The AFL Lines – Round 2

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on April 4, 2012

The season openers have played themselves out and for all of the new coaches bar Brenton Sanderson, it was a rocky introduction to the senior coaching role. The top five teams from 2011 all look likely to be there when the whips are cracking this season, while Ross Lyon and the Dockers announced themselves as legitimate challengers to that upper echelon. What can we read into those results and their likely bearing on the second round of matches? Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham return to put the puzzle together.

CB – We both made money and the Hawks and Bombers both won; not a bad opening round by any stretch of the imagination. I’m already starting to feel like I underrated the Eagles this season. The way they put the Bulldogs to the sword on the road made them look a genuine top-4 contender. While we’re out west, I know only one week of outcomes are in the books, but doesn’t a win over the reigning premiers make our assessments that people should load up on Fremantle for the top-8 look a little rosier? Go you purple haze-like object!

GO – Solid start there old mate and what an awesome weekend of footy. I got sucked into the Punt Road hype again which in retrospect was pretty stupid. Everything else panned out pretty much as expected. I wish I had of trusted my gut and taken the Demons on. That was always going to happen. We’ve learnt that Melbourne are ordinary (as are St Kilda) and the lesser lights are in for a long year. I’m very comfortable with the Fremantle to make the top eight bet right now. Money for jam I’d reckon. A pretty tough week at a glance. Some pretty big lines all things considered. Surely we can find a couple of bets.


Results for Round 1 selections

GO – 4 selections, 6 units bet, return of 9.58 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +60%

CB – 4 selections, 2.5 units bet, return of 3.83 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +53%

Total – 8 selections, 8.5 units bet, return of 13.41 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +58%

Results for 2012

GO – 4 selections, 6 units bet, return of 9.58 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +60%

CB – 4 selections, 2.5 units bet, return of 3.83 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) =+ 53%

Total – 8 selections, 8.5 units bet, return of 13.41 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +58%


(Please note – all times are EST)


Brisbane v Carlton, Gabba, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane +20.5

GO –I really liked the way Brisbane played last week and they will definitely cause an upset or two throughout the season. That being said, their opposition this week is a very good football side who should welcome back their number one defender in Michael Jamison. Also back for the Blues will be Nick Duigan who gives their back six some extra flexibility and a hard edge. Rockliff, Redden and Black are a very good midfield unit however they’ll meet Judd, Murphy and Gibbs this week so they’ll be up against it. If Matthew Kreuzer can get the better of Leunberger then this could get ugly. Carlton need to make examples of the second tier sides to prove their status as contenders so they will be ruthless on Thursday night. I don’t expect the home ground advantage to play much of a part. Carlton by 8 goals and as such I’ll play two units on Carlton at the minus.

CB – If the opening round proved anything, it’s that the gap between elite and non-elite teams does not appear to have closed during the offseason. But don’t go racing off to back Carlton at the minus just yet. The Lions may have only won four matches last year but they proved a handful against a few quality sides at home – losing to Fremantle by two points, St Kilda by 13 points and West Coast by eight points. Head to head, the Blues have won five of the last seven matches between the teams but have lost the last two matches played at the Gabba (in 2009 and 2010). If you take the view that interstate home ground advantage is worth around two goals, this implies the line would be around five goals at a neutral venue and around seven goals if the match were played in Melbourne. That feels about right to me, so I’ll sit this one out.



Essendon v Port Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line: Essendon –25.5 to -26.5

GO –Both sides are coming off hard fought wins last week. Essendon went to the wire with North and Port disposed of a hapless St Kilda. The celebrations from the Port Adelaide group after the siren showed us a couple of things; firstly, how much it meant to them to get a win after their horror 2011 and secondly, they know they won’t win many this year so they will soak it up every chance they get. Realistically the Bombers should win this one easily but I’d like a little bit more of a form line before I’ll get on them. No play for me.

CB – In the corresponding game last year the Bombers were laying 64.5 points and nearly got rolled by the Power, who then beat Melbourne in the final round and St Kilda in the opening round of this season. What a difference three (home and away season) weeks makes! At any rate, I’d have felt pretty confident had this been the line for the opening round, but the Power showed some genuine signs of life last week. Up to that point I’d expected any signs of life to come in “Major League 2” style, with Brian Taylor saying something like “….. the Power players appear to be beating the crap out of each other…. here’s Travis Boak squaring off against Dom Cassisi…. I don’t know Jacko, I think Cassisi is carrying his left a little low – this could really hurt him in the later rounds”….. ohwait, where was I going with this? No bet in this one.


