A big Easter and Anzac Day weekend of footy lies just around the corner. Footy fans have been spoilt so far this season, with last weekend’s Round 4 producing a third draw already in 2011! Carlton and Essendon were the latest teams to finish deadlocked at the final siren. This Round of footy starts with the now customary Easter Thursday night game, followed by matches on Saturday, Sunday, the Anzac Day blockbuster between the Magpies and the Bombers on Monday, before finally wrapping up on Tuesday’s Anzac Day holiday.
As the teams for each match will be released at different stages across the weekend, the Round 5 previews will be released in installments. This first preview focuses solely on Thursday night’s clash between Brisbane and St Kilda.
Season Tally (After Round 4)
Wagered = $330
Collected = $280.30
Profit/Loss = – $49.70
% Profit/Loss = – 15.0%
Tips = 20.5*
*Note: The draw is treated differently depending on your tipping competition. I have assumed it to be 0.5 tips.
BRISBANE v ST KILDA – GABBA (7.45pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Brisbane 10.5 (65) def by St Kilda 11.13 (79), Round 15, 2010
AT SELECTION: The high profile changes have occurred at the Saints. Forward cum ruckman Justin Koschitzke is in for his first game of the season, dependable defender Stevie Baker comes straight back in after missing their last fixture, and defensive forward Andrew McQualter returns after a one game form related absence. The Lions lose youngster Ryan Lester to a long term foot injury and another first year player, Claye Beams has been dropped. Into the side come young running back Tom Collier and second game ruckman Broc McCauley.
WHO IS MISSING? Brisbane are without skipper and power forward Jonathan Brown who is still six weeks away from returning, while key defensive players Josh Drummond and Matt Maguire are still a couple of weeks from full fitness. The Lions are also missing forward utility Brent Staker and ruckman Jamie Charman. The Saints are still down midfield champion Lenny Hayes, whose knee injury will keep him sidelind for all of 2011. Ruckman Michael Gardiner also has a knee injury and is a long way from returning.
PREVIEW: The Lions were written off by most pundits before the season even began, then after skipper Jonathan Brown went down most expected them to be a wooden spoon contender. Despite the odds seeming to be against them, Brisbane have been ultra-competitive in two of their three games, unlucky to go down against Fremantle and Melbourne. They are still winless however, and so, surprisingly, are their opponents in this game. St Kilda visit the Gabba with only a draw to show for their three runs. The Saints shambolic off-season has translated into a poor start to the real stuff. Their achilles heel for the last two seasons has been a lack of leg speed through the middle, and this has not been resolved, as evidenced by their dismal showing in Round 3 against the Bombers. The three personnel changes for this game will do nothing to improve that situation, but I think the Saints will have just enough class to get the points over a developing Brisbane. The Saints are around $1.30 for the win, which is not worth a nibble, and the line has been set at 21.5, which could go either way, so I’ve had to be creative to find a bet I like. Nick Riewoldt at approximately $3.00 for most goals is a good option as is Brendan Goddard for most disposals at $11.00, but I’m most confident in one of the exotic Dream Team bets. Dream Team is a fantasy based game in which players score points based purely on the amount of possessions, marks, goals, tackles etc. they achieve in the game. This is different to Super Coach, which allocates points for players based on efficiency and influence players have with their possessions. I am going to bet on the dream team market because it is easier to follow. Centrebet’s Group 2 contains four players including Tom Rockliff, Jason Gram, Jed Adcock and Simon Black. I think Simon Black will not take enough marks to get a dream team score above 100, I also think Jason Gram and Jed Adcock will cop forward tags after playing good matches recently off half back. Andrew McQualter is probably the man to take Adcock out of the game. Tom Rockliff is a ball magnet, and the only one in his group who has scored over 90 Dream Team points each game this season. For those that choose to follow this bet, I recommend fanfooty.com.au as a good place to follow the Dream Team scores.
TIP: St Kilda to win by 17 points
ANDY’S BET: Tom Rockliff to win Dream Team Group 2 @ 2.90 (Centrebet)