The AFL Lines – Round 19

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on August 2, 2012

Can the Hawks arrest the four-year hoodoo? Can the Bombers arrest what looks to be a perilous slide in form? Can Melbourne win a game? These are among the questions that Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham are pondering as they go through the AFL lines for Round 19.


The big news this week is how far some of these lines have moved since Monday – the Crows are favoured by up to eight points more than when markets opened, while the Hawks, Kangaroos and Power have all come in for heavy support. As far as I can tell, the only line shift that suggests backing for the underdog is the Demons-Suns line; leave me out of that one.


You cast a forlorn figure on Friday night mate. It would have been sad to see if it wasn’t on the back of the Hawks towelling your boys up. You beauty! As for the betting, it was another reasonable week for us with a modest return. There’s been plenty of action already this week with a lot of lines stretching since Tuesday. There’s still a couple worth a throw.


Results for Round 18 selections

GO – 4 selections, 5 units bet, return of 7.66 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +53%

CB – 2 selections, 3 units bet, return of 2.85 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -5%

Total – 6 selections, 8 units bet, return of 10.51 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +31%

Results for 2012

GO – 65 selections, 77.5 units bet, return of 71.78 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -7%

CB – 40 selections, 42 units bet, return of 40.27 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -4%

Total – 105 selections, 119.5 units bet, return of 112.05 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -6%


(Please note – all times are EST)



Hawthorn v Geelong, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:   Hawthorn -24.5 to -26.5


I’m really looking forward to this one. Hawthorn have been in devastating form and if they ever had motivation to maintain it, it will be to break Kennett’s curse.

Geelong have impressed recently knocking off Adelaide last week despite being a man down for the duration. Their stars are shining and their kids are improving. They match up well against the Hawks and their man-on-man approach tends to quell the outside run of the Hawks a bit.

I think the Hawks, with or without Franklin will be too strong for the Cats and win this one pretty comfortably but giving the reigning premiers a four-goal start is a bit rich for me. No play.


Here’s an interesting stat for the high-flying Hawks: they’re 13-0 this season when scoring 100 or more points and 0-4 when failing to reach that mark. You can’t engage them in a shootout (as Collingwood have tried twice) and expect to get the upper hand. It needs to become an arm wrestle – this may in part explain why three of Hawthorn’s losses this year have come against Sydney, West Coast and Geelong.

The Cats are slowly starting to round into some form. Whilst their 2012 record against the spread remains poor, it’s worth noting that since Round Three, they’ve only lost to Adelaide away, Sydney away and Collingwood (twice) – with only one of those losses coming by more than the spread for this game.

As has been well documented all week, the Cats have won eight straight against Hawthorn, with the last Hawks’ victory coming in the 2008 Grand Final. Six of those eight games have involved a victory margin of less than 10 points though, so the contests are been less lopsided than it may appear at first glance.

Some teams simply create headaches for their opposition through their style of play – I think the Cats can cause sufficient headaches for one unit on the plus to represent a good bet.



Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs +46.5 to +48.5


I guess the only real question here is whether you think the Dogs are any better than the Dees. On recent form I don’t see how you can make that argument. Couple that with some key outs (most notably Cross who misses the rest of the season with a busted wing) and this is likely to get out of hand quickly.

Boyd and Griffen often dominate the stats but Cross does the real hard work inside and his sacrificial acts at the stoppages allow them to win the not. They’ll miss him greatly.

The Roos are travelling really well which is good to see. Finally getting some continuity with their list has helped. Their attack at all costs game plan is a perilous one but it works well against teams who struggle to kick a score.

Eight goals is a lot but the Dogs have been heinous and I can’t see that stopping this week – one unit on the Roos at the minus.


In their last six losses, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 57 points while conceding 114. Given that they’ve only played one top-six side over that period (and four sides currently outside the eight), that is a damning set of numbers.

Meanwhile, the Kangaroos are only a late slip up against West Coast away from having recorded seven straight wins. With a strong win this weekend, they could be as high as sixth on the ladder come Sunday evening – a point Brad Scott may seek to emphasise if North have a comfortable lead at three-quarter time.

