The AFL Lines – Rd 22

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on August 16, 2011

A pivotal week of matches awaits in Round 22 of the AFL – third (Hawthorn) take on fourth (Carlton), fifth (West Coast) host seventh (Essendon), eighth (Sydney) host sixth (St Kilda) and tenth (North Melbourne) host ninth (Fremantle). The composition of both the top-four and the top-eight may become a great deal clearer come Sunday evening. At Making The Nut headquarters, Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham continue putting together the finals puzzle as they bring you their thoughts on the Round 22 action and recommended bets for the weekend.

CB – Oh dear – I said last week that Sydney would make a statement in the match against Richmond, but I really didn’t expect that statement to be ‘we might be on our way out of the finals.’ As someone in possession of a pending ‘Sydney to make the top-8’ bet from pre-season, I’m a little concerned. However as a footy fan, I’m slightly giddy. It’s looking more and more like my beloved Bombers need only to dispose of those pesky witches hats from Port Adelaide in Round 23 and a finals berth will await. Good times.

GO – I must admit, I’ve under-rated Essendon. Their mid season form showed all the hallmarks of a side that didn’t want to play finals but now they could finish as high as sixth. Freo are gone and only North Melbourne can realistically force their way in if Sydney continue to falter. All the talk has been about Port Adelaide and their abysmal form but Geelong showed on the weekend that big wins and a lack of contested footy can be a negative for the top sides as well. Being in finals contention I’d much prefer to have some solid grinding wins at this stage of the season than a string of blow outs. The bookies seem generous this week with some tasty lines out there…Giddy-up!

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Summary of Round 21 results

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

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

Total – Seven selections, seven units bet, return of $7.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 9%

Summary of overall results

GO – 59 selections, 74 units bet, return of $85.50, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 16%

CB – 43 selections, 54 units bet, return of $49.40, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -9%

Total – 102 selections, 128 units bet, return of $134.90, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 5%


(Please note – all times are EST)


Carlton v Hawthorn, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn –6.5

GO – The Hawks need a big hitout here after beating the valiant Jimcumbilly Thirds last week. The winner is assured a top-4 spot whilst the loser will have it all to do to get the second chance. The Hawks have the wood over Carlton in recent times, so the Blues will be out to get some revenge. The midfield battle is spicy with Judd, Murphy, Gibbs and Simpson up against Mitchell, Hodge, Lewis and Sewell. Jamieson could be a big inclusion for the Blues but after six weeks out I question his ability to run with Franklin. Betts has been in great form but Rioli has been just as good. I think the Hawks will get the job done on Friday by three goals and as such will play a unit on the minus.

CB – In recent weeks, both sides have had hard fought wins over North Melbourne, smashed Melbourne and easily disposed of Fremantle at Patersons, so this match goes more to subtleties. Head to head it has been all the Hawks of late, wining the last seven matchups on end since the Blues edged them out in Round six of 2005. Perhaps more importantly, Carlton return from the west on a six-day turnaround, hardly an ideal build up for a match against such a potent opponent – collectively the rest of the AFL has only won six of 16 games the week after returning from Patersons. Games between these teams tend to be high scoring (four of the last and five of the last seven exceeding 200 total points), so keep an eye out for an ‘overs’ play in total points markets. Gievn the head to head record and Carlton having the more difficult lead-up, I’m with Greg here, one unit on the Hawks at the minus is the play.



Gold Coast v Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide –27.5

GO – A revitalised Adelaide have shown plenty since Mark Bickley took the reigns and they stayed with the Cats until the end last week. Rory Sloane looks an absolute jet and Petrenko fits the number 23 pretty well. Scott Thomson went head to head with Selwood on the weekend and towelled him up. Expect him to do the same with Gazza this week (with the possible exception of the towelling part). The Suns have impressed but their young legs are starting to stop towards the end of the year. Their form at Metricon has been good, sticking with the Saints a few weeks ago but since then have lost to Geelong by 25 goals and to Brisbane by ten goals. I like the way the Suns go about it but Adelaide have now shown what they are capable of and I think they could win this one by a bundle – two units on Adelaide at the minus.

