St Kilda vs. Richmond
Richmond will be out to avoid going 2-3 after consecutive losses coming into this clash. There’s no doubt the Tigers are yet to fire entirely on all cylinders, but they’ll be keen to finally really kickstart their season with a victory. There was evidence that resurgence was ready to begin last week in the Tigers’ epic two-point loss to flag contenders Port away from home. While the Saints will be full of confidence are a stirring comeback to beat the Eagles, Richmond look primed to bring them back to earth. However, a key stat Richmond will be looking to reverse is forward line pressure, sitting last in the competition for tackles inside 50.
Suggested bet – Richmond -13.5 at $1.90
West Coast Eagles v Collingwood
The Eagles will likely be without Shannon Hurn and the Pies will loss resilient midfielder Taylor Adams. Both sides have showed some signs for concern to start 2021, but the Eagles’ fortress at Optus Stadium is continuing (unbeaten in two clashes at the venue). The Eagles ran out of puff last week as the Saints overran them late, while Collingwood were dismal losing to an under-siege Giants. West Coast have won 10 of their previous 11 matches at Optus with the only loss coming against the Magpies. It’s an interesting stat, but the Pies will have their work cut out to continue that run in the West.
Suggested bet – 1u West Coast -22.5 at $1.90
Western Bulldogs vs. Gold Coast
The Dogs lose Caleb Daniel through suspension while Gold Coast’s ruck issues remain. The Dogs are looking to maintain their unbeaten streak to start the season and it’s hard to imagine that will be stopped by a Suns side with a 1-3 record, coming of a loss to Carlton at home. The past three clashes between this pair have been extremely close, but the Dogs appear a side on the rise, while the Suns are treading water at best, mostly due to injuries to key players.
Suggested bet – 1u Bulldogs -37.5 at $1.90
Sydney vs. GWS
Some key outs for the unbeaten Swans with Isaac Heeney and Dane Rampe set to miss this derby clash. Will it be enough to give the Giants a chance of an upset – and will the Giants bounce off their unexpected first win of the season last week? The Giants still have plenty of injury woes, and while Sam Reid returns from suspension, I doubt they’ll have the firepower to counter the ferocious Swans.
Suggested bet – 1u Swans -14.5 at $1.90
Carlton vs. Port Adelaide
A big test for the Blues and an indicator of whether they are truly ready to press for finals this year. The Power will be ripe for the picking, coming off a bruising narrow win over the Tigers and now without gun youngsters Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters. Jack Silvagni suffered another shoulder injury in Carlton’s win over Gold Coast and is in doubt, however Zac Williams is a likely inclusion. Port has won the past four clashes against Carlton, but the last three have been tight contests. I’m unconvinced the Blues are up to the class of Port just yet, but doubt they’ll be totally blown away.
Suggested bet – 1.5u win Port at $1.78
Brisbane vs. Essendon
Surprised the Lions have come up so short here as they are a side clearly not going as well last year (yet). The Dons have been solid in their past two outings, narrowly going to the high-flying Swans last week and prior to that smashing the Saints. Essendon has a very strong recent record against the Lions, winning three of the past five, despite the Lions giving them a hiding in their most recent encounter. I like the Bombers to be very competitive here.
Suggested bet – 1u Essendon +25.5 at $1.85
Adelaide vs. Fremantle
Rory Sloane is unlikely return to Adelaide’s midfield for a few weeks and the Dockers are likely to welcome back a raft of players which could include Stephen Hill, Griffin Logue, Lachie Schulz, Sam Switkowski and Darcy Tucker. I doubt it’ll be enough for a Dockers side which has played dismally away from home this season. It is a worry the Crows were seriously tested by the hapless Kangaroos for much of last week, but they got the job done in the end and should continue their positive start to the season here.
Suggested bet – 1.5u Crows -6.5 at $2
Hawthorn vs. Melbourne
The Hawks have lost three in a row but all of those losses have shown many glimpses of positivity. In fact, they’ve covered the line in its last six matches at the MCG. Melbourne are unbeaten so far this season, claiming the scalp of the Cats to reinforce their improvement in 2021. However, they’ll will miss key defender Steven May and it leaves a big hole in the Demons back six. Expecting the Hawks to be ultra-competitive here.
Suggested bet – 2u Hawks +24.5 at $2
Geelong vs. North Melbourne
The Cats will be boosted by the return of Patrick Dangerfield, while Gary Rohan is also available for selection and key forward Jeremy Cameron could also play his first game. It’s a trio of ominous inclusions for a severe mismatch against the struggling Kangaroos. The Roos matched it with the Crows for much of last week’s clash but eventually the score-line read a 41-point loss. The line is significant here, just under the 60-point mark. While the Roos aren’t going well at all, and the Cats welcome back a swag of stars, I’m not keen on getting involved at such a big line.
No suggested bet