The 2013 AFL Lines – Round 2

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on April 3, 2013

After an opening week fortnight with its fair share of upsets (where in particular, the Suns and Bulldogs were big winners and the Lions, Saints and Demons have some egg to clean off their respective faces), Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham return to preview the second round of action.


What an extraordinary weekend of football. Tipsters everywhere were left pulling their hair out after what proved to be a weekend of massive upsets. With the Dogs dispatching the Lions and the Power embarrassing the hapless Dees, the Suns got past the Saints and GWS were super impressive against the premiers, the landscape of the lesser lights is even harder to gauge. We’ll need another few weeks to get a true bearing on these teams. Consistency is the fear.

Has, Drew Petrie has replaced Ben McGlynn as your most loathed player now? Surely the coaching staff should be advising players of spread coverage in those moments…


What an ugly start on the punt. Mind you, if Drew Petrie cared about shots for goal after the siren (I now hope North miss the 8 by the barest percentage) and I had paid proper attention to dedicated chapters in our AFL Punters Guide (which would have tipped me into either side under 15.5 points in the Carlton v Richmond game), things would be just dandy.

The two saving graces: (1) the total points line for Geelong v Hawthorn was high-190s and thus steered me out of what would have been a losing bet against a 190.5 line; and (2) we still have 198 games of a 207-game season to go. There’s still time for a comeback!


Results for Round 1 (overall) selections

GO – 3 selections, 3 units bet, return of 1.85 units

CB – 5 selections, 5 units bet, return of 1.92 units

Total – 8 selections, 8 units bet, return of 3.77 units


(Please note – all times are EDST)


St Kilda v Richmond, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda +18.5 to +20.5


The Saints we undermanned last week at Metricon but that’s no excuse for the result. They still had an abundance of senior players and for a team trying to justify their relevance in the competition their output was poor.

The Tigers did everything they could to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory after looking the part for three quarters. Cotchin was outstanding and Martin showed some good signs. Chaplin has allowed Rance to play on the second best forward and his run and drive is important for the Tigers. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the win was that Riewoldt was poor and they kicked a score without him contributing.

I’m expecting the Tigers to have a big win on Friday to build on their start. 1 unit on the minus.


The Saints remained true to their ‘poor away from Etihad’ form in the opening round, while the Tigers started as if shot out of a cannon, got the wobbles in the final quarter and finally held on against a fast-finishing Carlton.

The head-to-head record makes for interesting reading. While much of the last seven or eight years has belonged to the Saints, the teams drew (at the MCG) in the second round of 2011 when St Kilda jumped as heavy favourites, while Richmond won by eight points (at Etihad) last year.

I think Richmond are on the up here and will use St Kilda’s poor record away from Etihad as the catalyst for one unit on the minus.



Sydney v Gold Coast, SCG, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -38.5 to -40.5


It is amazing to me that the reigning premiers can start their season with consecutive games against the sides that finished in the bottom two last year. It’s a luxury to be able to ease your way into the season, especially given the shorter preseason afforded to those who play deep into September. Just another on the pile of Swans concessions.

Ablett was untouchable last week when basically single handed he got the Suns across the line. His ability to will himself into the contest and execute under pressure and fatigue is mind blowing. There was support from the ever improving young list but he showed them the way.

I initially liked the points here given the Giants held the Swans last week but at the SCG if the Suns lapse for a few minutes then the Swans could pile them on quickly. No play here for me.


Over the past two seasons, the Suns have often proven themselves to be a reasonable bet (with the start) at home, but a poor bet when travelling interstate, especially in day games. Meanwhile, the Swans are excellent at the SCG, a strong bet as favourites and were perhaps the best bet of any side in day games last year.

Given that their only two previous matches were at Metricon and the Swans won them by 70 and 72 points, I feel like this line is quite generous to the reigning premiers – one unit on the minus.


Western Bulldogs v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs +19.5 to +21.5


A massive win for the Dogs last week. They wouldn’t be expecting too many this year so they’ll be soaking that up. The Lions were terrible though so we can’t read too much into it.  Some impressive performances for the Dogs most notably Brett Goodes who showed plenty of composure and skill and looks every bit the veteran after one run. Higgins also had an impact and will need to do so weekly to get the monkey of his back. Boyd could return this week and their fearless leader will certainly be a welcome addition.

