AFL 2024 Round 2 – Betting tips & Predictions

James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
AFL 2024 Round 2
AFL 2024 Round 2

After a staggered start courtesy of new CEO Andrew Dillons ‘Round 0’ concept, the 2024 AFL season is now fully underway after the first complete round of action last weekend.  It started in thrilling fashion in a topsy turvy encounter between the Tigers and Blues, but over the rest of the round there weren’t a whole lot of close finishes.  But plenty of talking points emerged nonetheless, perhaps most notably the fact that neither of last year’s Grand Finalists has yet registered a win through two games.  The Lions won’t get a chance to this week either as they take a week off, while the Pies kick off the Round 2 action against the Saints on Thursday night.  Check out our preview of that game and the other seven set to take place over the course of the weekend below. 

Round 2 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Saints vs Magpies Thursday, 21st of March at 7.30pm$2.40$1.57
Crows vs Cats Friday, 22nd of March at 7.40pm $1.50$2.60
Kangaroos vs Dockers Saturday, 23rd of March at 1.45pm $2.75$1.45
Hawks vs Demons Saturday, 23rd of March at 4.35pm $3.90$1.26 
Swans vs Bombers Saturday, 23rd of March at 7.30pm $1.18$4.80 
Bulldogs vs Suns Sunday, 24th of March at 1.00pm $1.62$2.30 
Tigers vs Power Sunday, 24th of March at 4.00pm $2.60$1.50 
Eagles vs Giants Sunday, 24th of March at 6.50pm $8.00$1.08 

St. Kilda Saints vs Collingwood Magpies


The Saints were handed a relatively tough start to season 2024 with a trip down the Princes Highway to face the Cats, and while they theoretically gave a reasonable fist of it they were probably flattered by the eight-point margin.  They conceded 19 more inside 50s than they managed themselves, and while that’s in part due to the Ross Lyon gameplan which invariably makes opposing teams inefficient going forward and yields a lot of opposition inside 50s as a result, they would no doubt prefer to have a little more control over the game than they did last week.  Things certainly don’t get any easier this weekend, though they do get the Magpies in a seemingly vulnerable state – whether that is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.  The reigning Premiers have not been the team they were last year to start the season, going down comfortably to the Giants before being dispatched by the Swans at the MCG, and while they won’t be panicking just yet it’s certainly not the start to the year that they wanted.  Of course, it would be silly to read too much into just two results and there is a long season ahead, but with the top four aspirations which they clearly possess they can’t afford to go too much longer before recording their first win.  If they continue to play like they have over the past two weeks then the Saints are very capable of giving themselves a chance to win this, but it feels more likely that the Magpies, with their backs somewhat against the wall, will bounce back in emphatic fashion.  They should be able to get their first victory of the season in this one, and resign the Saints to a 0-2 start to 2024.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Magpies to win $1.58
Magpies -9.5 $1.91
Magpies 16+ $2.15

Predicted Squads

St Kilda AFL
St. Kilda Saints
: B: J.  Sinclair, Z. Cordy, C. Wilkie HB: J. Battle, R. Bonner, N. Wanganeen-Milera C: M. Wood, S. Ross, B. Hill HF: D. Wilson, L. Henry, M. Owens F: J. Higgins, M. King, T. Membrey FOLL: R. Marshall, J. Steele - C, B. Crouch I/C: M. Windhager, L. Collard, R. Byrnes, M. Phillipou, C. Sharman EMG: A. Schoenmaker, H. Garcia, A. Caminiti 

Collingwood Magpies AFL
Collingwood Magpies
 : B: B. Maynard, D. Moore - C, C. Dean HB: S. Pendlebury, I. Quaynor, J. Howe C: S. Sidebottom, N. Daicos, J. Daicos HF: J. Crisp, F.  Macrae, B. Mihocek F: P. Lipinski, J. Elliott, B. McCreery FOLL: D. Cameron, J. De Goey, L. Schultz I/C: T.  Mitchell, B. Hill, W. Hoskin-Elliott, O. Markov, M. Cox EMG: A.  Johnson, J. Noble, B. Frampton 

