It’s here! The 2018 AFL season begins on Thursday night, with the now traditional Tigers v Blues blockbuster at the ‘G. It’s hard to believe Richmond enter this match as defending Premiers, after starting out last season as $51 flag fancies; but here we are! Their Premiership defence seems to be off to a good start so far, with players staying out of the headlines and turning up in very good shape- culminating in a very dominant JLT series. The Blues had a pretty good preseason of their own, despite losing Sam Docherty to a season ending ACL injury. They finally look like they might have some scoring options to go along with their resolute defence- and what better way to test this out by taking on the best side of 2017!
FormRichmond have had a pleasantly uneventful preseason, and swept their two JLT games by a combined 157 points. Josh Caddy looked dangerous out of the goalsquare, while Dusty picked up right where he left off after his record-breaking season. There are only a few minor injury concerns (namely Dion Prestia, Daniel Rioli and Bachar Houli) and all signs are pointing to the Tigers avoiding the dreaded Premiership hangover
The Blues also went 2-0 in the JLT series, with solid wins over St. Kilda and Hawthorn. They displayed all the tenacity in defence that became their hallmark last season, but also looked to have much more options scoring, with Charlie Curnow and Patrick Cripps putting in some sparkling preseason performances.
Stats That Matter
– Carlton haven’t beaten Richmond since 2013 – Last year Dusty kicked 4 goals and averaged 31 disposals & 7 inside 50s in two games against Carlton – Richmond’s average winning margin against Carlton in their past 5 is 27 points – The Tigers were 2-0 ATS against the Blues in 2017 – Richmond went 12-2 at the MCG last season – Carlton went 6-16 ATS in 2017 – In Round 1, 2017- Overs went 9-0
What To ExpectAnything but a dominant Richmond win would be a huge surprise here. Yes, Carlton’s youngsters are beginning to deliver on some of their promise, but on the big stage against the biggest of opponents; that isn’t going to be enough. The nucleus of the Tigers side remains very much the same, and runs much deeper than the Blues. Hard to see how Carlton score enough points against Astbury, Grimes, Rance and Ellis.
How It’s Shaping UpRichmond by 32
Pump It Up Price Special: Dustin Martin 2+ Goals & Richmond win 1-39 – $5
Recommended Bets Best: Richmond -30.5 ($1.91) Value: Richmond 20-39 ($3.60) Player Prop: BuildABet- Dustin Martin has 30+ Disposals & Richmond Win Match $2.10 First Goal Scorer: Josh Caddy ($21)