Season Betting Tally (After Round 23)
Wagered = $2450 – $10 per suggested bet
Collected = $2849.40
Profit/Loss = + $399.40
% Profit/Loss = + 16.3%
Round 24 CHEEKY AFL MULTI
Collingwood @ 1.31
Western Bulldogs -24.5 @ 1.30
Sydney -24.5 @ 1.53
Carlton @ 1.67
Richmond +24.5 @ 1.53
Combined Odds @ 6.50 (Centrebet)
COLLINGWOOD v GEELONG – MCG (7.40pm AEST)
PREVIEW: It may be the final round, but I am still going to try a season first and suggest more than 2 wagers on a single match. The theory is that I like each of three bets and am not sure which to leave out, so I’m keeping them all! For much of the season this was shaping up to be a classic contest. Way back in Round 8, Geelong inflicted Collingwood’s only loss of the season. The victory was overshadowed by a controversial umpiring decision in the dying stages as a legitimate Scott Pendlebury goal for Collingwood goal was incorrectly disallowed. Pendlebury’s goal would have won the game. Unfortunately, recent results now mean this match is merely an academic exercise with the outcome not impacting on the matchups in week one of the finals. Collingwood will finish top and host West Coast in the first qualifying final, while Geelong and Hawthorn will battle it out in the second qualifying final. Both the Magpies and Cats have pleasingly selected near full strength teams for this one, refusing to rest star players as has recently been the custom for these type of fixtures. With only pride to gain, and maybe the chance to strike a psychological blow before finals, I am siding with the Magpies as they look to avenge their Round 8 defeat. The Pies have lost Dale Thomas to suspension and Leon Davis to a hamstring injury, but are still strengthened by the inclusions of Luke Ball, Chris Tarrant and Sharrod Wellingham. Collingwood have a healthy habit of kicking clear from their opposition early and leading for the four quarters, so I am snapping up the better than even money offered by the bookies for this to occur. I know I tried and failed – twice – with the goalkicking accuracy bets last week, but I’m not giving up! The last five times Geelong have played Collingwood, the Cats have kicked more behinds than goals. Normally a very accurate side, I believe Geelong’s recent struggles in front of goal against Collingwood are due to the Magpies’ outstanding defensive pressure and I predict that trend to continue.
TIP: Collingwood to win by 33 points
ANDY’S BET: Collingwood to win by 25 points or more @ 2.10 (Sportsbet)
ANDY’S BET: Collingwood to be leading at the end of every quarter @ 2.10 (Sportingbet)
ANDY’S BET: Geelong to kick more behinds than goals @ 3.90 (Centrebet)
GOLD COAST v HAWTHORN – METRICON STADIUM (1.10pm AEST)
PREVIEW: Similarly to Collingwood and Geelong, Hawthorn are playing in a match that cannot alter the ladder positions in the lead up to finals. Ccontrastingly, the Hawks have taken a very different approach at selection, with the match committee electing to rest 8 players, all of which are arguably in the 10 most important at the club. The Gold Coast improved last week against Melbourne and look to be running out their first full season quite well. Gary Ablett has been super impressive for the Suns, ably supported by Michael Rischitelli and Nathan Bock. Jarrod Harbrow and Jarred Brennan have had their moments, while Danny Stanley has excelled on a half forward flank. Add to that experience with a promising younger brigade of David Swallow, Dion Prestia, Harley Bennell, Zac Smith, Trent McKenzie and Brandon Matera and the future looks quite bright for the Suns. Hawthorn would normally stroll to victory in a match like this, but the magnitude and significance of their outs has me thinking this will be tighter.
TIP: Hawthorn to win by 27 points
ANDY’S BET: Hawthorn to win by 1-39 points @ 3.50 (TAB Sportsbet)
WESTERN BULLDOGS v FREMANTLE – ETIHAD STADIUM (2.10pm AEST)
PREVIEW: For the sentimental readers out there, this Saturday afternoon match will be your last chance to bet on one of modern football’s premier goalkickers. Big, bad, bustling, Bulldog Barry Hall will play his last AFL match. If anything, announcing his retirement has released Hall and the big man has booted 31 goals in his 6 games since breaking the news. The man who put the ‘power’ into power forward, Hall has battered and bruised many an opposition defender since his debut in 1996. Ironically, Fremantle, this week’s opposition for Hall’s Bulldogs, are already battered and bruised. The Dockers have been belted on the field for the last five weeks and with a massive injury list must be crying out for mercy. Another four players were admitted to the casualty ward last Friday night against Collingwood, most notably gun midfielder Nathan Fyfe. The Doggies should send Hall off with a bang.
