We continue our coverage of the new AFL season with a look at the four game slate on Saturday. All games have the go ahead at the time of writing, which should make for a fantastic day of footy. We preview all four games below and provide our best betting tips. Good luck to everyone following us this season!
Marvel Stadium, 2:10pm AEDT
The Bombers are coming off a pretty disappointing 2019 campaign where they bowed out in the first week of finals against the Eagles. They come into this season with a pretty similar looking list, although a long line of injuries means they won’t be fielding anything close to their best 22 in Round 1. Despite that, the Bombers looked solid in the pre-season and still have plenty of weapons at their disposal.
The Dockers were always going to struggle in 2019, even if they did win a few surprising games early in the season. The lack of depth was obvious and the reliance on Nat Fyfe was immense. Fyfe went on to win his second Brownlow Medal and will lead the Dockers again in 2020. They have brought over a few fresh faces, but will be looking for most of their improvement to come from their younger guys.
This is an interesting fixture to kick off the Saturday slate and one that is hard to predict. The Dockers are a bit of an enigma, but they’ve shown a decent ability to match it with sides in Melbourne of late. We see them to cover the spread as the best way to attack this game. In terms of a player prop, young Bomber Will Snelling to snag a goal looks like overs.
Adelaide Oval, 5:05pm AEDT
The Crows had a really poor 2019 and have gone on to make a ton of changes in the off-season. Tex Walker stepped down as skipper and Rory Sloane steps up as the sole captain of the club. Not many people are expecting much from the Crows this season and we are one of the big doubters, such is the inexperience of their list. They do have a couple of genuine stars, but they’ll be doing a whole lot of work if they’re to be competitive and push for finals this season.
The Swans finally had that big drop off in 2019 that we all thought was coming sooner or later. Consistent injuries to superstar Buddy Franklin didn’t help their cause and the great man will be missing early in 2020 as well. The Swans are now in clear rebuild mode and have a couple of nice young pieces to work with, but it will certainly be a long process for them to become a challenger for finals again.
Both of these clubs are in similar positions and both are expected to struggle to win a decent amount of games this season. This match is just too tough to call from a head to head point of view; however, we do fancy the unders in total points here. Neither side boasts potent forward lines and both clubs would’ve been focusing heavily on their team defence over the summer, knowing full well that they’ll be struggling to win games this season. For a prop bet, we like Crows ball-magnet Rory Laird to rack it up across half-back.
Giants Stadium, 7:40pm AEDT
The Giants 2019 campaign ended in heartbreak when they were thumped by the Tigers in the Grand Final. Despite a less than ideal finish to the season, the Giants took a big step forward as a club to finally reach the big dance. Injuries were prominent for the runners-up last season, but they look to be in much better health this time around, which should help them come out of the blocks firing in 2020.
The Cats were one of the best teams all year in 2019 to finish with the minor premiership; however, they were simply outgunned in their preliminary final loss to the Tigers and were left licking their wounds. The Cats are again expected to be competing in the business end of 2020, although a really poor Marsh Series has left plenty of question marks about where they’re at to start the season.
The Giants are one of the clubs we are really bullish on this season and they didn’t miss a beat in the Marsh Series. They looked as hungry as ever and come up against a Cats side that is missing a couple of key players. We expect last season’s runners-up to hit the ground running with a comfortable win at home. We also like the goal scorer market in this clash with Harry Himmelberg looking the value play to kick a couple of goals.
Metricon Stadium, 7:40pm AEDT
The Suns have had a really tough time holding onto their gun players and the results have shown that in recent seasons. They were last year’s wooden spooners and are tipped to repeat that unwanted title again this campaign. In saying that, the Suns looked sharp in their pre-season games and have poached a couple of decent and experienced players from other clubs, which will help them stay competitive in 2020.
The Power have teased their fans for quite a few seasons in a row now and it’s quite clear that the writing is on the wall for coach Ken Hinkley. The Power have a talented list and are expected to be fighting for a finals spot this campaign and anything less than that will lead to some drastic changes to their hierarchy. They bring in an almost identical squad to last season and will be looking for natural improvement from their younger guys to tip them over the edge.
The Power are clearly the more talented of these two clubs and should be winning this without much fuss. However, the Suns started off last season on fire and we expect them to be super competitive to start 2020 as well; we expect the Power to win, but only in a close one. If you’re looking for a great value play on a player market, then Darcy MacPherson looks a really solid bet for 25+ disposals after a terrific pre-season.
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