The AFL Lines – Rd 20

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on August 3, 2011

With the coaching guillotine claiming another victim last weekend in Dean Bailey, attention now turns to the new appointments at both Adelaide and Melbourne as well as whom is next in the sights of the coaching blowtorch. It’s a good thing such reactions aren’t as swift in the punting world, as it gave  Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham opportunity to reclaim further ground against the bookmakers after a slump in rounds 16 to 18. With August now upon us and only two months of AFL punting left to be done for 2011, the boys up and about and looking to finish the season full of running.

CB – The Eagles gave us an almighty scare with that second half flop (since when do sides batting for a double chance in the finals relinquish a 50-point lead to sides floundering outside the eight?), but all is well that ends well and the ledger finished well in our favour last weekend. This week looks a little troublesome to mine though – a string of heavy favourites where the line result may be determined by which team gives less of a crap in the meaningless respective final quarters. Those games always worry me a little.

GO – The coin fell our way on the weekend but could have easily been a disastrous showing. As I iced my nuts at Caulfield lamenting the fact that my tipster quite obviously has dyslexia, I was able to take solace in the fact the monkey I had riding the Eagles was money in the bank. 20 minutes later I was refreshing the android every 30 seconds to see whether West Coast had covered. Talk about heart burn. Collingwood gave me a scare too and if it hadn’t been for some untimely Bomber injuries the result could have been different. Some long lines this week will make it a bit harder to see the prize but as always we’ll fumble forward blindly in the hope of pinching a bit more loot.

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Summary of Round 19 results

GO – Three selections, five units bet, return of $9.50, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 90%

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

Total – Five selections, eight units bet, return of $13.30, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 19%

Summary of overall results

GO – 52 selections, 66 units bet, return of $77.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 18%

CB – 38 selections, 49 units bet, return of $43.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -11%

Total – 90 selections, 115 units bet, return of $121.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 6%


(Please note – all times are EST)


St Kilda v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda –38.5

GO – Poor old Freo, picked up a couple more injuries on the weekend with Matt De Boer and Rhys Palmer both set to miss weeks. Sandilands could return this week which would be a massive plus. The Saints regain Nick Reiwoldt who will straighten them up and provide an avenue to goal. Nick Dal Santo has been killing it and will win the Saints B & F by a mile. Freo need a good showing here to maintain a spot in the eight and the Saints will be keen to press their claims. McPharlin will be back for the Dockers and he has been in good touch this year as well. 38 points is a big go for two teams that sit side by side on the ladder. I think the Dockers can keep it under five goals without too many worries and as such will have one unit on Freo at the plus.

CB – Yes they were insipid in falling across the line against the Suns last week, but St Kilda’s last eight matches against teams not named Collingwood or Geelong still reads like this: eight wins, zero losses, average of 95 points for and 58 points against. Meanwhile, the Dockers’ 4-3 interstate record in 2011 is propped up somewhat by wins over Brisbane, Adelaide and Port Adelaide. Their three trips to Melbourne have yielded losses to Richmond, Melbourne and Hawthorn, while they have an overall record of 9-25 at Etihad. Head to head, St Kilda has won the last seven encounters (including a 46-point thumping of the Dockers at Patersons Stadium in Round Ten), four of which were played at Etihad. Interestingly, four of the six matches played between the teams from 2008 onwards have results in total points for the game failing to reach 160, so keep an eye out for a potential ‘unders’ play in total points markets. Despite all of this, I feel like a match between seventh and eighth should not involve such a big line – Saints by four goals for mine, and thus I will have one unit on Freo at the plus.



