Melbourne Demons midfielder/forward Christian Petracca is rated one of the best young talents in the AFL. But it has been a rocky road for Petracca, who has had sky-high expectations placed on him.
Ultra-hyped as a teenager, Petracca was drafted by the Demons with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. But an ACL injury saw him miss the entire season, while a broken toe delayed his much anticipated debut until round 6 of 2016.
Lofty comparisons and predictions of greatness from respected judges continued to flow for Petracca over ensuing seasons. The prototype for the forward-midfielder, Petracca’s speed through the midfield, size and physical presence inside 50, and natural goal-scoring ability contributed to Melbourne’s drive to the 2018 preliminary final. But like many of his teammates during the Demons’ 2019 decline, Petracca was underwhelming last year.
The 24-year-old’s massive potential remains evident, however, and he has started 2020 in fine style. Petracca has played 88 games for the Demons, kicking 82 goals and averaging 19 disposals per game.
"He's laid off some of Nonna's meatballs."
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) June 14, 2020
Christian Petracca betting is set to become increasingly popular courtesy of Sportsbet’s AFL Player Hub. Christian Petracca odds are available on a wide range of markets, including Christian Petracca disposals bets and Christian Petracca early first goal scorer options. Meanwhile, also check out Christian Petracca’s Brownlow Medal odds.
CHRISTIAN PETRACCA BROWNLOW MEDAL: TIME TO MAKE A BELATED IMPRESSION
Christian Petracca’s Brownlow Medal history in four previous AFL campaigns is modest, to say the least.
The Demons tyro picked up two votes in 2017, three votes in 2018… and zero nods from umps last year. His last votes came way back in round 3 of 2018.
But a slimmed-down Petracca has been backed into the 14th line in the 2020 Brownlow Medal market, as of the start of July, with only perennial contenders, proven Brownlow performers and early-season sensations ahead of him.
The consensus is that he almost certainly grabbed the maximum three votes after an influential showing in Melbourne’s one-point win over Carlton in round 2, notching 24 disposals, six tackles, five clearances and two goals – including what turned out to be a brilliant match winner in the third quarter.
Christian Petracca had not polled a Brownlow Medal vote in two years until he ran riot on Saturday.
Turned a big corner over summer. Mentally and physically. 🥇https://t.co/XyjjuL6Kv0
— Jay Clark (@ClarkyHeraldSun) June 16, 2020
The postponement of the Essendon–Melbourne clash denied him an opportunity to impress in round 3, but while he was one of the Demons’ best in their narrow round 4 loss to the Cats, he will have been hard-pressed to pick up a vote.
But more of the same form should see the Christian Petracca bets flood in and Christian Petracca odds firm as the Brownlow race heats up in a shortened season. At the time of writing (1 July), he had been overtaken as the Demons’ top Brownlow Medal betting odds favourite by Max Gawn. Check out other players in Brownlow Medal contention at Sportsbet News.
CHRISTIAN PETRACCA FIRST GOAL SCORER: TEMPTING ODDS
Melbourne’s leading goal kicker in 2019 (albeit with a modest total of 22), Petracca kicks a high proportion of his goals in the first quarter. He kicked the first goal of the match once each in the 2016, ’18 and ’19 seasons, while he slotted the Demons’ first of the match three times in 2017.
He slotted the second goal of the match in the Demons’ round 2 eclipse of the Blues.
There are 10 players at shorter first goal scorer odds than Petracca ahead of Melbourne’s crunch clash with Richmond in AFL round 5; a Christian Petracca bet in this market is mighty tempting given his fast-starting habits.
CHRISTIAN PETRACCA ANYTIME GOAL SCORER OR TO SCORE TWO OR MORE GOALS: A VALUE BET
Christian Petracca averages 0.93 goals per game, slotting at least one major in 56 of his 88 AFL career games to date.
Last season, he scored in 15 of 22 games, including a nine-match mid-season streak. In Melbourne’s round 2 win over Carlton, Petracca notched two after going goalless in the round 1 loss to West Coast, while he was one of just five Demons goal scorers in last weekend’s low-scoring defeat to Geelong.
A Christian Petracca anytime-goal-scorer bet offers plenty of value for punters ahead of the Demons’ clash with the Tigers this weekend.
Petracca has kicked two or more goals on 18 occasions, including six bags of three or more. He booted a career-high four goals against Essendon in 2017. Though his shift to the midfield and the 16-minute-quarter change may reduce his likelihood of big hauls, punters will find some tantalising prices available on Christian Petracca to score two, three, four, five or more goals at the Tigers’ expense on Sunday.
CHRISTIAN PETRACCA DISPOSALS: BALL-HUNGRY DEMON A RELIABLE OPTION FOR 20-PLUS
The disposals markets may provide the most dependable Christian Petracca betting options. He’s solid value to get more than 20 disposals against the Tigers, having chalked up 24 in his first two outings 2020 and breaking the 20-disposal mark in 11 of his last 14 games. He was restricted to 18 by Geelong in round 4.
His numbers are very steady – Petracca is rarely outside the 17–25 disposal range – but this will likely be affected by the reduction in time to 16-minute quarters. He has only ventured into the 25-plus bracket four times in his AFL career, with his career-high disposal tally of 29 coming against Fremantle in 2019; each of these hauls occurred under 20-minute-quarter rules.
Investing in a Christian Petracca to get 20 or more disposals bet against Richmond is a sound option – but 25-plus or beyond may backfire
A mix of maturity, motivation + mindset. 👌
Christian Petracca has put in the work, on + off the field.
— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) May 28, 2020
AFL expert tip
Melbourne Demons are desperate for their second win of 2020 – and another big game from Christian Petracca is key to that happening against misfiring premiers Richmond Tigers in AFL round 5. The Tigers’ defence has been below its usual standard in recent weeks and the dynamic Petracca will be looking to take advantage by kicking a bag.