The opening weekend of the 2022 AFL season saw the Blues break their season-opener drought, while an underrated star did it again.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Drought breakers

Ever year for the past nine seasons, Carlton fans turn up to the MCG on the opening round of the AFL season with hopes intact. Hopes of fulfilled potential and maybe, just maybe, the ultimate success. But for each of those years, dreams have quickly been snuffed out by a usually dominant Richmond outfit.

But not this year.

Thursday night’s blockbuster looked to be following a similar script when the Tigers ($1.46 with Palmerbet) went 20 points up. But in booting the last seven goals — unanswered, no less — the Blues ($2.75) ensured that for the first time in a decade they won’t finish Round 1 in the bottom half of the table. While it’s far, far too early to determine the meaning of the win (see also the question: are Richmond a team in decline?), Michael Voss’s side have notably already shortened from $2.88 in Palmerbet’s AFL Top 8 market.

End to end

After five-and-a-half months without footy, fans are keen to see free-flowing footy. And that’s exactly what they got in AFL Round 1. In several games the pre-game Total Points line was completely blown out by high-scoring encounters. In the GWS vs Sydney clash, the total points figures of 204 was a whopping 50.5 points above the pre-game line (of 153.5). The Geelong vs Essendon game it finished a hefty 48.5 points above, while the Friday night encounter between St Kilda and Collingwood finished 27.5

Parked up forward

Of course, we shouldn’t go too hard after one performance. But just how high is Swan Luke Parker’s ceiling this season? Five goals gave the Bloods skipper a FOURTH Brett Kirk Medal for the player best afield in the Swans vs Giants Battle of the Bridge, which was typically fierce in a AFL finals-like atmosphere on Saturday evening. Is he an early Brownlow roughy? While he started the season a distant $67 hope with Palmerbet, it’s hardly the most outrageous question. Let’s not forget, Parker has finished as high as second in the Brownlow before, runner-up to Patrick Dangerfield in 2016. He also has two more Top 10 finishes to his name, in both 2017 and 2020. Saturday’s performance has already seen his price slashed from $67 into $41.

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