The AFL Lines – Round 4

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on April 18, 2012

The Blues and Eagles sit atop the premiership ladder, both of last year’s finalists are currently outside the top eight with matching 1-2 records, while the Bulldogs, Demons, Suns and Giants can already start thinking about next year. It is the plight of the Magpies (and to a lesser extent the Cats) that has the attention of the footy world right now though. How will they respond this week? What of the other seven games? Greg Oberscheidt and Cliff Bingham take us through their thoughts on such matters.

CB – I’m from the Chris Scott school of discussing last weeks’ punting losses – no excuses, had every possible chance to perform well off the standard one-week layoff, must improve this weekend. Okay, so what about the good news? Last week’s setback only reduced profits to date rather than eradicating them – from a metaphoric punting perspective, we’re still both ‘in the eight’ at this point in time.

GO – Early victories definitely led me to overestimate my ability to predict the future. As you say, luckily we had enough runs on the board to make up for a shitty week. This week doesn’t look to offer a great deal of value either so a scale back might be on the cards. We’ll get a couple across the line old mate.


Results for Round 3 selections

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

CB – 2 selections, 1.5 units bet, return of 0.96 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -36%

Total – 6 selections, 5.5 units bet, return of 2.88 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -48%

Results for 2012

GO – 12 selections, 15 units bet, return of 19.30 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +29%

CB – 10 selections, 7 units bet, return of 7.72 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +10%

Total – 22 selections, 22 units bet, return of 27.02 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +23%


(Please note – all times are EST)


St Kilda v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda -17.5 to -19.5

GO – I’m still not sold on St Kilda even though they did a massive number on the Dogs last week. The fact that they won convincingly despite conceding more inside 50s than their opponents is an interesting stat and I doubt that they’ll get the same grace from Fremantle this week. I’m tempted to take the points this week, but with Nat Fyfe under a massive cloud, I’m not convinced the Dockers will have enough creativity to kick a score. That being said Ross Lyon’s intimate knowledge of the Saints could prove to be the difference, but I’m not quite there. No play with a lean towards the plus.

CB – Very much in the same boat as you Greg – I really want to tip Freo at the plus here. There’s something about a former coach knowing all the little tricks and traps of every player they’re opposing (much as Mark Harvey did last week when the Lions covered at Patersons) that brings value to their new team. Adding to this desire is the likelihood of a low scoring game. Four of the last eight matches between the sides have resulted in less than 160 total points being scored. The Saints have conceded only 87 points in their last eight quarters of footy; the Dockers 68 points in their last six quarters. I’m getting the shakes thinking about a 62-57 arm wrestle where the three goals start feels more like eight. And yet…. the Dockers’ insipid record at Etihad (lost 15 of their last 17 and last six in a row) and against St Kilda (lost eight in a row) has talked me out of it – no play. Keep an eye on the under in total points though, which I think could be backed if the line is 170.5 or higher.



Carlton v Essendon, MCG, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton -39.5 to -40.5

GO – The Blues are flying and the Dons, despite being three and zip are showing signs of cracking. There are plenty of soft tissue injuries at Bomber land and with a short turn around for ANZAC Day they won’t be able to take any chances. The Blues are going from strength to strength and are putting sides to the sword. If we work on the assumption that Collingwood are a better side than Essendon, then Carlton at the minus is the play. Against an old foe they’ll be looking to dominate and should win by plenty – two units on Carlton at the minus for me.

CB – Sooo…. Carlton come here fresh off belting the Magpies by 10 goals, while my beloved Bombers have stumbled Cosmo Kramer style (i.e. arse backwards) into wins over North, Port and the Suns. Carlton has won three of the last four head to head matches by more than 10 goals (scoring at least 149 points on each such occasion). Oh, and we’re missing Hille, Winderlich, Dempsey, Myers and Lovett-Murray, while the Blues are arguably missing only Andrew Walker from their best 22. This should end well…….. No play.


