Another chaotic week off the field in AFLW with COVID restrictions resulting in crowd-less games in Victoria over the weekend and the Lions v Eagles clash up in the air.
Despite that, we’ve got a massive weekend of footy coming up with four of the competition’s unbeaten teams facing off in some early season blockbusters. Here are my AFLW tips for Round 3.
Geelong are still chasing their first win of the season but it’s doubtful they’ll get it against the young pups who are two from two this year, upsetting the Blues at home last week.
In what was a close yet enthralling finish last week in wet and windy conditions, the Doggies surged home to win by 6 points. Ellie Blackburn was the standout with 2 goals and 22 touches. Kirsten McLeod was great in her first match of the season as well, scoring 2 goals.
Geelong’s start to the season hasn’t gone well, going down by 29 to flag contenders Collingwood after being smacked by North in the opening round. After a promising start to the match last week, the Cats were unable to score a goal after quarter time and looked lost against a pretty tight outfit.
The head to head is clearly favouring the Dogs, but I don’t see it being more than than 40 points in a night match which can slow down the ball a bit. The 2020 AFLW Rising Star, Isobel Huntington, has shown that she is the future of the club, scoring in each match so far this season, so any time goal scorer here a good bet.
Anytime Goalscorer: Isobel Huntington
Both of these teams chasing their first win of the season. The Giants had a pretty tough run with Adelaide and Fremantle as their first two matches and the Suns not much better with Brisbane and Melbourne.
The Giants are clear favourites here after Gold Coast were absolutely demolished by Brisbane in the Q-Clash. The Suns were unable to score a goal against their rivals with the final margin 62 points.
The weather radar suggests a wet game, though, which always events out teams which will favour the Suns. The line is at 12.5, and in the wet, the margin shouldn’t be more than a couple of goals. If you want more value than just Giants in the head to head, Gold Coast at the line is worth a dabble. That 12.5 point head start may be enough to get them over the line.
Value bet is Gold Coast at 1-39. They may be able to sneak a win here in the rain as they will be needing to make up for last weeks disaster of a match!
Value: Gold Coast 1-39
Carlton were many punters favourite for the flag this year but the season couldn’t have started worse for them. They are currently sitting at 0-2 and face a bright eyed team in St Kilda. The Saints haven’t managed a win yet this season either but were always going to be a mid-ranked team given they are only in the second year of the competition. There is zero pressure on the Saints girls, with all expectations on the Blues in this game which should be a tough contest.
Carlton’s Maddie Presparkis is starring once again, finding plenty of the football, and Saints midfielder Georgia Patrikios, in her second year of the competition, has been outstanding with perhaps two best on ground performances.
A few ins for Carlton should provide them with the depth they need but expect the Saints to make it difficult for them. Coach Peter Searle gets her team to play with plenty of guts, which makes for all out, tough footy.
Caitlin Greiser is the main target for the Saints, and is can kick well over 50m, so she’s a good bet for an anytime goal scorer, while Georgia Gee from Carlton is as silky as it comes and sneaky around the goals and forward 50 stoppages.
Anytime Goalscorers: Caitlin Greiser, Georgia Gee
This is going to be a battle of the midfields from two undefeated, A-grade sides.
North are coming off two percentage boosting wins against Geelong and St Kilda so will be coming into this with huge confidence. Captain and 2018 Best and Fairest winner Emma Kearney has been doing huge damage in the midfield and the entire forward line of North have been getting involved on the scoreboard.
Melbourne had a solid win over Richmond last week, winning by 28 points. Alyssa Bannan starred with two goals in just her second game along with Lily Mithen yet again causing havoc through the middle with 20 disposals.
This match is at Casey Fields which can really even out some teams with that howling wind so whichever team adapts to that, especially defensively, will find themselves in the better position on the day. In saying that, Melbourne will know this ground better than anyone, so should be more accustomed to the conditions.
North at the line is a good place to look. The line is only set at -11.5, which, considering North has only conceded two goals total in the past two games, looks like a really manageable feat.
