The AFL Lines – Round 9

Filed in AFL, AFL Lines by on May 24, 2012

Carlton and Geelong may have slipped as Hawthorn and Collingwood lifted a gear, but right now most of the buzz surrounds the 7-1 sides: West Coast, Adelaide and Essendon. Given that the latter two of these teams were being tipped to hover around the fringes of the eight by many preseason, the stage has now been set for these upstart ‘challengers’ to try and ward off the threat of looming preseason ‘champions’ such as the Magpies and Hawks. Meanwhile, the Making The Nut AFL offices were provided some respite when both Greg and Cliff ground out a small Round 8 profit. They return with their thoughts on Round 9 of the competition.



I should have added a conditional statement to last week’s vow to stop betting on bad teams. The ‘bad teams’ definition should be extended (where relevant) to ‘teams that are respectable at home but almost always become useless when on the road’ – Freo, that means you. Lesson learned.



I felt a lot more comfortable watching the footy over the weekend. I think we are starting to get a realistic idea of where the majority of teams are up to. Still, there are a few teams that are still pretty hard to trust and unfortunately, those are usually the ones that represent a bit of value. It’s a fair hike back from here but we’ve been there before……. it’s turning around.


Results for Round 8 selections

GO – 4 selections, 3.5 units bet, return of 3.84 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +10%

CB – 3 selections, 3.5 unit bet, return of 3.84 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +10%

Total – 7 selections, 7 units bet, return of 7.68 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +10%

Results for 2012

GO – 30 selections, 37.5 units bet, return of 28.90 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -23%

CB – 20 selections, 19.5 units bet, return of 20.20 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = +4%

Total – 50 selections, 57 units bet, return of 49.10 units, Profit on Turnover (PoT) = -14%


(Please note – all times are EST)



Western Bulldogs v Geelong, MCG, 7.50pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Western Bulldogs +29.5 to +31.5


Geelong are still getting smashed in the contested ball currently ranked 12th in that statistic which would be infuriating Chris Scott given they have made an art form of hitting the contest hard. The Doggies are surprisingly ranked second in contested ball so they should have the edge at the clearance this week.

That in itself is almost enough to suggest that line is too wide however, the Dogs are still battling to put scores on the board being the least effective team in the league at scoring once inside 50.

That coupled with the Cats defensive which will be bolstered by the return of Scarlett gives me enough pause to leave this one alone.


A pair of 4-4 teams playing each plus no discernible home field advantage equals a line of over five goals? Huh?

At first I thought the strength of schedules to date would explain it, but even that explanation comes up shorter than expected. The Dogs have beaten four teams with a combined record of 4-28 and lost to four teams with a combined record of 24-8; for the Cats, the equivalent figures are 11-21 and 21-11 respectively.

Head to head, Geelong have won seven of the last eight, with the last two wins coming by 101 and 61 points respectively. The total points have also exceeded 200 in four of the last five meetings between these sides, so keep an eye out for a possible overs play in total points markets.

I really want to take the points here, but my record when backing poor teams is too awful to ignore – no play.



Richmond v Hawthorn, MCG, 1.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Richmond +21.5 to +22.5


I’m very tempted to take the Tigers at the plus this week if only because when I do so they tend not to cover.

They’ve been impressive given their harsh draw and would be stoked with the progression of some of their youngsters. Particularly ‘Grimey the younger’ down back who looks a serious player. For all their hard work they still haven’t managed to get the job done and I’d imagine that would be the case again this week.

Hawthorn are starting to build and will be fully aware that if they are to make the top four then it’s vital they knock off the Richmonds of the world. Franklin is due a straight day and Roughead has been in cracking form so it will be a big test for the young Tigers defence.

The midfield battle is tasty too with the likes of Mitchell, Lewis, Sewell and Burgoyne up against Cotchin, Martin, Foley and Delidio.

The Tigers will push the Hawks all the way but as has been the story for most of the year, class will get the better of youthful exuberance. Hawks by four goals so no play for me.


Hands up who thought the Tigers’ percentage would be greater than 100 after playing six of the 2011 finalists in the first eight weeks…. if your hand is currently up, you’re either an eternally optimistic Tigers fan (is this an oxymoron?), a member of the Hardwick family or an abject liar. They really have exceeded expectations so far in 2012 – none more so than Ivan Maric and Ivan Maric’s mullet. Can we get him carrying a pack of Winfield Reds around in his socks, or even better, tape a pack around his arm? I don’t ask for much.

Hawthorn are starting to look ominous again – their spanking of the Dockers last Saturday was the fifth time this season they’ve scored 115 points or more. The attack looks to be broadly on song, accurate goal kicking notwithstanding.

The Hawks may have won the last three straight and six of the last seven against Richmond, but the Tigers would have quite comfortably covered a 22.5 point line in three of the last five. And they’d have covered a 22.5 point line five of the six 2011 finalists they’ve played to date.

