The AFL season is well and truly underway at this point, and it has been fascinating to see how different teams have coped this season. This is the most unpredictable season to date, and any team in the competition is a genuine chance in any given game. With that being said, let’s get stuck into a huge round 5.
Carlton V St Kilda
What a game to kick off footy, as the Saints take on the Blues at Marvel stadium.
This game looms as a massive opportunity for both clubs, in particular Carlton ($2.20) who have an opportunity to win their third game in a row after scalping a win against the Cats and the Bombers. They have been mighty impressive after many had written them off following their first two losses, with Cripps leading the way. However, he is not alone. Docherty amassed 32 possessions this week (Not bad for a guy whose missed two seasons of footy), and their talls in Casboult and McGovern combined for 5 goals. A win for the blues would be massive for their finals chances, as their following games are Sydney and Gold Coast (barring any further changes), both of which they should start as favourites.
The Saints ($1.63) have been quite impressive themselves, knocking off the reigning premiers by 26 points! This comes two weeks after they pummelled the Dogs by 39 points. A win here for the Saints is just as crucial, as they face a few tough games against Geelong and Port Adelaide following the completion of this round. Jack Billings (25 disposals) looks to be there Barometer and plays a big part whenever the Saints get up for a win.
This is perhaps the match of the round and marks the first Thursday night game in the 103-year history of the two clubs meeting. A win for either side is crucial and puts them in the top eight. I like the ways the Blues have looked under David Teague, and am tipping them to win.
Prediction: Carlton by 15
Collingwood V Essendon
A huge Friday night game, as the ANZAC day rivals, face off at the MCG.
Collingwood ($1.43) has been the most impressive side thus far until their hiccup against the Giants last week. The Pies struggled with Sidebottom (16 disposals) receiving the dreaded De Boer tag and Jeremy Howe going down with an unfortunate season-ending injury. Mason Cox (their only inclusion) seemed clumsy and was unsighted for the most part apart from his crucial late goal. The Pies will be looking to bounce back and get back into the top 4 where they rightfully belong.
The Bombers ($2.80) suffered their first loss of the season against the Blues after many key players underperformed across the lines. Tipungwuti only gathered 4 touches, and their backs in Hooker and Hurley were soundly beaten by Casboult and Mcgovern. There is a whisper going around that Daniher may be a surprise inclusion this week. If that’s the case, this drastically improves the chances of the Bombers of pulling out a win.
These old rivals will no doubt produce an intriguing matchup, but Collingwood should prove to be too much for the struggling Bombers to handle.
Prediction: Collingwood by 24
West Coast Eagles V Sydney
Sydney makes the trip over to Metricon to take on the struggling Eagles.
The Eagles ($1.55) are yet to win a game following the recommencement of the season. The most disheartening thing for Adam Simpson would not specifically be the losses, but more so the magnitude of the losses and the effort put forth. They have lost by an average of 41 points in their last three games. Perhaps the most alarming statistic for the Eagles is their pressure inside 50. Port Adelaide registered 10 more tackles inside 50 than the Eagles, indicating pressure and effort. The Eagles are a mirror of their 2018/2019 selves, and must right this ship in this game or it might be too late to salvage.
Sydney ($2.44) is similarly coming off a defeat at the hands of the Doggies. No one expects Sydney to finish in the top 8, but they are known for being a tough team nonetheless and always putting in consistent effort. They lost against the Doggies but pulled off a solid win against the Roos the week prior. Papley (4 goals) is leading their forward line, but they will need other contributors if they are to win more games this season.
Although based on the form this season, Sydney should be favourites to win, but we all know what the Eagles are capable of. Is this the game they snap the losing streak? I think so.
Prediction: Eagles by 25
Geelong V Gold Coast
Gold Coast travel for the first time this season as they come up against the Cats at the proverbial GMHBA stadium.
Geelong ($1.32) got back on the winner list with a narrow win over the Demons. The usual suspects in Selwood, Dangerfield, and Duncan led them towards a win, whilst lower tier-players such as Menegola and Guthrie were also very impressive. The Cats have been consistent this season apart from their slip-up against the Blues but Parfitt and Dalhaus will most likely return, and buoy this Geelong outfit even further.
Gold Coast ($3.4) continues to impress each week, notching their third win in a row against the Dockers. First-year player Matt Rowell is unbelievably ranked third on the Brownlow betting page, as he put in another 20 disposals, 2 goal performance against a Fremantle midfield that deeply missed Nat Fyfe. This will prove to be the Sun’s first genuine challenge, and it’ll be interesting to see how this match plays out.
Gold Coast is in form, but I don’t see the young crew being able to notch a 4th win against the dynamic line-up of the cats.
Prediction: Geelong by 30
Western Bulldogs V North Melbourne
The Dogs and the Roos face off at Marvel Stadium for a Saturday night clash.
The Bulldogs ($1.68) seem to have gotten their season back on track, after backing up their performance against GWS with another solid win against the Swans. Bontempelli in particular has defied the critics who were questioning his leadership abilities as Captain, by putting in two big performances. English is another one who responded well to critic’s criticisms (including myself) and put in a career-high 22 disposals, 17 hit outs, and a goal. A win for the Doggies will mean their third in a row and put them inside the top 8 for the first time this season.
