JLT Tips – Week 1

It’s baaaaaaacckk! While we may have had our fill of Aussie Rules thanks to AFLW, the boys return to action this week for the JLT Community Series.
Preseason betting is always a lottery, but the Wolf has run his eye over the game and thinks he has picked out a few winners for followers to feast on this weekend.

Kangaroos v Demons – Saturday 2.05pm, Hobart 
Notable absentees

Kangaroos: Mason Wood, Braydon Preuss, Jy Simpkin, Taylor Garner
Demons: Neville Jetta, Jack Viney, Dom Tyson
The JLT kicks off down in windy Tassie with the Roos and Demons blowing out the cobwebs. The two squads named are reasonably strong, with only a couple of key players missing from either side, most notably the Demons co-captain Jack Viney, who is continuing to recover from a foot injury. The Kangaroos are in a development phase after a few poor years of list management, although exciting young midfield draftee, Luke Davies-Uniacke will make his debut for the club from the bench, and shapes as their most important draft pick in a decade. Melbourne, on the other hand, have every reason to believe they are about to enter a premiership window despite doing what they do best last year, miss finals.
Melbourne’s line-up certainly looks very strong despite missing two of their best midfielders, but the Wolf thinks they may put the cue in the rack in the last quarter when the game is already won and experiment with their more inexperienced players- and we all know North Melbourne are capable of a big quarter when they put their minds to it, led by Shaun Higgins, Jack Ziebell and Ben Brown.
Best Bet: Melbourne WIN ($1.50)
Value Bet: 4th Quarter – Straight: NORTH MELBOURNE ($2.30)

Bombers v Tigers – Saturday 4.35, Wangaratta
Notable absentees
Bombers: Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Orazio Fantasia, Cale Hooker, David Myers
Demons: Dion Prestia, Daniel Rioli, Nathan Broad
The defending premiers return, and the Tigers faithful will be desperately hoping they haven’t returned with a premiership hangover. Their fairytale flag is now firmly in the past, and given their draw is significantly harder this time around, they will want to start their year on the front foot. Their intraclub hit-out saw Jack Reiwoldt and Josh Caddy looking sharp in the forward line, while Dusty got his standard bout of leather poisoning. Given they are very close to full strength, the Tigers are bound to give the Bombers a hell of a welcome back to AFL football- but there is plenty for Bombers supporters to look forward to. Devon Smith, Jake Stringer and Adam Saad will all make their club debuts, and each bring different strengths to what is already an impressive footy team. This clash is definitely the most intriguing of the Week 1 games, with John Worsfold looking to shore up an Essendon defence that conceded 92 points per game last season, without compromising their thrilling attacking flair too much.
The Tigers will go in comfortable favourites, but the Wolf likes the look of what the Bombers are cooking down at Windy Hill, and thinks they represent great value at the price.
Best Bet: Essendon +12.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: 2nd Half – Straight: ESSENDON ($2.45)

Crows v Dockers – Sunday 2.05pm, Strathalbyn
Notable absentees
Crows: Taylor Walker, Brodie Smith, Brad Crouch, Riley Knight
Dockers: Sean Darcy, Harley Bennell, Joel Hamling, Stephen Hill, Ethan Hughes
After the Crows spectacularly flopped in the Grand Final last year, appearing transfixed by their own hype, the South Australian side has no doubt dreamed of righting the wrongs and going one better this year. Starting their preseason off in leafy Adelaide Hills town Strathalbyn against a Fremantly side that finished 14th last year is a perfect start for the Crows, who will be missing a couple of their big guns in Taylor Walker and Brad Crouch, who both suffered preseason injury setbacks. The Dockers go into this game as big underdogs, but have brought an experienced squad across the Nullabor in their quest to return to the days that saw them contesting a Grand Final. Alex Pearce has been tipped to have a big season after 2 years out with a badly broken leg, in the troublesome key defensive post, while the arrival of Brandon Matera will allow them to unleash the dangerous Michael Walters into the midfield more often.
You’d think Adelaide will get the win, but the Wolf has a little inkling Ross Lyon has something up his sleeve for this one.
Best Bet: Adelaide WIN ($1.40)
Value Bet: Fremantle +18.5 ($1.90)

Eagles v Power – Sunday 3.35pm, Leederville
Notable absentees

Eagles: Nic Naitanui, Josh Kennedy, Willie Rioli, Eric McKenzie
Power: Tom Rockliff, Sam Gray, Chad Wingard, Jared Polec, Matthew Broadbent
The last time these sides clashed, the Power were wiped out in extra time, causing heartbreak in Alberton. After being tagged as ‘flat-track bullies’ for the majority of last year, the inclusions of Jack Watts, Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop, Jack Trengrove and Lindsay Thomas should go someway towards helping them shake that tag. Dom Barry and Karl Amon are the players who look to have taken their game to another level in the preseason and both will be electrifying to watch in this clash against an Eagles side missing their two spearheads in Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy.
Son-of-a-gun Jake Waterman looks ready to break into the Eagles starting 22, finally, and will be keen to make an impression with Kennedy missing, while the club appears convinced Jack Redden can finally produce his best footy for the club after a couple of disappointing seasons.
The Eagles may be at home, but the Wolf is keen on the Power atoning for last year’s finals loss by punishing West Coast by a good margin.
Best Bet: Port Adelaide WIN ($1.70)
Value Bet: Port Adelaide 25+ ($3.75)