The AFL Lines – Rd 11

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on June 1, 2011

Just when it seemed that the haves and have nots of the 2011 AFL season had announced themselves, Round 10 muddied the waters for a few of the mid-range sides. Sydney got the four points but little in the way of promising signs. Fremantle lost Sandilands for a month and need to steady the ship promptly. Richmond stumbled, blowing a 15-point second quarter lead in a match that a finals-bound team really needs to win. St Kilda won their second straight match to move to tenth on the ladder and within striking distance of the eight. With a pivotal Round 11 looming, Cliff Bingham and Greg Oberscheidt pass judgement on each match and give you their recommended bets.

CB – A combined record of 10-3 for recommended units bet against the spread in Round 10. It wasn’t a bad weekend’s work was it? The only downsides were that (a) you snuck a little further ahead in terms of our season-long bet regarding ‘units of profit’ from each of our selections and (b) I underestimated the effect of Richmond having never played in Darwin. Granted, Port Adelaide’s record in Darwin was quite poor (2-4 before last Saturday), but at least they had some history in the humid, poorly lit conditions. That one might come back to haunt the Tigers come Round 24.

GO – It turned out to be a good week for both of us but there were plenty of hairy moments. Gold Coast and the Cats gave me a scare, especially considering I’d had a few stubbies and forgot the line. Sydney burnt me again and I don’t know if I’ll be backing them for a while after their efforts. Port did what I thought and performed away from their fans judging eyes, which helped the head-to-head battle with your good self. This week looks tough at a glance and could upset the apple cart. We’ll have to tackle some big lines to make a quid. I’m not scared.


Summary of Round 10 results

GO – Four selections, seven units bet, return of $11.40, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 63%

CB – Four selections, six units bet, return of $7.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 27%


Summary of overall results

GO – 14 selections, 18 units bet, return of $24.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 37%

CB – 12 selections, 14 units bet, return of $13.30, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -5%


(Please note – all times are EST)


Essendon v Melbourne, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon -27.5

GO – The Bombers might be buoyed by the return of their skipper as he makes impressive progress with a hamstring but I doubt Hird will take the risk in this one. The Dees loose Davey who probably would have been omitted anyway and welcome back Trengrove and Scully for his first game of the year. Melbourne will come out firing after their collective manhood was questioned during the week and I think it will be enough to cover against the Bombers who are coming off the bye. One unit on Melbourne + 27.5.

CB – This feels like a huge trap game (at least from a betting perspective) to me. The Dees are injury plagued and out of form, but the match against Richmond highlighted how much the Bombers miss the inside work of Jobe Watson and Heath Hocking. From a head-to-head perspective, Melbourne won the sole match last year but Essendon won the three encounters prior to that. I can’t recommend bet in this match.



Geelong v Western Bulldogs, Skilled Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong –39.5

GO – Geelong play an impressive brand of footy at Skilled Stadium and deserve their favouritism. The Bulldogs are still struggling to find balance and any semblance of cohesion in their efforts. The Cats beat the Suns by 11 goals last week but did not impress their coach who would have given them a flogging on the track this week. Expect the inside midfielders of Geelong to send a message to the rest of the competition that contested footy is their domain. The Dogs won’t be able to go with them and I expect the Cats to win by 10 goals. One unit on Geelong at the minus.

CB – This seems like a big line for about five seconds until you ask yourself the question – where are the Dogs going to get their goals from? They have only broken 80 points against Brisbane, Gold Coast and Richmond so far in 2011, and have failed to break 65 five times (against Essendon, Collingwood, Sydney, West Coast and Hawthorn). Now they run into the best defence in the competition in Geelong, who are only conceding an average of 68 points per game this season and have kept seven out of nine sides thus far to less than 80 points. Geelong have also won six of the past seven matches between the teams, and the last match between them at Skilled Stadium resulted in a 61-point Geelong win in 2008. I struggle to see how the Bulldogs can keep this one close – one unit on Geelong at the minus.


West Coast v Gold Coast, Patersons Stadium, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast -68.5

GO – West Coast play the long narrow confines of Subiaco very well and I think the Suns might be in for a shock this week. In their first trip across the Nullabor, the boys from Southport will find a new definition of hostile when they front the Eagles faithful. The only doubt I have on this one is the form of the Suns midfield who are currently leading the league in clearances. I’m also looking forward to seeing Zac Smith (get on him for the Rising Star) take on Dean Cox and Nic Nat on their own patch. The Eagles should win easy but 12 goals is too much given the form of the Suns engine room. No play.

CB – The Suns are showing a bit and for a second I was tempted to back the plus here, but at the end of the day, their closest losing margin thus far remains 57 points. The Eagles are 4-1 this season at Subiaco and they will be seeking retribution for a tail kicking at the hands of the defending premier last Sunday. The size of Subiaco Oval and the athleticism of the Eagles ruck division will make life very difficult for the Suns. I have a very slight leaning to the Suns +68.5, but it’s not strong enough to recommend a bet.


Brisbane v Sydney, Gabba, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane -2.5

GO – The Lions have hit a bit of form with back-to-back wins and it is no coincidence that it happened on the back of Jonathon Brown making a strong return. I don’t know if their form is good enough to warrant favouritism against the Swans, who play the Gabba pretty well. Mumford and Jack out of the Sydney midfield is a big worry for the Swans, who seem to have lost a gear. Goodes copped some criticism during the week for his lack of defensive pressure so he’ll be out to make an impact. I won’t be backing Sydney at the plus due to them ruining me two weeks in a row but can’t justify backing a two win team playing a side I think will play finals. No recommended bet.

