AFL 2024 Round 5 – Betting tips & Predictions

James Salmon
AFL Betting Tips
AFL 2024 Round 5
AFL 2024 Round 5

With the Gather Round festivities having come to an end, normal programming resumes for the AFL in Round 5, kicking off with a massive game between the Demons and the Lions at the MCG on Thursday night. As the Thursday night game so often is, that is the weekend’s headliner, but there will be plenty of interest in a number of the other games, including the Bombers vs Bulldogs, Giants vs Saints, Blues vs Crows and Power vs Dockers. Take a look at our previews and predictions of all eight games set to take place across the course of the weekend below.  

Round 5 Fixtures

FixturesInfo (AEST)Home OddsAway Odds
Demons vs Lions Thursday, 11th of April at 7.30pm $1.43$2.85
Bulldogs vs Bombers Friday, 12th of April at 7.40pm $1.43$2.85 
Giants vs Saints Saturday, 13th of April at 1.45pm $1.33$3.35
Blues vs Crows Saturday, 13th of April at 4.35pm $1.26$3.90
Power vs Dockers Saturday, 13th of April at 7.30pm $1.33$3.35
Suns vs Hawks Saturday, 13th of April at 7.30pm $1.23$4.20
Cats vs Kangaroos Sunday, 14th of April at 1.00pm $1.03$12.00
Eagles vs Tigers Sunday, 14th of April at 4.00pm $3.35$1.33

Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions


Round 5 of the AFL season kicks off with a game between two teams with similarly high aspirations in 2024, but who have started the season in markedly different fashion. After a disappointing Opening Round loss to the Swans the Dees have looked very strong, reeling off four consecutive victories including two in Adelaide against the Crows and Power within the space of just five days. After spending the whole week in the City of Churches, they return to Melbourne and the MCG this Thursday, but their difficult start to the season doesn’t get any easier even on their home turf. The Lions, fresh off a heartbreaking Grand Final defeat last year, didn’t start the year the way they would have wanted to with three consecutive losses. But an easy kill last weekend against the Kangaroos finally got them on the board, and they’ll be hoping that kickstarts the turnaround in results that they need to begin their climb up the ladder. These two sides have played out a number of significant games in recent years, including a Qualifying Final in 2021 and a semi-final the year after, and their last three games have all been decided by 13 points or less. Their most recent clash was a thrilling one in Round 18 at this venue; a game in which the Lions went a long way to dispelling the criticisms of their struggles at the MCG only to concede a four-goal lead in the dying minutes and go down by a point. They had the better of the home side for the majority of that game, and despite a poor start to the season are more than capable of doing the same in this game. But the Demons have looked very good to start the year, with their midfield firing on all cylinders, and their defence typically robust even with a number of injury concerns. In a highly contested game, they can come out on top by a narrow margin to make it five wins on the trot and resign the Lions to a 1-4 start.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Demons to win $1.43
Demons 1-39 $2.20
Demons 1-24 $3.20

Predicted Squads

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

Brisbane Lions: B: Starcevich, J. Payne, R. Lester HB: D. Wilmot, H. Andrews - C, D. Gardiner C: J. Fletcher, Z. Bailey, J. Berry HF: C. Cameron, E. Hipwood, H. McCluggage F: C. Rayner, J. Daniher, D. Zorko FOLL: O. McInerney, J. Dunkley, L. Neale I/C: K. Lohmann, C. Ah Chee, L. McCarthy, J. Tunstill, N. Answerth EMG: J. Lyons, L. Morris, D. Fort 

