The AFL Lines – Round 10

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

The Eagles kept rolling, the Magpies surged back into the top four, Richmond and St Kilda put September holiday plans on hold while fans of the Swans, Hawks and Dockers all took a swift punch to the stomach. A number of positions in the eight are now well and truly up for grabs – a far cry from much of the way that 2011 played out. Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham cast their eye over the Round 10 matchups and give their recommended bets.


Hmmm…. do you think Freo would like a do-over on their decision to knife Mark Harvey in the back for Ross Lyon? I’d certainly like to renege on my ‘Dockers to finish top-8’ bet – damn bookies and their rules about punters not welshing on individual bets midseason…..


Another ugly week mate. Fremantle were insipid and have been for a while now. Adelaide were a bit stiff I thought given they controlled the game for three quarters and Sydney seem not to be able to carry my weight. Given my undiminished hatred of the Swans it’s tempting to get on those bludgers every week to ensure they miss the eight… approaching the midpoint of the season now, time to get serious.


Results for Round 9 selections

GO – 4 selections, 4 units bet, return of 1.92 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -52%

CB – 2 selections, 2 unit bet, return of 1.91 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -5%

Total – 6 selections, 6 units bet, return of 3.83 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -36%

Results for 2012

GO – 34 selections, 41.5 units bet, return of 30.82 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -26%

CB – 22 selections, 21.5 units bet, return of 22.11 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +3%

Total – 56 selections, 63 units bet, return of 52.93 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -16%


(Please note – all times are EST)



St Kilda v Richmond, Etihad Stadium, 7.50pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -0 to -3


As good as the Saints were last week against the Swans I’m still very concerned about their ruck stocks. I think Longmire made a massive blue last week leaving it all up to Mike Pyke. Blake played a blinder but I think he’ll find the job a lot more difficult this week against Maric who is easily the buy of the year.

Clint Jones will go to Cotchin but when Trent’s been tagged hard in recent times Martin has stepped up and played well. Shane Tuck is in great form as a run with and will get Dal Santo. Jack Reiwoldt will be busting to outshine his cousin after half a dozen last week. Rance will go to Saint Nick and his form suggests that battle will be a cracker.

Richmond need another big one after their impressive performance last week and I think Dimma will have them flying – one unit on Richmond at the small plus.


I really like what Richmond are doing this year (especially as they’ve taken care of business in the two games I’ve backed them in to date), but they may find a problem here in both a rejuvenated Saints lineup and just as importantly, a trip to semi-foreign surrounds at Etihad.

My gut feel was that the Saints preferred Etihad, while Richmond preferred the ‘G; the numbers support this theory. Since 2010, St Kilda are 21-8-1 at Etihad but only 5-7-2 at the MCG (admittedly, some finals distort their MCG stats). Meanwhile, Richmond are 11-18-1 at the MCG but only 2-7 at Etihad. Look at the total number of games each has played at the respective grounds – there is a clear ‘familiarity bias’ each way.

The Tigers haven’t beaten St Kilda in eons (well, since 2003 at any rate) but did they did come up with a draw in the corresponding game last year – played at the MCG.

If this game were being played at the ‘G, I’d happily step into Richmond. At Etihad though, I’ll be having 0.5 units on the Saints at the pick ‘em line on offer.



Geelong v GWS, Simonds Stadium, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -74.5


Geelong need the percentage boost and will win easily at home but the GWS have a nasty habit of covering these big lines.

Stevie J likes to bully shit teams and he’s in pretty good touch. Hawkins and Pods could both kick bags. The Cats mature bodies and their engrained game style leads me to believe that they might notch a three figure win against the up and comers.

Leaning towards the minus here but I’ll check back in once teams are announced given everyone’s penchant for resting big names in these clashes.


We’ve been down this road before – GWS will be beaten comfortably, but with their opponent resting key players/ putting their cue in the rack before the end of the game, the final margin of victory (and by extension, the potential cover) is up for grabs.

I don’t like betting games such as this for the same reason I don’t like buying lotto tickets.


Hawthorn v North Melbourne, Aurora Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn -24.5 to -26.5


Both teams will be out to make statements after poor performances last week. North have plenty to loose given their finals aspirations could die with another defeat. Hawthorn need credibility and they need it fast.

I’m loathe to question the fitness of professional athletes but both these teams have track records as faders and with that in mind and the unpredictability of Aurora I think I’ll sit this one out.


My first instinct was to suggest that Hawthorn need a ‘statement game’ after last week to get their premiership tilt back on track. Bear in mind that if they beat North, Port and Brisbane, they will hit the bye week at 8-4 and much of the early season hubbub will have been forgotten.

