Aussie Rules Football Betting Odds and Picks: Brisbane Lions vs. Hawthorn Hawks
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Aussie Rules Football Odds: Brisbane Lions vs. Hawthorn Hawks
Spread: Brisbane -1.5
Time: 12:40 a.m. ET
Live sports! On TV! March Madness of a different kind will air on FS1, as the chaotic and frenzied sport known as Aussie Rules Football continues with the second-to-last match of Round 1, with the blue-blood Hawthorn Hawks taking on last year’s regular-season Cinderella, the Brisbane Lions at 12:40am ET.
Brisbane burst onto the scene in last season after years of wallowing at the bottom of the standings, surging from 15th in 2018 to 2nd in 2019. Winners of three Premierships in the last seven years, Hawthorn uncharacteristically finished ninth in 2019, just missing out on a spot in the Finals. Getting 2018 Brownlow Winner (AFL MVP) Tom Mitchell back should be a massive boost for the Hawks, and most prognosticators are expecting them to return to the Finals in 2020.
Brisbane have won four straight over the Hawks since the start of 2018, with an average margin of victory of 33.75 points. It has been extremely rare to see Hawthorn dominated in such a way, especially considering their calling card has been defensive structure and discipline. Even more shocking is that two of Brisbane’s recent victories over Hawthorn came in 2018 when the Lions finished with just five wins.
Books have seemingly adjusted after underrating Brisbane for the majority of last year, opening them as 2.5-point favorites on Sunday. Neither roster has really changed, but the return of Tom Mitchell for Hawthorn and Brisbane’s quick exit from last year’s Finals seem to be top of mind for bettors as the line has moved to Brisbane -1.5 just during the time of this writing.
Tom Mitchell is talismanic, no doubt about that, but Brisbane have plenty of star power on their list as well. Defender Harris Andrews, midfielder Lachie Neale, and forward Charlie Cameron all made the All-Australian team in 2019, with Cameron providing an AFL fifth-best 57 goals. Mitchell has fifth-best odds to win the Brownlow in 2020, but right behind him is Neale, and whoever plays better between the two of them will go a long way toward determining the victor.
Despite Brisbane leading the AFL in points in 2019, the under is 3-0 in the last three matches between the Lions and Hawks. The wrinkle in that trend is that this will be their first meeting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground since 2012.
Although based in Melbourne, Hawthorn plays a few “home” games each season in Launceston, Tasmania. Extracting meaningful conclusions from the totals at that location is difficult, as for one it isn’t Hawthorn’s normal home ground, and secondarily winter conditions in Launceston often include wind and rain.
Brisbane will be hungry to prove they belong and come into the match fully fit. Without a stadium packed with Hawthorn supporters, it should be easy to hear the Lions roar.
The Pick: Brisbane -1.5