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2022 AFL Community Series Preview & Betting Odds

March 3rd 2022, 12:13pm, By: Heath Chick

AFL 2022 Community Series Preview

The 2022 AFL season will see its first official games this week with the 2022 AFL Community Series to run from Thursday March 3rd to Monday March 7th.

To reduce the impacts of travel, the AFL are sticking to a similar pre-season formula to last year with teams playing one practice match, before one official AFL sanctioned match for the AFL Community Series.

Typically these matches are used to rest and rotate players, which makes previewing and AFL betting on these contests extremely difficult. However we’ll preview each match and mention a couple of players to watch out for this season. For more in-depth analysis of each AFL team, check out Jack Tobin’s fantastic AFL team previews which we have been publishing on the site over the last week or two.

* Odds correct at Sportsbet as of 12pm Thursday March 3rd

2022 AFL Community Series Preview & Betting Odds

Carlton vs Melbourne

Marvel Stadium, Thursday March 3rd 7:20pm AEDST

There’s a lot of expectations on an improving Carlton in 2022 but they are thrown in the deep end first up against the reigning AFL Premiers in Melbourne. Carlton have added Adam Cerra into the midfield, while Patrick Cripps is reportedly fit and firing to give them a pretty strong midfield on paper. Charlie Curnow is also going to be a big in up forward for them this season, although it looks like he’ll be rested from this match.

Melbourne were purring in their practice match where they thumped the Roos. Luke Dunstan is a great pick up for them this season, adding a quality midfielder to a premiership team. Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver played good minutes in the practice match, but don't expect them to play a full game, while big Max Gawn will definitely be nursed through this one with Luke Jackson getting plenty of ruck time.

Melbourne are warm favourites and should prove too strong here.

Odds: Melbourne $1.23

Carlton $4.05

 

Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane Lions

Marvel Stadium, Friday March 4th 7:20pm AEDST

Two finals contenders clash in a juicy Friday night contest. The Dogs should be up and firing, but expect to see guys like Josh Dunkley and Adam Treloar get a run through the middle after playing more forward last season, with Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli to be wrapped in cotton wool in pre-season. Tim O’Brien is also an interesting addition for the Dogs, and is expected to bolster their backline. This could be the year that Aaron Naughton becomes the best forward in the competition.

The Lions have talked up new game plans and rotations so it remains to be seen what they go with. Talk is that Lachie Neale is as fit as ever, so watch out for him to have a big season. Cam Rayner and Zac Bailey might get some more midfield time, while Keidean Coleman is one to watch as he gets more responsibility down back. It will also be interesting to see how Dayne Zorko is used after flirting with some backline minutes in the practice match. Joe Daniher needs to have a big year up forward with Eric Hipwood still on the sidelines.

A good chance to see two 2022 contenders go at it, but expect to see plenty of positional rotations.

Odds: Western Bulldogs $1.75

Brisbane $2.08

 

Hawthorn vs Richmond

Devonport Oval, Saturday, March 5th, 1:10pm

The Hawks and Tigers will play at Devonport Oval in a tribute match for the families, friends and communities affected by the Hillcrest Primary School tragedy late last year.

The Hawks might struggle in 2022 but they do have a few talented youngsters on their list. Josh Ward and Connor McDonald look like excellent draft selections and may get a run early in the season. Jai Newcombe is also a player ready to take a step up. Reports are that James Worpel is getting back to his best so they should provide good support to Tom Mitchell in the middle.

Richmond will want to bounce back after a below par 2021 season, but an aging list would be a concern. Dustin Martin appears to be over his health concerns of last season, so if he can lead from the front then anything is possible. Hugo Ralphsmith may get more responsibility across half back, while Robbie Tarrant comes into the side to become the rock at full back.

Richmond are warm favourites here but the young Hawks might have the enthusiasm to keep it close. The +15.5 line for the Hawks looks appealing.

  Odds: Richmond $1.42

Hawthorn $2.81

 

Adelaide vs Port Adelaide

Richmond Oval, Saturday March 5th, 4:10pm AEDST

A pre-season showdown between the Crows and Power. Both teams have some promising youngsters coming through and should have high hopes for 2022.

Number 6 draft pick Josh Rachele looks a beauty for the Crows as a dynamic small forward and you can expect him to line up in Round 1. Harry Schoenberg is set for a big year while the return of Matt Crouch is a huge plus after missing all of last season. They'll miss Tex Walker early in the season as he serves out the remainder of his suspension.

The Power’s draft picks from a few years ago are now ready to shine with Zak Butters already earmarked for a midfield role. Jackson Mead might be a rookie to watch as he steps straight into the backline. Expect limited minutes from the experienced duo of Travis Boak and Brownlow medalist Ollie Wines, but Port are still expected to be too strong.

Both sides with some exciting youngsters in 2022.

Odds: Port Adelaide $1.23

Adelaide $4.00

 

Essendon vs St.Kilda

Marvel Stadium, Saturday March 5th, 7:10pm

There’s always hype at this time of the year for Essendon but perhaps it’s real this season. Darcy Parish has been unstoppable in the practice matches, while Jye Caldwell might be the player to step up into the midfield this year. Ben Hobbs also looks like a gun rookie. Jake Stringer is only a chance to be fit for Round 1.

