The most interest this weekend can be found at the foot of the AFL ladder. Winless Brisbane are in the wooden spoon position and will clash with second from bottom Gold Coast in an historic first derby clash between the two. There is a lot of hype heading into the match, with some of the media conferences turning into slanging matches that are more reminiscent of the pre-fight sledging that occurs in boxing. It should be a feisty encounter. League leaders Collingwood have the bye, meaning the only other unbeaten team, Geelong, will have the chance to draw level on six wins.
Last week was a very ordinary round for the suggested bets. The luck of the week before deserted me, with the incorrect interchange free kick in the Carlton and Sydney match causing the ‘either team under 15.5’ bet to just miss out. If you followed the advice hidden deep in the article, backing Daniel Motlop for most goals would have been a fruitful exercise. I really should have put it out there as a suggested bet.
Season Betting Tally (After Round 6)
Wagered = $490
Collected = $423.10
Profit/Loss = – $67.10
% Profit/Loss = – 13.7%
Tips = 30.5*
*Note: The draw is treated differently depending on your tipping competition. I have assumed it to be 0.5 tips.
CHEEKY AFL MULTI
Last week I went conservative and was unsuccessful. This week is more adventurous. Who dares wins, right? I think Port will come out hard after a week of stinging criticism, Sydney will sneak past the Bulldogs and Brisbane will become the sixth successive team to kick more goals than points against the Gold Coast.
Port Adelaide first team to 25 points @ 3.05
Sydney to win by 1-39 @ 2.85
Brisbane more goals than behinds @ 1.72
Combined Odds @ 14.95 (Centrebet)
PORT ADELAIDE v HAWTHORN – AAMI STADIUM (8.40pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Port Adelaide 13.14 (92) def Hawthorn 12.12 (84), R18, 2010
AT SELECTION: Port are strengthened by five inclusions from the team soundly beaten last weekend. Ball winners Travis Boak and Danyle Pearce come in along with tall forwards Jay Schulz and Daniel Stewart. Simon Phillips is the other player brought in and the midfielder will make his debut for the Power after playing five matches for Sydney over two season during 2006 and 2007. Chad Cornes, Jacob Surjan and Matt Thomas are the biggest of the five outs for Port, with Cornes and Surjan dropped due to poor form. Thomas has a back injury and his tackling pressure will be missed. Hawthorn have lost a trio of players to injury. Cyril Rioli (hamstring), Matt Suckling (knee) and Cameron Bruce (knee) are three integral members to the Hawks team, so it will be interesting to see how the side copes in their absence. Brendan Whitecross is recalled while pacey winger Isaac Smith and defender Paul Puopolo will make their AFL debuts.
PREVIEW: I am not as pro Hawthorn for this match as most people in the media are. The bookies have certainly given firm favouritism to the Hawks as well. Port have a couple of fantastic inclusions and will surely be strengthened by the presence of Travis Boak, Danyle Pearce and Jay Schulz. Big Schulz is an interesting one, the key forward went down with a serious knee injury in Round 1 and is returning only six weeks later. I will be watching the big man’s output closely. The Hawks have only been good in patches and will certainly miss Cyril Rioli’s playmaking skills. If Franklin doesn’t fire this match could go either way. I think Port will get the early jump and Hawthorn will overhaul them in the second half. Sam Mitchell has been in great ball getting form recently and is the favourite to win his most disposals group. He will likely cop the hard Kane Cornes tag though, freeing up Brad Sewell to get his hands on the prune.
TIP: Hawthorn to win by 18 points
ANDY’S BET: Hawthorn to win by 1-39 points @ 2.30 (Sportsbet)
ANDY’s BET: Most Disposals in Group 1 – Brad Sewell @ 8.50 (Centrebet)
WESTERN BULLDOGS v SYDNEY – MANUKA OVAL (1.10pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Sydney 17.12 (114) def Western Bulldogs 10.10 (70), R21, 2010
AT SELECTION: Sydney have lost exciting midfielder Kieran Jack to an ankle injury. Tall forward Jesse White and utility Paul Bevan have been dropped. Heath Grundy returns and will slot straight in at center half back. Also recalled is young defender Alex Johnson, while Nathan Gordan will make his AFL debut on the wing. The Bulldogs have made four changes. Brian Lake’s disappointing start to the season has cost the veteran full back a place in the side. He has been dropped because of poor form for the first time in 8 years. First year player Tom Liberatore misses due to the old favourite, general soreness, and Dylan Addison and Jordan Roughead have been omitted. Ruckman Ben Hudson and half forward Daniel Giansiracusa are the key inclusions for the Doggies. Brennan Stack earns a recall across half back and the excellently named Zephaniah Skinner is yet another who will make his AFL debut this round.
