SYDNEY’S fantastic start to the season has not been ignored by WilliamHill.com.au, which have moved the Swans onto the third line of premiership betting at $6.50.
The Swans – who started the season as $13 outsiders – have halved their pre-season premiership odds after a blistering beginning to 2016, which has seen them record an average winning margin of 55 points.
The Swans hammered Collingwood and Carlton in rounds one and two, but their third win against a strong Greater Western Sydney outfit has boosted the market’s confidence in Sydney’s flag potential.
The Swans are one of only three undefeated teams remaining in the AFL and are $4.50 second favourites with Sportsbet.com.au to win this year’s minor premiership.
Sydney coach John Longmire attributed his side’s solid start to the season has been a complete team effort.
“What’s been the consistent over the first three weeks has been our good players, our leaders, our senior blokes have been playing pretty well so that’s always make it easier for those younger kids to come in and play their role,” Longmire said after the match.
The Swans face an interesting month of football, with two top sides back-to-back followed by a fortnight against two strugglers thereafter.
Sydney travel to Adelaide to face the Crows before hosting the Eagles in round 5, but face the Lions and the Bombers to round out the month in what looms as a defining month; even at this early stage.
Fremantle’s derby failure leaves the Dockers in a precarious position
Fremantle’s finals hopes hang by a thread after their disappointing derby display on the weekend, with Sportsbet.com.au moving the Dockers out to $2.75 to make the finals in 2016.
The win-less Dockers looked like they were going to overrun the Eagles in the final quarter after drawing within a goal, but the men in purple again failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Fremantle now sit winless in the bottom four, handing head coach Ross Lyon his worst ever start to the season since 2007.
The Dockers started the round as $1.75 to make the final eight, but after blowing their chance against the Eagles and with a difficult road trip against the unbeaten Kangaroos coming, the market has lost confidence in last year’s minor premiers.
The task will be made all the more difficult after the news broke that All-Australian ruckman Aaron Sandilands will be unavailable for an extended period after sustaining broken ribs early in the derby.
Despite being in the inevitable position of 0-3, Ross Lyon is still believes his side harbours ambitions of finals footy in 2016.
“I think the aim is to win enough games and play finals,” Lyon said.
“That’s our aim. I would’ve thought that’s every club’s aim.
“We were really optimistic. But the results at the minute, 0-3, talk to we need to improve our footy.
“I don’t think you have to be a genius to work out if the ledger stays like this there’s going to be paradigm shift in philosophy.”
Parish plummets into Rising Star calculations
IT may be a bleak season off the field in terms of player availability at Essendon but the Dons have unearthed a gem in Darcy Parish, who has come into $6 with sportsbet.com.au for the Rising Star.
Last year’s pick number five in the national draft started the season as a $26.00 outsider to be just the second ever Essendon player to win the rookie award, but after three outstanding performances in a row the slightly built Bomber is the second favourite to take out the 2016 incarnation.
Current Essendon top-up player and former Geelong premiership hero James Kelly likened Parish to an ex-teammate of his; Geelong captain Joel Selwood.
Kelly saw Selwood take the competition by storm in 2007 – winning the Rising Star and playing in a premiership in his first year in the AFL system – and believes Parish possesses similar traits to the superstar Cat captain.
“He (Parish) is not a project player or anything, he is able to have an impact straight away and he will just keep rolling on,” Kelly said.
“He has a long way to go to be Joel Selwood, but he has that sort of demeanour around the place.”
The favourite for the award remains Carlton defender and last year’s number one draft selection Jacob Weitering, who was this week’s nominee after a stellar performance in his side’s loss to the Gold Coast.
Weitering is Sportsbet.com.au’s pick for the award at $5.00 to be Carlton’s first ever Rising Star winner, but the precocious Blues’ backman believes the award may be Bomber bound this season.
“I reckon Darcy Parish, he’s my pick,” Weitering said.