Western Bulldogs vs Essendon Bombers


Both the Bulldogs and the Bombers have had somewhat erratic starts to the season, each of them having enjoyed a couple of poor wins but equally at least one very poor loss. But while for the Dogs that loss came in Round 1 and has been followed up by three positive performances, the Bombers worst loss came just last weekend. They were woeful against the Power the week after eking out a tight win against the Saints, going down 111-41 in their worst performance of the season to date by some margin. The Bulldogs also suffered their second loss of the year, but they were pretty solid in an entertaining game between the Cats, falling just four points short of what would have been their third consecutive win of the season. They remain a difficult team to tip due to the size of the gap between their best and their worst, but in fairness to them they have bounced back well after their disappointing first round performance against the Dees, notching up big wins over first the Suns and then the Eagles (the latter, obviously, is to be expected) before last week’s close game against the Cats. The Bombers will be hoping to compete for a spot in the finals this season but have thus far looked a little way off, and with the Dogs in pretty solid form and having dominated the Bombers for close to a decade, they should be able to notch up their third win of the season.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Bulldogs 25+ $2.30 
Bulldogs -15.5 $1.91
Over 172.5 total match points $1.88

Predicted Squads

Western Bulldogs: B: B. Dale, L. Jones, B. Williams HB: L. Bramble, B. Khamis, J. Johannisen C: H. Gallagher, A. Treloar, O. Baker HF: R. Sanders, A. Naughton, C. Weightman F: R. West, J. Ugle-Hagan, L. Vandermeer FOLL: T. English, M. Bontempelli - C, T. Liberatore I/C: S. Darcy, C. Daniel, T. Duryea, J. Macrae, E. Richards EMG: C. Poulter, J. O’Donnell, R. Lobb

Essendon Bombers: B: D. Heppell, B. McKay, J. Laverde HB: A. McGrath, M. Redman, N. Martin C: N. Cox, X. Duursma, J. Kelly HF: J. Gresham, Z. Merrett - C, S. Durham F: H. Jones, K. Langford, J. Stringer FOLL: S. Draper, D. Parish, D. Shiel I/C: T. Goldstein, W. Setterfield, B. Hobbs, J. Caldwell, N. Hind EMG: E. Tsatas, S. Weideman, A. Davey Jnr

GWS Giants vs St. Kilda Saints


Just three teams in the league remains undefeated, but the Giants are the only one amongst them that has hardly been challenged across their first four of the season. Granted they’ve knocked off the Eagles and Roos in amongst those games, but they beat the reigning Premiers by 39 points in the opening round of the season, while last week’s game against the Suns proved to be their biggest challenge to date and they still ended up winning it by 28 points. Sitting pretty atop the ladder with a percentage of 155. 4%, they are well placed to make it five from five this weekend when they head back home to take on the Saints. St. Kilda have split their first four games 2-2, each of those having been decided by 15 points or less. After knocking off the Pies in what remains easily their best victory of the season in Round 2, they should have beat the Bombers in Round 3 but were overrun courtesy of a late goal to Jake Stringer. Last week they started really poorly against an undermanned Tigers team and were outplayed in the last quarter too, but a really good third, in which their pressure went through the roof and they moved the ball with far more ease than they did in any other quarters, was enough to see them squeeze out a hard-fought seven-point win. But though they managed to snare the four points, they didn’t look great and won’t be beating the Giants in Sydney with a similar performance. That win against the Magpies will give Saints fans plenty of hope about what they are capable of at their best, but the Giants look like the best team in the league at the moment, and particularly on their home turf they should be able to notch up another comfortable victory.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Giants to win $1.33
Giants -18.5 $1.91
Giants 25+ $2.10

Predicted Squads

GWS Giants: B: H. Perryman, S. Taylor, C. Idun HB: L. Whitfield, J. Buckley, L. Ash C: J. Wehr, 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: X. O’Halloran, H. Thomas, H. Himmelberg, A. Cadman, J. Peatling EMG: N. Haynes R. Angwin, L. Keeffe

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

  • The Eagles have lost all four of their games this season by at least 25 points, and of their 20 defeats last season only three came by less than that margin.  
  • The Dockers last two games have seen just 103 points and 136 points scored, significantly lower than the line set for this game by betting sites.  
  • The Bulldogs have had the wood over the Bombers for a long time. Harking back to 2015 they have won nine of their last ten against the Dons, and generally by big margins, with all of those wins coming by at least 21 points, eight of the nine by at least five goals and the average winning margin in that time just under 50 points.  

