AFL Round 5 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 5 of the 2019 AFL season.

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Thursday, April 18


Brisbane vs Collingwood

7:35pm AEST, The Gabba
View a detailed form guide for Brisbane vs Collingwood


After starting the year with three straight wins, the Lions were brought back to earth in emphatic style by a rampaging Essendon on Saturday afternoon. It was a rare appearance at the MCG for Brisbane, and one they will no doubt be keen to learn from; Chris Fagan said that it seemed like his players were often in the wrong spots, and that that could be attributed to playing on an unfamiliar ground. They get another chance this year, but not until round 23. The timing of that could suit them quite nicely however, if they can manage to keep up their good form and push for a finals position.

This week they return to their favoured ground for the first sell-out at the Gabba in a very long time. I’d expect them to look like a completely different side this week, and they’ll need to, taking on a very strong Collingwood team. The Pies probably weren’t at their best last Friday night, but they were challenged by a dogged Western Bulldogs team and were good enough to overpower them late in the final quarter. The class of guys like Brodie Grundy and Jordan De Goey was telling in the end, and they’ll need their best players to be on again this week to beat the Lions up there. Dayne Beams comes back in to face his former team, who have a pretty decent midfield of their own, headed by recruit Lachie Neale who is in red-hot form for his new team.

This should be a great game of footy; while the Lions have been super impressive at the Gabba this year, I expect the Pies might be a touch too good for them, but it should be a close one. The Pies to get up by a few kicks.

Betting tip: Collingwood to win @ $1.65 (BetEasy)

Friday, April 19


North Melbourne vs Essendon

4:20pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for North Melbourne vs Essendon


It’s funny how quickly things change in footy, particularly towards the beginning of a new season; two weeks ago the Bombers were the worst team in the competition and John Worsfold was on the verge of being sacked; now, after their recent thumping of the then-unbeaten Lions, the Bombers are finals bound, with one of the most dangerous forward lines in the league. That may be simplifying things, but it’s the general story arc of Essendon’s season so far, and with the Bombers being one of the more temperamental clubs in the competition, expect plenty more twists and turns in the plot to come.

This week they take on the Kangaroos, who are coming off their first win of the season, defeating the Crows by two goals last Saturday night. It’s the Kangaroos’ third different opponent in their three Good Friday clashes; the AFL seem intent on rotating the fixture for this particular game, but I’m not entirely sure why Essendon have been given another blockbuster. It would’ve been embarrassing if the Bombers were still in their early form slump, but fortunately for the AFL they seem to have emerged from that. I still don’t think this will be a particularly great game of footy; despite their win over Adelaide, North are still battling and playing some ugly footy. They’ll either turn it into a low-scoring scrap, or the Bombers will run all over them; the latter is what I’m leaning towards.

Betting tip: Essendon to win @ $1.67 (BetFair)


West Coast vs Port Adelaide

8:10pm AEST, Optus Stadium
View a detailed form guide for West Coast vs Port Adelaide


Port’s season has followed an opposing trend to Essendon’s; they raced out of the blocks and looked like a really dangerous team in the opening two rounds, before losing their next two. The Brisbane loss wasn’t too bad of an effort, but they’ll be severely disappointed in their performance against a depleted Richmond team on the weekend. They were playing at home, against a Richmond team without Rance, Riewoldt, Cotchin, and Martin, and the game was theirs for the taking well into the final quarter. They’ll need to be much better this week against the reigning premiers; these two clubs have had plenty of close encounters in recent times, but if Port aren’t on their game this could be a thumping.

The Eagles weren’t great against the Dockers on Sunday, but it didn’t matter; they did what was necessary to get the four points. They’re still working their way into the season, but with three consecutive wins they seem to be doing it pretty well. Scott Lycett will be in for a shock when he takes on his old team and is the subject of the Perth booing for the first time; his form has been really good so far so he could help quiet the crowd if he’s able to generate some clearances for his new team. Tom Hickey has been a handy replacement though, and the Eagles are still going well through the midfield. If Port play at their absolute best I’d expect this to be relatively close but still think the Eagles will be the better team and should get up.