Carlton v Melbourne, MCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton –38.5

GO – Carlton played a solid brand of footy last week to get over the Kangaroos and with no real concerns coming out of that game should be ready to do a job on Melbourne this week. We all know what happened to the Dees. They sacked their CEO, got flogged by 30 goals, sacked their coach and re-appointed their CEO. Viney comes in as the “prodigal son” to coach the rest of the season and by all reports will at least have the boys going hard at the contest this week. Melbourne have the highest average losing margin of any team this year at 66 points so if you think Carlton will win then the minus is probably a fair play. The Dees also have the second highest average winning margin at 52 points so their best is pretty solid. I am leaning towards Carlton at the minus but will need to see how the axe falls at Melbourne before recommending it.

CB – Laziness makes me want to turn this into an automated message. Much as I’ve said the last two weeks, Melbourne’s record against top-5 teams says it all really – losses by 45, 54, 47, 88, 54 and now a whopping 186 points. Compare this to Carlton’s record against bottom-9 teams, which shows a solitary loss to the Bulldogs and nine wins, six of which have come by 47 points or more. Head to head, Carlton has won all four matches played from 2008 onwards by margins of 33, 57, 41 and 47 (in Round Ten of this season) points. The whole ‘new coach’ factor scares me just enough to avoid taking the minus though – no bet for mine.


Geelong v Gold Coast, Skilled Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -88.5

GO – I didn’t see the Gold Coast game last week but by all reports they held their own in a pretty ordinary game. Geelong will be full of confidence after racking up the second highest score in history and will be keen to maintain their momentum. Skilled stadium is a fortress at the best of times and the absence of Gary Ablett with a hamstring injury won’t help matters for the Suns. The Cats will win by plenty but a 15 goal start is a bit too heavy for me to tackle.

CB – Geelong’s record against bottom-9 teams shows a four point loss to Essendon and eight straight wins, six of which have come by more than ten goals and one of which has come by more than 30 goals (sorry Melbourne fans, but it had to be said). Meanwhile, the Suns’ record against teams currently in the top eight – eight straight losses, six of which were by 50 points or more and four of which were by ten goals or more. With no Ablett for the Gold Coast, it feels like this could be anywhere between a 60 and 120-point win to the Cats, and thus I will staying out of the match.


Essendon v Sydney, Etihad Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -1.5

GO – The Bombers showed plenty early and then were stitched up by Collingwood. Sydney don’t have the game breakers that the Pies do but they are a solid team. Etihad doesn’t suit their style of play but I think the Mumford factor will be enough to get them across the line. The Bombers should regain Hocking this week but the Sydney inside mids will make it more of an arm wrestle than a free flowing affair. Sydney by a couple of goals, and therefore I will have one unit on the Swans at the small minus.

CB – The injury-plagued Bombers line-up has shown heart for the first two quarters against both Carlton and Collingwood but been eviscerated in the second half of each match. The Swans haven’t been spectacular on their three trips south of the Murray this season though – a win by a solitary point against North, a draw against Melbourne and a 34-point loss to Carlton. Head to head Sydney have won four of the last six encounters. However, these matches have all been played in Sydney – the opening round of the 2006 season was the last occasion where they met in Melbourne, with the Bombers defeating the defending premiers by 27 points. As a Bombers fan I’m concerned that we’re a bit short-staffed at the moment in terms of healthy players for such a match, but remain hopeful – no bet for mine.


Port Adelaide v Collingwood, AAMI Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -74.5

GO – Port are a lowly rabble and deserve to get towelled on a weekly basis. Collingwood are still the benchmark and should be able to boost their imposing percentage with another big win. They should win by twenty goals considering that the 17th best player for the Pies would be a best and fairest at Port…I still can’t bring myself to take twelve goals plus on anyone though as too much can go wrong from siren to siren. No play for me.

CB – Collingwood’s record against bottom-9 teams: ten straight wins, nine of which have come by more than seven goals and six of which have come by more than 70 points. Port Adelaide’s record against top-8 teams: nine straight losses, five of which have come by more than 50 points. From 2008 onwards the Magpies have won all four matches head to head (including two matches at AAMI) by at least 26 points, including a 75-point drubbing in the opening round of this season. So…. ummm….. yeah. 74.5 points is too many to tempt me into a go at the minus though, so I will sit yet another match out.



