AFL Round 2 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 2 of the 2017 AFL season.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this round
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Thursday, March 30


Richmond v Collingwood

View a detailed form guide for Richmond v Collingwood


The Tigers are up and about on the back of a big Round 1 win, but their first real test will come this week against the Pies. They looked good against Carlton, but to be fair, most teams are going to look good when they play the Blues this year. It was encouraging to see them pressure the opposition in their forward half and create turnovers, and to then move the ball quickly when they took possession. They looked like a team capable of putting serious scoreboard pressure on their opposition, which is vastly different from how they looked for most of last year.

Richmond fans may have been hoping for a little more from the new duo of Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy, but their inclusion allowed Dustin Martin to go forward and kick a few goals. They’ll get better as they get used to their new teammates, but the fact that they allow Dusty to roam a little more freely is already a massive positive. Speaking of roaming freely, the Collingwood midfield did just that against the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line. The Pies played quite well for the most part but lacked the polish to convert their good work into goals.

If Pendlebury, Treloar, Adams and Sidebottom all have close to 30 touches again this week I’d be backing the Pies in for a win. I liked the form of the Pies slightly more than I did that of the Tigers, which is not necessarily Richmond’s fault as a large part of that is due to not rating their opposition, I was just very impressed with Collingwood’s pressure and I think they’ll pip the Tigers in a close one.

Betting tip: Collingwood by 1-39 @ $2.40 (William Hill)

Friday, March 31


Western Bulldogs v Sydney

7:50PM AEDT, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Western Bulldogs v Sydney


Neither of the two clubs that played off in last season’s decider got off to the best start to the new season, but while the Dogs still managed to bank the four points, the Swans were left licking their wounds after going down to an inspired Port Adelaide team. They now face an uphill battle to avoid starting the year off at 0-2, which is a tough starting position to make the top four from. There are a couple of big outs in the defensive half for both clubs, with the Swans losing Dane Rampe to a bizarre arm injury, while the Dogs have lost Dale Morris to a broken leg.

The Dogs’ love of playing at Etihad is well known, but the Swans don’t mind it either. They’ve won their past 10 games under the roof where they’ve been able to score heavily and keep their opposition to low totals. The midfield battle will obviously be crucial, but the deciding factor may come down to which makeshift backline best holds together. If the Dogs can keep Buddy, Tippett and Reid under control, they’re likely to get the job done. Same goes for the Swans and Cloke, Stringer and Crameri.

I think this will be a really high scoring game of footy with a few tempo swings, but I can’t go past the Dogs at Etihad. I was 50/50 on this one earlier on in the week until news of the Rampe injury broke. It’s a huge blow to the Swans and I think the Dogs’ forwards will take full advantage.

Betting tip: Bulldogs to win @ $1.50 (Ladbrokes)

Saturday, April 1


Hawthorn v Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn v Adelaide


Hawthorn’s disappointing Round 1 performance may have been overshadowed by Essendon’s triumph, but it was a real let down from the mighty Hawks and possibly a sign of things to come. The Bombers were good, but the Hawks looked old and slow at times and when the Bombers got on top, the Hawks weren’t able to stop them at all. They’ll be buoyed by the return of Luke Hodge, but he’s not going to be able to provide the run and carry they lacked last weekend. And that’s what they’ll need plenty of against a Crows outfit who ran the ball out of their backline at frenetic pace against the Giants. 

The Hawks may not be as good as they once were, but they’re still a tough opponent to face at the MCG for an interstate club. The Crows will need to be switched on, but if last week is anything to go by, that won’t be a problem. They did it without their captain, and he’ll be a big inclusion this week, big Tex Walker. They were very dangerous up forward, his inclusion only makes it harder for the Hawks to match up on them. I expect the Crows forward line will prove too difficult for the Hawks to stop and that will be the difference.

Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $1.78 (Pinnacle)


GWS v Gold Coast

4:35PM AEDT, Spotless Stadium
View a detailed form guide for GWS v Gold Coast


In one of the opening round’s biggest upsets, premiership favourites GWS were dismantled by the Adelaide Crows. It was a stunning performance from both clubs. One of those clubs, the Crows, looked absolutely outstanding. The other, the Giants, who were supposed to be the ones playing outstanding footy that no other side could match, looked like they were playing another practice match. The effort wasn’t there, and the execution was poor. They head back home to take on a much weaker opponent in the Gold Coast Suns, who are also coming off a disappointing loss. After pre-season expectations of significant improvement, the Suns would’ve expected to beat the Lions at home relatively comfortably. But they were jumped in the first quarter, and while they nearly came back to steal the victory, their first quarter performance really hurt them in the end. They’ll need to clean up their decision making and ball use if they are any chance to upset the Giants, as they repeatedly wasted the ball inside 50 against the Lions.

I think it’s safe to say the Giants will win this one with relative ease. They were poor against the Crows and got the result they deserved, but even if still not at their best, surely they get over the line against the Suns at home. And if not, then they won’t be premiership favourites for much longer.