Betting tip: West Coast By 25+ @ $1.80 (Ladbrokes)

Saturday, April 20


GWS Giants vs Fremantle

1:45pm AEST, UNSW Canberra Oval
View a detailed form guide for GWS Giants vs Fremantle


GWS could have been forgiven for dropping their heads in a game where they lost their skipper to a serious knee injury early in the first quarter, but to their credit they stuck at it and caused a major upset, downing the Cats by four points to record their first ever win in Geelong. The Cats aren’t easy to beat down there, and in the form they were in it was hard to see the Giants winning, but they played remarkably well and thoroughly deserved the four points. Even without Ward, who will miss the rest of the 2019 season, the Giants will be one of the teams to beat if they continue to play that sort of footy each week.

Fremantle aren’t functioning quite as well as GWS; they’re still finding their feet in the new season and trying to gel as a team with their handful of recruits. Ross Lyon has talked about potentially sending Jesse Hogan to the backline to stand with Jeremy Cameron or Harry Himmelberg; that may make it harder for the Dockers to kick a winning score this week, but it could be a good thing for Hogan long-term. The Giants are in red-hot form and should be able to take care of Fremantle even with skipper Nat Fyfe back into the team. I think the Dockers are set for a tough afternoon at the office; this one could turn out to be an extremely one-sided game.

Betting tip: GWS By 25+ @ $1.50 (TopBetta)


Melbourne vs St Kilda

4:35pm AEST, MCG
View a detailed form guide for Melbourne vs St Kilda


The Demons finally managed their first win of the year on the weekend, with a strong second half effort propelling them over the line against the Swans. It wasn’t looking good for Melbourne fans midway through the second term, with the Swans taking a four goal advantage and the Demons looking just as poor as they did the week prior against Essendon. Fortunately, something changed late in the half and they suddenly became a confident, daring side for the rest of the night, much more resemblant of the team that made last year’s preliminary final.

They’ll look to bring that same form into this week’s contest against the Saints, who have been surprisingly good so far in 2019, taking care of an admittedly undermanned Hawthorn last weekend. It should be an interesting battle; the Demons had trouble scoring in their first two weeks, and even in their encounter with Essendon, the high-scoring could have been attributed to both team’s poor defence. The only game they’ve managed to look dangerous going forward was against the Swans, and they’ll need to continue lowering their eyes and looking for open targets this week: the Saints backline has been miserly so far in 2019, conceding scores of just 84, 76, 71, and 69. If they can stifle the Demons as well, they’re every chance of recording their fourth win of the year. Both teams have some handy inclusions; Neville Jetta and Jordan Lewis for the Dees, and Jack Steven and Jarryn Geary for the Saints. I think this will be closer than people expect and could easily go either way; I’m going with the Demons, but only just.

Betting tip: Melbourne By 1-39 @ $2.12 (PalmerBet)


Richmond vs Sydney

7:25pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Richmond vs Sydney


I didn’t think the Tigers had a hope in the world without their big four, but some of their lesser lights stood up—along with a certain high-profile recruit—and ensured the Tigers put up a massive fight. It was a tight game right up until the final stages, and the Tigers didn’t stop hunting the footy and applying pressure on their opponent. The well-deserved win has their season back on track, and now they face the hapless Swans at Marvel Stadium. They’d obviously much rather play at the MCG, but the return of Dustin Martin, along with Bachar Houli, should help quell any issues over the choice of venue.

The Swans, well, they’ll just be glad to get away from the SCG, having lost yet another game of footy at their home ground. To be fair, they’re struggling everywhere they play right at the minute, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon, especially against the Tigers; they may be missing key players, but they’re still a very good footy side, as Port found out last week. If the Swans can keep it tight and lock the game down they might be a shot at stealing it, but as soon as the ball gets out into the wide open spaces the Tigers will cut them up. I reckon Richmond will win this by a few goals without really putting their foot to the floor at any stage.

