The AFL Lines – Rd 9

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on May 19, 2011

As the AFL season rolls along, so to do the opportunities to wager on many a match with some clearly exposed form lines. Against that backdrop, we turn to the second instalment of an AFL tips column, where Cliff Bingham and Greg Oberscheidt cast their eyes over the matches and give you their recommended bets for the weekend.

CB – A good start to the betting season for you Greg, as you sneak out to an early lead – in golfing parlance, you ‘have the honour’ for Round Nine. My key failing was to overrate the Dockers. In turn, that led me to overrate the Tigers for defeating them soundly in Round Seven.

GO – I think we might have underrated the “outs” for Fremantle as much as anything. There are some pretty big gaps in their line-up at the moment and they just aren’t getting it done. As for Richmond, the inconsistency of youth strikes again. The fact that they played ordinary footy and still kicked 18 goals only highlights the Bulldogs struggles.

Summary of Round 8 results

GO – Four selections, five units bet, return of $7.60, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 52%

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


(Please note – all times are EST)


Carlton v Geelong, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -15.5

GO – Geelong have the benefit of having knocked off the premiership favourites last week and will be flying this week under the lid at Etihad. Carlton lose Curnow – who has been massive for them this year – with an AC sprain and are likely to include Brock McLean for his first game in the ones this year. The loss of club icon Bob Davis earlier in the week will inspire the Cats and I expect them to make a big statement on Friday. I will be backing Geelong -15.5 for one unit.

CB – This week opens with another terrific Friday night encounter between two of the top-tier sides. Interestingly, Carlton have beaten Geelong on the last two occasions they played at the MCG, but been thumped in all of their last five encounters at Etihad. The Blues have been great at taking on adversity so far in 2011, trailing at critical points of every match bar the Gold Coast game but still racking up five wins and a draw. I don’t think that the same liberties can be afforded to the Cats this week though – if Carlton let the lead slip easily, that’s the last they’ll see of it. One unit on Geelong at the minus is the recommended play for mine.



St Kilda v Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -12.5

GO – If Centrebet were offering 4-1 that there will be a winner in this game, I still don’t think I’d be able to take it. Both sides have shown glimpses in the last few weeks but trying to pick a winner out of these yo-yos is harder than Sam Gilbert at a year 10 formal. No play for me.

CB – Wild horses could not drag to my local bookmaker for a bet on this one, with two teams coming off matches where they surrendered five-goal leads in convincing losses. St Kilda have won the last five clashes between the teams, but we are talking about a very different Saints outfit in 2011. As my community service announcement for the week, I urge people to stay away from wagering on this game.


Port Adelaide v Fremantle, AAMI Stadium, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle -13.5

GO – Fremantle are decimated by injury but after surrendering last week to a vastly improved West Coast Eagles outfit I think they have a point to prove and will do so against the Power, who are struggling for any semblance of credibility, not only as footballers but as human beings. Sandilands will have a massive impact against Brogan who is a battler at best. Hayden Ballantyne should make his return from a hamstring and will add some pace and structure to the Fremantle forward line. I’m looking forward to seeing if Tendai Mzungu can have an impact, bearing in mind that he will probably start his first match as a sub. Play one unit Fremantle at the minus.

CB – Let’s get one thing established immediately – I wouldn’t trust the current Port Adelaide side to successfully take my bins out to the front kerb on a Tuesday night, let alone carry my cash, so the plus can be ruled out. The Dockers at the minus is a more complicated proposition – coming off two losses where an injury-depleted side looked a little sluggish, they have made me wonder if I was a little over-zealous in my assessment of how good they were. Nonetheless, they have an acceptable (2-2) record against Port at Football Park in recent years and beat Adelaide at this ground earlier in the season, whilst Port lost to West Coast at home back in Round Two. This is a huge game for the Dockers if they wish to compete for a finals spot, but their recent woes have me just nervous enough to sit out this match.


Brisbane v North Melbourne, Gabba, 7.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne -3.5

GO – North Melbourne made a big statement last week and should win this one given the performances of the Lions. Jonathon Brown will be out to show the way to his young charges who have missed a focal point, but more than that he brings hope back to the Gabba. With that in mind, I can’t justify a lash at this one.

CB – This feels like a trap game to me. Do you want the 2-5 side with a poor record at the Gabba taking on a fresh Jonathan Brown? Or do you want the side who has yet to win this season and have already posted losses against the lowly Suns and Saints? I cannot get a good grip on this match and will therefore sit it out. 


Richmond v Essendon, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon -17.5

GO – Dreamtime at the ‘G’. A big chance for both teams here. Essendon have performed well against the contenders in recent times but struggled against the lower rated teams. They need to win and win well to be considered a genuine top-4 chance this year. Richmond can also stake a claim for finals footy with an upset win here but will need big contributions from their midfield. With Watson and Hocking (Essendon’s two best-performed clearance players) out, I expect Cotchin to dominate the clearances and give the Tigers first use. It could go either way but I doubt either side will win by three goals so I’ll be having a one unit play on Richmond + 17.5.