Sydney vFremantle, SCG, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney –5.5 to -7.5

GO –The Swans haven’t played for two weeks and the Dockers are coming off a brutal encounter last week. I think they’ll be better for the run. Fremantle will be without their main antagonist Hayden Ballantyne who is serving two for an off the ball hit on Chappy. He is a bit of a barometer for them and gets them up and about. Sandilands v Mumford will be a titanic battle and the Dockers would have learnt from GWS that Goodes struggled with the hard tag, so expect a De Boer type to try and lock him down. I like Fremantle here but the SCG is a very different beast to Patterson’s stadium and I’m not convinced it suits the Dockers’ style. No play for me.  

CB – I don’t think much can be read into the Swans’ opening round performance – they jumped out to a 10-goal head in the third quarter and promptly put the cue in the rack for the night. There was a lot to like about the Dockers last Saturday night though – they may be even better than I’d envisaged them being in 2012. Head to head, Fremantle’s last three matches at the SCG have resulted in two wins (including a win by 11 points last year) and a loss by just four points in 2008. Given that Sydney love a close contest (nine of their home and away season matches last year were decided by two goals or less),the 6.5 points start is worth quite a bit – 0.5 units on Freo at the plus.


West Coast v Melbourne, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast –47.5 to -49.5

GO –Melbourne will be out to prove a point to their fans and their coach this week after being humiliated last week. Their problem though is that they meet a white hot Eagles side who just smacked up the Dogs on the road. Last year Melbourne had a reasonable record when coming off a loss winning seven from 11 but only one of those wins was against a side that finished higher on the ladder. West Coast will dominate in the ruck and it will flow on from there. Glass will give Mitch Clark a bath and Kennedy, Darling, Lynch and Cox will prove too big and too mobile for the Demons’ defence. I expect the Demons to respond but with Mark Neeld swinging the selection axe I doubt they’ll have the cattle to hold the Eagles. Play one unit on West Coast at the minus. 

CB – The Eagles took care of business in impressive style last weekend; the Demons did nothing of the sort. It all looks like an impending horror movie for the Dees this weekend. Last season they played eight matches against top-five sides, losing all eight by 45 points or more, including three losses by over 75 points. This compares to West Coast, who won all 14 of their matches against teams that missed the finals last year, including wins by 54 and 48 points in two matches against Melbourne. I have a slight lean to the Eagles at the minus but given the margins in the matches played between the teams last year, it’s not a strong enough lean to warrant a bet.


Collingwood v Richmond, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood –35.5

GO –The Pies will be stinging after their first up loss to the Hawks and will be keen to put Nathan Buckley’s first win on the board. The Tiger’s will also be wondering where it all went wrong given the hype surrounding their round one clash. Once again the Tigers midfield comes up against a more fancied opponent. They broke even with Carlton in the middle last week and could do the same at the MCG this time around but unfortunately for the Tigers, breaking even in the middle isn’t enough to get the chocolates. Rance will have to play on Cloke which means that Grimes will have to stand Chris Dawes, a definite advantage for the Pies. Reid will get first crack at Reiwoldt and is a good match up for Jack. There is too much to like about the Pies in this contest so I’ll play one unit on the Pies to cover.

CB – Every the Tigers’ faithful seem to bound into the opening round with hope and come out of it with the same tired old look on their faces. Just once I’d like to see them start a season fast and keep those fires of hope burning a little longer. At any rate, it’s not a great time for them to be bumping into Collingwood. Last year the Tigers conceded an average of 109 points per game overall, including an average of 137 points conceded per match against top-five sides. That trend only improved marginally last Thursday when they conceded 125 points to Carlton. Compare this to the Magpies; they averaged 118 points scored per game in the 2011 home and away season, with that average improving to 136 points scored per game (and only 62 points conceded) against sides that missed the finals. No-one puts mediocre sides to the sword quite like the ‘Pies do. An average winning margin of 82 points in their last three against Richmond furthers the case for predicting another belting here – one unit on Collingwood at the minus for me.


