AFL Round 7 Preview and Betting Tips

Season tally so far

Units Wagered = 105.75 units
Units Won = 109.87 units
Profit/Loss = +4.12 units (3.9% profit)

See the bottom of the article for a more detailed analysis of betting results.


Cheeky Weekend Multi

Andy’s Bet:

Total match score over 169.5 in GWS v Port Adelaide game @ 1.88

Melbourne to score under 65.5 points @ 1.88

Total match score over 159.5 in West Coast v Fremantle game @ 1.88

1 unit @ combined odds of 6.64 (Sportsbet)


Friday 2 May

Carlton v Collingwood

7:50 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Carlton v Collingwood

Two of the league’s fiercest rivals go head to head in this Friday night blockbuster. Former Magpie fan favourite Dale Thomas made a high-profile defection to the Blues during the off-season, following on from former Pie coach Mick Malthouse’s switch from black and white to navy blue a season earlier. The manner in which both Malthouse and Thomas departed means a bit of spice has been added to a rivalry that was already hot enough to singe the tastebuds.

Collingwood have had the edge over Carlton in recent seasons, winning 7 of the past 9 meetings between the clubs, including both matches last year. The Blues did manage to take the points on both occasions during 2012, however both of those results were enabled by influential displays from midfielder Chris Judd who was awarded the three brownlow votes in those games. Interestingly, Carlton have only beaten Collingwood three times since the start of 2009 and Judd was awarded best on ground honours each time, which is significant because he will miss this match with a hamstring injury.

Judd’s absence means that in-form Collingwood tagger Brent Macaffer will almost certainly be deployed to negate Carlton skipper Marc Murphy, who is also in good form. This battle will be pivotal to the outcome of this game as the Blues have struggled this year whenever Murphy has been well held. Collingwood seem to have more aces in midfield with famed trio Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams and Dane Swan all doing some damage against Essendon on ANZAC Day last Friday. Swan’s resurgence in the past fortnight is particularly concerning for opposition teams already struggling to contain Pendlebury and Beams.

Carlton have enough tricks to really test Collingwood in this one, with the Blues run off half back and marking targets particularly dangerous, but the Magpies look to be a more settled and consistent side and should take the win.

Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Collingwood to win by 39 points or less @ 2.10 (Sportsbet)


Saturday 3 May

Hawthorn v St Kilda

1:45 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn v St Kilda

Hawthorn bounced back from their Easter Monday loss to Geelong with a typically emphatic win by 66 points last Sunday against Richmond. St Kilda, meanwhile, couldn’t recover from a sluggish first half and slipped to a disappointing loss against the previously winless Brisbane. That result was frustrating because a win would have lifted the Saints into the top 8, although their ladder position is a little bit flattering considering they are yet to play a team ranked higher than 7th placed West Coast.

With Hawthorn expected to win this match comfortably, a little subplot worth following will be the battle between ex-Saint Ben McEvoy, who will be playing his first game in the ruck against his old club. Tom Hickey has really developed at the Saints in McEvoy’s absence, but he has been ruled out for this match with a foot injury and has been replaced by Billy Longer, who was recruited from Brisbane in the off-season to help fill McEvoy’s void. Longer will need to lift his output from his only previous game this season when he was towelled up by Adelaide’s Sam Jacobs. Otherwise McEvoy will continue his great form from last week and be one of the most dominant players on the ground.

Following on from my previews last week when I noted that Nick Riewoldt had scored 33% of his teams goals this season, the Lions were able to restrict Riewoldt to 1 goal and win the game last Friday. It will be tough for Riewoldt again this week as he will almost certainly have Brian Lake as a direct opponent, with Josh Gibson floating across to provide spoiling support for Lake.

There are no such problems in attack for Hawthorn, with Cyril Rioli lighting it up last week to add his name alongside Jarryd Roughead, Jack Gunston, Luke Bruest and David Hale as a dangerous goal scoring threat inside the attacking fifty.

It is the biggest test of the year so far for the Saints, if they get within 10 goals I think they will have done well.

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Hawthorn at the line (-51.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)


Greater Western Sydney v Port Adelaide

2:10 PM AEST, StarTrack Oval, Canberra

View a detailed form guide for GWS v Port Adelaide

In 2012, Port Adelaide were the basket case of the leauge, becoming the only established club to lose to Greater Western Sydney in the Giants’ first season. That came a year after the Power were the first team to lose to Gold Coast. Those dark years are becoming an increasingly distant memory as Port Adelaide are undergoing a speedy transforming under the astute coaching of Ken Hinkley. Hinkley guided the club to the second week of the finals last year and the Power have becoming an even stronger force this year, surging to the top of the table last weekend with a victory over Geelong.

GWS picked up some early season wins this year to raise expectations, however the still relatively inexperienced Giants have lost their last three, including the last two by 40 points or more. I actually think GWS will start this game pretty well and Port Adelaide might get caught out after earning an excellent result last weekend.

