Carlton are going to need to write their own Easter resurrection story in the season opener if they are to have any hope of toppling the Tigers.
Get a boosted $2.30 for Richmond to win by 30+ with Ladbrokes
Big things are expected at Punt Road this season and the Blues should be easy pickings under lights at the ‘G on Thursday night, despite the absence of midfield star Brett Deledio (thigh) and No.1 ruckman Ivan Maric (back).
Blues skipper Marc Murphy will play despite a limited pre-season due to a shoulder injury, but one man does not make the difference in a mismatch like this.
Get on Sportsbet’s $1.78 for Richmond to lead at the end of every quarter. Dustin Martin to boot the first goal of the game, which is $17, is also worth it with Sportsbet.
Melbourne Demons v Greater Western Sydney Giants
We reckon the $2.32 on offer with Unibet for the Dees to upset the Giants on Saturday is incredible value.
Get $4.50 for Jesse Hogan to Kick 3 or More Goals and Melbourne Win with Ladbrokes.
Melbourne will be full of confidence after an undefeated NAB Challenge. A young GWS line-up will be vulnerable at the home of footy as they are missing Adam Treloar, who was traded to Collingwood during the off-season, and their suspended spearhead, Jeremy Cameron.
It’s unlikely this match will be a blowout, particularly with Melbourne’s Paul Roos-inspired defensive style, but we think the grand old flag will be flying at full time.
Back Melbourne for the win and the Demons to be the first team to score a goal, which is paying $2 with bet365.
Gold Coast Suns v Essendon Bombers
All eyes will be on the mix-and-match Essendon squad, while Gold Coast have to make a statement after a disappointing 2015 campaign.
The supplements scandal suspensions have left the Bombers in disarray and without 12 of their best players.
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Fans should expect to see plenty of 100-point beltings this season as the better teams put Essendon to the sword. However, Saturday afternoon’s clash in Queensland is unlikely to get too out of hand – the Suns are not that good.
Take Luxbet up on their offer of $2.15 for Gold Coast to win by more than 39 points and the first scoring play to be a Suns goal ($3.10 with bet365).
North Melbourne Kangaroos v Adelaide Crows
The ‘Roos lost seven of their first 13 games last year before finishing eighth and taking the points in games like this is non-negotiable if they are going to be a serious Premiership threat in 2016.
North have never won in round one since coach Brad Scott arrived at Arden Street in 2010, but we think that will change this season. Betfair’s offer of $1.54 for a blue and white win at Docklands on Saturday night is the best available.
Get a a boosted $3.50 for Lindsay Thomas to Kick 3 or More Goals and North Melbourne Win with Ladbrokes.
Midfielder Patrick Dangerfield, who left for Geelong in the off-season, is a massive loss for the Crows, but we think the $11 Sportsbet is quoting for Adelaide’s Eddie Betts to kick the first major is worth a go.
Sydney Swans v Collingwood Magpies
Despite finishing 12th last season, Collingwood’s finals credentials have been talked up over the summer. However, they will run into a brick wall on Saturday night when they take on Sydney at the SCG.
Pies fans were up in arms last month when the Swans changed the venue from Homebush to the more compact inner-city oval which will suit their congested style of play.
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The home side should win the midfield battle with the likes of Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy.
Go for a Swans/Swans half-time/full-time double, paying $2.10 with Sportsbet. You should also go for Sydney, with Buddy Franklin and Kurt Tippett in full flight, to win the race to five goals. That is paying $1.77 with William Hill and Centrebet.
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle Dockers
Freo coach Ross Lyon has repeatedly talked about his side’s desire to boot two more goals a game this year but do not be surprised to see the Dockers revert to their tried-and-tested defensive mindset in round one.
The port club will be without recruit Harley Bennell (calf) in Sunday’s clash at Docklands but we think last season’s minor premiers will still get the job done.
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Both sides will be missing their best ruckmen, with Docker Aaron Sandilands (suspended) and Bulldog Will Minson (hamstring) both out.
Grab the $1.86 Hills and Centrebet are offering for a Freo win, while Centrebet are also offering $1.73 for one side to score fewer than 80 points in the match. Given the tight nature of this game, we reckon that is a good deal.
Port Adelaide Power v St Kilda Saints
Port have a point to prove after being in freefall last season and Sunday’s round-one clash at home against the Saints looks the perfect place to start their road to redemption.
The Power will miss No.1 ruckman Paddy Ryder, while St Kilda will not be able to field high-profile recruit Jake Carlisle. The former Bombers duo were suspended as part of the supplements scandal.
The Portress clash will be Saints stalwart Leigh Montagna’s 250th AFL game but we think the Power will put a dampener on celebrations.
Lead at any quarter but lose the match? Get your money back with Sportsbet.
Take Sportsbet and Luxbet’s $1.92 for Port to win by more than 30.5 points, while Hills and Centrebet’s $1.71 for the ultra-fit Power to be the last team to score should come through.
West Coast v Brisbane Lions
Sorry, Brisbane fans, your team has got no chance against a mean Eagles machine at Subi on Sunday and this is reflected by the betting markets.
Big things are expected from last year’s surprise grand finalists this season and West Coast’s best price for the win of $1.06 is an accurate reflection of how one-sided this game could be.
The Eagles will be without midfielders Dom Sheed (pectoral), Chris Masten (ankle) and Sharrod Wellingham (knee) but they have the depth to cover the losses.