I can’t resist the temptation to back this upstart side any longer – one unit on the Tigers at the plus.


Gold Coast v Port Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 2.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Gold Coast +12.5 to +15.5


Port should win this easily given their big win last week but the favourites tag hasn’t been an easy yoke for the Power to shoulder in recent times.

Gold Coast will be desperate to notch a win and would have B2-pencilled this one in preseason.

Excited is not a word that springs to mind when I think Suns v Port. I would rather jump on my own knackers than have anything to do with this game.


I have no idea whether last Sunday was more of a reflection on North or Port – let’s just surmise that they both suck and move on. As for the Suns, scoring 101 points combined against GWS and the Bulldogs really sums it up for them.

Their only previous meeting was famous for being in the inaugural win for the fledgling Suns, after spotting the Power a lead of almost seven goals late in the third quarter.

Having dropped one eminently winnable game already and with Melbourne and a GWS rematch not slated until Rounds 19 and 20 respectively, Guy McKenna desperately needs the four points here – almost as much as I desperately need to keep my money in my wallet during this game.


St Kilda v Sydney, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Kilda +1.5 to +2.5


As you’ve mentioned below, Etihad is a much happier stomping ground for the Swans than the ‘G so the small minus is already looking like an option.

St Kilda are decimated in the Ruck with Kossie now their only able bodied big man and they have really needed him up forward. Sydney have their own issues there, with Mumford still weeks away and Seaby struggling to the point of getting dropped last week. That being said he was best on for the 2s last week and should come back in to exploit the Saints in the middle.

Joey Kennedy would be leading the Brownlow after 8 weeks and he can expect a close tag from Clint Jones who is in a rich vein of form himself. Keiran Jack will likely target Jones to try and free Joey up and if he can manage that then the Swans will run away with it.

Still no Fisher or Schneider for the Saints, Grundy matches up well on Reiwoldt and the Swans smaller defenders in Smith, Shaw and Mattner will match up well on St Kilda’s running forwards.

Get on the Swans here at the negligible minus for one unit.


For the sake of Swans fans, at least this game being played at their house of horrors aka the MCG – their record at Etihad in recent times is far more palatable.

The Saints have some woes in the ruck right now, but can the Swans truly make them pay for this via some combination of Mark Seaby and/ or Mike Pyke? I’m sceptical.

Each side has won four of the last eight between the teams, with five of the last seven matches decided by 15 points or less. The trends also suggest an unders bet in total points markets (10 of the last 12 head to head have resulted in less than 170 total points), but with the Ross Lyon influence seemingly on the wane at Moorabbin, that trend is not as important as it might otherwise seem.

All told, I feel like the line is pretty much right here and therefore will sit it out.


GWS v Essendon, Skoda Stadium, 7.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  TBC


GWS have covered in all but a couple of their games this year and could be a chance to do so again this week. They’ll welcome back some of their better players in Shiel, Bugg and Smith which will help.

Still, these games are bitches to bet on as there is no way of knowing whether Hird will bother taking half his team to Sydney. Given their minimal injuries it is probably a good chance to get some run into a few fringe players so don’t discount the “General” striking down half a dozen.

Bookmakers aren’t even offering a line on this debacle as yet, which shows just how much you’d have to hate coin to try and find a bet here.


I can’t really comment on the whole ‘master v apprentice’ dynamic of Sheedy v Hird, having never met either of them.

I did meet Darren Bewick once though, when having a Saturday afternoon bet at the Greenhouse Tavern in Coffs Harbour. I’d just backed my old pal Bomber Bill and seen him win down the Flemington straight in a photo over Darren’s tip in that race, Manner Hill. The thought never occurred to me to offer a trade of my winning ticker for his premiership medal…. wait, where am I again? Oh right, the Giants-Dons game. No bet.



Adelaide v Collingwood, AAMI Stadium, 7.45pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Adelaide –12 to -13.5


Match of the round here for sure – there’s plenty on offer and there’s plenty at stake for both sides.

We’ll find out whether or not the Crows are the real deal this year. They’ve answered every question they’ve been asked so far and have put some good sides to the sword. Walker is still a week away but Richie Douglas should come back in and can play forward. Sanderson is an outstanding coach given the way the Crows are playing, he obviously had a massive roll at Geelong over the last five years.

The Pies are still getting their wins but have had to work hard for them. They aren’t putting sides away in the same clinical manner they have been in recent times. Swan out will hurt their run given that Thomas is still a bit under done. Reid out is a bigger loss though as he was a standout last week against the Cats and with Tarrant and Brown already injured their backline looks wafer thin.

Dangerfield and Thompson against Pendlebury and Sidebottom will be epic but the ruckwork of Jacobs who comfortably leads the league in hitouts to advantage could be the telling factor.

Crows to make everyone stand up and take notice this week with a resounding win so I’ll have one unit on the minus.