Brisbane v Adelaide, Gabba, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane -6.5

GO – I’ve made it my business over the last few weeks to ignore games that are inconsequential to September as it is just impossible to tell what you are going to get. Either of these sides could win by six goals and that makes it a scary proposition. Brisbane have the home ground thing but the Gabba has been anything but a haven this year. Adelaide are coming off a win, buzzing under a new coach, but they got dicked by the Saints by a hundred two weeks ago…too many variables. I’d rather put my money on a three legged rockin’ horse.

CB – Brisbane continue to show fight and enthusiasm, but the fact remains that they’re 3-14 and their best player is out with his second sickening facial injury of the season. The Crows adhered to the ‘win first up for the new coach’ legend, albeit against a side defeated by the bye in the round prior (if you were to take the hilarious YouTube parody clip suggesting this at face value). Mind you, they’ve made seven interstate trips thus far in 2011 for a grand total of zero premiership points. Head to head, while Brisbane won by 40 points at AAMI Stadium in Round Ten of this season, the Crows have won five of the last eight encounters, including three out of five played at the Gabba over that period. I have no feel for this match at all and thus won’t be tipping, recommending a bet or indeed watching it.


Hawthorn v North Melbourne, Aurora Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn -37.5

GO – The Hawks probably deserve the big start this week. Their last two have been nine goal wins over sides you would put in the same category as North. That being said I don’t recall them winning by seven goals at Aurora too often. North are a solid team and match up well against the Hawks. Hawthorn’s midfield will need to get the ascendency to give Franklin and Rioli plenty of opportunity. The Hawks should win but the plus is the play here. I won’t take it after the Sydney debacle but it is definitely the play.

CB – I thought North were pretty gutsy last Friday night against Carlton and they face a test of similar magnitude this week against a Hawthorn outfit who put on a wet weather football clinic against the Dockers in the first half last Saturday night. Head to head, the Hawks have won three of the last five matches, but North Melbourne defeated them at Aurora last season and have split the four matches between the teams at this venue. Interestingly, in the last nine matches between these teams the total score has only reached 180 on two occasions, so keep an eye out for a potential ‘unders’ play in total points markets. I think that the Kangaroos can keep this one pretty interesting – will tip the Hawks by four goals and thus have one unit on North at the plus.


West Coast v Richmond, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast –42.5

GO – West Coast made us work for it last week but they are still a gravy train. Richmond have been pretty ordinary on the road this year and Subiaco is a daunting prospect. Richmond also have no ruck division and we’ve seen what Cox can do. I think this will be a big blow out and the margin could get ugly. West Coast start very well and the Tiger are shithouse early in games. Don’t be surprised to see a ten goal lead at quarter time. I’ll play West Coast two units at the minus – this will be the end of the twilight curse!

CB – West Coast’s record against bottom-9 sides: eight games for eight wins, though only three of these wins have come by more than 22 points. Richmond’s record against top-5 sides in 2011: five losses, four by margins of more than ten goals. Moreover, the Tigers have left Melbourne for four games so far in 2011, resulting in a win over Brisbane and losses to Port Adelaide, Sydney and the Gold Coast. Head to head Richmond has won three of the last four (including one of two at Patersons), but that was the cellar dweller-Eagles era, rather than one of a side threatening to gain a double chance in the finals series. A more instructive stat may be to note that Richmond have a 7-19 record overall at Patersons Stadium. My two worries with taking the Eagles at the large minus are (1) the number of narrowish wins against lowly sides and (2) take out the Round Nine massacre of the Bulldogs and their highest score of the season is only 116 points. No recommended bet from my perspective.

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Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Fremantle +38.5, one unit on Sydney – 1.5 and two units on West Coast – 42.5

CB – One unit on Fremantle +38.5 and one unit on North Melbourne +37.5.


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




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