AFL Round 5 Preview, Tips and Odds

AFL Round 5 2020


In a season like no other, the first month of AFL 2020 has dished up a plethora of surprises – none more so than an undefeated Port Adelaide sitting atop the ladder with unfancied Gold Coast in second spot.

Meanwhile, heavyweights GWS, Richmond and West Coast all find themselves in the bottom half with almost a quarter of the regular season in the books.

The AFL was forced to undertake a frantic rescheduling mission this week due to Victoria’s coronavirus situation, which may prove unsettling for some teams.

Check out our AFL round 5 predictions and AFL round 5 tips ahead of a bumper weekend of fixtures.



The AFL round 5 schedule rejig has pitched Carlton and St Kilda into Thursday-night prime time, with both clubs on a five-day turnaround. The Blues and Saints are also part of an eight-team logjam tied on two wins after four rounds.

Long-suffering Carlton fans have had their nerves shredded since the restart, with the club losing to Melbourne by one point before bouncing back with a two-point upset of heavyweights Geelong and edging Essendon by a solitary point. Although they survived a last-second Bombers kick last week, the Blues were undoubtedly the superior side and controlled the ball far better than their opponents.

Three-goal-hero Levi Casboult was again superb for Carlton and his combination with Mitch McGovern is flourishing. But the Blues’ general inaccuracy in front of goal – kicking 7.10 – was a concern and an area they must tidy up if they want to notch three wins in a row for just the second time since 2016.

St Kilda has won two from three since the season’s resumption, responding to a disappointing 44-point loss to Collingwood with a 26-point victory over premiers Richmond in round 4.

The Saints pressured their big-name opponents all night and got more dominant as the game wore on. Ex-Tigers Grand Final star Dan Butler kicked three goals in a stellar showing, as did Tim Membrey.

The Blues snapped a five-match losing streak against the Saints with a 10-point victory in late 2019, with Marc Murphy starring and McGovern kicking three goals. Three out of the clubs’ last four clashes have featured a margin of fewer than 20 points.

St Kilda have won five of their past six at Marvel Stadium, while Carlton have won just three of their past 17 at the venue. But AFL round 5 predictions point to another test for Blues supporters’ blood pressure, with both sides in eye-catching form.

AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: St Kilda Saints

Best bet: Tri Bet – either team by 15 or less

See all markets for Carlton Blues and St Kilda Saints.




COVID-19 put the kybosh on the traditional Essendon v Collingwood Anzac Day clash for the first time since the clubs’ standing date began in 1995. The foundation rivals are both desperate for a win after suffering their first losses of 2020 in round 4.

Coming off a 44-point drubbing of St Kilda, the Magpies were edged by two points by GWS in Sydney last weekend. Wayward kicking in the final quarter cost the Pies, who managed just 1.5 while the Giants slotted two goals and zero behinds.

It was a lost opportunity for the current premiership favourites, which was compounded by a long-term injury to key defender Jeremy Howe.

Meanwhile, it’s been a wretched couple of weeks for Essendon following Conor McKenna’s positive coronavirus test. The Bombers’ round 3 blockbuster against Melbourne was postponed and they returned to the field with a one-point loss to Carlton.

Realistically, they were lucky to get that close to the Blues and need to improve significantly to challenge the Magpies – which won’t be easy after Zach Merrett’s one-match suspension exacerbated the club’s heavy injury and illness toll.

The Bombers have won just five of their last 20 against the Magpies and are currently on a four-match losing streak in the rivalry. They have produced a succession of tight encounters of late, however, with Collingwood sneaking in by four points on Anzac Day and 11 points in the final round in 2019. Scott Pendlebury collected the Anzac Medal for the third time after last year’s thriller, while Dylan Shiel and Brodie Grundy also picked up Brownlow votes on the day.

Collingwood opened as red-hot favourites early in the week and it’s hard to argue with the majority of AFL round 5 tips, which predict a comfortable victory.

 AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Collingwood Magpies

Best bet: Margin – Collingwood 1-39

See all markets for Collingwood Magpies and Essendon Bombers.




Originally scheduled to play Richmond in a massive AFL round 5 clash, West Coast will instead attempt to get its spiralling campaign back on track against unfancied Sydney on the Gold Coast.

Rated one of the top flag contenders ahead of the restart, West Coast have slipped to the sixth line of premiership betting this week after three heavy defeats to Gold Coast, Brisbane and Port Adelaide. The Eagles managed just six goals in each demoralising loss.

While the club has been disadvantaged by the hub scenario, it doesn’t completely account for the Eagles’ overall ineptness. Josh Kennedy (four goals) and skipper Luke Shuey were rare shining lights against Port.

The Swans head into this assignment with a 2–2 record – including a strong win over North Melbourne in round 3 – but are coming off their worst display of the season, a 28-point loss to the Bulldogs. They did show some fight in the second half, however, after kicking just one goal and finding themselves 30 points down at the main break.

