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AFL – Round 4 in Review

Round 4 of the 2023 AFL season saw the reigning premiers grab their first points, the Brownlow favourite shortern again, and the Saints remain unblemished.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Cats on the board as Jez claims another bag

The reigning premiers are on the board.

Even the most optimistic of Cats fans would’ve felt shudders as rivals Hawthorn banged in three unanswered goals inside the opening five minutes on Easter Monday. Having already slipped from $5.50 AFL premiership favourites out to $10 sixth-favourites after a decidedly lacklustre first three rounds, defeat to wooden spoon favourites Hawthorn would’ve spelled a damning fall from grace inside six months. But the Cats ($1.19 favourites) turned things around. And they did so in the most dominant fashion, underlined by a 65-0 third term. Despite the nervy start, they easily accounted for the pre-game line of -32.5, running out 82-point victors.

Best-on-ground was Jeremy Cameron who bagged seven goals, to add to his Round 2 bag of six. The haul brings him two clear in the AFL Coleman Medal race, and now $3.00 outright favourite in that market with Palmerbet. Cameron’s form also begs the question: is he a genuine Brownlow hope? And further: is his current price of $26 good value?

Daicos rides criticism, maintains favouritism

Speaking of the Brownlow, favourite Nick Daicos shortened further in Round 4 after another huge performance in a losing effort against the Lions, as Collingwood’s early season momentum was halted at the Gabba. Four games into his second AFL season, it’s clear the worm has turned regarding public sentiment on Daicos. The admiration he received in 2022 has quickly shifted to criticism as many are quick to point of mistakes, as they were for this effort against Brisbane:

But this criticism, more specifically that he “can’t win a hard ball”, is desperate. Daicos had the equal-most contested possessions on the ground. He finished with 38 disposals, two goals, 12 score involvements and five clearances. And he will most likely have added to his Brownlow Medal tally in the process. Just 20 years old, Daicos has shifted even an even shorter-priced favourite in the Brownlow market on the back of the effort, from $6.50 into $4.20.

Saints unblemished as ragtag forward line delivers again

Four games in, one AFL club undefeated.

Just who had St Kilda in that sweepstakes? The Ross Lyon revival at Moorabbin continued in Round 4 as the Saints ($1.53) eased past Gold Coast, comfortably accounting for their pre-game line of -12.5 with a dominant 52-point win. Beyond the results, the most surprising element in St Kilda’s form is their firing forward line. Without Max King and Tim Membrey, many feared the worst. But led by Jack Higgins (10 goals), everyone is chipping in, notably the unheralded Mitch Owens (eight) and Anthony Caminiti (five) — not on an AFL list just two months ago. The Saints have gone from outside $3.75 Top 8 hopes with Palmerbet before the 2023 season kicked off, into $1.53. Lyon’s side are now even outside Top 4 chances; $12 into $3.00.

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