The following are previews and betting tips for Round 13 of the 2013 AFL season
Season tally so far
Bets = 151.25 units
Won = 146.03 units
Profit/Loss = -5.22 units (3.5% loss)
Cheeky Multi: 1 unit on a dream team head to head multi. Chris Masten > Luke Shuey, Dan Hanneberry > Jarrad McVeigh and Jack Trengove > Jeremy Howe @ 6.08 (Sportsbet)
Hawthorn vs. West Coast
West Coast were my pre-season flag fancies, but the Eagles enter this match outside the top 8 and likely to remain there as they visit Melbourne for a Friday night showdown with a Hawthorn team that is perched on top of the ladder and currently boasting a 10 match winning streak.
Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge is free to play in this game after successfully challenging a rough conduct charge during the week. It was a bold move by Hodge, who risked a one-match ban by contesting the match review panel’s verdict that would have allowed him to play this weekend had he pleaded guilty to the charge and accepted 93 carry-over points. The gamble paid off and Hodge will play this week and won’t have to worry about any carry-over points.
Hawthorn didn’t play their best footy against Carlton last week, but were still able to lift their game when it mattered to sneak home by 15 points against a very keen Blues outfit. Pleasingly for Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson, key forwards Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead both finally played well in the same match, combining for 8 of their team’s 15 goals.
West Coast will buoyed by their inclusions at the selection table, with goal kickers Josh Kennedy and Mark LeCras returning from injury along with defensive pillars Beau Waters and Darren Glass.
With their inclusions, West Coast are probably fielding their best team of the season so this should actually be a really good contest, despite what the ladder positions suggest. Nonetheless, Hawthorn is topping the table for a reason and should be too strong, especially with Franklin looking dangerous again.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Hawthorn to win by 39 points or less @ 2.30 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Jarryd Roughead to kick the most goals @ 7.50 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Daniel Kerr most disposals in Group 2 @ 5.00 (Sportsbet)
Port Adelaide vs. Sydney
After 5 losses on the spin, Port Adelaide finally regained form with a whopping 75 point win over GWS last week, which reignited the Power’s fading finals chances. Sydney, meanwhile, were relaxing over their bye weekend and should be freshened up for the second half of their season.
In the three matches immediately before their bye, Sydney recorded three terrific wins over Collingwood, Sydney and Adelaide by a combined total of 168 points, which is phenomenal going for any team! The Swans have got their forward-line structure working really well with their attackers seemingly always able to find space.
Things have not been so rosy for Port Adelaide, with last weekend’s success over GWS the only victory for Ken Hinkley’s team since the end of April. And let’s face it, everybody is thrashing the Giants this season. The Power have also been beaten by more than 40 points in each of their past two home games, so their chances don’t look all that good up against the reigning Premiers in this match.
Port Adelaide’s skipper Travis Boak is out with a finger injury, while Sydney have included controversial forward Kurt Tippett for a club debut, so all signs point to a comfortable Swans victory.
Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Sydney to win by 25 points or more @ 1.50 (Sportsbet)
St Kilda vs. Melbourne
These clubs have shared the unwanted off-field headlines during the lead-up to this game. Firstly, Melbourne sacked coach Mark Neeld on Monday and installed Neeld’s former assistant and ex-Adelaide boss Neil Craig as caretaker coach until the end of the season. That story dominated the media for only 24 hours before it emerged that veteran St Kilda goalsneak Stephen Milne had been charged with four counts of rape relating to an alleged incident in 2004. The Saints have subsequently ordered Milne to take an indefinite leave of absence while the situation is resolved.
With all the action happening away from the playing arena, it might be easy to forget how poor these clubs have been this season, particularly Melbourne. Apart from the victory over winless GWS, Melbourne has lost every game, with 7 of those 10 losses by margins of 60 points or greater. Even though St Kilda has had two wins (GWS and Carlton), at least the Saints have been competitive, only losing by more than 40 points on one occasion.
Melbourne’s marking forward Chris Dawes has recovered from a game-ending injury during the Queen’s Birthday match to be selected for this battle, while St Kilda have recalled valuable defender Sam Fisher and veteran forward Justin Koschitzke, however Saints midfield heartbeat Lenny Hayes is still out with a calf injury.
