Analyst: Alex Christodoulou
Mar 29, 2019 04:48 PM
Demons desperate for redemption
Three absolute cracking AFL fixtures to get excited about on Saturday.
The highlight is Melbourne's trip down to the Cattery, where they will be looking to avenge not just a Round 1 loss, but an after-the-siren defeat in the corresponding fixture last year.
The reigning premiers will be out to prove they're not suffering a premiership hangover when GWS come to town.
But before these belters, Carlton face the tough task of taking on Port at the Adelaide Oval.
Port Adelaide Power vs Carlton Blues
AFL Odds: Power $1.17 (-31.5) / Blues $4.60 (+31.5)
If there was an award for the most impressive team of Round 1, it would have to go to the Power.
They defied the AFL odds and won as $4 outsiders against the Demons, by a healthy 26 points.
You'll see nothing like those odds here, as they line up as heavy favourites on their home ground against a young Carlton side.
Why Power can win
If Port can make light work of Melbourne at the MCG, then they theoretically should have no issues putting away Carlton at the Adelaide Oval.
The problem in past years has been the Power's inconsistency, often dropping the ball when they look ready to become a genuine premiership challenger.
Tom Rockliff was immense in last week's win, with a repeat performance sure to get Port over the line.
And with veteran Justin Westhoff kicking five goals straight in Round 1, and 18-year old rookie Zak Butters also finding two, it's looking like an exciting time to be a Port Adelaide fan.
Why Blues can win
The Blues were anything but disgraced in last week's 33-point defeat to Richmond.
After trailing by 40 points in quarter two, the young Blues made a stand, surging and getting within two goals of the premiership favourites.
If they can sustain that level for a full four quarters against Port Adelaide, then the Blues will cause a boilover.
Especially if Brownlow contender Patrick Cripps has a game in the middle of the park.
Key AFL Stat
- The underdog has covered the line in each of the past 10 games at the Adelaide Oval: Carlton to cover the +31.5 point line @ $1.90
AFL Betting Tip:
Carlton to cover the +31.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: Based on how well they responded to adversity in Round 1, the Blues will be up for the fight here.
Geelong Cats vs Melbourne Demons
AFL Odds: Cats $1.56 (-9.5) / Demons $2.33 (+9.5)
Saturday night footy doesn't get any better than this.
Who could forget the corresponding fixture last year, when Zach Tuohy nailed a goal after the siren to win the game for the Cats?
He's a chance of returning here, as Geelong look to back up their impressive win over the Pies with another one over the Demons.
Why Cats can win
Geelong have been close to unbeatable at Kardinia Park for almost a decade now, creating one of the bona fide fortresses in the AFL.
They always seem to grow a leg when playing at home, and if they can use this to improve off last week's performance, then even a red-hot Melbourne won't be able to stop them.
Tim Kelly proved why he's one of the hottest bits of property in the league, racking up 9 clearances and 31 disposals.
Alongside Dangerfield and Duncan in the middle of the park, the Cats have the firepower to hold off even Melbourne's midfield.
Why Demons can win
Everything was going to script at quarter time in Melbourne's match against Port Adelaide in Round 1.
They were up by 11 points, their midfield was dominating, and it looked like only a matter of time before they broke the game open.
What followed was a disaster, with the Demons gradually getting overpowered before succumbing to a scoreless final quarter.
They receive the big boost of new recruit Steven May lining up here after being suspended for the opening round.
He has the leadership qualities to inspire his new teammates, who have all the speed, toughness and skill to bounce back.
Key AFL Stats
- Geelong have won 20 of their previous 21 Saturday games at GMHBA Stadium: Cats to win @ $1.56
AFL Betting Tip:
Either team to win by 15 points or less @ $2.60
Reasoning: The two times these teams played each other in the 2018 home and away season produced nail-biters. Expect another one here.
West Coast Eagles vs GWS Giants
AFL Odds: Eagles $1.40 (-14.5) / GWS $2.80 (+14.5)
West Coast and GWS couldn't have come into this fixture with a bigger differential in form.
The Eagles were stunned by 44 points against the Lions, while the Giants demolished the Bombers by 72.
If that form stacks up, the Eagles will be on the end of another whipping. But back at home, expect the reigning premiers to dish up something much better here.
Why Eagles can win
The Eagles were clearly suffering from a premiership hangover in Round 1, their minds still on the the success they enjoyed in 2018.
They sat on their laurels, and were punished by a high-energy Brisbane side.
But with a vocal home crowd behind them, West Coast won't lack any energy here, as they look to return to their winning ways of late last campaign.
The Eagles won 5 of their previous 6 matches at Optus Stadium, including an 11 point win over GWS in July.
However, the Giants were missing Toby Greene and Jeremy Cameron that day, so West Coast will need to be special to get the win here.
Why Giants can win
GWS couldn't have been more impressive last week, completely dismantling a lacklustre Essendon side.
And the scary news for West Coast is that this was without their best midfielder Josh Kelly, who is expected to start here.
However, it's not all about the stars for GWS. They have a great roster of young players who gained plenty of AFL experience in 2018 when the Giants were plagued with injuries.
These players looked hungry in Round 1. Don't be surprised if their energy and tackle pressure overwhelms the Eagles here.
Key AFL Stat
- Each of GWS's previous 5 games have gone under the total match points line: Total match points under 170.5 @ $1.90
AFL Betting Tip:
GWS to win @ $2.80
Reasoning: These AFL odds are crazy based on GWS first up win, combined with the expected return of Kelly for this clash.