The following are previews and betting tips for Round 12 of the 2013 AFL season
Season tally so far
Bets = 140.75 units
Won = 128.32 units
Profit/Loss = -11.43 units (-8.8% loss)
Cheeky Multi: 1 unit on a dream team head to head multi. Brock McLean > Jarrad Waite, Brett Deledio > Patrick Dangerfield, David Mundy > Garrick Ibbotson and Callan Ward > Travis Boak @ 12.00 (Sportsbet)
Carlton vs. Hawthorn
For the second week in a row Carlton are playing in the headlining Friday night timeslot. Last week the Blues fell apart in the second half as Essendon stormed home to beat them by 5 points, and this week they play the competition’s form team Hawthorn, who are fresh off the bye and unbeaten since Round 1.
Hawthorn have been Carlton’s bogey team in recent years, beating the Blues in all 9 clashes between the clubs since 2005. Out of sorts Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin has been the chief destroyer during recent meetings, booting 25 goals from his last 6 matches against Carlton. The Blues struggled to contain Nick Riewoldt earlier in the season at this venue, so if Franklin returns from the bye in the mood, this could be a tough night for the Carlton defenders.
One of the positives from last week’s Carlton performance was the three expert tagging jobs performed by Jaryd Cachia to limit Jobe Watson, Ed Curnow to completely nullify Brent Stanton and Dennis Armfield stopping the defensive rebound of Michael Hibberd. Those three Carlton players will need to be similarly effective this Friday night to quell the output of influential Hawks trio Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge and Grant Bichall.
Even if Carlton do a good defensive job on some Hawthorn players, the brown and gold’s look to have too much quality and should get past a gallant Blues outfit. Given that Carlton’s five losses this season have all been by 17 points or less, I don’t expect the Hawks to blow them away.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Hawthorn to win by 39 points or less @ 2.30 (Sportbset)
Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Lance Franklin for most goals @ 3.25 (Sportbset)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Brock McLean more dream team points than Jarrad Waite @ 1.90 (Sportbset)
Richmond vs. Adelaide
Even though this match doesn’t have the fanfare of the Friday night clash, it is of maximum importance in the race for the final couple of spots in the top 8. Richmond are nicely placed with their next five matches (including this one) against teams ranked below them on the ladder, while Adelaide are in danger of losing touch with the finals places as they have the bye next week and play four tough opponents from Rounds 15-18.
For Richmond, their bye last weekend may have come at a disappointing time as the Tigers produced a coming of age performance to beat West Coast in Perth a fortnight ago. The positive vibes following that victory will have probably subsided by the time the umpire slams the ball into the turf to get this game underway.
Since the season-ending knee injury to mulleted goalkicker Taylor Walker, I have regularly bemoaned Adelaide’s forward line impotency, and this week is no different! During their past two matches, both played in front of their home fans, the Crows have managed scores of just 59 and 50 points against Fremantle and Sydney. Richmond’s defence isn’t as vaunted as those two teams, so Adelaide might have more luck in attack this week.
Of the teams outside the top 8, Richmond seem the most likely to secure a finals place by the end of the season, so I will go for them to launch into the second half of their campaign with an important victory in this one.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Richmond to win by 19 points or more @ 1.93 (Bet365)
Fremantle vs. Brisbane
Fremantle have been superb in the first part of the season, pushing towards a top 4 slot despite a horror run with injuries to their star players. Brisbane, meanwhile, peaked a bit too, ahem, early, winning the pre-season competition before firing blanks for the majority of the regular season so far.
A trio of key Brisbane players have been named to return from injury in this match, with ruckman Matthew Leuenberger joined back in the squad by prolific midfielder Tom Rockliff and the exquisite kicking skills of Daniel Rich.
Those inclusions make the Brisbane team look a whole lot better, but Fremantle have barely put a foot wrong this season and coach Ross Lyon has created a defensive unit that is almost impossible to crack. The Dockers should put the squeeze on the Lions and triumph in another dour Ross Lyon special!
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Fremantle to win by 39 points or less @ 2.80 (Sportbset)
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Total Match Score under 166.5 points @ 1.91 (Bet365)
Essendon vs. Gold Coast
Essendon just managed to keep their season on track with a gutsy come from behind triumph over Carlton last weekend, while Gold Coast surprised me with a plucky wet weather showing to outplay North Melbourne and move to 12th on the ladder.
Essendon’s win was critical as a loss would have meant the Bombers had lost four of their past five matches to slip out of the top 4 for this first time this season. But, not for the first time this season, James Hird’s men hung tough and produced a storming second half to pinch victory. It is this sort of never-say-die attitude that could give the Bombers an edge during some tight September battles later in the year.
It is probably time I stop referring to Gold Coast as a one man team, because as good as Gary Ablett has been, I should have realised earlier that he has been getting great support from a really good group of youngsters, led recently by Dion Prestia, Jaeger O’Meara and Trent McKenzie. The Suns are really in tune with their game plan and are one of the better exponents at spreading on offence as part of the current transitional football fad.
Despite Gold Coast’s considerable improvement this year, I think Essendon were caught out by Brisbane here a few weeks ago and will be desperate to avoid a repeat of that debacle, so the Dons will be switched on from the outset for this match and should get home comfortably.
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Total Match Score over 187.5 points @ 1.91 (Bet365)
Greater Western Sydney vs. Port Adelaide
Both clubs will have been looking forward to this fixture during the week. GWS are still winless this campaign, but might fancy their chances against a visiting Port Adelaide side that has not won since April. The Power must be running on solar panels, because their output has dropped significantly during recent weeks as winter has descended and their players seem to have less energy on the field.
The Giants were much better against Geelong last week, pushing the league leaders sternly for the first three quarters, however a last quarter fade-out meant the youngsters still lost by nearly 10 goals and conceded 157 points to their opposition. From their last 10 matches, the Giants have conceded at least 134 points 9 times! Even an out of form Port Adelaide team should be able to break the ton this weekend.
The young GWS boys might give them a scare for this first two or three quarters, but the Power should have recharged their energy reserves during their bye weekend and should be able to get through this one without needing to top up their baseload supply.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Port Adelaide to win by 30 points or more @ 1.93 (Bet365)
Collingwood vs. Western Bulldogs
Collingwood had been this year’s yo-yo club, oscillating from win to loss on a weekly basis, but that changed last Monday when the Magpies smacked the Demons to record back-to-back results for the first time since Round 1-2. The Western Bulldogs will be aiming to extend their own two-game winning streak after positive results against St Kilda and Port Adelaide preceded a relaxing bye weekend during Round 11.
The star of the Bulldogs season so far has been midfielder Ryan Griffen, who continues to be underrated despite being one of the few top-line midfielders that is both elite inside at the stoppages and as an outside ball carrier. This is confirmed in this year’s stats, which show Griffen is one of only two players that rank in the top 10 for both average clearances and disposals per game. Ironically, given the club match-up this week, the other player along with Griffen to rank in the top 10 for both statistical indicators is Collingwood’s prime mover Scott Pendlebury. It would be great if both coaches let their gun players go head to head this Sunday!
Collingwood’s defence has been the club’s achilles heel this season, but the Bulldogs attack ranks as the fourth worst in the league, so the Magpies should be clear to cruise to a pretty comfortable victory.
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Collingwood to win by 30-39 points @ 8.00 (Sportbset)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Collingwood to win by 40-49 points @ 8.00 (Sportbset)