Aussie Rules Football Odds and Betting Preview: Richmond Tigers vs. Carlton Blues (Thursday, March 19)
Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Dustin Martin, Richmond Tigers
Australian Football League Odds: Richmond Tigers vs. Carlton Blues
Spread: Richmond -19.5
Time: Thursday, 4 a.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 2
Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via PointsBet, which is offering a crazy promotion for this match: Richmond’s moneyline will get shorter for every 100 bets PointsBet gets on the match. No matter when you bet it, you get the benefit of the closing price. Bet now at PointsBet.
Remember that insane sport that ESPN used to air in the wee hours of the morning in the mid-80s from Australia? The umpires no longer dress like Colonel Sanders and the amount of mullets per team has dropped to an unfortunate degree, but the Australian Football League is still around.
And, as of this moment, there are a full slate of matches scheduled starting on Thursday with the customary opening matchup of the Richmond Tigers against the Carlton Blues.
Note: The Australian Football League will play all Round 1 matches behind closed doors and will shorten the quarters by four minutes, from 20 to 16 minutes. This article has been updated to reflect the rule changes.
Though both teams are traditional powers, Richmond has undoubtedly had the upper hand in recent years, winning Premierships in 2017 and 2019 while Carlton finished in last place as recently as 2018. Richmond has not lost to Carlton since 2013, and in only one of those contests was the Tigers’ margin of victory less than 10 points.
As of this writing, Richmond is listed as a 19.5-point favorite (PointsBet). For those unfamiliar, Australian Rules Football has only two scoring increments: 6 points for a goal and 1 point for a behind. A goal is awarded when the ball is kicked through the inner goal posts. A behind is awarded when the ball is kicked through the outer goal posts, or hits one of the inner posts.
Quick math (or maths as they’d say Down Under) tells you that Richmond is roughly a three-goal favorite. While their 2019 goals per game averages (Carlton 10.5, Richmond 12.9) might seem to favor Carlton and the points, Richmond has covered this margin in each of their last five meetings dating back to the 2017 season opener.
The AFL decided to shorten quarters from 20 to 16 minutes in anticipation of potentially playing more matches in a shorter timeframe than the typical weekly scheduling. The current total now stands at 139.5 (DraftKings).
No other matches have totals on the board so it may be best to sit this one out and see how much of a factor the shortened quarters have.
While many aspects of this game will be irregular given that the fan count will be reduced from nearly 100,000 to 0, the results on the field should look familiar. Neither team has to travel (both are based in Melbourne) and neither team will have any sort of tangible home-field advantage.
The Tigers come in with virtually the exact same roster that was last seen winning the Grand Final by 89 points. Meanwhile the Blues’ biggest offseason acquisition has already been ruled out due to injury.
Take the Tigers and don’t look back.