Analyst: Alex Christodoulou
Mar 22, 2019 07:20 PM
Buddy or Bont- who fires on Saturday night?
There are three terrific Saturday fixtures for AFL fans to get excited about on Saturday.
Hawthorn face the tough task of taking on the Crows at the Adelaide Oval, which they will have to do without Tom Mitchell.
Then the reigning premiers West Coast start their title defence up in Brisbane, where they face a young and confident Lions side.
But the highlight comes last, when the two superstars Buddy Franklin and Marcus Bontempelli go head-to-head down in Melbourne.
Adelaide Crows vs Hawthorn Hawks
AFL Odds: Crows $1.35 (-19.5) / Hawks $3.02 (+19.5)
Saturday's twilight game sees the Hawks make the always difficult road trip to the Adelaide Oval.
The Crows were injury-plagued last season, and will be looking to get back out on the park with all their stars fit and available.
Hawthorn have been the first victims of the injury curse in 2019, with reigning Brownlow-medalist Tom Mitchell breaking his leg in the off-season.
Why Crows can win
Adelaide have one of the best lists in the AFL, that includes the Crouch brothers, Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker.
With these four all set to start together in what will feel like the first time in ages for Adelaide fans, expect big things from the Crows first up.
In front of a raucous home crowd baying for Hawthorn blood, this fixture could produce the first blowout win of the AFL season.
Why Hawks can win
Hawthorn will need to be at their very best to win away from home without their best player.
But with Alastair Clarkson in the coaches' box, you can never write off the Hawks.
Clarkson is hands down the most influential coach of the past fifteen years, leading the Hawks to multiple flags as well as seeing his disciples go and do great things with other clubs.
Picking up Tom Scully in the trade season was a big play, so it won't be all doom and gloom for Hawthorn this season.
Key AFL Stats
- The Hawks have covered the line in all of their past 9 games at the Adelaide Oval: Hawthorn to cover the +19.5 point line @ $1.90
- Hawthorn have won all of their last 4 away games against the Crows: Hawks to win @ $3.02
- Matt Crouch has recorded 30+ touches in each of the Crows' previous 6 games at the Adelaide Oval: Crouch to record 30+ disposals @ $1.30
AFL Betting Tip:
Adelaide to cover the -19.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: The Crows look the goods with a full strength team here.
Brisbane Lions vs West Coast Eagles
AFL Odds: Lions $2.74 (+13.5) / Eagles $1.42 (-13.5)
Last year's surprise premiers take on last year's surprise packets here, when the Eagles face the Lions.
While West Coast are deserved favourites in the AFL Odds, the Lions showed towards the back end of last season that it was all starting to come together.
For AFL tipsters looking for an upset in Round 1, this might be the game.
Why Lions can win
After being widely tipped to pick up the wooden spoon last year, the Lions recorded some big scalps on route to their 15th place finish.
They were particularly good at The Gabba, where they really hung in and made it a contest.
Despite losing Dayne Beams in the trade period, they pick up former Fremantle gun Lachie Neale, in one of the best bits of business during the trade period.
With a young and confident side coming off a two straight wins in the pre-season, the Eagles will need to be ready for a fight.
Why Eagles can win
The Eagles really took footy back to the basics last year, showing the benefit of kicking with precision and being strong in the air.
With a side chock full of tall timbre, the Eagles will look to dominate this game from the air.
With multiple Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy in the forward line, West Coast do have the superior quality going forward.
But if he and his Eagles teammates still have their minds on last year's flag, then the Lions will be ready to capitalize.
Key AFL Stats
- West Coast have won their last 8 games against Brisbane: Eagles to win @ $1.42
- The Eagles have won the first quarter in all of their previous 8 matches against the Lions: Eagles to lead at quarter time @ $1.63
- Brisbane have won the fourth quarter in each of their last 5 games in Queensland: Lions to win the last quarter only @ $2.31
AFL Betting Tip:
Brisbane to cover the +13.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: The back-half of last campaign suggests that the Lions will more than match it with the Eagles at home.
Western Bulldogs vs Sydney Swans
AFL Odds: Bulldogs $2.27 (+8.5) / Swans $1.59 (-8.5)
Both the Bulldogs and Swans will be looking to get their 2019 campaigns off to a positive start when they clash on Saturday night.
Will Buddy or the Bont lead their team to victory down in Melbourne?
Why Bulldogs can win
The 2016 premiers have been disappointing in their subsequent two seasons.
The Dogs look like they lost their appetite after claiming Grand Final glory, leaving too much for star man Marcus Bontempelli to do.
You know the Bont will have a good game, but it's the Bulldogs' other players who will need to stand up and help him out here.
But after two underwhelming performances in pre-season, it doesn't look like this will be the case.
Why Swans can win
A big boost for the Swans arrives in the form of Sam Reid, who missed most of 2018 through injury.
Reid is the other key forward in the Swans line-up, who allows Buddy to play deeper and have more of a goal-scoring threat.
If Sydney can win the battle in the midfield and get it into these two, then they'll have too many goals in them.
With Isaac Heeney and Luke Parker in the middle of the park, this looks like the pattern to victory.
Key AFL Stats
- The Swans have won each of their previous 8 Saturday matches: Sydney to win @ $1.59
- Luke Parker has recorded 30+ disposals in 3 of Sydney's last 4 Round 1 matches: Parker to have 30+ touches @ $6
- Lachie Hunter has recorded 30+ disposals in the Bulldogs' previous 5 games: Hunter to have 30+ touches @ $2.88
AFL Betting Tip:
Swans to cover the -8.5 point line @ $1.90
Reasoning: With too much class and experience, Sydney will prevail here.