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AFL Round 5 match previews

Time for the regular weekly contribution from @AFLRatings, it's the Round 5 preview of the greatest sport in the world!

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AFL Round 5 Preview
aflratings.com.au
@aflratings


With four favourites biting the dust last week in a very competitive Round 4 of AFL, what will Round 5 deliver this week? Here are our thoughts for all nine games.

Carlton v Collingwood
Will the fantasy of a milestone match get the Blues over the line against their arch rival Magpies, unlikely! Carlton have struggled in the early part of 2015, they have conceded 100pts or more in three of four games and look fragile at best up forward. On the flip side, Collingwood have impressed defensively conceding only 69.8pts average per game which is ranked third in the AFL. Punters are yet to get a grip on the form line for Collingwood as they are +2 vs the betting in in 2015, the weather looks ok for Friday night football and so should the Magpies.

Richmond v Geelong
A battle of two teams with differing paths in recent years, the Cats appear to be on the decline after a stellar decade delivering three premierships and the Tigers in which no punter can trust or has been burnt before for failure to live up to the promise in big games. A different theory may apply in this one, could it be the AFL team under the most media scrutiny this week (Richmond) rebound with a win?

Sydney v Western Bulldogs
Prior to last week this would have been a formality for the Swans, if you missed the Bulldogs demolish the Crows in Round 4 then you missed a young team transition the ball with ease through the middle of Etihad Stadium. But can the Bulldogs continue the good form against a far superior opponent at the SCG on Saturday? Our rule for the Swans this year was never to tip against them in any game throughout the 2015 Home & Away season, we altered that with success last week against a red-hot Fremantle team in Perth. Sydney should be good for 17-18 wins this year, this is highly unlikely to be one of those losses in what looms as possible wet conditions.

Gold Coast v Brisbane
Where do we even begin to start with these two poor performing Queensland teams? Brisbane are ranked 18th in quite a few statistical categories and Gold Coast are not much better, the Lions have no key forwards/defenders and the Suns have little to no recognisable midfield. This is seriously a toss of the coin pick, even with a coin toss you may not like either result. With a small interest a suitable result could be a draw at healthy odds or you might find the knowledge of no Lion player having kicked more than two goals in a game this year in your favour in a variety of markets. Good luck if your investing in this one, you are going to need it.

Nth Melbourne v Hawthorn
Are the Kangaroos genuine contenders in 2015 or not? Is it possible the Hawks can actually start the season 2-3 with a loss in this one? This game will surprise most, Nth Melbourne can compete against quality opposition as represented by their 63% win rate v Final 8 sides in 2014 (ranked second). Make no mistake about it for the Kangaroos in this one, this will be a statement game. For all the big statements about Nth Melbourne, the best one is about Hawthorn. They did not lose a game last year when scoring 100pts or more, in a shoot-out you have to go with the defending champion Hawks.

West Coast v GWS Giants
With three wins already in 2015 the Giants are ready to separate themselves from the pack to become a genuine Finals contender, there is no other way to put it except to say GWS have a better list than West Coast and this could become very evident after Saturday night in Perth. The Eagles are more heavily favoured than we thought when the market opened early this week; the Giants have firmed a little during the week. Are punters convinced on the Giants, Saturday night may just change a few opinions if they can pull off an upset.

Melbourne v Fremantle
These 2 teams that can absolutely play lockdown football, Fremantle are the masters at it and Melbourne are the junior version of what the Dockers can do. Melbourne appear to be up against it in this one, they have impressed this year but the Dockers are the real deal. The only crack for Freo in this one is that they are travelling after a tough game against the Swans in Perth and will likely have a 50% record when travelling in 2015. The Dockers will lose games on the road and have been known to drop a shocker, but mainly this happens late in the season when preparing for Finals. Fremantle are +4 vs the betting line in 2015.

St Kilda v Essendon
The Saints got the Bombers in the corresponding match early last season when no-one expected it, St Kilda have started well in games this year as represented with a 3-1 Qtr time record. You may find quite a few markets that suit the early part of the game for St Kilda that have value, other than that the Bombers should run away with this one with a healthy win. Essendon can ill afford to drop this game.

Adelaide v Port Adelaide
The Crows were embarrassed last week against the Bulldogs and are out for redemption but they are up against one of the better teams in the AFL and their home state rival in Port Adelaide, Adelaide has averaged only 79.3 Pts FOR in their last three games whilst Port Adelaide has averaged 106 Pts FOR in their last two games against quality opponents. The Power have had the toughest draw to open the season in the AFL this season, they will be battle ready for anything the Crows can throw at them in what should be a cracking match.

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