Melbourne Cricket Ground
These two teams could not have had a more contrasting 2017 with Richmond winning a drought breaking premiership and Carlton taking a slice of the unwanted ‘Most Losses’.
It was a perfect season for Richmond superstar Dusting Martin who added the Brownlow Medal and Norm Smith to his trophy cabinet and enters 2018 the Brownlow favourite and in many ways the key to the Tigers chance at a back to back premiership assault.
Carlton is heading in the right direction and will cause some upsets in 2018, but on the back of the pre-season form the Tigers have shown it doesn’t appear they will enter the new season underprepared.
Richmond should dominate the midfield and there will be opportunities backing the Carlton players total going under in this bet type. (Marc Murphy 28.5 looks way too high).
Looking longer term we are extremely confident Richmond will win over 12.5 games which is the season line with both TAB and NED’s.
The Tigers should again be in the premiership hunt, we suggest having $20 on them to win the flag now and pay for the bet with $20 on the Ladbrokes promotion offering $2 on them beating the Blues.
Best Bet: Richmond over 15.5 at $1.50
Value Bet: Jack Riewoldt first goal scorer @ $7.50
Adelaide had a magnificent 2017 except for one game, and sadly for the club and its many supporters that game came on Grand Final Day when they were destroyed by Richmond.
The Crows have a tough start to the new season though, they find themselves on the road against Essendon, a side who made the finals last season and plenty of experts anticipate will take further improvement this season.
Adelaide will go into the match without star forward and captain Taylor Walker and ball magnet Matt Crouch.
Essendon has been poor in the pre-season but should be primed to step up to the plate for the first game of the season.
The Bombers will get the spark from exciting recruit Jake Stringer and our early tip for the Coleman Medal Joe Daniher should take benefit from the addition of Stringer to the Bombers forward line.
Crows forward Josh Jenkins had a horrible Grand Final and will be keen to start 2018 strongly and gets the chance to do that against his former side.
Jenkins has a terrific record at Etihad Stadium including a career high bag of eight goals against the Western Bulldogs in their premiership season of Round 7 in 2016.
This is a vital fixture as the top 8 and top 4 will be so fiercely contested this year that this game shapes as an eight-point game.
Best Bet: Essendon at the line +5.5 at $1.92
Value Bet: Josh Jenkins most goals @ $10
Some footy fans take no notice of the pre-season form or results, and if you are a supporter of either of these two teams, then this is certainly an approach that you want to adopt.
Heading into 2017 the Saints had a real buzz around them and plenty of experts expected them to take the next step and return to the finals, however, they were lacklustre and look to have gone backwards since then.
The Saints do however have an imposing recent record against Brisbane including a 31-point win when the teams met in Round 3 at Etihad last year.
St Kilda has won three straight games and seven of their past nine against the Lions but opened way too short in Head-to-Head markets for this clash at just $1.20.
Brisbane took steps in the right direction last year and with the addition of Hawthorn legend Luke Hodge to the side expect them to play with more vigour and structure.
The biggest negative for the Lions is that this fixture is being played outside of the Sunshine state. Last year Brisbane went 1-9 outside Queensland and 1-5 in Victoria.
We anticipate the Lions will be more than competitive and give them a good chance at causing an upset.
Best Bet: Brisbane at the line +26.5 at $1.92
Value Bet: Brisbane win at $4
No team has been more aggressive in the off-season than Port Adelaide who have added three of the biggest stars in the game to their team which will hopefully lead them winning the club’s second AFL premiership.
Tom Rockliff, Jack Watts and Steven Motlop will improve the Power all over the field and they should start the new season with a comprehensive victory over a Fremantle team who has totally fallen off the cliff.
The most exciting aspect about the season for Fremantle is that 2015 Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe appears to be fit and healthy and ready for a big season.
Fyfe has been one of the best backed players to win the Brownlow Medal this year and he has firmed from $17 into $10 at TAB and is as short as $7 with Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and Crownbet.
The one thing that may work against Fyfe is that the Dockers are unlikely to make the finals and will likely lose more games than they win. The positive is that he is an absolute superstar, a proven vote getter and has nobody in his side to steal votes from him.
Big things are expected from Port this season and they should get off to the best possible start with a comfortable victory.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide -25.5 at $1.92
Value Bet: Jack Watts kicking 3+ goals @ $8
Most footy experts expect these two teams to be down the bottom of the ladder in 2018 so it is essential for both teams to get the win if they are to launch a climb up the ladder this year.
Most expect the Suns will crumble with the departure of superstar Gary Ablett, but we anticipate it is not all doom and gloom for the Suns this season and they should start the new campaign with a win.
The Suns have a new coach Stuart Dew who is highly regarded in the football world and they simply must have a good season if they are going to keep their highly sort after forward and captain Tom Lynch.
The Suns caught the eye in the pre-season, especially in the win against Geelong when they held the Cats to just 29 points and belted the premiership fancies by 56 points.
Former Blue Nick Holman, who spent the last two years in the SANFL, was outstanding and could catch opposition clubs off guard early in the season.
Looking longer term the Suns are paying $1.70 to win five games or more with Bluebet which should comfortably happen.
As for North Melbourne, they are our early selection for the wooden spoon. The Kangaroos lack class and quality youth and are in for an awfully long season.
No coach enters 2018 under more pressure than Nathan Buckley.
The club has gone down the ladder every single season since he has been at the helm and a host of poor form and off field indiscretions in the off-season have only added to the pressure.
The Pies Round 1 opponents Hawthorn are one of the hardest sides to assess this year - they looked destined to run near last after two months of the season last year, before some big upsets including wins over Adelaide and Sydney away from home gave the club something to look forward to as they still bask in the glory of three incredible premiership victories.
Unfortunately for Collingwood, who are arguably the biggest sporting club in Australia, things are about to go from bad to worse for the Magpies.
We anticipate the Hawks will win this game comfortably and we are all over the $1.95 on the Magpies winning under 11.5 games this season that is available with TAB and NED’s.
The Magpies are going to struggle to score this season so there will be good early betting opportunities backing the total game score going under in their matches.
For this match, the total of 180.5 is too high and we like the unders
Best Bet: Hawthorn the win at $1.92
Value Bet: Hawthorn under39.5 @ $4.75