The Bulldogs have won five of the last six head-to-head matches, including an 18-point victory in Round Seven of this season when the Roos went in as solid favourites.

There is every chance that North will continue on their merry way with another emphatic win here, but I can’t lay so many points against a side that has had the better of them in recent years – no play.


GWS v Port Adelaide, Skoda Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  GWS +48.5 to +50.5


When was the last time Port gave anyone 50? We all know the GWS have been pizzled for the last month but we also know that they’ve been gearing up towards these last three rounds where they’ll be confident they can snatch a win.

Port have been competitive without really being inspiring and they still have a few quality players missing as well. For the Power to cover you’d think they’d need to kick 18-20 goals and I’m buggered if I can see where they are going to come from.

It’ll be great to see Chadwick up against his old side for the first time. Expect the strut and a bit of a rumble as well. He’ll bust himself to set the standard for his team mates.

There is no way Port will cover this line – two units on the Giants at the plus.


I never get games between bad sides correct, so why bother trying?


Fremantle v West Coast, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle +16.5 to +18.5


The Derby is always a tough one to pick. Form doesn’t tend to mean a heap in these games. Both teams will be desperate though. A win to the Dockers is a massive step towards September action whilst the Eagles need the points to hang onto a chance at the top-four.

Injury looks like it will play a massive part here with Cox and Kerr both needing to pass tests to play. Glass missing through suspension is another big out for the Eagles – their captain is the best defender in the comp and an irreplaceable cog in their machine.

Initially I liked the Eagles here but the more I think about it, the more I think the Dockers can knock them off. Given I’m second guessing myself, I think I’ll stay away.


If I’m Ross Lyon, this is the statistic that worries me most: in matches against top-eight sides this season, the Dockers are 1-6 (they’re yet to play North Melbourne) with averages of 76 points scored and 104 conceded. They beat the teams they should, but they also lose to the teams they should.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are 8-1 at Patersons this season (their one loss coming against competition leaders Sydney), with six of those wins coming by 25 points or more.

The Eagles have won the last three ‘Derbies’ (including a 48-point win back in Round Nine), ending a run of seven straight Fremantle wins. Interestingly, eight of the last 12 matches between these teams have resulted in a winning margin of 27 points or more – these contests may be hard fought, but they are rarely close.

In light of the recent head to head record, I’m predicting a comfortable margin of victory, and I think it’ll be the Eagles taking the four competition points – one unit on the minus.


Collingwood v St Kilda, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -17.5 to -18.5


It’s a bit tough to decide where both of these teams are at. Both lost to a top-four side two weeks ago and then belted a bottom-four side last week. It should put them on a pretty even keel.

The Pies are a better unit and have a much higher ceiling but they aren’t playing anywhere near their best right now due to injuries and key players down on form.

St Kilda need a big scalp if they are to make the finals and the Pies need to keep winning to stay in the four. It seems a pretty common them at the moment.

Three goals might be a bit too much but it’s too close to call for me.


The Magpies have been all over the shop in the last month, throwing a couple of convincing losses in with a couple of convincing wins. I’m finding it very hard to get a good gauge on them at the moment.

The Saints have more or less been alternating wins and losses all year: 9-8 on the season, 5-5 in their last 10 matches; 3-3 in their last six. It’s unclear if they could be any more middle-of-the-road than this, although with two cheap wins (Melbourne and GWS) left on their calendar, they’d have to lose all of the other three matches to wind up at a nice and symmetrical 11-11.

The last five matches between these teams have resulted in four Collingwood wins (three by 48 points or more) and a draw.

I get the feeling that this line is near enough right, so will be sitting this match out.


Brisbane v Richmond, Gabba, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:   Brisbane +7.5


Crunch time has been and gone for the Tigers. Their season is dusted and their progression from last year has to be questioned. They can’t close out games and being noble in victory doesn’t cut it.

Brisbane, on the other hand, have progressed. Voss has experimented a bit this year and it has paid dividends. There’s plenty to like about the Lions and their future is looking a bit brighter now that the stink of Fevola is starting to wash off.