Betting tip: Richmond By 25+ @ $2.40 (TopBetta)

Sunday, April 21


Western Bulldogs vs Carlton

1:10pm AEST, Marvel Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Western Bulldogs vs Carlton


That sort of last-gasp loss could only have happened to Carlton; they were in front with less than 20 seconds left on the clock, with 36 players surrounding the ball in the Gold Coast forward line. The game was theirs, but somehow, they managed to lose. That will hurt, and they’ve said it hurts, but sooner or later they just need to start winning. Their future is starting to look brighter each game, with strong displays from their blossoming youngsters keeping fans happy, but they’re good enough to win more often than they currently are.

They’ll need to be at their best to challenge the Dogs, who were pretty good in their Friday night loss to the Pies. If not for a lack of composure in front of goal, the Dogs might have caused an upset. It wasn’t to be, and the more skilled and mature Collingwood side took hold of the contest in the last quarter. But it was encouraging from the Bulldogs, much better than the week prior when they lost to the Gold Coast. I guess that’s what this will come down to: if the Dogs turn up to play, like they did against the Pies, they should win easily. If they take Carlton lightly, like they did against the Suns, they’ll risk an upset.  I’m tipping they’ve learnt their lesson and that will ensure the Blues progress to 0-5.

Betting tip: Western Bulldogs to win @ $1.42 (BetFair)


Adelaide vs Gold Coast

4:40pm AEST, Adelaide Oval
View a detailed form guide for Adelaide vs Gold Coast


The Crows continued their poor form on Saturday night by giving the Roos their first win of the season, no doubt triggering some stern conversations at the Adelaide footy club. There’s just no spark or flow to the way they play, and the season is quickly slipping away from them. While they go into this match as favourites, make no mistake that if they’re poor again the Gold Coast are every chance to beat them. The Suns might not have looked too flash against Carlton on Sunday, but they’re currently 3-1 and are consistently causing upsets and winning games of footy. That can become contagious, and they’ll know all about the Crows’ struggles and will back themselves to do it again. Jarrod Witts continues his fine form and should be able to dominate the ruck against the Crows, who will be without number one ruckman Sam Jacobs for at least the next six weeks after he had knee surgery during the week.

The Crows need a win, and I think they’ll get it, but I’m not totally writing the Suns off — if the Crows aren’t switched on, another upset is on the cards. Let’s see how Adelaide respond.

Betting tip: Adelaide By 1-39 @ $2.14 (PalmerBet)

Monday, April 22


Hawthorn vs Geelong

3:20pm AEST, MCG
View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn vs Geelong


Easter Monday clashes between the Hawks and the Cats are always something to look forward to, but this year the contest may be somewhat ruined by the mounting injury toll down at Waverley. The Hawks can’t take a trick at the moment, losing James Frawley and Ben Stratton against the Kangaroos to make their growing injury list even worse.

It’s hard to win games of footy when you’re missing four or five of your top 10 players, and that’s the situation the Hawks are facing right now. You can’t fault their effort, they battled manfully against the Saints and only went down to five points, but there is only so much they can do with the restrictions on their personnel. Fortunately Stratton should be fine this week, and Jaeger O’Meara has been named in the team as well; whether he actually plays is another issue.

The Cats were flying until they encountered a determined GWS team; despite the loss they’ll lick their wounds and move onto this one pretty quickly, and you’d think they’ll win comfortably. Their best players are all playing good footy, and they’ve got an even contribution all over the ground. The weakened Hawks don’t have the calibre of players to match it with Dangerfield, Selwood, and Kelly, and I think that’ll be telling in the end. I’m thinking this one could be tight for the first half, as is the case with most games between these two teams, before the Cats bust the game open in the second and win by a hefty margin — I’m going with somewhere around eight goals.

Betting tip: Geelong By 25+ @ $2.55 (Bet365)


Best Bets of the Round

Geelong By 25+ @ $2.55 (Bet365)


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