It’s finally here! After what felt like a drawn out pre-season, the 2022 AFL home and away season gets underway on Wednesday night this week as the Demons face off against the Bulldogs in a highly anticipated Grand Final replay.
Before we dive into the game by game previews for Round 1, we are going to run you through our 2022 mega season preview, where we will give you our picks for the premiership, ladder positions, Brownlow Medal and more!
Remember to head to our AFL Tips page, where you can find betting tips for EVERY game in the 2022 season as well as weekly Brownlow Medal updates, the AFL tipping comp and much more! You can also check out the AFL fixture and the premiership odds here.
2022 AFL Season Betting Tips
(Click link to view team link for every individual team!)
1st - Melbourne Demons
2nd - Western Bulldogs
3rd - Brisbane Lions
4th - Port Adelaide Power
5th - Geelong Cats
6th - Richmond Tigers
7th - GWS Giants
8th - Carlton Blues
9th - Fremantle Dockers
10th - Sydney Swans
11th - St Kilda Saints
12th - Essendon Bombers
13th - West Coast Eagles
14th - North Melbourne Kangaroos
15th - Gold Coast Suns
16th - Adelaide Crows
17th - Collingwood Magpies
18th - Hawthorn Hawks
Based on how we think the ladder will pan out, there is some real value in the ‘make or miss’ the top four/eight markets.
We have the Lions finishing comfortably inside the top four, behind only Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs on the table. Odds of them to make the top four at $2.00 is enticing.
(Brisbane Lions Top 4 - $2.00 at Sportsbet)
We are tipping the Blues to be one fo the surprise packets of the season in 2022. We think they are ready to take the next step with their exciting young core, and odds of $2.88 for them to finish in the top eight represents real value.
(Carlton Blues Top 8 - $2.88 at Sportsbet)
The Bombers are a team that the general public is pretty high on heading into the 2022 season but we still think they are a year away from making that push into the top eight. They have plenty of youngsters that need a bit more experience and the league is stacked with good sides at the moment. No room in our top eight for the Bombers.
(Essendon Bombers Miss Top 8 - $1.72 at Sportsbet)
There's no doubt the Hawks are in a rebuilding phase and given the fact that Sam Mitchell will be in the first year of a long-term contract, we could see him being comfortable with a complete bottom out in 2022 to set up his future at the club with some high draft picks. $7.00 for the Hawks to record the fewest wins is very enticing.
(Hawthorn Hawks Least Wins - $7.00 at Sportsbet)
Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs will enter the season as favourites to get back into the Grand Final and to hoist the trophy itself. It’s pretty hard to look outside these two teams, as I think they will both be around the mark deep in September. If I had to lean in one direction, it would probably be towards the Western Bulldogs.
The Dogs were embarrassed in the Grand Final last season, but they have plenty of development and improvement to look forward to in in 2022. They added some much needed stocks in the key defender department by signing Tim O’Brien from Hawthorn, and another pre-season into young gun Jamara Ugle-Hagen will only make their forward line even more imposing.
The Doggies are stacked in all three phases of the game and boast arguably the best midfield in the competition with Bontempelli, Liberatore, Macrae, Smith, Dunkley and Treloar. There’s no doubt that you need to have a dominant midfield to be successful in the AFL in this day and age, and the Bulldogs possess a truly great one.
For value, I love the look of the Sydney Swans. Our ladder predictions courtesy of Jack Tobin has the Swans finishing outside the top eight, but I slightly disagree with him there. While I agree that the Swans floor could potentially be quite low, I think if they play to their potential, they are a top four side in the competition.
Their young core of guns in the likes of Braeden Campbell, Errol Gulden and Chad Warner will only improve this season while they have some middle-aged bracket players who seem ready to take the next step such as Isaac Heaney and Callum Mills.
Value: Sydney Swans ($13 at Sportsbet)
The reigning Brownlow Medalist Ollie Wines enters the new season as favourite to win the league B&F, but we are looking elsewhere for value in 2022. Christian Petracca and Marcus Bontempelli are the consensus picks but I'm looking a few rungs further down at Jack Steele. The Saints captain has racked up 20 and 26 Brownlow votes in his last two seasons and although they have a tough schedule once again, I think the Saints are capable of winning more games this year, and when they win, Steele is usually in their best few.
Value: Max Gawn ($101 at Sportsbet)
Jack Steele Brownlow Medal
Not looking as far down the board for our Rising Star pick this season. Nick Daicos looks a ready made gun and will step straight into a depleted Collingwood midfield to instantly play a big role. It's those situations that usually lead to big rookie seasons. We are happy to stick with the favourite here.
Value: Elijah Hollands ($41 at Sportsbet)
Nick Daicos Rising Star
Blues big man Harry McKay took out the Coleman Medal with 58 goals last season but with Charlie Curnow back in the mix this year, that production will likely need to be shared around a bit more. I think Jeremy Cameron is primed to find a rich vein of form this season. The 2019 Coleman Medalist is currently at $6.00 and if the ageing Tom Hawkins spends a few weeks on the sidelines through rest/injury, that number feels real value.
Value: Matt Taberner ($18 at Sportsbet)
Jeremy Cameron Coleman Medal