Multi of the Week

Tigers 25+ $2.20
Power vs Dockers under 167. 5 total match points $1.90
Bulldogs 25+ $2.30
Bet $10 for $96.14 with PlayUp

Carlton Blues vs Adelaide Crows


The Magpies have made a name for themselves as the champions of the close finish over the past couple of years and won a flag doing it, but they might have some competition for that title in the form of the Blues. Aside from a blowout against the lowly Kangaroos in Round 3, each of their last eight victories has been by ten points or less, the latest coming against the Dockers last Saturday when they trailed within the final minutes. The ending to that game is well-documented, with a lucky mark off what was clearly a touched kick leading to a goal, and another immediately following courtesy of a dissent free kick with what most would agree was an excessive penalty. But win they did in what was a pulsating game, and that victory took their record to four and zip for the season. For the Crows, the story has been the exact opposite. After falling just short of the finals in a year of significant improvement in 2023, they entered 2024 with high expectations but have failed to win a game out of their first four. Their latest defeat came at the hands of the Demons last Thursday night, a game in which they hung around but looked likely losers throughout. They haven’t had the easiest start to the season but they would have expected to grab at least a win or two from this first month, and having failed to do so they have put themselves right up against it to play finals this season. Their fixture does open up a little after this week and I certainly wouldn’t be putting a line through them just yet, but they need to start winning as soon as possible. They remain a talented team capable of taking it up to the best teams in the business, and this is certainly not a quintessential 4-0 vs 0-4 matchup. But while Adelaide can, as they have been every week this season, be competitive, back in Melbourne the Blues should be able to continue their undefeated start to the win in a reasonably close game.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Blues 1-39 $2.15
Crows +22.5 $1.91
Blues 1-24 $3.20

Predicted Squads

Carlton Blues: B: B. Kemp, J. Weitering, A. Saad HB: Z. Williams, M. McGovern, N. Newman C: O. Hollands, P. Cripps - C, B. Acres HF: O. Fantasia, H. McKay, M. Kennedy F: E. Hollands, C. Curnow, M. Owies FOLL: T. De Koning, A. Cerra, S. Walsh I/C: C. Durdin, G. Hewett, M. Cottrell, J. Boyd, J. Carroll EMG: J. Binns, M. Pittonet, L. Cowan

Adelaide Crows: B: J. Worrell, J. Butts, B. Smith HB: P. Parnell, M. Keane, M. Michalanney C: M. Hinge, J. Dawson - C, C. Jones HF: J. Soligo, I. Rankine, J. Rachele F: B. Cook, D. Fogarty, T. Walker FOLL: R. O’Brien, R. Laird, B. Keays I/C: B. Dowling, S. Berry, M. Crouch, L. Nankervis, N. McHenry EMG: L. Pedlar, J. Borlase, L. Gollant

Gold Coast Suns vs Hawthorn Hawks


The Suns have started the season in the same vein that they have spent a whole lot of their existence – as a mid-tier team, showing signs of promise but unable to pull it all together with enough consistency to win more often than they lose. Life under Damian Hardwick started positively with wins over his old club Richmond as well as the Crows, but since then they have been beaten soundly by the Bulldogs and last week went down to the Giants. But there are signs of progress. Though the scores of those last two games don’t look all that promising, they were very competitive against the Giants for the bulk of that game and it’s really only the Bulldogs clash in which they’ve failed to fire. This weekend, they get a great chance to take their record to 3-2 against the winless Hawks. Hawthorn came into the season with a lot of expectations on their shoulders following a strong end to 2024, but realistically they are still a young team with a long way to go before they can truly compete with the better teams in the league on any sort of consistent basis. Last week, they made their best fist of doing that yet this season, very nearly coming from behind to pip the Magpies only to fall five points short in the final game of Gather Round. They are still a fair way off the pace, but as they were last year, they seem like the kind of team that will end up towards the bottom of the ladder but will upset a few much better teams along the way. The Suns will be desperate to ensure they aren’t one of those teams. Hawthorn is a more dangerous team than their 0-4 start to the season would indicate, but the Suns appear to be developing a solid foundation based around contested footy that should see them challenge for a spot in the finals this year. They can knock off the Hawks pretty comfortably on their home deck this Saturday night.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Suns to win $1.23
Suns 25+ $1.85
Suns -25. 5 $1.89

