Carlton Blues vs. Richmond Tigers
MATCH UP STATS
Carlton Blues vs. Richmond Tigers
Line betting:Carlton Blues: +15.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill)Richmond Tigers: -15.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill)
First goal-scorer:Carlton Blues: Liam Jones ($13 @ Sportsbet)Richmond Tigers: Jack Riewoldt ($8 @ Sportsbet)
To get 30 or more disposals:Carlton Blues: Patrick Cripps ($2.50 @ Sportsbet)Richmond Tigers: Dustin Martin ($2.10 @ Sportsbet)
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 7.20pm AEDT, MCG, Melbourne, watch on Fox Footy, Seven Network.
WHILE every match in Round 1 of the AFL season has its storylines, this one might just have the most impact on either club.
With Richmond coach Damian Hardwick in perhaps the highest pressure job in the AFL, and the Blues holding high expectations for their young group, the heat will be on from the first bounce of the 2017 season.
We’ve already previewed the season opener here and given punters an interesting recommendation on Sportsbet.com.au’s same game multi, so in this feature, we have focussed in on the player markets to help find you a little extra punting value outside the regular head to head and line betting markets.
We have looked to our mates over at WilliamHill.com.au to provide the markets.
Here are out picks.
Let’s hope one or two of them get up.
Most marks in Group A
Our pick: Jack Riewoldt to take the most marks in Group A ($6.50 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Bonus pick: Jack Riewoldt to kick three or more goals ($1.90 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Sam Docherty is the popular pick for the most marks in the match at $3.50 and that is mainly because he is the Blues best intercept marker and the bookies figure the footy will be spending plenty of time in Carlton’s defensive half. But, with that in mind, that means that he will also be under the pump from one of the best forwards in the game in Jack Riewoldt. While he is not quite the tower of power that his more Saintly brother Nick is, Jumping Jack is among the game’s best high flyers and, with our prediction that the Tigers are going to win this easily, it’s natural that we’d back the man who has just been added to the Richmond leadership group, and not before time. Make no mistake, $6.50 is massive value for the club’s key forward, leaving him fifth on the line of betting. Defensive dynamo Alex Rance is another competitor in the market ahead of Riewoldt, but, at the $4.50 second favourite, he feels under priced, given the footy may not be visiting his half of the ground as often as you might normally expect. With plenty of purchase up forward, it should give him more than enough opportunity to bag three or more goals, which feels like money for jam at $1.90. Of course, this is the Tigers, so just be prepared for anything. Surely they couldn’t squib this one this year, could they?
Most handballs in Group A
Our pick: Patrick Cripps to have the most handballs in Group A ($1.75 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Bonus pick: Patrick Cripps to have 30 or more disposals ($2.50 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Patrick Cripps’ last six games of season 2016: 32, 31, 32, 24, 30, 32. Yes, we know the kid has played sparingly in the preseason thanks to an off season diagnosis of stress fractures in his back, but, fear not. Blues coach Brendon Bolton has confirmed today that his young star will play in Thursday’s clash with he Tigers and that means extraction, extraction and more extraction. This kid, in only his fourth season, remarkably led the AFL in clearances, meaning he is finding the ball in the clinches and delivering it – usually by hand. On the cusp of being an out and out superstar of the competition, Cripps is the Blues best player, as evidenced by the 18 votes he received on Brownlow night last season and, even if he is a little underdone, don’t let that scare you off. He’s a big boy now, having turned 22 less than a week ago and that means we expect massive things from the captain in waiting. We know he is short in this one, but he is the best midfielder on the park and, even though the Tigers have the Meatball Dion Prestia, new Brownlow Medallist Trent Cotchin and the big bodies of Josh Caddy and Dustin Martin in the midfield, Cripps has rarely found it difficult to get his and he should certainly do that, even if it is a big Carlton loss. It won’t be his fault if they go down.
Most kicks in Group A
Our pick: Dustin Martin to have the most kicks in Group A ($2.50 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Dustin Martin was good last year. Really good. One of the best midfielders in the game. The scary thing is, the tattooed marauder is just 25 years of age, meaning he certainly has improvement to make as he just hits the cusp of his prime. In 2016, only one player in the entire competition had more kicks than Dusty – Greater Western Sydney’s running rebound defender Heath Shaw. We reckon Dusty might be a sneaky chance of toppling the run and gun defender in 2016 and he will start his attack on that title off with a massive one against Carlton. The thing is, he is rather adverse when it comes to handballing, preferring to defer to his lethal kicking boots – of which he had 31, 20 and 20 in the last three games of 2016. The only caveat on this is he has been known to be a slow starter but, by all reports, he has trained the house down out at Punt Rd and is raring to go in 2017.
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