AFL Round 4 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 4 of the 2017 AFL season.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this round
View the AFL form guide

Thursday, April 13


West Coast v Sydney

8:10PM AEST, Domain Stadium
View a detailed form guide for West Coast v Sydney


Having been dealt some wretched luck on the injury front, the Swans have plummeted to a 0-3 start to the season. It won’t get much easier from here either, with a Thursday night trip to Perth to face the Eagles awaiting them. For the second time in two weeks the Swans went close to pulling off a miraculous comeback, but once again it wasn’t to be. They didn’t really deserve to beat Collingwood anyway, as the Pies were the better team all night. 

Playing the Eagles in Perth is always a tough ask, but West Coast do look a touch shaky at the moment. They got out of jail against the Saints and were ordinary against the Tigers last weekend. The conditions were poor, but they look to be in the midst of what you might call a small, early season slump. If the Swans were able to bring a couple of their injured players back in this week I’d almost back them, but as it is they’re far too inexperienced. They’ve pulled a selection surprise bringing Tom Papley back earlier than expected while Harry Cunningham also comes into the team, but I still think they’re missing a few too many players to trouble the Eagles, who’ve once again dumped former Swan Lewis Jetta in favour of Liam Duggan.

The Eagles aren’t exactly flying at the moment but it shouldn’t stop them from taking care of an inexperienced Swans outfit on their home deck. The Swans will give it their all, but the Eagles should get on top eventually and run out comfortable winners.

Betting tip: West Coast (-18.5) @ $1.94 (Marathon Bet)

Friday, April 14


North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

4:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs


In a round of upsets, perhaps the biggest of them all was the reigning premiers going down to the lowly Fremantle Dockers. The Dogs, who were outplayed for most of the night, were good enough to take the lead by three quarter time, but after that they had nothing left to give and were smashed by the Dockers in the last quarter. Don’t get me wrong, the Dockers were impressive and played much better footy than they had in the first two rounds, but the Dogs weren’t on at all and if they perform like that again this week North Melbourne will punish them as well. 

The Kangaroos were again gallant in defeat, trying hard against a more talented opposition. The Roos never really looked like threatening GWS, but they hung in there and pressured the Giants enough to keep the result somewhat in the balance until late in the fourth.

The Roos can choose to stretch the Dogs’ defence by bringing in big man Majak Daw, but risk being run off their feet going back the other way, while the Dogs will sweat on the fitness of Liam Picken and Stewart Crameri. They may also look to make some unforced changes after such a poor showing.

The Dogs are coming off a Perth trip and a six day break, but I don’t think they’ll drop this one. I expect them to be switched on from the start and mentally ready for the Kangaroos to come at them. It’ll be close, but I think the Dogs should be good enough to get over the line in similar fashion to their games against Collingwood and Sydney. Let’s just hope the first game of footy on Good Friday turns out to be worth the wait.

Betting tip: Western Bulldogs (-21.5) @ $1.98 (Marathon Bet)

Saturday, April 15


Melbourne v Fremantle

View a detailed form guide for Melbourne v Fremantle


Compared to the opening two rounds, it was a completely different Dockers outfit that ran out against the Dogs on Saturday night. They were hard at the ball and relentless with their pressure. It could be due to the youthful enthusiasm of some of their inclusions, or a shift in method from coach Ross Lyon. Whatever it was, it worked. But can they do it again? 

There probably won’t be a better time all year to play the Demons. They’ll still be missing Jesse Hogan and Jordan Lewis through suspension, while Max Gawn is out for an extended period due to a severe hamstring tear. They are some massive outs, but I’m not sure it will cost them this week. The Demons were on track to beat the Cats without Hogan and Lewis and even stayed close for a while after Gawn went down. They’ll bring in Jake Spencer this week, and if his pre-season form is anything to go by, he’ll be a more than handy replacement for big Max. 

The Dockers were excellent last weekend, but I doubt they’ll be able to bring that intensity every week. After a big win last week and a long trip over to Melbourne, the Dockers might be in for a let down on Saturday.

Betting tip: Melbourne By 25+ @ $2.05 (Bet365)


GWS v Port Adelaide

4:35PM AEST, Manuka Oval
View a detailed form guide for GWS v Port Adelaide


Port Adelaide’s fairytale start to the season hit a slight road bump on Saturday night when they went down to the Crows by 17 points. Nevertheless, they again played some impressive footy and look like the real deal in 2017. They’ve got a tough task awaiting them on Saturday though. After a surprise loss in Round 1, the Giants are working their way into the season and beginning to look like the premiership favourites they are. 

I’ve got a feeling the Power might be slightly off this week after a taxing Showdown against the Crows. It might not be much, but if they’re slightly off their game the Giants will take full advantage. Port will really miss Paddy Ryder in the ruck as he’s been an instrumental part of their good form. They’ve decided to bring in two speedsters, Jasper Pittard and Matt White, to replace the tall Ryder and Brett Eddy. It’ll be fascinating to see if that gives them an advantage on the outside. GWS will be without Ryan Griffen and Steve Johnson, but they’ve still spades of talent and experience in the side. The Power have been great so far this year, but I think the Giants might get right on top of them this week. 

