The following are previews and betting tips for round 12 of the 2012 AFL season.
Season tally so far
Bets = 109 units
Won = 113.74 units
Profit/Loss = +4.74 units (4.3% profit)
CHEEKY WEEK 12 AFL MULTI
Andy’s bet: 1 unit on Adelaide to win by 16 points or more, Richmond to win by 61 points or more and Hawthorn to win by 40 points or more @ 6.02 (TAB Sportsbet)
Adelaide Crows v St Kilda
This game between two finals contenders is definitely the match of the round! Adelaide had the bye last weekend and slipped to fifth on the ladder, while St Kilda yo-yoed back into the top 8 after a comprehensive win on the Gold Coast. The Saints’ season has been so topsy-turvy that their last 9 matches have produced the following amazingly repetitive win-loss sequence; W-L-W-L-W-L-W-L-W. Scott Watters’ men just can’t string together a couple of good games!
Leading up to last weekend’s bye, Adelaide’s form had been superb, only losing to Collingwood during the past month a half, a period which saw the Crows defeat competition heavyweight Geelong at home as well as a trio of very impressive away wins against Sydney, Carlton and Fremantle. Much has been made of Adelaide’s fairly soft 2012 draw – the Crows are one of only two teams to play Gold Coast and GWS twice – but you can’t argue with their results against the big boys.
I fear for St Kilda’s short backline against Adelaide’s powerful forward pairing of Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett. The Saints defence was horribly incapable of dealing with Jack Riewoldt a fortnight ago and the Richmond spearhead proved the difference in a close game, kicking 8 goals to get his team across the line. Another St Kilda concern is in the ruck, however special mention must go to veteran defender Jason Blake for his job filling in as ruckman while Ben McEvoy and Rhys Stanley have been injured. McEvoy is back for this match, however he hasn’t played for a month and will lack match fitness against Adelaide’s Sam Jacobs.
The Saints have a few match winners that should have a big say in this match, however the Crows have some big guns of their own to complement a greater depth of talent, and that more even spread of contributors for Adelaide is likely to be the difference.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Adelaide to win by 15 points or more @ 1.92 (Sportsbet)
GWS Giants v Richmond
This is a very nice time for Richmond to play the new boys. The Tigers slipped up against Fremantle last weekend and are currently a win plus percentage outside the top 8. With a bye next weekend and a tough away match against Adelaide the week after, Richmond need a win to stay in touch with the top 8. For GWS, last weekend’s bye came at a perfect time as the newcomers were starting to tire.
The Giants upset Gold Coast in Round 7, although that momentum fizzled out over the next three weeks as GWS lost each of those matches by more than 10 goals. In fact, putting the match against Gold Coast to one side, the Giants have been beaten by at least 60 points in 7 of 9 matches.
Richmond has the bye next weekend and is not resting some if its big stars against GWS, like many other teams have done. I expect the Tigers to show no mercy and earn themselves a few vital percentage points.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Richmond to win by 61 points or more @ 2.10 (TAB Sportsbet)
Gold Coast Suns v North Melbourne
Gold Coast is enduring a horrible season, languishing winless at the foot of the ladder after 11 rounds. One of the Suns best performances this season actually came against North Melbourne in Round 5, a match which Gold Coast led at half time. The Kangaroos wouldn’t be too happy with their season either. The Roos outplayed Geelong in round 3 to record what many thought was a coming of age victory, however Brad Scott’s men have only won two of their seven matches since, and those wins were only narrow home successes against Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Given both teams are out of form I am not going to attempt betting on a margin for this match, so I’ll instead focus my attention on the player markets. Gold Coast’s superstar Gary Ablett was surprisingly quiet last weekend against St Kilda and I’m sure the champ will be intent on picking up his form this week. Ablett has otherwise been in stellar form this campaign, topping the match disposal counts in 6 of his 9 games.
Another player I’ll be following this weekend is North forward Drew ‘The Dish’ Petrie. Last weekend Gold Coast conceded 7 goals to St Kilda’s Nick Riewoldt. Petrie, like Riewoldt, is his club’s primary tall marking forward and the Roos big man has booted 12 goals in his last 4 matches to carry some decent personal form into this match. With Gold Coast unlikely to have any players capable of kicking more than 3 goals in a game, while, other than Petrie, only Sam Wright and Aaron Edwards (not playing in this match) have done so for North Melbourne this year.
Small interests on Ablett and Petrie will provide good entertainment in this standalone Saturday night fixture.
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Gary Ablett for most disposals @ 1.70 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Drew Petrie to kick the most goals @ 2.50 (Sportsbet)
Hawthorn v Brisbane Lions
The mean Hawks are well and truly back! A 62 point loss to Richmond 3 weeks ago now looks an aberration as Hawthorn has won its 5 most other matches since the start May by an average margin of 64 points. Brisbane is this week’s opponent, and likely victim. The Lions have probably performed as well as could be expected so far this season, winning 4 of their 10 matches. There have been some nasty losses for Brisbane though, with Carlton, Essendon and Collingwood all handing out spankings of 58 points or more.
Brisbane’s midfield champion Simon Black has not been included despite appearing to be fully recovered from his knee during the midweek training sessions. Black’s absence will mean Hawthorn should be far too strong in the middle of the park and generate plenty of supply to beastly forward Lance Franklin. I’ve been in poor punting form lately, so will go for just the 40 point margin to hopefully secure a return, however more ambitious punters out there might take the Hawks at the line.
Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide
Any faint hopes these teams have of reaching the finals will be put to the test during this Sunday’s twilight match at Etihad Stadium. For the Bulldogs, the incentive is huge as a home fixture against Brisbane next week provides the chance for back to back wins and a potential place just one game or percentage outside the top 8. Port Adelaide have the bye next week, so a loss here will mean the Power will sit on just 4 wins at the end of round 13 and surely too far back to mount a finals challenge.
One stat that will surprise some of you is that the Bulldogs average the most contested possessions per game this season. The grunt is provided by reliable experienced campaigners such as Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen and Adam Cooney as well as young hard nuts Thomas Liberatore and Mitch Wallis. Port Adelaide’s midfield, doesn’t look to have the same ability to win the hard ball, with none of the players selected for this match averaging more clearances per game than any of those five Bulldogs mentioned above.
For all their midfield supremacy, the Doggies have really fallen down across the half forward line and struggle to convert their possession dominance into scoreboard pressure. Port Adelaide is generally pretty efficient in attack and Jay Schulz is likely to be the dominant forward in this game. The odds for most goals hadn’t been framed at the time of writing, but you could do worse than chuck some coins on Schulz if the odds are greater than 3-1.
The Bulldogs should have enough control of the midfield to win, while Port Adelaide is very good at keeping in the contest, never losing by more than 46 points all season, so the margin bet of 1-39 looks a goer to me!