The AFL Lines – Grand Final

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on September 27, 2012

The Crows were gallant; the Magpies less so. Nonetheless, only two sides can take centre stage on the last Saturday in September. The Hawks are seemingly repaying the faith of so many who had them pegged among the premiership favourites before the season began, while the Swans have been staring the naysayers squarely in the eye for much of 2012. To whom will the premiership spoils go? Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham go around one more time to try and figure it out.


It’s a good thing that we don’t have a tribunal for this column – I’d have been looking at a lengthy stint on the sidelines if there were.

By way of explanation, a little research earlier in the year pointed me to the fact that since 2000 (when the AFL changed the configuration of its finals series), 22 of 24 qualifying final losers bounced back the following week, while 21 of 24 qualifying final winners backed it up with a preliminary final victory. This should have been the knowledge on which a fortune was made.

Instead, I had a wussy 0.5 unit double in the second week of the finals, confident that I would pull the trigger on a big Hawks/ Swans preliminary final double. I then backed out of that bet and tried to get cute with a margin bet that missed by 1.5 points (marking the third time that a big bet on a Swans game in 2012 has gone awry by less than a kick), thus losing 1.35 units overall during a fortnight where a long-standing statistical trend held up once again. It’s lucky that bringing sensible gambling into disrepute isn’t an offence punishable by suspension.

It’s also time to bid a less than fond farewell to bets of more than one unit – across three sports and two seasons, my one unit or less bets have a better strike rate (53 per cent) than my 1.5 or more unit bets (51.5 per cent).  


There’s nothing quite like Grand Final week when your team is representing. So many emotions. The excitement, the anticipation. I think we’ve got a worthy Grand Final, the best offensive unit against the best defensive. Both uncompromising in their attack on the nut. Superstars from pillar to post. It’s going to be a cracker. 


Results for Preliminary Finals selections

GO – 1 selection, 1 unit bet, return of 0.00 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -100%

CB – 1 selection, 2 units bet, return of 0.00 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -100%

Total – 2 selections, 3 units bet, return of 0.00 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -100%

Results for 2012

GO – 90 selections, 108 units bet, return of 107.15 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -0.8%

CB – 56 selections, 61.5 units bet, return of 57.77 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -6%

Total – 146 selections, 169.5 units bet, return of 164.92 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -3%


(Please note – all times are EST)



Hawthorn v Sydney, MCG, 5.15pm

Bookmakers’ line: Hawthorn -13.5


Classic match ups from end to end. The well settled and unassuming defence of the Swans and the Hawthorn forward line that’s oozing talent. Smith will get the job on Cyril and he’ll have his hands full given Rioli’s current vein of form. Grundy will stand Roughie / Hale and Richards will go to Franklin who’ll try to push him up the ground. The best attack against the stingiest defence. Will be a cracker but if the Hawks get the running through the middle they could still put up a big number.

I think the midfields will go head to head rather than having designated tags with Sewell, Mitchell, Lewis, Sheils, Burgoyne and Hodge with the slight edge in class over Kenndey, Jack, Bolton, O’Keefe, Hannebury, McVeigh, Bird and Parker who run a bit deeper through the guts.

Shoenmakers got towelled up last week but his record on Reid is pretty good and I think he’ll be better for it. Hodge might play off half back to allow Gibson to play a tighter role on LRT or similar. Burgoyne could be the man for Goodes as he can take him forward and through the centre. Jetta will try and turn them inside out and don’t be surprised if Birchall goes to him and roughs him up early.

It’s going to be epic this weekend. I’m leaning towards the minus but the emotional investment is enough for me this week. Given that I can’t give you a bet this week you can take this metaphor into the weekend instead: when the maggot holds the ball up before the first bounce he’s saying to the lads…”Here it is boys, NOW WHO FUCKING WANTS IT?!”


We have a fitting finale to the 2012 season. Not only are these the best two sides, but they have each been excellent propositions against the spread this year. The Hawks are 15-9 ATS overall, 11-6 as favourites in Melbourne and 9-6 at the MCG. The Swans are 16-8 ATS overall, 8-3 interstate and 4-2 as an interstate underdog.

Here are my problems with the Swans:

They’ve won only one of their last 15 games at the MCG (against Richmond in 2009 – a year where the Tigers won only five games);

Teams favoured by less than 15.5 points are 36-22 against the spread in 2012;

The Hawks have won their last three against the Swans at the MCG, including a 36-point win in the 2011 finals series;

10 of the last 12 premierships have been won by a top-two side with at least 17 wins in the home and away season;

No team in recent history has lost three of its last six (let alone three of its last four) home and away matches before winning the flag.

That’s a few too many problems for my liking – one unit on the Hawks at the minus.


Recommended bet summary




1 unit on Hawthorn -13.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)


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


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