PREVIEW: The Western Bulldogs are very scratchy at the moment and are yet to get a full strength squad on the park. Full forward Barry Hall is still out, as is Shaun Higgins and full back Brian Lake Is desperately out of form and fitness. Sydney are always tough to beat and you need to be at the top of your game to knock them off. The Bulldogs aren’t at the top of their game.
TIP: Sydney to win by 15 points
ANDY’S BET: Sydney to win by 1-39 points @ 2.85 (Centrebet)
GEELONG v NORTH MELBOURNE – SKILLED STADIUM (2.10pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Geelong 14.14 (98) def North Melbourne 9.9 (63), R14, 2010
AT SELECTION: Cameron Ling pinged his hamstring over Geelong’s bye weekend and the veteran misses this match. Taylor Hunt picked up his knee injury early in their last match against Hawthorn, and the youngster has not fully recovered. Defender Josh Hunt and center half forward Cam Mooney are excellent inclusions though. North Melbourne name an unchanged team to the one that beat Port Adelaide last weekend.
PREVIEW: Forget about the Q match later in the day, this is the local Scott derby. The twin brothers, Chris and Brad, are coaching Geelong and North Melbourne respectively. Geelong will take the points in this one. Decisively. The stats that matters are the experience numbers. Geelong’s players have played an average of 141 games, while North Melbourne’s average only 78 matches. You know what they say, you can’t beat experience!
TIP: Geelong to win by 51 points
ANDY’S BET: Geelong to win by 40 points or more @ 1.62 (Sportsbet)
RICHMOND v FREMANTLE – MCG (4.10pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Richmond 15.10 (100) def Fremantle 11.15 (81), R15, 2010
AT SELECTION: Daniel Jackson returns from suspension for Richmond at the expense of Shane Tuck, another to be struck down by general soreness. Fremantle bring in talented running defender Greg Broughton and youngster Clancee Pearce at the expense of tagger Ryan Crowley and the inexperienced Jesse Crichton.
PREVIEW: Oh boy, the Tigers are both up and about! The yellow and blacks are going hunting for a third straight victory. This week they will do battle with the high flying Fremantle Dockers. The match will be decided in Richmond’s forward line. Fremantle might have the edge in most areas, but the one x factor is Richmond’s attack. Jack Riewoldt is the most deadly forward in the game and at the moment he is being ably supported by Jake ‘pushup King. The little midget is pestering opposition rebounding defenders with his niggling style and aggressive tackling. Richmond’s game is purely based on momentum and confidence. They have both of those things in spades, so another win is definitely on the cards.
TIP: Richmond by 12 points
ANDY’S BET: Richmond to win by 1-39 points @ 3.00 (Centrebet)
GOLD COAST v BRISBANE – GABBA (7.10pm AEST)
LAST TIME: N/A
AT SELECTION: Brisbane bring in rebounding defender Josh Drummond for his first game in 2011 after overcoming injury problems. Bryce Retzlaff is named to make his AFL debut for the Lions and the big bodied youngster will look to make his presence felt in the forward line. The Gold Coast make plenty of changes to the side obliterated by Essendon last Sunday. Youngsters Harley Bennell, Steven May, Seb Tape and Luke Russell are the latest to go out the revolving door that is the Suns’ selection policy. No risks will be taken with promising forward Charlie Dixon, he has a slight calf strain and will be rested. Veteran ruckman Josh Fraser misses for the second time already this season with a back complaint. Center half back Nathan Bock is welcomed straight back into the side with open arms. He will be joined in the back half by fit again Nathan Krakouer. The other four inclusions are all kids, Daniel Gorringe and three debutants, Joseph Daye, Sam Day and Tom Lynch.
