Footy is back for another season and we couldn’t be more excited!
A full round of nine games is set to excite AFL fans and punters this week, with some incredible games to bet on.
Can Richmond go back-to-back? Or will the Adelaide return to the Grand Final and get their revenge?
Will Essendon continue on from a good 2017 campaign and surprise a few of the heavyweights this season?
All these questions will be answered in due time, but first the Round 1 games are up and we have free tips for every game of the round.
All odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. New signups can claim a $501* bonus bet with Sportsbet by clicking HERE.
7:20pm Richmond vs. Carlton @ MCG
The Richmond Tigers love playing Carlton, having won the last six games against them and most punters are predicting a similar result to open up the season.
Richmond won 84-58 and 132-89 in two games last season and it’s tough to see Carlton improving enough to turn the tables.
Dustin Martin will have more expectations placed on him this year after winning the Brownlow Medal. Those expectations might wear down on the volatile player, but he’s talented and he has the ability to dominate a team.
With one of the best defences in the league, the Tigers shouldn’t be losing this Round 1 game and it could be a big win for the premiers.
Betting tip: Richmond –29.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Richmond by 42
7:50pm Essendon vs. Adelaide @ Etihad Stadium
Adelaide have had a long time to mull over their one-sided Grand Final loss to the Tigers and that can go either way for a team.
They could come out with fiery passion to right the wrongs, or they could come out deflated against an improving Essendon side which has attracted support with bookmakers.
Having traded well in the off-season, signing Jake Stringer, Adam Saad and Devon Smith, the Bombers have high hopes of making the finals again this season.
Adelaide has won the four games between these two sides and most of those games haven’t been remotely close, but there’s something about this Bombers squad which could turn the tables on Friday night.
Betting tip: Essendon to win @ $2.10 (BET NOW)
Essendon by 12
3:35pm St Kilda vs. Brisbane @ Etihad Stadium
St Kilda hasn’t made the finals since 2011, but they’re building nicely and a win over the Brisbane Lions would be a good start to the season.
Brisbane finished with the wooden spoon last season but we can’t see that happening again as their young talent should be fitter for the occasion this time around.
Still, it’s going to take some time for the Lions to fully gel this season and the advantage should clearly be with the Saints in Round 1.
Bookmakers have the line at 22.5 and although this game could be close from the outset, we’re predicting St Kilda to pull away in the second half.
Betting tip: St Kilda –22.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
St Kilda by 32
4:05pm Port Adelaide vs. Fremantle @ Adelaide Oval
It’s hard to make a case for Fremantle this season and coming up against a rejuvenated Port Adelaide Power won’t make it any easier.
Jack Watts was a good signing and his six-goal romp against Adelaide in the JLT Series was a good indication of what’s to come for the rest of the season.
Steven Motlop and Tom Rockliff were two more signings which would have pleased Port Adelaide punters and having beaten Fremantle 145-56 in their only 2017 clash, punters should feel confident of an easy victory first up.
We thought the line would be higher but we’re happy to take the –23.5 on offer from bookmakers.
Betting tip: Port Adelaide –23.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Port Adelaide by 40
6:25pm Gold Coast vs. North Melbourne @ Cazaly’s Stadium
Predicted to be one of the closest games of the opening round, the Gold Coast Suns take on the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
Both teams are coming off poor seasons where they finished in the bottom four and a win here would give a confidence boost to one of the sides.
The Kangaroos retained their coach, which shows a good amount of faith, but Gold Coast looked to change tack by signing Stuart Dew to lead the ship.
The Suns looked good during pre-season and playing the first game of the year at home is always going to help.
There might be more pressure on the Suns to notch a victory on Saturday night and we’re sticking with the home side, which has the potential to push for the playoffs.
Betting tip: Gold Coast to win @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Gold Coast by 12
7:25pm Hawthorn vs. Collingwood @ MCG
This looks like a good time to strike for Hawthorn punters as the Magpies should be missing some key players this week.
After a disappointing 2017 campaign, Collingwood could be missing some of their front-line players and Hawthorn needs to strike when the chance is available.
Also coming off a poor season, the Hawks still have their core players of James Frawley, Ben Stratton and Cyril Rioli, who is an important part of the side.
Hawthorn edged Collingwood in their last meeting and the teams split wins home and away last season. For the most part it has been Hawthorn with the dominant edge over their rivals here and we can see them winning again.
Betting tip: Hawthorn to win @ $1.80 (BET NOW)
Hawthorn by 18
1:10pm Greater Western Sydney vs. Western Bulldogs @ Canberra Oval
The first of three Sunday games sees the Giants take on the Bulldogs in Canberra.
The Giants have been specked to win the premiership and an opening win over the Bulldogs will give their punters reason to believe.
Making matters easier for the Giants are the stars missing for the Bulldogs. Dale Morris and Marcus Adams are both missing for this game and that should open up the field for the Giants to roam with freedom.
The Dogs aren’t without their stars, however, as Marcus Bontempelli and Zaine Cordy can turn any game around, but this should go to the home side in a close contest, so we recommend just taking the head-to-head odds.
Betting tip: Giants to win @ $1.40 (BET NOW)
Giants by 12
3:20pm Melbourne vs. Geelong @ MCG
Will Patrick Dangerfield play in Round 1? That’s the big question and the odds currently on offer will change dramatically depending on his fitness.
Even without Dangerfield, Geelong signed Gary Ablett in the off-season and that’s going to make them even stronger this season.
Melbourne looked good in the JLT Series, scoring two wins and showing some signs of improvement this season.
Jesse Hogan and Max Gawn were back to their best after a shaky 2017 campaign, but if they’re both at their best the Demons could be worth following this year.
We’re giving the edge to the Cats, simply because their stars have more upside and if Dangerfield does play, the odds will come crashing down.
Betting tip: Geelong to win @ $1.92 (BET NOW)
Geelong by 20
4:20pm West Coast vs. Sydney Swans @ Optus Stadium
We’re expecting big things from the Sydney Swans this season and we’re also expecting a Round 1 win over the Eagles.
Nothing against West Coast, they’re a good team and the possible return of Nic Naitanui will make for some exciting viewing, but the Swans have the likes of Lance Franklin and his goal-scoring ability is enough to sway our thoughts with the Swans.
West Coast will likely be without Josh Kennedy, who is one of the favourites to win the Brownlow. Without Kennedy, expect the Eagles to struggle in the opening few weeks.
Betting tip: Sydney Swans -17.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Swans by 23
Once again, all odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. New signups can claim a $501* bonus bet with Sportsbet by clicking HERE.