There were no less than six upsets in an unpredictable opening round of the 2019 AFL season, so let’s see what round two has in store. Here’s The Wolf’s AFL tips for the second round of the AFL season.
|Tigers v Magpies|
MCG, Thu 28/3, 7.20pm
|Collingwood ($2.02)||Collingwood 1-39 ($2.55)|
|Swans v Crows|
SCG, Fri 29/3, 7.50pm
|Sydney -3.5 ($1.90)||Sydney 1-39/ Under 166.5 ($5)|
|Bombers v Saints|
Marvel Stadium, Sat 30/3, 4.35pm
|St Kilda +23.5 ($1.90)||St Kilda +23.5 / Under 177.5 ($3.20)|
|Power v Blues|
Adelaide Oval, Sat 30/3, 5.10pm
|Port Adelaide -32.5 ($1.90)||Port Adelaide 60+ ($4.25)|
|Cats v Demons|
GMHBA Stadium, Sat 30/3, 7.25pm
|Geelong -9.5 ($1.90)||Geelong / Under 169.5 ($3)|
|Eagles v Giants|
Optus Stadium, Sat 30/3, 8.20pm
|West Coast 1-39 ($2.05)||West Coast 1-24 / Over 172.5 ($5.75)|
|Kangaroos v Lions|
Marvel Stadium, Sun 31/3, 1.10pm
|Brisbane ($2.05)||Brisbane 1-24 ($3.50)|
|Hawks v Bulldogs|
MCG, Sun 31/3, 3.20pm
|Hawthorn -16.5 ($1.90)||Hawthorn 1-39 / Under 176.5 ($3.90)|
|Suns v Dockers|
Metricon Stadium, Sun 31/3, 4.40pm
|Gold Coast +27.5 ($1.90)||Gold Coast 1-39 ($4.85)|
Richmond Tigers ($1.80) v Collingwood Magpies ($2.02)
Pies to swoop on a wounded Tigers defence
The Tigers will be out to avenge last season’s preliminary final loss when they take on the Pies in Thursday Night footy. Richmond dominated Carlton in the first and fourth quarters last round on their way to a 33-point round one win. Collingwood were let down by plenty of kicking errors and turnovers in a 7-point upset loss to the Cats. Richmond will be without gun defender Alex Rance who injured his ACL in the second half against Carlton and they will need to find a way of stopping ruck forward Mason Cox who bagged three first half goals in last season’s 39-point prelim final romp last September. The Wolf knows neither of these flag favourites were at their best in round one and despite Richmond winning 4 of their past 5 against the Pies, their backline will be missing its best and most experienced player and that might prove their undoing.
H2H: Collingwood ($2.02)Value: Collingwood 1-39 ($2.55)
Sydney Swans ($1.77) v Adelaide Crows ($2.05)
Home ground crucial in close one at the SCG
The Swans and Crows will be eager to overturn poor displays in round one and avoid going 0-2 when they clash on Friday night at the SCG. Both sides led briefly in the first half of their opening round fixtures but were outplayed by less fancied opposition. The Swans trailed as many as 40 points in the second half against the Dogs before a spirited comeback got them within 4 points. That was as close as they got though, with the Doggies booting the last two goals to win by 17 points. Adelaide were contenders for one of the bigger surprises of the opening round as they put in a listless showing at home against Hawthorn. The Crows forward line was ordinary and despite nearly 100 more disposals than their opponents, they lost by 32 points. The Wolf knows not to read too much into games in round one, but the Crows were poor in season 2018 and didn’t look much better in round one. These clubs have shared the spoils in their last four meetings, but it will be the red and white that salute on Friday night.
H2H: Sydney -3.5 ($1.90)Value: Sydney 1-39/ Under 166.5 ($5)
Essendon Bombers ($1.30) v St Kilda Saints ($3.55)
Dons should win but Saints to keep it close
The odds in this one suggest the Bombers will cruise home against the Saints, but based on a round one drubbing, they will need to show a lot to justify their incredibly short price in this one. Essendon were touted as a team to rise up the ladder after a strong finish to the 2018 season, but a 12-goal opening round loss has certainly brought them back to earth. St Kilda snuck over the line by a single point in the closest match of the opening round and never led by more than 13 points against a plucky Suns outfit. These teams have split their last six games at Marvel Stadium, with the Dons winning the past two. Essendon was 6-2 at Marvel last season, with the Saints a poor 2-1-10 at their home ground.The Wolf thinks the Bombers will be desperate to bounce back on Saturday, but its hard to justify giving them a four goal start when they only booted five majors in Sydney last round.
H2H: St Kilda +23.5 ($1.90)Value: St Kilda +23.5 / Under 177.5 ($3.20)
Port Adelaide Power ($1.19) v Carlton Blues ($4.75)
Power to surge against hapless Blues
Port are the shortest priced favourites of the round against wooden spoon contenders Carlton when the two meet on Saturday afternoon in Adelaide. In one of a number of round one upsets, the Power toppled the Dees by 26 points at the MCG, as more than a five goal underdog. They’ll have the pressure of favouritism to contend with in this one, but will be encouraged by a recent strong record against the Blues at the Adelaide Oval, with their last two matches in Adelaide resulting in 90 and 103 point wins. Carlton is winless in three trips to Adelaide Oval, losing by an average of 82 points. After a bad start against the Tigers where they trailed 40-1, the Blues fought back to within 13 points before losing by 33 points in round one. The Wolf knows an early season road trip can be galvanising for a young side, but history is against the Blues in this one and its hard to mount a case for them given their awful record in the city of churches.
