The AFL made a welcome return on the weekend, serving up a host of upsets and tight affairs that suggested the 2020 season might just be okay after all.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

A puzzling start

State-of-the-game haters were out in force after Thursday night’s Richmond vs Collingwood clash which not only finished in a draw – just the second ever between the two sides – but 36 points apiece. The staggeringly low total points number was more than 60 points under Palmerbet’s pre-game line of 133.5.

Talkback was flooded with calls that this results, in a microcosm, represented all that was bad with modern AFL footy. It’s overly defensive, tactical and by extension, stifles scoring, etc, etc. But in seven of the weekend’s next eight games, the total score finished over the line. Maybe they jumped the gun…

A week is a long time in footy

Prior to the restart on Thursday night, the Gold Coast Suns were strong $1.75 favourites in the ‘least wins’ market for 2020. But a stunning 44-point upset win against one of the premiership favourites West Coast has seen that number now out to $2.30. Perhaps more surprisingly, though, was Adelaide’s movements in that market. After a horrific performance in the Showdown which saw them downed by 75 points, Matthew Nicks’ side shortened from $10 to $3.25. Interestingly, the Suns and Crows face off this weekend, and the young Gold Coast outfit have started $1.80 favourites. Their number one draft pick Matt Rowell dominated in just his second game, collecting 24 disposals and two goals. The young man is already a $1.72 AFL Rising Star favourite.

Tough start for tipsters

While the Suns’ win (starting at $5.50) was the upset of the round, there was more to come. North Melbourne started as solid outsiders at $3.25 in their clash with the Giants yet would walk away 20-point victors. Then the Saints (starting at $2.35) would comfortably account for the Bulldogs on Sunday night. Few AFL tipsters would have bagged nine, unlike in round one.

Power statement

While Adelaide’s early season form is worrying, the ‘statement’ performance of the round belong to their crosstown rivals. The 75-point victory smashed the pre-game line of 13.5 points, and in doing so has moved their odds of making the top 4 from $4.33 into $3. After years of underachievement, is this the year the Power is turned back on? Sitting atop the AFL ladder after two rounds with a percentage of 290.6, they could hardly have done more at this stage of the season.

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