Collingwood v Western Bulldogs betting tips, prediction & odds, AFL Rd 1 Preview

The Western Bulldogs have firmed into solid favourites in the betting for their season opener against Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night. Here are our free Magpies v Bulldogs tips & winner prediction. 

The Bulldogs will enter the 2021 AFL season with great expectations after an off-season recruiting spree, which saw them net former Magpie Adam Treloar, who was forced out because of salary cap constraints. 

The Magpies meanwhile were accused of holding a “fire sale”, after shunting Treloar, Tom Phillips (Hawthorn), Jaidyn Stephenson (North Melbourne) and Atu Bosenavulagi (North Melbourne) out the door to clear their salary cap. 

It will also be the first AFL game in over 20 years that long-serving Magpies president Eddie McGuire has not been at the helm, after the TV personality was forced to quit following claims of systemic racism at the Magpies. 

Collingwood is paying $2.10 with leading Aussie bookmaker TopSport, while the Bulldogs are paying $1.74 to win. The line has been set at 3.5 points, which is too narrow for our tastes. 

Collingwood have indicated they will hand a debut to Oliver Henry, who was their first pick in the 2020 national draft and is the younger brother of Geelong’s Jack Henry. They have also cleared midfield star Taylor Adams to play, but endurance king Steele Sidebottom will miss with a calf injury. 

The Bulldogs will be boosted by Treloar but they now must fit him into an area of the ground they were already stacked in. If the rumours are to be believed the disappointment is rife with Josh Dunkley after he was refused a trade to Essendon and he will be forced to spend long chunks of time forward. 

It is also worth noting the AFL’s new rules, which were remarkably rushed in just 48 hours before Thursday’s season opener between Richmond and Carlton, will be in effect and mean a 23rd player will be available, should a player suffer a concussion.

Read on for our free Collingwood v Western Bulldogs betting tips and winner prediction for their clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday night.

Magpies v Bulldogs match info & odds

Kick-off: 7.50pm local time, 19/3/2021
Venue: MCG, Melbourne
Head to head odds: Western Bulldogs $1.74, Collingwood $2.10
Line betting: Bulldogs (-3.5 points) $1.90, Collingwood (+3.5 points) $1.90
Match total: 164.5 points:  over $1.88, under: $1.88

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs betting tips

Our AFL betting expert has assessed the form and found some free Magpies v Bulldogs tips:

Taylor Adams to get 30+ touches

Adams is really the Magpies’ barometer in the midfield with his toughness and ball-winning ability an absolute weapon. Adams could be head-to-head with former teammate Treloar, who is not renowned for his defensive game, which could lead to a big possessions count. This is the year that Adams must become the leader of the Magpies midfield, with Scott Pendlebury and Sidebottom both on the wrong side of 30. 

Caleb Daniel to get 25+ touches 

The Bulldogs’ Caleb Daniel might be one of the smallest AFL players, but he certainly knows how to find the ball. Daniel is the Dogs’ distributor from the back half of the ground and they look for him at every opportunity. The Magpies’ forwards will be aware of the damage Daniel can do, but they did very little to stop a rampant Jayden Short in their final practice game against Richmond, with the Tigers’ gun racking up a big possession count. The Magpies may play Chris Mayne or Levi Greenwood with the specific task of curbing Daniel, but we’re confident he will reach 25 possessions. 

Mason Cox to kick 2+ goals

American forward Mason Cox was the spark that saw the Magpies almost steal their practice game against Richmond, with his aerial ability coupling nicely with an improved tank. Cox struggled last year with an eye injury, but the signs were promising in the preseason. He and Jordan De Goey are our picks to top the Magpies goal kicking. Will the Magpies roll the dice and play Cox, Brodie Grundy and Darcy Cameron in the same team? 

Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs prediction

These two teams look evenly matched on paper and both will be hell-bent on playing finals in 2021, although the Dogs are more heavily fancied among pundits. Recent Collingwood v Western Bulldogs games have been dominated by Brodie Grundy, with his ruck counterpart Tim English copping an absolute lesson. This game could genuinely come down to how much English has improved and how much support he can get from former Lion Stefan Martin. The Magpies have the recent wood over the dogs and we expect it to continue here. Our final Collingwood v Western Bulldogs prediction? Magpies by seven points. 

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs Q and A

How can I watch the Magpies vs Bulldogs clash?

Channel Seven, Fox Footy and KAYO will telecast the game.

How can I bet on the Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs clash?

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

What time does Friday’s Collingwood v Western Bulldogs AFL Round 1 game start?

The Bulldogs-Magpies match kicks off at 7.50pm AEST on March 19, 2021.

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