Collingwood v Port Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Collingwood -41.5 to -44.5

GO – The Pies will be out to make amends for their poor showing last week but with injuries aplenty they could find it tough against Port who have shown a bit so far. Normally 40 points wouldn’t be anywhere near enough in this match up, but the Pies have been flimsy and it remains to be seen how Buckley’s troops will cope with the heat. I think they’ll come out strong and really should dominate this contest but from what we’ve seen they are more than a step off their usual pace. I can’t trust them just yet. No play.

CB – The Power were a complete rabble last year but to their credit are having a real dip this season, whereas Collingwood have a few issues on their plate at the moment – an ever-growing injury list and the ongoing war of words involving McGuire, Buckley and Malthouse hardly speaks of a club firing on all cylinders. Head to head the Magpies have won eight of the last nine between the two sides, including all three played at Etihad Stadium by an average margin of 49 points. Last year the Pies beat the aforementioned rabble by 75 points in the opening round and by 138 points at AAMI Stadium in Round 20; it’s fair to suggest that Port can be far more competitive this time. I can’t see the Power coming to Melbourne and getting the chocolates, but until the ‘real’ Magpies stand up again it’s tough to take the minus with any confidence – no play.


Adelaide v GWS, AAMI Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide –88.5

GO – Adelaide will win this game by a squillion. They were disappointing last week against the Hawks and will want to right the ship. They’ll also be after a percentage boost to assist with their finals assault. The only factor to consider is whether they close up shop once comfortably in front. If they go the distance, a margin of 150 points isn’t out of the question. However, GWS have managed to restrict most opponents after an initial barrage so I’m a bit reluctant to get on the Crows to essentially win by triple figures – no play.

CB – I refuse to do a serious preview of a GWS game until they get within five goals of a side not named “Gold Coast” or “Melbourne”.

Fun fact 1: Greg has won 10 of his 15 units wagered to date on the 2012 AFL season.

Fun fact 2: Had you wagered five units each week on GWS at the plus, you’d also have won 10 of 15 units to date this season.

Fun fact 3: Despite making a profit thus far, having a massive five unit bet on GWS at the plus each week would have reduced your life expectancy by at least three years (and counting).


West Coast v Hawthorn, Patersons Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast -4.5

GO – The match of the round without a doubt. Both sides will be looking to flex their muscle and assert some early season dominance on a fellow contender. The Eagles tall forward set up could stretch the Hawks and they have a clear advantage in the ruck. If their big men in the middle can give their midfield first use they will be very tough to beat. The Hawks will be hoping that Buddy and Cyril can give them a spark and that Mitchell and company can find enough footy inside to give them a chance. Their back six will need to get plenty of uncontested ball if they are to take this one away. I won’t play this game but West Coast at the small minus does represent a bit of value give the Subiaco advantage.

CB – They may not have played anyone who is much good as yet, but the Eagles have been emphatic in each game to date and should be pretty fresh for their first serious contest of 2012. If the Hawks have two weaknesses they are the defensive six and in Max Bailey’s absence, the ruck. Roughead may negate the ruck problem to some degree, but that will only increase the focus on Franklin in the Hawks’ forward line. For the Hawks to win this one though, they will need to find a way to lessen the impact of Kennedy, Lynch and Darling in the Eagles’ forward line. Head to head, Hawthorn have won five of the last seven overall but the Eagles have won the last two played at Patersons Stadium. Last year they met just the once, with the Hawks sneaking home by seven points down in Tasmania early in the season. In front of a rabid home crowd I think the Eagles should be favoured by two goals and thus will have one unit on them at the small minus.


Brisbane v Gold Coast, Gabba, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Brisbane -16.5 to -17.5

GO – The Q Clash! You beauty! Get nice and snug and watch what promises to be an epic encounter! Or don’t…… no one will call you out for giving it a miss. Initially the smallish minus looks pretty tempting but with the form of Ablett and Black still unavailable, that evens things out a bit. Surely Gazza can’t have 40+ four weeks in a row but by the same token, you can’t count him out. Brisbane really struggled last week with their lowest ever inside 50 count so they’ll need to generate some more opportunities to ensure they don’t drop another game to their little brother. With that in mind this line looks about right – no play.

