AFL round 1, 2021: Essendon v Hawthorn betting tips, prediction & odds

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Welcome to our Essendon v Hawthorn match preview, prediction and odds update for the AFL 2021 first-round match at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, March 20.

While neither of these teams is expected to contend for the finals in 2021, this is probably the most even contest from a betting perspective of the four matches scheduled for Saturday.

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The other AFL clashes are Melbourne v Fremantle, Adelaide v Geelong and the Brisbane Lions v Sydney at the Gabba to close out the night.

Essendon have won three of their past five meetings against Hawthorn, including the past two by 19 points in 2019 and by 16 points at Adelaide Oval in round 14 last year.

For the Bombers that comeback win against the Hawks was their only success in the last 10 rounds of 2020 as the wheels fell off in the run home.

Bombers v Hawks team news for round one

The Bombers have lost some serious talent in the off season with Adam Saad (Carlton), Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide) and Joe Daniher (Brisbane) among those to depart. Throw in the serious injury/illness to key defender Michael Hurley and Jake Stringer’s nagging calf issue and they have a lot of gaps to plug for this season opener.

The Bombers went hard at the 2020 national draft with three picks in the top 10 and one of those players, Nik Cox, will make his AFL debut against the Hawks. Their top pick from the 2019 draft, Harrison Jones, will also be blooded, and three off-season recruits – Peter Wright (Gold Coast), Jye Caldwell (GWS) and Nick Hind (St Kilda) – will make their debuts for the Bombers.

The Hawks have swing former Collingwood wingman Tom Phillips in for his first game as a Hawk, while young duo Jacob Koschitzke and Tyler Brockman will make their debuts after impressing in the pre-season.

Read on for our Bombers v Hawks tips and winner prediction for their AFL clash on Saturday, March 20.

Essendon v Hawthorn

Kick-off: 7.25pm local time
Venue: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Head to head odds: Essendon $1.95, Hawthorn $1.85
Line betting: Essendon (+1.5 points) $1.90, Hawthorn (-1.5 points) $1.90
Match total: 170.5 points:  over $1.90, under $1.90

Bombers v Hawks free betting tips

Below our AFL betting experts have highlighted free Bombers-Hawks betting tips for Saturday’s game.

Essendon to win/match total over 170.5 points

We think there is little between these two teams but we are pretty sure it is not going to be a defensive style of game. The Essendon list still has enough class around the stoppages to step up, especially given there are so few expectations about how they will fare this year.

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti to score 3 goals or more

The Bombers’ small forward is a high-class player and something of a barometer for his team. When he is among the goals, the Bombers almost always win. Unibet offers goal bands for players and to kick three of more he is paying around $3.65. With so many unknowns heading into this match, at least with McDonald-Tipungwuti you know you have fast, skilful and committed player carrying your money.

Essendon v Hawthorn prediction 20-3-2021

This is an intriguing clash just to see what these storied clubs have managed to unearth in the off-season. For example, the Bombers have brought in “Two-metre Peter” Wright from the Suns, where the tall forward struggled to get a game. He is tall and athletic, though, and a thumping kick so it will be interesting to see if the change of environment works for the former high draft pick. Essendon are likely to go backwards this season before they can rise again, but then again that is also likely for the Hawks. Our Bombers v Hawks prediction: Essendon to win a free-flowing affair by 13 points.

Essendon v Hawthorn lowdown

How can I watch the Bombers v Hawks clash?

Fox Footy and KAYO will telecast the game.

How can I bet on the Bombers v Hawks clash?

All of the top International betting sites will offer markets on the AFL.

What time does Saturday’s Essendon v Hawthorn AFL Round 1 game start?

The Bombers v Hawks match kicks off at 7.25pm local time.

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