AFL Round 20 Preview and Betting Tips

Season tally so far

Units Wagered = 316.75 units
Units Won = 313.79 units
Profit/Loss = -2.96 units (0.9% loss)

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


Cheeky Weekend Multi

Andy’s Bet:

Brandon Ellis to get more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Brett Deledio @ 1.95

Toby Greene to get more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Andrew Swallow @ 1.80

Paul Duffield to get more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Michael Johnson @ 1.85

1 unit @ combined odds of 6.49 (Sportsbet)


Friday 8 August

Richmond v Essendon

7:50 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Richmond v Essendon

Richmond have won 5 matches on the spin and are charging through the field like Lewis Hamilton starting from a low grid position. Five weeks ago the Tigers were in equal last position on the ladder and 5 wins plus percentage from the top 8, but after a winning sequence now stretching over a month, the yellow and blacks are up to 12th on the ladder and only 2 wins and minimal percentage from the top 8. I still don’t like their chances of making it to September, but the Tiger army are daring to dream.

Essendon will be the team hoping to shatter Richmond’s fairy tale story, with the Bombers currently occupying 7th spot and holding a top 8 spot due to their superior percentage over Collingwood and Gold Coast. In their four games to close out the season, Essendon play the teams ranked 9th, 11th, 12th and 13th, so the Dons will only have themselves to blame if they don’t keep their spot in the top 8.

Richmond lose in-and-under midfielder Reece Conca to suspension and have dropped misfiring small forward Sam Lloyd, with wingman Shaun Grigg and feisty back-pocket Steven Morris earning recalls. Essendon’s selection news is mostly negative, with four changes that include the omissions due to injury of experienced defender Dustin Fletcher and lead-up forward Patrick Ambrose. High-flying 20-year-old forward Joe Daniher is the headline inclusion for the Bombers.

Essendon have been beating the teams they are fighting with for the top 8, so I expect the Bombers to secure another narrow win over the latest entrant to the race for the top 8.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Essendon to win by 39 points or less @ 2.15 (Multiple Sites)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Dyson Heppell most disposals in Gr1 @ 5.00 (Sportsbet)


Saturday 9 August

Greater Western Sydney v North Melbourne

1:45 PM AEST, StarTrack Oval, Canberra

View a detailed form guide for GWS v North Melbourne

Greater Western Sydney play a few of their home games in Canberra each year, and this match against North Melbourne is one of the ones allotted to the national capital for 2014. North Melbourne enter this match after a disappointing display against Geelong last Saturday, with the loss in that game consigning the Kangaroos to back to back defeats for the first time this year. North have a cosy set of fixtures to complete the year though and should remain in the top 6 as three of their remaining four games are against bottom five teams, while the Roos will also start as favourites in their other match, which is at home against 10th placed Adelaide.

GWS have now lost five matches in a row, but they have been pretty competitive in the last two weeks, losing by only 7 points against Geelong a fortnight ago and then by 27 points against Richmond last week. Those narrow defeats have helped keep Leon Cameron’s team ahead of Melbourne and St Kilda on percentage and GWS remain a good chance to avoid the wooden spoon for the first time since they joined the league in 2012.

Giants matches in Canberra during the past two years have been quite high-scoring, with total match score climbing above 190 in four of their past five outings at the ground formerly known as Manuka Oval. Given the attacking quality for both sides, the scoreboard operators could again be in for a busy afternoon.

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Total Match Score over 189.5 @ 1.91 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Aaron Black to kick 3 or more goals @ 3.60 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Levi Greenwood most disposals in Gr2 @ 2.50 (Sportsbet)


Carlton v Gold Coast

2:10 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Carlton v Gold Coast

The pick of the Saturday afternoon matches looks to be this clash between a plucky Carlton team playing for pride and a Gold Coast outfit still in finals contention. The Blues are playing much better than their ladder position of 13th suggests, while Gold Coast secured an important win last weekend against St Kilda to climb to 9th and inject some momentum into a campaign that looked like petering out after a season-ending injury to gun midfielder Gary Ablett.

The venue for this match is crucial because Carlton’s 2014 win-loss record has been so much better at Etihad Stadium than anywhere else. This season the Blues have enjoyed a very good 5-2 winning record under the Etihad roof, while they have crashed to a woeful 1-10 record at all other grounds. So the balance is already tilted in Carlton’s favour given this game is played at Etihad Stadium, but it tilts even further when you consider that Gold Coast have lost their past five matches away from Metricon Stadium.

