The AFL Lines – Rd 14

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on June 22, 2011

With Fremantle and Essendon continuing to hit the skids, the door is well and truly open for the last two spots in the top eight as we enter Round 14. Meanwhile, the Making the Nut team ‘slumped’ to a small combined profit in Round 13 after three straight weeks of flying high. Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham are back to re-establish the preferred way of the world with their recommended bets for this weekend.

CB – Back in the day, a record of 6-5 against the line and a small profit was a reasonable outcome. However, after the previous three weeks (where we went a combined 23-6 against the line) it felt like a major letdown. The suggestion of ‘bruise-free gambling’ was put to me earlier in the week – a sufficiently inflammatory comment to make me determined to take bookmakers down a peg or two this weekend. When it comes to the footy in 2011, motivation is seemingly everything.

GO – Whilst travelling along reasonably well this year I have endeavoured to maintain a level head. After starting last week 3-0, I got to spruiking over a few frothies with the lads post game on Saturday and from there it all turned to shit. There are some pretty tough lines this week so we’re going to have to go in hard to get the rub this time around.


Summary of Round 13 results

GO – Six selections, seven units bet, return of $7.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 9%

CB – Three selections, four units bet, return of $3.80, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -5%

Total – Nine selections, 11 units bet, return of $11.40, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 3%

Summary of overall results

GO – 28 selections, 34 units bet, return of $47.50, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 40%

CB – 21 selections, 25 units bet, return of $26.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 6%

Total – 49 selections, 59 units bet, return of $74.10, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 26%


(Please note – all times are EST)


Hawthorn v Essendon, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn –15.5

GO – The Bombers will be desperate this week coming off four straight losses. With the Kangaroos, Melbourne and Richmond pushing hard the Bombers need a win to stay in the eight. They’ll never have a better chance than this week against the Hawks who are missing their spine. That being said the Hawks have unveiled some promising types this year and if they can maintain possession and slow down the Bombers’ transition I think they can still win this one well. The Bombers will likely go very tall to try and amplify the Hawks deficiencies in that department, opening the door for the Hawks to run them into the ground. I’ll play one unit on the Hawks at the minus.

CB – Again, I cannot bring myself to bet against my own side. Nonetheless, 2011 has shown that a large divide exists between the top four sides and everyone else, let alone between a top four side and a side coming off consecutive losses to Richmond, Melbourne, Fremantle and North Melbourne. The 15.5-point line just does not seem like enough to me, even with Franklin and Roughead both missing from the Hawks forward line. Head-to-head, Hawthorn has won seven of the last ten matches, albeit that the Bombers have won three of the last four. With the Hawks this week and the Cats waiting in Round 16, it is a worrying time for Bombers fans, as their finals prospects teeter on the brink – no recommended bet for me.



Gold Coast v Western Bulldogs, Metricon Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs –33.5

GO – The Gold Coast will welcome back Zac Smith this week who has firmly established himself as the clubs number one ruckman. It’s largely due to his influence that the Suns are one of the best performed clearance teams in the competition. Swallow will also come back to bolster their midfield. The Dogs had a good, come from behind win against the Crows last week but they haven’t won two in a row this year. The Suns are due for one of their, stand up and take notice, games and could easily win this one but as the season progresses the toll on their younger bodies is increasing and they could just as easily lose by 12 goals. As such I’ll play no part in this one.

CB – It is difficult to get too excited about the Bulldogs here – three of their four wins in the season have come in home matches against Brisbane, Gold Coast and Adelaide (who have a combined 2011 record of 7-28). Nonetheless, despite playing well in patches of many games this season, eight of the nine Suns losses to date have come by 57 points or more. I feel like the Suns can get a bit closer this weekend against a side who has only reached 100 points four times this season, but don’t want to be sucked in by a suspiciously small line, a la their match against North Melbourne two weeks ago.  I will sit this one out.


Richmond v Melbourne, MCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Richmond -1.5

GO – This one is shaping up to be the match of the round. With the Bombers slipping, eighth spot could be the spoils after this one. The Demons are an enigma, they currently have the highest average winning margin in the competition at 67 points – but when they lose, they get flogged. Richmond have been more consistent in their performances so far this year and they have, in my opinion, the two best young midfielders in the comp in Cotchin and Martin. Mark Jamar is likely to make his return, which will free Stephan Martin up to go forward and stretch and the already wafer-thin Richmond defence. Despite Richmond’s talent in the midfield they are ranked last in the league in clearances and on the strength of that I’ll be playing one unit for Melbourne at the plus.

CB – For some strange reason, I had in my head that the Tigers were clearly a better team than the Demons until I looked at the respective 2011 records in more detail. Both teams have a combined record of a draw and a loss against Sydney and St Kilda. Both have lost to Carlton, Collingwood and Hawthorn. Both have defeated Essendon, Fremantle and Brisbane (all at the MCG). Richmond has beaten North Melbourne and Brisbane (away), while Melbourne has defeated Gold Coast and Adelaide. Richmond has lost to the Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, while Melbourne has lost to West Coast and North Melbourne. In light of this, there is barely a struck match between them in terms of exposed 2011 form. Head-to-head, Melbourne has won three of the last four matches. With eighth spot likely to be on the line, it will be a question of who holds their nerve better. I just get the feeling that in the critical moments, Richmond’s young guns Cotchin and Martin will find a way to get it done – one unit on Richmond at the minus.


Sydney v Collingwood, ANZ Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -32.5

GO – Collingwood are flying. Insert Swan, Thomas and Jolly. It is ridiculous that one team can have such an abundance of wealth. The Swans try hard and if this were played at the SCG I’d suggest that they could cover but on the expanses of ANZ I think Collingwood will assert their dominance and win this one easily. No more needs to be said other than I’ll play one unit on the Pies to cover.