Predicted Squads

Gold Coast Suns: B: B. Ainsworth, C. Ballard, S. Collins HB: S. Flanders, W. Powell, M. Andrew C: B. Fiorini, T. Miller - C, S. Clohesy HF: J. Lukosius, E. Read, T. Berry F: B. Humphrey, B. King, M. Rosas FOLL: J. Witts, N. Anderson, M. Rowell I/C: N. Holman, J. Walter, W. Graham, B. Uwland, D. Macpherson EMG: R. Atkins, S. Day, D. Swallow

Hawthorn Hawks : B: J. Impey, S. Frost, J. Scrimshaw HB: M. D’Ambrosio, K. Amon, J. Weddle C: C. Mackenzie, J. Worpel, J. Sicily – C HF: C. Macdonald, B. Hardwick, J. Ward F: J. Ginnivan, M. Chol, C. Nash FOLL: L. Meek, J. Newcombe, D. Moore I/C: J. Serong, M. Ramsden, F. Maginness, S. Mitchell, H. Hustwaite EMG: N. Reeves, H. Morrison, S. Butler

Port Adelaide Power vs Fremantle Dockers


Saturday night’s other game isn’t between teams that typically draw the most interest around the country, but with the starts that both the Power and Dockers have enjoyed to the 2024 season this looms as one of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend. Each of these teams has lost just one of their four games so far, and both of those were tight losses that they could feel aggrieved for different reasons for losing. For the Power, that loss came in Round 3 in a high quality match against the Demons which they lost by seven points, but they bounced back in emphatic fashion last weekend with a 70-point drubbing of a very disappointing Essendon. The Dockers, meanwhile, won their first three games of the season and looked set to make it four from four when they held a lead in the dying stages of their Round 4 clash with the Blues. But an inability to generate repeat stoppages ultimately led to a controversial Carlton goal from a clearly touched kick inside 50, and when they – or more specifically Jordan Clark – politely disagreed with the decision, Carlton were handed another shot at goal from the same spot. It was an incredibly harsh penalty based around a rule which should really be amended to award a free kick following a goal in the middle of the ground rather than in front of the goals, but a loss is a loss and the Dockers have no choice but to move on. The best way to do that, of course, would be with a win this weekend, but that is no mean feat against the Power on their home deck. The Dockers haven’t beaten the Power in Adelaide since 2012, and while they are a better team now than they have been during other portions of that last decade, that record speaks to how difficult it is to come away from the City of Churches with a win. The Dockers are a really competitive outfit and if they get their way will be able to turn this into a low-scoring grind, but on their home turf the Power will likely prove too strong.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Power 1-39 $2.15
Power 1-24 $3.40
Under 167.5 total match points $1.89

Predicted Squads

Port Adelaide Power: B: R. Burton, E. Ratugolea, B. Zerk-Thatcher HB: K. Farrell, A. Aliir, D. Houston C: M. Bergman, W. Drew, O. Wines HF: D. Byrne-Jones, T. Marshall, C. Rozee – C F: J. Finlayson, C. Dixon, W. Rioli FOLL: I. Soldo, J. Horne-Francis, Z. Butters I/C: S. Powell-Pepper, J. Burgoyne, J. McEntee, M. Georgiades, J. Mead EMG: J. Sinn, J. Sweet, F. Evans

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

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Geelong Cats vs North Melbourne Kangaroos


The Cats just keep finding a way. Winners of the 2022 Premiership with an aging list, they failed to even make the finals last year and for a team with as many players in the twilight of their career as they have, logic would dictate that they would have a tough time climbing their way back into contention this year. Instead, they have gone and won their first four games of the season, and with the Kangaroos this weekend look close to a certainty to make it five from five. They haven’t yet had to play any teams likely to be legitimate Premiership contenders, but they have beaten a number of sides right in the mix for the finals and have looked pretty good doing it. The Kangaroos are not in that category. They’ve lost each of their first four games and have a percentage of 59. 5%, and though they are very slowly beginning to develop a reasonable number of young players who look like they could have a future, they are still a long way off being competitive. Having been somewhat competitive in their first few games against some really good teams, they put in their worst effort for the season last weekend against Brisbane, kicking just six goals en route to a 70-point drubbing, and a similar result looks likely this weekend. A trip down the highway to GMHBA Stadium is not easy for any team, and for the struggling, young Roos, this looks likely to be yet another hefty defeat.