It’s been that long since the Dockers played that I can scarcely remember what actually happened in that game. That may well have been due to the froth consumed when viewing but I’ve pieced together that Griffen is a hell of a player and a great stop gap in Sandilands’ absence. McPharlin can lay claim to being the best defender in the game. Mundy kicks it as good as anyone and Fyfe is Gen Y’s Jimmy Hird.

The Dockers are genuine top four material and the Dogs remain bottom four. That, along with the fact Freo have had two weeks off since the Derby I’ll be having 2 units on Fremantle at the minus.


A third straight game where I like the favourite – that is a bit disconcerting. This bet is more about being pro-Dockers than anti-Bulldogs, after the Dogs made a mockery of my preseason assessment of them in a matter of two and a half hours last Saturday afternoon.

Last year, the Dockers were an excellent bet in Melbourne (Ross Lyon turning the culture around very quickly!), an excellent bet as favourites and an excellent bet in day matches. Given that I think they will be a top-four side this season, they have to take care of business in games such as this, especially with an extra week of rest over their opponents – one unit on the minus for mine.


Brisbane v Adelaide, Gabba, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane +5.5 to +6.5


I won’t waste too much time here. Adelaide should win this game comfortably but given their performance in round 1 I would be trusting them to get it done. Brisbane were even worse than that and reeked of complacency after their NAB cup form.

They play well at home and could be a tough beat for the Crows.

I’m staying well away from this one.


Two of the big disappointments of the opening round can compete without my cash riding on them at the line until I figure out how they’re actually placed in 2013.

That does not predicate a ‘no bet’ situation though. In 2012, lines as small as this one were a profitable time to be looking at the “either side by under 15.5 points” option. Moreover, seven of the last 11 head-to-head matches (including five out of seven played at the Gabba) have been decided by 15 points or less. I’m going to back another tight finish – one unit on either side by under 15.5 points.


Essendon v Melbourne, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon -39.5 to -40.5


I certainly hope, for the sake of all Melbourne supporters that they cover this line. I don’t believe they can after their showing last week. It was possibly the worst game of football ever played. Not just at AFL level, anywhere, by anyone. They were gutless, effortless and leaderless. They’ll be keen to make amends this week but it’s a long way back.

Converserly, the Bombers were super impressive against the Crows. Their new players like Kommer and Merrett were outstanding. Their leaders were dominant and their endeavour was first rate. They were playing for more than points with all the shit that’s been flying around Windy Hill and they gave their fans a chance to forget the all the rot and soak up a win. Zaharakis is a key for them, his run and drive is massive and he’ll be better for the extended break.

All the signs point to a big win for the Bombers and whilst I don’t like taking big lines in the early rounds, I’m willing to risk a unit on this one.


Melbourne has won their last three matches against my Bombers, so I’m reluctant to lay almost seven goals. And needless to say after last Sunday, I’m reluctant to back Melbourne under any circumstances right now.


Port Adelaide v GWS, AAMI Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Port Adelaide -30.5 to -33.5


Both sides were impressive in round 1. Hinkley’s boys demolished the Dees and whilst that is promising, the St Clare’s under 14 B’s would have gone close to knocking off Melbourne last week. There is plenty to like and to admire about them and they’ll turn a few heads this year but I’d like to see some consistency of effort from the Power before I’ll trust them to take care of 5 and half goals.

GWS’s performance was equally impressive. They took it up to the Swans and held them when it looked like the game could break open. There’s so much to like about them and it keeps getting better with number 1 draft pick Lachie Whitfield showing plenty in his first senior game. Sheedy would have ear marked this game as a potential win preseason so you’d expect them to go all out and try and knock off the Power.

I think the GWS will get well inside the 33.5 but at this stage of the season we don’t have enough on the board to risk this one.


An odd trend developed for the Power last year – contrary to most poor sides, they were a far better bet on the road (often with a significant start) than they were at home. That trend continued last week as they belted Melbourne. As for the Giants, I thought they were pretty sound against the Swans last week, albeit that their record in New South Wales/ ACT was far better last year than when they travelled further afield. No play for me though.



