UPDATE: While it’s looking increasingly likely that the 2020 AFL season will be delayed due to coronavirus, we’ve made our predictions below in case the games go ahead.
Footy season is back and we have Round 1 AFL tips available right now. The season kicks off with Tigers vs. Blues on March 19, which sets up what should be another fantastic season.
Round 1 features nine AFL games, so enjoy the first of 23 rounds.
7:25pm Richmond Tigers vs. Carlton Blues @ MCG
Not many punters would have been surprised to see the Tigers open as favourites. They are the better side coming into Round 1, if past seasons are anything to go by.
Not much is expected of the Blues again this season, and despite looking decent at times in 2019, they couldn’t put much together.
The line is 25.5 and although we expect some rust from Richmond, their class should prevail.
Betting tip: Tigers –25.5 @ $1.90
Tigers by 40
7:50pm Western Bulldogs vs. Collingwood Magpies @ Marvel Stadium
We think the Magpies are in for another good season, but we’re respecting the ability of the Western Bulldogs in Round 1.
Collingwood are often fast starters, as they have shown over the last couple of seasons. For that reason, they have the slight edge over the Bulldogs. However, it should be a close game to kick off Friday night footy.
Bookmakers are having a hard time splitting them. Collingwood has the narrow edge in head-to-head markets.
Betting tip: Magpies to win @ $1.80
Magpies by 10
1:45pm Essendon Bombers vs. Fremantle Dockers @ Marvel Stadium
Essendon are a hot-and-cold team, but we’re hoping they’re hot on Saturday. Punters aren’t sure what to expect from Essendon this season, but it should be a positive result.
We’re picking them to win more than they lose, so starting the season off against Fremantle is a positive. Fremantle could struggle again this season but show glimpses of brilliance throughout the 23 regular season weeks.
For Round 1, we’re going with the Bombers.
Betting tip: Bombers –17.5 @ $1.90
Bombers by 21
4:35pm Adelaide Crows vs. Sydney Swans @ Adelaide Oval
A close game is expected here, as the Sydney Swans have a good team, but Adelaide is tough to beat at home.
The Crows were tough to follow last season. They were excellent one week and poor the next, but a more consistent season should be coming in 2020.
As for the Swans, they have the firepower to make some noise this season. Lance Franklin and Josh Kennedy will do their thing, which could give teams like the Crows something to worry about.
At home, we’re giving the edge to the Crows.
Betting tip: Crows to win @ $1.63
Crows by 6
7:25pm Gold Coast Suns vs. Port Adelaide Power @ Metricon Stadium
Will it be another long season for the Suns? It’s looking that way, and Port Adelaide could take advantage in the opening week.
Port Adelaide is coming off a disappointing season, where much like the Crows, they couldn’t find a rhythm. However, they could start well in 2020 and put that bad season behind them.
Punters are getting good odds for the Power considering the opposition.
Betting tip: Power –15.5 @ $1.90
Power by 20
7:25pm GSW Giants vs. Geelong Cats @ GIANTS Stadium
A quality game closes off the first Super Saturday of the season as the Giants host the Cats. The Giants played well last season, and they look set for another tilt at the premiership.
The same goes for Geelong, if they can remain healthy. Playing on the road against the Giants is never easy, which is why bookmakers have the Cats as outsiders.
We think the home side will be too strong over the final two quarters. It should be a close start to the game, but the Giants could pull away late.
Betting tip: Giants to win @ $1.53
Giants by 10
1:10pm North Melbourne Kangaroos vs. St Kilda Saints @ Marvel Stadium
Another close market has been framed by bookmakers, with the Saints holding a narrow edge in markets.
St Kilda showed signs of becoming a quality team last season, but so did the North Melbourne Kangaroos. That’s why the market is framed so close for this game, but we’re giving the edge to the home side.
The Kangaroos could show signs of life to start the season.
Betting tip: Kangaroos to win @ $2
Kangaroos by 5
3:20pm Hawthorn Hawks vs. Brisbane Lions @ MCG
The Brisbane Lions finally lived up to expectations in 2019, and we’re expecting further improvement this season.
They played an entertaining brand of football and although facing the Hawks in Round 1 isn’t easy, we’re predicting them to come out on top.
Brisbane has great attacking flair and the ability to defend when they need to. Hawthorn has a solid unit this season, but the cream could rise to the top on Sunday.
Betting tip: Lions to win @ $1.80
Lions by 16
6:20pm West Coast Eagles vs. Melbourne Demons @ Optus Stadium
The Eagles will be full of confidence ahead of their match against the Melbourne Demons. Melbourne were a top-five market pick last season, but the endured an awful time of it.
Looking to add to the pressure are the Eagles, which are always tough to beat at home. Their home record is good and they should be too classy on Sunday night.