Their midfield has been a pleasant surprise, but injuries continue to plague the Swans, with Sam Naismith joining a list of absent talls that includes Lance Franklin and Sam Reid.

Sydney have largely dominated West Coast since the clubs’ back-to-back Grand Final epics in 2005 and 2006. The Swans have won 12 of the last 14 between the sides, including a 45-point drubbing at the SCG last season that saw Lance Franklin kick five goals. The Eagles’ last win in the rivalry came in 2017, while only one of the teams’ last nine encounters feature a margin of less than 26 points.

The Eagles simply have to take this opportunity if they want to play finals in a shortened season.

 AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: West Coast

Best bet: Margin – West Coast 1-39

See all markets for West Coast Eagles and Sydney Swans.




Geelong Cats have struggled to get out of second gear in 2020 – and they’re unlikely to have the luxury of muddling their way to victory against the surprise packet Gold Coast Suns.

The Cats followed up a post-restart 61-point thrashing of Hawthorn with a two-point loss to Carlton and a scrappy three-point win over Melbourne. Veteran midfielders Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood were crucial to the Cats outlasting the fast-finishing Demons but, in a worrying sign, the Cats had just 12 scoring shots.

The Suns came out of the AFL’s hiatus on a 19-match losing streak dating back to last April. But the battlers have found a new lease of life, beating the Eagles by 44 points, the Crows by 53 points and the Dockers by 13 points.

Rookie Matt Rowell has been a revelation, kicking two goals in each of the Suns’ three wins and averaging 21 disposals.

But the Suns head into the unknown against a wily Cats outfit, in a match that’s likely to be the first in a month on the road due to Victoria’s COVID-19 flare-up and Queensland’s tight restrictions.

Geelong boasts a 9–2 record against Gold Coast since the latter’s 2011 entry into the premiership. There have been some absolute bloodbaths during that time, with six of the Cats’ wins coming by 50-plus points and three of the Suns’ five visits to GMHBA Stadium featuring a losing margin of more than 100 points. The Suns went down by a comparatively modest 25 points in last year’s round 10 clash, with Tom Hawkins kicking four goals for the Cats.

With 16 wins from their last 18 in Geelong, the Cats are understandable favourites four days out from this clash and are the pick in most AFL round 5 predictions. But a Suns side chasing four straight for the first time since 2014 hold plenty of value as big outsiders.

AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Geelong Cats

Best bet: Line – Gold Coast Suns +18.5

See all markets for Geelong Cats and Gold Coast Suns.




This is a match-up of two mid-level contenders on opposite trajectories. Western Bulldogs lost their first two games but are coming off two impressive victories. North Melbourne Kangaroos opened the season 2–0 – including an upset of GWS – but have slumped to back-to-back losses since.

The Bulldogs overwhelmed the Giants by 24 points in round 3 and backed it up with a Marcus Bontempelli–inspired 28-point victory over the Swans last weekend. Only three teams in the league have scored fewer points than the Bulldogs, but their trademark defensive steel looks to have returned.

Injuries are biting, however, with Aaron Naughton joining Josh Dunkley in the casualty ward.

The Kangaroos surged late in tight defeats to the Swans (11 points) and Hawks (four points) in the past fortnight. But North need to eliminate the flat spots – highlighted by a scoreless third quarter last weekend – to develop into a top-eight-worthy team.

Ben Brown (6) is the Roos’ leading goal kicker, while Jy Simpkin (24.25) boasts the most disposals per game.

The Bulldogs have won four of their last six against the Kangaroos. But after a run of four matches decided by seven points or less, North powered to a 25-point victory at Etihad Stadium in round 10 last year. Roos duo Todd Goldstein and Shaun Higgins combined for 62 disposals.

Western Bulldogs were modest favourites midweek but should be able to shut down North Melbourne’s patchy offence for the win.

 AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Western Bulldogs

Best bet: Western Bulldogs win

See all markets for Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne Kangaroos.




A Brisbane v Port Adelaide encounter would not have screamed blockbuster a few weeks ago, but the Lions and Power are the AFL’s two hottest teams at present and experts are having trouble splitting them in AFL round 5 tips.

Port are the only 4–0 team in the competition and have achieved that record with a succession of convincing wins. The Power have scored the most points in the league and conceded the least in beating the Suns, Crows, Dockers and Eagles by at least 29 points.

Charlie Dixon bagged six goals in last week’s 48-point beatdown of West Coast, while the Power’s small forward contingent was outstanding. They moved up to the second line of 2020 premiership betting this week behind Collingwood.

The 3–1 Lions have been building nicely since the restart, chalking up three straight wins over the Dockers, Eagles and Crows. Goal-kicking practice would have been Brisbane’s top priority after the 37-point win over struggling Adelaide, however, as they slotted an unacceptable 10.23.

