The 2018 Grand Final rematch on Saturday night headlines an exciting round three of AFL action. Here’s The Wolf’s AFL tips for round three of the AFL season.
|Crows v Cats|
Adelaide Oval, Thu 4/4 7.50pm
|Cats ($1.95)||Cats 1-39 / Under 169.5 ($4.60)|
|Demons v Bombers|
MCG, Fri 5/4, 7.50pm
|Demons 1-39 ($2)||Demons / Under 170.5 ($2.70)|
|Blues v Swans|
Marvel Stadium, Sat 6/4, 1.45pm
|Swans -12.5 ($1.90)||Swans by 20-29 ($7.50)|
|Giants v Tigers|
Giants Stadium, Sat 6/4, 4.35pm
|Tigers ($2.20)||Tigers 1-39 ($2.75)|
|Lions v Power|
Gabba, Sat 6/4, 7.25pm
|Lions 1-39 $2.20||Lions / Over 174.5 ($3.20)|
|Magpies v Eagles|
MCG, Sat 6/4, 7.25pm
|Magpies 1-39 ($2.05)||Magpies 1-9 ($7.50)|
|Bulldogs v Suns|
Marvel Stadium, Sun 7/4, 2.20pm
|Suns +32.5 ($1.90)||Bulldogs 1-39 ($2.15)|
|Hawks v Kangaroos|
MCG, Sun 7/4, 3.20pm
|Hawks -14.5 ($1.90)||Hawks 25+ ($2.40)|
|Dockers v Saints|
Optus Stadium, Sun 7/4, 4.40pm
|Dockers -15.5 ($1.90)||Dockers 30-39 ($8)|
Adelaide Crows ($1.85) v Geelong Cats ($1.95)
Cats to get home by a whisker
Two teams coming off wins meet to kick off round three when the Crows host the Cats in Adelaide. The Cats have negotiated a tough start to the season with two wins against flag contenders Collingwood and Melbourne. Their 80-point hiding of the Dees surprised many, with Geelong dominant from the outset. Adelaide brushed aside a poor round one display against the Hawks to beat the Swans by 26 points at the SCG. The Crows have won their past three against the Cats in Adelaide by an average of 32 points, despite Geelong owning a 4-4 record at Adelaide Oval. The Cats have been a tackling force this season, laying 20 more tackles than the Crows on average. Geelong has also been more accurate in front of the big sticks, booting five more goals than the Crows in their two games this season. It’s a tough one to call, but The Wolf is backing the Cats to continue their hot start to the season and their winning form will stay true.
H2H: Cats ($1.95)Value: Cats 1-39 / Under 169.5 ($4.60)
Melbourne Demons ($1.43) v Essendon Bombers ($2.80)
Dees to stop the rot and notch first win
Few would have predicted that this Friday night clash would have such importance in round three, but for either the Dees or the Dons, their season could be in jeopardy with a loss on Friday night. Neither side has started the season well at all, despite both being fancied to make a deep run in the finals in the pre-season. Melbourne’s 80-point hammering against Geelong was their worst performance in more than two seasons, while Bombers fans will want to forget last Saturday’s horror show against the Saints. The teams have split their past six matches, with Melbourne winning the last two, both at Marvel Stadium. The Wolf will be shocked if both teams don’t come out with desperation from the outset in this one, as they sit second last and last on the ladder. Scoring has been an issue for both sides, with the Bombers managing just 105 points across two matches. The Dees aren’t faring much better with 107. A night game at the MCG won’t be the tonic to their scoring woes, so expect another close game in round three, with the Dees to edge it.
H2H: Demons 1-39 ($2)Value: Demons / Under 170.5 ($2.70)
Carlton Blues ($2.60) v Sydney Swans ($1.50)
Swans to get on the board in 2019
Another match between two 0-2 clubs in round three when the Blues host the Swans at Marvel Stadium. Neither team has been awful this season, but both have lacked a four-quarter performance so far. The Blues fell by 16 points to the Power in Adelaide last round, with their second quarter proving their undoing as they conceded four goals and scored none. The Swans’ issue was in the third term, where they conceded three goals to zip. Since the 2017 season, Carlton is just 3-12 at Marvel Stadium, whereas the Swans like it under the roof and have a 5-4 record. The head-to-head record in recent times has been dominated by Sydney, who have won 9 of 10 in this match up. The Wolf thinks this is the most vulnerable Swans side in some time, and the Blues aren’t without a shout. That’s reflected in the Blues price, their shortest of the season so far. Carlton struggled in round one against the tall forward trio of Tom Lynch, Toby Nankervis and Jack Riewoldt, conceding 7 goals to the big men. Their big challenge on Saturday will be stopping Lance Franklin, who has kicked 22 goals in his past 5 games against the Blues, including a bag of 10 in 2017. The Swans will fancy themselves here at a venue they enjoy playing at and will be too good for an improving Carlton side.
H2H: Swans -12.5 ($1.90)Value: Swans by 20-29 ($7.50)
GWS Giants ($1.67) v Richmond Tigers ($2.20)
Tigers to get an upset win
The Giants and Tigers look to bounce back from heavy round two losses when they meet in Sydney on Saturday afternoon. GWS struggled after quarter time in Perth as the reigning champs unfurled their premiership flag and looked back to their ruthless best, dispatching the Giants by 52 points. Richmond turned in one of their poorer second halves in recent memory as they conceded 10 goals to Collingwood on the way to a 44 point loss. The last two times these teams have played in Sydney, the match has been decided by less than three points. The loss of Alex Rance is big for Richmond, but the Giants look to be overrated by the market in this one. Richmond is coming into this one with a two-day rest advantage and has a 3-2 record at Giants Stadium all-time. The Wolf knows there is not much separating these two sides across the board as far as the stats are concerned, and the Tigers didn’t lose back-to-back games at all last season and after a loss they rattled off wins of 13, 28, 18 and 54 points. The yellow and black are a value bet, particularly as underdogs.
