The AFL Lines – Rd 19

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on July 27, 2011

Round 18 saw a return to normality on a number of fronts – the top six sides and eight of the top ten sides got the chocolates on the weekend, while both Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham returned to the long forgotten land of a weekly profit after three weekends in the abyss. With only six weeks to go in the home and away season, the boys are back and primed for a strong run into (and hopefully through) the finals series.

CB – The good news – we both finally got back to making a profit last weekend, albeit a slightly grinding one. The bad news – there’s still some way to go to repair the damage of the three weeks prior, albeit that’s the plenty of time left on the 2011 season clock to do so. By the way, I think we can add another rule to our gambling ethos – don’t take the plus when your own side is playing a better team and our best player (Watson) is already out, followed by withdrawals of our second and third best players (Hocking and Fletcher) later in the week. That was a real ‘dead man walking’ display from the Dons. With the wager on the plus, it made me angry and depressed on even more levels than such a loss normally would.

GO – Collingwood put the brakes on against the Suns after leading by 60 in the second quarter and West Coast shelled at least a half dozen very easy chances before coughing up a four goal lead to win by a point. Otherwise it was a pretty enjoyable weekend with some telling results. St Kilda are back to some very good form, the Bulldogs are proving to be all bluff and bluster and the Demons are gooooooone! Given all the available info it looks very much like the top eight is set and with six weeks to go that could make for some interesting performances. We’d better just burst into it and see what comes up.

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Summary of Round 18 results

GO – Four selections, five units bet, return of $5.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 14%

CB – Three selections, three units bet, return of $3.80, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 27%

Total – Seven selections, eight units bet, return of $9.50, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 19%

Summary of overall results

GO – 49 selections, 61 units bet, return of $68.40, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 12%

CB – 36 selections, 46 units bet, return of $39.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -13%

Total – 85 selections, 107 units bet, return of $108.30, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 1%


(Please note – all times are EST)


North Melbourne v Carlton, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton –22.5

GO – Carlton put the Bombers to the sword last week and the form of Betts and Walker up front was ominous. The Kangas won by 50, it should have been 80, against the Lions who are a similar standard to the Bombers. The North tall forward combination of Petrie, Pederson and the high flying Edwards could prove troublesome for the Blues defence who lack height. The real test will be in the middle. Judd played a cracker last week with seven goal assists and if he gets anywhere near that much the Blues will dominate. Brady Rawlings has done good jobs on Judd over the last few years and the Blues midfield will have to win the clearances off Goldstein’s hands which won’t be easy. I am leaning towards North at the plus here but their record against the better sides frightens me, so I’ll leave this one alone.

CB – North are a hard side to line up for the purposes of this match. Their three matches against Collingwood and Geelong have all resulted in losses by 66 points or more, they haven’t faced Hawthorn or Carlton yet, and three (against West Coast, Sydney and St Kilda) of their four losses to the other top-8 sides have come by a combined margin of 14 points. Moreover, head to head the Kangaroos have been something of a bogey side for Carlton in recent years, winning seven of the last eight clashes. Throw in the fact that North are almost certainly playing to keep their finals hopes alive and I think they can be competitive here. Carlton by three goals for mine, and thus I won’t be betting.



Western Bulldogs v West Coast Eagles, Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast –6.5

GO – The Bulldogs will be missing Cooney again whose knee seems to be just about gone now. How much longer can he continue to go in for two and out for two? Griffen is also down on form and looks to be carrying a leg injury. The rest of the Dogs midfield are inside players and the lack of run and carry will hurt them. Darren Glass is proving to be just about impossible to kick goals on and he should quell Barry Hall’s recent good form. Cox will be the AA ruckman and with Murphy likely to steal some votes off Judd, I’m glad I backed the big man for the Brownlow at $38 a month ago. West Coast look superior in every aspect of the game and their Melbourne form has been solid. The Eagles should win by FIVE goals and casting an eye back I seem to recall them beating the Dogs by over a hundred no long ago. Three units on the Eagles – 4.5

CB – The Bulldogs looked like they were coming on a couple of weeks back after their convincing win against Carlton, yet regressed quite badly over the past two rounds and are now teetering on the brink of their finals campaign ending. They have won all four matches against bottom-4 sides, two out of four against sides ranked 9th to 13th and only one out of nine (the aforementioned Carlton match) against top-8 sides. Head to head, the Bulldogs and Eagles have only met three times in Melbourne since 2005 (all at Etihad), with the Eagles winning twice. Overall, West Coast have won six of the last eight meetings, including a 123-point thrashing in Round Nine of this year. West Coast by three goals for mine, and thus I will have two units on the minus.


Geelong v Melbourne, Skilled Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -46.5

GO – Melbourne’s average losing margin this year is 52 points. If they play like they did last week then that average should increase this week. They were little more than turnstiles at the contest on the weekend and the Geelong inside mids will eat that up. The Cats have struggled for the better part of a month and my recent form in tackling the bigger lines has proven to be abysmal, so whilst I think the Cats should win by ten goals, I will be keeping my loot tucked away during this one.

