The AFL Lines – Rd 16

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on July 7, 2011

Two weeks ago, it was the Demons and Kangaroos vaulting to the front of the queue of teams battling it put on the fringes of the top-8. Last week? Both lost matches against sides below them on the ladder, letting St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs back into the debate. Meanwhile, Essendon shocked Geelong to break a run of five straight losses and somehow jump back into eighth spot. As for the punting exploits of Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham, the less said the better. Let’s move on to Round 16 – quickly.

CB – We don’t have to talk about last week’s bets, do we? I know that’s what we usually do in this spot, but my psychiatrist is telling me that these memories should be repressed. At least I think that’s what a psychiatrist would say, if I could still afford to see one after last weekend. A seemingly drunk guy down the street told me to repress those memories and he seemed pretty on the ball.

Since then, I’ve had Yazz’s “The Only Way Is Up” on repeat in the car, on my iPod and the like, causing no end of angst for anyone within earshot. This is a ‘line in the sand’ week for punting purposes. Whether that means I end up in an all-in-brawl with bookmaking clerks (a la the memorable Hawthorn v Essendon ‘line in the sand’ battle) is a matter for the footy punting gods…

GO – You might not want to talk about it but I definitely do. Firstly, Brad Scott wants his head read for going into Sunday’s game with three full forwards. “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s abandon the game style that has won us four on the trot and adopt Essendon’s plan that has been good enough to see them lose for a month.”

That being said, the Bombers beat Geelong but anyone who says they saw that coming is a bullshit artist, plain and simple. The Dees continue to prove that they are not ready to compete with any consistency and they will be hard to trust over the journey.

The time has come to stand up Sting. Let’s rake these bookies over the coals. PS. Have you had a look at the $2 lines available with Luxbet? Money for jam old son!


Summary of Round 15 results

GO – Four selections, five units bet, return of $1.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -62%

CB – Two selections, four units bet, return of $0.00, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -100%

Total – Six selections, nine units bet, return of $1.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -79%

Summary of overall results

GO – 37 selections, 45 units bet, return of $57.00, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 27%

CB – 27 selections, 34 units bet, return of $28.50, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -16%

Total – 64 selections, 79 units bet, return of $85.50, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 8%


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(Please note – all times are EST)


West Coast v Geelong, Patersons Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong –4.5

GO – Geelong were flat last week, almost to the point of apathy. The old chestnut of “you can only play as well as your opponent allows you” doesn’t hold true if your combined talent dwarves that of the opposition. The head says that Geelong will come out firing this week to try and bury last week’s demons but I’m not sure that they’ll be able to get it done against the Eagles. The athleticism of the West Coast ruck division will overwhelm Brad Ottens and the Eagles forward line should prove the match of the Cats defence. Geelong’s star-studded midfield will need to be at its best to combat the run-with capabilities of the Selwood brothers. The return of vice captain Beau Waters will add some starch to the midfield too. It will be close but I think the Eagles will break the bye hoodoo and get the chocolates – one unit on West Coast at the plus.

CB – Can someone explain the curse of the bye to me? Teams always seem to suggest that the bye is coming at a great time for them, but the record of teams coming off the bye is extremely poor (six wins and 13 losses). Head to head, Geelong have won the last six matches including three at Patersons Stadium, albeit that the last two victories in the west were by only 24 and 22 points and the Eagles are a vastly improved unit in 2011. Moreover, while the Cats may be 13-1, their four wins by less than a kick in 2011 highlight that a 9-5 record wasn’t very far from being a reality. And yet the small line seems like an overreaction to me, especially given the poor post-bye record noted above. I like Geelong to prevail in a tense encounter by two to three goals, and thus I will have one unit on the minus.   



Hawthorn v Brisbane, Aurora Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn –41.5

GO – I can’t remember a season where one team lost so many players to injury, other than Man U in ’58. Brisbane had a win on the weekend against Port, who are not the best test of character currently available. The Hawks were towelled by Collingwood and will need to bounce back. Hawthorn should win but with Roughead, Gilham, Stratton, Rioli, Sewell, Lewis, Young, Renouf, Bruce, Ellis, Ladson, Murphy, Schoenmakers and Lisle all unavailable and Franklin, Bateman, Gibson, Osbourne and Burgoyne under clouds, I have no confidence in them taking on a seven-goal line. No play for me.

CB – Yes I know that the Hawks are pretty banged up at the moment. The point remains – the only sides they’ve lost to since the opening round have been Geelong and Collingwood. Meanwhile, call me crazy if you must, but I don’t like the form line of sides taken to the brink in home matches by Port Adelaide.  Head to head, Hawthorn have won four of the past five, including the two matches at Aurora Stadium (in 2008 and 2010) by margins of 69 and 75 points respectively. The injury list has me worried that the Hawks may try to cruise late in the game if they already have it stitched up – couple that with the tougher-than-average scoring conditions at Aurora and I’m tempering my enthusiasm a little and tipping the Hawks by seven goals – no bet for me.


Gold Coast v Sydney, Metricon Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -32.5

GO – Sydney had a disappointing loss to Adelaide last week and will be heaving to get a win on the board. The sharks are circling for a spot in the eight and this is a golden opportunity for a percentage boost. The Suns have been competitive for patches but have been going to sleep in the second half. I said last week that they are a hard team to take on and Gary Ablett’s form makes it harder, but the Swans will run a switch tag of Jack and Smith on him and if they can minimise his impact, then they’ll win easily. Zac Smith copped a big knock last week and could miss and with the return of Mummy I’ll be having a nibble on the Swans to cover – one unit on the minus.