It’s hard to know where the Saints sit again in 2022, but it’s hard to see them gaining too much ground this season. They desperately need Rowan Marshall to stay fit, while Jack Steele is becoming the premier player in the entire competition. Surely they are both wrapped in cotton wool in this match. Watch for Brad Hill across half back this season. The Saints will be better drilled to use him more effectively. Max King is also a huge threat up forward as he builds his strength and endurance.

Essendon are slight favourites here and I like their chances in this one.

Odds: Essendon $1.78

St.Kilda $2.03

 

GWS Giants vs Collingwood

GIANTS Stadium, Sunday March 6th, 12:40pm AEDST

The Giants will be looking for Tim Taranto and Stephen Coniglio to stay fit this season. It’s a luxury to play them up forward and makes the Giants extremely dangerous. Tom Green might be ready to take a lead in the middle while Josh Kelly is the Rolls Royce that they won’t want to scratch in the pre-season.

The Pies had a horrible season and the new coach will be keen to turn things around. Pat Lipinski was arguably the trade of the season as they found a ready-made midfielder at virtually no cost. They’ve also added the best youngster in the country in Nick Daicos. Watch for Scott Pendlebury to transition into the backline and Jack Crisp and Brayden Maynard to play more minutes in the middle. Can Jordan De Goey stay out of trouble and fulfil his potential?

The Pies will play plenty of youngsters and are still figuring things out, so I expect the Giants to win this one.

Odds: GWS Giants $1.42

Collingwood $2.81

 

Sydney vs North Melbourne

GIANTS Stadium, Sunday March 6th, 4:20pm AEDST

A double-header at GIANTS Stadium will see Sydney host North Melbourne. The Swans are always underrated at this time of the year but continue to deliver. Isaac Heeney is expected to play more in the midfield this season, but a recent injury to Tom Papley does cloud that a little as the Swans will want to hit the scoreboard. Lance Franklin ran around in a practice match but expect the Swans to nurse him through the season on his way to his 1,000th goal.

The only way is up for North Melbourne and there is genuine excitement about their young list. Number one draft pick Jason Horne-Francis is a ready-made bull and will be ready to make an impact from Round 1. Tom Powell has looked slick in the middle, while it could be a break out year for Jy Simpkin, while Ben Cunnington is on the sidelines. Can Callum Coleman-Jones find more luck at his new club?

Lots to like about the Roos but it will take time.

Odds: Sydney $1.25

North Melbourne $3.85

 

Fremantle vs West Coast

Fremantle Oval, Sunday March 6th, 7:10pm AEDST

A Western Derby with contrasting preparations and expectations. The Freo youngsters look about as good as there is in the country, and they will challenge for finals this season. Caleb Serong is ready to become an elite midfielder while Andrew Brayshaw is arguably already there. Throw in Sean Darcy as an emerging top-tier ruckman, and Nat Fyfe at full fitness, and it’s a superb middle. The question remains as to whether their backline can stand up under pressure.

West Coast have been ravaged by injury and it’s only March. Dom Sheed and promising youngster Campbell Chesser both went down to ankle injuries in the recent practice match, while Oscar Allen is another star on the rise who will be sitting oin the stands. Jack Darling also remains unvaxxed and unavailable for selection.

Fremantle thrashed the Eagles in a practice match and there shouldn’t be anything different here. The -25.5 line looks attractive for a big Freo win.

Odds: Fremantle $1.25

West Coast $3.85

 

Gold Coast vs Geelong

Metricon Stadium, Monday March 7th, 7:40pm AEDST

Geelong get an early season trip to the Gold Coast in a Monday night clash. The Suns need to start delivering on their promise and that means keeping their talent and developing them into success. An unfortunate injury to Ben King has wiped out his season which is a huge loss, but Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson might be ready to realise their potential this season. Touk Miller was sensational last season so expect him to continue to rack up possessions, while Alex Davies might be a youngster to watch for in 2022.

The Cats might have arguably missed their premiership window with their aging list no longer at their peak. A fit Patrick Dangerfield will be the catalyst for them in the middle, while Jeremy Cameron is back to full fitness and will need to shoulder more of the load. Cooper Stephens is a high 2019 draft pick who may be able to break through for opportunities in 2022.

The Cats are expected to win this match but it may not be all smooth sailing for them this season.

Odds: Geelong $1.23

Gold Coast $4.00

 

2022 AFL Community Series Fixture

Date 

Teams

Venue

Time (AEDT)

Time (local)

Thurs, March 3

Carlton vs. Melbourne

Marvel Stadium

7:20pm

7:20pm

Fri, March 4

Western Bulldogs vs. Brisbane Lions

Marvel Stadium

7:20pm

7:20pm

Sat, March 5

Hawthorn vs. Richmond

Devonport Oval

1:10pm

1:10pm

Sat, March 5

Adelaide Crows vs. Port Adelaide

Richmond Oval

4:10pm

3:40pm

Sat, March 5

Essendon vs. St Kilda

Marvel Stadium

7:10pm

7:10pm

Sun, March 6

GWS GIANTS vs. Collingwood

GIANTS Stadium

12:40pm

12:40pm

Sun, March 6

Sydney Swans vs. North Melbourne

GIANTS Stadium

4:20pm

4:20pm

Sun, March 6

Fremantle vs. West Coast Eagles

Fremantle Oval

7:10pm

4:10pm

Mon, March 7

Gold Coast SUNS vs. Geelong Cats

Metricon Stadium

7:40pm

 
 

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