Betting tip: GWS (-32.5) @ $1.70 (Ladbrokes)


Brisbane v Essendon

7:25PM AEDT, Gabba
View a detailed form guide for Brisbane v Essendon


It will be interesting to see how these two sides back up after both having a win to start the season. Neither team had much to celebrate last year and as such aren’t used to winning, so this will be a test to make sure they can keep focused and string a few wins together. The returning Bombers were fantastic against the Hawks and dispelled any initial fears that they may struggle with the pace after a year out of the game. The AFL season is a long grind and they may run out of the steam at some stage, but they’ve definitely hit the ground running.

The Lions did the same, kicking the first seven goals of their game against the Suns. They nearly gave it up in the end, but showed real determination to hold on after the Suns took the lead late in the game. On last week’s form, the Bombers look like the better side, but I’m still cautious about them until we’ve got a few weeks of exposed form to go by. While I expect the Bombers will win if they play like last week, I’m wary that there may be a let down brewing and therefore give the Lions a small chance in this one.

Betting tip: Brisbane (+19.5) @ $1.80 (Bet365)


West Coast v St Kilda

7:40PM AEDT, Domain Stadium
View a detailed form guide for West Coast v St Kilda


The Saints couldn’t have imagined a worse Round 1 result if they’d tried. They don’t just lose but are smashed by the Demons, and they also lose Nick Riewoldt for at least a few weeks to a knee injury. Actually, things could have been much worse if initial fears that Riewoldt had torn his ACL were confirmed, but fortunately the prognosis was much less serious. Nevertheless, he won’t be out there against the Eagles, and neither will key midfielder David Armitage who has a groin complaint. They are set to welcome back Leigh Montagna and Paddy McCartin, but that doesn’t quite offset the loss of Riewoldt and Armitage.

The Eagles kicked their season off well, taking care of the Kangaroos and getting an all-important away win on the board. Now they host the Saints, and the result should be fairly similar – the Eagles to win by plenty. The Saints aren’t a bad side, but they still struggle with consistency and without two of their more experienced players I think they’ll be hard pressed to challenge the Eagles in Perth.

Betting tip: West Coast (-31.5) @ $1.90 (Ladbrokes)

Sunday, April 2


Geelong v North Melbourne

1:10PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Geelong v North Melbourne


The Dangerfield v Fyfe matchup didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations placed upon it, but Geelong fans won’t mind one bit. The Cats were much too good for the Dockers, taking the points in what could have been a danger game if Fremantle had shown any signs of improvement from last year.

This weekend they head to Etihad to play the Kangaroos, who were comfortably beaten by the Eagles at the same venue in the opening round. The Roos were wasteful in front of goal, the main culprit being Jarrad Waite who kicked 1.7 before injuring his shoulder late in the game. He won’t be available for a few weeks, making the Roos now heavily reliant on Ben Brown taking contested marks inside 50 and kicking goals.

The Cats will take care of the Kangaroos with relative ease. I don’t know where the Kangaroos are going to get their goals from, where as the Cats have plenty of options at the moment. It will be a fairly one sided contest I expect.

Betting tip: Geelong by 25+ @ $1.80 (William Hill)


Melbourne v Carlton

View a detailed form guide for Melbourne v Carlton


The Demons got their season off to the perfect start, thumping the Saints in what most people thought would be a tight contest. This week it’s a game they’re expected to win, with the Blues being perhaps the worst performed team of the opening round. The Dees have previously struggled with expectations, but surely that’s behind them now. They need to make sure it is, because a 2-0 start to the season sets them up perfectly for a tilt at their first finals appearance in years. It really shouldn’t be an issue, the Demons midfield is much stronger than Carlton’s, and the Blues’ backline won’t be able to stop Jesse Hogan and co once the Dees get the ball inside 50.

Carlton also have that small problem of not having a recognised goal kicker, making them weaker than the Demons in all areas of the ground. Bernie Vince missing a week through a soft suspension will hurt, but no where near enough to stop the Demons from winning this game by plenty.

Betting tip: Melbourne by 25+ @ $1.72 (bet365)


Port Adelaide v Fremantle

4:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Port Adelaide v Fremantle


Well done Port Adelaide, I absolutely did not expect that. In the first massive upset of 2017, Port took it up to Sydney and beat them at their own game at the SCG. It was a stunning performance that has forced me to reevaluate the Power and their prospects for the season ahead. One good performance isn’t enough to convince me they’re back to being the Port of 2014, but if they string a few of those together it’ll be hard to argue against them being a tough side to beat in 2017.

The Dockers on the other hand were incredibly disappointing, looking no different from the team that finished in the bottom four last year. Ross Lyon has his work cut out convincing Nat Fyfe that he’ll get the success he craves at Fremantle.

On the basis of last week’s form, the Power should beat the Dockers by at least 10 goals, but I’m going in a little more conservatively until Port convince me they’ve turned the corner.

Betting tip: Port Adelaide (-20.5) @ $1.73 (Ladbrokes)


Best Bets of the Round

Adelaide to win @ $1.78 (Pinnacle)

GWS (-32.5) @ $1.70 (Ladbrokes)


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