CB – Much as I said last week (and can extend upon now after being validated – thanks Hawkers) Melbourne’s record against top-5 teams says it all really – losses by 45, 54, 47, 88 and 54 points. Geelong’s record against bottom-9 teams shows a four point loss to Essendon and seven straight wins by 79, 66, 66, 61, 52, 29 and 62 points. Head to head, since they played out a draw at Skilled Stadium in 2006, the Cats have reeled off six straight wins – five of these coming by 43 points or more. Geelong by nine goals for mine in this encounter, and thus I’m close to taking the minus but will let it slide.


Gold Coast v St Kilda, Metricon Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -41.5

GO – The Suns rallied well after being blown away early by the Pies last week. McKenzie keeps adding to his highlight reel with a couple more amazing bombs from outside 60 metres. Ablett has proven his mantle as the premier player in the comp playing, in my opinion, better football than he did at the Cats. St Kilda demolished an Adelaide side whose abominable display resulted in the long overdue departure of Neil Craig. Reiwoldt out will hurt the Saints but not to the point where they are in any danger. My only reservation is that in the dozen or so matches last year where Saint Nick was absent Ross Lyon’s boys tended to play a less than expansive style of football. I think this one could bottle up a bit in the back half of each quarter and as such seven goals seems about right. No play for me.

CB – The Saints have rocketed back into the finals frame over the past month, albeit that it’s difficult to get a strong point of reference from a form line that includes Port Adelaide and Adelaide. Nonetheless, over their last six matches against sides not named ‘Collingwood’ or ‘Geelong’, they have posted six wins and conceded less than nine goals per game on average. Meanwhile, the Suns’ record against teams currently in the top eight – losses by 119, 66, 18, 71, 50, 70 and 54 points. The Saints should win by plenty and with their stifling defence back in full flight (something of an oxymoron), even with Riewoldt out I think they can win by enough to cover the line – one unit on the Saints at the minus.


Fremantle v Hawthorn, Patersons Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn -16.5

GO – The Hawkies possession oriented game is well suited to the long confines of Subiaco as evidenced by their ability to win four from their last five at the venue. Franklin’s form last week was heartening with the big man clunking a few big grabs to go with his lead up abilities. Cyril electrified and Lewis and Sewell added the grunt. My mail is that Sandilands is still a fortnight away and with McPharlin to miss through suspension, the already depleted Dockers are now reminiscent of Old Mother Hubbard (with only Kepler in the cupboard). I think the Hawks will win this one by five goals and I’m happy to risk a unit on the minus.

CB – Wow, the Hawks just keep on keeping on, don’t they? Since the opening round they’ve only lost to Collingwood and Geelong (twice), whilst posting wins against West Coast, Sydney, Fremantle and St Kilda. Meanwhile, the Dockers are 5-6 since their first bye, with a strong win against Sydney away from home and wins against the Power, Suns, Lions and poor-travelling Bombers – congratulations. They may struggle to back up strongly from a tense and draining derby last week, where only errant kicking by the Eagles kept them in the game for much of the second half before a spirited late rally. I just don’t see the Hawks offering them the same latitude.  Head to head, Hawthorn has won four out of the past five, including two out of three played at Patersons Stadium (with the one exception coming in the first week of the finals last season). Hawks by three goals for mine, and therefore I will pass on this match.



Collingwood v Essendon, MCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -46.5

GO – The Pies should have plenty in the tank considering they didn’t real bother competing after half time last week. The Bombers were humiliated and need to bounce back. Watson is a possible but Hocking will miss again and Fletcher is doubtful. Tayte Pears looks like he could miss the rest of the season as well. The Pies won’t rush back Chris Dawes but reports are that he is training well and is a chance to play. The Bombers have had plenty of off-field distractions this week as well, in all likelihood orchestrated to take the spotlight of their shithouse display against the Blues. Collingwood would love nothing more than to slip the boot into their old enemy and I think they’ll win very easily – one unit on the Pies at the minus.

CB – Coming off a grade-A puzzling at the hands of the Blues, my Bombers now run into into Collingwood juggernaut. Awesome…. Head to head, the Magpies have won each of the last four encounters, all by five or more goals with two of the wins coming by more than ten goals. I have my fingers cross for the return of Fletcher, Hocking and Watson from injury and another Geelong-like miracle, but miracles and reality rarely cross paths twice in the space of a month. No recommended bet from me.


Adelaide v Port Adelaide, AAMI Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide –9.5

GO – It shows what the bookies think of the Power if the Crows can get raped by a hundred and still start favourites. I was all set to go into a big rant about how caretaker coaches love winning first up and the lads will all be firing after the shocking display last week, but I really couldn’t care less about this game. The only positive about this game is that it will effectively end my frustrating run of losses on a Sunday evening. I would rather fight Mike Tyson, bare knuckle with a bag on my head and high voltage current running through my lower extremities than get involved in this travesty. If you can find an overs/unders on attendees where the line is more than 13 (that’s 13 people, not 13,000 people), I recommend the unders.

CB – Really? They program this match as the twilight game, depriving us of the chance to watch a much better game being played at the same time? Really??? I’m not even going to bother with head-to-head stats and the like for this match. If you wager on the outcome of this match, you hate money. End of story. Unless bookmakers put up a line for football being the definitive loser in this match (if they do, I recommend you load up on such a market), no bet for me.


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Recommended bet summary

GO – Three units on West Coast -6.5, one unit on Hawthorn -16.5 and one unit on Collingwood -46.5.

CB – Two units on West Coast -6.5 and one unit on St Kilda -41.5.


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



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