I’m not convinced Richmond deserve to be favourites here despite the fact that the Lions were touched up last week. At the Gabba they are a tough team to beat and I think they’ll really fancy their chances against the Tigers. I’ll have a unit on the Lions at the plus.


I’m starting to wonder if the Lions are running out of gas this season – after 15 rounds of pretty solid footy, they were ordinary (and a bit lucky) against the Suns before being blown off the park by the Eagles last week.

The Tigers meanwhile threw another opportunity away, making it six losses by 12 points or less this season. With their last three losses coming by acombined margin of 10 points, they are only some finishing poise and composure away from being a 10-7 side right now. Nonetheless, inability to seal the deal is a glaring flaw.

Richmond have won the last three matches head to head, including both matches played at the Gabba (by 19 points in 2010 and 31 points last year).

I can’t trust either side at this juncture, so will be sitting the match out.



Melbourne v Gold Coast, MCG, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Melbourne -20.5 to -21.5


No need to get out of bed until 3 o’clock on Sunday. What a shithouse game of footy.

The Demons will have to put in a big showing after Brock McLean’s revelations earlier in the week but I’m not convinced they have the cattle to do so.

The Suns are definitely a show here but I’d rather put my money on a three legged rocking horse. No play.


See GWS v Port Adelaide ‘preview’ above.


Carlton v Sydney, Etihad Stadium, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton +16.5 to +18.5


Carlton will be bolstered by the return of Waite, Robinson and Walker which will help their structure but it won’t be enough to stop the Swans.

Sydney by plenty but I’m still not betting on them.


The Blues are an interesting phenomenon in 2012 – they’ve beaten the Magpies twice, but are 0-5 against all other top-eight sides this season, with an average score line of 113-76 against. Moreover, their record at Etihad is much poorer (won only three of their last 10 and eight of their last 21) than at the MCG (won seven of their last 10 and 13 of their last 19).

Sydney are just the opposite – since the start of 2010, they have won five of eight games at Etihad and lost a sixth by a solitary point (go Bombers!). They also bring excellent recent form, having won eight straight matches, six by margins of 29 points or more.

Carlton won both matches between these teams last year (including one at Etihad) but the Swans won eight out of nine prior to that (including four out of five at Etihad).

If this game were being played at the MCG I’d be looking hard at the Blues with the start. At Etihad, however, I have to be with the Swans at the minus for one unit.


Adelaide v Essendon, AAMI Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide -35.5 to -37.5


Still no Tippett for the Crows but Jacobs is likely to return. Thompson’s MRP reprieve means the Crows are near enough to full noise. Beaten by the Cats at Skilled is not a sin. They still showed enough to be in the game without big sauce.

The Bombers are still well off their best and are missing plenty of key players. Add Stanton to the injury list and it starts to look desperate. Their lack of outside run is massive and it’s hard to see where they’ll be able to generate any drive. I can’t see the Dons kicking a score.

I loved this line for the Crows on Tuesday when it was -29.5 and jumped on it early. I still love it at the six-goal mark and will follow that up for two units.


The Crows were disappointing in the final quarter against Geelong last week, but they’re yet to lose two games in a row in 2012, while their 8-1 record at AAMI Stadium this season is also cause for optimism in Adelaide.

Things have fallen away terribly for the Bombers of late – in their last three losses, they’ve scored 72 points while conceding 149 on average. Injuries keep piling up, form and confidence are down, worries about even scraping into the eight are surfacing…. it’s not good.

Adelaide have won five of the last seven between these teams at AAMI Stadium, but the real sting in the tail comes in the margins – four of those five wins have been by 84 points or more.

I still can’t bring myself to bet against the Dons, but if you take a form line through (a) their last three losses and (b) the Crows’ 49-point win at home two weeks ago against an under-manned Eagles outfit, the signs all point to Adelaide at the minus.


Recommended bet summary


1 unit on North Melbourne -46.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

2 units on GWS +50.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

1 unit on Brisbane +7.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

2 units on Adelaide -35.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)


1 unit on Geelong +26.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on West Coast -16.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Sydney -16.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)


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


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