Anzac Round always throws up plenty of blockbuster matches, with Thursday’s Bombers – Pies clash sure to provide plenty of highlights. Here’s The Wolf’s AFL tips for round six of the AFL season.
|Tigers v Demons|
MCG, Wed 24/4 7.35pm
|Tigers -16.5 ($1.91)||Tigers 1-39 ($2)|
|Bombers v Magpies|
MCG, Thur 25/4, 3.20pm
|Bombers ($2.50)||Bombers 1-39 ($3.15)|
|Power v Kangaroos|
Adelaide Oval, Fri 26/4, 7.50pm
|Power -24.5 ($1.91)||Power 60+ ($5.75)|
|Suns v Lions|
Metricon Stadium, Sat 27/4, 1.45pm
|Lions -15.5 ($1.91)||Lions 20-39 ($4)|
|Saints v Crows|
Marvel Stadium, Sat 27/4, 4.35pm
|Crows +1.5 ($1.91)||Crows 40+ ($7)|
|Swans v Giants|
SCG, Sat 27/4, 7.25pm
|Giants -14.5 ($1.91)||Giants 1-39 ($2)|
|Dockers v Bulldogs|
Optus Stadium, Sat 27/4, 8.10pm
|Dockers -15.5 ($1.91)||Dockers 40+ ($3.85)|
|Hawks v Blues|
University of Tasmania Stadium, Sun 28/4, 3.20pm
|Hawks 1-39 ($2)||Carlton +19.5 / Under 166.5 ($3.20)|
|Cats v Eagles|
GMHBA Stadium, Sun 28/4, 4.40pm
|Geelong -15.5 ($1.91)||Geelong 1-39 ($2.05)|
Richmond Tigers ($1.42) v Melbourne Demons ($2.90)
Dismal Dees to get no respite
There is no team with their back to the wall more than Melbourne, but maybe the bright lights of a marquee fixture can bring to life the biggest disappointment of this young AFL season. The Demons find themselves at the opposite end of the table to where many had them, in 15th after five rounds with just a single win. The Tigers have steadied the ship after a messy opening few games, winning their past two against the Power and Swans. Richmond has won the past two Anzac Day eve matches by 56 and 13 points and if they are the top of their game on Wednesday night, they could be in for an easy night. The Dees sole win came against an equally as dismal Sydney team, and they are failing in multiple areas of the ground. Hitouts and clearances have been one of their bright spots though, ranking second in the competition in each category. Their forward line continues to be a worry though and after posting just 55 points against the Saints a week ago, The Wolf isn’t going to go out on a limb and back them in as big outsiders.
H2H: Tigers -16.5 ($1.91)Value: Tigers 1-39 ($2)
Essendon Bombers ($2.50) v Collingwood Magpies ($1.54)
Bombers to win Anzac match
A highlight of the home and away season since 1995, this year’s Anzac Day clash between the Dons and Pies promises to be one of the most enthralling on paper. Both sides are in ripping form, with Essendon winning three on the trot and the Pies stringing together back-to-back wins. It’s the red and black that are two goal outsiders for this one, with forward Joe Daniher set to line up despite a short turnaround from last Friday’s 58-point drubbing of North Melbourne. Collingwood had an equally as dominant win against Brisbane at the Gabba, winning by 62 points. Despite the Bombers’ recent poor seasons, they last won the Anzac Day match in 2017, with Collingwood victorious by 49 points last season. After a meagre start to the season the scoreboard, Essendon has rocketed to be the second highest scoring team in the competition, with Collingwood close by in third. Essendon will want to make this game a high scoring affair as two high powered midfield’s go toe to toe. The Wolf sees the value with Essendon, who should give the Pies everything they’ve got. The Bombers also had a habit of beating top sides in the latter stages of last season and that trend could continue on Thursday.
H2H: Bombers ($2.50)Value: Bombers 1-39 ($3.15)
Port Adelaide Power ($1.27) v North Melbourne Kangaroos ($3.80)
Power to do it easy against Roos
The Power pulled off the upset of the season last Friday when they trounced the Eagles by 42 points as $4+ underdogs. This week they are far shorter to beat the competition’s bottom side in North Melbourne. The Kangaroos are coming off a Good Friday hiding by the Bombers and had to defend their place in a marquee timeslot after struggling for much of the match. A trip to the Adelaide Oval is certainly not the tonic they are after, with the Kangas 0-6 at the venue and they have also lost four on the bounce to Port at all venues. They have an average eight goal losing margin in the city of churches since the once cricket ground was redeveloped and The Wolf is finding it hard to make a case for them. The only thing that the Port could struggle with is a let down factor after toppling the premiers. North is one of the poorer teams in attack, ranking 17th in points for and inside 50s. By contrast, Port is at the top of the league for inside 50s and fifth in points scored. It’s difficult to see North making a game of this one.
H2H: Power -24.5 ($1.91)Value: Power 60+ ($5.75)
Gold Coast Suns ($2.80) v Brisbane Lions ($1.44)
Lions to win QClash
The Suns and Lions play the 17th QClash on Saturday afternoon, with Brisbane holding a 10-6 head to head advantage against their state rivals. Both teams have won three of their first five games but find themselves outside the top eight on percentage. Brisbane’s two losses against the Dons and Pies have both been by 40+, while the Suns aren’t in crash hot form either, losing to the Crows by 73 points after having four matches decided by a goal or less to start the campaign. The Wolf knows anything is possible in these local derby games, but the Lions deservedly have the edge in the market. Last season’s two QClash’s were decided by under a kick, but Brisbane is a far better side this season than last. Talent wise, the Suns are worse off as well. Look for the Lions to get back in the winner’s circle with a comfortable win at Metricon Stadium.
