Wins may be few and far between for both Hawthorn and North Melbourne in 2021, but we’re expecting the Kangas to get their season off on the right foot.
North Melbourne +6.5 ($1.90)
Despite a wooden spoon-winning season, North were the punter’s pal in 2021, covering the line at 64% – more than any other side – including a stretch of nine straight between Rounds 11 and 20.
The Roos don’t have a good record against many sides over the last five years, but Hawthorn is one of them. David Noble’s team has cleared in four of the last five, including the last three.
New Hawks coach Sam Mitchell has all the hallmarks of a good AFL coach, but the change from the 15-year long reign of Alastair Clarkson is bound produce teething issues. The loss of captain Ben McEvoy and the experienced Luke Breust to covid protocols will only add to the new coach’s worries.
With Round 1 underdogs covering at 58% in recent years, North are the play here.
Same Game Multi
North Melbourne +6.5 / Over 160.5 Points / J.Horne-Francis Anytime Goal ($4.50)
The overs has an excellent hit rate in Round 1 at the MCG, clearing at 65% since 2016. On a perfect Autumn day at the MCG, it should be included in your same game multi. Combine that with North to cover and debutant Jason Horne-Francis to score a major.
Jason Horne-Francis 2+ Goals ($3.60)
Last year’s number one draft pick is arguably the most prepared teenager for AFL football in the last decade. Coming off two impressive years in SANFL senior football, expect the explosive Kangaroo to spend the majority of his time forward early this season.
In his last SANFL outing in 2021, a Prelim Final no less, he kicked 3.3 (including hitting the post twice). He also booted 2.2 in North’s practice match against Sydney.