Essendon Bombers vs. Adelaide Crows
MATCH UP STATS
Essendon Bombers vs. Adelaide Crows
2017 finish:Essendon Bombers: 7th, elimination final exitAdelaide Crows: 1st, runners up
Form guide:Essendon Bombers: JLT victory over Geelong, loss to RichmondAdelaide Crows: JLT victory over Fremantle, loss to Port Adelaide
By Nathan Marotta
Friday, 23rd March, 2018, 7.50 pm AEST, Etihad Stadium, watch on Seven Network and on Fox Footy.
THE first Friday night match of the 2018 AFL season is a dead-set beauty.
The Essendon Bombers will face the 2017 runners up, Adelaide, in what looks to be one of the toughest matches of the round to predict.
An Essendon home crowd will be extremely optimistic that they can one up the injury-riddled Crows to open their account for the upcoming season.
Not dissimilar to most clubs this time of the year, Adelaide is missing some key players and could be ripe for the picking. The Crows captain, Taylor Walker, is absent with an ongoing foot injury and prolific ball-winner Brad Crouch is out with a groin. Half back runner Brodie Smith is still out with his ACL injury from last year.
Essendon enter the game with a somewhat clean slate, only missing electric forward Orazio Fantasia from its best 22. With its three massive recruits – Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad – the Bombers are coming into the match full of confidence.
Let’s take a gander at the odds provided by the expert bookmakers.
Essendon Bombers vs Adelaide Crows Round 1 – Total Points tips
Both clubs pride themselves on their defensive capabilities. Adelaide was the best team at scoring throughout 2017, but without star forward Tex Walker, the Crows will be under pressure to find different avenues to goal and could prefer to turn the game into a contested arm-wrestle. The intensity could be finals-like early and we expect scoring to be hard to come by.
Essendon Bombers vs Adelaide Crows Round 1 – 25 + Disposals tips
Devon Smith @ $1.91 with Sportsbet
The talented and classy Giant recruit will make an immediate impact through the midfield and when he drifts forward. Collecting 25 disposals could come naturally for such a prolific talent. Very underrated by most clubs, which inevitably landed him at the Bombers.
Another Recruit from the trade period, Gibbs has already proven himself as a star of the competition. In his prime, Gibbs was a midfield weapon and often played a lone hand in a poor Carlton side. With more talent surrounding him, Gibbs can easily accumulate 30 touches, meaning 25 is an attractive option.
Essendon Bombers vs Adelaide Crows Round 1 – Super Margin tips
10 – 19 @ $8.50 with Sportsbet
With such a strong team, it’s hard to see them lose many games in 2018. It’s a challenging beginning to the season when going up against the previous year’s Grand Finalist. Adelaide has flaws, Richmond proved that last year and Essendon can exploit those weaknesses again. Don’t sleep on a first round upset for the home side.
20 – 29 @ $8.50 with Sportsbet
Even though the forward line is missing Walker, there is nothing stopping the likes of Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Mitch McGovern from giving the Essendon backline trouble. Young draftee Darcy Fogarty, who was taken at #12 in the National Draft, has been confirmed to make his debut alongside Tom Doedee. If the Crows play true to form, we suspect their midfield will be decisive in overcoming Essendon between three and five goals.
Match Result: Adelaide to win @ $1.82 with CrownBet.
Line Betting: Adelaide – 2.5 @ $1.92 with CrownBet.
The bookies may have underestimated the power of the Crows when assessing the line. Adelaide is still the premiership favourites and Essendon’s home field advantage is not that significant considering Adelaide’s hot form at the ground. If the Crows are going to win, 2.5 points seems too thin a margin.
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