The following are previews and betting tips for round 1 of the 2012 AFL season.
Welcome back folks! It’s footy season again! A full season preview will be posted before next weekend’s matches, however the debut of the fresh young faces from Greater Western Sydney will not wait and the Giants will face off with the Swans to get us going for season 2012 this Saturday night. The real stuff begins now…
GWS Giants v Sydney Swans
AFL’s new age is here. As little as five years ago it would have been unthinkable that two Sydney clubs would be playing the showpiece game to open an AFL season, but the league administration’s single minded push for national expansion has made it a reality and those of us from football’s heartland need to get used to it. A couple of years ago, franchise was a word only used by die hard fans of American sports, while a code-hopper was most probably a specialised computer hacker.
Enough of the hyperbole, it’s time to do a proper preview for the punters. Gold Coast – last season’s new boys – will be the yardstick against which Greater Western Sydney will be measured and it was exactly a year ago that the Suns were embarrassed in a 119 point loss on debut against a battle hardened Carlton team. On that night the Gold Coast fielded 10 players with previous AFL experience, including a superstar by the name of Gary Ablett. Returning to the present day and the Giants will field only 5 players to have played at AFL level this Saturday night and there is no Ablett-like figure. Some competitive matches in the NAB Cup raised expectations for GWS, however those honourable losses I refer to were garnered against under-strength opponents.
Obviously the Swans are going to win, and that makes the margin of victory the all important topic that needs to be analysed. Sydney aren’t a very offensive team – they finished 7th last year but only scored the 11th most points – and it will be interesting to see if the red and whites have managed to increase their attacking potency during the off-season. Nevertheless, I envisage Sydney scoring at least 5-6 goals a quarter in this one, giving them a total score around the 140-160 mark. The Swans are notoriously difficult to score against as well, so I expect the inexperienced Giants to struggle to score more than 5-6 goals for the game. Add that up and you’ve got a margin around 100 points.
The TAB are offering $1.30 for a Sydney win of 60 points or greater, whereas most other outlets are offering only $1.15. If the $1.30 doesn’t float your boat as a stand-alone bet, chuck it in as a decent multiplier for a multibet. The best value for Sydney at or around the line can be found at Centrebet.
Andy’s Tip: Sydney to win by 112 points
Andy’s bet: Sydney to win by 93 points or more @ 2.10 (Centrebet)