We have a blockbuster on our hands for the first Saturday night game of the season, with Brisbane hosting Port Adelaide at the Gabba. Here, we preview the game and run you through our best spread and player prop bets!
As always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the game and remember to head to our AFL Tips page, where you can catch our coverage of all the Round 1 action.
Brisbane vs Port Adelaide Betting Tips
Gabba, Saturday 19th March, 8:10pm (AEDT)
Injuries: Keidean Coleman (hamstring), Eric Hipwood (knee)
It’s an extremely healthy Lions squad to start the season, with only Eric Hipwood and potentially Keidean Coleman missing from their best 22. The former is expected to return in the back half of the season, while Coleman should be fit by about Round 8.
Last season ended in heartbreak for the Brisbane, with their one-point defeat to the Bulldogs costing them a place in the preliminary finals. That result aside, it was still a strong season for a Lions side that will be in the premiership window for many more years to come. They lost only two home and away games on their home deck last season and will be expecting to continue that type of impressive form at the Gabba this campaign.
It's a very similar looking squad the Lions are bringing back this season and it’s clear to see why as they were very close to being premiership material last campaign. The only addition to their Round 1 team that hasn’t suited up before is former Cats ruckman Darcy Fort, who has been named on the bench and will likely play second fiddle to Oscar McInerney.
The Lions would be happy to be on their home deck to kick off their 2022 campaign, but would’ve probably liked an easier opponent first up. With that said, they have a couple of easier matchups in the coming weeks, starting with the Bombers at Marvey in Round 2, followed by North Melbourne at the Gabba in Round 3.
Injuries: Miles Bergman (shoulder), Tom Clurey (knee), Charlie Dixon (ankle), Trent Dumont (concussion), Orazio Fantasia (knee), Kane Farrell (knee)
The Power will be without a couple of key players in Round 1, with the likes of Tom Clurey, Charlie Dixon and Orazio Fantasia all missing from their best 22. The good news is that both Dixon and Fantasia should be back to take on the Hawks next week.
Looking destined for their first Grand Final appearance since 2007, the Power were humiliated by the Bulldogs in Adelaide in their second straight home preliminary final. That 71-point defeat was sure to leave a sour taste in their mouth and it seemingly came out of nowhere as they were on a seven-match winning streak prior to that game.
Again, the Power won’t be looking to shake things up too much this season as they’ve had a couple of really successful campaigns on the spin. In saying that, they’ve made a couple of additions to their squad, with former GWS forward Jeremy Finlayson joining the club alongside ex North Melbourne midfielder Trent Dumont. The Power also had pick #12 in the most recent draft and opted to select speedster Josh Sinn who won’t be making his debut this weekend.
What a tough fixture the Power have been dealt to start the season. Rarely do teams travel to the Gabba and come away with a win, but that’s what the Power will have to do if they’re to extend their Round 1 winning streak to eight. Coming up after this weekend are a couple of much easier opponents in the likes of Hawthorn (Round 2) and rivals Adelaide (Round 3).
Although this looks like a blockbuster on paper, recent meetings between these teams have failed to deliver on expectations. The Lions have absolutely dominated this matchup in recent years, winning each of their last four games against the Power, including each of their last three by at least six goals.
As they say, the trend is your friend, and the trend for this fixture comfortably favours the Lions. They match up extremely well against the Power, with their plethora of tall forwards proving too much to handle in recent outings. I expect that to continue and am happy to be on the Lions to cover the spread for a couple of units.
Brisbane Lions -14.5 (2 Units)
One of the ways the Power are looking to improve this season is by injecting superstar Zak Butters into the midfield for much larger portions of the game. We saw a glimpse of that in their AAMI Community Series match against the Crows and Butters duly delivered in his new role by racking up 32 disposals. You can get fantastic value for him to get 25+ and 30+ disposals in Round 1.
Zak Butters 25+ Disposals ($1.83 Sportsbet), 30+ Disposals ($3.60 Sportsbet)
Dan Houston has become one of Port Adelaide’s most important players due to his impeccable ball distribution by foot. He regularly takes the kick-outs down back and may bob up at a centre bounce or two. It’s recently been reported that he’s had a fantastic pre-season and that was backed up by a 25-disposal performance in their pre-season match. I see him as great value to collect 20+ and 25+ disposals this weekend.
Dan Houston 20+ Disposals ($1.65 TAB), 25+ Disposals ($3.60 Sportsbet)
2020 Brownlow Medallist, Lachie Neale certainly didn’t have the season he was hoping for in 2021, but that can be attributed to his constant battle with injuries. All reports are that the superstar had a fantastic pre-season and should be back to his best this campaign. Neale had 30 touches in his team’s pre-season win over the Bulldogs and I expect him to be able to reach that mark again on Saturday night against the Power.
Lachie Neale 30+ Disposals ($1.72 Sportsbet)