The following are previews and betting tips for Round 10 of the 2013 AFL season
Season tally so far
Bets = 118 units
Won = 116.87 units
Profit/Loss = -1.14 units (-1.0% loss)
Cheeky Multi: 1 unit on Jamie Elliot to kick a goal at any time in the Brisbane vs. Collingwood match, Dyson Heppell for most disposals in Group B of the Sydney vs. Essendon match and North Melbourne to win by 16 points or more @ 6.73 (Sportsbet)
Brisbane Lions vs. Collingwood
Brisbane’s stunning performance to earn victory over high-flying Essendon two weeks ago looks to have just been a flash in the pan as the Lions reverted to type last Saturday night with an expected home loss against Carlton. Down south, a shambolic MCG showing last Friday night confirmed Collingwood are this year’s yo-yo team. That loss to Sydney meant the Magpies have now gone W-L-W-L-W-L-W-L across their past 8 matches, which surely can’t be good news for their hosts this Friday night.
Brisbane have been besieged by injuries and suspensions to some of their key players this week. Firstly, co-captain and star forward Jonathan Brown was suspended for two matches for a strike on Carlton defender Michael Jamison, while ruckman Matthew Leuenberger will miss at least a month due to a dislocated thumb and gun on-baller Tom Rockliff will miss two weeks with a quad injury.
Collingwood have fared better at the selection table, regaining skin-fold villain Heath Shaw after missing last week due to a club-imposed suspension for failing a skin-fold test. The Magpies could really have done with Shaw across half-back last week as their lack of leg speed was glaringly exposed by Sydney, with the Magpies defence often competing outnumbered against a Swans team that was brutally efficient with its ball movement on the transition. Worryingly for the Pies, this was second time in three weeks they had failed to handle a side with an adept structure for linking defence to attack, with Fremantle also exposing Collingwood in this fashion earlier in May. Brisbane doesn’t appear to be an overly quick team, so should not pose Collingwood too many problems on the leg-speed front.
As mentioned earlier, the Lions are without many key players and I don’t think they have the depth to adequately cover those big names that will be missing. The fact that all of Brisbane’s 4 matches at the Gabba in 2013 have been decided by 28 points or less means that I will confidently back the Magpies margin of victory to be 39 points or less.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Collingwood to win by 39 points or less @ 2.20 (Sportsbet)
Carlton vs. Greater Western Sydney
Carlton continued their steady progression up the ladder by sneaking past Brisbane last week despite some inaccurate kicking for goal, while GWS copped another belting, this time by 100 points at the hands of West Coast.
I can’t see this being anything than a massive Carlton win. As I said in my previews last week, the Blues have quickly embraced the defensive philosophies of new coach Mick Malthouse, which is demonstrated by the team not conceding more than 91 points to any opponent during the past 6 weeks. In contrast, the Giants have conceded over 100 points in every match of this campaign, and it gets worse, Kevin Sheedy’s young team have let through 134 points or more in 7 of their 9 games.
GWS have lost their last three matches by an average of 106 points and with Carlton’s marking machine Jarrad Waite moving well in attack to complement his team’s defensive stability, this should be another shellacking for the youngsters from Sydney’s west.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Jarrad Waite to score more dream team points than Andrew Walker @ 1.75 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Adam Treloar most disposals in Group 2 @ 4.00 (Sportsbet)
Adelaide vs. Fremantle
This game is a re-match of the Semi-Final played between these clubs on this ground last year. Adelaide won that contest after reeling in a 29 point deficit to sneak home by 10 points but Fremantle are in good enough form to exact revenge, remaining unbeaten in their past 5 matches, which includes games against Collingwood and Sydney. Adelaide are also on a good run of form, having won their past three games, however Adelaide have lost all four matches against teams from 9th and higher on the ladder, with their five victories so far this season only coming against teams in the bottom 6.
There will be some great midfield battles during this clash with in-form Fremantle trio David Mundy, Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow matching-up against Adelaide ball-magnets Scott Thompson, Paddy Dangerfield and Richard Douglas. The ace Fremantle have up their sleeve is shutdown specialist Ryan Crowley, who limits the output of an opposition star on a weekly basis.
Both teams are without their leading forward, Taylor Walker for Adelaide and Matthew Pavlich for Fremantle, so I expect this to be a tight, low-scoring tussle and the Dockers might sneak through for a minor upset.
Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas has scored more dream team points than teammate Rory Sloane in each of the Crows last three matches, so I will hop on Douglas to do the same again at almost even money.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on total match score under 163.5 @ 1.91 (Bet365)
Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Richard Douglas to score more dream team points than Rory Sloane @ 1.95 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Fremantle to win by 39 points or less @ 2.55 (Sportsbet)
Sydney vs. Essendon
A top 4 spot is on the line in this match as 3rd placed Essendon venture north to do battle with 5th placed Sydney. The Swans are only half a win below the Bombers on the ladder and will head into this match full of confidence after completely dominating Collingwood at the MCG last Friday night. Essendon are also a happier bunch this week after arresting a two-game losing streak last Saturday night as they led for most of the night en-route to victory against Richmond.
I was going to write that Sydney’s victory against Collingwood last week was significant because it was the first time the Swans had beaten top 8 opposition all season, however that loss left the Magpies on the 11th rung of the ladder, meaning Sydney’s 6 wins in 2013 have come against teams currently lying 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 18th on the table. Hardly form to leave a top 8 opponent overly concerned.
Essendon have already managed noteworthy interstate wins against top 8 teams Adelaide and Fremantle this campaign, and it didn’t escape me that the Bombers return to form last Saturday night coincided with a prolific performance from fit-again midfielder Brent Stanton. With Stanton fit and firing alongside skipper Jobe Watson, the Bombers are capable of mixing it with any team.
