NOTHING humbles a man more than seeing his opening round of selections go down in flames.
All that off-season analysis amounting to nothing, which leads to a serious reflective period and a revaluation of just what precisely went wrong.
And what a start to the season it was.
The Tigers overcame a slow start to beat Carlton. Melbourne registered its first round one win in a decade over the Suns. Sydney came back from seven goals down to beat a gallant Essendon. The doggies beat West Coast to welcome new coach Luke Beveridge. The Pies held off a fast-finish Brisbane at the GABBA. Adelaide put on a show against the Kangaroos. The Giants did the job against an undermanned St Kilda. The Dockers prevailed over the Power in the match of the round and, to finish it all off, Hawthorn began its quest for a third-straight premiership with a slaughtering of Geelong.
With the mistakes of round one out of the way and a proper form-line to evaluate from, the team at Cupsbetting.com is certain we’ve found you some fantastic value across all the games this weekend.
Let’s get into it.
Eagles vs. Blues
Friday, April 10th, 7:20pm, Domain Stadium
West Coast – $1.92 (+12.5)
Carlton – $1.92 (-12.5)
It’s not often we come across a crunch game in round two of the season, but such is the state of affairs between the Eagles and the Blues after diabolical round one performances.
The Eagles lost to a Bulldogs team so young they should be referred to as the Western Pups and the Blues somehow blew a three goal lead to a Richmond side that did not look anywhere near its best.
Both teams have lost several key players to injury too, with Scott Selwood and Mitch Brown missing for the Eagles while livewire forward Dale Thomas and utility Kristian Jaksch both succumbed to shoulder and rib injuries respectively.
No one knows what these teams stand for, and the bright lights of Friday night footy will only intensify the pressure on the loser of this contest.
This one is a true toss of the coin but you have to side with the Eagles by virtue of the fact the game is being played in Perth.
Exotic: Matt Priddis to have 30 or more disposals and West Coast win the match $3.50 via William Hill
Tigers vs. Bulldogs
Saturday, April 11th, 1:45pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Richmond – $1.91 (+18.5)
Western Bulldogs – $1.91 (-18.5)
The first of five Saturday games sees the Tigers take on the Bulldogs in a match up that looms as a massive danger game for the home side.
Both teams had impressive round one victories, with the Tigers easily accounting for the Blues, whilst the Bulldogs battled back from the brink of defeat to scrape home against the Eagles.
If the Tigers are to assert themselves as legitimate finals contenders this season these are the games that they simply cannot lose – but it won’t be that easy against a young Bulldogs team with nothing to lose and everything to prove.
The Tigers will also have to do it without one of their premier on-ballers, Brett Deledio, who copped a one match suspension for his head-high bump on Blues defender Simon White.
It won’t come easy, but Richmond should come away with the points.
Tip: Richmond to win between 1-39 points $2.15 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Jack Riewoldt most goals $3 via Sportsbet
Giants vs. Demons
Saturday, April 11th, 2:10pm, Startrack Oval
GWS – $1.92 (-19.5)
Melbourne – $1.92 (+19.5)
For the first time in history (albeit very brief) the Demons and the Giants both won their opening round games and will go into their clash Saturday afternoon in Canberra as undefeated teams.
The Giants did what they had to against St Kilda, while the Demons shocked the AFL world with a comprehensive dismantling of the Gold Coast Suns.
Both teams will be looking for their younger players to lead the way, with GWS’ Adam Trealor experiencing success against the Dees last season, chalking up 33 disposals.
Melbourne coach Paul Roos on the other hand will be hoping his young forward Jesse Hogan can replicate the form from last week which saw him clunk seven marks on the way to 15 touches and two goals.
With all the passion and excitement expended last week in their stirring victory though, it is easy to see an emotional letdown afflicting the Demons in a negative way this week.
Giants should win comfortably.
Exotic: Toby Greene to get 35 or more disposals $11 via Sportsbet
Magpies vs. Crows
Saturday, April 11th, 4:35pm, Etihad Stadium
Collingwood – $1.92 (+12.5)
Adelaide – $1.92 (-12.5)
Saturday twilight sees the Magpies facing the Crows at Etihad Stadium in a match up that looks good on paper but could potentially get ugly for the Pies.
The Magpies did tremendously well to defeat Brisbane at the GABBA, but didn’t have it all their own way, nearly blowing a 10 goal lead, whilst the Crows absolutely destroyed North Melbourne, with their captain Taylor Walker dominating the match with 6 goals and 15 marks.
The Pies will be without star midfielder Steele Sidebottom, who broke his thumb in the game against the Lions, and he will be a monumental loss considering how important he is to Collingwood’s on ball brigade.
If the Crows bring anything close to the intensity and ferociously that they showed last week a similar margin could be on the cards, but even if they don’t they should still be too classy for an injury ravaged Pies outfit.
