The 2023 AFL season kicked off with a bang last weekend and the action is only just heating up.
Our experts take a look at every game in Round Two and break down the best bets.
Blues vs Cats
23rd March 7:20pm
Round Two of the AFL kicks off on Thursday night when Carlton hosts Geelong at the MCG.
The Blues, who appear overs at $2.45, were unable hold-off Richmond in the dying stages of their season opener, with a late Tom Lynch goal resulting in a draw and two premiership points each. The Carlton midfield picked up where they left off, with Patrick Cripps, George Hewett and Matthew Kennedy combining for 75 disposals.
The Cats are currently $1.53 with BetDeluxe after putting in a gutsy display against the Magpies following an MCL injury to star defender Tom Stewart in the first half. Jack Bowes will likely debut, while Jake Kolodjashnij could also be available after missing the first game through concussion.
Suggested Bet: Same Game Multi
- Leg 1: Geelong to win
- Leg 2: C. Guthrie 20+ disposals
- Leg 3: G. Hewett 25+ disposals
- Leg 4: T. Stengle 2+ goals
- Total: $4.33
Lions vs. Demons
24th March 7:55pm
It’s not often teams travel to the Gabba as $1.85 favourites, but that’s precisely what Melbourne is doing after dispatching the Western Bulldogs by 50 points on Saturday night.
It was the most clinical display we’ve seen from the Demons since their premiership-winning season in 2021, with max Gawn, Brodie Grundy, and the star-studded midfield all dominating. However, there will be changes ahead of this one, with Kysaiah Pickett suspended for two matches, but Jack Viney, Steven May, Bayley Fritsch and Christian Salem are all available.
Those inclusions will spark fear into a Lions side that was picked apart by Port Adelaide to the tune of 54 points. Former skipper, Dayne Zorko, could be ready to return from a hamstring injury, but they’ll be without Keidean Coleman after he suffered a concussion against the Power.
Suggested Bet: Melbourne to win @ $1.85
Magpies vs. Power
25th March 1:45PM
Based on the results of last weekend, this Saturday afternoon clash between the Magpies and Power is shaping as the match of the round.
The Pies were outstanding in front of 86k at the MCG, running over Geelong by 22 points with five unanswered goals in the last quarter. It wasn’t all positive news, with Jeremy Howe set to miss a large chunk of the season after breaking his arm in a marking contest.
The Power were just as impressive against the Lions, with 13 goals to three in the second half leading them to a 54-point victory. Four of Ken Hinkley’s men kicked 3+, while Jason Horne-Francis silenced a few critics with 25 touches and seven clearances.
Both teams look like they’ve got big things in store in 2023, but we’re taking the Pies in front of a packed MCG crowd.
Suggested Bet: Collingwood to win @ $1.54
Crows vs. Tigers
25th March 4:35PM
The Tigers will travel to Adelaide as $1.57 favourites following their 58-58 draw against Carlton on Thursday night. Despite having 21 more inside 50s for the night, the Tigers could not capitalise on the scoreboard, and it took some fourth-quarter heroics from Tom Lynch to escape with two points.
Tim Taranto is clearly going to be an elite midfielder at Richmond after picking up a game-high 32 disposals, while Daniel Rioli has taken his game to another level across half-back.
The Crows had every chance against the Giants in their season opener but ultimately gave up a 28-point half-time lead with four goals to 11 in the second half. Rory Laird was tagged out of the game after quarter-time, and Izak Rankine blew key opportunities in front of goal with 2.5.
The Tigers are a much better outfit than the Giants, and once they clean up inside 50, they will push every side in the competition.
Suggested Bet: Richmond (-8.5) @ $1.90
Bulldogs vs. Saints
18th March 7:25PM
There was a lot of hype about the Bulldogs during the pre-season, but it all amounted to very little as they went down to a rampaging Melbourne side by 50 points. Despite high disposal numbers for their midfielders – Jack Macrae (33), Adam Treloar (32) and Tom Liberatore (32) – the Bulldogs forwards were unable to capitalise, with no player kicking more than one goal.
Rory Lobb has been ruled out with an ankle injury, and they’ll be waiting on Liam Jones after hurting his neck.
On the other hand, the Saints relished their new game plan under Ross the Boss 2.0, defeating Fremantle by 15 points at Marvel Stadium. It was the Saints of old as they strangled the Dockers’ forward and kept them to just seven goals.
The market expects the Bulldogs to bounce back at $1.46, but don’t be surprised if it’s closer than expected.
Suggested Bet: Western Bulldogs to win @ $1.47
Dockers vs. Kangaroos
25th March 7:30PM
Surely the Dockers can’t be that bad two weeks in a row?
It was a disappointing start to the season for Justin Longmuir’s men as they went down to the Saints by 15 points, kicking just seven goals as the new-look forward line struggled to compete. Nathan Fyfe will never play that poorly again after the dual Brownlow Medallist picked up just nine disposals and went goalless in his first run as a born-again forward.
They’ll still enter this weekend’s clash as short-priced fancies against North Melbourne, who, despite recent off-field distractions, picked up their first win under Alastair Clarkson against the Eagles. Harry Sheezel was best-on-ground in his debut game, while Nick Larkey was unstoppable with six goals. Todd Goldstein will return for the injured Tristan Xerri.
We liked what we saw from the Roos, but the Dockers should quickly bounce back in front of the home crowd.
Suggested Bet: Fremantle (-29.5) @ $1.90
Swans vs. Hawks
26th March 1:10PM
The Sydney Swans made a statement in their Round One match against the Suns by running out 49-point winners on the Gold Coast.
The young Swans look poised to take another step forward this season, with Chad Warner (30), Dylan Stephens (27) and Errol Gulden (24) leading the charge. Their tall stocks will take a hit this week as Lance Franklin misses due to a head-high bump, and they await the return of Tom Hickey and Sam Reid.
The Hawks will enter this match as $8 outsiders following their 59-point loss to Essendon. It was a rude awakening for the brown and gold as they trailed in every major statistical category other than hit-outs.
They’re almost unbackable favourites, but the Swans shouldn’t have many issues in this one.
Suggested Bet: Sydney 40+ @ $1.86
Bombers vs. Suns
26th March 3:20PM
The market liked what it saw from Essendon last weekend and has subsequently supported them into $1.53 favouritism against the Suns.
Brad Scott’s impact has been immediate, with the Bombers wasting less time with ball in hand and pumping it inside 50 at every opportunity. Darcy Parish led the way with 37 touches and 13 clearances.
The Suns were no match for the Swans, but they will take the positives out of Matt Rowell’s return to form and Ben King getting through the game unscathed.
It’s hard to go past the Bombers after last week, but the Suns should be better with a smaller, more agile forward line.
Suggested Bet: Gold Coast (+10.5) @ $1.90
Eagles vs. Giants
26th March 6:20PM
In the final match of the round, the West Coast Eagles will host the GWS Giants on Sunday afternoon.
We will take the positives out of the Eagle’s Round One loss to the Kangaroos, and it all starts with Luke Shuey’s health. After losing fellow veteran Elliot Yeo in the lead-up to the game, Eagles fans would have loved the 27 disposals and eight tackles they witnessed from Shuey. Similarly, Andrew Gaff recorded 23 touches.
They’re currently $2.05 against the Giants, who, after trailing by 28 points at half-time, kicked 11 of the last 15 goals in their win over the Crows. Toby Greene was outstanding with four goals, while Tom Green (37) and Stephen Coniglio (32) could be in for giant years.
Suggested Bet: GWS to win @ $1.80