There are no complaints about midfield linchpin Lachie Neale’s form, though, with the 27-year-old moving into Brownlow Medal favouritism as of this week.

After losing their previous five against the Power, the Lions won both encounters between the clubs last season – by 17 points at the Gabba and 48 points at Adelaide Oval, leading wire-to-wire in both. Eric Hipwood kicked six goals for Brisbane in the home victory.

The Power and Lions have been taking out-of-sorts opponents to the cleaners. This shapes as an ideal litmus test for both teams, who were close to even money head-to-head midweek.

AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Port Adelaide

Best bet: Either Team by 15 or Less

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It’s the battle of the cellar dwellers as the only teams without a win – and the two overwhelming current favourites for the wooden spoon – square off.

Adelaide Crows are sporting a league-worst percentage of 51.9, but it could have been worse if not for Brisbane’s inaccuracy in front of goal in a 37-point loss in round 4. The Crows were previously humiliated by the Power by 75 points and by the Suns to the tune of 53 points.

A four-goals-to-none third quarter against the Lions was cause for some optimism – but the reality is the Crows are a bad team.

Fremantle Dockers have been more competitive, with three of their losses coming by 13 points or less and their worst defeat a 29-point margin in favour of rampant Port Adelaide in round 3. The Dockers were level with in-form Gold Coast at three-quarter time last week, but could only manage one behind in the final term.

Superstar Nat Fyfe is out for a couple of weeks with a minor hamstring injury.

Adelaide has won four of its last five against Fremantle, including a 17-point home victory in the teams’ sole 2019 clash. The Crows trailed at half-time after kicking 1.6 but outscored the Dockers six goals to three in the second half. Matt Crouch had 39 disposals for Adelaide, while David Mundy chalked up 35 for Fremantle.

Even without Fyfe, the Dockers shape as the best bet in this bottom-of-the-table showdown – but it’s a veritable minefield for AFL round 5 tips, with both sides woefully out of form.

 AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Fremantle

Best bet: Line – Fremantle -8.5

See all markets for Adelaide Crows and Fremantle Dockers.




Melbourne Demons missed an opportunity to take down an AFL heavyweight in round 4 but they may have more luck this week against out-of-sorts premiers Richmond Tigers.

The Dees – who were sidelined by Essendon’s COVID-19 scare in round 3 – went down to Geelong by three points in a low-scorer after making a final-quarter surge. Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney, Christian Petracca and Max Gawn all gave strong accounts against the Cats, but overall it was a sloppy team effort.

The Tigers slipped to the third line of premiership betting following their 26-point loss to the Saints last weekend. After missing the horrendous 32-point defeat to the Hawks in round 3, Dustin Martin struggled to have his customary impact against St Kilda. Another returning player, Toby Nankervis, was the Tigers’ best.

Richmond is on a four-match winning streak against Melbourne. Despite some wayward efforts in front of goal in both 2019 clashes, the Tigers won by 43 points in round 6 and 33 points in round 20. Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin picked up Brownlow votes in both victories.

Both sides have a ton of improvement in them, but AFL round 5 predictions suggest the Tigers are better equipped to regain form quickly.

 AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Richmond Tigers

Best bet: Line – Richmond -10.5

See all markets for Melbourne Demons and Richmond Tigers.




Highly rated GWS Giants grabbed a much-needed win over a fellow title contender in round 4. After coming out of the AFL’s hiatus with losses to the Kangaroos by 20 points and Bulldogs by 24 points, the Giants improved to 2-2 with a Toby Greene–led two-point eclipse of the Magpies.

GWS was on the third line of premiership betting alongside Richmond as of this week – but fans and pundits will be expecting further improvement from this ultra-talented squad.

Hawthorn Hawks are still floating around the second tier of premiership hopefuls after crafting a 3–1 record to nab a share of second spot on the AFL ladder.

After thumping Richmond by 32 points – including a five-goals-to-none first quarter – the Hawks held on for a nervous four-point win over North Melbourne in round 4, almost bottling a 21-point three-quarter-time lead. Chad Wingard has been in fine touch, kicking three goals in both victories.

GWS has notched three wins and a draw in nine encounters with Hawthorn since joining the competition in 2012. But despite the Giants reaching the finals and the Hawks missing out in 2019, the Hawks racked up resounding wins in both the clubs’ regular-season encounters: by 33 points at the MCG in round 8 and 56 points in Canberra in round 21. GWS managed just nine goals combined in the two dismal defeats – including just one second-half goal. Meanwhile, Hawthorn’s James Sicily picked up two Brownlow votes in both games.

The Giants were warm favourites midweek, no doubt on reputation and potential more than form. The Hawks have real momentum and are capable of landing another big scalp to entrench themselves in the top four.

 AFL footy tips: round 5

Head-to-head: Hawthorn

Best bet: Line – Hawthorn +7.5

See all markets for GWS Giants and Hawthorn Hawks.



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