The SCG hasn’t been its usual fortress for Sydney this season as the Swans have already lost to Geelong and drawn with Fremantle in two of their four matches at the venue in 2013. Like those aforementioned games against the Cats and Dockers, this match should be really tight and I would be surprised if either team can break away to win by more than 4 goals.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on either team to win by 24 points or less @ 1.78 (Centrebet)
Geelong vs. Gold Coast
The floodlights have been installed and ‘The Cattery’ has been transported into the 21st century ahead of the first ever night-match played at Simonds Stadium. While the stadium redevelopment has been underway, Geelong have been playing their home matches in Melbourne, but now everything has been completed, the Cats will enjoy 7 games in Geelong for the rest of the season. The top 4 awaits.
Gold Coast make the long journey to the cold south for the second week running and will hope to consolidate on their impressive showing against Hawthorn last Sunday when they led the league leaders by 17 points at one stage in the third quarter.
Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett was a two-time premiership player and Brownlow Medallist at Geelong, and the little champ has been imperious once again in 2013, so expect him to run riot on his old stomping ground, especially given Geelong’s main tagger Taylor Hunt is still sidelined with a collarbone injury.
Despite an Ablett masterclass, Geelong will be far too strong back at their home base.
Western Bulldogs vs. Port Adelaide
The time is now for Port Adelaide to make a stand and push their way back towards a spot in the top 8. After winning their first 5 matches of the year, the Power have alarmingly slid to 4 straight defeats and now find themselves out of the finals places, however they have this winnable match against the Bulldogs and a likely victory against GWS sandwiching their bye next week. Win those two matches and a 7-4 record is starting to look like a good base from which to push for the finals.
I saw the Doggies live at the ground last week and was surprised at how well they played, particularly from halfway through the third quarter when they got completely on top of their more fancied St Kilda opponents. Chief catalysts for the revival were ruckman Will Minson, continuing his ultra-impressive season, and 30 year old skipper Matthew Boyd who absolutely dominated the clearances for his team, while Ryan Griffen worked hard to break the Clinton Jones tag to have a big influence in the last term.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, just as their skipper was getting to back to his ball-magnet ways, he has been struck down by another calf injury and Boyd is back on the sidelines again after missing the first month of the season.
Without Boyd, I don’t think the Doggies will be able to match it in the middle against Port Adelaide’s running brigade that comprises Travis Boak, Kane Cornes, Brad Ebert and the enigmatic Hamish Hartlett.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Port Adelaide to win by 13 points or more @ 1.92 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Will Minson to score more dream team points than Tom Liberatore @ 1.70 (Sportsbet)
Melbourne vs. Hawthorn
Thanks to Collingwood president Eddie Maguire’s radio gaffe on Wednesday morning, Melbourne’s woes have finally moved from the back pages. Before that, the media had been speculating that a bad performance from his team in this match could spell the end for Demons coach Mark Neeld as the club board meets on the Monday night after this match. There are no such worries at Hawthorn as the brown and golds top the table with an 8-match unbeaten streak.
Scarily, the Hawks machine still has room for improvement with Lance Franklin well below his best, Cyril Rioli to return in a month or two and coach Alastair Clarkson is still tinkering around to find his best ruck setup. If only Melbourne had the luxury of being able to do a bit of tinkering here and there! For the Demons, it is more like ripping everything up and building from scratch every week as there seems to be no improvement from week to week, or even any consistency in their on-field structures and game plan.
Looking through the potential match-ups it is hard to identify even one Melbourne player that will have an advantage, so this should be another afternoon of pain for those with hearts that beat true for the red and the blue.
The line for this match is set at 90 points and that seems about right, so I don’t think it’s worth betting on this game.
Andy’s Bet: None
North Melbourne vs. St Kilda
You really have to feel sorry for everyone connected to North Melbourne right now. One of the league’s little battlers is copping an extraordinarily rotten run of luck this season, which was taken to a new level last week when Adelaide came back from five goals behind midway through the last term to snatch the lead with less than 20 seconds left on the clock. That heartbreaking defeat came just one week after a Nic Naitanui goal after the siren ripped away another win from North right at the death. The story gets even worse though, because the Kangaroos have lost 4 matches already this season by 4 points or less. Ouch!
Despite their bad luck, North Melbourne have still managed one more win than their upcoming opponents. St Kilda were heavy favourites last week against the Bulldogs, but were too reliant on too few and of their squad of 22, only Nick Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna, Jack Steven and Rhys Stanley could say they made a decent contribution.
North Melbourne should have too much run and too much class for the Saints and this should be one match the Kangaroos supporters don’t have to worry about suffering through some last-minute agony!
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on North Melbourne to win by 40 points or more @ 2.60 (Bet365)
West Coast vs. Richmond
My least favourite footy timeslot returns with a Monday showdown way out west. West Coast have won their past four matches to charge into the top 8, successfully overturning a sluggish start to the season. Richmond, on the other hand, lost to Essendon last week to slip down to 10th.
Even though they have won four in a row, West Coast still haven’t convinced me and they are yet to beat a team higher than 13th placed North Melbourne. Richmond have at least beaten two teams in the top 9, but the Tigers have been outplayed in three recent MCG showdowns against quality opposition – Collingwood, Geelong and Essendon – and I am still hesitant to pick them in a match like this until they prove that they can beat a quality opponent on a big stage.
Richmond played this ground quite well when they met Fremantle here earlier in the season and should give a good account of themselves, so even though West Coast seem likely winners, I am looking for better value and will take the Tigers at the line.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Richmond +25.5 @ 1.91 (Centrebet)