Adelaide Crows vs Geelong Cats


After such a disappointing end to last season, with the now infamous goal umpiring error against the Swans essentially costing the Crows a spot in the finals, it would have been no surprise to see the Crows come out with a renewed vigour this season as they attempt to make their first appearance in September under Matthew Nicks.  But they were far from the team which so impressed the footy world last year in their season opener, proving no match for the Suns until a barnstorming end to the game which proved to be just a little too late.  That ending at least gave them something positive to take out of the game, but realistically they were thoroughly outclassed throughout.  But last season they were a different team in Adelaide to outside of it, and back on their home turf this week they will be expecting a much better showing.  While they’re a young team trending upwards, their opponents this weekend are as old as anyone and just trying to hang on, but despite their advanced age it’s too soon to write off the Cats just yet.  They still have plenty of very high level talent running around, and will prove a handful for the plucky young Crows.  But there’s no denying that the Crows are a really tough team to beat at Adelaide Oval.  Last year they went 8-4 there compared to 2-8 away, with two of those home defeats coming by just two points.  The Cats should be able to keep this one close, but if they can avoid the first three quarters or so that they had last week, Adelaide can level the ledger at 1-1 with a win.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Crows to win $1.50
Crows 1-24 $3.40
Crows 1-39 $2.10

Predicted Squads

Adelaide Crows: B: J. Worrell, M.  Keane, B. Smith HB: W. Milera, J. Borlase, M. Michalanney C: L. Sholl, J. Dawson - C, C. Jones HF: B. Keays, I. Rankine, J. Rachele F: T.  Walker, D. Fogarty, L. Gollant FOLL: R. O’Brien, R. Laird, S. Berry 
 I/C: N.  McHenry, M. Crouch, L. Murphy, J. Soligo, M. Hinge EMG: E. Himmelberg, C.  Burgess, D.  Curtin 

Geelong Cats AFL
Geelong Cats
: B: T. Stewart, S. De Koning, Z. Guthrie HB: M. O’Connor, J. Henry, M. Duncan C: M. Blicavs, P. Dangerfield - C, M. Holmes HF: B. Close, T. Stengle, T. Hawkins F: J. Cameron, O. Dempsey, O. Henry FOLL: R. Stanley, T. Bruhn, J. Clark I/C: J. Kolodjashnij, T. Atkins, Z. Tuohy, G. Miers, S. Mannagh EMG: O. Mullin, S. Neale, B. Parfitt 

North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Fremantle Dockers

Tip Season 2024 will be one of small wins for the Kangaroos.  Having not won more than four games in a single season since 2019, there is every chance that trend will continue this season, but with a number of talented young players at their disposal they will be looking beyond their win/loss ratio for signs of improvement.  Their season opener against the Giants in Sydney was never going to be easy, but they managed to avoid the kind of blowout which they have so regularly received over the past four years, and with solid performances from a number of young players – not least high draft pick Colby McKercher in hist first AFL game – there were some good signs to take away from the game for them.  The Dockers, meanwhile, provided fans with more than just some good signs in their own season opener, knocking off the reigning Grand Finalists by four goals in a performance which far more resembled the team which won 15 games in 2022 than the one which failed to make finals last year.  This is a side which, disappointing as they were last year, still has the bulk of the team that just a couple of years ago looked like one of the best in the league, and while they have largely been ignored in conversations about potential finalists in the pre-season, it would be no surprise to see them bounce back this season.  If they’re to do so, winning these kinds of games is a non-negotiable.  Their disappointing 2023 season began with a shocking loss to the Kangaroos at Optus Stadium in Round 2, but it’s hard to imagine them letting that happen for a second consecutive season.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Dockers to win $1.45
Dockers -14. 5 $1.91
Dockers 25+ $2.35

Predicted Squads

North Melbourne AFL
North Melbourne Kangaroos
: B: L. McDonald, A. Corr, K. Dawso HB: Z. Fisher, T. Pink, D. Tucke C: D. Stephens, L. Davies-Uniacke, B. Scot HF: C. Zurhaar, C. Coleman-Jones, C. McKercher F: P. Curtis, N. Larkey - C, Z. Duursma FOLL: T. Xerri, J.  Simpkin, H. Sheezel I/C: G.  Wardlaw, T. Powell, J. Stephenson, L. Shiels, E. Ford EMG: B. Nyuon, R. Hansen Jr, C.  Lazzarro

Fremantle Dockers AFL
Fremantle Dockers
: B: J. Aish, A. Pearce - C, J. Clark HB: L. Ryan, E. Hughes, J.  Sharp C: M. Johnson, N. Fyfe, J. O’Meara HF: T. Emmett, J. Treacy, M. Frederick F: S. Switkowski, J. Amiss, M. Walters FOLL: L. Jackson, C. Serong, A. Brayshaw I/C: J. Sharp, B.  Walker, H. Young, N. Erasmus, B. Banfield

  • 12 of the Kangaroos’ 20 losses last year were by 25 points or more.  
  • 14 of the Eagles’ 20 losses last year were by 44 points or more – the line for their game against the impressive Giants this weekend is 43. 5 
  • The Magpies have won four of their last five games against the Saints, all but one of which have been by 15 points or more.  

