can drop a game by conceding three goals in the last three minutes in the modern era, where putting almost every player behind the ball is a common tactic in tight situations. And it wasn’t just because Collingwood were too good. Richmond made mistake after mistake which ultimately cost them, when just a handful of players keeping their heads could’ve easily iced the game.

They missed a huge opportunity to go 2-0 without having played their best footy, but now they’re facing a possible 1-2 start, with the Crows looking like they’re going to be formidable opponents in season 2016. The Crows would be absolute certainties if this was at the Adelaide Oval, but I reckon they’ll still be able to get over the Tigers at Etihad. Should be a close one though.

Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $1.86 (Pinnacle)

Sydney v GWS Giants



I reckon this is going be an interesting game of footy. It’ll tell us a fair bit about how far the Giants are likely to go this season. As we saw against the Cats, at their best they’re a seriously good side. They still fluctuate far too much to be a real contender, but there’s no doubt that they’ll knock off some good teams over the course of the year. And they do seem to enjoy playing against their cross-town rivals, the Swans, who are one of the form teams of the competition. But this could be a danger game. The Swans have only played Collingwood and Carlton, and the Giants should be a significant step up in quality. I’d still think the Swans will get home by a couple of goals, but this should be their first real test of the year.

Betting tip: Sydney by 1-39 @ $2.12 (UniBet)

Gold Coast v Carlton

7:25PM AEST, Metricon Stadium


While their win/loss records are polar opposites, both of these clubs have shown good signs in their first two games. The Suns shocked the Dockers, along with most of the football world, last Saturday night in their first ever win over in Perth, while the Blues have been competitive in both their hit outs so far. Carlton would’ve fancied their chances against the Suns prior to the season, but the way the Suns are going at the moment it’s not likely they’ll stumble against the Blues on their home deck. I reckon the Suns will do it by 5-6 goals.

Betting tip: Gold Coast by 25+ @ $1.67 (Centrebet)

West Coast v Fremantle

7:40PM AEST, Subiaco Oval


This could be an especially fiery derby, with both clubs under the blow torch after disappointing showings in Round 2. The Dockers are being written off as serious contenders, while the Eagles are being lambasted for not being able to perform at the MCG. Both clubs will obviously be looking to rebound and get their respective seasons heading back in a positive direction, but only one of them will be feeling relief come the final siren.

The Dockers are in some serious trouble here; there’s no way you can see them beating the Eagles on current form, which would leave them precariously placed at 0-3. Can Ross and his charges turn it around, or are Freo destined for a rapid fall from grace? Time will tell, but at this stage it’s looking like the latter.

Betting tip: Eagles by 25+ @ $2.15 (Centrebet)

Sunday, April 10

North Melbourne v Melbourne

1:10PM AEST, Blundstone Arena


After such an encouraging opening week of the season, the Demons managed to drain any positive energy they’d built by playing some horrid football and dropping a game they just had to win. It seems that, while their best is significantly better than it was a few years back, at their worst they’re as bad as ever. They need to iron this out of their club culture otherwise they won’t become a successful club any time in the near future.

The Kangaroos, without being at the top of their game, have gone about their business and notched up a couple of wins to get their year off to a perfect start. They’ll no doubt be expecting another one here, but should also know that Melbourne have a point to prove, so you wouldn’t expect the Kangaroos will be taking them lightly. With some swirly winds and possible rain forecast for Sunday in Hobart, this one is likely to be an ugly, low scoring affair.

Betting tip: Total Match Points Under 163.5 @ $1.95 (LuxBet)

Western Bulldogs v Hawthorn

3:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium


This should be an absolute cracker of a game. It’s going to be really intriguing to see how the Dogs’ fast-paced game holds up against the best team in the comp. While both teams are known for their attacking styles, they’re also both ferocious defensively and are great at closing down space and restricting easy inside 50 entries. And that’s what this will come down to – the team that best holds up defensively, and is able to keep their structure and pressure the opposition into making mistakes – will win the match.

The Dogs are the challengers, and while it wouldn’t be that surprising if they upset the Hawks considering the game is played at Etihad, after last week’s performance it’ll be a brave man that tips against the champs.

Betting tip: Hawthorn to win @ $1.97 (Pinnacle)

Geelong v Brisbane

4:40PM AEST, Simonds Stadium


The Cats got a nice little reality check from the Giants in Round 2. And you know what, it might turn out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to them. After a massive Easter Monday win over the Hawks, the Cats were on cloud nine and possibly having a few cheeky daydreams of playing at the ‘G in September. The loss on the weekend would’ve reminded them they’ve still got plenty of work to do and a whole long way to go yet.

Dangerfield and Smith, the new recruits who starred in Round 1, had quite forgettable second up efforts for the Cats, but should improve over the year as they gel with their new team mates – Round 1 was probably the exception, not the rule. This should prove a good opportunity to build that cohesion, against a lowly Lions side and in their first match at the Cattery for 2016. Should be a big win for the Cats.

Betting tip: Geelong By 40+ @ $1.46 (TopSport)


Best Bets of the Round

North Melbourne v Melbourne – Total Match Points Under 163.5 @ $1.95 (LuxBet)


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