Tip: Adelaide 25+ victory $2.50 via William Hill
Exotic: First Adelaide goal scorer – Taylor Walker $4 via William Hill
Power vs. Swans
Saturday, April 11th, 7:10pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide – $1.92 (+6.5)
Sydney – $1.92 (-6.5)
The first of two Saturday night games sees the Power take on the Swans in what looms as the match of the round.
Last week Port Adelaide were desperately unlucky to lose to Fremantle in an early candidate for the game of the season while the Swans came home with a wet sail to run all over the top of Essendon at ANZ Stadium.
This week the Swans welcome back inspirational former skipper Jarrad McVeigh, who will be a welcome addition to a somewhat frail backline that lacked experience in round one.
The Power will be hoping for more output from Paddy Ryder, who had a lacklustre start to his Port Adelaide career, gathering only 12 disposals and exerting zero influence on the match. A match up with Mike Pyke will be favourable for the former Bomber and he should have a field day.
Expect the Power to prevail in a closely fought contest.
Tip: Port Adelaide to win $1.70 via William Hill
Exotic: Daniel Hannenbury to have 30 disposals or more $4 via Sportsbet
Suns vs. Saints
Saturday, April 11th, 7:20pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast – $1.91 (-30.5)
St Kilda – $1.91 (+30.5)
Final game of super Saturday sees the Suns host the Saints in a game that should see the home team bounce back from an embarrassing first round loss.
The Suns were dismal against the Dees last week, with too many of the Gold Coast on ballers leaving it to their captain Gary Ablett who was playing through a nasty shoulder injury.
The Saints on the other hand served it up big time to the Gaints in Melbourne but ultimately just fell short. Their intent was terrific but their finishing and polish around the ground left a lot to be desired.
So where does that leave this match up? On paper the Suns should crush the Saints but Suns’ coach Rodney Eade can’t have been happy with last week’s performance and should have his men breathing fire on Saturday night.
Expect the Suns to register their first win of the season with consummate ease.
Tip: Suns to lead at the end of every quarter $1.65 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Tom Lynch to kick three or more goals and the Suns to win the match $2.40 via William Hill
Cats vs. Dockers
Sunday, April 12th, 1:10pm, Skilled Stadium
Geelong – $2.10 (-5.5)
Fremantle – $2.10 (-5.5)
What’s going on down at the Cattery?
The perennial powerhouse has not looked this fragile in years. After copping a beating from long-time rivals Hawthorn, the Cats are suddenly looking shaky.
Compound that with the disciplinary actions taken by the club in dropping superstar Steven Motlop for off-field indiscretions and it seems like the Cats could be headed for that decline that has been predicted for years but never came to fruition.
Conversely, the Dockers had a stirring win against Port Adelaide at home, and looked in terrific shape. Nat Fyfe gathered possessions at will, Zac Clarke and Aaron Sandilands’ ruck tandem worked wonders and the Pav was at his blistering best up forward.
Taking all that into account, this points to a Fremantle victory against the odds; at a ground that holds no fear for them after their stunning 2013 qualifying final victory.
Tip: North Melbourne to win $1.85 via William Hill
Bombers vs. Hawks
Sunday, April 12th, 3:20pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Essendon – $1.91 (+28.5)
Port Adelaide – $1.92 (-28.5)
The home of football, fierce rivalry, two teams that genuinely dislike each other – is there anything greater than this?
The Dons and the Hawks have a rivalry that dates back to the 80s where the two sides played off in three Grand Finals, but times are much different these days.
The Hawks have an incredible stranglehold on Essendon, with the last Bomber victory coming back when Matty Knights (remember him?) held the reins at Bomber land.
Expect that run to continue with the reigning premiers almost impossible to back against after their scintillating display against the Cats.
Hawks by plenty.
Tip: Hawthorn 25+ $1.74 via William Hill
Exotic: Jack Gunstan first goal scorer $9 via Sportsbet
Kangaroos vs. Lions
Sunday, April 12th, 4:40pm, Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne – $1.92 (+35.5)
Brisbane – $1.92 (-35.5)
What a disaster it was for both of these teams it was in round one.
For Brisbane it was meant to be their coming of age party, where they stamp themselves as a powerhouse reborn and chalk up a victory agaisnt a team they smashed late last year in Collingwood. Instead, the Pies embarrassed the Lions and their best player in Tom Rockliff injured himself in the process.
North Melbourne were just as bad, if not worse.
The Kangaroos were meant to show up, strut their stuff and show the AFL world why they are fancied as a genuine contender this year, but instead of that they put in one of the worst performances in the Brad Scott-era.
In fact, the North Melbourne coach labelled their lack of effort as ‘insipid’ – words not used lightly from the former Brisbane hardman.
So what does it mean for this game?
One thing is for certain – North Melbourne will come out with a high intensity from the opening bounce, intent on proving a point. The Lions – without Tom Rockliff – will struggle to contain such a barrage and will do well to come away with anything less than a 6 goal defeat.
Tip: North Melbourne 40+ $2.05 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First quarter margin North Melbourne 25-32 points $8.10 via William Hill