Carlton vs. Richmond, Thursday, March 23 from 7.20pm at the MCG.
THE time has come.
Carlton and Richmond will do battle on Thursday night at the MCG for the traditional opening game of the new AFL season.
To celebrate the return of Australia’s national sport, we’ve lined up a Sportsbet Same Game Multi for punters to follow throughout the game.
Punters please take note: If you’ve never placed a Same Game Multi before, remember the slip must be placed with Sportsbet.com.au and can only be done on your smart phone – so make sure you’re either using the bookmaker’s mobile site or download the Sportsbet app in your App Store.
On to the match.
Richmond will go into the match as the overwhelming $1.44 favourite after a mixed JLT community series, while Carlton will start at $2.86 after a win-less pre-season that included some outright thumpings.
The eternal false hope machine that is the Richmond Football Club is threatening to make finals football again.
The Tigers lost stalwart and former best and fairest winner Brett Deledio, but added midfielders Josh Caddy and Dion Prestia over the summer and to the naked eye, have improved their midfield depth and ball movement issues over the summer.
Will it be enough to see the Tigers climb back into the eight and save coach Damian Hardwick’s job by season’s end?
But, we believe Richmond won’t be as bad as everyone thinks – and they’ll have enough talent to beat up on poor teams like Carlton and continue to tease its fans.
The Blues wouldn’t have won any admirers over a pre-season campaign that saw them lose their three matches by 54, 92 and 21 points, but only a fool would completely rule them out of an upset in this match.
We know from last year that when at full strength, the Blues are capable of causing upsets and being a more-than-competitive football team.
While coach Brendan Bolton has confirmed he could field as many as 5 debutants, the Blues will have a decent core with captain Marc Murphy fit, young star Patrick Cripps named and veterans Bryce Gibbs, Matthew Kruezer and Dale Thomas all seemingly fit and ready to go.
We’re expecting Richmond to be good enough, but beware the underdog with nothing to lose.
Same Game Multi selections for Tigers vs. Blues
Before we make our tips, there are a few points we want to stress to punters.
Dustin Martin likes playing against Carlton
The enigmatic Richmond midfielder was dynamic in Round 1 against the Blues in 2016, gathering 3 Brownlow votes in a best-on-ground display. Coming into a contract year and shrouded in publicity – we suggest he’ll be a man on a mission and Richmond love to leave him forward.
Carlton will put up a fight
Don’t just think the Tigers will walk over the Blues. Richmond has a long-standing history of struggling against seemingly-lesser sides and had the scare of its life last season in the same fixture. Carlton has been completely written off in this match, but we expect them to put in a very brave showing – enough to come within 40 points, but not enough to win.
Expect high-scoring, but not a big bag of goals from a forward
On a fast MCG track and in front of a big crowd, expect the match to go over the 171.5 point line – just like it has in each of the last three years in round 1.
Richmond vs. Carlton Same Game Multi tips:
Richmond 1-39 ($2.10)
Dustin Martin to get 30 or more disposals ($2.10)
Anytime goal-scorer – Dustin Martin ($1.36)
Any player to score five goals – No ($1.25)
Total game points – OVER 171.5 ($1.90)
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