AFL Round 4 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 4 of the 2016 AFL season.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this round.

Friday, April 15


West Coast v Richmond

8:10PM AEST, Subiaco Oval


There’s been talk coming from Tigerland during the week that the Tigers may have to go backwards to go forwards. Which is completely true, but it’s strange for a club to admit that just three weeks into a new season. The Tigers just don’t have enough top end talent to match the best teams in the competition, and, at the moment, they’re struggling to match some of the lesser teams as well.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of time left to turn things around yet. A win on Friday night will be a big ask however. The Tigers have travelled fairly well over the past few years, and they’ve even caused a few big upsets over in Perth, but you wouldn’t think they’re playing well enough at the moment to roll the Eagles, who were solid in the Derby, after a poor loss to the Hawks the previous week. The Eagles will win this one fairly comfortably either way, but here’s hoping the Tigers show some fight.

Betting tip: Eagles by 25+ @ $1.61 (bet365)

Saturday, April 16


Essendon v Geelong



The Cats did what they had to do against the Lions on Sunday without too much fanfare, and this game will be a similar proposition for them. It’s a game they’ll expect to win easily, but they’ll still want to come out and play well to keep themselves prepared for more serious challenges in the coming weeks.

After a scrappy Friday night in Adelaide, the Bombers will be happy to return to the stage of their upset triumph over the Demons a few short weeks ago. While the ground will remain the same, the opposition, as well as the final result, will be vastly different.

Betting tip: Geelong by 40+ @ $1.32 (PalmerBet)


Hawthorn v St Kilda

2:10PM AEST, Aurora Stadium


These clubs will both arrive in Tasmania feeling good about themselves following morale-boosting wins on the weekend. The Hawks, without a few of their most important players, triumphed in a classic over the up-and-coming Bulldogs, while the Saints shocked a dismal Collingwood outfit who were predicted to win with relative ease.

The Saints showed that they’re on the right track – with another few years of development they’re going to be as good as anyone. And the Hawks, well they just keep getting the job done. Glancing at some key indicators such as clearances and contested ball, it seems they had no right to win Sunday’s game, but they did. And that’s because they’re efficient by both hand and foot, they’re cool under pressure when the game is in the balance, and they know how to win. It’s a combination that will see them go very close to winning a fourth consecutive flag.

The Saints will be looking forward to their chance to have a crack at the best side in the comp, and I suspect they’ll have learnt a whole lot about themselves and where they’re at in their journey come the final siren.

Betting tip: Hawthorn by 25+ @ $1.27 (Sportsbet)


Brisbane v Gold Coast

4:35PM AEST, Gabba


A really impressive start to the season sees the Suns enter this Q-Clash as hot favourites, and a real chance to go 4-0 and set themselves up as potential finalists. The Lions continue to have injury issues, but even so, they’ve been disappointing in the opening rounds. With the way both sides are travelling, you’d think a big win to the Suns is a given, but the Lions won’t want to concede anything to their Queensland rivals and will be desperate for a win. I’m hoping it turns out to be a tight contest, but I’m just not sure the Lions are good enough to get within 5 or 6 goals of the Suns at the moment.

Betting tip: Gold Coast by 25+ @ $2.20 (bet365)


Carlton v Western Bulldogs

7:25PM AEST, Etihad Stadium


Carlton fans were understandably up and about after their Round 1 clash with the Tigers, but over the proceeding two weeks they’ve been hit with the realisation that it’s going to be a long year. There have been some positives – the form of a young guy called Jacob Weitering being the obvious one – but it’s not looking like the Blues are going to scare too many clubs this season.

And while there’s some pessimism in the air, the Dogs may have just seen their chances of a fairytale premiership in 2016 go down with their skipper in the last 90 seconds of the epic against the Hawks. It was clearly a shattering moment for the Dogs, but they must regroup quickly and make sure it doesn’t ruin their season. As has been mentioned quite a bit in the media so far this week, they’re actually quite well stacked across the half back line, so the absence of Bob Murphy won’t hurt most in that sense – it will hurt by depriving a young side of leadership, calmness and confidence. Which means the recruitment of Jed Adcock is now looking very important, as he’ll be able to slot right in and provide leadership, a mature body and years of experience.