Multi of the Week

Dockers by 25+ $2.40 
Giants -43. 5 $1.90
Magpies 15+ $2.15
Bet $10 for $98.04 with PlayUp

Hawthorn Hawks vs Melbourne Demons


In a year where improvement is expected, the Hawks looked like much better the 16th placed side they were at the conclusion of last year for much of their opening game against the Bombers last week.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalise on the upper hand they held throughout much of the first half and were ultimately overrun in the final quarter.  But it was a good game of footy between two teams that aren’t exactly world beaters, and the Hawks would have taken plenty of heart from some of the periods of play they were able to put together.  Against the Demons, however, they will have to play at that level for longer.  Melbourne were disappointing in their season opener against the Swans, but they bounced back in kind last week to knock the disappointing Doggies off by 45 points.  The Dees were firing on all cylinders in that game, with their elite midfield tearing the Dogs’ own talented mids to shreds, while defensively they looked as good as ever.  Plenty of people are sleeping on the Dees after two consecutive straight sets finals exits and a tumultuous off season, but this is a side which has finished in the top four for three consecutive years for a reason.  The Hawks are an exciting team which is capable putting plenty of points on the board, but the Demons make it as hard as anyone to do that, and their experience and talent should see them hold out the young Hawks reasonably comfortably.   

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Demons to win $1.25
Demons 1-39$2.20
Demons to lead at every quarter $1.85

Predicted Squads

Hawthorn AFL
Hawthorn Hawks
: B: J. Impey, S. Frost, J. Scrimshaw HB: M. D’Ambrosio, E.  Phillips, C. Mackenzie C: C. Macdonald, J. Newcombe, J. Weddle HF: M. Chol, D. Moore, F.  Maginness F: B. Hardwick, M. Lewis, J. Ginnivan FOLL: N. Reeves, J. Ward, C. Nash I/C: F. Maginness, J. Worpel, J. Gunston, L. Breust, K. Amon EMG: M. Ramsden, E. Phillips, H. Hustwaite

Melbourne Demons AFL
Melbourne Demons
: B: T. Rivers, S. May, J. Lever HB: J. McVee, B. Howes, M. Hore C: E. Langdon, C. Petracca, C. Windsor HF: T. Sparrow, J. van Rooyen, K. Pickett F: A. Neal-Bullen, B. Fritsch, K. Chandler FOLL: M. Gawn - C, J. Viney, C. Oliver I/C: C. Salem, J. Billings, T. McDonald, T. Woewodin, B. Brown

Sydney Swans vs Essendon Bombers


The hope is that this year will be a bounce-back one for the Swans, after they tumbled down the ladder in 2023 following their surprise Grand Final appearance the season prior.  And the early signs are that they are more than capable of catapulting themselves back up the ladder.  Even with two of their best and most experienced midfielders in Callum Mills and Luke Parker out for an extended period, they have looked terrific around the ball – in no small part due to Isaac Heeney’s insertion into the on-ball brigade – while their defence has been robust and their forward line dangerous.  Handed a tough start to the season by the AFL, they have knocked passed both tests with flying colours, with a solid win against the Dees in Round 0 being followed by an impressive victory at the MCG against the reigning Premiers last Friday night.  Things get a lot easier for them over the next few weeks, too, beginning with a home game against the Bombers that they will be expecting to win relatively comfortably.  That’s not to completely discount the Bombers; they actually played some quality footy in a good game against the Hawks last week and look like their additions over the off-season will hold them in good stead this year.  But the Swans are a level or two above and should be looking to secure a top four finish in 2024, and on their home surface they should be able to win this one relatively comfortably. 

