The 2013 AFL Lines – Round 1 Part 1

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on March 20, 2013

Premiership footy is back for 2013! While the opening instalment of Round One only provides two of the nine matches, Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham have been champing at the bit for far too long to be concerned by such trivial matters. They return for the opening gambit of the AFL Lines for this year.


It’s good to be back. A busy summer across the board now culminates and the battle begins. I’m not convinced that the split round is the best way to kick off the season but hey, the footy is back! The Swans are looking like a real chance to go back to back. The Hawks will be out to silence the demons of the last two years. The rumbles from the west are getting louder and the Pies and the Cats are still in the frame. This year shapes as one of the toughest in recent memory with a dozen teams having a realistic chance of playing finals. We’ll have to be on our game to beat the bookies this year mate.


After two years of being comprehensively trounced by you in our head-to-head battles in this column, this is the year to start squaring the ledger. Given that we went to the trouble of putting together a vast array of analysis for The Punters Guide to the 2013 AFL Season, we’d be mad not to take heed of its wisdom in trying to knock the bookmakers down by a peg or two this year.


(Please note – all times are EDST)


Adelaide v Essendon, AAMI Stadium, 8.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide – 14.5


A difficult game to start with. The Crows are flying by all reports and they’ll be looking to kick off 2013 in style at home. They’ll need to take every opportunity against the less fancied sides if they are to play finals this year given their draw has tightened. It will be interesting to see how they structure up with the departure of Tippett – Jenkins looms as the likely replacement.

The Bombers have endured the summer from hell with ASADA investigations and Crime Commissions coming out of their arse. It’s difficult to say how this will play out for them but you’d expect a strong showing. Goddard adds polish to the midfield but their ability to kick a score worries me.

The trip to AAMI might just be a bridge to far for the Dons with the Crows looking a class above them at the minute. Adelaide by four goals – one unit on the minus.


I have no idea what to make of my Bombers right now. The fast start/ major collapse trends of the past two seasons were hard enough to fathom before off-field controversy took centre stage. The signing of Goddard should improve Essendon, while the loss of Tippett should hurt Adelaide.

Adelaide have won four of the last five matches played between these two sides at AAMI Stadium – albeit that three of those last five matches have been decided by less than two goals. Essendon also have a poor 8-21 overall win-loss record at the ground, so it is hard to tip them with any confidence.

To my mind there will be a number of games early in the season where the best option is to simply watch and learn – I think this is one such game.



Fremantle v West Coast, Patersons Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle +3.5 to +4.5


A massive start for the WA teams, the Derby will be played at break neck pace. Both sides are bound for finals footy and the Eagles are tipped by many to salute this year.

No Nic Nat for the Eagles hurts their structure with Cox being forced to play more minutes on the ball. He holds the key for the Eagles. If he can have a big impact the Eagles are a big chance.  Le Cras returns to bolster an already imposing forward unit and their defence is solid.

The Dockers will miss Sandilands but have a solid go to option in Griffen. Pavlich kicked 8 the last time these sides met so Glass will be out to exact some revenge on his old foe. Ballantyne always starts the season well and he’ll thrive in the cauldron. 

I like the Dockers here but this one is a bit too close to open the wallet.


Very few people appear to be keen on the Dockers this season, which seems odd for a team who won nine of their last 11 matches last season (including an away final). I can’t help but look back to the influence Ross Lyon had at St Kilda – they missed the eight in his first season, before vaulting into the top four the following year. Given that Fremantle rattled home last year to almost make the preliminary final in his debut season, I expect really big things of them in 2013.

Head to head, Fremantle have won eight of the last 11 matches between the sides, though West Coast has won three of the last four. Nine of the last 13 matches between the teams have been decided by 27 or more points, including both matches last year (Eagles by 48 points in Round Nine, Dockers by 65 points in Round 19).

This is by no means a knock on the Eagles (who are likely to be right in the mix for a top-four finish), but I have to back the unheralded and underrated Dockers in this one – one unit on the plus.


Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Adelaide -14.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)


1 unit on Fremantle +4.5 at $1.92 (Flemington Sportsbet)


Thanks to Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac for use of the photo


Comments (1)

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  1. Cliff Bingham says:

    I'm also adding under 190.5 total pts for Adel-Ess match at $1.80 (TAB Sportsbet) to my recommended bets.