CB – There is a bigger gap between the top four sides and the fifth and sixth sides (West Coast and Sydney) than the season ladder would suggest. Sydney have lost all four matches they have played against the top four sides thus far, by margins of 27 (Geelong), 16 (Carlton), 46 (Hawthorn) and 34 (Carlton again) points. Head-to-head, Collingwood has won the last nine matches, five of which took place at ANZ Stadium (by margins of 25, 23, 26, 19 and 13 points). Interestingly, neither side has been able to post 100 points in any of these five matches, although the quick counter is that the Magpies’ forward line has not been as potent as it currently is for many a year. The Magpies have been suffocating in their defence in the past three games (conceding 145 points in total) and I think they can do it again to the Swans, who have scored 75 points or less in seven of their last nine matches – two units on Collingwood at the minus.


Fremantle v Brisbane, Pattersons, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle -31.5

GO – The Dockers are hard to beat at home and will be out to win back some respect after getting towelled by the Dees last time up. Ballantyne is proving to be a real barometer for the Dockers and with him likely to miss again with a hamstring I have my doubts. Brisbane would have won last week were it not for the injury to Clark and their form has been solid over the journey. That being said I can’t, in good conscience recommend backing a two win team to cover against the Dockers. If Sandilands gets up this week play the minus as the Lions will be missing Clark but without that knowledge I’ll have to sit this one out.

CB – This is a trap game for the Dockers, who have won only two of their past seven and copped a mother of a hiding from Melbourne last Sunday. Head-to-head, Fremantle has won the last two matches including their opening round encounter at the Gabba, but the Lions won each of the five prior matches, including two played over in the west. I just have a hunch that the Dockers may bounce back hard in what is really a must-win game for them at home against lowly opposition, but the 31.5-point line is sufficiently large for me to stay away from this game.



Geelong v Adelaide, Skilled Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -55.5

GO – What happens when a movable object is hit by an irresistible force? The irresistible force wins by a country mile. Bartel is likely to miss after his brain scans revealed a heavy concussion and his season is now in jeopardy. The Cats have plenty of coverage and the Crows are struggling to mount any sort of defence. They capitulated against the Dogs last week and I get the feeling they have the cue firmly in the rack. One unit on Geelong at the minus is my play.

CB – The big question is how far Geelong in this match? I had better break out even more statistics to try solving the riddle. Geelong’s wining margins at Skilled Stadium this year: 79 (Port Adelaide), 66 (North Melbourne) and 61 points (Western Bulldogs). Adelaide’s losing margins in all five interstate trips this season: 6 (Carlton), 96 (Melbourne), 43 (Collingwood), 47 (North Melbourne) and 30 points (Western Bulldogs). The Cats have obviously won 12 straight this season while the Crows have lost five straight, all by five goals or more. Is anyone else feeling another Skilled Stadium ten-goal rout here? Sadly, bookmakers appear to be of a similar mindset, and thus I cannot recommend a bet here.


Carlton v West Coast, Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton -25.5

GO – West Coast need a big scalp to prove they are contenders. I think West Coast are a good match up for the Blues and they play well in Melbourne. Carlton are in cracking form and it will be a litmus test from Kreuzer against Cox and Nic Nat. Kerr and Judd head to head is another intriguing one in a match full of pivotal head to head battles. West Coast’s press is as good as any and Carlton’s forward line pace could be the antidote. I want to back West Coast at the plus here but Carlton’s form is too good, so I’ll sit this one out.

CB – I feel like doing some copying and pasting from the Sydney v Collingwood preview here regarding the chasm between fourth and fifth in the AFL this season. Carlton’s record against sides ranked fifth or lower in 2011 is nine wins, zero losses and a draw – since their two-point loss to Geelong, the smallest victory margin has been 34 points against Sydney last week. Meanwhile the Eagles are 0-3 against other top six sides in 2011 and their only two wins away from home have come against the Power and Crows. Head-to-head, Carlton has won the last four matches by margins of 26, 29, 41 and 37 points, the middle two of which took place at Etihad. This one feels like has the potential to get lopsided – one unit on Carlton at the minus.


Port Adelaide v North Melbourne, AAMI Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne -15.5

GO – The Kangas are flying. Drew Petrie is as good a forward target as there is in the comp and Pederson is proving to be a handy foil. Greenwood and Bastinac back in provide the gut running that North lacked early on. Port Adelaide are woeful across the park and I’ve heard a whisper that Noddy Johnson, who runs the squirt, is firming as favourite for their best and fairest. The Kangas have a great chance for a percentage boost and I think they’ll get it done easily. For the second week in a row I’ll be loading up on the Roos – two units on North Melbourne at the minus.

CB – Seriously, can we add a copy/ paste function to this column? This feels like a replay of Brisbane v Richmond from last week – a team just outside the top eight with it all to play for travelling interstate to take on a cellar dweller. Head-to-head, North Melbourne has won five of the last seven matches, including two wins from three at AAMI Stadium and a ten-goal hiding of the Power at Etihad in Round Six. If Melbourne’s 2011 season is teaching us anything, it is that the motivation of football players can swing wildly from one week to the next, and thus you want to be with the team most likely to have some extra motivation in the relevant week. That would be the Kangaroos here – one unit on North Melbourne at the minus.

Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Hawthorn -15.5, one unit on Melbourne + 1.5, one unit on Collingwood -32.5, one unit on Geelong -55.5, two units on North Melbourne –15.5.

CB – One unit on Richmond -1.5, two units on Collingwood -32.5, one unit on Carlton -25.5 and one unit on North Melbourne –15.5.


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


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