Betting tip: GWS (-23.5) @ $2.07 (Pinnacle)


Carlton v Gold Coast

7:25PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Carlton v Gold Coast


The Suns must have got together and watched the Dockers take care of the Dogs on Saturday night. They came out the next day and, like the Dockers, stunned the hot favourite, playing with intensity and daring. 

The Blues also caused a big upset on Sunday at the ‘G, knocking off the arch enemy, Essendon. It was an ugly match played in torrential rain, but I’m sure it was a very, very sweet victory for all those involved at Carlton. The conditions were some of the most difficult AFL players will ever face these days, so there’s a chance the Blues might be more sore than usual. 

Both clubs will fancy their chances of another win, and for good reason. The Blues have been at their best when defending well and forcing the opposition into making errors, while the Suns love to run and spread. For the Blues to win, I think they’ll need to dictate the play almost all day, whereas if the Suns can get on top for a quarter or two they’ll do enough damage to get over the line. Playing under the roof at Etihad should suit them, and I think they’re heading for win number two.

Betting tip: Gold Coast to win @ $1.80 (Marathon Bet)


Adelaide v Essendon

7:40PM AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v Essendon


The Bombers were the other team to take part in the slog fest at the ‘G, but their opponent, the Adelaide Crows, may also be lethargic after a big Showdown victory over Port. The Crows are now one of only three teams that are still undefeated and there’s a mighty good chance that continues for another week. I’m still unsure of where I place the Bombers this year, but I do know that if the Crows are near their best, the Bombers won’t get near them at the Adelaide Oval. 

The injury to Mitch McGovern is a big blow to Adelaide, but they’re still stacked with plenty of firepower. The main question mark over the Crows coming into the season was their midfield, and it has stood up beautifully. The Bombers’ midfield has also been great, but over in Adelaide, I don’t think they’re good enough overall to beat the Crows in the middle and hurt them enough on the scoreboard. Depending on the weather, I’d expect this to be a shootout with the Crows getting home by a couple of goals.

Betting tip: Adelaide (-25.5) @ $1.87 (Ladbrokes)

Sunday, April 16


Collingwood v St Kilda

3:20PM AEST, Etihad Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Collingwood v St Kilda


I’m really looking forward to this game, I’m expecting it to be extremely close and entertaining. The Pies and the Saints both managed their first win of the season last weekend, with the Pies sneaking home by a point over the Swans and the Saints taking care of the Lions at Etihad. With the inclusion of Jamie Elliott, the Pies have almost their full squad to choose from this week which is unheard of. The Saints will be without Jack Steven again, but as long as David Armitage is right to go Steven is the only major out for them as well. 

Collingwood head into the contest as favourites, but I really like St Kilda’s chances on Sunday. They love playing at Etihad, and they match up really well against Collingwood in my opinion. Nick Riewoldt is in dominate form, and other than their poor opening game against the Demons, the Saints have been solid. Both clubs have been wasteful in front of goal this year, so it could come down to whoever kicks straighter, and I’m backing the Saints to do that and topple the Pies.

Betting tip: St Kilda to win @ $2.22 (TopSport)


Brisbane v Richmond

4:40PM AEST, Gabba
View a detailed form guide for Brisbane v Richmond


This is just the sort of game the Tigers of old would lose. They’re undefeated after three games and feeling great about themselves with a game in front of them that they should win. The perfect situation for Richmond to disappoint with a really poor performance. Let’s hope they’ve learnt from past mistakes and are prepared to take advantage of an opportunity to go to 4-0. The Lions have improved on last year and won’t necessarily be easy to beat up in Brisbane, but any top eight side should be coming away with the four points.

If the Tigers are a serious team in 2017, they’ll beat the Lions by five goals. I’m still not sure if they’re a serious finals threat, but I do think they’ll beat the Lions with ease.

Betting tip: Richmond (-23.5) @ $2.20 (Bet365)

Monday, April 17


Hawthorn v Geelong

View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn v Geelong


As they have been so many times over the past 10 years, the Hawks were the talking point of the AFL world over the weekend, but this time the talk turned to criticism instead of the usual praise. In a stunning game at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, the Suns demolished Hawthorn to the tune of 86 points. I’m sure many punters initially thought that was a typo when they checked the scores on Sunday night. But no, the Hawks were woeful and the Suns very impressive. Hawthorn just look slow, and it doesn’t help that they constantly turn the ball over. Maybe a game against the Cats is just the thing the Hawks need to kick them into gear.

Geelong are 3-0, but that flatters them. They’ve only just been getting by, and could easily be 1-2. They still need more from their lesser lights, because Dangerfield and Selwood can only drag them so far. 

These games can always go either way, but you’ve got to think the Cats will win this. The Hawks are a proud club and they’ll come out breathing fire, but the Cats should wear them down.

Betting tip: Geelong By 1-39 @ $2.20 (Sportsbet)


Best Bets of the Round

St Kilda to win @ $2.22 (TopSport)

Geelong By 1-39 @ $2.20 (Sportsbet)

Season Tally

All Bets:        -4.98 units

Best Bets:     +1.39 units

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