The featured multi this game is very Kangaroo heavy. Starting off with North at the line, with their forward line being so potent, it is doubtful Melbourne will be able to stay within two goals. Emma Kearney in for 20+ disposals. Averaging 22 disposals this year, it will be interesting to see who will match up on her given her size and strength. Finally Jasmine Garner for any time goal scorer. She has been spending a bit more time up the ground in the midfield this year, so is getting her hands on the ball a bit more, which is nothing but a good thing for the Roos. With the wind behind her, she will be able to kick at goal from a bit further out, so I can’t see her not finding the goals here.
Featured Multi: North at line + Kearney 20+ disposals + Jasmine Garner ATG
Brisbane Lions v West Coast Eagles
Another fixture change for these teams, which will see Eagles face another tough opposition after they leave their home of Perth for an unknown period of time.
The Lions were superb against the Suns last round, being the first team to be able to lift the Q-Clash trophy after a draw the year prior.
Jesse Wardlaw was unstoppable and best on for the day with four goals to her name. Dakota Davidson also managed four goals from just nine disposals, as the Lions went on to win by 63 points.
The Eagles went down by just nine points to Fremantle in the Derby. In a game that was affected by torrential rain, the Dockers were unable to get their slick ball movement going which may have limited the damage on the scoreboard.
The Lions are easily the favourites here and you’d be crazy to go anything other than them as winners in this match. Brisbane should be able to be cover the line here as well, given the confidence they’d have taken from their win last week.
Some best bets: Bodey has been able to find the goals every match this season, and Wardlaw, after not seeing it much in the first round, was able to find plenty in the second. So any time goal scorers for both of them, tied in with a Lions win.
If you want some value, Lions at +40 could be a shout.
H2H Lions @ line
Best Bet: Lions win + Wardlaw ATG + Bodey ATG
Value Bet: Lions 40+
This should be the match of the round! Both teams undefeated, both teams flag contenders and both teams absolutely littered with stars. I cannot wait for the battle of the tackling machines Eb Marinoff and Kiara Bowers and to see how Fremantle star forward, Gemma Houghton goes against crows captain Chelsea Randall. This should be a cracker!
Fremantle came straight off a lockdown into a wet and tough match against West Coast. In a clear day that would have been a breeze, but the unseasonal storm really evened out the two teams on the scoreboard. Fremantle came out as 9 point winners, and Kiara Bowers was the best on ground in the Derby for the second year running.
The head to head is in favour of the Crows as Freo haven’t been able to beat them yet during the AFLW, plus a bit of a home ground advantage there at Norwood. The 1-39 market is a good place to look when the games should be a bit tighter, and really, it is a flip of the coin with this match.
The featured multi for this match has Kiara Bowers in for 20+, as she looks for her third straight 10 perfect coaches votes, and superstar of the competition Erin Philips for an any time goal. She’s dangerous all over the ground, but I think she will let Eb Marinoff do her dirty work, stay a little bit on the outside of the packs to get some clear space.
Featured Multi: Crows 1-39 + Kiara Bowers 20+ disposals + Erin Phillips ATG
The Pies fixture has changed more than the mask rules have in the past two weeks, but that didn’t stop them last week and will work in their favour this week. Instead of playing Brisbane in Brisbane this week, they’re now up against the winless Tigers. If the Pies have their heads switched on, this game will be a walk in the park for them and should be a percentage-boosting win.
The Pies are coming off two great wins and are now considered flag contenders. Co-captain Bri Davies was great last week with 25 touches and a goal, while Ruby Schleicher in defence has become a definite A-grader in the off season and also managed to snag her maiden goal.
If you are feeling super confident in Collingwood, the +40 market is definitely worth a punt. With the midfield that the Pies are running and the conditions predicted of the day they should be able to run riot against the winless Richmond.
The featured multi is playing a little safer. Pies should easily be able to cover the line set at -16.5, combined with Britt Bonnici for over 20 disposals. She has been incredible so far this season, with a tank that rivals anyone in the competition, she can get her own ball but also run off her opposition to get into space. Final leg, there won’t be anyone who can match the Irish forward, Ash Sheridan, for pace so 2+ goals for her.
Featured Multi: Pies @ line + Britt Bonnici 20+ disposals + Aishling Sheridan 2+ goals
Value Bet: Pies 40+