Round 2 of the 2021 AFL season saw the Cats and Dogs prevail in nail-biters, while premiership favourites the Tigers look hungrier than ever. Oh, and Buddy’s back.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

One for the favourites

After a number of upsets in Round 1, including two from $4+ outsiders, Round 2 represented a return to normality. Eight of nine games on the weekend were won by the pre-game favourite with Palmerbet. The only club to buck the trend was the impressive Melbourne, who were terrific in their $2.18 upset win over the Saints. Simon Goodwin’s side are now 2-0, and have shortened from $2.50 into $2.00 to make the AFL Top 8.

Swans young guns

It was Sydney’s excellent young crop of players who lifted them to a second win in as many weeks, this time over Adelaide by 33 points. Draftees Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell were two of the best players on the ground, and they have now moved into AFL Rising Star favouritism. In fact, the Swans now have the top three in that market. Gulden ($26 pre-season) has shortened into the $3 favourite, ahead of Campbell ($13 pre-season) at $5, while key forward Logan McDonald ($26 pre-season) is now the $8 third-favourite. Happy days at the SCG.

Oh, and just in case you hadn’t seen, Buddy Franklin is officially back. Three goals in his comeback game, which the Swans admitted they had “low expectations” of, was huge in his return from injury. The haul has immediately shifted him from $21 into $15 for the Coleman Medal.

Martin magic

In just two weeks, Dustin Martin has halved his pre-season Brownlow Medal price. Starting the 2021 AFL season at $9, Martin is now the $4.50 runaway favourite. While his performance on Sunday against the Hawks (28 disposals, 1 goal) wasn’t as eye-catching as Round 1, a closer look at the stats reveal his true influence. He lead the ground in inside-50s (9) and score involvements (11). He could conceivably have five or even six votes after the first two rounds.

Monday Blues

It’s not a happy bunch at Ikon Park this Monday. For a ninth-straight AFL season, Carlton have slumped to a 0-2 start after defeat to the Pies. In 20 of the last 30 games, the Blues have conceded a 30-point swing in what is now worrying signs under David Teague. His side started the season as $2.37 to make the finals for the first time since 2013, but have already slipped out to $3.