Adelaide v Western Bulldogs, AAMI Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide –29.5 to -30.5

GO – This is a farce. How can the bookies rate the Dogs less of a chance to knock off the Crows than the Suns were last week? I know, it was the Fortress Metricon thing wasn’t it…… bizarre. Clearly the bookies don’t know how to gauge the Crows and are jumping all over the place. Anyway, I think Adelaide will win this one at home and if they are to play finals footy, these sorts of games are a must win. The Dogs were good for three quarters last week and everyone loved the first real look at Clay Smith, he’ll be a keeper. The smart play here is the Dogs at the plus given that these two sides are pretty much a 50/50 proposition so whilst I think the Crows will get it done I’ll have one unit on the Dogs at the substantial plus.

CB – Don’t you love it when bookmakers overreact? Granted, Adelaide returns home this weekend, but how are they more favoured this week than they were in the opening round? The Bulldogs pushed West Coast for more than a half on Sunday and with some more accurate third quarter kicking for goal could have still been in the hunt in the final term. They’ve also beaten Adelaide in each of their last four matches (two at AAMI Stadium) by an average of 30 points, conceding an average of only 70 points per game. That’s not to say the Crows are false favourites; their strong start to 2012 plus home field advantage both justify that. However, five goals is simply too many to be giving away when neither side is likely to reach the upper tier of teams nor the bottom four – one unit on the Dogs at the plus for mine.



North Melbourne v GWS, Blundstone Arena, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne –77.5 to -80.5

GO –Not too much to say about this one really. North Melbourne will win or there will be riots on Arden Street….. does six people constitute a riot? The Giants impressed in their first hitout but they are still a long way off being a competitive AFL side. If North can feed Petrie and co with some quality ball then the 13-goal line is in danger, but it’s a bit early in the season to chase the sun. No play for me.

CB – I care not the slightest bit for wagering on this game, so will leave you with this riddle:If GWS get belted down in Tasmania and none of their fans see it, did it actually happen?


St Kilda v Gold Coast, EtihadStadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line: St Kilda –47.5 to -52.5

GO –Wow, another blockbuster here. Surely the Saints can’t start 0/2 having the easiest first two rounds of any club this year. If they play the way they played last week then it is a big chance. Surely they’ll be out to silence the critics. Surely the skill and poise of their top eight or nine players will be enough. Surely. The Suns will sense the blood in the water here and they’ll have isolated this game as one of their real opportunities so expect them to throw the kitchen sink at the Saints this week. The Suns could cause a boilover here and if Nathan Bock was available I’d take the points, but the stakes are just too high for St Kilda. No play for me.

CB – The Saints have stumbled out of the gates and handed Port only their fourth win in 18 months; the Suns have only been to Melbourne four times and lost three of those games by 71 points or more. Sometime in the next month or so, a person will turn up for their first Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting and as part of introducing themselves will say “I had a massive multi on the lines for the Roos-Giants and Saints-Suns games in Round 2. That’s when it became obvious that I desperately needed help”.



Geelong v Hawthorn, MCG, 3.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong +10.5 to +12.5

GO – What a game this promises to be. Can the Hawks break their seven game losing streak against the Cats? Will the reigning premiers start the season 0/2? Scarlett has proven to be a major difference between the two sides in their recent encounters; his absence will hurt the Cats. Lonergan has done well on Franklin so expect him to get first crack there. Hodge is a doubtful starter and the Hawks will miss his grunt and direction. I won’t be betting this game as the emotional investment is more than enough for me, but if I were benevolently neutral Geelong with the start would be the play.

CB – Yes, the loss of Scarlett hurts the Cats and yes, the return trip from Perth has some history of bringing sides undone the following week. The following facts remain: (1) Geelong are the reigning premiers and were still admirable in defeat last week; (2) they have beaten Hawthorn in each of the last seven meetings between the teams since the 2008 Grand Final; (3) going back to 2007, seven of the last 10 matches between the teams has been decided by less than two goals; and (4) the Hawks themselves still have some injury concerns around Hodge and Shiels. I’m expecting another epic encounter between two top-shelf sides here, all of which makes the two goals start seem quite generous – 0.5 units on the Cats at the plus.


Recommended bet summary


2 units on Carlton -20.5 at $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet, Sportsbet)

1 unit on West Coast -47.5 at $1.95 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Collingwood -35.5 at $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet, Sportsbet)

1 unit on Western Bulldogs +30.5 at $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet, Sportsbet)


0.5 units on Fremantle +7.5 at $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on Collingwood -35.5 at $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet, Sportsbet)

1 unit on Western Bulldogs +30.5 at $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet, Sportsbet)

0.5 units on Geelong +12.5 at $1.95 (Sportsbet)


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


Comments are closed.