AFL picks: Richmond vs. Carlton, Western Bulldogs vs. Collingwood

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March 18th, 2020

The Australian Football League, otherwise known as the AFL or Aussie Rules, kicks off its 2020 season at 4:25 a.m on Thursday. The season commences with the traditional opening game between the Richmond Tigers and Carlton Blues. This year though, instead of a crowd of nearly 100,000 cheering on from the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the game will be played behind closed doors.

With the coronavirus leading to almost every major football code around the world being suspended, sports-starved bettors get a chance to make some money on Australia’s most popular football code. We have odds and picks for two of the three games being broadcasted live on TV.

Thursday March 19, 4:00am | Richmond Tigers vs. Carlton Blues

Richmond TigersCarlton Blues

The Tigers have been the benchmark in the league over the past three seasons, winning the championship (or “premiership” as it’s called in Australia) in 2017 and 2019. Carlton finished last year strongly, but haven’t won this annual Round 1 clash for eight years.

The last time these two teams met was in Round 21 last year, and Richmond defeated Carlton by 28 points.

Richmond are 19.5 favorites at BetAmerica for this one, and for those not familiar, Aussie Rules awards six points for a goal (when the ball is kicked between the two inner goal posts) and one point for what’s called a ‘behind’ (when the ball is kicked through the outer goal posts).

This makes Richmond slightly more than a four-goal favorite, and considering they will want to make a statement that they’re back to continue the momentum that swept them to last year’s premiership, expect the Tigers to kick plenty of goals on their way to a comprehensive Round 1 victory.

Look out for Jack Riewoldt to bag a handful of goals for the Tigers. Richmond’s star forward famously joined The Killers on-stage as a guest vocalist after the team won the 2017 Grand Final. It’s definitely worth checking out on YouTube!

Friday March 20, 4:50 a.m. | Western Bulldogs vs. Collingwood Magpies

Western BulldogsCollingwood Magpies

The Collingwood Pies are looking for a record-equaling 16th Championship this season and they certainly proved they had Grand Final potential last year when finishing in the top 4. BetAmerica has them as a +650 third favorite to win this year’s title.

The Bulldogs also finished 2019 strongly, making the finals series after languishing towards the bottom of the standings mid-way through the season.  

The last time these two teams met was Round 14 last year, and the Pies defeated the Bulldogs by just over a goal. The Bulldogs then went on a run, winning their next three games and seven of their next nine to surge into the finals.

Both teams have exciting seasons ahead of them and will be keen to prove they are genuine title contenders, and while this is shaping to be a tight contest, the Pies should have firepower to cover the spread and get the all-important Round 1 win.

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