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Swans to win $1.20
Swans -28. 5 $1.91
Swans 25+ $1.72

Predicted Squads

Sydney Swans AFL
Sydney Swans
: B: L. Melican, T. McCartin, D. Rampe – C HB: O. Florent, N. Blakey, J. Lloyd C: M. Roberts, Ch. Warner, E. Gulden  HF: R. Fox, L. McDonald, I. Heeney F: T. Papley, H. McLean, W. Hayward FOLL: B. Grundy, J. Jordon, J. Rowbottom I/C: H. Cunningham, B. Campbell, J. McInerney, J. Amartey, S. Wicks EMG: C. Mitchell, P. Ladhams, Co. Warner 

Essendon AFL
Essendon Bombers
: B: A. McGrath, B. McKay, D. Heppell HB: N.  Hind, J.  Laverde, J. Kelly C: E. Tsatas, J. Caldwell, N. Martin HF: S. Durham, K. Langford, A. Perkins F: J. Stringer, P. Wright, J. Gresham FOLL: T. Goldstein, W. Setterfield, Z. Merrett – C I/C: N. Cox, H. Jones, X. Duursma, M. Guelfi, J. Menzie EMG: S. Draper, J. Laverde, N. Hind

Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Suns


Like seemingly half of the AFL, the Bulldogs and the Suns both appear likely to be fighting for the same spots in the bottom half of the top eight this year, but while the Suns have started the season in impressive form, the Bulldogs’ first outing was hugely disappointing.  After starting the game solidly against the Demons they gradually fell away not unlike in the 2021 Grand Final between the two teams – albeit to a lesser extent – and after conceding six goals to two in the final quarter they ultimately went down by 45 points.  Defensively they just didn’t look there – as they haven’t for much of the past few years – and the 129 uncontested marks that they conceded were indicative of their inability to contain opposition ball movement, rather than of reliable defensive structures.  The Suns, meanwhile, have taken quickly to life under three-time Premiership coach Damian Hardwick, knocking off first the Tigers with ease and then the Crows in what was a comfortable victory until they conceded a few very late goals.  Matt Rowell appears to have taken a major step forward and developed into the best contested ball player in the comp by some margin, and defensively they have looked robust, conceding just 57 points per game across their first two.  As yet, however, they haven’t had to leave the comfort of their own home, which they will do this weekend.  This will be an intriguing game between two sides with talented midfields, but the Bulldogs’ lack of defensive pressure is a major concern.  The Suns, meanwhile, have been as impressive as anyone in tight spaces over the first fortnight of the season, and their young mids can overwhelm the more seasoned Bulldogs’ engine room to record a third consecutive win in a tight game.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Suns to win $2.35 
Suns +9. 5 $1.91
Suns 1-39 $2.85

Predicted Squads

Western Bulldogs AFL
Western Bulldogs
: B: L. Bramble, L. Jones, N. Coffield HB: E. Richards, B. Khamis, B. Dale C: J. Harmes, A. Treloar, J.  Macrae HF: R. Sanders, R. Lobb, C. Weightman F: R. West, A. Naughton, J. Ugle-Hagan FOLL: T. English, M. Bontempelli - C, T. Liberatore I/C: J. Johannisen, L. McNeil, L. Vandermeer, B. Williams, C. Daniel 

Gold Coast Suns AFL
Gold Coast Suns
: B: B. Uwland, C. Ballard, S. Collins HB: C. Budarick, W. Powell, A. Sexton C: B. Fiorini, T. Miller, B. Ellis HF: B. Ainsworth, B. Humphrey, T. Berry F: B. King, J. Lukosius, L.  Casboult FOLL: J. Witts - C, N. Anderson, M. Rowell I/C: S. Flanders, N. Holman, D. Swallow, R.  Atkins, D. Macpherson EMG: R. Atkins, W. Graham, N. Moyle 

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Richmond Tigers vs Port Adelaide Power


