HAWTHORN is once again the outright flag favourite after an emphatic 46-point win over the West Coast Eagles on Sunday. WilliamHill.com.au moving the reigning premiers into $4.25 to make it four premierships in a row.
The Hawks blew out to $5.50 after last week’s loss to the Cats, but all online bookmakers were quick to wind the champs back in after their crushing win over the team they conquered in last year’s decider.
The match was West Coast’s first visit to Melbourne since its poor display on Grand Final day last year and they did nothing to allay the fears of those who believe the Eagles still carry the burden of their lacklustre showing on the big stage.
The Eagles were kept goalless in the opening term and never looked to be in the contest after the Hawks jumped out to a four-goal lead at quarter time.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson believes the wounds of last year’s humiliation may exist within his playing group.
“It’s hard to tell (if there’s mental scarring). Looking at it now, I can’t argue it,” Simpson said.
“We thought we prepared well, but we had a lot of similar outcomes as last year, so we’re really disappointed.
“They outplayed us in every area of the game. We just didn’t put ourselves in any position to compete – inside, outside or (with our) ball use.”
The Eagles started the round as joint favourites for the flag at $4.50, but took a hit at Crownbet.com.au after the loss and now sit on the second line of betting at $5.50.
The Eagles kicked 19 goals less than the tally they nailed last week against the Lions, with their forward line again failing to fire against Hawthorn.
Reigning Coleman medalist Josh Kennedy’s horror run against the champs continued. The former Blue only managed to kick one goal for the afternoon.
As a consequence, Sportsbet.com.au moved the 2015 All-Australian vice-captain out to $3.25 to win the 2016 Coleman medal after starting the round as short as $2.75.
Fremantle flag tilt flatters after shock loss to the Suns
AFTER starting the season as one of the flag fancies, Fremantle has taken a massive tumble in the premiership market, with WilliamHill.com.au pushing last year’s minor premiers out to $21.
The fluctuation comes on the back of a disastrous 26-point loss to last year’s cellar dwellers the Gold Coast Suns at home – a team they had never previously lost to.
The defeat puts the Dockers in a precarious position given they face last year’s grand finalists West Coast (where they are the $3.40 outsiders) this week followed by a tricky away trip to Melbourne to face the unbeaten Kangaroos.
The Dockers are currently $1.75 with Sportsbet,com.au to make the final eight, but if they are unable to register a win in the opening month of football those odds will blow out dramatically.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said he believes there is no real cause for concern for the Dockers just yet, despite his team’s tardy start.
“We’re 0-2, I’ve been in bigger holes than this.” Lyon said during the post-match press conference.
“We’ll work through it. We won’t be intimidated into what other people think, that’s not the way we roll.”
Dockers star Nathan Fyfe bounced back to his Brownlow best after a poor round one display, amassing 34-disposals and booting three goals in an performance that would have caught the attention of the umpires.
The 24-year-old started the round as a $13 chance to win back-to-back Brownlows, but was moved into $7 with WilliamHill.com.au on the back of the performance.
Sportsbet.com.au still has the long-haired Docker on the fourth line of betting at $11.00.
Could the Ablett-led Suns be finals bound?
GOLD Coast’s winning start to the season has not gone unnoticed by the bookies, with Sportsbet.com.au moving the Suns into $2.55 to make the final 8.
The Suns were as long as $3.50 to make the finals for the first time in their existence, but after following up round one’s big victory over Essendon with a win in the west over the Dockers, Gold Coast are setting their sights on September football.
When asked in the aftermath whether this was the greatest win in the franchise’s infantile history, Suns’ skipper Gary Ablett responded in the affirmative.
“I think so, without a doubt,” Ablett said.
“You probably remember back in 2006 when Geelong spoke about winning away from home and you need to do that to play finals footy.”
“There is no bigger test than coming over here.”
The Gold Coast captain backed up his best-on-ground performance against the Bombers a week ago with a workmanlike 23-disposal, one goal effort which could see the dual Brownlow medallist again figure in the umpires’ votes.
Ablett firmed even further in Brownlow betting with both Sportsbet.com.au and WilliamHill.com.au, with both online bookmakers moving the former Cat into outright second for the medal at $6.00.