The 2023 AFL season is in full flight, and we have tips and best bets for Round Three.
With the Pies taking on Richmond in front of 90k at the ‘G, a Showdown on Saturday night and even a WA Derby on Sunday, there is no shortage of blockbuster AFL games to sink our teeth into this weekend.
However, given the recent form of both teams and their ambitions for the 2023 season, there’s no doubting the Melbourne, and Sydney clash has as much, if not more, interest than any other in Round Three.
game of the week: demons vs. swans
APRIL 2ND 3:20PM
The Demons, who have lost to the Swans in their past two encounters, will need to bounce back after going down to Brisbane by 11 points. The result could have been much worse if not for the ‘Gabba blackout’ with 12 minutes left in the last quarter, as the Dees kicked the game’s final five goals and saved some crucial percentage.
It was an uphill battle for Melbourne after captain Max Gawn went down with an MCL injury in the opening minutes and will now miss the next four-six games. Brodie Grundy will assume the number one ruck role in Gawn’s absence, while the likes of Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney will need to improve on their lowly 32 clearances. Steven May will also prove pivotal if he returns from injury.
In stark contrast to Melbourne’s disappointing performance, the Swans sit on top of the ladder after they continued their red-hot start to the year with an 81-point thumping of the Hawks. It was more or less match practice for last year’s grand finalists as they piled on 33 scoring shots to 17 and kept the Hawks to just four goals for the game.
In the absence of Lance Franklin, Joel Amartey (5) and Logan McDonald (4) combined for nine goals for the Swans, while Callum Mills found form with 28 disposals and two majors. This will undoubtedly be the Swans’ toughest test this season after disposing of the Gold Coast by 49 points in Round One. With Franklin now available, keep an eye on what the Swans do with their forward line at the selection table.
With all that being said and Brodie Grundy entering the match in a role he’s dominated for years and earnt All-Australian honours, expect the Demons to hit back and recapture the form they showed when they dismantled the Dogs in the opening round.
Suggested Bet: Demons to win @ $1.71
Bulldogs vs. Lions
30th March 7:20pm
If form lines are anything to go by in footy, the Bulldogs will struggle enormously against the Lions. After losing to the Demons by 50 points in Round One, the Dogs watched on as the Lions put Melbourne to the sword before the blackout at the Gabba.
Suggested Bet: Brisbane to win @ $1.47
Magpies vs. Tigers
31st March 7:50pm
Can Richmond cause an upset at $2.58? While they seem overs, there’s no denying that Collingwood has been the form side of the competition with wins against Geelong and Port Adelaide. No Broad and a question mark on Dusty make it even harder to mount a case for the Tigers.
Suggested Bet: Collingwood to win @ $1.51
Hawks vs. Kangaroos
1st April 1:45PM
Hawthorn vs North or Sam Mitchell vs Alastair Clarkson? It’s a battle of former captain and coach, and there’s no doubt both want to win this desperately. The Hawks have shown no signs of competitiveness in their losses to Essendon and Sydney by a combined 140 points, while the Roos have equalled their number of wins from last season in the first two games. It could be another Clarko masterclass.
Suggested Bet: Half-Time/Full-Time North Melbourne/North Melbourne @ $1.88
Giants vs. Blues
1st April 4:35PM
Carlton’s own form lines are proving impressive, with a draw against the Tigers followed by an eight-point win over Geelong. They look like they mean business in 2023. On the other hand, the Giants became just the third team to lose to West Coast since the backend of 2021, and based on that and their first half against Adelaide in Round One, we can’t go anywhere near them.
Suggested Bet: Carlton to win @ $1.54
Saints vs. Bombers
1st April 7:25PM
The undefeated Ross the Boss comes up against the undefeated Scotty in one of the tightest matchups of the week. Despite their high-octane game plan under Lyon, the Saints will feel the pinch of the injury toll at some point, with just six AFL-listed players featuring for Sandringham on Saturday. The Bombers will toss up Jake Stringer’s inclusion, but either way, look the value play at $2.17.
Suggested Bet: Essendon to win @ $2.09
Power vs. Crows
1st April 7:30PM
A SA Showdown that couldn’t be any more important to both teams. The Power will need to show something after capitulating against the Magpies last weekend, but they’ll need to do it without Ryan Burton after his two-game suspension. There’s a crisis of inconsistency at the Crows as they’ve shown glimpses of impressive footy for very short periods in both losses to the Giants and Tigers. The Power’s Round One win over the Lions is the only reason we’re backing them with a shred of confidence.
Suggested Bet: C. Dixon first goal scorer @ $9.50
Suns vs. Cats
2nd April 3:10PM
The reigning premiers will enter this clash as the shortest-priced favourites of any side this weekend ($1.38) as they attempt to get off the mark in 2023. They won’t see Tom Stewart for a few more weeks, so will need to find other ways to slow down the Suns’ scoring after ranking third-last to this point. Wil Powell and Sean Lemmens should be available to return for the Suns, one of the two sides ranked lower than the Cats in defence.
Suggested Bet: Geelong (-16.5) @ $1.90
Dockers vs. Eagles
2nd April 6:20PM
We haven’t seen a Derby this enticing for a few years, and it’s all based on Fremantle’s disappointing start to the year. The addition of Luke Jackson has thrown Sean Darcy completely off, while their forward line is nonexistent. Add the fact that the Eagles secured their first win of the year against the Giants, which could be closer than the market suggests.
Suggested Bet: Fremantle (1-39) @ $2.05