The Hunter’s Weekend of Sports – 12 Apr
Tips, Tricks, Picks, and Odds.
The Weekend is Back With a Bang.
After a hefty week of sporting goodness, which involved NHL playoffs, the end of the NBA regular season, and the golfing US Masters, we’re finally ready for the weekend. And I hope you’ve brought a harness because it’s bound to be just as wild.
We kicked things off last night with an upset for both the swans and my beloved Broncos, and the weekend will be chock-a-block with sports from here on out.
Fortunately the Hunter’s here to guide you through the best of the best from the week ahead, and 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.
FRIDAY – NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
We start the weekend out with some high-stakes NHL action in Canada, as the Flames look to start on the right foot against Colorado on their way to the Stanley Cup.
Calgary Flames v Colorado Avalanche
The Flames dominated the West, finding themselves top of the Pacific division (and the Western Conference as a whole) when the regular season wrapped up last week. With 50 wins and 107 pts to their name, the Flames waltzed into the top seed of the playoffs, and take the home advantage into their first match.
The challengers, Colorado, scraped into the finals by the skin of their teeth, only four points in front of the Coyotes (who failed to qualify). With that being said, playoffs are an even playing field once more, and the Avalanche will definitely leave it all on the ice.
The Flames have won the last three matches between these two teams, but everyone knows playoff hockey is a whole new level, and who knows what the teams will bring onto the ice. Colorado is in hot form, having won seven of their last ten, and with the gusto of their performances late in the season, I could seriously see them pushing an upset here.
Calgary should take the series, but I think they might be shocked by Colorado in the opening game. Either way, it will be an exciting match of playoff hockey.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Colorado to Win
SATURDAY – A-League
Back to Australia now, for one of the marquee games of the A-league regular season.
It’s derby day.
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
The two Sydney based professional football teams will meet for the third time this season after Sydney FC claimed the first two matches. WSW have the ‘home’ advantage and will be looking to get one back over their sky-blue arch rivals.
Wanderers have scored 3 or more in 5 of their last 6, so their offensive promise isn’t in question. If they can keep their defence a little tidier, they could definitely pose a challenge for the team currently in second on the ladder.
Sydney FC, on the other hand, won’t see this match as too much of a challenge. WSW is currently sitting out of playoff contention and third from bottom. If they play like they have all season, this match will really be a walk in the park. They had a good result in the AFC Champions League this week and will be really hoping to build on that with a win in the derby.
As much as I would love to see an underdog upset here, Sydney FC has been far too solid and consistent this season, and I can’t see the Wanderers pushing for a result here.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Sydney FC to Win
SUNDAY – NRL
We close out the weekend with an exciting game of footy taking place in the capital.
Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels
At the start of the season, no one would have been too excited for this game. But both teams have far exceeded expectations thus far, and I can see them both going seriously far in the season if they keep up the play. Ferguson has been borderline unstoppable for the eels, and the Raider’s offence as a whole has been a well-oiled machine.
The Raiders have won four on the trot against the eels, but this is the first time these two sides will face each other this season, and the Eels have really been playing like a whole new team.
I think the home advantage will make all the difference here. GIO is notoriously difficult to win at, and the eels have shown some weaknesses in the armour. It’ll be close, but the Raiders should walk away with the Win.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Raiders to Win