What has been made of Richmond over the last week is definitely hard to read.
After three quarters, you could have made a case for more than half the Tiger squad being rather good.
At both ends of the ground, you'll back the Tigers around the contest.
But as we've seen so much this season already, so much relies around the midfield battle. Will Richmond win a midfield battle this season?
It'll be a midfield of youngsters and those seemingly past it, without their premier hall winner Dion Prestia and likely without Dustin Martin, against the likes of Kelly, Coniglio, Whitfield, Ward and Taranto.
This could be rather grim. Giants to respond with a big win.
ATP Miami - John Isner vs Hugo Gaston - Correct Score - Isner 2-0 @ 1.97
The big-serving American veteran has started his Miami Open strongly, with a straight sets victory in the men's double alongside Polish partner Hubert Hurkacz.
Now, he turns his attention to the singles, where he faces off against the world number 66, Frenchman Hugo Gaston.
Gaston went through in straight sets in the first round against American Emilio Nava, however this time out, he will be facing much stiffer competition.
Although his record on the hard-courts has been poor so far this year, Isner is rightly a heavy favourite against Gaston who is a much stronger clay-courts player.
He has a winning record of 26% in hard court matchups since 2020 and against Isner, who is at 60% in that same timeframe.
You'd be a brave man backing Gaston to get anything out of this contest, so back Isner in his home country to make this the first win of what he will be hoping is many, on the way to a deep run in the tournament..
Indian Premier League - Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - 1x2
Royal Challengers Bangalore @ $1.75
The third game of the new season sees two sides who still haven’t managed to win an IPL title between them, in what is now in its 15th season.
There's building pressure on both sides to amend this.
Virat Kohli (RC Bangalore) has stepped down from the captaincy, with the hope he can now play with a greater sense of freedom.
He will no doubt enjoy the return of playing on his beloved, and more familiar Indian cricket pitches, after having to endure the more unpredictable UAE grounds during the last improvised IPL season.
Look for him to make a fast start to the new season.
The addition of Faf Du Plessis into the Bangalore team will be welcome. His batting with compliment the typically gung-ho approach of Glenn Maxwell and Virat Kohli and provide a better overall balance.
Punjab Kings had the highest auction purse of all 10 IPL clubs, but this has also meant they’ve had a high player turnover, retaining just two players from last season.
I think their bowling lineup is still a weakness of theirs, of which a batting line-up such as RC Bangalore can no doubt exploit.
World Cup Qualifer – Egypt Vs Senegal
1x2 - Draw @ 2.75
It's a repeat of the AFCON final as Egypt host Senegal in the first round of their 2022 World Cup Qualifier this weekend.
The AFCON saw goals hard to come by and draws aplenty throughout the tournament, epitomised by the outcome between these two in the final as Senegal managed to win on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
This is probably the reason for the skinny price here for the draw, but it's probably also a fair reflection of what are two extremely well matched teams.
Their head to head is also extremely even, with Egypt managing six victories to Senegals five, with a couple of draw thrown in. Expect a similar outcome to the AFCON final, with the draw worth banging a few bucks on.
Indian Premier League – Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders - Chennai Super Kings Top Batter Ruturaj Gaikwad @ 2.98
IPL is back on Saturday with a repeat of the 2021 final where Chennai Super Kings were crowned champions.
A huge part of their journey to the trophy was the form of Ruturaj Gaikwad who ended winning the Orange Cap - the IPL’s leading run scorer - scoring 635, averaging a huge (for T20), 45.35 incl. a coveted 100+.
This also lead to the Emerging Player of the Year award.
He will be opening batting with Devon Conway (2nd Fav), who made his International debut only 18 months ago.
Saturday will be his IPL debut too.
In this short space of time he has managed to reach 5th in the ICC T20 batting, which is some achievement. However, he has never played in India!
I think the two are too close in the betting therefore I will be taking the experienced and proven, reigning Orange Cap holder at almost 3.00
Counter Strike ESL Pro League - BIG vs Players - Map Handicap: Players -1.5 @ 1.94
Despite Players (Gambit) recent loss to Moviestar Riders 2-1, their form has been relatively decent, finishing most of their matches in 2-0 fashion.
To add to this, of the past 3 encounters with BIG they have won 2-0 each time. Taking Players on the map handicap at 1.94 sounds like a great price.
UFC Fight Night Columbus - Askar Askarov Vs Kai Kara-France - Asian Handicap - Under 2.5 Rounds @ $2.70
You'd have to be a brave punter to step in to a flyweight fight and back it to not go past the half-way point of the third round. But as punters, we are nothing if not brave.
Both fighters come into this number 1 contender fight with heavy hands and a willingness to engage in violence in the hopes of stitching up the next title shot after Moreno Vs. Figgy 4 was announced this week.