That view was only enhanced by delving into North’s form – underwhelming wins at home against Gold Coast and Brisbane plus four losses to show for their last six efforts. Everything seems like it’s breaking nicely for a minus bet, but then…..

Head to head, Hawthorn have won four of the last six, though would only have covered a four-goal line once. Interestingly, the last three have all been played at Aurora and all resulted in a winning margin of less than three goals, with the Hawks getting across the line twice and North once.  

With the head to head record and the Kangaroos desperately needing a win to keep their finals aspirations alive, I’m reluctantly walking away from this one.


Fremantle v Adelaide, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle +8.5 to +11.5


Adelaide played well last week but missed another key forward to stretch the Magpies defence. The return of Tex Walker will provide another avenue to goal and he’ll be keen to contribute after a forced holiday. Jacobs against Sandilands will be a key match up with the Dockers giant looking to silence a few critics.

If Adelaide’s midfield can get on top then I think they’ll get the points here. Fremantle have struggled to score so I’ll have one unit on the Crows at the minus. 


Their Round 4 win over St Kilda in Melbourne has subsequently blinded me to an increasingly obvious fact – the Dockers have played rubbish football for over a month now. The loss to Carlton seems worse in retrospect, as does the very narrow win over 0-9 Gold Coast. Beating Port at home doesn’t really count, and the last two thumpings have really rammed the message home.

Contrast Sunday afternoon’s ‘effort’ with that shown in defeat by the Crows on Saturday night and you really do have the old chalk and cheese cliché. Collingwood had the sheer class in the final quarter, but there was still plenty to like about the endeavour of Adelaide.

The Crows may have lost their last match against Freo at Patersons handsomely (back in 2010) but their three previous trips resulted in two wins and a loss by a solitary point – crossing the Nullarbor holds little fear for them. We also haven’t had a close match between these teams in years – the last seven matches all being decided by 17 points or more.

I can’t see the Dockers matching the Crows for intensity, skill execution or scoring capacity; if waiting until now makes me the last person to depart the Fremantle bandwagon, so be it – 1.5 units on the Crows at the minus.


Essendon v Melbourne, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Essendon -52.5 to -55.5


Essendon continue to notch up wins and they’ll surely get the best of the Demons who sink deeper with each passing week.

Ten goal lines have been tricky this year given the trend of trying to protect leads rather than enlarge them. I’m still leaning towards the minus here given that the Bombers inside mids led by Watson should have a field day against the Demons who are ranked 17th in contested possessions.

Melbourne were ok against the Blues for three quarters but were put to the sword late and with the conjecture surrounding Brent Moloney I think they could be in for another paddling this week – one unit on the Bombers at the minus. 


If you’d suggested to me preseason that the Bombers would be 8-1 (with the loss coming by a solitary point) and entering this game as favourites by almost 10 goals, I’d have told you to stop getting so high. You’ll get much the same reaction if you try to suggest a bet in this game to me.

With that out of the way, we conclude the ‘former Essendon players I have met’ miniseries with the story of meeting Mark Thompson at a Canberra nightclub in 2000.

He was chatting to fellow ‘Nut Guru’ Stu Warren (who had the presence of mind to ask him to sit tight for a moment whilst I was summoned) and then was kind enough to give me a few minutes of time. All was going well until Making The Nut founder (and at the time, Aussie Rules newbie) Nick Tedeschi caught wind of it, mistook him for current (at least in 2000) Bombers player Mark Johnson and came flying over with more enthusiasm than was entirely necessary, calling out to ‘Mark Johnson’ with great gusto.

Thompson fled for the hills – if I was a public figure and a drunken stranger came at me like that with a false identification as his motive, I’d have done likewise.



Port Adelaide v Carlton, AAMI Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Port Adelaide +19.5


Carlton have really shit the bed. Judd is not getting a great deal of support in the middle. Waite has been almost no existent since the round two. They ran over the Dees in the last quarter but were far from convincing. McLean was good against his old club but as litmus tests go, that’s not a good one.

Port have been playing well. They’ve managed two wins on the trot so all things being equal they are probably due a loss. Primus is getting a response from his senior players with the likes of Pearce, Cornes and Casissi in good form. If Kane Cornes can restrict Judds output then a boilover is not out of the question.

Still, even with Carlton injuries they have to be too good, don’t they? No bet.


After looking like world beaters in the opening three weeks, Carlton have come right back to the field – wins against Fremantle, GWS and Melbourne along with three convincing losses are not a great return on the last six weeks of effort.

The Power have lurched from creditable for the opening five weeks to insipid for the next two and back to creditable again with a pair of wins at their last two starts. Whilst far from a finals contender, they are no longer a cellar dweller and must be respected, especially at home.

