Analyst: Alex Christodoulou
Apr 19, 2019 09:43 AM
Old foes face-off in Easter Monday blockbuster
Sunday footy kicks-off with Carlton's attempt to notch up their first win of the campaign, when they face a Bulldogs side also looking to bounce back.
The Crows can't afford another defeat when they welcome the spirited Suns to town.
But the best is saved until Monday, when Geelong will be looking to hold on to their lead at the top of the ladder, with a win over fierce rivals Hawthorn.
Want a second perspective before betting on the AFL? Read our AFL betting tips below.
Western Bulldogs vs Carlton Blues
AFL Odds: Bulldogs $1.37 (-18.5) / Blues $2.95 (+18.5)
Carlton remain the only winless side after a month of AFL action.
They'll want to break through for that win as soon as possible before it starts to become a monkey on their backs.
The Bulldogs meanwhile have lost two on the bounce after starting the season with two straight wins.
They'll also want to get back to winning ways on Easter Sunday, against a side that have been their bunny in recent seasons.
Why Bulldogs can win
The Dogs pushed the Pies all the way last start, and if that form is anything to go by, then they'll have too much firepower for the Blues.
Marcus Bontempelli proved again that he's one of the competition's elite midfielders, racking up 36 touches.
Alongside Jack Macrae and Lachie Hunter in the midfield, the Bont helped to get the wood over the Magpies' star-studded midfield.
A repeat performance would see this in-form midfield prove too hot to handle for the young Carlton mids.
Why Blues can win
Speaking of Carlton's midfield, their star player Patrick Cripps had another whale of a performance in his team's 2-point loss to the Suns.
He finished with 30 touches, 2 goals and 12 tackles, earning him the highest total of ranking points for the round.
Marc Murphy also had solid numbers from the middle of the park.
However, after these two, Carlton are a very young in the middle of the park, and still look like they need another year or so before they mature into AFL-standard players.
Only kicking 57 points against the Suns is also a worrying sign for the Blues, who look to be outclassed here.
Key AFL Stat
- The Dogs have won their past 5 against the Blues: Western Bulldogs to win @ $1.37
AFL Betting Tip:
Bulldogs to win by a margin of 1-39 points @ $2
Reasoning: The Dogs are the better side, but Carlton are always up for a fight and shouldn't be blown away.
Adelaide Crows vs Gold Coast Suns
AFL Odds: Crows $1.20 (-28.5) / Suns $4.25 (+28.5)
The most interesting betting game of the round sees the Suns stride down to Adelaide full of confidence.
After the preseason AFL odds for the wooden spoon had Gold Coast installed as hot favourites to win the award, they've come out and claimed 3 wins from their opening 4.
All four of these games have been decided by a margin of less than a goal.
But here, the AFL odds are predicting a dominant win to the Crows, who will relish getting back to their home turf after going down in Melbourne last time.
Why Crows can win
Adelaide have underperformed in 2019.
They have one of the most talented squads in the league, but have so far failed to put it all together, save a good win away to the Swans.
They were comfortably beaten in their two home games this campaign, albeit to very good teams.
But with the likes of Rory Sloane, Taylor Walker and Daniel Talia in their side, it'll be only a matter of time before the Crows start to turn things around.
The pressure will be on here. If they can't win at home against the Suns, then alarm bells will be ringing down in Adelaide.
Why Suns can win
Gold Coast have been impressive on multiple fronts in 2019.
Not only has their young midfield led by Touk Miller really come of age, but the whole Suns side has shown that, when the game is in the balance, they make the right decisions.
They snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last time, with Jack Bowes snapping the game-winning goal inside the final fifteen seconds.
If this game goes down to the wire, then recent form suggests that the Suns have the footy smarts to get the win.
Key AFL Stat
- The Crows are the only team that Gold Coast have never defeated: Adelaide to win @ $1.20
AFL Betting Tip:
Gold Coast to cover the +28.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: In the form they're in, and with the motivation to finally record a win against the Crows, look to the Suns to keep this tight.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Geelong Cats
AFL Odds: Hawks $2.89 (+15.5) / Cats $1.38 (-15.5)
This traditional Easter Monday clash sees the latest chapter of the rivalry that has been the most absorbing of the past decade.
It also pits a team seemingly on the way down (Hawks), against a side who look to be emerging as a genuine premiership threat once again (Cats).
Having said that, not just Hawthorn but Geelong come into this blockbuster off a Round 4 defeat.
Both sides will be desperate to get back into the winner's circle.
Why Hawks can win
If the Alastair Clarkson era has taught us anything, it's that the Hawks go to another gear in the big games.
That's why they've been so successful, in a period that has seen four flags and multiple finals appearances.
However, it would be a monumental effort if the Hawks were to get up here, given all their injury concerns.
With Tom Mitchell, Shaun Burgoyne and Liam Shiels already sidelined, no less than eight Hawthorn players required treatment in last week's loss to the Saints.
James Frawley and Ben Stratton are both expected to miss, while an injury cloud hovers over a number of others.
Why Cats can win
It took a GWS masterclass to stop the Cats in their tracks last week.
Going on their previous form, that saw them record easy wins over Collingwood, Melbourne and Adelaide, you's have to stick with Geelong here.
The most impressive fact about Geelong's great start to the season has been the performances of some of their unheralded players.
The likes of Gryan Miers, Tom Atkins and Charlie Constable have all shown that the Cats have a wealth of young talent at their disposal, to compliment some of the older stars.
Expect them to make light work of a wounded Hawthorn side.
Key AFL Stat
- 4 of the past 5 fixtures between theses sides have been decided by a margin of 15 points or less: Either side to win by 15 or less @ $2.60
AFL Betting Tip:
Geelong to cover the -15.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: They've been too good this year to tip otherwise.
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