H2H: Port Adelaide -32.5 ($1.90)Value: Port Adelaide 60+ ($4.25)
Geelong Cats ($1.57) v Melbourne Demons ($2.40)
Cats to drop Dees to 0-2
The Dees were caught napping in round one, as last season’s preliminary finalists wasted a dominant first quarter to lose to a more desperate Port Adelaide side at the MCG. The Dees now face one of the most challenging road trips in the competition when they visit Geelong on Saturday night. Melbourne has an abysmal 1-7 record at GMHBA Stadium and lost after the siren to the Cats in round 18 at the venue a season ago. They got revenge with a dominant finals victory at the MCG, where they had 25 shots to 16 in a 29-point win. Geelong surprised many when they toppled the Pies in round one and repelled a number of Collingwood’s attacking plays, particularly in the second term. The Wolf knows it would be foolish to wager against Geelong at home when they’re given such a small points start. Dees ruckman Max Gawn was very quiet in round one with just 13 touches and 21 hitouts. Look for him to improve in round two, but it won’t be enough to get a win at the Cattery.
H2H: Geelong -9.5 ($1.90)Value: Geelong / Under 169.5 ($3)
West Coast Eagles ($1.45) v GWS Giants ($2.75)
Eagles to fly high
The Giants were at their ruthless best in a beat down of the Bombers last round, but face the a stern test against the reigning champs on their own patch. The Eagles raced out to a six goal to one lead against Brisbane last Saturday night before managing just one goal in a second half that included a scoreless third term. The Lions won all of the key stats and gave the Eagles plenty to ponder ahead of the unfurling of their premiership flag on Saturday night. Their round one tally of 58 points is their lowest in more than a season and they are sure to hit the scoreboard with more regularity this weekend. The teams have split their last six encounters, with the Giants winless at Optus Stadium, losing by 11 points in their only match at the venue last season against West Coast. There will be a lot of buzz around the sell out crowd in Perth for this one and The Wolf can’t see West Coast dropping two in a row to start the season. They can rack up a big score when they get in a mood and a round one drubbing might just fire them up.
H2H: West Coast 1-39 ($2.05)Value: West Coast 1-24 / Over 172.5 ($5.75)
North Melbourne Kangaroos ($1.77) v Brisbane Lions ($2.05)
Lions to roar to 2-0 start
The Brisbane Lions were a smokey for the top eight before a ball was bounced this season and a seven goal win against the premiers will do their cause a lot of good. The young Lions will not want to get ahead of themselves though and face a tricky match against the Kangaroos on Sunday afternoon. It was the worst possible start to the 2019 season for North who were demolished by 82 points against Freo despite entering the game was favourites. They actually had more disposals than the Dockers, but 21 fewer inside 50s and 22 less scoring shots was their undoing. The Kangas have won six in a row against the Lions, with Brisbane’s last win against them coming in 2014 by just four points at the Gabba. The Wolf had to go back to 2009 for the last time the Lions beat North at Marvel Stadium, when they were victorious by three goals. There isn’t much between the teams on Sunday, so getting the Lions at plus money is a solid wager, with North sure to put in a better effort than they did in round one.
H2H: Brisbane ($2.05)Value: Brisbane 1-24 ($3.50)
Hawthorn Hawks ($1.42) v Western Bulldogs ($2.85)
Hawks to prey on Dogs
Two sides who grabbed odds against wins in round one meet on Sunday afternoon when the Hawks and Dogs clash. Hawthorn used a dominant third quarter to get past the Crows by 32 points in Adelaide, but it could have been a lot more as they had 10 shots to 2 in a wasteful third term. The Dogs were hammering the Swans by as many as 40 points before the red and whites made a spirited comeback, with the Dogs kicking the last two goals to get home by 17 points. The Hawks have won 9 of their past 10 against the Bulldogs, with the only loss in that span coming when the teams met at the MCG in the finals during the Doggies memorable premiership run. It’s a rare game at the ‘G for the Dogs who are just 1-2 at the ground since their 2016 flag. The Hawks are 9-7 in that span. The Wolf is going to back this young Hawks outfit to get the job done in the most intriguing contest of the round.
H2H: Hawthorn -16.5 ($1.90)Value: Hawthorn 1-39 / Under 176.5 ($3.90)
Gold Coast Suns ($4.35) v Fremantle Dockers ($1.22)
Suns to keep it close against Dockers
Dockers fans will be hopeful a big round one win will be the kick start of a season where they give the finals a crack after a few lean years. Suns fans would love to make the finals, something they haven’t done in their 10 seasons in the competition so far. An inexperienced Gold Coast side were unlucky not to beat the Saints in round one, falling by just a point. The Dockers made light work of North and were clinical up forward, something they’ve lacked under Ross Lyon. Freo has won three of its four games at Metricon Stadium, but did lose its most recent encounter at the venue by four goals. The Suns are being undervalued in the market once more and The Wolf is going to back them at the points start. They were 25.5 point underdogs against the Saints, who never got close to covering that spread and the Dockers weren’t tested in their training drill win against North a week ago.
H2H: Gold Coast +27.5 ($1.90)Value: Gold Coast 1-39 ($4.85)