AFL Betting: Giants still a few kicks away from win
The Giants are yet to offer anything that looks like approaching a winning game, but their endeavour and intensity when competing for the football has been strong.
The newest addition to the AFL Franchise are slowly gaining some form and a little momentum, but not enough for Cliff Bingham to see the Giants having a win any time in the near future.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY (v Western Bulldogs)
0.5 units with 65.5 points start at odds of $1.90 or better
Greater Western Sydney play their third 'home' game at their third different venue for the season, with the Western Bulldogs travelling to Canberra to take them on.
The Giants are yet to offer anything that looks like approaching a winning game, but their endeavour and intensity when competing for the football has been strong; they simply lack the experience and skill levels necessary to trouble the better sides.
The Bulldogs are struggling with their foot skills this season. Despite winning their first game of the year last week, they are still yet to break 90 points scored in any match, with an average score hovering in the high 60s. While I expect that to improve this week, covering a line which exceeds 10 goals may be a tough ask for a team short on key forwards.
The Bulldogs have won five of their previous seven matches at Manuka Oval and while I expect them to have little trouble advancing to six out of eight, it's hard to picture them running up a sufficiently large score to cover the start - take the Giants at the big plus.
NORTH MELBOURNE (v Gold Coast)
One unit to win by over 80.5 points at odds of $1.90 or better
The Gold Coast Suns have started the season poorly (with the exception of round three) and the task will not get any easier when they head to Etihad Stadium to take on North Melbourne.
The Suns have only been to Victoria five times, losing four of those games by 71 points or more; their one trip minus Gary Ablett resulted in a 150-point drubbing at the hands of Geelong.
The Kangaroos were disappointing last week against Sydney, but their running/handball-oriented style of play should be more successful against an opponent that allows much more latitude in their defensive mindset.
The two teams have only met once before, with the Kangaroos running out 59-point winners at Metricon Stadium in round 12 last year.
North showed a ruthless streak in defeating GWS by 129 points three weeks ago and I think they'll be looking for a big percentage booster again here.
Melbourne v (ST KILDA)
One unit to win by over 39.5 points at odds of $1.90 or better
Melbourne were an improved side on Sunday night against the Bulldogs, but the task will not get any easier this week against St Kilda.
For the first time this season, the Demons restricted a team to less than 100 points - although this may say more about the Bulldogs' attack than anything else.
It's tough to get a good read on St Kilda's 2012 form as yet: beaten by a better-than-we-first-thought Power in Adelaide first up, convincing wins against two lowly sides and a loss to a potential finalist in the Dockers last week have me thinking that they might be a 9-12 side at this stage.
Nonetheless, the Saints being able to dispatch both theSuns and the Bulldogs by over 10 goals looks like a good form reference for this, as does Melbourne losing to both Brisbane and Richmond by over 40 points.
Head to head, St Kilda have won the last six matches by an average of 42 points, with five of these wins coming by over 30 points.
Geelong look far from their authoritative best at the moment and a trip to the GABBA to take on the 2-2 Brisbane Lions is anything but a 'gimme' of four premiership points.
Aside from a second round hiding at the hands of Carlton, the Lions have made a very respectable start to the 2012 season.
A 29-point loss to Fremantle may not seem that impressive at first, but when you consider that Geelong have also lost to the Dockers this season and that Fremantle's only loss to date was to the unbeaten Swans in Sydney, the form reference appears far more flattering.
With Brown and Black both looking strong last Saturday night, things look on the up for the home side.
Meanwhile, the Cats could have entered this round anywhere between 3-1 and 0-4 with only minor changes in fortune; after running the Dockers very close in the opening round, they barely squeezed home against both Hawthorn and, surprisingly, Richmond at Simonds Stadium. The last two Sundays have highlighted that for the time being at least, they are vulnerable against sides that show plenty of intensity and urgency at the contest.
Head to head, Geelong have won nine of the last 10 overall and four of the last five at the GABBA, including a 29-point win in the corresponding game last year.
I think the defending champions will find a way to get it done again, but not before they receive another fright.