H2H:Lions -15.5 ($1.91)
Value: Lions 20-39 ($4)
Value: Lions 20-39 ($4)
St Kilda Saints ($1.85) v Adelaide Crows ($1.95)
Crows to show up Saints as underdogs
Few would have picked St Kilda to lead the competition after five rounds but that is where the Saints find themselves after a number of upset wins. They host Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon looking for their fifth win of the season and face a Crows team on the back of their biggest win of the year. Their 73-point trouncing of the Suns was punctuated by a sublime Eddie Betts goal from the boundary that is surely up there as the goal of the year. Adelaide has the wood over the Saints, winning eight on the trot, with a staggering seven of those by a 40+ margin. Since 2014, the Crows are 5-5 at Marvel Stadium, so it is far from a happy hunting from for the team from South Australia. What they do have though is confidence after a big win that may well kick start their season. They were disappointing at Docklands two weeks ago, but The Wolf fancies them as underdogs. The Saints won’t be flying under the radar anymore and aren’t a value favourite based on some of the sides they’ve beaten in recent weeks.
H2H: Crows +1.5 ($1.91)
Value: Crows 40+ ($7)
Value: Crows 40+ ($7)
Sydney Swans ($2.65) v GWS Giants ($1.48)
Giants to make it two in a row against Swans
The Swans still find themselves in the bottom four and their task doesn’t get any easier this weekend when they play the Giants at the SCG. The Battle of the Bridge has been dominated by the Swans, who have 11 wins to the Giants’ 5. It is GWS that took the most recent and most significant of those matches in last season’s elimination final, trouncing the Swans by 49 points and restricting the Bloods to just 30 points. Both sides are high possession teams, ranking in the top four in the AFL for disposals, but the Giants are the more potent in attack, booting an average of two more goals a game than the Swans. The Wolf struggles to see how Sydney kicks a winning score in this one, particularly with the Giants coming off a rare loss in Canberra. The Swans haven’t been blown out this season, but they haven’t set the world on fire and the Giants will have their measure Saturday night.
H2H: Giants -14.5 ($1.91)Value: Giants 1-39 ($2)
Fremantle ($1.44) v Western Bulldogs ($2.80)
Freo to give Dogs the heave ho
The Western Bulldogs have fallen flat after a hot start to the season, losing three on the trot, with two of those losses coming as big favourites. They travel to Perth to play a Freo side that knocked off the Giants as six goal underdogs last round and will be looking for back to back wins. The Dogs are yet to scratch at Optus Stadium in two tries, losing to the Dockers by nine goals last season at the venue. Freo has won the last three matches between the two teams and are better than average in attack this season, ranking sixth in points scored and eighth for inside 50s. That is in stark contrast to the typically dour style Ross Lyon coached teams have adopted in the past. A loss to the winless Blues was dispiriting for the Dogs, but it is the margin and lack of bark they showed after half time that was most concerning. The Wolf thinks they lack leaders and they now have a long road trip to face one of the competition’s best midfielders in Nat Fyfe. Good luck Doggies. Freo all the way.
H2H: Dockers -15.5 ($1.91)Value: Dockers 40+ ($3.85)
Hawthorn Hawks ($1.35) v Carlton Blues ($3.20)
Hawks to continue winning ways against Blues
The Blues are on the board in season 2019 and they did it in emphatic fashion against the Dogs, running away 44 point victors on Easter Saturday. Can they make it two in a row against the slumping Hawks on Sunday afternoon? Hawthorn’s two wins from five has them in 13th spot on the table, with Geelong having the brown and gold’s measure on Easter Monday. It is the second regular season match between the two sides in Tasmania, with the Hawks making the Apple Isle their fortress, amassing a 30-1-5 mark since 2009, with an average winning margin of 37 points. They will be happy to see the Blues, who they have often toyed with in recent years, winning nine of the past 10 meetings. Both sides are underwhelming statistically, so The Wolf is going to back a tried and proven technique of the Hawks in Tasmania, which has proven a winning formula in the past. The Blues won’t be disgraced though, with all of their losses this season by less than 39 points.
H2H: Hawks 1-39 ($2)Value: Carlton +19.5 / Under 166.5 ($3.20)
Geelong Cats ($1.44) v West Coast Eagles ($2.80)
Cats should have the measure of inconsistent Hawks
Geelong can barely put a foot wrong this season, winning four of five and their solitary loss was by less than a kick. They take on premiers West Coast in one of the games of the round on Sunday evening. The Eagles were well beaten by Port a week ago in a rare home thumping, so will surely come out firing on Sunday. They are winless in three games at GMHBA Stadium in the past decade though and will need to overturn an average losing margin of nine goals if they are to go home winners. This match will no doubt be much closer than previous contests by the bay though, with the Eagles’ inside 50s, which are last in the league, hurting them the most early in the season. A lack of consistent ball up forward won’t get easier against the defensive Cats, who are not only lethal in attack, but suffocating down back. The Eagles will respond but the Cats are looking premiership favourites on early form.
H2H: Geelong -15.5 ($1.91)Value: Geelong 1-39 ($2.05)