The Best of the Day preview bends it in from the boundary with AFL tips for the 2019 season opener between the Carlton Blues and Richmond Tigers. 

AFL Tips – Carlton Blues V Richmond Tigers

19:20 (AEDT) @ Melbourne Cricket Ground

History: Played 219: Carlton 125 V Richmond 92 (2 Draws)

Last Meeting: Round 1, 2018: Richmond 17.19 (121) d Carlton 15.5 (95)

Final Thoughts: Old rivals Carlton and Richmond line up for AFL season’s customary Round 1 opener – and a clash between 2018’s wooden spooners and minor premiers.

The rebuilding Blues won just two games last season. The club’s prospects of improvement ride on the brilliance and the potential of players like Charlie Curnow and No.1 draft pick Sam Walsh.

The Blues will field recruits Alex Fasolo, Will Setterfield, Nic Newman and Mitch McGovern. Walsh and Michael Gibbons are set for debuts. Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer is a key absentee.

The Tigers will be out to make an early statement after their preliminary final capitulation to Collingwood when back-to-back premierships seemed a formality. But the black-and-golds are warm title favourites in 2019 and Dustin Martin heads Brownlow Medal betting.

Star recruit Tom Lynch lines up in a revamped Tigers forward line that includes debutant Noah Balta.

Richmond are on a seven-match winning streak against Carlton. All but one featured a margin of 30 points or less, however. The Tigers have also won the last five season-opening encounters between the clubs.

The Round 1 clashes in the past two seasons produced 216-plus points. The Blues led at halftime in the 2018 season opener but ultimately went down by 26 points despite being far more accurate in front of goal, kicking 15.5 (95) against the Tigers’ 17.19 (121).

Jack Riewoldt and Jacob Townsend both kicked four goals for victorious Richmond, while Charlie Curnow slotted five majors for Carlton.

The Blues went 1-6 at the MCG last season and have won only five of their last 23 at the ground. The Tigers love the ’G, winning 22 straight there until last year’s prelim defeat.

The Tigers should have too much class but expect the Blues to extend their trend of keeping clashes between the clubs relatively close.

Tip: Margin – Tigers 1-39 @ $2.50