AFL Tips & Preview – Round 3

With four of last year’s finalists sitting at 0-2, Round 3 of the 2022 AFL season represents a crunch weekend.

Thursday 31st March, 19:20 (AEDT)

Western Bulldogs Sydney
Pos Player Pos Player

B

E.Richards, A.Keath, T.Duryea B H.Cunningham, D.Rampe, P.McCartin
HB C.Daniel, R.Gardner, B.Dale HB J.Lloyd, T.McCartin, J.Kennedy
C J.Macrae, J.Dunkley, L.Hunter C N.Blakey, L.Parker, D.Stephens
HF C.Weightman, Z.Cordy, B.Smith HF H.McLean, L.Franklin, W.Hayward
F M.Hannan, A.Naughton, J.Ugle-Hagan F E.Gulden, I.Heeney, S.Wicks
FOL T.English, A.Treloar, M.Bontempelli FOL T.Hickey, C.Mills, J.Rowbottom
I/C R.Smith, T.Liberatore, A.Scott, L.Vandermeer I/C B.Campbell, O.Florent, C.Warner, J.Amartey


History:
Played 163: Western Bulldogs 83 v Sydney 79 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R17 2021: Western Bulldogs 8.12 (60) lost to Sydney 11.13 (79)

Final Thoughts: The Swans have made a barnstorming start to 2022, and it was somewhat lost in the mayhem of Buddy Franklin’s 1000th goal celebrations last Friday just how impressing their win over fellow premiership fancy Geelong was. John Longmire’s young charges completely overran the Cats and, in doing so, have propelled themselves into third-favourite for this season’s flag ($13 into $8 after just two games).

They face a Dogs outfit who could almost kiss goodbye to hopes of a Top 4 finish should they lose this clash and go 0-3. That should be motivation enough for Luke Beveridge’s men, but issues at present go deeper than mere motivation. A disjointed forward line and unspectacular backline suggests they’ve got significant work to do to reach a second consecutive AFL Grand Final. On a fast Marvel Stadium track, this clash should go down to the wire, something reflected in the tight pre-game markets.

Tip: H2H, Sydney @ $2.00

Friday 1st April, 19:20 (AEDT)

Melbourne Essendon
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 217: Melbourne 85 v Essendon 130 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL R15 2021: Essendon 8.9 (57) lost to Melbourne 9.14 (68)

Final Thoughts: The Dons last week improved on their disappointing first-up hammering from the Cats but, in losing to the Lions, are now staring down the barrel of a 0-3 start. And for a season in which there is expected to be a significant logjam of clubs jostling for the final two spots in the Top 8, could Ben Rutten’s men be the first to drop out? Discarding the crystal-balling, it’s apparent the Bombers simply need to put in a strong performance here even if chances of victory appeal slim (currently $4.30 with Palmerbet).

Melbourne, for their part, are cruising, and have shown little indication they won’t be right in amongst it for back-to-back flags in 2022. Simon Goodwin’s men will cherish being back playing Friday night in front of home fans, and it will surprise few if they run away with things at the ‘G.

Tip: Margin, Melbourne 1-39 @ $2.10

Friday 1st April, 20:20 (AEDT)

Adelaide Port Adelaide
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 50: Adelaide 24 v Port Adelaide 26

Last Meeting: AFL R21 2021: Adelaide 7.9 (51) lost to Port Adelaide 7.13 (55)

Final Thoughts: Rarely have both Adelaide-based clubs gone into a Showdown in such lacklustre touch. While it’s no huge surprise the Crows (0-2) have struggled early, the Power’s 64-point loss to Hawthorn in Round 2 was nothing short of diabolical. A heavy preliminary final loss at home (to the Western Bulldogs) is one thing, but getting hammered beyond 10 goals by a club many tip will finish bottom-four has rung genuine alarm bells for Ken Hinkley. Nothing short of a strong response will appease fans, many of whom have already jumped off the Hinkley ship.

For Adelaide, too, the blowtorch has been applied in recent days. Take this from club legend Mark Ricciuto: “There’s been a lot of talk about Port Adelaide at the moment, but the Crows have been just as bad,” he said on Triple M. “They can’t kick, they can’t handball, they can’t kick at goal, they’re giving away free kicks. They really can’t get any worse.” Ominous signs.

Tip: Line, Adelaide +20.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 2nd April, 16:35 (AEDT)

GWS Gold Coast
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C

 

History: Played 15: GWS 10 v Gold Coast 5

Last Meeting: AFL R17 2021: GWS Giants 9.10 (64) lost to Gold Coast 10.5 (65)

Final Thoughts: The Giants are one of four clubs (alongside Essendon, Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide) staring down the barrel of a 0-3 start. And while they start as favourites at home in this one, the Suns are expected to push them all they way after solid early signs. But Leon Cameron’s men have a stranglehold on the Suns in the game’s most modern matchup. While they went down to the Suns by a solitary point in Round 17 last season, the Giants had won the previous nine clashes in a row. Wet Sydney conditions are set to greet the players in this one, so keep an eye out for the Total Points line.

