Fremantle and GWS Giants the picks for the opening week of AFL action
March 23, 2016
- Greater Western Sydney (-8.5 handicap) to beat Melbourne at 1.93 Ladbrokes
- Fremantle to beat Western Bulldogs by 1-39pts at 2.50 Ladbrokes
- Geelong Cats v Hawthorn Hawks: Winning margin less than 15.5pts @ 2.70 Ladbrokes
Round 1 of the new AFL season is upon us and brings us a nice variety of games to whet our appetites for the season ahead. The only problem, there really isn’t that much value going in the betting markets.
I was hoping that bet365 would have their player markets open and here some good value player match bets can be found but they may be waiting for the final squad declarations.
Greater Western Sydney (GWS) to go off with a bang
With slim pickings around this week, the one stand-out bet for me is the handicap in Greater Western Sydney v Melbourne game. GWS are on offer at 1.93 with Ladbrokes to overcome a -8.5 points handicap deficit. This looks like an absolute steal.
I’ve personally got this game at about a 5 goal advantage for GWS (30 point swing). Typically GWS haven’t travelled well in the past and their main forward Jeremy Cameron has just picked up a 4 game ban. However, GWS are now bolstered by having their big ruckman, Shane Mumford, back who was sorely missed after injury curtailed his 2015 season.
Add to that Stephen Coniglio, Heath Shaw and Dylan Shiel working off him in the centre and feeding former Cats star Stevie J along with Devon Smith and we have a recipe for success. Mix this in with a Melbourne side being built for the future and we should see GWS storm this one comfortably. If you’re feeling a little braver on the handicaps I also recommend -22.5 at 7/4 (2.75), also with Ladbrokes.
Fremantle to win by 1-39 points at 6/4
Fremantle take on the Western Bulldogs at home with neither side having many injuries concerns. Both teams have a nice mix of age and youth and it’s difficult to pick a winner. If there is to be a winning side it will be because of the brilliance of last year’s Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe.
Last season, this was a close run game with only 13 points separating the sides in a hard fought game of 2 halves. Fremantle are the narrow 19/20 moneyline favourites (bet365) to come up with the goods here and I feel that such tight odds must surely represent a tight match and therefore the half a point extra on the winning margin represents some value here.
The big one! Hawks vs Cats
As with last year the new season kicks off with the great modern day rivalry between the Geelong Cats and Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG. I’m going out on a limb here and backing up my ante-post bet slightly. These 2 behemoths of the game came together in rounds 1 and 20 last year with the Hawks running out 62 and 36 point winners respectively.
However, the Hawks will slide a little this year and adding to that the improvements the Cats made in the trade period should see a much closer, hard-fought affair. I’ve backed the Cats to win the minor Premiership and I envisage about 4 games they can possibly lose. This could be one of them to the reigning champions and it looks like it will be a close, nail-biting affair on Easter Monday and the 17/10 (2.70) offered by Ladbrokes for either team to win by less than 15.5 points appeals.