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2022 AFL Round 1: Carlton vs Richmond Preview & Betting Tips

March 16th 2022, 8:13pm, By: Jack Tobin

Carlton and Richmond face off once again in a massive Thursday night clash at the MCG. The Tigers have won the last eight Round 1 encounters against the Blues, but with a new coach and an exciting list there’s plenty of hype around Carlton! Can they break the streak? Jack Tobin has got you covered with his preview and best bets below.

The Before You Bet team will be providing previews for every game of the 2022 AFL season, so make sure to check out our AFL Tips page for coverage of all matches in 2022.

Carlton vs Richmond Betting Tips

MCG, Thursday 17th March, 7:25pm AEDT


Injuries: Sam Walsh, Liam Stocker, Caleb Marchbank, David Cuningham, Dominic Akuei, Josh Honey (Out)

It’s a mixed bag for the Blues on the injury front superstar Sam Walsh expected to be out for the first month of the season with an ankle injury. Youngster Liam Stocker is also recovering from an ankle injury, while Caleb Marchbank and David Cunningham won’t be back until the second half of the season with the duo recovering from ACL injuries. The positive news for Carlton is that Harry McKay, Jacob Weitering, Charlie Curnow and Brodie Kemp will all be available for selection after being managed at various points during the pre-season. 

Overall it’s been a good pre-season for the Blues who had wins over the Saints and Demons, with Michael Voss new game style already taking shape. Adam Cerra and George Hewett have added some desperately needed depth to the midfield and Carlton’s pressure looks vastly improved from last season. 

The loss of Liam Jones puts a massive hole in the Carlton defence, with the unproven Mitch McGovern set to fill that role in defence. Carlton were the second worst defence in the AFL last season and if they’re to jump into the top eight like most expect, their backline needs to improve. Sam Docherty’s inclusion to the defence will bring a massive boost for the Blues.


Injuries: Dylan Grimes (TBC), Jack Graham, Nick Vlaustin, Kane Lambert (Out)

Co-Captain Dylan Grimes is likely to miss the season opener after a thumb injury in the AAMI Series required surgery. Jack Graham and Nick Vlaustin will miss the opening part of the season with hamstring injuries, while Kane Lambert is dealing with a serious hip issue that could require surgery. There’s four key players out for the Tigers, but it’s tiny in comparison to the injury list the club faced in the second half of 2020.

Richmond have been ultra impressive in their two pre-season hitouts, with wins over Geelong and Hawthorn. The Tigers look rejuvenated after their longest pre-season since 2016. Robbie Tarrant’s arrival paired with the drafting of Josh Gibcus has given Richmond the ability to play Noah Balta up forward alongside Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt - a trio that will stretch the Carlton defence.

Richmond will be boosted by the returns of Dustin Martin, Dion Prestia and Trent Cotchin who didn’t feature late in 2021 for the Tigers, adding some serious star power to their midfield.  

Match Prediction

This will be the most evenly contested Round One clash between these two clubs in quite some time. Richmond are coming off their first season without finals since 2016, while Blues have built their strongest list since their last finals appearance in 2013. The Tigers have won the last eight opening round fixtures between the two sides by an average margin of 24 points, with Carlton only getting within 20 points of Richmond in two of those eight games.

Carlton will be improved in defence, but difficult to see them containing a Richmond side that has been so hard to beat at the MCG in the last five years. Mitch McGovern and Oscar McDonald will likely have to play on Jack Riewoldt and Noah Balta, in what looms as a nightmare matchup for Carlton in their first match without Liam Jones. During the eight game Round One winning streak over the Blues, Richmond have scored above 90 points in all eight games.

Richmond haven’t lost to Carlton since the 2013 Elimination Final and despite the improvement in the Blues list, the Blues don’t have the experience and continuity to knock off Richmond. Although Michael Voss’ new system has begun to take shape in pre-season, it tends to take a while for that to come to fruition, particularly given the dramatic changes to the way they are trying to defend. This rejuvenated Richmond outfit will be looking to send an early statement in 2022, and they should cover the line in this clash.

Richmond -14.5 (1.5 Units)



Prop Bets

Dustin Martin has absolutely dominated against Carlton across the last five seasons. Martin’s last six games against the Blues have produced disposal tallies of 31, 24, (shortened quarters), 30, 32, 30 and 33. That’s an average of 30 disposals across those six games, and he’s kicked eight goals across those six games. As we have seen time and time again, Martin thrives in these marquee matches. 

Dustin Martin 30+ Disposals ($3.75 at Sportsbet)

Plenty of people are jumping on the Patrick Cripps hype train and rightly so, the Blues skipper looks to have shaken off his back and knee issues of the past two seasons after a dominant pre-season. His 31 disposals, 10 clearances, 8 tackles and 4 goals against Melbourne showed that Cripps looks like he is back to his best. With no Sam Walsh in the side and George Hewett likely to play some sort of defensive role in the midfield there will be plenty of ball on offer for Cripps to win.

Patrick Cripps 30+ Disposals ($2.40 at Sportsbet)

Jack Riewoldt has tormented Carlton across his entire career, with 27 goals across his last ten games against the Blues, Kicking three or more goals in six of those ten games. With Noah Balta now joining Riewoldt alongside Tom Lynch, Riewoldt could potentially be playing on the third defender given Balta’s size and athleticism. Riewoldt will be licking his lips at the prospect of lining up against Oscar McDonald or Mitch McGovern. 

Jack Riewoldt 2+ Goals ($2.25 at Sportsbet)




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