CB – Sydney (aka my punting kryptonite of late) need to make a statement in this game, lest their spot in the top-8 becomes the subject of further conjecture. The Suns are playing well in patches, yet they still only have two losses this season by margins of less than 50 points. Earlier in the season the Swans beat Port Adelaide by 62 points and Brisbane (in Brisbane) by 65 points, and despite being down on form and confidence they should derive great benefit from some key returns (Mumford from suspension and potentially Jack and Malceski from injury). I like Sydney by seven goals here, and will be betting one unit on the minus.


Essendon v Richmond, MCG, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon -13.5

GO – Essendon beat Geelong at their own game and the bandwagon is almost full already. If they beat Richmond this week they’ll be talking about them for the top four again. Richmond were disgusting last week and I doubt they’ll serve that rubbish up again. Bear in mind it was an underperforming Tigers that applied the breaks to Essendon,s season when everyone was lauding the Bombers performances. A week is a long time in footy and I think the Tigers are a good match up for the Dons. That being said I can’t back a side coming off a 100-point loss. No play for me. 

CB – I don’t know what to make of last weekend – as a Bombers fan it was a huge thrill, but I’m now worried about the ‘letdown’ effect, especially with Watson still a couple of weeks away and Lonergan gone for the year – the Jake Melkshams of the world will need to keep aiming up. Mind you, this is an opportune time to face Richmond – only one win (against Brisbane) from their last five matches and a hideous flogging from Carlton last week. Head to head, Richmond have won five of the last seven, including their clash seven weeks ago (yet another reminder of how ridiculous the season draw is). I’m tipping the Bombers to ride their renewed confidence to victory again, this time by three goals, but will not be wagering on the game.



Collingwood v North Melbourne, MCG, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -44.5

GO – Hopefully Brad Scott will come to his senses and realise that you can’t play five tall forwards in the modern game. Run is what is required and Scott is savvy enough to realise his mistake. Collingwood are a great side but North are making a run for the finals. If North get blown away here I doubt they can get September action. They need a big performance against a top line side and while I doubt they’ll win I think they will make a good fist of it. That being said Collingwood could win by 15 goals if they decide to turn the screws, so I’ll be opting out of this one.

CB – Head to head, Collingwood have won six of the last eight overall (winning three out of three at the MCG over that period), including an 87-point Round Two drubbing at Etihad and a 66-point win at the MCG last season. Collingwood have played seven teams currently outside the top-8 in 2011, winning all seven games by an average margin of 67 points. Meanwhile, North Melbourne has only played two matches against top-4 sides thus far in 2011 – the aforementioned loss and a 66-point loss to Geelong. Last season they played six matches against top-4 sides, losing all six by an average margin of 63 points. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here? I’m tipping the Magpies by ten goals and will have two units on the minus.


Port Adelaide v St Kilda, AAMI Stadium, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -24.5

GO – The Saints had a good win last week against the Roos and the return to form of Reiwoldt and Goddard would have them buzzing. So too would the emergence of McEvoy, whose form has meant that Kosi is now a ghost at Moorabbin. Port were comfortably beaten by the Lions and would have been flogged where it not for Schultz’s seven goals. If St Kilda are to play finals they need to take advantage of the lesser sides and boost their percentage, and I think they’ll do so against the Power. I’ll play one unit on the Saints -24.5

CB –St Kilda has beaten the last four bottom-9 sides they’ve played (by margins of 20, 46, 24 and 9 points), all of whom are better than Port Adelaide. The Power continue to stink – I don’t feel like any stats are required to justify that statement. Head to head, Port Adelaide have won four of the past six matches, including three out of four at AAMI Stadium. More alarming for Saints fans is their overall record at the ground – only six wins from 24 appearances. St Kilda + AAMI Stadium (be it against the Crows or Power) seems to equate to low scoring matches, with only two of their past seven trips leading to a total match score exceeding 150 points. This, coupled with St Kilda’s very poor record in Adelaide, is important to take into consideration before diving into a large minus. I like the Saints by three goals, and therefore no recommended bet for me.


Western Bulldogs v Carlton, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton -23.5

GO – The bookies love the Bulldogs for some reason. Do they realise it was Melbourne they beat last week? Carlton were referred to as “flat-track bullies” by one journalist during the week. Ironically the flattest track ever seen by humankind is that which rests between his eyebrows and the nape of his neck (no offence Cliffo). The Blues are a very good football team and when they get the ascendency they are almost impossible to run down. The Dogs have been in good form but they rely heavily on Griffin for spark and Boyd for grunt. I think they will find themselves well out of their depth this week. Waite was massive last week and with Morris required to go to Garlett, I don’t know who will be able to go with him. Judd was at his best and Henderson back showed promise. The Blues are the real deal and the Dogs are not – as such, I’ll be playing three units on the Blues -23.5.

CB – No offence taken – after all, it wasn’t my statement about Carlton, albeit that the journalist in question and I share more physical characteristics than is ideal. Anyway, this feels like a reality check week for the Bulldogs – after beating Adelaide (at home), Gold Coast and the enigmatic Demons, the wick is well and truly turned up on Sunday. They have played the other four of the top-5 sides so far this season, losing all four matches by 29 points or more and three of them by eight goals or more. I don’t see the trend changing against a Carlton side that looked more poised with the return of Jarrad Waite last week and who are likely to welcome back Nick Duigan this week. Head to head, Carlton have won three of the last four overall and two out of the last three at Etihad, despite the Bulldogs being the more successful side for a number of years now. Not this season – Carlton by six to seven goals, and two units on the minus for me.


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Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on West Coast + 4.5, one unit on Sydney -32.5, one unit on St Kilda -24.5 and three units on Carlton -23.5

CB – One unit on Geelong -4.5, one unit on Sydney -32.5, two units on Collingwood -44.5 and two units on Carlton -23.5.


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




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