North Melbourne ($2.18) on the flip side, faced off against the Hawks and fell as 4 point losers despite a 4 goal surge in the last quarter. Simpkin continued his breakout season and was aided by his veterans in Higgins and Goldstein who were also solid. The premiership quarter was ultimately the Roos undoing, but they were far from disappointing, They are a genuine chance to knock off the Doggies if they bring their A-game.
Although the Dogs should win this match, I think the Roos will put forth a big effort and might get over the top of them.
Prediction: North Melbourne by 7
Brisbane V Port Adelaide
10,000 fans will be welcomed to the Gabba as the Lions take on the undefeated Port Adelaide.
The Lions ($1.89) put forth a workmanlike performance against the Crows, with Neale (31 disposals) being instrumental in their efforts. You can see that the 10,000 fans aided the Lions in playing with energy, although they did suffer a scare in the third quarter as Adelaide staged a comeback, kicking 4 goals to the Lions 0. They have a real opportunity to cement their place in the top 4 after this game, but their task is far from easy.
The Power ($1.91) has been mighty impressive thus far, yet to drop a game and sitting at the top of the ladder. Dixon has kicked 8 goals combined in his last 2 matches, (6 goals against the Eagles). It can be argued that the Power are yet to face any real competition, with their 4 wins coming against the Suns, Crows, Dockers, and Eagles (3 of those teams were predicted to finish in the bottom 4 of the ladder, and the Eagles are severely out of form). This presents itself as a real chance for the Power to prove themselves as genuine contenders this year, not just flat-track bullies.
This game is very hard to predict, but I’m going to back the Power to extend their streak to 5-0 and solidify themselves as a premiership chance.
Prediction: Port Adelaide by 13
Adelaide V Fremantle
The sole winless teams go head to head at Metricon stadium.
The Crows ($2.30) have been disappointing this season, to say the least, putting forth dismal performances with a lackluster effort in a season that was supposed to be a fresh start. There were some positive signs in their most recent loss against the Lions, especially in the second half where they outscored the Lions by 3 points. They will be focusing on that as a means of moving forward, in the hopes that they can channel that half of solid play and pull out their first win of the season.
The Dockers job ($1.61) doesn’t get any easier, as skipper Nat Fyfe is expected to miss the next two weeks with a hamstring injury. They struggled to find any game-winners without Fyfe, as Tucker was the only player who managed to get 20 disposals. Walter’s was probably the Docker’s best player, kicking two goals from 15 disposals. Jesse Hogan was kept goalless for the second straight game as their forward line struggled to find any real cohesion.
Fyfe being out is a huge blow for the Dockers, and Adelaide showed some positive signs in their second half against the Lions. I am tipping the Crows to get their first win for 2020 on the board.
Prediction: Adelaide by 18
Melbourne V Richmond
The 15th positioned Demons take on the 14th positioned Tigers at the MCG on Sunday afternoon footy.
The Demons ($2.52) returned to footy after missing round 3 due to Essendon’s COVID-19 scare and came close to knocking off the Cats after they kicked 3 goals in the last quarter. For a season that Melbourne supporters hoped would bare a closer resemblance to 2018, but albeit is not the case. Registering another win won’t come any easier as they face a Richmond outfit coming off their second straight loss.
The Tigers ($1.52), remarkably, have suffered their second straight loss this season, and are yet to win a game since the coronavirus shut down. This is a crucial period for the Tigers if they want to successfully defend their premiership, but the news of key backman Astbury missing a month will be a huge blow for the Tigers. They allowed the Saints to dominate possession, posting 20 fewer marks than their counterparts. For Richmond to get back on track, they need to get back to the gritty, chaos footy that fans are accustomed to seeing.
The odds have Richmond as clear favorites, but I think it is much closer than that. Melbourne is a real chance to knock them off, but I am still tipping Richmond to get back on the winner’s list
Prediction: Richmond by 5 points
Greater Western Sydney V Hawthorn
Round 5 ends with a huge clash between GWS and Hawthorn at Giants stadium.
GWS ($1.60) proved to be too good for Collingwood last weekend, with their key ins (Kelly, Mumford, Greene, Whitfield) all proving to be deciding factors in the match. Rookie Tom Green was also imposing, recording 12 contested possessions and a goal. Although dominated in the hit-outs (55 to 21), GWS won clearances (36 to 31) and recorded 18 more one-percenters, showing that their hunger is in the right place.
Hawthorn ($2.32) came out of their clash against North Melbourne as marginal victors despite going into their shells in the last quarter. Wingard continued his magnificent form (18 disposals, 3 goals) along with stellar midfield company in Shiel (22 disposals, 1 goal) and Worpel (24 disposals, 9 tackles). Clarkson was audibly upset at the lack of free-kicks paid to his team, and when you look at the numbers (69 tackles to 47) it is clear to see why. However, they must not get complacent and must continue to bring that pressure against GWS if they want to scrape out a win.
Hawthorn has been stellar ever since their blip against Geelong, but I think GWS is back to their 2019 form and will be looking to notch two in a row.
Prediction: GWS by 10
West Coast Eagles to beat Sydney $1.55
Geelong to beat Gold Coast $1.32
Adelaide Crows to beat Fremantle $2.30
Richmond to beat Melbourne $1.52
Total odds $7.15
With the Sportsbetting.com.au multi boost a $25 bet will pay $209.50