With the walkover out of the way, we can now sink our teeth into the season proper with an extended weekend of matches that begins with the now traditional Thursday night fight between the Blues & Tigers.
Let’s take a look at each game in order to identify those with the most punting value:
Rich vs. Carl (MCG):
The Blues are favorites here, based on their recent climb up the ladder and domination of the Tigers, who admittedly have been quite ordinary against quality opposition during this same period. Whilst I’m reluctant to be persuaded by NAB Cup form, the Tigers were full of run and meet a Carlton team with a significant injury list that includes Walker, Jamison and Warnock.
Suggested bet: I’m very keen on the Tigers to triumph here and suggest the $3.30 on offer to win by (1-39 margin) less than 40 points, is the way to go.
Haw vs. Coll (MCG):
A serious flood of money for Hawthorn since the markets opened has them firm favorites and given they face Collingwood and Geelong in the first two rounds, I suspect they are fully wound up. The Pies uninspiring early form, albeit with many new faces, has done nothing to dissuade me from joining the Hawks steady movement. However, they are a quality side and I do not expect the Hawks to have it all their own way, and so would not be surprised to see them steal a victory.
Suggested bet: None – sit back and watch the Buddy Show. If you must, try either team under 15.5 points at $2.60
Melb vs. Bris (MCG):
Not a game the Demons will want to lose for obvious reasons. The Lions have been horrible over the last couple of years and nothing they’ve done over the last 6 months has inspired me start roaring. A difficult game to commit to either side, although Melbourne would appear to suffer the most from defeat.
Suggested bet: None – Let’s just pray they can do it for Jimmy!
GC vs. Adel (MS):
I am real fan of the ‘home’ teams in round one as they take to the field in front of their faithful for the first time in the season. Teams often find an extra leg in the hope of securing spectator support and dearly coveted membership renewals. It’s not likely to help Gold Coast here though as Adelaide have been playing right up to their potential and whilst it would not be unusual for the NAB Cup winner to fall from grace quickly, they should pack enough punches to get over the line.
Suggested bet: The Suns did show surprising toe in a few games last year so let’s take the following ‘Quarter by quarter leader’ bet (1st) Suns / (2nd) Suns / (3rd) Crows / (4th) Crows at $15 and hope they can get out of the blocks early.
Fre vs. Geel (PS):
Can we finally take Freo on face value and back them to play as their list would suggest with Ross Lyon at the helm, or will they continue to haunt us with their insipid efforts of years gone by. Probably the latter, but I’m a punter and for that I must pay by way of taking Freo to beat Geelong, who I believe prefer to ease in to the season.
Suggested bet: Let’s load up on the Dockers at $2.20 to beat the Cats.
Nth Melb vs. Ess (ES):
A genuinely difficult game at a genuinely difficult time of the season. Both have claims to win this one and I’ll be happy to invest my money on a few pots while I’m watching the game. These two teams have put up crazy numbers in recent history and I can only hope they do so again – very exiting football, with many goals scored.
Suggested bet: None – If you must, take the Dons to score 121 points or more at $4.00.
WB vs. WCE (ES):
Another ripper game with new coach Brendan McCartney leading the Dogs against the ‘find’ of last year in the Eagles. Whilst I see improvement in the Doggies, I think their best may be a little way off and I suspect a hardened West Coast outfit will prevail, even though they are on the road. The loss of LeCras and now Nicoski up forward should not cause too much concern as they typically score form a good spread of players.
Suggested bet: Back the Eagles to win at $1.65
PA vs. STK (AAMI):
Leaving the logic out of this one somewhat as it is quite difficult to explain why I’m backing Port to beat the Saints given their respective playing lists and form over the last couple of years. The Power look to be up and about though, and I’m hoping a display of ticker in front of a parochial crowd, combined with a lack of ticker from the Saints, can create an upset at good odds for us.
Suggested bet: Back Port to win at $2.90
In summary, let’s take two bets this week: a multi that combines four of our suggested wagers above; and the ‘quarter by quarter leader’ wager at Metricon Stadium:
1. Tigers (1-39 points) @ $3.30; into Dockers (win) @ $2.20; into Eagles (win) @ $1.65; into Port (win) @ $2.90. We’ll stake $50 @ the combined odds of $35 for a potential return of $1750.
2. Suns vs. Crows (Qtr x Qtr Leader) – Suns / Suns / Crows / Crows. We’ll stake another $50 here @ $15 for potential collect of $750
Let it ride!
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