The AFL Lines – Rd 21

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on August 10, 2011

Despite Port Adelaide losing by 138 points it is (a) it’s not the biggest loss of the weekend and (b) only the third biggest loss of the past two weeks. Welcome to the AFL, 2011 style. From a punting perspective these are dangerous waters, unlikely to be aided in any way by the arrival of new fodderfresh and dynamic blood … (looked better the first time)… fodder in the GWS Giants for 2012. Nonetheless, Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham are stubborn enough to persist with taking on the bookies. They return this week for a look at the Round 21 action.

CB – Can I go on record with my hatred of St Kilda? They have the same number of scoring shots (24) as the Suns in a butt-ugly win up at Metricon Stadium the weekend before last when I took them at the minus. Last Friday, the three-and-a-bit quarter arm wrestle against the Dockers was great for those of us who took Freo with the 38.5 points start…. right up until the Saints got going in the last 15 minutes and roared away to barely cover. St Kilda, I hope you get bundled out the finals in another heartbreaker so that you can get a feel for what you’ve done to punters all year long. As an aside, with the Heath Shaw betting scandal and what not this year, do you think the existing Centrebet affiliation with St Kilda survives beyond 2011? I say no.

GO – Adam Goodes, you are a big jerk! The kick after the siren was excusable, even though it was 40 metres out, straight in front and my dear old mum would have kicked it in her gardening boots. It was the two goals you missed on the run from 20 metres that broke my heart. The Swans have killed me this year and I guess I’ll have to put it down to karma after years of systematic abuse. We definitely should have taken on the big lines against Port and Gold Coast but hindsight is always 20-20. West Coast have given me some scary moments this year but they need to be backed as the bookies tend to underrate them at every turn. I’m pretty sure we are due for a big week Sting so let’s get into it.

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Summary of Round 20 results

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

CB – Two selections, two units bet, return of $1.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -5%

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

Summary of overall results

GO – 55 selections, 70 units bet, return of $81.70, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 17%

CB – 40 selections, 51 units bet, return of $45.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -11%

Total – 95 selections, 121 units bet, return of $127.30, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 5%


(Please note – all times are EST)


St Kilda v Collingwood, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood –37.5

GO – Both teams come into this match with good form lines. St Kilda have won six on the trot and the Pies are setting new standards every week. At first glance you’d think this one could be a close game. Collingwood are the benchmark of the competition and St Kilda performed well enough against the top sides albeit without a win. Collingwood would enjoy running over the Saints and they’d be sensing another big win here. Collingwood could win this one by ten goals without too much worry but the Saints are doing just enough to keep my on the sidelines. No play.

CB – Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure the Saints run of six straight wins ends here. Head to head, the last four matches have resulted in a famous Grand Final draw and three wins to the Magpies (including the GF replay) by eight goals or more. As an aside, the last eight matches between these teams have all resulted in less than 180 total points (160 points or less) on six occasions, so keep an eye out for a possible ‘unders’ play. The more alarming statistic – I’ve backed St Kilda at the line twice this season and against them at the line twice this season. Suffice to say, a total of four losing bets (for five units in total) have ensued. As a community service announcement, I urge you not to bet on matches involving teams who are sponsored by bookmakers, including this game.



Hawthorn v Port Adeliade, MCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn –74.5

GO – Port Adelaide played the worst game in the history of their club on the weekend and the Hawks gutted out a good win in trying conditions in Tassie. The reports from Glenferrie is that the bitter chill of Launceston has taken a toll on the Hawks and they may consider resting a few this week. With that in mind the line might be a bit long to go the Hawks at the minus. Port farewelled their favourite son (cough) in Chadwick Cornes last week and with that behind them might find another leg so weighing it all up I think I’ll leave this one alone.

CB – I’m trying to think about how high this line would need to be for me to take a swing at the plus – it’d be an astronomical figure, so really this match has to be evaluated on a ‘take the minus or sit it out’ basis. Hawthorn’s record against bottom-12 teams (excluding the opening round) shows 13 straight wins, eight of them coming by seven goals or more. Port Adelaide’s record against top-8 teams: ten straight losses, six of which have come by more than 50 points. Head to head, Port have won three of the past five (including one of two played at the MCG), but this is by far the worst side ever to don the teal and black. Nonetheless, betting in a match with such a big line feels like a case of throwing crap against a wall and hoping it sticks, so I’ll sit this one out.


Fremantle v Carlton, Patersons Stadium, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton -18.5

GO – Fremantle need a win to keep their September dreams alive and playing at home will give them an opportunity. Will Sandilands return is the three dollar fifty question this week, with the big man desperately needed to give the Dockers a chance. Carlton have been pretty solid and their mobile forward line should enjoy the space at Patersons. Sportsbet have already paid out on Judd for the Brownlow and his form, along with Murphy and Scotland has the Blues flying. Carlton have the inside running all things considered but Freo have a habit of getting up for big games at home so no play here for me.

CB – As you’ve noted Greg, the Dockers won’t be short of motivation for such a pivotal match but the same can be said of Carlton, as the race for the top-4 (and the all important double chance) continues in earnest. Since their Round six bye the Dockers are 5-8 overall, with three of those wins coming against Port Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Head to head, Freo have won three of the past five games (one out of two played Patersons), with each match having been decided by 15 points or less. Nontheless, I just feel like Freo are running out of bullets for season 2011 and that a superior Blues side will draw away from them in the end, and thus I’ll have one unit on Carlton at the minus.


