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AFL Tips & Previews, Round 1

BetDeluxe takes an in-depth look at four games across Round 1 of the AFL season, with the reigning premiers looking to bounce back from a shock loss to the Giants.

After getting a taste of the footy in the Opening Round, the traditional Thursday night blockbuster between the Blues and Tigers signals the official return of the AFL.

BetDeluxe takes a look at four blockbuster match-ups and provides best bets for each game.

Blues vs. Tigers

14th March 7:30PM

The traditional Thursday night blockbuster is back for Round 1 as the Blues look to make it a 2-0 start to their season against Richmond at the MCG.

Despite losing star midfielder Sam Docherty to a season-ending ACL injury in their opening match against Brisbane, Michael Voss’ men pulled off one of the great modern-day comebacks. Trailing 46 points during the second term, the Blues kicked 11 of the last 14 goals and edged out the home side by one point thanks to a confidence-boosting three-goal haul from Harry McKay.   

The Tigers could not pull off a similarly inspirational comeback against the Suns after giving up 11 straight goals in the first half.  While they were able to slot six unanswered in the third term, they will welcome the return of Dustin Martin, Toby Nankervis, and potentially Tom Lynch to a starting side that lacks quality and confidence.

While Docherty, Sam Walsh, Jack Martin, and Jacob Weitering are all sidelined, the Blues should still possess too much class for this Tigers outfit.

TIP: Same Game Multi

  • Leg 1: Carlton to win
  • Leg 2: T. Taranto 25+ disposals
  • Leg 3: C. Curnow 4+ goals
  • Leg 4: D. Martin score anytime
  • Total: $7.50

Pies vs. Swans

15th March 7:40pm

A 0-2 start to the season for the reigning premiers? Surely not.

That’s the reality facing Collingwood if they can’t improve on last week’s performance when they were soundly defeated by an Orange Tsunami to the tune of 32 points at Giants Stadium.

Jeremy Howe will return if he can prove his fitness throughout the week. At the same time, Fin Macrae could add much-needed leg speed to a midfield consisting of Scott Pendlebury (18 disposals), Steele Sidebottom (17) and Tom Mitchell (9).

It was a completely different result for the Swans in their opening clash against the Demons. They continued their hot form from the second half of 2023 with a five-goal final quarter, resulting in a 22-point win. Brodie Grundy was best afield against his old side, something he will want to replicate against his old(er) side on Friday night.

The market expects the Pies to bounce back from their poor start, and we certainly can’t see them dishing up another performance like that in front of the home crowd.

TIP: B. McCreery anytime goal scorer @ $1.95

Bombers vs. Hawks

16th March 1:45pm

Essendon and Hawthorn fans will be salivating ahead of their Round 1 match-up, with the two rivals kicking off their campaigns on Saturday.

The Bombers, who are now into their second full season with Brad Scott at the helm, are currently $1.65 favourites with BetDeluxe as they prepare to debut Ben McKay, Jade Gresham, Xavier Duursma and Todd Goldstein. They will, however, be without key midfielder Darcy Parish (hamstring) and defender Jordan Ridley (quad).

There will be a lot of interest in the Hawks after exceeding expectations and winning seven games under Sam Mitchell last season. Will Day has already been ruled out with injury, but there will be a nervous wait on vice-captain, Dylan Moore, as he attempts to return from glandular fever. Jack Ginnivan, Mabior Chol and Massimo D’Ambrosio are new faces expected to play, but the $1.65 available for the Dons is too good to pass up.

TIP: Essendon to win @$1.65

Suns vs. Crows

16th March 8:10pm

The Dimma era has arrived in a big way on the Gold Coast, with the Suns dismantling their new coach’s old chargers by 39 points.

It wasn’t so much the margin that impressed onlookers, but rather the way they assumed control in the opening half with 11-consecutive goals putting the result beyond doubt.

Their star-studded midfield dismantled Adem Yze’s men, with Matt Rowell (20 clearances), Touk Miller (28 disposals) and Noah Anderson (25 and 8 clearances) controlling the game from the middle of the ground.

Much like the Suns, the Crows are expected to be in the finals hunt in 2024 and will want to kick-start their season with a strong showing away from home. Taylor Walker will need to replicate his 76 goals from last season after Riley Thilthorpe’s pre-season meniscus injury (12 weeks).

With Jordan Dawson, Rory Laird and a rejuvenated Matt Crouch leading the midfield charge, the Crows could present great value at $2.18.

TIP: Adelaide to win @ $2.18

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