The Giants will be aided by the inclusion of four ‘best 22’ players from injury or suspension. Toby Greene, Dylan Shiel, Rhys Palmer and Josh Greene will all help the expansion clubs midfield capacity, but I still expect the young’uns to succumb to Port Adelaide’s running game in the second half.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Port Adelaide at the second half line (-23.5) @ 1.85 (Bet365)


Adelaide v Melbourne

4:40 PM AEST, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v Melbourne

Adelaide are one of the form teams at the moment, winning three matches on the spin to tidy up their win-loss record to a respectable 3-3. The Crows currently sit 10th on the ladder, which seems quite fair considering they have lost to all three teams they have played that are ranked above them on the ladder, and beaten all three below them. Melbourne enter this match in second last on the ladder, but the Demons appear to have added some defensive steel this year under new coach Paul Roos.

Roos has clearly focussed on tightening up Melbourne’s backline, reducing their average points conceded per game down to 80, which is a big improvement on an average of 122 last year and 106 in 2012. This defensive focus has come at a cost though, with the Demons now only averaging 54 points per game this season, compared with 66 last year and 72 in 2012. Even though it might not be as pretty, this strategy is going to be more sustainable for the Demons in the long term until they develop some dangerous forwards.

Melbourne’s defensive discipline will be tested by Adelaide, with the Crows preferring to play a more adventurous brand of football that sees them ranked as the 3rd best offensive team for points scored. Adelaide are playing with confidence at the moment and should record a comfortable win.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Adelaide at the line (-42.5) @ 1.92 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Melbourne to score under 65.5 points @ 1.88 (Sportsbet)


Essendon v Western Bulldogs

7:40 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Essendon v Western Bulldogs

Essendon’s 2014 season has reached a fork in the road. After a vibrant first three weeks, the Bombers season has spluttered to a halt with three consecutive losses. Despite sitting at 2-4, Essendon still have a percentage above 100 and can look forward to five of their next six fixtures coming against teams currently ranked in the bottom 6. If they win all of those matches, as they are capable of doing, then the win-loss record could become something like 7-5.

The Western Bulldogs are the first of those bottom 6 teams that will face Essendon over the next month and a half. The Doggies showed signs of improvement against Adelaide last week, but threw away an early lead and fell to a 9 point defeat, leaving their season in a precarious position. I know they’ve got a developing list but I was expecting more from the Doggies this year.

There is a big in for either team at selection, with Essendon’s influential midfielder Brendan Goddard returning from injury, while reliable defender Dale Morris is a valuable addition for the Bulldogs to counter the Bombers aerial threat.

Despite their form in recent weeks I still think Essendon have got what it takes to bring themselves back into finals contention, but they need to start winning soon!

I am adding a second bet, whic is based on AFL Fantasy Dream Team. On the five occasions that Jack Macrae and Ryan Griffen have played together this season, Macrae has outscored Griffen each time by at least 25 points. Griffen is gradually playing more minues in the midfield as he regains his fitness, which will improve his point scoring ability, but he is likely to cop the Heath Hocking tag and that makes Macrae a good chance to score more points than Griffen for a sixth straight week.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Essendon at the line (-22.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Jack Macrae to score more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Ryan Griffen @ 1.80 (Sportsbet)


Brisbane Lions v Sydney

7:40 PM AEST, Gabba, Brisbane

View a detailed form guide for Brisbane v Sydney

There was a time long before the arrival of Gold Coast and GWS when there were two other clubs fighting for respect in the northern states. Aussie Rules expanded to Sydney and Brisbane back in the 80’s, and for a while the AFL was trying to promote a bit of a rivalry between Swans and the Bears (as they were then known), but that never really took off despite both clubs winning multiple premierships since the turn of the century.

So, in the grandest traditions of this fixture, we have another low-key clash to look forward to. Sydney travel north after securing back to back wins, which has helped breathe life into a season which was in danger of slipping away after some shock early defeats. Brisbane will be in a confident mood when they welcome their southern neighbours after the Lions posted their first win of the season with a gritty 3 point win over St Kilda in Wellington on ANZAC Day. The Lions played their best football of the year during the first half of that match with the Saints, but were very fortunate to hold on as they ran out of steam during the second half.

Sydney’s big off-season recruit Lance Franklin misses this match with a slight knee injury and it will be fascinating to see how the Swans forward line performs in his absence. Perhaps the Swans will be more unpredictable and dangerous, similar to what has happened this season at Hawthorn, Franklin’s old club. I think Sydney will win this match by at least 30 points, making them a good option at the line.

Brisbane faded in their second half last week, which is a trend that has developed for them this year. The Lions have lost all of their second halves by an average margin of 34 points, meaning I am going to have a nibble on the Swans for the second half line as well.

Finally, Luke Parker has scored more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Ben McGlynn in 3 of their past 4 matches. I think he is a great chance to do so again at nearly even money.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Sydney at the line (-25.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Sydney at the second half line (-13.5) @ 1.90 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Luke Parker to score more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Ben McGlynn @ 1.80 (Sportsbet)


Sunday 4 May

North Melbourne v Gold Coast

1:10 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for North Melbourne v Gold Coast

The early Sunday kickoff promises to be one of the most intriguing matches of the weekend. North Melbourne and Gold Coast both lie on 4-2 and sit just outside the top 4 entering Round 7. The Kangaroos returned from a daunting interstate fixture with four points for the second time this season after Brad Scott’s team conjured a rare victory over Fremantle in Perth last Friday night. Gold Coast have notched successive wins in the past two weeks, but those wins were only secured against Melbourne and GWS.

