AFL betting (round 2 for March 31-April 2): Swans in lousy shape for Grand Final rematch

Updated: March 31, 2017

Richmond are 2-0 after last night’s 19-point win over Collingwood at the MCG to kick-off round 2 in the AFL. Tonight, Bulldog fans get the chance to see their side unfurl a premiership pennant for the first time since 1955 as they host the Sydney Swans for a rematch of last year’s Grand Final; overall record: 5-1-2, +5.33 units

Game: AFL round 2 – Western Bulldogs (1-0) v Sydney (0-1)
Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Vic
When: Friday, March 31, 7.50pm (AEDT)
Lines: Bulldogs -17.5, total 180.5
Confirmed bet: Bulldogs -17.5 (two units @ $1.93)

TIW says: Tonight’s 2016 Grand Final replay has been, unfortunately, rendered a virtual mismatch due to Sydney’s injury list. There’s no Isaac Heeney, Jarrad McVeigh, Tom Papley, Dame Rampe or Gary Rohan for John Longmire to consider. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have the luxury of having a trio of premiership players – Clay Smith, Toby McLean and Josh Dunkley list as emergencies. The Bulldogs have won their past three against the Swans (including that 22-point upset in last year’s Grand Final) in low scoring affairs. They looked decidedly rusty in last week’s season opener against Collingwood, but still prevailed by 14 points.


Meanwhile, Longmire has gone wide at selection, naming a trio of debutants – Robbie Fox, Nic Newman and Will Hayward. The Swans’ key stats were comparable with Port Adelaide in their round one match-up with one glaring exception – the Power scored 50 points from forward 50 turnovers while Sydney managed just 22. That was the exact margin in the game too – 28 points. In Sydney’s favour is their history against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium winning all three previous matches. The Swans have won their past 10 at the venue where they haven’t been defeated since early in 2012. Not tonight – Bulldogs easily.


Game: AFL round 2 – Hawthorn (0-1) v Adelaide (1-0)
Where: MCG, Melbourne, Vic
When: Saturday, April 1, 1.45pm (AEDT)
Lines: Hawthorn +4.5, total 200.5

Confirmed bet: Adelaide -4.5 (one unit @ $1.93)

TIW says: We should know better than to count out the Hawks after a single disappointing loss but they didn’t look flash in last week’s loss to an Essendon outfit playing on high emotion. In a match where most of the key stats were pretty close, the glaring exception was uncontested possession which the Bombers won by a huge +61. That confirms what we thought while watching the game – the Hawks look slow, especially in defence. Tom Mitchell was the only on-baller who was anything close to effective as the loss of Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis started to bite.

They play the side that turned in arguably the performance of the opening round. The Crows put the sword to the highly-touted Giants by 56 points in brutally hot conditions at the Adelaide Oval last Sunday. They booted 22 goals without skipper Taylor Walker, who returns here, while Alistair Clarkson swung the axe at selection, dropping four regular first XXII players – Taylor Duryea, Billy Hartung, James Sicily and Ryan Schoenmakers. The impact of last week’s heat on the Adelaide players is a slight concern but they should enough firepower to cover the small line today.


Game: AFL round 2 – GWS Giants (0-1) v Gold Coast (0-1)
Where: Spotless Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
When: Saturday, April 1, 4.35pm (AEDT)
Lines: Giants -40.5, total 197.5

Lean: Suns +40.5

TIW says: This line is tempting but it’s a no play. The Suns finished all over the Lions last week so bring some momentum to western Sydney today. The Giants were terrible in Adelaide so improvement is expected. But on a heavy surface, we’re happy to watch this one play out.


Game: AFL round 2 – Brisbane (1-0) v Essendon (1-0)
Where: Gabba, Brisbane, Qld
When: Saturday, April 1, 6.25pm (AEDT)
Lines: Brisbane +15.5, total 191.5

Confirmed bets: Brisbane +15.5 (one unit @ $1.92); -191.5/total (three units @ $1.90)

TIW says: Two of the surprise packets of the opening round clash in Brisbane against the backdrop of a trying week for the state and nearby northern NSW due to the impact and aftermath of Cyclone Debbie. The Gabba was soaked by more than 200mm of rain in the past 48 hours and while the surface drains nicely, we’re expecting the surface to cut up noticeably in the early going so the ‘under’ is our big play here. Despite their respective victories last week, neither was terribly convincing. Chris Fagan steered the Lions over the line in his debut as senior coach.

