Mon, Mar 26, 12:10pm by Staff Writer
Round one of the 2018 AFL season did not disappoint, with some nail biting finishes and upset wins.
Sydney ($6) are outright flag favourites after a 29-point win against West Coast ($51) in the first match at the new Optus Stadium.
Lance Franklin was unstoppable kicking eight goals, as the Swans thwarted the Eagles challenge in the final quarter.
Richmond got the new season underway by unfurling their Premiership banner, but got out of the blocks slowly against Carlton, conceding the first five goals.
The Tigers battled back and won the game by 26 points and are second favourites to win the competition at $7 at Sportsbet.
It was a promising performance from the Blues ($151), with Charlie Curnow a standout kicking five goals.
As we tipped in our AFL round one best bets preview, Essendon were great value to beat Adelaide on Friday night and they stormed home to win by 12 points.
The Bombers trailed by as much as 20 points in the last quarter before booting the final five goals of the match.
Essendon were crushed into favouritism for that match and remain good value to win the Premiership at $18.
Adelaide ($7.50) are third favourites to win the flag, but were ravaged by injury in round one, so it’s not alarm bells for the Crows just yet.
The Giants recorded their biggest ever round one victory and the biggest win of the round, an 82-point thumping of the Western Bulldogs in Canberra.
The Giants ($8) led for the entire match and sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition that they are the real deal in 2018
The Dogs ($51) were poor in all facets of the game. Their forward line failed to inspire and their backline was under constant pressure.
On the back of that performance, the Dogs look more like a bottom four team than a top eight contender.
Geelong won a nailbiting contest against Melbourne by three points at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.
A Max Gawn miss from 20 metres out handed the Cats a fortunate victory, with the Demons unable to complete their comeback from nearly five goals down.
Gary Ablett was superb for the Cats, who are $9 to win the flag and still have gun Patrick Dangerfield to return to the team.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Demons ($16) who will be looking to break into the top eight this season. At $16, they don’t offer much value to win the flag at this early stage of the season.
Port Adelaide ($9) had a dominant 50-point win against Fremantle ($67) in Adelaide on Saturday afternoon.
That match went to script, with the Power leading at every change and hardly challenging by a young Fremantle team.
Hawthorn ($26) mounted early-season pressure on Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley with a 34-point win on Saturday night.
The Pies ($81) were left to regret a poor second quarter and never recorded, with Tom Mitchell recording an AFL record 54 disposals for the Hawks.
St Kilda ($34) were challenged by the Brisbane Lions until the last quarter, where they kicked away and won by 25 points.
The Lions ($251) young brigade gave their fans a lot to be impressed by in their performance and should improve on their five wins from 2017.
Gold Coast ($151) and North Melbourne ($251) played out a tight contest in torrential rain in Cairns on Saturday night.
Cazaly’s Stadium was overcome with water anywhere you looked, making playing conditions difficult and goals hard to come by.
The Suns eventually recorded a 16-point win, despite the Kangaroos leading early in the fourth quarter.
Both teams will have a struggle to make much of an imprint in 2018, but will be encouraged by their gritty starts to the season.
AFL Premiership Winner – Sportsbet
Port Adelaide $9
St Kilda $34
West Coast $51
Western Bulldogs $51
Gold Coast $151
North Melbourne $251
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