CB – I feel a little for Neil Craig still, as before that epic stinker against the Saints, Adelaide had just beaten Sydney and pushed Essendon to the brink. They have now played well in five of their last six matches, but only the latter three performances are getting much of a mention at the present time. I’m not sure what to make of the Suns as a proposition here – as Greg alluded to, the last two weeks have had a real ‘tired legs’ feel to them, but young and inexperienced sides are also prone to peaks and troughs in form and they may simply have hit a trough. At the end of the day, I can’t trust a 6-13 side to take of such a large line away from home, and thus I will sit this one out.


West Coast v Essendon, Patersons Stadium, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast -22.5

GO – Plenty on offer for both sides in the wake of this match. A West Coast win will mean they are either in the four or out on percentage pending the Hawks/ Blues result whilst a win for the Bombers will mean they will finish no lower than sixth. You would have to think that the Eagles would win this one comfortably. They have a bit too much class across the park and their stopping midfielders in Ebert and Selwood are in cracking form. Word is that Hurley and Fletcher could both miss while the Eagles are set to welcome back their skipper in Glass. The Dons will be valiant but I think they will end up losing by a margin so I’ll play one unit on the miuns.

CB – If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in the last couple of months, it’s that Essendon’s fortune revolve around four key players all being available – Watson, Hocking, Hurley and Fletcher. The doubts over the latter two have me worried this week. Head to head the Eagles have won all five matches played at Patersons since 2005 by margins of 23, 27, 10, 8 and 24 points. Moreover, the Bombers have a very poor 6-20 overall record at the ground. I certainly can’t bet against my beloved Bombers but the cold, hard stats don’t suggest a nudge at the plus either, so I will pass on this match.


North Melbourne v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne -21.5

GO – Fremantle know they are gone. They have tried valiantly to hold their early season advantage in the wake of a string of injuries but they are too far down with some tough games ahead. North can take advantage of Sydney’s poor form and climb into contention. I don’t know that North’s form warrants a three and half goal start and my inclination would be to play Freo at the plus but with North having a bit extra to play for it muddies the waters too much for me to get involved. Icing this one.

CB – My first instinct was that the line was too big given the position of the two teams and the stakes of the match. However, the 30-point margin last week against Carlton flattered the Dockers somewhat, given Carlton’s errant first half kicking and late ‘switching off’ after racing out to a lead of over eight goals. Head to head the Kangas have won both matches played at Etihad (these teams have played six matches at Patersons in that same period) since 2005 by margins of 54 points last year and 13 points in 2009. Fremantle’s overall record at Etihad of 9-26 isn’t exactly the stuff dreams are made of either. These factors are just enough to talk me out of taking the plus – no bet for me.


Collingwood v Brisbane, MCG, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -74.5

GO – Collingwood could win by anywhere from five goals to twenty five goals depending on their mood. They love to demoralise the Lions, still smarting from their Premiership defeats of 2002 and 2003. The Lions have shown some form and if they can keep their young list together will be able to upset a few characters in the years to come. I have warned myself off the 12 goal plus lines as there are just too many things that can affect such a result. I see no reason to change that now. No play.

CB – With a top-two spot in their keeping, the big issue for the Magpies becomes how to manage their list over the next three weeks – how to get the right players some rest, how to get some match practice into guys returning from injury such as Alan Didak, and so forth. Head to head, the Lions haven’t exactly been a frequent visitor to Melbourne to take on the Magpies, losing by 40 points in 2009, winning by 93 points in 2007 and losing by 26 points in 2006. Such a large line makes it feel like guesswork as to which side to take – no play for me.



Sydney v St Kilda, ANZ Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -9.5

GO – Sydney are on the ropes and given how much loot I have buried on them this year I find that strangely comforting. The Saints are getting back to some solid form and – insert deity here – help us if they ever start to give Reiwoldt some solid delivery. The Saints deserve their favouritism but they styles of these two sides makes me sense a low scoring, keepings-off style of grind. I think the Saints will win this low scoring affair. Consider the match unders if 165 or higher but stay away from the line.

