2020 Australian Football League odds, picks, schedule: Round 1 predictions from data-driven expert

The 2020 Australian Football League season has begun, albeit with a shortened 17-round schedule and matches being played in empty stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Richmond Tigers return nearly every key player from last year’s championship team, but they’ll be challenged by a slew of contenders including the four-time Premiership-winning West Coast Eagles.

Seven exciting, televised matches Round 1 are on tap from Friday night through Sunday morning, and William Hill US is taking bets on each one. Before making any 2020 Australian Football League picks for Round 1, see the AFL predictions from data scientist Mike McClure.

A daily Fantasy pro with nearly $2 million in winnings, McClure specializes in player projections and advanced statistical analysis. He has taken the time, during this hiatus in major American sports, to apply his data analysis to the AFL. McClure is the same analytics guru who was recognized in the book, “Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People: How To Turn Your Hobby Into a Fortune.” 

Now, McClure has dialed in on Australian rules football and released picks for every Australian Football League Round 1 matchup. He’s sharing all of them at SportsLine.

Top Round 1 Australian Football League predictions

McClure is backing the Geelong Cats to stay within a 9.5-point spread against the Greater Western Sydney Giants in a game that will be played on Saturday at 4:26 a.m. ET.

“This game should be much closer than the market is suggesting,” McClure told SportsLine. “I would make this line Sydney -6.5 in this environment. Ruckman Darcy Fort and Esava Ratugolea will keep the Cats within the number. Take the points.”

How to make Round 1 AFL picks

McClure has locked in picks for every Round 1 game, and he’s high on one team that’s “stronger in every aspect of the game.” Get every pick here.

Will the big AFL favorites cover on opening weekend? Or should you look to grab the points? Visit SportsLine now to get against-the-spread picks for every 2020 Australian Football League match this weekend, all from the data scientist with nearly $2 million in DFS winnings.

Australian Football League odds from William Hill US:

  • Friday, March 20, 9:46 p.m. ET:  Essendon Bombers (-14.5) vs. Fremantle Dockers
  • Saturday, March 21, 1:36 a.m. ET: Adelaide Crows (-4.5) vs. Sydney Swans
  • Saturday, March 21, 4:26 a.m. ET: Greater Western Sydney Giants (-9.5) vs. Geelong Cats 
  • Saturday, March 21, 4:26 a.m. ET:  Gold Coast Suns vs Port Adelaide Power (-13.5) 
  • Saturday, March 21, 10:11 p.m. ET:  North Melbourne Kangaroos vs. St Kilda Saints (-2.5)
  • Sunday, March 22, 12:21 a.m. ET:  Hawthorn Hawks vs. Brisbane Lions (-3.5)
  • Sunday, March 22, 3:21 a.m. ET: West Coast Eagles (-18.5) vs. Melbourne Demons

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