The AFL Lines – Round 3

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on April 12, 2012

After four matches were decided by over 15 goals, it was great to see the second round of the season conclude with an epic battle between Hawthorn and Geelong. In any other year, the current form of the Demons would see them early wooden spoon favourites – yet it is hard to envisage the 2012 vintage Suns and Giants getting the better of them. Not that this has worried those in the Making The Nut offices, with Greg Oberscheidt in particular making a flying start to the 2012 on the punt. He and Cliff Bingham are back to preview the third round of the season.

CB – I’m glad we’ve started the year on a positive footing. This week looks to have trap games littered throughout it; I’d hate to be chasing on a week like this. With only three games offering a line of less than four goals, by and large I expect this to be a weekend of watching and learning rather than wagering.

GO – I’m with you there mate. With GWS and the Suns not being up to standard it’s pretty hard to get an accurate gauge on where some of the teams are up to. There are still a few opportunities out there but I don’t think throwing up Hail Mary’s in round three is the best way to go. We’ll do what we can.


Results for Round 2 selections

GO – 4 selections, 5 units bet, return of 7.80 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +56%

CB – 4 selections, 3 units bet, return of 2.93 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -3%

Total – 8 selections, 8 units bet, return of 10.73 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +34%

Results for 2012

GO – 8 selections, 11 units bet, return of 17.38 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +58%

CB – 8 selections, 5.5 units bet, return of 6.76 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) =+ 23%

Total – 16 selections, 16.5 units bet, return of 24.14 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +46%


(Please note – all times are EST)


Carlton v Collingwood, MCG, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton -2.5 to -4.5

GO – A real danger game for the Pies with plenty of their big name players out of touch. The Blues have shown plenty in the early rounds with big wins over the Tigers and the Lions but this is their first real test. Carlton will want to send a message early that they are the real deal and they won’t get a better chance to knock off the Pies. The midfield battle is delicious with true class on both sides of the fence. If Carlton’s small forward can find a way to capitalise then they are a real show – likewise if Cloke can break free then anything can happen. Too close to call so I’ll take a spell here.

CB – It’s rare that you get a neat form line to follow by the third round of the season, but the Blues certainly looked more impressive against Richmond in the opening round than the Magpies did last week. There are still a few at Collingwood returning from recent injuries that look a little short of a run; if fully fit and in top form, the Pies would start clear favourites in this game. This is borne out in the recent history – head to head, Collingwood have won the last five matches (all by 19 points or more, with Carlton only scoring 70 points per game on average) and nine of the last 12. Interestingly, the total points scored for the match have remained below 180 in five of the last six contests between these sides, so an unders bet in total points markets is worth a look. At the very small line though, I’ll be passing on this game.



Richmond v Melbourne, MCG, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Richmond –25.5 to -26.5

GO – Richmond have managed to screw me in both of the first two rounds so I’m a bit dubious about getting involved here. The Demons will be looking for redemption but they were truly awful last week. Richmond will be desperate for a win after two straight defeats and should easily account for Melbourne. The minus looks like the right play, especially after the Tigers pushed the Pies last week but as mentioned, my estimations of Richmond have been shithouse so I’ll leave them alone this week.

CB – Prior to the opening round I’d have been really surprised by a line this big, but with Richmond showing glimpses against two quality sides and the Demons currently lurching from insipid pillar to diabolical post, any adjustments made over the past fortnight seem entirely reasonable. Can you really picture Melbourne rebounding from last week’s ‘effort’ to win this week? I can’t. The Tigers’ back six have shown a bit more starch this season (especially last week against Cloke and Dawes), while the Demons have conceded 285 points in the opening two rounds. Head to head, Melbourne have won three of the last five, with honours split between the teams in two matches last year.  The Demons as a football club seem to have dramas everywhere and some seriously disinterested players at the moment though, and thus I will take the Tigers at the minus for half a unit.


Port Adelaide v Sydney, AAMI Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Port Adelaide +14.5 to +15.5

GO – Mumford will return this week and the Swans will welcome him back after Seaby struggled to have an impact against Freo. Josh Kennedy is leading the way inside and Sam Reid is due to convert some of his opportunities. Goodes has also been quite and is rarely down three weeks in a row. Port have shown plenty of fight already and look to be a vastly improved unit to what we saw last year. They do lack some real quality inside and I think that Butcher and Schultz could struggle this week against Grundy and Richards who have both been in great form. Sydney will burst the Port bubble this week and should get it done easily – one unit on the Swans at the minus.