CB – St Kilda may be the best 10-8-1 side of all time (not that this is saying much). They’ve lost six matches to top-4 sides (two of them by less than a kick) and gone 10-2-1 against everyone else, including nine straight wins against sides ranked fifth or lower. Meanwhile, Sydney haven’t beaten a top-8 side since Round three and have only won two of their last eight matches (against Gold Coast and the Bulldogs). Head to head St Kilda have won three of the last five played in Sydney and one of two played at ANZ Stadium (by eight points in the opening round of last season). Importantly, six out of the last eight matches between the teams across all venues have resulted in a winning margin of less than 20 points, with four matches decided by eight points or less. However, I think St Kilda can buck the recent head-to-head trend and win this by three goals, and thus I will have one unit on the minus.


Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs, AAMI Stadium, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs -32.5

GO – A smart man would have bet into Port every week since round 12 (wasn’t that when we discussed it?). The only problem is that they are now getting closer to that annoyingly good performance that ruins everyone’s week. I thought the Dogs were morals last week and they burnt me so my initial reaction is to stay away but…It has to be done. Port have kicked 8-5 – 53 in their last two matches combined and having watched them on the weekend it is safe to say they don’t even try and score. Two units on the Western Bulldogs at the minus.

CB – It was prior to Round nine that we discussed the ‘take Port on at every opportunity’ theory. Since then they have covered four times (against Richmond, West Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne) in 11 attempts, so it wasn’t a rolled gold strategy, but you’d still take a 7/11 successful $1.90 line bets ratio every day of the week. Head to head the Western Bulldogs have won four of the past five matches, albeit that four of these were played in Darwin and one at Etihad – they did however defeat Port by 76 points in their last match at AAMI Stadium back in 2006. My only concern is in trusting the Bulldogs, who I’ve taken on extensively this year (to my benefit), to do the right thing. I just can’t bring myself to do it, so will sit this one out and continue cheering for Port to win the spoon.


Melbourne v Richmond, MCG, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Richmond –5.5

GO – Melbourne have lost the plot in every sense of the word. Their whole administration is a shambles and the players don’t know who they are playing for. Richmond had a stirring win on the weekend against the more fancied Swans and they will be keen to give their fans some hope for next season. Melbourne has only won one game since they beat the Tigers in Round 14 and that was a 21-point win over Port. They squared the bye and have lost their other five by an average of 86 points. Not a great form line. I’ll have one unit on Richmond at the minus.

CB – Whilst it is true that the Dees have been insipid of late, prior to last week’s victory the Tigers weren’t exactly going much better, losing six straight matches (including one to Gold Coast) by an average margin of 50 points. It’s important to remember that Richmond are the only side to have lost to both the Gold Coast and Port Adelaide this year. Head to head Melbourne have won four of the past five matches between the teams, including a 27-point win in Round 14 of this season. In light of this, there is barely a struck match between them in terms of exposed 2011 form. Unlike their last match-up though, I’m not going to subsequently contrive a theory to bet (and lose) on this game. Neither can be trusted, and thus I will pass on this match.


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Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Hawthorn -6.5, two units on Adelaide -27.5, one unit on West Coast – 22.5, two units on Western Bulldogs – 32.5 and one unit on Richmond -5.5

CB – One unit on Hawthorn -6.5 and one unit on St Kilda -9.5.

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


Comments (2)

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  1. jusbern says:

    Greg, the winner of this game is NOT assured of a top 4 finish.  Even if Carlton win their remaining 2 games against Hawthorn & St. Kilda, West Coast just have to win their remaining 3 games ( against Essendon, Brisbane & Adelaide), and they will finish 4th, ahead of Carlton.

    • Schitty says:

      You've got me there jusbern! It would appear I'm too caught up in the moment to research things properly. Well played.