Unlike the first three rounds since the AFL season re-start, Round 5 saw a number of blow-outs. And it appears the men are separating themselves from the boys…

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Curse of the flag favourite

It seems being the premiership favourite is some sort of poisoned chalice.

When the season re-commenced last month, reigning premiers Richmond were the shortest priced AFL side at $4.60. But since the restart, Damien Hardwick’s side have been scratchy at best (despite their Sunday afternoon win over the Dees). Having passed the baton on to Collingwood a fortnight ago (who became the new $5.50 favourites), now Nathan Buckley’s side are struggling; beaten by both the Giants and the Bombers in recent weeks.

As a result, Brisbane and GWS (who both recorded commanding wins) are now the new $6 premiership favourites in this game of musical chairs. Will they hold onto it?

Rowell down

All the hype in recent weeks has been around 18-year-old number one draft pick Matt Rowell, who this week stormed into an $8 Brownlow Medal hope with Palmerbet (after being inserted in the market at $81). Most pundits believed Rowell would have accumulated umpires’ votes in all three rounds since the AFL season re-start. And, coming up against the likes of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood this week, fans were licking their lips. But excitement was quickly quelled when he went down with a dislocated shoulder in the early stages of the clash in Geelong. It’s not yet known how many weeks he’ll miss, and as such the young Sun is yet to be re-priced.

Finals-bound Saints?

The revival of St Kilda under Brett Ratten continues, and the question needs to be asked: Could the Saints be finals-bound for the first time since 2011? His side are 3-1 since the AFL season re-start, and look every bit the Top 8 contender. The Saints kicked off the re-start with a commanding win over the Dogs but a week later were humbled by the Pies. After that loss, they were out to $4.50 Top 8 hopes with Palmerbet. But since then, wins over Richmond and Carlton has seen them into an even $2. They started $1.77 favourites against the Blues and prevailed in style, winning the plaudits of many.

Favourites salute

In each round since the AFL season re-start, a host of underdogs have prevailed. But things resumed to normality in Round 5, as only one of nine favourites failed to salute. That was Collingwood, who started as $1.35 fancies against Essendon on Friday night. The Dons, who began as $3.25 underdogs (and were given a 15.5 point head-start) conceded the first three goals of the clash. But they responded in style, not only booting the next eight goals unanswered, but keeping the Pies goalless in both the second and third term.

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