But that was only after they’d coughed up a 46-point half-time lead, with Tom Rockliff playing a starring role. The home side will be boosted by the debut of former Magpie Jack Frost. The Bombers gave their long-suffering fans something to cheer with a 25-point win over the Hawks but we’re expecting a physical and mental letdown here after the emotional highs of last week. There’s nothing like the pace and intensity of home and away football, and the Essendon players returning from suspension would have felt that impact this week. Lions to cover in what could be a thriller.


Game: AFL round 2 – West Coast (1-0) v St Kilda (0-1)
Where: Domain Stadium, Perth, WA
When: Saturday, April 1, 7.40pm (AEDT)
Lines: West Coast -39.5, total 193.5

Lean: +193.5/total

TIW says: Punters were quick to jump off the Saints bandwagon after last week’s loss to the Demons while the Eagles started in impressive fashion with a road win over the Roos. The 40-point line is a bit trappy if the visitors can snap a few junk-time goals but in perfect conditions, the total should clear the tally on offer.


Game: AFL round 2 – Geelong (1-0) v North Melbourne (0-1)
Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Vic
When: Sunday, April 2, 1.10pm (AEDT)
Lines: Geelong -29.5, total 195.5

Lean: Geelong -29.5

TIW says: The Cats turned in one of the performances of the opening round highlighted by a ferocious appetite for the ball. The Roos were their own worst enemies last week with a hopelessly inaccurate display in a 43-point loss to West Coast. The main culprit, Jarrad Waite, is out with a shoulder injury. The lines look around the mark.


Game: AFL round 2 – Melbourne (1-0) v Carlton (0-1)
Where: MCG, Melbourne, Vic
When: Sunday, April 2, 3.20pm (AEDT)
Lines: Melbourne -28.5, total 181.5

Confirmed bet: +181.5 (two units @ $1.90), Melbourne -28.5 (one unit @ $1.92)

TIW says: Is this the year Demon fans can get genuinely excited? Their 2017 campaign started in promising fashion last week with a five-goal win over St Kilda (form franked last night when the Saints ran the Eagles to the wire). It was Melbourne’s first win over St Kilda in 14 attempts. Their midfield depth is among the best in the competition, and those on-ballers are assured more than a fair share of the footy with Max Gawn in the ruck. The challenge for Simon Goodwin and his players is consistency – the ‘old’ Melbourne could easily come out and lose this match-up.

The scoreline flattered the Blues in their season-opening loss to Richmond through a combination of impressive accuracy and some soft Tiger errors. Firmly committed to rebuilding the list, Carlton haven’t really bottomed out with more dead weight yet to be culled from the weakest list in the competition. Recent meetings between these sides have all played ‘under’ with an average game total of just 149 points across the past four. The Blues have also upset the Demons in the past two meetings as significant underdogs. We’re confident the Demons will reverse both of those trends this afternoon.


Game: AFL round 2 – Port Adelaide (1-0) v Fremantle (0-1)
Where: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, SA
When: Sunday, April 1, 4.40pm (AEDT)
Lines: Port Adelaide -26.5, total 181.5

Lean: +181.5

TIW says: Like the aforementioned Demons, it’s consistency that Power fans will crave after their side’s meritorious win over Sydney at the SCG in round 1. They’ll get no better chance to impress as they host a Freo side on the rebound after a lame display against the Cats last week. Jury’s out on these sides, so no bet here.


Round 2 results update: 0-0-1, -1.0 units

Three-unit bets: 1-0, +2.7 units
Two-unit bets: 1-1-0, +1.86 units
One-unit bets: 3-2, +0.77 units

Richmond v Collingwood/either team -15.5 (one unit @ $2.75) LOSE (99-80)



• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Ladbrokes (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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