H2H: Tigers ($2.20)Value: Tigers 1-39 ($2.75)
Brisbane Lions ($1.67) v Port Adelaide Power ($2.20)
Young Lions to cement their spot at the top of the ladder
The surprise packets of the season, the Brisbane Lions, look to win three games on the trot for the first time since 2010 when they host Port Adelaide on Saturday night. The Lions showed terrific grit in fighting back from a 22-point deficit against North to run away with a 20-point win. Port backed up their shock round one win against Melbourne with a 16-point triumph against Carlton. In the past decade, the Power have only played at the Gabba five times for a 3-2 record. Their two most recent wins in Brisbane have been by 94 and 83 points, but their clash last season in Adelaide went to Port by just five points. The Lions are the best scoring team in the league, averaging 16 goals a game this season. On the flip side, Port has conceded the second fewest points in their two matches. The Wolf fancies the Lions in this one with their fast-paced style of play to get the better of Port in an entertaining, high scoring match.
H2H: Lions 1-39 $2.20Value: Lions / Over 174.5 ($3.20)
Collingwood Magpies ($1.48) v West Coast Eagles ($2.65)
Pies to swoop in blockbuster Saturday night clash
Fans don’t have to wait too long for a Grand Final rematch when the Pies and Eagles meet on Saturday night. A bumper crowd will pack into the ‘G for this one, with the Pies fancied to get revenge for their narrow loss in last season’s decider. Both sides are coming off big wins in round two after disappointing in round one. Collingwood forward Jordan De Goey came to play against the Tigers, booting five goals are a sub-par game against Carlton. West Coast’s explosive attack got going against the Giants, despite Josh Kennedy kicking just one goal. The Wolf thinks Darcy Moore and Dayne Beams will have a big say in this one, with neither player featuring in last season’s Grand Final. Moore will have a tough task in the backline, but looks to have taken his game up a level this season. Collingwood are a tad short in head-to-head betting, but did race out to a five goal lead in the Grand Final before the Eagles wrestled momentum back throughout the match. The Pies would have had this one circled the moment the fixture came out and it won’t be a let down spot for them after beating the Tigers a week ago.
H2H: Magpies 1-39 ($2.05)Value: Magpies 1-9 ($7.50)
Western Bulldogs ($1.18) v Gold Coast Suns ($4.85)
Suns to shine for The Wolf again
The Suns may have lost two of their best players to free agency, but look a determined side if the first two games of the season are an indicator. They face their biggest test this week as they take on the 2-0 Dogs at Marvel Stadium. Errant kicking almost cost the Suns against Freo last weekend, as they booted 7.19 to scrape across the line by 3 points. The Dogs have picked up two wins against finals contenders in Sydney and Hawthorn, with their comeback against the Hawks one for the ages. The Doggies booted 9 majors in the fourth term to stun the Hawks and recover from a 5 goal three-quarter time margin. This will be just the second time the Dogs and Suns have played at Marvel Stadium, with the Dogs past home games against the Gold Coast being played in Cairns, Ballarat and Darwin. The Wolf knows the Suns have been our friend this season, winning 3/4 wagers on the team from up north, with the only loss coming by just a point. They are once again huge outsiders and are 2-0 covering the handicap, so we are backing them again this weekend.
H2H: Suns +32.5 ($1.90)Value:Bulldogs 1-39 ($2.15)
Hawthorn Hawks ($1.48) v North Melbourne Kangaroos($2.65)
Hawks to bounce back against winless North
The Hawks and Roos both gave up fourth quarter leads a week ago and will be eager to bounce back when they meet at the MCG on Sunday. Hawthorn has dominated this match up recently, but North did win their only clash a season ago by 28 points at Marvel Stadium. The Roos’ last win at the ‘G against the Hawks came in 2008. North has been handball happy this season, averaging 176 handballs across two games to just 132 from the Hawks. They did bounce back from a round one drubbing against Freo, but were overrun by the Lions in the second half a week ago. The same can be said for the Hawks, who just imploded against the Dogs after they had the game in the their keeping. Hawthorn have played 7 solid quarters out of 8 this season, but have won just the one game. The same can’t be said for North, who have yet to show they’re up to it. The Wolf is sticking with the Hawks and their dominant record against North, winning 4 of the past 5 against the Roos.
H2H: Hawks -14.5 ($1.90)Value: Hawks 25+ ($2.40)
Fremantle Dockers ($1.42) v St Kilda Saints ($2.85)
Freo too good at home
The Dockers and Saints close out round three action in Perth, with the Saints’ 2-0 start reflected in their price for this one. They have never won at Optus Stadium in two tries but come to Perth on the back of an upset 11-point win against Essendon. Freo let one slip a week ago as they lost to the Suns in a scrappy encounter at Metricon Stadium. Former Brownlow winner Nat Fyfe has had 30 or more touches in his opening two games, with the Saints sure to have their hands full against one of the best players in the competition. Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey have booted multiple goals in their first two games this season, so look for them to be amongst the goals again in this one. The Wolf knows the Saints lost by 5 goals to the Dockers in Perth a season ago and were never in the game, kicking just one goal to half-time. That makes the Dockers good value to knock them off and end their unbeaten start to the season with a handy win at home at good odds.
H2H: Dockers -15.5 ($1.90)Value: Dockers 30-39 ($8)