How long ago do the emphatic loss to Hawthorn and the unconvincing win against Port now seem for the Crows? They’ve been outstanding in their last three wins against finals-calibre teams and deserve their spot at the pointy end of the ladder.

Meanwhile, Collingwood were lucky to escape last Friday’s match with the four points. Errant kicking from Geelong certainly helped them and hurt those of us who took over 180.5 total points, only to see James Kelly not make the distance from 40 metres when a behind would’ve been enough to cover (excuse me while I pour another scotch). At any rate, the Pies are still far from setting the world on fire, though at 6-2 they remain well positioned after eight weeks.

The Magpies have won seven of the last nine between these teams (including all three played at AAMI Stadium during that time), while three of the last five matches have been decided by less than a kick.

2012 form says take the minus, recent history says take the plus – I’ll split the difference and not play.



North Melbourne v Brisbane, Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm

Bookmakers’ line:  North Melbourne –23.5 to -24.5


North lost the unlosable against Port and their confidence will be rock bottom. The Lions finally got some output from Brown and Merrett in tandem but it was against the Giants so how mauch can we read into that…

Given the recent performances of both sides you’d be mental to try and find an angle here. I’ve already wasted too much of my life writing about this game. Out.


Hmmm…. both sides have beaten GWS, the Gold Coast and one other team in their first eight matches (it’s amazing in retrospect that for North, that third team was Geelong).

The Lions have a history of being quite competitive against North at Etihad, winning two of the last four such matchups and losing a third by a solitary point. Only in the corresponding game last year did the Kangaroos exert any dominance, winning by 45 points.

Much like with the Bulldogs I’m leaning heavily to the plus which, given my record in such games, means that you should empty your wallet on North at the minus. I’ll be sitting out.


Carlton v Melbourne, MCG, 3.15pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carlton –52.5 to -55.5


Given the amount of shit that has been heaped on the Demons this week, on top of all the shit that has been heaped on them in the past two months, one might be forgiven for expecting a response from them. A sign of life. A contest. A tackle. Anything! One thing is for sure, their senior players will be under the microscope and if they don’t deliver then some of them may well be playing their last game for the Demons.

Carlton need to right their ship after floundering through the last couple of weeks. Murphy getting injured hurts them but it might be a good chance to get Gibbs into the middle and see, once and for all whether he’s a sheep dog or a mongrel. Betts has been down for a few weeks so he’s a good chance to have a big one and Waite needs to start pouching the ball as well.

Melbourne need a big game but won’t get it this week. Carlton will emulate the Swans and bury the Dees this week – one unit on the minus.


What do we make of the Blues? Their first three weeks were outstanding; their last five mediocre at best. Not that any of this will matter until either Round 10 at Port Adelaide or more likely, Round 11 v Geelong. Even the most mediocre of performances from the favourites should still be sufficient to get them across the line against the crisis-riddled Demons.

Carlton have won the last five head to head by an average margin of 51 points, including victories by 47 and 76 points in their two matches last year. In four of those five matches, the Blues’ defence has held the Dees to less than 70 points scored.

I can’t back the Demons and I can’t lay more than nine goals when one of Carlton’s best two players (Marc Murphy) is out. There, that was easy.


West Coast v Fremantle, Patersons Stadium, 4.40pm

Bookmakers’ line:  West Coast –17.5 to -19.5


I like your thinking here Cliffo. Fremantle’s back line tends to measure up pretty well against the Eagles tall forwards. The Derby’s are nearly always close contests and Ross Lyons, negative, grinding style will aide that even though it is not greatly suited to Pattersons.

The ruck duel will be amazing and worth the price of admission itself. Sandilands will need to have an impact forward to match the rotation of Cox and Nic Nat who kicked eight between them last week.

The midfield battle is also a beauty and pretty hard to pick a clear favourite there with the Eagles having a slight edge given the likely return of Matt Priddis.

The fact they average under 80 points over nine games and are missing three of their five best forwards is enough for me to join you in taking the plus.


On 2012 form alone, the Eagles look far superior to the Dockers, who have really struggled to create any fluid ball movement – a struggle which has manifested in their scores kicked. Nonetheless, the do have a history of both performing at home and lifting for the local derby.

West Coast won both matches between these teams last year (the second win coming by just a point) to snap a run of seven straight wins by the Dockers.

Of most concern to the Eagles may be their inability to kick big scores against their cross town rivals, averaging only 79 points scored in the last nine such matches and not once reaching 100.

As a consequence, I like the points here – one unit on the Dockers at the plus.


Recommended bet summary


1 unit on Sydney -1.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Adelaide -12 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Carlton -52.5 at $1.92 (Luxbet)

1 unit on Fremantle +19.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)



1 unit on Richmond +22.5 at $1.91 (Flemington Sportsbet)

1 unit on Fremantle +19.5 at $1.92 (Sportsbet)


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


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