Western Bulldogs v Essendon, Etihad Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon -3.5

GO – Sydney let the Dons off the hook last week and if the Bombers can win here they will have given themselves every chance of taking home eighth spot. The Dogs are out of contention but could take some satisfaction in upsetting a few characters over the last few rounds. The Dons have regained their engine room with Jobe back and playing well and the emergence of Carlisle has allowed Hurley to play permanent forward. The Dogs look like they are due for a good performance and the mail is that Cooney and Griffen have been training well and could have an impact. I’m going to bet into the Bombers again this week with one unit on the Dogs at the plus.

CB – How much better does the Bombers line up look with Watson, Hocking, Fletcher and Hurley all healthy and back in the 22? Nonetheless, this is a MONSTER (damned right it deserved all caps) game for the Bombers – with Freo facing a brutal run home, a win here, a loss to West Coast in Perth and another win against Port Adelaide at home should see them into the finals. Head to head, Essendon have won two of the past three games (including a 55-point rout in the opening round of the season), though they lost the the six games prior to that. The situation is tense enough and the Bulldogs are just enigmatic enough to cause me serious stress about the outcome – no recommended bet from me.


Brisbane v Gold Coast, Gabba, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane -18.5

GO – The Suns return from KP with on the back of a 150-point demolition while the Lions gave up a handy lead against the lowly Crows so this one is certainly a raffle. If the Suns get across the line then some serious questions will be asked of Michael Voss. Ablett should return and his leadership will be invaluable, not to mention his probable 35 touches and three goals. I like the Suns pluck but I think they have run out of legs at season’s end, and with Rich and Drummond to return for the Lions I think they’ll get it done comfortably. One unit on Brisbane at the minus for me.

CB – The long awaited rematch between a pair of 3-15 sides! If the Suns can take out their intrastate rivals for a second time this season, does the coaching blowtorch swing back around onto Michael Voss? He’s a charmed man if it doesn’t. The Gold Coast won the round seven encounter between these teams by eight points, a margin that flattered Brisbane a little as the Suns were clearly the better side for much of the night. It’s important to note at this point that my career office tipping comp record when trying to tip matches between two bad sides is 9-823 (all numbers approximate). Throw in the fact that my Port Adelaide for the wooden spoon bet would be much better served by a Suns victory (the Lions have a nice percentage break on Port) and it didn’t take much effort to convince myself to sit this one out.



Melbourne v West Coast, Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast -27.5

GO – Will Gary Lyon’s influence have an impact on the performance of the Dees? It’s pretty doubtful from all the clues available. Melbourne is a basket case and I doubt they’ll get another win this year. West Coast need to win to legitimise their top-4 claims and all signs indicate that they will do just that. Cox was down last week but Nic Nat filled the breach. Kennedy should return and the form of Nicoski and Shuey is ominous. Kerr is back to his best and the Eagles are just humming right now – one unit on West Coast at the minus.

CB – “Sorry, Cliff can’t answer the phone right now, but if you’d like to hear Melbourne’s record against top-5 teams, press the star key now…. please hold…. Melbourne has lost all seven games, by margins of 45, 54, 47, 88, 54, 186 and 76 points. Thank you for calling.” West Coast’s record against bottom-9 sides: nine games for nine wins, though only four of these wins have come by more than 22 points. Head to head, West Coast have won three of the past four matches, though none were played at Etihad, a venue at which Melbourne seem to be perennial losers. The Eagles’ record at Etihad isn’t exactly a stellar one either: 14 wins and a draw from 40 appearances. Nonetheless, they are classes above Melbourne and with more motivation in their kitbag as well, I’m happy to step in and have one unit on the minus.


Richmond v Sydney, MCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -22.5

GO – I am never going to bet on Sydney again as long as I live. I think I’ve backed them half a dozen times this year for a return of zero. Adam Goodes can get stuffed along with the rest of that air thieving rabble. Richmond are battlers at best and I can’t trust them to take care of a plus so I will cool my jets here.

CB – Head to head, Sydney have won nine of the past ten matches, though only three were played at the MCG over that period, including Richmond’s three-point thriller over the Swans last year. The Swans defeated Richmond by only ten points earlier in the year at the SCG, but that margin flattered the Tigers as it was literally ten behinds by which the Swans prevailed – straighter kicking could have seen the margin balloon out to five goals or more. Moreover, the Tigers have lost six straight matches (including one to Gold Coast) by an average margin of 50 points. With St Kilda and Geelong to come n the next two weeks I think the Swans will make a statement here, and thus I’ll have one unit on the minus.


Adelaide v Geelong, AAMI Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong –51.5

GO – Adelaide have shown some fight since the departure of Neil Craig but the fact remains that they lack serious talent in their side. Scott Thomson is their only A-grade midfielder and Ben Rutten, whose best is behind him is their stand out defender. Their ruck division is sub standard and their young players are not progressing as they’d like. The Cats are breaking records as a matter of course and Stevie J last two games have yielded 65 touches, 13 goals and 18 goal assists. Christensen looks a jet and the move of Varcoe to half back has added run. Whilst I don’t expect this to be the training drill the last two weeks have provided I think Geelong will win by 12 goals, and will have one unit on the Cats at the minus.

CB – Geelong have won their last two matches by a combined margin of 56 goals, so it might be difficult to mount a case for how the Crows can win this game without the phrases ’15 Geelong players were kidnapped on the way to the ground’ and ‘cheating by the officials the likes of which the game has never seen before’. So really, we’re thinking about the margin of victory here. Head to head, Geelong have won six of the past seven matches overall and three of the past four played at AAMI Stadium. I’m extremely tempted to step into the minus here, but with three interstate sides at the minus already on my betting sheet for the weekend, I might let the eight and a half goal line go around without me here.


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Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Western Bulldogs + 3.5, one unit on Brisbane -18.5, one unit on West Coast -27.5 and one unit on Geelong -51.5

CB – One unit on Carlton -18.5, one unit on West Coast -27.5 and one unit on Sydney -22.5.


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



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