CB – The Suns showed a bit of fight last week after to very poor performances to kick the season off, while the Lions were brave at Patersons Stadium against a superior opponent but have failed to score 100 points in their last two games combined. I can’t find a compelling reason to (a) wager on this game or (b) discuss it at any further length. Is it time for the next game yet?



Geelong v Richmond, Simonds Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Geelong -33 to -36.5

GO – Last time Geelong lost to North Melbourne was early 2007; the next week they pumped Richmond by 156 points. Needless to say, the Tigers will be praying that history doesn’t repeat itself. Richmond have shown a bit against some solid opposition but the Cats need a big win to regain some confidence. Plenty of big name players (Chapman in particular) have been out of touch and a return to the Cattery could be just the tonic. Richmond will struggle to nullify Tommahawk and J Pod with quick delivery as well and on the strength of that I’ll be playing one unit on the Cats at the minus.

CB – I’m putting no creed in form lines through Melbourne until further notice, but the Tigers were respectable in losses to Carlton and Collingwood prior to that. Nonetheless, it’s very tough to picture the Cats dropping to 1-3 with a loss here – in fact, this feels like a terrible week to run into a high calibre team looking to make a statement. Head to head, the Cats have won the past seven straight and nine of the last 10. The last three matches between the sides at Simonds Stadium have resulted in wins to the home side by 108, 20 and 70 points. One saving grace for the Tigers though may be the poor form of the Geelong backline to date, conceding an average of 109 points per game. It’s a big ask to concede triple figures and still cover a line of more than five goals. This feels like a trap game either way to my mind – no play.


Sydney v North Melbourne, SCG, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Sydney -2.5 to -4.5

GO – This match should be a cracker. North will want to prove that last week was no fluke and the Swans will want to retain their momentum. Goodes out is a bit of a worry but he’s done fuck all so far this year so it shouldn’t impact the Swans a great deal. Both sides have exciting young midfields, so expect the inside contest to be ferocious. There are solid match ups all over the ground and anywhere other than the SCG this one is a flip of the coin. The small minus is tempting but it’s not quite enough for me – no play.

CB – A possible letdown week for North + the Swans continuing to be underrated = a nice little opportunity for a bet. The loss of Goodes to suspension hurts Sydney, but their high defensive pressure across the ground will put North’s handball-focused style of play to the test. Head to head, the Swans have won seven of the last nine (with one draw) and all of the last four matches played in Sydney by an average margin of 29 points. From a total points perspective, eight of the last 10 games between these sides have finished at 185 or below, with six finishing at 165 or below – keep an eye out for a possible unders play. I’m expecting a typical Sydney game though – tough, high pressure, a focus on contested footy – and the Swans to get it done on their own terms. 1.5 units on the small minus will do me nicely.


Melbourne v Western Bulldogs, MCG, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Melbourne +18.5 to +19.5

GO – Wow. I don’t know if I could get less enthusiastic. Melbourne have been shithouse and the Dogs have been almost as bad. I honestly thought the Dogs were a show against St Kilda last week but they were absolutely dusted. The Dogs will win this one but until their forward line starts to show some consistency I won’t be trusting them to take care of anything more than a couple of points. I might fancy an unders play if the total points line is more than 170. Other than that I’ll be icing. 

CB – The Western Bulldogs (0-3, percentage of 59.5) can’t kick a score, while Melbourne (0-3, percentage of 50.2) can’t stop opponents doing as they please. Ladies and gentleman, the resistible force meets the movable object! Suffice to say, I won’t be betting here.


Recommended bet summary


2 units on Carlton -39.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)

1 unit on Geelong -33 at $1.92 (Luxbet)



1 unit on West Coast -4.5 (Luxbet, Sportsbet)

1.5 units on Sydney -2.5 (Luxbet)


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


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