The 2020 AFL season returned with a bang last weekend after a two month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The action continues this Thursday night with Round 3 getting underway with a blockbuster clash between the Tigers and Hawks at the MCG!
As usual, we will have a full preview and betting tips for every game of the weekend, kicking off with our dedicated preview for the Thursday night clash below. Remember, you can check out all of our footy betting recourses by heading to our dedicated AFL page here.
MCG, Thursday June 18, 7.40pm
The Tigers will play their third straight Thursday night game in a row as they host the Hawks at the MCG this week. The two teams have developed a bit of a rivalry over the last few years and it is set to get another instalment as both teams look to bounce back from disappointing Round 3 games.
The Tigers will be disappointed with their performance in Round 2. In what was expected to be a pretty scrappy contest, the Tigers and Magpies combined for just 72 points in a 36-36 draw on Thursday night. The draw leaves the Tigers with six points through two rounds, currently sitting in fifth place on the AFL Ladder.
Bachar Houli was impressive in the draw, racking up 26 touches, the most for the Tigers while Tom Lynch looked good up forward, kicking three of Richmond’s five goals. The one positive to come out of the game for the Tigers was they seem to have got through their first hitout in over two months relatively unscathed.
It will be interesting to see if selectors continue to play Ivan Soldo ahead of premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis. The reigning premiers have one of the best looking injury lists in the league, with Josh Caddy likely to return this week giving them a full strength line-up. Caddy has kicked nine goals in his last three games against the Hawks.
The Hawks looked impressive in Round 1 back in March, recording a big 28 point win over the Lions. They had the daunting task of travelling to Geelong in Round 2 though, and were taught a lesson by the Cats to the tune of 61 points on Friday night.
There are some positive for the Hawks in the aftermath of Round 2. Star midfielder Tom Mitchell got through the game unscathed and racked up 22 disposals in the loss and Jaeger O’Meara looks set to return to the line-up this week after recovering from a facial fracture.
The Hawks haven’t had much success against the Tigers in recent years, not having beaten them since the 2016 season. Tom Mitchell has played in three of those losses since 2016 and has averaged 38.3 disposals across those games. Back him to have another strong performance at the MCG on Thursday night.
The Tigers start as 15.5 point favourites here, which is hard to like given their performance in a low scoring-scrappy contest with the Pies last week. The Hawks are a different team at the MCG and will no doubt bring a better performance than they did down in Geelong in Round 2. They have a great looking injury list at the moment and should be bolstered by the return of Jaeger O’Meara.
While we think that this game will be a bit more free-flowing than last Thursday’s clash, we still believe it will be a close game that could go either way. Back the Hawks to cover the 15.5 point line.
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