Following a disappointing Round 0 effort against their former coach and the Gold Coast Suns, the Tigers put in a far more spirited performance in their traditional Round 1 clash against the Blues, but unfortunately it came at a heavy cost.  Talented, luckless youngster Josh Gibcus went down with what was later confirmed to be an ACL injury in the first half and will miss the rest of the season as a result – his second in a row – while perennially injured Dion Prestia suffered yet another hamstring injury.  Meanwhile, young defender Tylar Young was concussed and subbed off at half time, meaning at least three changes will be made for the Tiges this week.  Their performance itself, however, was really impressive, and up against a team which made the Preliminary Final last year they fell short by less than a kick and could easily have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat even with the carnage on the bench.  That should give them plenty of optimism moving forward this season, but there’s no denying the impact that those injuries will have on them, and at 0-2 it doesn’t get any easier this week.  The Power haven’t really had the chance to show their wares yet this season; they didn’t play in Round 0 before kicking off their season against the Eagles in Adelaide last week, a game which they unsurprisingly won comfortably.  They’ve been up and down at times over the past couple of years, but they looked like the best team in the league for stretches of last season and have finished top four in three of the last four years.  At the MCG and after last week’s performance, it would be a surprise to see the Tigers go down without a fight.  But the Power are undoubtedly the better team, and should be able to make it two from two on Sunday.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Power to win $1.50 
Power 1-39 $2.25
Power 1-24 $3.25

Predicted Squads

Richmond Tigers AFL
Richmond Tigers
: B: D. Grimes, N.  Broad, B.  Miller HB: J. Short, N.  Vlastuin, S.  Banks C: K. McIntosh, T. Taranto, J. Ross HF: M. Rioli, L. Baker, S. Bolton F: N. Balta, D. Martin, T. Lynch FOLL: T. Nankervis - C, J. Hopper, T.  Dow I/C: D. Rioli, T.  Brown, M. Pickett, R. Mansell, S. Campbell EMG: T. Brown, S. Naismith, S. Banks

Port Adelaide Power AFL
Port Adelaide Power
: B: R. Burton, E. Ratugolea, B. Zerk-Thatcher HB: L. Jones, A. Aliir, D. Houston C: M. Bergman, C. Rozee - C, T. Boak HF: D. Byrne-Jones, T. Marshall, J. Horne-Francis F: J.  Finlayson, C. Dixon, W. Rioli FOLL: I. Soldo, O. Wines, Z. Butters I/C: K. Farrell, J. Mead, F. Evans, D.  Williams, W. Drew

West Coast Eagles vs Greater Western Sydney Giants


The Giants had about as tough a start to the season as a team could ask for, coming up against the reigning Premiers in Round 0, but they passed that test with flying colours, winning by 32 points.  And once they got that out of the way, their next fortnight has been a hell of a lot easier.  From the reigning Premiers to last year’s 17th placed team, they welcomed the Kangaroos to Engie Stadium last weekend and promptly won by 39 points.  They didn’t exactly flex their muscle in that game, but nor did they need to, and this week they have a chance to enjoy yet another game which they can probably win by 40 points without breaking too much of a sweat.  This time they will have to travel across the country, but even at Optus Stadium the Eagles aren’t too imposing of an outfit.  With yet another disastrous injury list even at this early stage of the season, the young Eagles are likely in for yet another tough year.  Harley Reid’s much anticipated debut started off brilliantly last week and they certainly didn’t look as bad as they did at times in 2023, but the Eagles still went down by 50 points in their season opener in a result which will likely be all too common in 2024.  The Giants should be able to inflict a similar result on the home side this weekend, and likely extend their gap at the top of the AFL ladder in the process.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Giants to win $1.09 
Giants -43. 5 $1.91
Giants 25+ $1.33

Predicted Squads

West Coast Eagles AFL
West Coast Eagles
: B: A. Witherden, T. Barrass, B. Hough HB: L. Duggan, J. McGovern, T. Cole C: J. Hunt, E. Yeo, J.  Rotham HF: N. Long, J. Darling, J. Petruccelle F: J. Waterman, O. Allen - C, J. Cripps FOLL: B. Williams, T. Kelly, H. Reid I/C: R. Ginbey, T. Brockman, L. Edwards, C. Chesser, C. Jamieson

GWS Giants AFL
Greater Western Sydney Giants
: B: H. Himmelberg, S. Taylor, C. Idun HB: L. Whitfield, J. Buckley, L. Ash C: X. O’Halloran, J. Kelly, F. Callaghan HF: B. Daniels, J. Riccardi, T. Bedford F: T. Greene - C, J. Hogan, C. Brown FOLL: K. Briggs, S. Coniglio, T. Green I/C: J. Wehr, H. Thomas, N. Haynes, A. Cadman, H. Perryman EMG: J. Peatling, T. McMullin, L. Keeffe 

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