The Hunter’s Week Ahead – 14 Oct

Tips, Tricks, Picks and Odds. 

Welcome to the week ahead.

After another thrilling weekend where sports fans across Australia were hypnotised by the unrelenting action, we’re set for another big week ahead. Over the weekend we caught one of the best (and most controversial) Bathurst 1000 races in history, we saw the South East Melbourne Phoenix justify their place in the NBL with two huge wins, we saw the nationals shock everyone to knock the Dodgers out of the MLB and we saw NHL and NFL action that put other weeks to shame.

But, don’t even take a second to breathe, because this week is bound to be just as good.

As always in this column, I’ll explore what Australians can look forward to in this week of sports – focusing on a different sport for each day – and provide the tips that I feel most confident in based on my research, analysis and expert intuition. 

Tuesday – NFL

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To kick off the week we head over to the midwest, where two NFC North rivals will play, quite possibly, the biggest game of either teams’ season.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions

Now, if you’d told me just five weeks ago that the Lions would be sitting in a wildcard spot in the NFC North with a chance to take out the top spot this weekend – I’d have laughed you away. And yet here we are, halfway through the season and it seems the Lions’ form is no dead cat bounce. They’ve been one of the most dependably consistent teams all season and their performances have come as a shock to all. How they perform in this match will be huge and could set the tone for the season to come. If they can put it together against one of the league-best teams at Lambeau, it could be all the boost they need to send them to the playoffs for the first time in what seems like forever.

Of course, to do that they have to beat the Packers; no easy task on any given day, let alone with the form they’re in. Dak Prescott and ‘dem boys’ in Dallas looked like children against the Packers defence, and Rogers made light work of the Cowboys on the offence. But, this is a new week and who knows what the football gods will throw us.

Honestly, with the way the Packers have been playing, I wouldn’t hesitate to say they’re effectively unbeatable and I doubt the Lions will have much luck unless the cheese have an out-of-character performance.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Packers to Win

Wednesday – Netball Constellation Cup

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Following the Netball World Cup in Liverpool earlier this year and the phenomenal Super Netball season that followed, netball fans around the globe have been eager for more international fixtures and we’ve finally been paid for our patience with the Trans-Tasman constellation cup kicking things into gear. The Silver Ferns (reigning world champs) claimed game one by a single point, so the Diamonds will be desperate to claw a result back and keep their cup hopes alive.

New Zealand v Australia

The past two times these teams have met, New Zealand won by a single point, so to say this game will be close would be an understatement. This is one of the most difficult tips I’ve ever had to make, cause I’m yet to see anything that differentiates these two teams – both performing at the top level of the game. I think the Aussies might claim this one, mainly because it means slightly more to them (hell hath no fury like seven women scorned. Twice. By a single point both times).

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Australia to Win

Thursday – Rugby League Nines

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After an absolutely stellar season of NRL, with controversy, playmaking and close scores like I’ve never seen, we’ve got an exciting little world cup to tide us over till next season. The World Cup Nines have been building momentum over the past few months and we’re finally ready for the inaugural tournament at Bankwest Stadium. Taking place over two days, we’re set for the thrill of rugby sevens mixed with the quick pace and impact of league – it’s going to be an absolute treat.

There are a few too many games for me to cover efficiently in this column, so I feel like my best course of action here would be to give you my tip for who’ll take home the whole thing. And honestly, is there any other choice than Australia?

The fans and atmosphere at Bankwest are electric (even when you’re watching your team be beaten 58-0, I speak from experience there). And the pace of this format of the game means it’ll be suited to the quick Aussie backs. England and New Zealand both have decent sides and Fiji’s rich sevens history should serve them well here. But ultimately, the Aussies still dominate in the NRL, and I don’t see that being any different in the Nines.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Australia To Win the Tournament

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Feature image: Green Bay Packers. Image via Shutterstock.