Full Round 1 Preview
It’s always a dangerous proposition betting in the early rounds but I’ll do my best to weave some magic because let’s face it, we all love a bet!
So, here goes…
Melbourne ($1.57) vs Western Bulldogs ($2.45)
- Grand Final rematch
- Can the Dogs get some revenge?
- Clayton Oliver primed for another big season
- 2 home & away clashes last season resulted in 1 win a piece
As we all know the GF was a lopsided affair with Melbourne running away 140-66 victors. Hopefully, they have sobered up in time for this after the wild celebrations one would expect after a Premiership win. The constant between these two sides is the performance of Clayton Oliver, he’s averaged 34.7 disposals in their recent clashes and I expect no different in this clash.
Carlton ($2.65) vs Richmond ($1.48)
- 15th Round 1 clash in 16 years
- Carlton haven’t won this clash in over a decade
- Tigers have won 8 consecutive season openers against the Blues
- Dusty has had 30+ disposals in 5 of his last 6 games against Carlton
- Will Carlton improve under Micahel Voss?
The Blues will be looking to feature in the finals this season for the first time since 2013 having appointed Michael Voss as head coach, and adding Adam Cerra & George Hewett to their roster. The Tigers are tipped to return to the top 8 and one can only think their hopes rely on Dusty Martin. The Tigers record over the years in this fixture is one of dominance and quite frankly, I see no reason to think they won’t win well here.
St Kilda ($1.62) vs Collingwood ($2.30)
- Craig McRae’s first match as Pies Head Coach
- Pies only managed 6 wins in a disastrous last season
- Saints poor start last year cost them a finals spot
- Saints were 9 point victors in their last clash with the Pies
It’s fair to say the Pies had an absolute bludger of a season last year, their 6-16 record was their lowest amount of wins since 2005. Craig McRae has been entrusted with turning their fortunes around and they’ll be more than keen to get off to a flyer. The Saints on the other hand finished their season with a bang winning 5 from their last 9 and just missing the top 8. Whilst the Pies will improve, I don’t think it will be instant. Saints to march into 2022 as winners.
Geelong ($1.62) vs Essendon ($2.30)
- Both looking for a fast start after playing finals footy last season
- Can the Bombers replicate their fine form?
- Will the ageing Cats purr? (Bad, i know…)
- Strangely, first game between these 2 in Melb since May 2019! (Bloody plague)
- Cats won the last 2 by 40+
The Cats have an ageing roster that will either have one last crack at a flag, or fade out of finals contention. The Bombers over achieved last season and will be looking to replicate, or better, their record this campaign. The Cats have had the wood over the Bombers in their last two encounters that saw Tom Hawkins kick a combined 10 goals and the Cats win by 40+ margins. Bit of the same here I reckon.
GWS ($2) vs Swans ($1.82)
- Buddy just 5 goals short of the 1,000 club
- Buddy’s first goal was 7 years before GWS were even in the AFL!
- Buddy’s kicked 49 goals against GWS (OK, enough about Buddy…)
- First game at Accor since 2016
- Toby Greene suspended
- 3 of the last 5 have been decided by a margin of 2 points or less!
Can Buddy join the elusive 1,000 goals club by kicking 5? With the suspension of Toby Greene for intentional contact with an umpire in their elimination final win over Sydney last season, he’ll watch the first 5 rounds from the stands (or pub). It’s a massive void for GWS to fill and one that looks set to hinder their start to the season. For this reason, the Swans can start their season with a bang.
Lions ($1.48) vs Port Adelaide ($2.70)
- Both projected to be in Premiership contention
- Both a little underwhelming in finals footy & looking to atone
- Lions have lost their last 3 opening round clashes
- Port looking to win their 7th straight opener
- Lions have won their last 4 against the Power
Whilst the Lions have been slow starters having lost their last 3 opening clashes, they have a tremendous record against the Power having won the last 4 straight. The last 3 games between these two have seen Brisbane win by an average margin of 44.7 points. With the Lions at home at the GABBA & their excellent recent record against the Power, they can start their season with a win for the first time in 4 seasons.
Hawks ($1.68) vs Nth Melb ($2.20)
- Hawks lost 6 of their last 8 matches as favourites last season
- Kangas covered the line in 10 of their last 12 matches last season
- Both coming off bludgers of a season!
- Kangas won their last encounter by 7 points
There’s not a heck of a lot to like about either side coming into 2022 and I’m fading the Hawks hard, I’ve backed them to have the least amount wins this season at the juicy odds of $6. Might be talking through my kick but I don’t think there’s much between these two ordinary sides. Kangas to win.
Crows ($2.10) vs Fremantle ($1.75)
- Matt Taberner ruled out for Dockers
- Rory Lobb also struggling to be fit
- Dockers may struggle in attack without tall targets
- Freo have won the last two match ups between these two
Tricky game to assess, not only because it is the opening round, but also because it looks likely the Dockers will be without key talls. This looks likely to stunt their attack and you just can’t replace a guy like Taberner, he’s their leading goal kicker after all! Not that I am a rap of the Crows, I’ll be backing them to win against a Dockers side missing a couple key players.
Eagles ($2) vs Suns ($1.82)
- West Coast & the Suns will relish the easing of COVID restrictions in WA
- Eagles opened up favourites but now outsiders
- Dew coaching for his life & Suns could be wound up
Whilst we’ve missed the early price on the Suns I’m keen to still be with the early sharp punters & the Sunnies. WA is often a tricky place to travel for obvious reasons but being the first fixture of the season, surely this won’t be an issue, especially after the easing of COVID restrictions. Suns head coach Stuart Dew is coaching for his life and you would expect them to hit the ground running.
Good luck & good punting!
*All prices and lines are correct as of the time of writing & are courtesy of Ladbrokes, who are offering $2 lines on ALL games during Round 1. T&C’s apply, check their website for more details.
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