Carlton have beaten Port on five straight occasions, four of which were played at AAMI Stadium (with three of those wins at AAMI coming by 26 points or more). Last year the Blues came to town and won comfortably by 49 points, much to the financial benefit of Greg and myself.

Port Adelaide look to be improved in 2012 while the Blues have seemingly regressed, to the point where I’m going to let this game slide.



Brisbane v West Coast, Gabba, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane +27.5 to +30.5


Brisbane play well at home, there’s no argument there. They have some quality players and if they can maintain the core of their group they’ll be a force again.

West Coast are a great match up for the Lions though with the abundance of run with mids and their tall forward line. Brisbane do lack quality talls so Merrett will be forced to play back this week. Jonathon Brown has found some nick but Glass is the best in the business – can’t wait for that duel. The ruck duel will be pivotal and West Coast clearly have the edge there.

I can’t see the Lions restricting the Eagles and I can’t see them kicking a score themselves – one unit on the Eagles at the minus.


West Coast look to have put their Round 7 drubbing at the hands of the Bombers (pausing for a moment to let a sweeping fist pump go) well and truly behind them, reasserting themselves as one of the competition’s benchmark sides, if not the outright alpha dog. That being said, they are a significantly more formidable outfit on their home track, and the Perth to Brisbane trip is not an easy one.

The Lions have posted three very strong wins against sides 16 to 18 on the ladder but failed to threaten anyone else. Last week’s 16-point margin against the Kangaroos was flattering; they motored home after the game was effectively over, after falling more than 50 points behind at one stage.

The Lions have won three of the last four between these teams at the Gabba, albeit that the Eagles were down for much of that period and their one finals-calibre side in recent times defeated Brisbane by eight points in the corresponding game last year.

A five-goal line in Brisbane equates to around seven goals at a neutral venue and almost nine goals at Patersons – that’s too big a line for me to be getting involved with.


Sydney v Western Bulldogs, SCG, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney –24.5 to -27.5


Both teams have good midfields. Both teams have pretty handy defences but both teams have shithouse forward lines.

Sydney should win but they should have won their last game as well. Joey Kennedy has questioned their attitude so they could come out firing.

The Dogs pushed the Cats to the limit and all things being equal they have probably over achieved this year. Rain expected and with two physical teams I really think this one will be you typical Sydney slog where 10 goals will get you the points. As such I’ll be playing one unit on the Dogs at the plus (I am not trying to play the Swans back into form!) 


Hmmm…. the Swans do not look the same side at all when Goodes and Mumford are absent. Indeed, they’ve been beaten in three of their last four, with two of those losses being pretty convincing.

Meanwhile the Bulldogs have started to come good of late – since their capitulation against the Saints they have won four of six (admittedly, three wins were against sides 16 to 18 on the ladder) and two quite respectable losses to Collingwood and Geelong.

The Swans have won three of the last four matches head to head, breaking a run of five straight previous wins by the Bulldogs. These teams have only played twice at the SCG since 2008, with the Swans winning by 44 points in 2010 and 39 points last year.

I have the slightest of leans to the Dogs at the plus given their recent improved efforts, but it’s hard to trust them on the road at this stage – no play.


Collingwood v Gold Coast, MCG, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood –62.5 to -64.5


Last year if you could get a flag favourite giving ten goals to a winless team you jump all over it but for some reason this game scares me a bit.

Collingwood are seriously lacking tall defenders with Lachy Keefe tragically set to miss the rest of the year.

Gold Coast are improving but realistically are probably 12-15 goal dogs here. I just can’t pull the trigger on this one – no bet.


These teams played once last year, with the visiting Magpies prevailing by 54 points at Metricon Stadium. Okay, that’s enough serious talk about a game I have no interest in betting. Let’s make up some prop bets:

1. The crowd (excluding seagulls) – under/ over 35,000

2. Scott Pendlebury’s Round 10 Brownlow votes (a futures bet of sorts) – under/ over 2.5

3. Number of ‘first goal scorer’ wagers various Pies’ defenders would need to place to feel confident of a collect – under/ over 14.5

4. Number of times a disinterested Fox Footy commentator pretends that Cloke and Dawes are “finding form” when in reality, kicking a bag against Gold Coast should come with an asterisk next to it – under/ over 7.5

5. Number of minutes of this match I will watch – under/ over 60.5 (a word of warning: once the delayed NRL coverage finishes at 6pm, the TV schedule falls into a major abyss – so don’t go racing into the unders too quickly).



Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Richmond +3.0 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Adelaide -8.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on Essendon – 52.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on West Coast -27.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on Western Bulldogs + 27.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)



0.5 units on St Kilda H2H at $1.90 (Sportsbet)

1.5 units on Adelaide -8.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)



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


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