The AFL Lines – Rd 17

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on July 14, 2011

The Saints and Bulldogs continue to surge, the Eagles announce themselves as big player in the debate about the top four and Collingwood reassert their position as the competition alpha dog. Round 16 offered plenty in terms of framing the finals and premiership contenders and Round 17 offers some more tantalising match-ups. Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham are back with their thoughts and recommended bets for the upcoming round of fixtures.

CB – Things were looking fantastic early in the second quarter of the twilight game on Sunday. We were a collective 6-1 against the line already. With five units in total on the Blues -23.5, their skipping out to 27-point lead so early in the match made it appear that vengeance on the bookies for the catastrophe otherwise known as Round 15 would be swift. Then it all went pear-shaped rather quickly and the weekend plummeted from a strong profit to near enough a chop out. Dammit all. Perhaps vengeance will be forthcoming this week.

GO – Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you champ, I’ve been camped out at Visy park with an array of Carbines waiting for the Blues to show up. It seems that they are too embarrassed to even show up for their recovery session. Lessons learnt, never trust someone who you’ve made it your life’s purpose to denigrate. That cost me a bundle. The twilight game can really fuck up a good weekend and has proven to be the difference between going into Monday on a high and spending the next 5 days on suicide watch. That being said the bookies look to have posted some interesting lines this week so it could be a good chance to get back in the swing.

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Summary of Round 16 results

GO – Four selections, six units bet, return of $5.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -5%

CB – Four selections, six units bet, return of $5.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -5%

Total – Eight selections, 12 units bet, return of $11.40, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -5%

Summary of overall results

GO – 41 selections, 51 units bet, return of $62.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 23%

CB – 31 selections, 40 units bet, return of $34.20, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -15%

Total – 72 selections, 91 units bet, return of $96.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 6%


(Please note – all times are EST)


Adelaide v Essendon, AAMI Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon –9.5

GO – Both sides will go into this one expecting to get the points and you could make the argument that they both have legitimate chances. The Bombers showed plenty of grit after being thoroughly outplayed by Richmond in the first half. Richmond did lie down however and I think the Dons still lack plenty in the engine room. Adelaide need wins to show their supporters they still have the desire to compete and I think the home ground advantage will be enough to get them across the line this week. Taylor Walker should make his return and he has a good form line when returning from a spell. I’ll have a nibble at the Crows, one unit at the plus.

CB – At first blush this feels like a game that Essendon must (and should take), with the Crows in the midst of a very disappointing season. However, there are a few red flags here when thinking about backing the Dons. Head to head, Adelaide has won seven of the last nine matches including all five at AAMI Stadium – expanding this point, the Bombers ‘boast’ a 6-19 overall record at AAMI Stadium. In light of these records, I’ll lean on the better form lines and motivation of a finals spot to tip my Bombers by two goals, and therefore will take Friday night off from the punting perspective.



Richmond v Gold Coast, Cazaly’s Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Richmond –45.5

GO – I told myself the minute that Ablett went down that I would play into the Suns, but I never expected the bookies to start Richmond seven and a half goal favourites. Their last few have been disgusting and I wouldn’t trust them to take the bins out let alone take care of this line. Gold Coast will show plenty and be competitive for the first half but as they have they’ll fall away and get run down. Zac Smith should have a big impact against Richmond’s lacklustre ruck division, but without Gary there, I can’t see them generating enough drive to make an impact. Sufficiently confused? Good. No Play.

CB – First things first – I had to do some research to remind myself of where Cazaly’s Stadium is – Cairns apparently. The Tigers just love giving away home field advantage to go to humid climates don’t they? They must be REALLY short of coin. Can you have the Suns without Gary Ablett? I don’t think you can. Can you have the Tigers giving away such a large start after their last three ‘efforts’ and their performance in similar weather at TIO Stadium against Port Adelaide earlier in the season? I don’t think you can. The Suns could cause a stunning upset or get rolled by 100 points here and neither would completely shock me. Therefore, I will not be recommending a bet in this match.


Carlton v Collingwood, MCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -35.5

GO – I hate Carlton now, more than ever before. The Pies, who I also hate but I at least respect, have been in soul destroying form and I think they will take their opportunity against a weakened Carlton side to assert their dominance and really make an example out of the Blues. The Blues aren’t coping with the loss of Jamieson and with Waite also gone now they have a serious deficiency in quality talls. Cloke has been in great form and the flexibility of the Pies is going to prove the difference. I’m going to play the Pies, one unit on the minus.

CB – If this game had been played in Round 14, following on from an emphatic Blues win over Sydney, I’d have been chomping at the bit to watch it. As it stands now though, Carlton seems to have the staggers and their injury toll is also on the rise. There is a neat point of reference for this game from just a fortnight ago, where Collingwood took on a banged-up challenger in Hawthorn and disposed of them by 41 points easing up. Head to head, Collingwood have won the last four matches by margins of 28, 48, 53 and 54 points. I will tip Collingwood by seven goals and am teetering on the brink of taking the minus, but it’s just a touch too large against a side with only four losses this season – no bet for me.


St Kilda v West Coast, Etihad Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -6.5

GO – BOOM! They’ve definitely got this one ass about. How could West Coast possibly start outsiders against the Saints here? Did they set this line in March? McEvoy has been in great form but Cox and Nic Nat, in career best form, will be a challenge he hasn’t encountered. Schofield will get the job on Reiwoldt and has the tank to go with him. The midfields will go head to head and the Selwoods will get run with roles on Dal Santo and Montagna. Expect Nicoski to go to Goddard and wear him tight. It will be a big contest but the Eagles are easily the form side in this encounter. West Coast at the plus for two units please.

