The AFL Lines – Rd 23

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on August 30, 2012

the AFL lines – round 23

The Hawks found their way to top spot as the Blues found the shortcut to Mad Monday. The eight may now be set, but the order within it is still well and truly contested. Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham take one last look at all 18 teams before the finals commence next week.


That’s twice now that the Swans have built a huge lead at home, only to fall in a heap and fail to cover in the most heartbreaking way. Sewell banging a goal home from 55 metres out on the run (when a behind would have given a two-point margin and a winning bet for both of us) now joins Ben McGlynn hitting the post from about eight metres out against Geelong in my gambling house of horrors. Between them, they’ve cost me 6.68 units (3.5 units x $1.91 odds each time) – with the loss on the season to date standing at 3.22 units, there is at least some small justification for the bitterness currently being carried around.


Carlton loosing to the Gold Coast must have netted the bookies a bundle. Everyone I spoke top over the weekend had them, or some variation of in a multi at a minimum. What a pack of scumbags. Malthouse will surely take the reigns next year. Hopefully with diminished results.

Great game at the SCG. The good guys got it done after being absent early. I can safely say that I didn’t think of your loss when Sewell slotted that goal as I was too busy dancing and cursing out the Swans supporters in the bar but I felt your pain later on. A shame we didn’t middle that line.

Tough week this week. Teams vying for position, teams well and truly over it. Stars in need of a rest. So many variables. I’ll feel a lot more comfortable once the teams are announced but hopefully we can find some cheap loot early.


Results for Round 22 selections

GO – 5 selections, 6 units bet, return of 7.67 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +28%

CB – 2 selections, 2.5 units bet, return of 1.91 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -24%

Total – 7 selections, 8.5 units bet, return of 9.58 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +13%

Results for 2012

GO – 81 selections, 99 units bet, return of 99.56 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +0.6%

CB – 50 selections, 54 units bet, return of 50.78 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -6%

Total – 131 selections, 153 units bet, return of 150.34 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -2%


(Please note – all times are EST)



Hawthorn v West Coast, MCG, 7.50pm

Bookmakers’ line:   Hawthorn -25.5


Both sides come in on the back of impressive wins against contending teams and there’s plenty on the line again this week. If the Hawks can get a win then they’ll sew up the minor premiership and a home final and the Eagles can go close to claiming a top four spot with an upset against the flag favourites.

Hawthorn are humming at the moment and the belief within the playing group is high but there must be some concern about their slow starts. They can’t afford to keep giving quality sides the early running and expect to continually run them down.

The Eagles look a much better unit with their tall forwards now all back on deck. A strength they’ll look to exploit against the smallish Hawthorn defence. Don’t be surprised to see Gilham come in this week to help in that regard.

I think I might just enjoy this game without getting involved but if I felt the need to get on then I’d be leaning towards the points.


Last week Hawthorn broke their 0-4 run against Sydney, West Coast and Geelong this season – another win here would give them a 2-4 record in those games, with four matches already decided by seven points or less.

The Eagles may be 5-4 overall away from Patersons this year, but that’s a record inflated by wins over the Giants, Power and Bulldogs; a 3-6 record at the spread is more reflective of their form away from home. However, their form against top-six sides reads as follows: six matches for one big win, two big losses and three games decided by less than a kick. They have the advantage in the ruck and a key defender in Darren Glass who is capable of keeping Franklin in check.

The Hawks and Eagles have not played in Melbourne since Round 14 of 2008 (Hawthorn winning by 57 points), with three wins apiece at other venues since that time. Interestingly, the last five games between the sides have all resulted in margins of 20 points or less; the last three games all decided by eight points or less.

With the Hawks gunning for top spot and the Eagles clinging to the top four, this smacks of a gripping contest and a close finish. The Hawks deserve favouritism, but not by more than four goals – 1.5 units on the Eagles at the plus.



Adelaide v Gold Coast, AAMI Stadium, 1.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide -56.5


Gold Coast played their hearts out last week and it will be interesting to see how they recover given the elation they experienced after what was the best win in the clubs short history. The Crows need a win to give themselves any chance of being top two and a home final so there won’t be another upset.

Sanderson will need to have his troops up on all fronts leading into the finals and I expect the relentless attitude he instilled in the Geelong midfield during his time there will raise it’s head again this week.

They can’t afford to go away fro their structures and I think that anything less than a 15 goal win here will not be acceptable from the Crows. Especially in front of a rabid home crowd who’ll be aching for another taste next week.