CB – This shapes as a critical game for both sides. For the Lions, it is about maintaining some momentum and providing a launch pad for a strong second half of the season to make sure that 2011 isn’t a complete bust for them. For the Swans, these games must result in four competition points if they want to see any meaningful September action, even with Shane Mumford absent. Brisbane won both head-to-head encounters in 2009, but only have two wins and a draw from their past 12 matches between the sides (with one win and a draw from the last six home matches against Sydney). Sydney have only scored 100+ points twice (against West Coast and Port Adelaide) and conceded 100+ once (Hawthorn) in 2011. This implies that a tense match where 12-14 goals could be enough to win it is in the offing. In games like that, it is difficult to get too bullish about the prospects of either team, so I will sit this one out.


Collingwood v St Kilda, MCG, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -29.5

GO – St Kilda will be missing up to five players from their big win over Fremantle last week which will seriously dampen their chances of putting up a good show against the Pies. Grand Final replays are always tough to pick as the intensity grows with anticipation and the players seem to grow a third leg. Expect Lyon to play a man behind the ball early to try and combat Collingwood’s blistering starts that have been the hallmark of their 2011 season. If the Pies can break the game open early, they could win by a truckload and with so many clouds over the Saints, I think they will. Collingwood -29.5 for one unit.

CB – At first blush, this line looks a little short of what is required, making the minus rather appealing. Scratch the surface though and it starts to make more sense. Despite winning the grand final replay last year, the Magpies have only two wins and a draw from the last seven encounters with the Saints. Perhaps more importantly though, the last six matches have also led to total points scored being less than 170, and the Saints have only let one team (Essendon) score 100+ on them in nine matches to date – a relevant statistic when you’re thinking about taking a big minus. These statistics carry enough weight in my mind to bypass this game.



Hawthorn v Fremantle, MCG, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn -39.5

GO – Fremantle are in all sorts at the moment and their record without Sandilands speaks for itself with the Dockers dropping their last eight matches when the big man has missed. Couple this with their shocking record at the home of footy and it all points towards a big Hawthorn win. That being said, the Hawks were out to a commanding lead against the Dogs and then were reeled back in so the size of the line worries me. Clarko seems to be content with maintaining leads rather than expanding on them and Hawthorn’s short passing game is open to quick rebound scoring. As such, I’ll be sitting this one out.

CB –  Putting aside the impact of losing Aaron Sandilands for one moment, is the 5-4 record of Fremantle in 2011 something of a mirage? Their five wins have come against Brisbane, Adelaide, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, who have a combined 2011 record of 12-34. Three of their four losses have come against Richmond, West Coast and St Kilda, who have a combined 2011 record of 12-14-2. Fremantle won their quarter final match against the Hawks last year but lost the three previous matches, and have an overall record of just nine wins from 35 appearances at the MCG. I cannot fathom Fremantle winning this match and find it very difficult to envisage them even being competitive, so will take the Hawks at the minus for one unit.


North Melbourne v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne -12.5

GO – Neither of these sides fills me with confidence. Both have the tools to be a competitive and productive football side but both seem to find ways to squander leads and throw away possession. North Melbourne at the minus has its upside but it is hard to trust a side that is converting at under 50 per cent on the season. Adelaide at the plus would be the lean in this one but the Crows will need to put some more consistent performances together before they’ll see any of my money. No play.

CB – There are a number of signs from a historical viewpoint that point to the Crows here. North Melbourne beat them at Etihad Stadium by nine points last year to snap an extended losing streak against the Crows. Adelaide possess quite a strong record at Etihad, having won 50 per cent of their matches at the venue. More telling is the fact that North have lost four winnable games in 2011 – to West Coast (by 4 pts), Richmond (9 pts), Brisbane (14 pts after establishing a good lead in the second quarter) and Sydney (1 pt) – and have yet to win a tight one. Despite this, I cannot tip Adelaide. Their performances over the past month or so have been far too sporadic – brave against Carlton and Collingwood, insipid against Melbourne and Brisbane. There will be no wager on this match.


Port Adelaide v Carlton, Football Park, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton -30.5

GO – AAMI stadium is less a fortress these days than it is a shooting gallery with the Powers only home win this year being the showdown. They Power outplayed Richmond in Darwin last week but their form hasn’t turned enough to match Carlton who are now confirmed as genuine contenders. Judd and Murphy have been in white-hot form and the Power midfield will be rabbits in the headlights with the Blues running through them at every chance. Carlton should win by a lot so I’ll be playing two units on Carton -30.5.

CB – I’m continuing to feel this stats-heavy vibe in analysing this weekend of matches, so will stick true to that vibe for the last match of the round. Carlton have won the last four matches between sides, including three at Football Park (two by convincing margins). Carlton have only conceded 85+ twice so far in 2011 (against Collingwood and Geelong), whereas Port Adelaide have conceded 100+ points in all eight of their losses this season, and 120+ points on five occasions. If you like Carlton this week, you’d better either like them to win by plenty or have previously made a public statement that you would bet against Port every week. I am in both of those camps – one unit on Carlton at the minus.


Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Melbourne +27.5, one unit on Geelong – 39.5, one unit on Collingwood -29.5 and two units on Carlton -30.5

CB – One unit on Geelong -39.5, one unit on Hawthorn -39.5 and one unit on Carlton -30.5.


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


Comments (1)

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  1. Cliff Bingham says:

    Greg Oberschiedt goes 5-0 for units bet against the AFL line and Cliff Bingham goes 2-1 against the line, for a 7-1 total this week (and a 10-3 total last week, for those keeping score at home).