PREVIEW: The AFL have gone out of their way to promote this clash, even taking the extreme measure of scheduling three Saturday afternoon matches so this game has no direct competition and will receive full attention. Brisbane are going to win this game well, but there is no value betting there. It is going to be a challenge to find value with Suns games this year. One pattern I have noticed is that the Gold Coast’s opposition are kicking more goals than points. This is due to a poor Suns defence give up many scoring shots directly in front of goal.
TIP: Brisbane by 45 points
ANDY’S BET: Brisbane to kick more goals than points @ 1.72 (Centrebet)
ESSENDON v WEST COAST – ETIHAD STADIUM (1.10pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Essendon 14.16 (100) def by West Coast 20.12 (132), R16, 2010
AT SELECTION: Veteran full back Dustin Fletcher is recalled after a week off. Alwyn Davey and David Myers join an extended interchange bench. One of Will Schofield, Tom Swift, Ashton Hams and Geerick Weedon will be included to the Eagles side as first year player Andrew Gaff has been rested. If Weedon plays he will be the second outrageously named player to make his AFL debut this week, with Zephaniah Skinner the other.
PREVIEW: Essendon were sensational against the Gold Coast last week. Don’t worry about the poor quality of the opposition, you can only beat who they put out. In scenes I have never before witnessed, the Bombers piled on 15 goals to nil in the opening quarter alone. This will be a battle of the forward presses as both sides have really got their attacking zones working well. I rate both teams fairly evenly, so I’ve gone for the tried and trusted technique of picking the home side. I don’t think West Coast will lose by much, so I’m backing them to either win or at least lose by less than 40 points.
TIP: Essendon by 20 points
ANDY’S BET: West Coast +39.5 points @ 1.60 (Centrebet)
MELBOURNE v ADELAIDE – MCG (2.10pm AEST)
LAST TIME: Adelaide 16.21 (117) def Melbourne 11.7 (73), R13, 2010
AT SELECTION: Melbourne have swung the selection axe after a pathetic showing last weekend. Matthew Bate slots in at full forward after a bag of goals at VFL level last week. Matthew Warnock gets a recall at full back, Ricky Pettard will play on a wing and Addam Maric on a forward flank. Joel Macdonald, Neville Jetta and Michael Newton are also some of chance of a game, named on the extended interchange bench. Adelaide have lost center half back Phil Davis to a serious shoulder injury and smaller defender Richard Tambling to a one week suspension. Brodie Martin has been dropped. Adelaide will name the inclusions tomorrow, but they will come from Rory Sloane, Jack Gunston, Chris Schmidt, Jared Petrenko, James Sellar and Ivan Maric.
PREVIEW: This is a big, big game for Melbourne. The Demons were insipid last round and have been very proactive in the media this week detailing plans of a dramatic improvement. The problem is they will need tactical discipline as well as a renewed endeavour for the contest. Neil Craig’s Adelaide Crows are very well drilled and generally make the opposition pay for any lapses. I’m tipping Adelaide for a tight win due to their greater goal scoring potential. Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett are both in decent form.
TIP: Adelaide by 10 points
ANDY’S BET: Either team under 15.5 points @ 3.00 (Sportingbet)
ST KILDA v CARLTON – ETIHAD STADIUM (7.20pm AEST)
LAST TIME: St Kilda 9.14 (68) def by Carlton 20.9 (129), R7, 2010
AT SELECTION: Medium sized forward Arryn Siposs has been selected in the forward pocket to make his AFL debut for the Saints. Justin Koschitzke is swiftly recalled to full forward after a one week absence. Nicholas Winmar could also make his AFL debut, named on an extended bench alongside Raph Clarke, Brett Peake and Ryan Gamble. Full back Zac Dawson misses due to suspension, youngster Will Johnson with concussion and fellow rookie Al Smith has been omitted. Carlton have added Chris Yarran to the extended bench and he will certainly play if fit. Dennis Armfield could be the player to make way.
PREVIEW: Speed. Carlton have it and St Kilda don’t. If you cast your mind back to Round 3, I was concerned that St Kilda could be exposed for pace by Essendon. I still backed St Kilda, and almost inevitably they were cut to bits by the swarming Bombers. I am not going to make the same mistake twice. Man for man St Kilda’s playing group is the equal of Carlton’s, but the navy blues are certainly having more success with their team structure and game plan. They should win this Monday night fixture for the second year running.
TIP: Carlton by 24 points
ANDY’S BET: Carlton to lead at half time and full time @ 1.88 (Centrebet)