Analyst: Alex Christodoulou
Mar 28, 2019 02:28 PM
Magpies to swoop on Rance-less Richmond
It was upsets galore in the opening round, with AFL punters keen for the heavy-hitters to come out and redeem themselves.
Two of the giants lock horns to kick-start Round 2, where we'll get a first look at the Tigers without Alex Rance in their defensive ranks.
The Swans and Crows will both be hunting for their first win of the campaign on Friday night.
Essendon will look to put a disaster Round 1 behind them when they host St Kilda on Saturday afternoon.
Richmond Tigers vs Collingwood Magpies
AFL Odds: Tigers $1.90 (-0.5) / Pies $1.90 (+0.5)
This Thursday-night blockbuster sees a rematch of last year's preliminary final, where the Magpies produced a stunning upset.
That was the last AFL match the Pies won, they have since gone down as favourites in the Grand Final and then in their Round 1 clash against the Cats.
It's Richmond who'll start as the favourite here, after they put in a professional performance in the opening round to overcome a plucky Carlton side.
That win was soured by the ACL injury to star defender Alex Rance, who will be sorely missed in this match-up.
Why Tigers can win
Despite suffering the huge injury blow to five-time All-Australian defender Rance, as well losing Bachar Houli to a hamstring twinge for this match, the Tigers do have cover down back.
David Astbury and Dylan Grimes are both accomplished defenders, who are often overshadowed by the praise dished out to Rance.
If these two can contain the likes of Mason Cox and Jordan de Goey, then Richmond have all the players in the front half of the field to get the win.
Tom Lynch impressed in his debut game for the Tigers with 3 goals, and he'll look to back that up here alongside new forward partner Jack Reiwoldt.
Why Magpies can win
Collingwood didn't just beat Richmond in the prelim, they thrashed them by 39 points.
Mason Cox was dominant in the air, pulling down 11 marks, 8 of which were contested.
With no Alex Rance to play as the third man into marking contests, you'd have to think the 211cm big man will have it all his own way again.
Alongside small forward Jamie Elliott who was the shining light in his long-awaited return from injury last week, the Pies forward line is too potent not to cause the Tigers headaches.
Key AFL Stats
- The Tigers have won 26 of their past 27 games in Melbourne: Richmond to win @ $1.90
- Collingwood have lost all of their past 8 Thursday games: Richmond to win @ $1.90
- Mason Cox has kicked 2+ goals in each of his previous 4 games against the Tigers: Cox to score 2+ goals @ $3.30
AFL Betting Tip:
Collingwood to win @ $1.90
Reasoning: The Pies will improve rapidly from last week's effort, where they were a little slow out of the blocks.
With a clear blueprint for victory, the Magpies will be confident that they can repeat the dose against Richmond.
Sydney Swans vs Adelaide Crows
AFL Odds: Swans $1.73 (-4.5) / Crows $2.10 (+4.5)
Two victims of an opening-round upset face-off on Friday night, with both powerhouse clubs desperate to avoid and 0-2 start to their 2019 campaigns.
The AFL odds in Round 1 suggest Adelaide's loss was the bigger shock of the two, after they were comfortably dispatched on their home turf by an understrength Hawthorn side.
And while Sydney went down to the Dogs, a spirited four-goal final quarter gives them momentum heading into this clash.
Why Swans can win
The Swans looked like they started 2019 with one leg still in the offseason.
But after reacquainting themselves to the pace and speed of the AFL, Sydney were the superior team as the game wore on, almost running down the Dogs late in quarter four.
With that performance under their belt, and the big boost of playing in front of their home fans at the SCG, expect the Swans to bounce back here.
Buddy will want to put on a show at home, and he could be joined by new forward recruit Daniel Menzel, who missed Round 1 with a groin strain.
Why Crows can win
While the opening round scoreboard was an ugly look for Crows fans, they will be buoyed by the stats sheet.
Against Hawthorn, Adelaide recorded more contested possessions, clearances, and marks, and had a higher effective disposal percentage.
It was their finishing that let them down, missing several gettable goals through poor kicking.
With a bunch of star players in their ranks, the Crows only need to have a clean shooting night in front of goal to secure a big scalp away from home.
They'll have to cope without young talent Tom Doedee though, who also suffered an ACL tear in Round 1.
Key AFL Stats
- Sydney have failed to cover the line in their past 6 night games: Crows to cover the +4.5 point line @ $1.90
- 12 of Adelaide last 13 Friday night matches have gone under the total match points line: Under 164.5 total match points @ $1.85
- Lance Franklin has booted 4+ goals in each of Sydney's past three Round 2 games
AFL Betting Tip:
Sydney Swans to cover the -4.5 point line @ $1.90.
Reasoning: If Sydney play with the same intensity they showed in the final quarter last week, they will prove too much to handle for a disappointed Adelaide side.
Essendon Bombers vs St Kilda Saints
AFL Odds: Bombers $1.28 (-22.5) / Saints $3.45 (+22.5)
The story of Round 1 was the Essendon Bombers, who were nothing short of awful in their 72-point defeat to GWS.
This was a horror start to the season for one of the AFL's biggest clubs, who need to turn things around in a flash or risk the anger of their fans.
The good news is that they come up against the Saints, who convinced nobody that they are an improved team, after just holding on by a point against the Suns.
Why Bombers can win
Essendon couldn't play any worse than last week if they tried and can only show improvement off the back of that effort.
Back in front of their home fans, where they won't lie down so easily, the Bombers should be up for the fight.
Even without star forward Joe Daniher who is sidelined for the opening month of the season, the Dons have superior quality on their side of the park.
The midfield especially contains a great bunch who will be keen to bounce back after getting smashed by the Giants last time.
Why Saints can win
St Kilda are the team coming in off the win, so if the form stacks up, then they'll be picking up another one here.
The Saints' strength is also their midfield, where the likes of not just Seb Ross, but Jack Steele and Jack Steven operate.
Steele was best on ground last week, his 10 tackles really setting the tone from the middle of the park.
If he can bring that aggression and get a few more of his teammates to back him up, then an upset isn't beyond the Saints.
Key AFL Stats
- St Kilda have lost 13 of their previous 14 games as an underdog: Essendon to win @ $1.28
- The Saints have lost 9 of their past 11 Saturday matches by a margin of 1-39 points: Bombers to win by 1-39 points @ $2.10
- The underdog has covered the line in 9 of Essendon's past 10 day matches at Marvel Stadium: St Kilda to cover the +22.5 point line @ $1.90
AFL Betting Tip:
Essendon to cover the -22.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: The Bombers just have too much quality for a St Kilda side who really made tough work of it against the wooden spoon shoo-ins.