CB – The Power already appear to be one of the most improved sides of 2012 but they’ll have to lift another cog or two against a Swans’ outfit who were able to dispose of the Dockers despite the late withdrawal of Mumford. “Mummy” is likely to return this week, although they’ll lose Lewis Roberts-Thompson for two or three weeks. Head to head it has been all the Swans in recent years, winning the last seven straight by an average of over 40 points (including three at AAMI Stadium by an average margin of 25 points) and eight of the last nine. Those last three games at AAMI Stadium have also only resulted in average of 158 total points per match, so an unders bet in total points markets may well be on the cards. I like the Swans to win here, but the home underdog + likely low-scoring match is just enough to throw me off the minus. No bet at the line, though I could be talked into the Swans by 1-39.


Fremantle v Brisbane, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Fremantle –44 to -46.5

GO – The Lions regain their inspirational skipper this week which will not only boost moral but will release Merrett to play fullback where he is much better suited. On the flip side they lose Simon Black to a hand injury and the mail is that Jack Redden will not play either, which decimates their midfield. Freo are always tough to beat at home but they looked flat last week without the zip of Ballantyne. Mundy returns which should mean Barlow will play four quarters. Seven to ten goals seems about right. So I’ll sit this one out.

CB – The Lions clearly ran out of legs in the second half against Carlton and the wide open spaces of Patersons Stadium (minus the injured Simon Black) are unlikely to help them out. Head to head the Dockers have won the past three (including a 23-point win at Patersons Stadium last year), but the Lions won each of the five matches prior to that. Last year the Lions won only one of 10 interstate matches; however, they would have covered a 42.5 point line on six occasions. Freo’s two biggest wins last season were only by 52 and 50 points against Port and the Gold Coast respectively, so it has been a while since they truly took an opponent to the cleaners. They should win comfortably enough but the line is a little steep for me – no play.


Gold Coast v Essendon, Metricon Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Gold Coast +57.5 to +60.5

GO – The Dons have a number of injury woes after last week but they should all be covered easily enough. Bellchambers will replace Hille and big Tommy will be raring to go. The others are bit part players at best and a bit of competition for spots won’t hurt the Dons at this stage. All the teams in the six-to-twelve bracket will realise the importance of percentage building wins over the expansion clubs and as such I expect the Dons to come out all guns blazing. Ablett has been the only shining light for the Suns with the rest of the senior players struggling to have an impact. They will welcome back Nathan Bock from suspension, but his influence alone will not be enough. I’m happy to take the minus here as I think a 15 goal margin is about right – one unit on the Dons to cover.

CB – The Suns have played a pair of ‘mid-tier’ sides thus far in 2012 and failed to get within 10 goals of either, highlighting a continuation of problems encountered in their debut season. Gold Coast’s record in 2011 against sides that made the finals was as follows: 10 games for 10 losses, seven of which came by 66 points or more. At home the ledger was slightly better: six games for six losses, but only four of which came by 66 points or more. The one previous encounter between these clubs took place at Etihad Stadium last year, with the Bombers banging on 15 goals in the opening quarter en route to a 159-point drubbing. I’m tempted to take the minus, save for the fact that if (like me) you think home field advantage against an interstate side is worth around two goals, this line would be around 70 at a neutral venue and over 80 in Melbourne. That’s a lot of points; I’ll pass.


Western Bulldogs v St Kilda, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs +10.5 to +14.5

GO – St Kilda beat up a weakling last week but that doesn’t allow them to escape scrutiny for their disgusting effort against Port in the opening round. They have plenty of good players but they have plenty of ordinary players as well. Goddard will need to stand up when the going gets tough, as he’s failed to do so over the last dozen games. The Dogs have shown plenty of fight and should have probably beaten the Crows last week. Lake is regaining some form which is a promising sign and Griffen will be better for the run. Boyd will go head to head with Hayes in the middle and the sparks should fly there. Expect the Dogs skipper to get the points though and give his runners first use. I like the Dogs head to head here as they just seem to be running a bit smoother than the Saints despite not having a win in the book. I’ll take the Dogs at the plus for one unit.