The Dogs are also fortunate that their next two opponents are Carlton and Brisbane, meaning that even if they’re still processing Bob’s season-ending injury and are not at their absolute best, they should still be able to get the four points.

Betting tip: Bulldogs by 40+ @ $1.71 (PalmerBet)


Adelaide v Sydney

7:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval


Without a doubt the game of the round. Both teams are playing some really good footy and deserve to be talked up as top four chances. The Swans have had a relatively easy draw so far, so it’ll be fascinating to see how they go against a good side away from home. The Crows, on the other hand, have proved themselves more legitimately so far, having had to travel and play against some decent sides.

Having said that, it’s really hard to split these clubs, and even though it’s over in Adelaide, I’m sticking with the Swans. Their midfield is absolutely firing, they’ve got some young kids in the side who are doing a great job, and their forward line is functioning. The way they’re going, the only team I would feel comfortable tipping against them is the Hawks. Still, it’s going to be a ripper, and should go right down to the wire.

Betting tip: Sydney to win @ $1.92 (BetFair)

Sunday, April 17


GWS Giants v Port Adelaide

1:10PM AEST, StarTrack Oval


The Giants weren’t bad in their loss to the Swans, staying right in the contest until mid way through the last quarter, when the Swans proved to be too classy and composed. They’ll still be ruing the Round 1 loss to the Demons – they’ve got a tough draw for the first half of the year, and those are four points they should’ve had in the bank – but ignoring that performance, they’ve started the season off well, and should be gunning for a top eight position.

They should beat Port here. The Power still haven’t shown much at all, having beaten two bottom four sides at home, while being pumped by the Crows. I’m expecting the Giants to win this one fairly easily, and go some way towards making up lost ground following their poor showing in Round 1.

Betting tip: Giants to win @ $1.88 (CrownBet)


Collingwood v Melbourne



Pressure is mounting on the Pies, and it’s going to reach breaking point if they go down to the Demons on Sunday. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The Demons have shown in Round’s 1 & 3 that they’re capable of playing good footy, and if they come out playing like that and beat the Pies, it really wouldn’t be too surprising. It all depends on the way Collingwood go about it. If they put in another listless performance, the Collingwood hierarchy are going to be very frustrated and fingers will start being pointed all over the place. But if the Pies turn up and try their guts out, and are still beaten (by a relatively small margin), it’ll be an improvement on the last three weeks.

I hate to make everything about the coaching group, but it’s clear that the next 5-10 weeks are going to be a defining period in Nathan Buckley’s career as senior coach. He’s signed up for next year, but minimal improvement will put him right back in the firing line.

He’ll be desperately hoping his troops will be able to ease the pressure on him with a win, and if they are it will be his midfielders who need to lift most. The Pies midfield has been letting them down so far this year, but they’ve got a chance to make amends here – Bernie Vince being out for the Dees makes their job a whole lot easier but Melbourne still have some handy ball winners running through the middle. I reckon it’s a genuine 50/50 game, so I can’t go past the odds on offer for a Demons win.

Betting tip: Melbourne to win @ $2.75 (Marathon Bet)


North Melbourne v Fremantle

4:40PM AEST, Etihad Stadium


Things are starting to look absolutely dire for the Dockers. Let’s be honest, the way they’re going at the moment, there’s next to no chance they’re playing finals football in 2016. They’ve quite easily been the biggest surprise/disappointment of the season so far, and things aren’t getting easier for them on Sunday, having to travel to Melbourne to play an unbeaten Kangaroos outfit.

The Roos had a slight scare against the Dees in a ridiculous game of high scoring footy. I expected it to be a low scoring contest in blustering wind, but it turned out to be one of the highest scoring games of AFL in recent memory. At least I got the wind part right. Fortunately, we won’t have to worry about the elements on Sunday at Etihad, and I don’t think we’ll have to worry too much about the Dockers causing an upset either. The Kangaroos to win by a few goals.

Betting tip: Half Time/Full Time Double – Kangaroos @ $1.48 (William Hill)


Best Bets of the Round

Gold Coast by 25+ @ $2.20 (bet365)

Giants to win @ $1.88 (CrownBet)


Season Tally

All Bets:        +4.99 units

Best Bets:     +1.7 units

(Assuming 1 unit per bet)

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