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Opinion

On the line: Round 1

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Roar Guru
17th March, 2021
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When you want to win your footy tipping competition, it’s the bankable wins that you base perhaps tipping an upset or riding a 50/50 game as if you’re a bloodthirsty supporter, even though you wouldn’t be caught dead barracking for anyone else.

However, with Round 1 basically a litmus test with all the overreaction in the world, here are a handful of lines, correct at 4:30om AEDT on Wednesday and why they’ll go well.

Richmond vs Carlton
Richmond -22.5

The last four games between these two sides in Round 1 have been decided by 31.5 points on average. Harry McKay is under a cloud, no Charlie Curnow and no Mitch McGovern, Carlton are without talls and their smalls struggle to kick small.

On the other end, Richmond enter their back-to-back premiership defence in good form. Their first half in the AAMI Community Series against Collingwood looked like good footy was like getting out of bed in the morning and should be too strong.

Adelaide vs Geelong
Geelong -25.5

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After a rusty hit-out against the Bombers in the pre season, the Cats will be fit and firing to start the season proper.

The reigning bridesmaid need bankable wins (as all good teams do) and beating up on the reigning cellar-dwellers seems the way to go. No Mitch Duncan from last year’s grand final and of course the retirements of Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor.

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However, the infamous duo of Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins will be unleashed, Isaac Smith on a wing for Duncan and the Cats will have too much class for the Crows here. Four goals is lovely.

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Brisbane vs Sydney
Brisbane -24.5

Speaking of teams more than four goals apart, look no further. The Lions have got everything to prove and the Swans are blooding the kids, highlighted by high draft picks in Logan McDonald, Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden.

Brisbane’s inaccuracy will be put under the microscope here, but their forward prowess and midfielders who can score should be too good here.

Harris Andrews of the Lions in action

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

North Melbourne vs Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide -31.5

This could genuinely be ugly and when the market opened at -29.5, people paid attention. Four points on the line for Port, seemingly a bankable win, good team against a rebuilding one.

The Power are almost in a test of ruthlessness here but the poor Roos looked lost against the Hawks forward of centre, barring Josh Walker.

Nick Larkey is the number one man up forward and the young man could struggle, meanwhile the likes of Charlie Dixon, Todd Marshall, Mitch Georgiades, Robbie Gray, Zak Butters and even the midfielders who can turn on a dime and slam through goals.

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This could be a massacre.

GWS vs St.Kilda
GWS -7.5

Gold Coast at the line was tempting, but with the news that Max King suffered a freak concussion from a golf ball at some stage, the complete lack of talls from the Saints has taken a toll. Rowan Marshall, Paddy Ryder, King and James Frawley are all missing and although a smacking seems off the cards, a goal and a bit seems too low.

The Giants will take a lot out of their second half against the Swans in the pre-season and midfielders like Stephen Coniglio, Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto looked like their best selves.

If the Saints were fully fit, they would be my tip from the get-go without a shadow of a doubt but the Giants down back with Nick Haynes, Phil Davis and Sam Taylor will swallow everything.