The 2013 AFL Lines – Round 21

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on August 15, 2013

With the Essendon/ ASADA drug scandal leaving the prospect of ninth place being far more sought after than in previous years, a number of matches become critical in the context. Throw in a monster Friday night match between the Hawks and Magpies and a bumper weekend awaits the assessments of Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham.


Good old North Melbourne, they’re champions (at Etihad) you’ll agree….. and rubbish when travelling interstate. This column would have been much easier over the past 2 years if I had bet that trend every time, as well as another one we’ll get to in the Saturday night match previews.


Don’t get me started on North. Every time they look to have turned the corner they stick it in and break it off. Loved the Dogs getting over Carlton. McCartney has them playing some great footy. A bit of belief goes a long way. Some cracking games this weekend. It’s heating up!


Results for Round 19 selections

GO – 4 selections, 4 units bet, return of 1.91 units

CB – 4 selections, 4 units bet, return of 5.74 units

Total – 8 selections, 8 units bet, return of 7.65 units

Results for 2013 selections

GO – 77 selections, 86 units bet, return of 71.17 units, -17% PoT

CB – 90 selections, 90 units bet, return of 101.61 units, 13% PoT

Total – 167 selections, 176 units bet, return of 172.78 units, -2% PoT


(Please note – all times are EST)


Hawthorn (-10.5 to -12.5, 189.5 to 200.5) v Collingwood, MCG, 7.50pm


Hawthorn have had the wood on the Pies in recent times. If they can break even in the midfield which they have every chance to do given the Pies tend to go head to head in the guts rather than play run with footy then the class of the Hawthorn forward line should come to the fore. The Pies play a team defence with third up jumpers rolling off their men and going to the Franklins and Rougheads. The Hawks prey on this and have a history of freeing up smaller forwards and channelling the attack through them. Case in point that Hodge, Breust, Lewis and Gunston all have 5-goal hauls against the Pies in their last 4 regular season encounters. More of the same for mine.


The contrast in styles between these teams manifests itself in some key recent head-to-head outcomes. The Hawks have lost 11 straight against Geelong and 4-3 in their last 7 v Sydney. The Magpies have won 3 straight against Geelong and are on a 12-2 run against Sydney. However…. the last 4 between these teams have resulted in the Hawks scoring 135+ points en route to a comfortable win every time. I love this match-up for Hawks’ tall forwards against the Pies’ lack of key one-on-one defenders – Hawks at the minus.



Richmond (-19.5 to -21.5, 178.5 to 185.5) v Carlton, MCG, 1.45pm

Port Adelaide (-27.5 to -28.5, 171.5 to 175.5) v Gold Coast, AAMI Stadium, 1.45pm

Essendon (+16.5 to +18.5, 196.5) v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm

West Coast (+12.5 to +14.5, 187.5 to 190.5) v Geelong, Patersons Stadium, 7.40pm  

Brisbane (-59.5 to -61.5, 195.5 to 196.5) v GWS, Gabba, 7.40pm


The race for ninth is on in earnest today! Who do you like?


Carlton are a shot duck. They have no potency and the inability of Murphy to break a tag seems to be dragging down the rest of the group. Gibbs is a non-event, Judd is injured and Carrazzo is on the sideline as well. They have plenty of run with types but not enough to shut down the Richmond engine room. Cotchin has found form, Martin has found consistency and the second rung in Foley, Conca, Ellis and Grigg are getting plenty. They’ll put a big number on the Blues this week.

Port are deserving favourites against the Suns but I’m not sure if they should be giving a five goal start. The Suns haven’t been belted this year by anyone and I’m not convinced the Power are good enough to put a big number on them. The Suns have the edge inside and if they can get enough drive from the mid then they’ll give themselves every opportunity. I have a strong lean towards the points here but Port at home, needing a win to secure eighth is enough to jump off.

The Bombers have had a challenging week you might say. Their form has been rough but they may have one last effort in them. North can eat it for all I care. Play for ninth you peanuts.


The Blues are 0-8 this year against top-7 sides and 9-2 against everyone else. The Tigers are 3-5 against the rest of the top 8 and 10-1 against the bottom 10. All of this makes the minus quite tempting, especially as 10 of Richmond’s last 11 wins have come by 22 points or more. However, I marked this line in the low-20s, so cannot talk myself into a bet here.

The Power-Suns line looked about right to my eye, but there is value to be had in betting the over. These sides are a combined 12-6 over in day matches this year, while both teams have totalled more than 180 in over half their games this season (Power 58 per cent, Suns 53 per cent).