Geelong v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -13.5 to -15.5


The Cats extended their dominance over the Hawks with their 10th straight against the premiership fancies. They did it in fine style too coming back from 5 goals down in the shadows of half time. They’ll welcome back James Kelly from suspension and possibly Joel Corey too who cut it up in the magoos over the weekend. Their run and drive is phenomenal and they could go real deep into September this year if they can maintain their list. Never write them off.

The Kangaroos did what they do against the Pies. They looked like world beaters for 15 minutes at time and then couldn’t find it for the next 15. I’m not sure if it’s a concentration thing or a fitness thing but the gap between their best efforts and their worst is huge. God help their opponents if they can play 100 minutes of football.

If this game was at KP then I’d have no trouble taking on the minus but Etihad could prove the difference. No play.


I’m not falling for the ‘back North as home state underdogs, especially at Etihad’ 2012 trend again until they show a lot more composure than they did in the third quarter (and early fourth quarter) last Sunday against Collingwood. The game was there to be won by either side, and they floundered badly.

Geelong has won seven of the last eight matches between these teams (albeit that North won the corresponding match last year), though the last three matches at Etihad are only 2-1 in favour of the Cats. Interestingly, those three matches les to total points scores of 245, 242 and 209, while seven of the last 12 head-to-head matches at all venues have reached 200. Look to back the over if the line is 195.5 or lower for one unit.


Collingwood v Carlton, MCG, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -16.5 to -18.5


Collingwood looked the more promising outfit last weekend. They got the job done where the Blues could not. Malthouse has an intricate knowledge of pretty much every player on the Collingwood list so surely that would have to have an impact. Head to head battles in the midfield with Murphy and Swan, Pendles and Judd, Kruezer and Jolly. You’ve got Reid and co running off the lumbering Carlton talls. Eddie Betts out with a broken jaw. Beams not available yet nor Krakouer.

You could look at this one from 50 different angles and be no closer to a definitive answer so I think I’ll just leave this one alone.


Part of me feels like this line is an overreaction to both the Blues’ slow start against Richmond and the Magpies’ brave win (missing some key personnel) against North. In addition, Carlton convincingly won both matches between these teams last year, snapping a five-game winning streak for Collingwood.

However, playing hunches in Round 2 of a season is rarely the pathway to a profitable year, so I’ll pass.


West Coast v Hawthorn, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast -2.5 to -4.5


Both would be disappointed after being in strong positions early only to let it slip away. West Coast have the advantage of a second weeks break however they will be missing Nic Nat, Kerr, Nicoski, Rosa, Wellingham, McKenzie and Le Cras from their best 22.

Perth is a traditionally tough place to get the points but if Hawthorn can lay claim to being a legitimate premiership contender then they have to win this game. If they loose with West Coast missing seven first choice players on the back of their capitulation last week then it’s tough to see them challenging. The mental hurdles will be too great.

I won’t be betting this game but the Hawks should get it done.


It’s not too often that you see Hawthorn go around as underdogs, especially with Naitanui still out for the Eagles. It’s a very tempting bet, until you see that in 2012: (a) the Eagles’ home record surpassed the Hawks’ interstate record; (b) both teams were an outstanding bet in daytime matches last year; and (c) West Coast have won each of the last three head-to-head matches played at Patersons. Thereafter, the Hawks at the plus is much less tempting.

However, with small lines between high-calibre sides, the either team by less than 15.5 points bet is the play. Moreover, three of the last four matches between these two teams have been decided by eight or less points. Sign me up to another close match for one unit.


Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Richmond –18.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

2 units on Fremantle –19.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Essendon –39.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)


1 unit on Richmond –18.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Sydney –38.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

1 unit on Fremantle –19.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on either side (Brisbane v Adelaide) by less than 15.5 points at $2.80 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on Geelong v North Melbourne total points over (if line is 195.5 or lower)

1 unit on either side (West Coast v Hawthorn) by less than 15.5 points at $2.75 (TAB Sportsbet)


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


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