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Cats -55.5 $1.90
Cats 40+ $1.44 
Cats 73+ $2.80

Predicted Squads

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

North Melbourne Kangaroos: B: L. McDonald - C, A. Corr, T. Pink HB: H. Sheezel, C. McKercher, Z. Fisher C: D. Stephens, L. Davies-Uniacke, B. Scott HF: C. Zurhaar, T. Powell, J. Stephenson F: P. Curtis, N. Larkey, C. Comben FOLL: T. Xerri, G. Wardlaw, J. Simpkin I/C: D. Tucker, T. Sellers, Z. Duursma, E. Ford, K. Dawson EMG: H. Greenwood, B. Drury, L. Shiels 

West Coast Eagles vs Richmond Tigers


A pretty average Sunday of footy concludes with an uninspiring matchup between two sides that have won just a solitary match between them all season in the Eagles and the Tigers. But poor win/loss records aside, the similarities pretty much end there in terms of these teams’ respective seasons. The Eagles, as expected, have continued to be uncompetitive, losing each of their first three games of the season by 50 or more points. Last weekend, they put in easily their best performance of the year when taking it up to Sydney and losing by just 26 points, and with Harley Reid playing his best game yet there are some signs, albeit very minor, of progress for the Eagles. Still, they look set to be the worst team in the league this season with the potential exception of the Kangaroos, and by some margin, too. The Tigers, meanwhile, have been pretty impressive despite winning just one of their first five games. It was always set to be a year of transition, and having been absolutely reamed by injuries and not having the cattle to cover for them, it would have been no surprise to see them fall off a bit of a cliff. But aside from a terrible first half against the Suns in Round Zero, they have been super competitive every week. They went agonisingly close to beating the Blues, kept pace with the Power for three quarters and then beat the Swans, before last week suffering yet another tight loss to the Saints. Shai Bolton was electric in that game, but more importantly they have a number of young players with promise and the potential to avoid sinking too far down the ladder for too long. With Noah Balta and Tom Lynch out for the medium-to-long-term, they simply don’t have the cattle they need up forward and that was painfully apparent late in the St. Kilda game, but against the Eagles that isn’t likely to be as much of a problem. Jeremy McGovern remains one of the best intercept players in the league and could have a field day if the Tigers don’t play their cards right, but even with an undermanned forward line they should be able to dispose of the Eagles and secure their second win of the season.  

BookmakerJames’ TipOdds
Playup_Logo_232x80Tigers to win $1.33
Tigers -18.5 $1.90
Tigers 25+ $2.15

Predicted Squads

West Coast Eagles : B: C. Jamieson, T. Barrass, B. Hough HB: L. Duggan - C, J. McGovern, T. Cole C: J. Jones, R. Ginbey, J. Cripps HF: J. Petruccelle, J. Waterman, N. Long F: T. Brockman, J. Darling, H. Reid FOLL: B. Williams, E. Yeo, T. Kelly I/C: J. Hunt, C. Chesser, J. Williams, J. Rotham, L. Rawlinson EMG: A. Gaff, H. Barnett, T. Dewar

Richmond Tigers : B: T. Young, N. Broad, N. Vlastui HB: J. Short, T. Brown, D. Riol C: K. McIntosh, T. Taranto, M. Pickett HF: S. Campbell, R. Mansell, M. Rioli F: M. Lefau, D. Martin, S. Bolton FOLL: T. Nankervis - C, T. Dow, J. Ross I/C: T. Sonsie, J. Graham, J. Koschitzke, B. Miller, K. McAuliffe EMG: S. Banks, H. Ralphsmith, S. Naismith

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