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A Month Away – What to Expect From Week 1 of the New AFL Season

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Week 1 of the new 2024 AFL (Australian Rules Football) season is officially scheduled to begin on March 7 when the Sydney Swans take on Melbourne in the opening game.

Let’s dive straight and take a closer look at some of the things we know so far about the upcoming 2024 AFL season, including the names of a few players who are likely to appear or be missing from the first game. We can also find out which team will most likely come out on top this year.

What Is the AFL?

The AFL (Australian Football League) is Australia’s highest level of the men’s professional sport of Australian rules football. It was called the Victoria Football League (VFL) from 1897 to 1990 before changing to the AFL, and the current reigning champion is Collingwood.

They won their 16th title in the 2023 season, and the only other two teams that have won the VFL/AFL title this many times are Carlton and Essendon.

There are 18 teams in the league, which also includes Richmond, Bulldogs, St Kilda, Geelong, West Coast, Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, Essendon, GWS Giants, Hawthorn, Freemantle, Gold Coast, and North Melbourne.

Although it’s Early Days, Are There Any Favourites to Win the 2024 AFL?

Yes. Today’s most trusted Aussie sports betting sites, such as the official Unibet online bookmaker, are already offering 2024 AFL outright winner odds and individual match odds for the opening game.

This fully licensed and regulated iGaming site is known for having some of the industry’s most competitive AFL odds, and has the current reigning champions, Collingwood, as the odds-on favourite team to win AFL 2024.

Let’s take a quick look at the latest odds for the top four favourites:

  • Team: Collingwood (odds-on favourites to win AFL 2024 outright). American/moneyline odds: +425. Decimal odds: 5.25. Fractional odds: 17/4. IPR (implied probability rate): 19.00%
  • Team: Brisbane (second odds-on favourites to win AFL 2024 outright). American/moneyline odds: +550. Decimal odds: 6.50. Fractional odds: 11/2. IPR: 15.40%
  • Team: Carlton. American/moneyline odds: +750. Decimal odds: 8.50. Fractional odds: 15/2. IPR: 11.80%
  • Team: GWS Giants and Melbourne (evenly priced). American/moneyline odds: +800. Decimal odds: 9.00. Fractional odds: 8/1. IPR: 11.10%

Don’t forget that anything can happen in a game of Aussie Rules football and that no bets you place are ever guaranteed to return you any winnings. Additionally, don’t forget that although accurate at the time of writing, these AFL 2024 odds are subject to change at any time.

Will There Be Any Fresh Faces or Reshuffles Due to Injuries?

Yes. There will be several new faces in the AFL this season, and a few star players will miss the opening fixtures while they recover from certain injuries that were picked up during pre-season.

For example, Nick Murray, who plays for the Adelaide Crows, ruptured his ACL against Melbourne in Round 19 last year and still hasn’t fully recovered. Their top draft pick, Daniel Curtin, is also likely to start in the opening game, having had an impressive pre-season.

However, there will be many other players looking to secure that same spot, such as James Borlase, Jordon Butts, Elliott Himmelberg, Mark Keane, and Josh Worrell, so Curtin may still have to wait.

Tom Doedee and Will Ashcroft will also both miss the start of the season (also due to ACL injuries), and it’s quite unlikely that we will see Brandon Ryan in the Round 1 team.

It also looks as though Harley Reid of the West Coast Eagles will be the 2024 AFL Rising Star at odds of +150 (which is 6/4 or 2.50) with a 40.00% IPR.

Final Thoughts

Before placing a wager on any upcoming AFL match, trying to gather as much information as possible can help you place informed bets that are far more likely (but never guaranteed) to return you a profit.

Before placing bets, gather useful AFL stats and any other information you can get your hands on to give you the best possible chance.

Stay on top of the latest team news (who’s injured, in-form, out of form, etc.) and find out the historical results between the two teams, as well as the recent results for the past five or so games.

Finding out what the weather might be like on match day and how well players/teams perform in certain weather conditions can also help you place far more strategic bets.

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