Despite their impressive win-loss record Gold Coast have only managed wins against teams in the bottom six, notably being beaten by 99 points against Hawthorn and 48 points to Fremantle on the only two previous occasions when they have met teams in the top 8. North Melbourne, conversely, have performed well against the stronger teams, with the Kangas being the only team to defeat Port Adelaide, which preceded the bold interstate wins against Sydney and Fremantle.

Ultimately, this is a match hosted by a team chasing a top 4 spot, with their visitors chasing a top 8 position. That tells us that one team is at a more advanced stage, and given that team has the home ground advantage, that’s where my money is going.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on North Melbourne to win by 39 points or less @ 2.20 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Gary Ablett to have over 32.5 disposals @ 1.87 (Sportsbet)


Geelong v Richmond

3:20 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Richmond

For the second successive week, Richmond face the previous Round’s ladder leader on the rebound after a loss. For a side trying to work their own way into a season, this current run of fixtures is testing the Tigers resolve. Tipped by most pundits to play finals this season, a loss this week would leave Richmond two wins plus percentage outside the top 8.

This is an important game for Geelong too, because the Cats follow this game with the bye, then a trip to Fremantle, a match with North Melbourne and a trip to Sydney. A couple of losses in that tough stretch would place Geelong’s spot in the top 4 in jeopardy.

I don’t think Geelong will have too many problems this week though, with the match committee adding dynamic forward Steven Motlop to the team that started the season so well. Richmond will be boosted by the return of elite midfielder Brett Deledio, but I am surprised that the Tigers have decided to omit promising key position youngsters Dylan Grimes and Ben Griffiths.

Are Geelong a five goal better team than Richmond? I think so.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Geelong at the line (-29.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Steve Johnson to score over 116.5 AFL Fantasy Dream Team points @ 1.87 (Sportsbet)


West Coast v Fremantle

4:40 PM AEST, Patersons Stadium, Perth

View a detailed form guide for West Coast v Fremantle

The round concludes with another late Sunday special. This week the twilight timeslot will see West Coast and Fremantle battle it out in what should be a typically ferocious western derby. A spot in the top 8 is on the line for both clubs after West Coast have dropped three in a row, and Fremantle have let slip three of their past four. It was only four weeks ago that these teams were occupying the top two rungs on the ladder at the end of Round 2!

Both clubs have recalled some experienced players from injury or suspension. West Coast have recalled veteran key position defender Darren Glass and rebounding defender Shannon Hurn, while Fremantle have recalled ball-magnet Michael Barlow and pesky small forward Hayden Ballantyne.

The Eagles really missed Glass’s experience during the final term against Carlton last week, letting slip a four goal lead in the last 10 minutes. West Coast’s performance for most of the night was actually pretty good and ignoring the first and last 10 minutes they were actually ahead in the rest of the game by 50 points.

I can’t pick a winner and think it will be a close game, so I will have a small interest on either team winning by 24 points or less.

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on either team to win by 24 points or less @ 1.70 (Centrebet)


Betting Summary


Units Wagered Net Round Result (Units) % Profit Cumulative Net Result Cumulative % Profit
1 18.5 13.24 71.6% 13.24 71.6%
2 16.5 1.17 7.1% 14.41 41.2%
3 15.75 -4.625 -29.4% 9.785 19.3%
4 19 4.26 22.4% 14.045 20.1%
5 17.5 -6.295 -36.0% 7.75 8.9%
6 18.5 -3.63 -19.6% 4.12 3.9%


Bet Type Bets Net Result % Profit
H2H 12 4.91 32%
2-leg Multi 6 4.25 71%
Team Goals (line) 1 2.55 85%
Supercoach group 1 2 200%
Supercoach player H2H 3 1.95 28%
Goals Pick Your Own Line 3 1.75 78%
Dream Team Individual Line 1 1.74 87%
Win by 40 points or more 1 1.34 134%
Second Half Line 1 0.9 90%
Team Score (Line) 1 0.88 88%
Either Team 15 points or less 1 0.825 165%
25 points or more 1 0.82 82%
16 points or more 1 0.68 68%
Most Disposals in Group B 6 0.5 12%
Line 15 -0.1 -1%
Dream Team Group 1 -0.5 -100%
Half Time/Full Time 1 -0.5 -100%
Medal Winner 1 -0.5 -100%
Time First Goal 1 -0.5 -100%
Most Disposals in Group A 4 -0.7 -16%
3-leg multi 1 -1 -100%
Win by 19 points or less 1 -1 -100%
Either Team 24 points or less 2 -1.5 -100%
Win Q4 1 -2 -100%
Total Match Score (line) 8 -3.125 -30%
Win by 39 points or less 12 -4.55 -40%
Most Goals 9 -5 -69%
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