Footy is back! Not that we can call the JLT Community Series or the AFLX real footy, nontheless, it's good to see the Sherrin being kicked around on the TV again. With the mickey mouse stuff wrapped up and the home and away season kicking off Thursday, the 21st of March, it's time to delve into the preview and betting tips for the 2019 AFL season!
We'll be bringing you a few different season previews this year. Today we'll focus solely on team previews and bets including our premiership, top 8, wooden spoon and bottom 8 picks.
Stay tuned later in the week for our player focused season preview, where we will be taking a look at markets like the Brownlow Medal, Coleman Medal, Rising Star and a bunch of other season props!
Lets get into it!
You're probably reading too much into the season if you're looking outside of the top four chances for the permiership. We will be shocked if the 2019 AFL Premier isn't one of the four following teams.
The Tigers start as the favourites for the 2019 AFL Premiership after bowing out of the finals series in the prelim. against the Magpies last season. They were undoubtedly the best side of the 2018 Home & Away season, finishing on top of the ladder with a 18-4 record, eight points clear of the West Coast Eagles. An inspired performance by the Pies was enough to bounce the Tigers out of the finals last season, but Richmond should have new found motivation heading into this season as they attempt to win their 2nd premiership in three years.
The addition of Gold Coast star forward Tom Lynch will be the key factor in their success. Lynch has been one of the permier forwards in the competition for the better part of five years now and although his 2018 season was hampered by injury, he should be a vital cog in the Richmond attack and allow Jack Reiwoldt to play closer to goal on a regular basis.
Premiership Odds: $4.75 at BetEasy
The Pies were just a few seconds away from claiming their first premiership since the 2010 season last year as West Coast snatched victory away from them in the dying moments of the game. The Pies will back themselves to be back in the mix this season after bolstering their already dominant midfield with the inclusion of former Pie, Dayne Beams.
The Pies also added Jordan Roughhead, who should give Collingwood much needed depth in the key backs department and will be able to pinch hit in the ruck. The Pies have arguably the best midfield in the league with Beams, Brodie Grundy, Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury and Adam Treloar as the core and should be in contention in September.
Premiership Odds: $7.00 at BetEasy
The reigning premiers have to be in the mix here. They'll run back largely the same team that won the final game of teh season last year, minus ruckman Scott Lycett, who moved to Port Adelaide as a restricted free agent. The Eagles won't mind too much, however, as Nic Naitanui will come back into the side at Lycett's expense after missing the majorty of last season with a knee injury.
The Eagles premiership side will also be bolstered by the addition of star midfielder Andrew Gaff, who missed the Grand Final through suspension and will return to the side in Round 3. The Eagles dominance relies on their spine, the form of Jack Darling, Josh Kennedy, Naitanui and Jeremy McGovern will be key to their success this year.
Premiership Odds: $7.00 at BetEasy
Melbourne finally made the move last season, making the finals for the first time in 11 years by finishing fifth on the ladder. Many have picked them to take another step in 2019 and get into the all important top four, and their moves in the off-season suggest they are going all out on a premiership play.
Melbourne waved goobye to a couple of key players in Jesse Hoga and Dom Tyson, but pulled off arguably the best trade off the offseason by acquiring Steven May from the Gold Coast Suns. Along with May, ruckman Braydon Preuss joins from North Melbourne while Kade Kolodjashni should provide more depth.
Premiership Odds: $7.00 at BetEasy
Our tip has to be the Tiges heading into the season. While we will think they will get off to a slower start than last year as they adjust to life with Tom Lynch in the forward line, we think they will be the best team down the stretch. They won't be as fierocious of a tackling side in the forward 50 with Lynch in the side, but that could work in their favour because they started to look a little burnt out towards the end of last season.
They'll be more mature about how they rest players this season and should be aiming more to hit their peak in September rather than come out of the blocks at 100% like they did in 2018.
We took a stab at predicting the final results of the 2019 season using the fantastic ladder predictor at AFL.com.au where you can enter in who you think will win every game in the entire home and away season and the site will generate a ladder for you. Give it a go and post your results below!
We think the Power represent great value to make the eight in 2019. Their campaign last season was largely derailed by injuries and off field drama but they look right to go in 2019. Jared Polec and Chad Wingard depart, however, the Power were successful in recruiting backman Ryan Burton from the Hawks and Scott Lycett, who should form a formidable ruck combination with Paddy Ryder.
More time in the midfield for Tom Rockliff and more time up forward for super-star Robbie Gray should be just what the doctor ordered for the Power. Good value at $2.35 after just missing out last season in 10th place.
If the Power are going to come in, someone has to come out of the top 8 from last season, and we think that could be the Swans. Another year older for the aging core and a few key departures in the likes of Dan Hannebery, Gary Rohan and Nic Newman that will really hurt the Swans depth.
The Swans haven't missed the finals since 2009 but they have a bunch of core players in Jarrad McVeigh, Josh Kennedy, Kieran Jack, Lance Franklin and Heath Grundy all on the wrong side of 30 now, and their young guns probably need one more year in the legs.
Not liking the way the Saints season has started so far. Star midfielder Jack Steven has called for a indefinite break from footy citing mental health problems and arguably the most important player in the Saints line-up, Jake Carlisle, is also out indefinetely with a back injury. It's already looking like potentially being a rebuild year for the Saints as they look to rehab No.4 draft pick Max King back into the fold after an ACL injury in his TAC Cup season.
On the flip side of the coin, the Blues enter the season with their tails up after nabbing the coveted No.1 pick in Sam Walsh who looks ready to slip straight into the talented midfield. One could make a case for Patrick Cripps as the most complete midfielder in the entire league while Charlie Curnow should only improve this year. The addition of Mitch McGovern should also make the Blues much better. We think the Saints beat out the Blues for fewest wins by a Victorian based team this season.
Hawthorn won 15 games last season and finished fourth on the AFL ladder behind only Richmond, West Coast and Collingwood. They are currently the 10th favourite to win the AFL Premiership at most betting agencies, which we think is a bit of an insult.
Losing the reigning Brownlow Medalist, Tom Mitchell, for the season with a broken leg will be a blow to the Hawks, as will the departure of Ryan Burton, however, the Hawks were active in the off-season, picking up star midfielders Tom Scully and Chad Wingard from GWS and Port Adelaide respectively. Grant Birchall will also return this season, bolstering an already impressive defence. We find it hard to believe they are a full four games worse than last season.
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