I’ll have a unit on the minus.


Prima facie, this line looks at least three or four goals short of where it should be. However, the Crows can’t catch Hawthorn or Sydney on percentage, so all they can do is win this game (any margin will do) and hope for at least one loss elsewhere to see them jump into the top two.

The Suns’ record interstate this year against top-eight sides: four losses in as many games, by margins of 34, 97, 126 and 64 points. That’s enough about them.

The line is substantial, and deservedly so. I’m just not sure which team will be trying harder in the latter stages of the game is the margin is floating around this point and Sanderson is thinking about resting his big guns (maybe even subbing a Dangerfield, Thompson or Tippett out), so I have to let it slide.


Geelong v Sydney, Simonds Stadium, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -5.5


Once again, the ramifications of this game are massive. If the Hawks get up on Friday night then the Swans will know that only a win will get them a home final so that carrot might be enough to get them over the line.

That being said, the Cats are in great form and they don’t lose at KP. Also, with North and Freo playing muppets this week the Cats could find themselves in eighth spot with a loss to the Swans. Neither side will want to give an inch and I expect this one to go down to the wire.

The midfield battle will be epic this week and the heat inside will be incredible. Both teams love the contested ball and there’s sure to be some big physical confrontations.

Mumford holds the key for the Swans, if he can give his boys first use then that will go a long way to getting it done. Geelong will be hoping that the Tommahawk can maintain his recent form and get on the end of a few.

To close to call this one. No play for me.


The Cats may be headed to September again this year but they’ve not been the punters’ pal along the way, covering the spread on only seven of 21 occasions (albeit they’ve improved this record in recent times, covering in four of the past six games). They may have won 34 of their last 35 matches at Simonds, but thus far in 2012 they’re 1-5 against the spread at the venue. Meanwhile the Swans have been a much better week-in, week-out punting proposition: they’ve covered 14 times out of 21, including three out of five matches in Victoria.

The Swans have won the last two head to head, including the infliction of the only loss the Cats have had at Simonds Stadium in their last 35 games at the ground (by 13 points, in Round 23 of last season).

I’m reluctant to bet in to the Cats’ terrible spread record this year, but far from keen to take them on at home. Fortunately, we have an alternative:

The 2012 winning margins for Sydney versus a fellow top-six side: 37, 5, 6, 52, 8, 7.

The 2012 winning margins for Geelong versus a fellow top-six side (excluding Sydney, who we counted already): 2, 50, 12, 31, 2, 5.

That’s 12 matches for eight margins of less than 15.5 points either way. I’ll have one unit on a ninth close result being added to the list on Saturday.


GWS v North Melbourne, Skoda Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  GWS +88.5


North will be out to right the wrongs of last week where they faded badly in the final term. They couldn’t get near it for almost ten minutes and I’m sure Brad Scott will emphasise the importance of closing out the game.

With that in mind, and the fact that GWS are cooked and they’ll likely give their lesser likes a run, it makes a solid case for taking the minus especially given that the Roos won the first instalment by 22 goals.

I’d like to take a look at the teams just to reassure myself that the Roos are going to give it their best before getting on. I’ll be in touch.


The Giants’ record against top-eight sides this year: 10 losses in as many games, including seven losses by over 80 points and four by over 100 points.

With a percentage gap of less than one to the Dockers (hosting Melbourne) and just over four to the Cats (hosting Sydney – if they lose, they could well be overtaken by both the Dockers and Kangaroos), North Melbourne are still in the hunt for sixth or seventh spot on the ladder – they have some incentive to run up the score here.

Their only previous meeting was in Round Two of the season, with the Kangaroos winning by 129 points.

This is another match where the line is about as monstrous as it should be, and thus I’ll be sitting it out.


Fremantle v Melbourne, Patersons Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle -49.5


Another ordinary game with massive consequences. I don’t really expect the Dees to give a yelp in this one given that they were belted by Adelaide in a significant game at home. It’s hard to see them getting up for an insignificant game in Perth.

Fremantle hold their fortunes in their own hands and have the significant advantage of knowing what’s on offer and the ramifications of certain results.

Pavlich can make it hard for Reiwoldt to chase him down with a bag of goals and getting it to their skipper might be reason enough for the Dockers to run up the score.

I think they’d rather maintain their form than flirt with it so I’ll have a unit on the minus.


