Footy returns next Thursday and what a season it’s going to be!

If the 2017 season is anything to go by, punters can expect the unexpected this time around and that’s what makes the great game so enjoyable.

The Richmond Tigers are the defending champions but there are two teams favoured to beat them later this year.

Can Adelaide and Sydney live up to their expectations? Or will one of the other 16 teams make a run for the finals and provide the upset?

We have tips for the premiership, to make the top eight, the Coleman Medal winner and the Brownlow Medal winner.

All odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. You can join Sportsbet by clicking HERE.

AFL premiership futures tips

BEST BET – Adelaide Crows $6 – BET NOW

It would have been tough for the Adelaide Crows to have lost convincingly in the 2017 Grand Final against the Richmond Tigers, but punters know this Crows team won’t fade into the distance.

With players such as Josh Jenkins, Bryce Gibbs, Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts, the Crows have experience across the park and that’s going to make them tough to beat this season.

Captain Taylor Walker played 23 games last season and scored 54 goals. His explosiveness and experience could be a factor and he’ll be looking for a rematch against Richmond.

Walker scored five goals in their Round 6 clash last season and if he’s firing again this season, that’s going to take the Crows to another final.

NEXT BEST – Sydney Swans $6 – BET NOW

The Swans weren’t as disappointing as many are saying last season, finishing sixth with 14 wins and eight losses.

There was only one win between the top six teams and the Swans finished at the bottom of those six teams, but we can see a change in luck this season.

Who better to lead the team than Lance Franklin? The 2005 debutante has played an incredible 271 games and scored an even more incredible 860 goals.

Franklin is key to the Swans success, but he’s not the only player on the roster that can score. Jarrad McVeigh (199), Kurt Tippett (325) and Josh Kennedy can all split the posts.

It’s rare to see the Swans not go close in the AFL and we’re predicting a big season from a team that mixes experience and youth well.

BEST VALUE – Port Adelaide $9 – BET NOW

Port Adelaide was one of the teams tied on 14 wins with the Swans last season and they could improve to a top four position this season.

Led by Travis Boak, the Power have many noted goal scorers which includes Steven Motlop, Robbie Gray, Chad Wingard and Charlie Dixon.

That’s a formidable lineup and if they can defend half as well as they will score this season, the Power are in for a successful campaign.

Bookmakers are offering $9 for the Power to win the competition and should they come through their opening round against Fremantle, we’re expecting those odds to drop slightly.

AFL Coleman Medal winner tips

BEST BET – Lance Franklin, Sydney Swans $3 – BET NOW

Can anyone stop Lance Franklin from scoring the most goals this season?

There are some nice candidates but the Sydney Swans front man leads the way, coming off a season where he kicked 73 goals from 24 games.

His career tally of 860 goals is quite incredible and he’s a player that can kick an extraordinary amount of goals in any given game.

Franklin kicked 10 goals against Carlton in Round 23 last season and if he puts on a performance like that again, they simply won’t catch him.

BEST VALUE – Chad Wingard, Port Adelaide Power $81 – BET NOW

Chad Wingard is a value play at the odds and although he’s got some catching up to do against the likes of Lance Franklin and Josh Kennedy, Wingard could improve this season.

He’s coming off a 24-goal season for the Power, but we’re expecting him to get more of the ball this season and he might be in the thick of the action in the early rounds.

His odds should drop and punters could find worse $81 chances to back this season.

2018 Brownlow Medal tips

BEST BET – Patrick Dangerfield, Geelong Cats $7.50 – BET NOW

Punters can’t often go wrong backing Patrick Dangerfield and the 2016 Brownlow Medal winner could win his second in three years.

Despite an injury problem to start the season, Dangerfield has more than enough time to shine on the field and the AFL captains picked Dangerfield to outbid Dusty Martin for the top billing.

The 27-year-old plays well above his age and having scored 232 goals from 202 isn’t going to hurt his credentials.

Dangerfield is an integral part of the Cats success and we’re backing him in confidently this season.

BEST VALUE – Tom Mitchell, Hawthorn Hawks $15 – BET NOW

Tom Mitchell used to play for the Sydney Swans and since changing to the Hawks, Mitchell has grown as a player.

The midfielder isn’t a flashy player like most of the Brownlow Medal contenders, but he gets the attention of the judges with his gritty play.

He scored only 10 goals last seasom but that’s not his role. He’s a great assist man and he won the Peter Crimmins Medal last season for best and fairest.

The judges love players that do a bit of everything on the field and Tom Mitchell looks a solid play for punters in 2018.

Most kicks tip

We can’t go past Dustin Martin at $3 with CrownBet – BET NOW.

The 2017 Brownlow Medal winner gets himself in the action throughout the game and he had an incredible 479 kicks last season.

That led the league after the finals and we wouldn’t be banking against the Richmond Tigers player this season.

He looks like good value and we’re expecting his odds to be slashed in the coming days.

Most marks tip

We’re going for an outsider here with Elliot Yeo at $12 – BET NOW

The 24-year-old for the West Coast Eagles is a noted high-flyer and he’s in for a good season.

He took 161 marks last season and has 527 throughout his six-year career with the Brisbane Lions and West Coast Eagles.

He doubled his marks in 2017 after getting only 83 in 2016 and we should expect to see continual improvement from the defender/midfielder.

All odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. You can join Sportsbet by clicking HERE.

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