CB – I was all set to declare the Bombers here on the basis that their defence works (80 points conceded per game) whilst the Richmond defence doesn’t (116 points concede per game), but the losses of Jobe Watson to injury and Heath Hocking to suspension really worry me. The recent history is also in favour of Richmond with seven wins from the last ten encounters (albeit that the Bombers have won two of the last three). If the Bombers can continue to lock down, they will win comfortably. However, if the Essendon absentees allow Richmond to turn the game into a high-scoring shootout, the outcome is up in the air. No recommend bet for me.



Collingwood v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -49.5

GO – Collingwood should win this one in a canter. They will be looking to reassert their authority as the number one contender after going down last week and the Crows will put up little resistance. Adelaide will regain Taylor Walker after a spell in the SANFL but unless he plays half-back he will add little. Expect a big game from Didak who is yet to contribute anything meaningful this year and Johnson returning from injury adds polish. Collingwood should also recover their skipper in a straight swap for Toovey, who will miss after his courageous display last week. Collingwood will win by ten goals, so I will have one unit on the Pies at the minus.

CB – This match is really a question of how far the Magpies? The recent head-to-head records aren’t of much assistance here, as Collingwood have only become a juggernaut in recent times while the Crows are currently at one of the lower points talent wise for a number of years. So let’s look at the Magpies’ winning margins this season. They beat Carlton and Essendon (both substantially better than Adelaide) by around five goals. They beat the Western Bulldogs (better than Adelaide) by eight goals. And they’ve beaten Richmond, North Melbourne and Port Adelaide (either on a par with, or worse than, the Crows) by between 71 and 87 points. Given that the Pies will have plenty to prove after last Friday night, couldn’t you see them putting Adelaide to the sword in a similar fashion? Given the competition for spots in their top 22, I can’t see too many Collingwood players taking their foot off the pedal in the final quarter, and I therefore recommend betting one unit on Collingwood at the minus.


Sydney v Hawthorn, SCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -3.5

GO – The Swans play the SCG well as it allows them to play to their strengths. Hard inside contests are their bread and butter and highlight the effectiveness of Mumford, who is the best follow up ruckman in the game. With the Hawks weak in the ruck this should be all the advantage the Swans need. With the loss of Gilham the Hawks will be forced to play a smaller, more mobile defensive unit which should match up well on the Swans smaller forwards. Sydney should win this one but as a Hawthorn fan, I’ll be happy to lose this bet. Sydney -3.5 for one unit.

CB – How can you recommend a bet against your own side? That is horrible – you could at least go for a ‘no play’ there. I know Nick does it too for his rugby league column, but that doesn’t make it right. Anyway…. there are still plenty of seats available on the ‘2011 Swans are a good team’ bandwagon – seriously, this thing remains almost empty. Unlike the ever-growing contingent of bandwagon Swans ‘fans’, but that’s a discussion for another time. Three things have me leaning to the Swans at the minus this week. First, the Hawks have not won in Sydney since 2003, losing on five subsequent trips north of the border. Second, the smaller dimensions of the SCG are likely to inhibit the effectiveness of Lance Franklin, who is at his most dangerous when making long leads and using his combination of height and aerobic capacity to wear down his opponent. Finally, the injury-ravaged Hawthorn ruck division will have plenty on their plate with Shane Mumford, whom I expect to dominate the hit-outs and taps to advantage. These three aspects of the match-up lead me to recommend one unit on the Swans at the minus.


West Coast v Western Bulldogs, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast -3.5

GO – The Coasters are flying at the minute and even though the Dogs had a win last week, I still don’t rate their intensity. They snuck under the Richmond radar by pushing Gilbee forward early and that was the difference. Expect Woosha to have an ace up his sleeve if Rocket goes for a repeat dose. The Dogs are still weak defensively with Morris the only A-grade defender in the side. West Coast with Kennedy, Lynch and Darling and a rotation of Cox and Nic Nat should be able to hit the scoreboard hard enough to win this comfortably. One unit on West Coast at the minus.

CB – Here we go again with all this agreeing – I find it insufferable. Nonetheless, we are here to make money and sometimes agreement is the price you pay in such an endeavour.  I remain far from sold on the 2011 Bulldogs – allowing Richmond to kick 17 goals in the final three quarters feels like a red flag. Their record at Subiaco/ Patersons Stadium is far from flattering as well, with only seven wins and a draw from 23 trips across the Nullarbor. Conversely, I am really warming to the Eagles. They are playing with great heart and intensity this season, with their three losses to date coming against quality opposition in games where they pushed their opponent hard and gave a great account of themselves. The ruck duel will also be pivotal, with the athletic, ‘Subi-friendly’ pair of Cox and Naitinui likely to have an edge over Hudson and Minson. The West Coast faithful will be in full voice for what may prove to be an ‘eight point game’ in the context of the finals race and I think that will help to see the Eagles home. I recommend one unit on them at the minus.


Recommended bet summary

GO – One unit on Geelong -15.5, one unit on Fremantle -13.5, one unit on Richmond + 17.5, one unit on Collingwood -49.5, one unit on Sydney -3.5, one unit on West Coast -3.5.

CB – One unit on Geelong -15.5, one unit on Collingwood -49.5, one unit on Sydney -3.5, one unit on West Coast -3.5.


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


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