CB – This line scares me a little. It feels like the bookies have got it frightfully wrong, which makes me wary of the Bill Simmons’ patented ‘Obvious Game’ factor, where bookies try to lure you into an obvious tip and more often than not wind up with your cash. But you know what? I’m ploughing ahead with West Coast here anyway. They’ve won five straight, including wins over Geelong and Carlton at their last two starts. Meanwhile St Kilda’s 2011 wins have come against Brisbane, Melbourne, Fremantle (minus Sandilands), Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide – hardly a stellar cast. Head to head, St Kilda have won the last three matches, but the Eagles won five of the six matches prior to this.

Interestingly, in these last nine matches St Kilda have only reached 100 points once and West Coast twice, so expect a low-scoring arm wrestle of a match – especially given the ferocious nature of the West Coast press and a stilted Saints attack that has only posted 90+ points in four matches so far this season. I like the Eagles by three goals here and will have two units on them at the plus.


Melbourne v Port Adelaide, TIO Stadium, 8.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Melbourne -27.5

GO – Melbourne should win this one easily but I seem to remember saying that a few times this year. Port have been terrible for a few weeks and are nearly due for one of their, “where did that come from?” performances. Hamish Hartlett looks to have finally realised his potential but has little support. The Dees have a wealth of talent but find the need to blame inexperience for their lack of effort on a regular basis. Due to the complete and utter unpredictability of both sides, I have decided to leave this one up to the Magic 8-Ball. “Oh Magic 8-Ball, should I take the Dees at the minus?” “Only if you hate money!” Thanks Magic, I’ll sit this one out.

CB – From a betting perspective, this match looks like a trap on a number of fronts. Melbourne are about as enigmatic as they come, while Port Adelaide are about as insipid as they come. Head to head, Port Adelaide have won five of the last seven matches, with the Demons winning their only encounter at TIO Stadium (Melbourne’s sole appearance at this ground to date) by a solitary point last year, a venue where Port have a 3-4 record overall. I’m tipping the Demons by three goals but cannot possibly bring myself to take the Power at the plus and will therefore sit this one out.



Sydney v Fremantle, SCG, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -25.5

GO – Griffin has proven to be an adequate replacement for Sandilands but Mumford seems to have come back from suspension with a point to prove. Freo’s injury list makes them almost impossible to back away from home and the Swans play a unique style of footy at the SCG. The bottle-up, contested footy doesn’t often lend itself to big margins and as such the 4-goal plus is tempting, but the Swans under John Longmire have shown a determination to play more expansive football so they could easily cover at home. Too much indecision for me to get involved here.

CB – Is it just me, or do the Dockers desperately need a win here to keep their finals hopes alive given their torrid run home over the next eight weeks? Head to head, Fremantle defeated a ruck-depleted Swans outfit by 37 points at the SCG last year but lost each of the five encounters in Sydney prior to this.

Importantly though, only three of Sydney’s eight wins this season have come by more than 13 points – those wins were against Port Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, who have a combined record in 2011 of 7-37. Those were also three of only four occasions so far in 2011 where the Swans have posted 100 points or more. I just don’t see them blowing the Dockers away here, especially given the importance of this game for both sides in the race for the finals. Sydney by two goals for mine, and thus I will have one unit on the Dockers at the plus.


Brisbane v Geelong, Gabba, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -42.5

GO – The Cats need a big win here to get themselves up and going again. They gave the Eagle too much start last week but after a half time spray they showed some good signs. Brisbane showed some fight against the Hawks last week but when the intensity levels picked up they were unable to go with them. I think the Cats will get this one done pretty easily and I’ll be playing one unit on the minus.

CB – The Cats have stuttered in the last two weeks but get a chance for something of a reprieve this week against the lowly Lions. Head to head, Geelong has won eight of the last nine matches (including three of the last four at the Gabba by margins of 81, 42 and 17 points). Brisbane lost to an injury-ravaged Hawthorn by exactly seven goals last week, and I’ll tip the same margin again this week. Therefore, I will not be recommending a bet in this match.


North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs -15.5

GO – The Doggies are starting to play some good footy and even had Aker eating his words during the week. North were abysmal last week, I don’t remember seeing a side play that poorly. They were given some home truths by their coach in the wake of that performance and you can expect a better effort from them this week but I think I need another week out of the Dogs before I can judge exactly where they are up to. I’ll be sitting this one out.

CB – I get the feeling had these sides played last week that (a) the lines would have been less than a goal either way and (b) I’d have backed North with some confidence. It’s amazing what one immense loss (albeit to a Collingwood juggernaut) and one upset victory can do to your view of the world. Head to head, the Western Bulldogs have won the last four matches by margins of 71, 70, 22 and 15 points, but North won each of the five matches prior to this.

Here’s an interesting stat – North may be 6-9 this season, but have only lost four games by more than 15 points – two against Collingwood, one against Geelong and one against Fremantle at Subiaco. I think North will respond strongly to last week’s embarrassment and this will be closer than you might think given the injury to Brent Harvey – Bulldogs by two goals for mine, and thus I will sit this one out.


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Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Adelaide + 9.5, one unit on Collingwood – 35.5, two units on West Coast +6.5, one unit on Geelong – 42.5

CB – Two units on West Coast +6.5, one unit on Fremantle +25.5.


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



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