- Its Week 1 of the new AFL season, which kicks off with a restricted schedule
- Champions Richmond kick off odds-on with a behind-closed-doors clash with Carlton
- We preview three games, list all the odds and offer some picks
As things stand the 124th Australian Football League season is due to get underway this week, with Australian PM Scott Morrison leaving the decision in the hands of the AFL. If all goes to plan, 18 teams will compete for the biggest prize in Aussie Rules although there will be a few changes, which we’ll highlight below.
In addition, we’ll preview three of the week’s big games, and look at the best odds and picks.
Aussie Rules 2020 Week 1 Odds
|Richmond||-19.5 (-115)||-360||O 155.5 (-120)|
|Carlton Blues||+19.5 (-125)||+235||U 155.5 (-120)|
|Western Bulldogs||+3.5 (-110)||-110||O 158.5 (-120)|
|Collingwood||-3.5 (-110)||-125||U 158.5 (-120)|
|Essendon||-15.5 (-110)||-235||O 160.5 (-120)|
|Freemantle Dockers||+15.5 (-110)||+165||U 160.5 (-120)|
|Adelaide||-5.5 (-110)||-145||O 156.5 (-120)|
|Sydney Swans||+5.5 (-110)||+105||U 156.5 (-120)|
|Gold Coast Suns||-15.5 (-110)||+160||O 156.5 (-120)|
|Port Adelaide||+15.5 (-110||-235||U 156.5 (-120)|
|Greater Western Sydney||-9.5 (-110)||-180||O 160.5 (-120)|
|Geelong||+9.5 (-110)||+130||U 160.5 (+120)|
|North Melbourne||+3.5 (-110)||-105||O 165.5 (-120)|
|St Kilda||-3.5 (-110)||-135||U 165.5 (-120)|
|Hawthorn||+4.5 (-110)||EVEN||O 158.5 (-120)|
|Brisbane Lions||-4.5 (-110)||-140||U 158.5 (-120)|
|West Coast Eagles||-25.5 (-110)||-325||O 161.5 (-120)|
|Melbourne||+25.5 (-110)||+220||U 161.5 (-120)|
All odds taken Mar. 18
New Season But a Changed Format
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this season will be shortened from 22 matches per team to a maximum of17, with an expectation that games will be postponed as the pandemic reaches its peak of the disease, or if any player tests positive. The plan is that each team will play each other once.
Initially, all games will be played in empty stadiums and, from Round 1 until further notice, they will be played at a shortened length of 16 minutes plus time on per quarter, instead of 20 minutes plus time on.
Pick 1: Richmond Tigers vs Carlton Blues
Richmond are the reigning AFL champions and, with good reason, they start the new season as favorites. They will be hoping to get their campaign off with a win but will have to contend with the oddity of no home supporters to cheer them on.
On paper, Tigers have the strongest squad in the league and it will take a monumental effort from the Blues for them to get anything from this game, even behind closed doors.
In order to improve on last season’s poor showing, the Blues will still be looking for a positive start and under coach David Teague they will be desperate to win more games than the seven they managed in 2019. On a positive note, they did end last season with more points than any other team from forward-half intercepts and chains. They will need more of the same and some.
It’s hard to ignore the fact they ended last season 36 points behind the champions but they did end the season strongly and will be hoping to carry some of that momentum into this new campaign. The Blues pre-season hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d hoped though, and however we spin it, this is a massive ask for them.
Pick: Richmond to win / (-19.5) on the spread
Pick 2: Greater Western Sydney vs. Geelong
If everything goes to plan, the first Super Saturday of the new season will conclude with promises to be a heavyweight clash between the Giants and the Cats.
Geelong start as +130 outsiders to win their first game of the season, and have been hit hard by the loss of Tim Kelly in their midfield.
The GSW squad looks good on paper and has some really good home form to back this up. They come into the new season with a huge amount of belief after having reached their first-ever Grand Final last season, even though they took a real hammering from Richmond in the big game. However, to get to the final was a massive achievement itself having finished the regular season in sixth place.
It’s hard to see them not winning this one, even without their fervent support there to drive them on
Pick: Greater Western Sydney to win / (- 9.5) on the spread
Pick 3: West Coast Eagles vs. Melbourne
West Coast Eagles are another team who head into the new season with huge levels of confidence and are significant odds on (-325) to win this opener against Melbourne. They made it to the semifinals last season, where they lost out to Geelong, but have made some good acquisitions over the close season, including, as mentioned earlier, former Geelong star man Tim Kelly.
Kelly will join the likes of Elliot Yeo, Luke Shuey, Jack Redden, Andrew Gaff, and Dom Sheed in what looks a formidable line-up.
Melbourne had a disappointing 2019 – doubly disappointing because they made the finals in 2018 – and having won only five games, things can only get better.
But, it’s a massive ask for them here, and this could be a big win for the Eagles.
Pick: West Coast Eagles to win / (-25.5) on the spread
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