Tip: Total Points, Under 149.5 @ $1.88

Saturday 2nd April, 19:25 (AEDT)

Collingwood Geelong
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 237: Collingwood 134 v Geelong 102 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R11 2021: Collingwood 6.15 (51) lost to Geelong 8.13 (61)

Final Thoughts: Just like Hawthorn and even Carlton, few expected Collingwood to start the season 2-0. But after wins against Adelaide and St Kilda — clubs most expect will miss the Top 8 in 2022 — Craig McRae’s men face their first big test of the season in this clash. And they’ll want to be more accurate in front of the big sticks compared to the last time they faced Geelong. In that clash (Round 11, 2021), the Pies were 1.11 at three-quarter time and said goodbye to any hopes of victory despite eventually going down by just 10 points.

For the Cats, while there was no shame in defeat to a rampaging Swans outfit last Friday night, but the manner in which they were overrun will certainly cause Chris Scott some concern. There’s also concern around their goal kicking after squandering a number of stone-cold set shots. They should, however, bounce back here.

Tip: Winning Margin, Geelong 25+ @ $2.37

Saturday 2nd April, 20:00 (AEDT)

Brisbane North Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C  I/C

 

History: Played 57: Brisbane 24 v North Melbourne 32 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R14 2021: North Melbourne 6.9 (45) lost to Brisbane Lions 9.14 (68)

Final Thoughts: Drawn against two 2021 finalists to start the season, Brisbane will likely relish playing a North Melbourne side they start as heavy favourites against. Without showing an awful lot in the opening two rounds, the Lions have slipped into $6.50 second favourites for the premiership with Palmerbet (from $7.00) and leapfrogged the Western Bulldogs. And while this clash won’t confirm or deny their credentials, it will give us an indicator of how ruthless Chris Fagan’s men might be in 2022.

The Kangaroos remain remain favourites in the ‘least wins’ market for 2022 but have shown enough in the opening two weeks that they shouldn’t be blown away, bringing their hefty head-start into the equation.

Tip: Line, North Melbourne +42.5 @ $1.90

Sunday 3rd April, 13:10 (AEDT)

Carlton Hawthorn
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 169: Carlton 104 v Hawthorn 65

Last Meeting: AFL R10 2021: Carlton 13.8 (86) dftd Hawthorn 9.9 (63)

Final Thoughts: At 2-0 for the first time in nine years, Blues fans are riding high. And they’re doing so with a confidence in their list they haven’t had for some time. For the first time in well over a decade, it looks like their balance is right. Skipper Patrick Cripps has rediscovered his best and has been smashed in Brownlow betting, shortening from $13 (before Round 1) into $6 after just two games.

And barring a disastrous performance (something they’ve proven capable of in recent years) they’ll go 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. In truth it’s very difficult to get a read on the Hawks who are similarly sitting pretty at 2-0. While a scrappy first-up win bottom-four likelihoods North Melbourne in Round 1 was more or less expected, a 64-point thumping of preliminary finalists Port Adelaide — in Adelaide, no less — last weekend very much wasn’t. Should both sides play around their potential, however, the Blues win this without too many issues.

Tip: Line, Carlton -11.5 @ $1.90

Sunday 3rd April, 15:20 (AEDT)

St Kilda Richmond
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 190: St Kilda 73 v Richmond 114 (3 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL R15 2021: Richmond 2.10 (22) lost to St Kilda 9.8 (62)

Final Thoughts: It’s difficult to get a read on the Tigers after two rounds. Overrun against Carlton first up before bouncing back strongly against the Giants last week: are they a finals side in 2022? The markets have cooled; from a $1.45 Top 8 chance prior to Round 1, now out to $1.72. They start as marginal favourites against a Saints side most punters are similarly unsure about after two games. Dylan Grimes and Jack Riewoldt are 50/50 according to the Tigers, and whether they can get up or not will be huge. These two clubs have seen a lot of each other in the last two seasons, and the matches are split at two apiece.

Tip: H2H, Richmond @ $1.90

West Coast Eagles v Fremantle @ Optus Stadium

Sunday 3rd April, 18:20 (AEDT)

West Coast Fremantle
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 53: West Coast 31 v Fremantle 21

Last Meeting: AFL R22 2021: Fremantle 12.7 (79) dftd West Coast 9.10 (64)

Final Thoughts: To come

Tip: Markets to come