And if they intend to impress then expect all action in this contest from the start. Kai Kara-France brutally knocked out former Bantamweight Champions Cody Gardbrandt the last time we saw him in the Octagon while Askar Askarov took out perennial title contender Joe Benavidez in a one sided contest.
There are land mines everywhere here with punching power and submission threats sure to give us an exciting fight and hopefully they'll end this one early so we can sit back and enjoy the rest of the card
Early stages of the new AFL season, and the bookies have this one wrong here.
Weighing too heavily on Collingwood's Rd 1 win over St Kilda, they have put the Magpies down as heavy favourites.
The victory in Rd 1 was against a St Kilda side who were absolutely hopeless, and I think Collingwood are getting too much credit for that victory.
Adelaide lost by 1 point at home in Rd 1, and they do have to travel to the MCG, where they have lost their last five matches at, but I think the quality of both teams are far more even than the odds suggest.
Adelaide finished ahead of Collingwood last season with seven wins vs. Collingwood's 6, and the additions to both teams in the off-season have been pretty even.
I think the Vic-bias of ignoring the progress of teams outside of Victoria, has lead to the crows chances being under-rated here and the 3.25 is big value.
FC Koln vs Borussia Dortmund
1×2 & Total
Dortmund & Under 4.5 @ 2.60
The African WC Qualifiers kick off with some exciting matches on the cards.
This Ghana vs Nigeria game will be one of those that you will not want to miss out on as both nations are pretty equal in terms of quality and squad depth.
Ghana has had fairly poor form going into this game having won only 1 out of their last 6 games.
Nigeria on the other hand have won 4 out of 6, and considering their current squad with star and goal hungry players such as Osihmen, it is likely they will fire up against Ghana, especially to secure a spot in the World Cup.
I also have a Nigerian friend so i will be backing them with 3 units for the boys.
Borussia Dortmund will go into this game following on from a 0-1 Bundesliga 1 win versus Mainz in their previous fixture.
COME ON NAIJA!!!!!
– England v Switzerland - Anytime Goalscorer Harry Kane @ 2.14
10 goals, 6 games. That is Harry Kane's international record since the Euro 2020 final.
That magnificent run of form has seen Kane bag two goals in an important World Cup qualifier away to Hungary, and back to back hat-tricks against Albania and San Marino.
England take on Switzerland at Wembley this weekend, and with Ollie Watkins the only other out-and-out striker in the squad, captain Kane is sure to get a decent run out.
Couple that with the fact that he is on penalty duty and better than even money looks the best bet in a wretched weekend of sporting action.
NCAAB March Madness - Providence vs Kansas - Providence +6.5 @1.99
The Sweet 16 is where we turn for this week’s pick as we look for Providence to continue to outplay the metrics and cover the generous spread the books have offered.
The Friars are currently 2-0 ATS so far in the National Championship and an impressive 8-2 on the season as underdogs!
To bolster our claim, when listed as underdogs by 5 or more points, they are 4-0 on the season thanks to the 10-2 straight up record in games decided by 5 or less!
Lots of numbers and records being thrown around, but bottom line is whether the narrative that the Friars are not as good as their record suggests and are just lucky in the close games is fair or not, they’re simply outperforming the numbers in big games.
National Stage. Sweet 16. March. It doesn’t get bigger than this against the #1 seed Kansas.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters - 1x2 South Sydney @ 2.41
It’s the oldest rivalry in Rugby League and one of the biggest. You can throw out the form guide when the Bunnies play the Roosters.
That’s good news for Souths who are 0-2 to start the season and in desperate need of a win.
The Roosters bounced back from their shock Round 1 loss with a comprehensive win over Manly last weekend.
The Rabbits always lift when they face the Roosters. Souths have won the last three encounters between the teams, two of those by 40 points or more.
South Sydney simply can’t afford to drop this one. A loss here will leave them in real threat of going 0-4 as they are set to face their Grand Final conquerors in Penrith next weekend.
We’re backing a rampaging Latrell Mitchel to fire up against his old side and give the Rabbitohs another win against their old foes.
F1 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix - Qualifying - Winner Max Verstappen
Let’s face it. In the initial stages of the current season, only Ferrari and Red Bull have the winning pace.
This was very evident in last week’s qualifying with both constructors occupying P1 to P4.
Ferrari might have the better car but Verstappen is a monster who could have taken pole if it wasn’t for a bad 3rd Sector in Q3 in Bahrain.
Let’s also not forget last year when he missed out on pole position in Saudi Arabia due to a crash near the end but if that didn’t happen, he would have taken purple in all sectors.
He’s had enough experience now and I don’t think he’ll be making the same mistake again.
AFL - North Melbourne v West Coast - Under 169.5 total points
No Kennedy for West Coast, and no real key forward that can truly impact the scoreboard at North (as well as the 9+ potential COVID outs for the Eagles) has all the makings for an under hit. Last time they met:
Round 17 @ Optus Stadium, NM 70 def. WCE 60 - 30 total scoring shots.