TIP: Western Bulldogs to win by 54 points
ANDY’S BET: Western Bulldogs to win by 40 points or more @ 1.70 (TAB Sportsbet)
ANDY’S BET: Barry Hall most goals @ 1.70 (TAB Sportsbet)
SYDNEY v BRISBANE LIONS – SCG (4.10pm AEST)
PREVIEW: The equation is not straightforward for Sydney, but the task certainly is. For Sydney to qualify for a home final they require a victory over Brisbane coupled with a St Kilda loss to Carlton later in the evening. Therefore the task for Sydney is uncomplicated, they must beat Brisbane. John Longmire successfully instructed his players to stay in the moment last week as his team became the first to defeat Geelong in Geelong for over four years. The players – still grieving for teammate and co-captain Jarrad McVeigh whose baby daughter passed away only days earlier – were able to put aside their emotions and focus on completing a stirring victory. Brisbane have mastered the honourable loss this season, further emphasised by their close defeats to top 4 sides West Coast and Collingwood over the past fortnight. Sydney have too much riding on this one to leave it to a tense finale and will say, ‘Over to you St Kilda’.
TIP: Sydney to win by 37 points
WEST COAST v ADELAIDE – PATERSONS STADIUM (7.10pm AEST)
PREVIEW: West Coast are another club fielding a full strength line-up despite playing in an effective dead-rubber. They play against an Adelaide side that imploded on home turf last week against Richmond. The Crows held a four goal lead midway through the third quarter before ultimately succumbing by the same margin. Adelaide have had no trouble scoring goals in the last few weeks, but they have significant backline issues, which were highlighted by Richmond. West Coast spare no team at Patersons Stadium, winning their last 9 on home soil. With fierce competition for a place in the side come finals time, Eagles players will be out to impress and this will ensure a comfortable victory.
TIP: West Coast to win by 54 points
ANDY’S BET: West Coast to win by 40 points or more @ 2.18 (Centrebet)
CARLTON v ST KILDA – MCG (7.10pm AEST)
PREVIEW: Unless Brisbane defeat Sydney, St Kilda will be required to win this game if they are to host a home elimination final. Unfortunately for the Saints it will be played at the MCG rather than St Kilda’s preferred venue – Etihad Stadium. Amazingly the Saints have not won at the mecca of football all season, losing four times and drawing once. The Blues, with their fleet of fast running players, thrive on the big arena, only suffering defeat twice in their eight games at the ‘G so far in 2011. Carlton will also be fresh from a week off, while St Kilda, despite cruising past North Melbourne last week, were looking a bit sore and sorry two weeks ago in Sydney. I rate both of these teams highly, but at this venue and fresh from a week’s rest I am tipping the Blues to edge it.
TIP: Carlton to win by 20 points
ANDY’S BET: Carlton to win by 1-39 points @ 2.49 (Centrebet)
PORT ADELAIDE v MELBOURNE – ADELAIDE OVAL (3.10pm AEST)
PREVIEW: In the 2011 AFL story, Port Adelaide and Melbourne have not been central characters, but this game does have many little subplots hidden away. It is Port Adelaide’s first game at the Adelaide Oval during their AFL era. For Power diehards it will be a comforting site to see their side back at the ground, with many fans able to recall numerous famous grand final wins at the venue during Port Adelaide’s SANFL days. The match may also provide an opportunity for the Power to avoid the wooden spoon if the Gold Coast lose in their match. Melbourne’s story has been more of a drama serial. It has focused on young talent Tom Scully, who has been the center of media speculation for much of the season. Scully has long been rumoured to have already agreed terms on a lucrative contract to join the AFL’s newest franchise – Greater Western Sydney. This could be his last game in red and blue. Port were impressive against Essendon last week and very stiff to lose, while Melbourne did just enough against the Gold Coast. Port Adelaide are a club steeped in traditionand it would be very ‘Port Adelaide’ of them to win their first game back at the Adelaide Oval. I fancy them to just sneak it in.
TIP: Port Adelaide to win by 12 points
ANDY’S BET: Port Adelaide to win by 1-24 points @ 4.10 (Centrebet)
RICHMOND v NORTH MELBOURNE – ETIHAD STADIUM (4.40pm AEST)
PREVIEW: This is the 18th season since the AFL introduced a top eight finals system. If Richmond win this match they will likely finish the season in ninth place…for the seventh time! It is an extraordinary statistic and enough for the club to have earnt the unflattering nickname of ‘Ninthmond’. This time it appears different though. Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is taking a slowly but surely approach to the Tigers, eerily similar to the path previously travelled by Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn. Clarkson took charge at Hawthorn for the 2005 season and his young side could only finish 14th, improving slightly to 11th in 2006, then up to 5th in 2007, before claiming the premiership in 2008. A finish between 9th and 11th this year for Hardwick’s Tigers follows on from a 15th placed finish last season – Hardwick’s first in charge. Richmond are surely building to something for the long term. As for this week, North lose Jack Ziebell, Daniel Wells, Levi Greenwood and Lachie Hanson. I think they will also lose the match.
TIP: Richmond to win by 15 points
ANDY’S BET: Richmond H2H @ 2.55 (Centrebet)