With the results of the Geelong and North Melbourne games in the books before this one starts, the Dockers will know exactly what’s at stake in their match and where they will finish on the ladder under various circumstances. If Geelong get beaten and the race for sixth spot opens up, watch this line blow out significantly.

As for the Demons, it’s unclear what their incentives are – the wooden spoon has been avoided and 16th position on the ladder all but assured.

I can’t recommend a wager here given that the results earlier in the day may have a major impact on the motivation of the Dockers – no play.


Essendon v Collingwood, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:   Essendon +36.5


Pies need a big win and the Bombers are heinous. Was it the week of the bye I told you they wouldn’t make the eight? I wish I’d got on it. I’d imagine it would have been juicy at 10-3.

What would be funny is if the Bombers were to come out and knock off the Pies this week just to stick it in and break it off.

I’ve made quite a bit of loot betting into the Bombers in recent times and I’d like to think there’s some more available but the Pies haven’t been setting the world on fire in recent times either.

If Jolly misses then the Pies could be up against it but what the Pies really can’t afford is another poor showing from Cloke and Dawes. If those two can’t impact this contest and get some confidence leading into finals then the Pies will be making up the numbers.

Even with that in mind it’s hard to see the Bombers coming back from the misery of the last eight weeks. If they were going to show something, surely they would have by now. I’ll have a unit on the minus.


I don’t want to talk about the fadeout from a 10-3 start to the season any further – no play.



Carlton v St Kilda, Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton +7.5


Could not care less about this game. The only thing that makes it even worth mentioning is the Ratten sub plot. Will he be there or not? I wouldn’t be.

If the playing group were going to stand up and do it for the coach, they would have done it last week.


Have two teams with comparable 11-10 records had such disparate moods before? The Saints seem optimistic about their future, while the Blues are doing some major soul-searching at the moment.

Carlton may have covered the spread in 12 of 21 games this season, but their record at Etihad (3-5 ATS) pales in comparison with their MCG record (6-2 ATS). Conversely, the Saints have covered on seven of 11 occasions at Etihad, but only one of four at the MCG – horses for courses and all of that. The flip side of the pro-Saints argument is that head to head, they are 7-0 this season against bottom-four teams and 4-10 against everyone else.

The Saints have won nine of the last 11 head to head, including their Round Seven encounter this year by 24 points.

The numbers all say St Kilda at the minus, but as I rarely get the Saints’ games right, I will pass.


Richmond v Port Adelaide, MCG, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Richmond -39.5


It’s all about jumping Jack this week. With nothing else to play for the Tigers will be trying to help the big fella rack up his second Coleman.

With Pav likely to kick a bag against the Dees Jack could need 8 goals plus to get it done so it could be worth a watch.

Port are a shambles and the Tigers will win this well but it would be irresponsible to have a bet on this game.

I’ve never claimed to be responsible though so I’ll have a unit on the Tigers in the knowledge they’ll be trying to finish the year  on a high and Reiwoldt to kick a bag.


Fun fact #1: If Collingwood and Carlton also win this weekend, the Tigers could sneak into ninth with a whopping margin of victory here.

Depressing fact #1: Port Adelaide are only the fifth-worst side in this year’s competition.

Neither here nor there fact #1: With approximately nothing on the line for either team in this game, I won’t be betting.


Brisbane v Western Bulldogs, Gabba, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane -33.5


Good luck to the ANU Griffins, Seniors and Reserves who play their preliminary finals this Sunday at Footy Park.

Entrance is $5 for adults, $2 for concessions and free for juniors. I’ve been asked to remind patrons that alcohol cannot be brought in but can be purchased at the canteen during the day.

Ladies, bring a plate.


The Lions have been much improved in 2012 and proved a handful at home for some far better teams than this – 10 wins would be a strong return on the season if they can get across the line once more here.

Fun fact #2: The 34-point loss last week was the closest that the Bulldogs have gotten to an opponent since they beat Port Adelaide in Round 12.

Depressing fact #2: The Western Bulldogs are only the fourth-worst side in this year’s competition.

Neither here nor there fact #2: I won’t be betting this game either.


Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Adelaide -56.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

1 unit on Fremantle -49.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

1 unit on Collingwood -36.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

1 unit on Richmond -39.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)


1.5 units on West Coast +25.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

1 unit on either side (Geelong or Sydney) by less than 15.5 points at $2.80 (TAB Sportsbet)


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


Comments are closed.