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AFL Tips & Previews, 2024 Opening Round

BetDeluxe takes an in-depth look at all four games across Round 0, with the reigning premiers reigniting their rivalry against the Orange Tsunami.

Can the reigning premiers topple the Orange Tsunami?

Will the Suns kick-start their Dimma reign in style?

BetDeluxe dives into the Opening Round and delivers its best bets.  

Swans vs. Demons

7th March 7:30PM

The 2024 AFL season will kick off with a blockbuster Thursday night clash between an injury-riddled Sydney and a Melbourne side that has gone through the pre-season from hell.

Both teams have their issues heading into the opening round, with the Swans missing Callum Mills, Luke Parker, and Taylor Adams through injury. While their engine room has taken a significant hit over the pre-season, former Dee and two-time All-Australian Brodie Grundy will make his debut against his old club.  James Jordon looks set to debut after starring with 31 disposals against the Lions last week.

There’s no denying there’s a lot of pressure on the Dees after the recent drama surrounding Clayton Oliver, Joel Smith, and the club’s culture. Most disappointingly, they bid farewell to Angus Brayshaw last week after he announced his retirement due to concussion. Despite his off-field issues, Oliver has been named to start, while Jack Billings, Caleb Windsor, and Blake Howes will all debut.

While the market cannot split these two sides ($1.90 each), it’s hard to imagine the Dees firing first-up in Sydney.

TIP: Same Game Multi

  • Leg 1: Swans 1-39
  • Leg 2: E. Gulden 25+ disposals
  • Leg 3: C. Petracca score anytime
  • Leg 4: T. Papley 2+ goals
  • Total: $8.50

Lions vs. Blues

8th March 7:40pm

The most one-sided match-up of the round, according to the markets, the Lions will host the Blues as $1.29 favourites at the Gabba on Friday night.

It’s been five months since Chris Fagan’s side narrowly missed out on premiership success, but they will be keen to kick-start their 2024 campaign at a ground where they did not lose a game last season.

While Will Ashcroft, Tom Doedee, and Conor McKenna will all miss the opening match, a similar-looking side ran out on the final day of the season last year. Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale will lead a star-studded midfield alongside Hugh McCluggage, Josh Dunkley and a fit Dayne Zorko.

As for the Blues, while they stormed into finals with 11 wins from their last 12 games of the home and away season, they may struggle to recapture that form immediately due to their long list of injuries. Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering, Jesse Motlop, Caleb Marchbank and Jack Martin are all sidelined for the premiership contenders, but they will welcome Zac Williams back after his serious knee injury.

While both teams will be aiming for a top-four spot later in the year, the Lions shouldn’t have many issues in this one.  

TIP: Total Points Over (+169.5) @ $1.90

Suns vs. Tigers

9th March 4:20pm

Is it too early to call it the Dimma Cup? Maybe the Hardwick Hardware?

The Gold Coast will host its most anticipated clash since Gary Ablett left when they line up against Adem Yze and his new-look Richmond squad.

While the Suns are short-priced $1.48 favourites with BetDeluxe, Damien Hardwick’s men will need to click into gear after suffering a 44-point loss to GWS last week. Touk Miller, Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell should excel under the three-time premiership coach, but their hopes of a first finals appearance will rest largely on the shoulders of star forward, Ben King, and his ability to kick bags against teams like Richmond.

The Tigers have had six months to adjust to life without Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt, but they will also be missing Toby Nankervis, Tom Lynch and possibly Dustin Martin with a corky. It will be interesting to see how they respond under Yze in his first senior coaching role, but the sheer amount of quality missing means it could be a tough start to the year.  

TIP: Suns to win @ $1.48

Giants vs. Magpies

9th March 7:30pm

It’s not often the reigning premiers start as $2.20 outsiders in their first game since claiming the title. However, the market has certainly gravitated to the Giants in their Opening Round clash against the Magpies, with the home side currently quoted at $1.65.

It was an incredible season for Craig McRae and his Magpie Army in 2023 as they claimed the minor premiership with 18 wins en route to the ultimate prize. They certainly haven’t rested on their laurels over the off-season, with the addition of former Fremantle livewire Lachie Schultz, who will slot straight into their forward line. Either Ash Johnson or Reef McInnes is expected to take Dan McStay’s key forward spot after his season-ending ACL injury.

The Orange Tsunami took a big step forward in 2023 that resulted in a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Magpies in the preliminary final. They’re currently behind only Collingwood and Brisbane in the premiership futures markets at $7, with fans expecting them to improve again under Adam Kingsley. Finn Callaghan, Isaac Cumming, and Harry Perryman will both miss this week’s clash with injury, making their $1.65 quote seem slightly unders.

TIP: B. Hill first goal scorer @ $14

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