CB – I thought the Dogs showed a lot of heart last Saturday at AAMI Stadium against the Crows; far more than the Saints showed the Sunday prior against Port at any rate. Beating the Suns by more than 15 goals doesn’t give much of a lead as to whether the Saints are back or not either; it feels like more of a reflection on their opponent than anything else. On 2012 form alone, it’s difficult to argue a case that one side is better than the other here, which would lead you to taking the points. Not so fast though – head to head, St Kilda have won six straight and 10 of the last 13. Historical precedents like that are always worth a little weight and therefore I’ll sit this one out. One other point of interest though – the total points scored for each of the last five matches between these sides has not exceeded 167, despite three of these games taking place at Etihad Stadium; keep an eye out for a possible unders bet in total points markets.



GWS v West Coast, Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  GWS +103.5 to +105.5

GO – If West Coast take anything resembling a full squad to Sydney, (which they should, given that it is round three and everyone needs a run), then the Eagles could win this by 200. No one will want to give up a spot in this team at the moment but Cliffo is right, with the Hawks up next week they will leave a few out. They should still win by twenty goals given what we’ve seen so far. The minus is tempting but we can’t recommend and 17-18 goals start without seeing the teams. No play.

CB – Oh dear. Given that GWS get a superior opponent this week to the one who beat them by 129 points on Sunday, while the Eagles meet an inferior opponent to the one they beat by 108 points last Saturday, this one could get phenomenally ugly. But before you race into the minus, consider this – the Eagles host Hawthorn next Saturday on a six day turnaround. If you think Woosha is taking a full-strength side on a lengthy road trip before such a critical game on short turnaround, you’re somewhere between optimistic and delusional. I’m expecting they’ll leave four to six experienced/ key players at home and therefore will let this one go.


Hawthorn v Adelaide, MCG, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Hawthorn –29.5 to -30.5

GO – The Hawks will be out to make amends this week against the Crows after capitulating against Geelong, again. All things being equal, and expecting a four quarter effort from the Hawks, they should serve it to the Crows and really belt them. That being said, the Crows are in good form and in front of their home crowd they have the ability to cause an upset, or at the least be competitive. The Hawks struggle when the ball is shifted quickly as their under sized defence can’t zone up and play a third man at the contest. If the Crows can get some quick ball into Walker and Tippett then the Crows can throw a spanner in the works. No play for me.

CB – The Crows have been sound in their two wins to date, but the calibre of opposition heads abruptly north this weekend. The fact that it took them three and a half quarters to shake the challenge of a team likely to miss the finals at home last Saturday night doesn’t fill me with confidence about their trip east. Head to head, Adelaide have won three of the last four overall, though with only two games played in Melbourne since 2005 (a win to the Crows at the MCG in 2009 and a 3-point win to the Hawks in a 2007 Quarter Final at Etihad Stadium) that statistic holds less weight than usual. It is just enough though to sway me from taking the minus – no play.


North Melbourne v Geelong, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne +30 to +31.5

GO – You couldn’t get two more contrasting matches to try and determine form. The Cats beat the flag favourites and stamped their authority as the hardest team to beat in the comp. North belted the Giants but what does that really tell us? They have the capacity to dominate when they have no opposition. That won’t be the case this week with the Cats set to really test Brad Scott’s charges. Tom Hawkins could be a massive factor this week with the Roos a bit light on for quality defenders. Geelong could win this one by 10 goals under the lid at Etihad so I’ll play one unit on the minus.

CB – I don’t feel like the first two rounds have taught us anything new about either North or the Cats; in both cases, they are who we thought they were. Last year the Kangaroos lost all six matches they played against the top five teams, averaging only 64 points scored per game and breaking 70 only twice. For North to be competitive in this match, the likes of Petrie and Edwards will have to find a way to score consistently against the well-oiled machine that is the Cats’ defensive unit. Head to head, Geelong have won the last seven straight against the Kangaroos by an average margin of 50 points (including a 66-point win at Simonds Stadium in the corresponding game last year), with only two wins by less than the 31.5 point line offered for this game. All told, that’s enough evidence for me to be with the Cats at the minus for a unit.


Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Sydney -14.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Essendon -57.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Western Bulldogs +14.5 at $1.90 (TAB Sportsbet)

1 unit on Geelong -30 at $1.92 (Luxbet)


0.5 units on Richmond -25.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Geelong -30 at $1.92 (Luxbet)



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


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