I’m still in the foetal position about the plight of my Bombers. However, both teams come here off a 6-day break (a scenario where they are a combined 10-3 under this year), while they are a combined 12-8 under at Etihad. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?


Geelong are the better side despite the Eagles recent vein of form. West Coast really struggle to transition without Hurn and Waters off half back so the Cats forward pressure should create plenty of opportunities for them. They both run hard but the Cats have an edge in pace. Kennedy and Darling hold the key for the Eagles but the the Cats have two genuine key defenders in Taylor and Lonergan so if they can hold tight the Cats will win by plenty.

Brisbane have also endured a horror week with the sacking of Voss. I’ll say it now, his record isn’t great but there have been positive signs the last two years. The way the Lions FC has handled it is a disgrace and it’s a tribute to Voss the way he has taken the news. That said, I can’t take the Lions minus 10 goals. Just too many points. Fingers crossed that the Giants can feed enough into Cameron for him to kick a bag.


A stat I wish I had been able to prognosticate prior to the 2012 season: Geelong as favourites of more than 15 points are 7-16 ATS (including a 5-9 run this year), but 11-6 ATS when either favoured by less than 15 points or as an underdog (including a 5-0 run this year). Laying them every time as clear favourites and backing them every other time would have netted a 27-13 run of winning bets, or a 68% strike rate. Clearly, I have not done this. The Eagles have won the last two head-to-head at Patersons (years where they finished 4th and 5th on the ladder), but lost the three prior to that by at least 22 points apiece (in years where they finished outside the finals). I like the Cats at the small minus.

A line of more than 10 goals in the Lions-Giants match does not appeal, but I can see the under being a strong bet. The Lions have totalled 190 or less in 74 per cent of their matches this season, while the corresponding match last year totalled only 172. More broadly, a mid-190s line for an outdoor night game is almost always a good under bet.



Melbourne (+65.5 to +67.5, 171.5 to 175.5) v Fremantle, MCG, 1.10pm

Sydney (-57.5 to -59.5, 175.5 to 177.5) v St Kilda, SCG, 3.15pm

Western Bulldogs (+5.5, 185.5 to 191.5) v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm


The big lines in the opening 2 matches once again do not appeal, and I think the totals are pretty close to right (albeit that I have a slight lean to the over in the Demons-Dockers game).

About three months ago, I’d have declared the Crows -5.5 as absolute morals in this match. However, since Round 8 the Bulldogs are 5-6 with wins over Port, West Coast and Carlton and 5 losses to sides in the top-8 (plus an inexplicable loss to Melbourne). I’m now severely tempted to back the Dogs at the plus…. thinking… nah, can’t quite pull the trigger on this one. What I will be doing is betting the over. The Dogs are 9-3 over at Etihad, Adelaide are 7-4 over when playing interstate, and 3 of the last 4 matches between these teams at Etihad have totalled 193 or more.


I’m a bit the same as you however I can be drawn into the minus in the Melbourne Fremantle game. One team is tuning for finals and the other is VFL standard. I’ll be surprised if the Dockers don’t win this one by 15 goals. I don’t have the stats to back it up but in the last couple of years the Dockers have posted some big scores in the last 6 rounds of the season whilst prepping for September. They’ll flog Melbourne.

I can easily leave the Sydney Saints game alone though. St Kilda looked ok last week but I think that was more due to the Hawks lack of effort. Sydney are Sydney and can bring the noise but I they don’t belt sides by big numbers too often.

I love the Dogs. I’ve always had a soft spot for them given my junior club was the Bulldogs. They’ve endured plenty of pain in recent times but as I said, with a bit of belief, some big numbers from key players like Griffen and Dahlhaus and a fresh new target in Campbell who gives a great contest they are playing great footy. Their tackling pressure is manic and their skills have improved. Adelaide are playing decent footy but they haven’t encountered a team with this ferocity in a while and they’ll get knocked off this week.

Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Hawthorn –10.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbbet)

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

1 unit on Geelong -12.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Fremantle – 65.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on Western Bulldogs +5.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)


1 unit on Hawthorn –10.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbbet)

1 unit on Port Adelaide v Gold Coast over 171.5 total points at $1.91 (Bet365)

1 unit on Essendon v North Melbourne under 196.5 total points at $1.91 (Bet365)

1 unit on Geelong –12.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Brisbane v GWS under 196.5 total points at $1.91 (Bet365)

1 unit on Western Bulldogs v Adelaide over 185.5 total points at $1.85 (TAB Sportsbet)


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


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