Given the off-field events this week, I don’t have much confidence predicting the margin of a likely St Kilda victory, so I will steer clear of those markets and have a nibble at the dream team markets Nick Riewoldt looks like he is in for a big afternoon against a Melbourne defence still without James Frawley, so I like the look of Riewoldt (in his 250th game) as an outsider in his dream team head to head with Leigh Montagna.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Nick Riewoldt to score more dream team points than Leigh Montagna @ 2.00 (Sportsbet)
Western Bulldogs vs. Richmond
These teams met at this venue earlier this season in Round 3 and Richmond was far too strong, winning convincingly by 67 points. The Tigers look to be in good form again this time around, with four victories from their past five matches propelling them into the top 8, and a win in this match would likely leave Damien Hardwick’s men in 6th spot with a two-game cushion over the team in 9th.
The Bulldogs, for their part, are probably tracking at or slightly above expectations even though they have only managed three wins and are sitting in 14th place on the ladder at the halfway mark of the season. The number of wins each season for the Dogs had fallen from 14 in 2010 to 9 in 2011 and then 5 last year, so if they can stabilise this year at around the 5-6 mark, I would give them a pass.
Whilst Richmond are assembling all the parts to become a successful team, the Bulldogs lack key position players in both attack and defence. Their attacking woes are illustrated by first-year player Jake Stringer averaging the most marks inside 50 per match of any Bulldog, and at just 1.71 catches per game Stringer’s average is only the 38th highest in the League and is beaten by three Richmond players.
Even though the Doggies midfield is going alright, Richmond should have far too much class and will want to post a big win to boost their percentage in what is likely to be a tight race for finals spots come the end of the season.
Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Richmond to win by 40 points or more @ 2.10 (Centrebet)
Fremantle vs. North Melbourne
Despite all their injury problems, Fremantle continue to record victories and can jump into the top 4 with a win over their unlucky opponents who will be looking to bounce back in the second half of the year after heading into last week’s bye shell-shocked after losing four matches by four points or less in the first period of the season.
North Melbourne’s inability to close out matches has been well-documented this campaign, but the Kangaroos wouldn’t want to spend too much time bemoaning their luck, because they actually have the shortest injury list of any club at the halfway stage of the season, with only untried Tom Curran listed with an injury that will keep him on the sidelines for more than one week.
Due to Fremantle coach Ross Lyon’s untra-defensive game style, matches involving Fremantle only average 160 points per game, which is 17 points per game lower than any other club! North Melbourne favour a more free-flowing game and they rank fourth for highest scoring matches, with games involving the Roos averaging 198 points per game. This contrast in styles means I will probably make the rare play of betting on the overs for the total match score line in a Fremantle game! The line for this market is set at 166.5 points and Fremantle matches have cleared this total in 5 of11 matches this season, while the only time North Melbourne failed to clear it was on a very wet night in the Gold Coast a fortnight ago. Given heavy showers are forecast for Perth this Sunday, I recommend waiting until the day of the match before making this bet.
I think this match will be more exciting than most pundits are expecting, but I will side with the majority and back the Dockers to get the job done against an opponent that typically loses the close ones.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Fremantle to win by 39 points or less @ 2.05 (Centrebet, Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Only if the weather is dry – 0.5 units on total Match Score over 166.5 @ 1.91 (Bet365)
Brisbane vs. Geelong
Brisbane were competitive for the first three quarters against Fremantle last Saturday before being overran by the hard-working Dockers in the last term, while Geelong will be fresh after having the bye last weekend and the Cats can look forward to an exciting second half of the season as they chase a top two position that would earn them a home qualifying final.
The Lions recalled a trio of important players last week and have been able to do so again here, with key position bookends Jonathan Brown and Daniel Merrett free to play after serving suspensions, while Brent Moloney is fit again suffering a bit of back stiffness since the Round 10 match against Collingwood.
Reliable Geelong defender Harry Taylor is back for the Cats after being ‘managed’ for their last game, while clever small-forward Steven Motlop and tagger Taylor Hunt also return.
With a bunch of quality players returning during recent weeks, Brisbane have actually assembled a pretty good line-up for this match and I think the Lions can push the Cats for a little while in this one. I still think Geelong will win, but it might be worth adding a cheeky bet on the Lions to win the first half if the line is around the 3 goal mark.
Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Geelong to win by 39 points or less @ 2.30 (Sportsbet)