Add Gary Ablett’s absence to those scales and the balance crashes to the floor in favour of Carlton. Even with marking forward Lachie Henderson out for the rest of the season, the Blues appear to be playing good enough footy to account for an Ablett-less Gold Coast.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Carlton to win by 39 points or less @ 2.25 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Jarrad Waite for most goals @ 3.50 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Dale Thomas most AFL Fantasy Dream Team points in his group @ 9.00 (Sportsbet)


Hawthorn v Melbourne

4:40 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Hawthorn v Melbourne

One by one Hawthorn’s stars have been returning from injury, and as the selected line-ups have been getting stronger the Hawks have now returned to the top of the tree after a big win last Sunday over the Bulldogs. From here it will take a very good team to stop Alastair Clarkson’s mob from securing back-to-back premierships. Melbourne’s meek last quarter surrender to Brisbane last Sunday deservedly doomed the Demons to a sixth consecutive loss. Looking at their remaining fixtures, the match next week against GWS could determine the final ladder positions in the bottom three.

Hawthorn’s midfield extraction machine Sam Mitchell is back in the team after illness prevented him from appearing against the Bulldogs last Sunday, while elite runner Isaac Smith has recovered from a calf injury and also returns for the Hawks. The inclusions of Mitchell and Smith have been offset by the loss of classy forward Jack Gunston to a knee injury that is expected to keep the goalkicker out for the next three weeks.

Melbourne have made five changes at selection, with only one forced through injury. The big turnover smacks of a coach giving the promoted players one last chance to press their claims for a contract renewal before the end of the season. With a disjointed looking line-up, I can’t see the Demons getting anywhere near the ladder leaders. Hawthorn at the line is my bet of the round.

Andy’s Bet: 3 units on Hawthorn at the line (-50.5) @ 1.91 (Centrebet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Paul Puopolo to kick 3 or more goals @ 5.20 (Sportsbet)


Geelong v Fremantle

7:40 PM AEST, Simonds Stadium, Geelong

View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Fremantle

One of modern football’s most intense rivalries will resume this Saturday night down in Simonds Stadium. These clubs have crossed paths five times since the start of 2012, with Fremantle winning four times, including two finals. Worryingly for the Cats, the only time they have won during that stretch was when the Dockers fielded a weakened team during the middle of last year.

A win in this match would allow Geelong to put a padlock on their top 4 berth for the rest of the year, while a win for the Dockers would be a significant boost for their own top 4 aspirations. The Cats are in the better form right now, having won their past five games, including a comprehensive victory over North Melbourne last weekend. Fremantle had been cruising on an 8-game winning run until a loss to St Kilda a fortnight ago seemed to erode their confidence, which was clear to see during a stuttering display against Carlton last Friday night.

The Dockers haven’t gone for the complete Ross Lyon special on this road trip, with just two players left out of the team to rest niggling injuries. That is much less than Lyon is capable of doing for road trips late in the season. Geelong, meanwhile, have made the one change by bringing in Hamish McIntosh for Dawson Simpson to strengthen the Cats ruck division ahead of a date with Fremantle giant Aaron Sandilands.

The midfield battle between Fremantle stopper Ryan Crowley and Geelong duo Joel Selwood and Steve Johnson will be fascinating. Crowley has gotten the points over both players in past games, so it will be interesting to see who Lyon send Crowley towards at the first bounce. Selwood has been the most damaging Cats midfielder during the past month, so that’s where I’d put Crowley.

It’s going to be a ripper, but I think the Cats will ride the home ground advantage to a win.

Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Geelong to win by 39 points or less @ 2.15 (Centrebet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Jimmy Bartel most disposals in Gr2 @ 7.00 (Sportsbet)


Port Adelaide v Sydney

7:40 PM AEST, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Port Adelaide v Sydney

When these teams met during the middle of June, Port Adelaide were on top of the ladder and two games clear of a chasing pack that included Sydney. A Lance Franklin master class gave the Swans a win that day and the loss transformed the Power’s season. As the clubs prepare to meet again, less than two months later, Sydney are fighting for top spot with Hawthorn, with that pair two games clear of a dishevelled looking Port Adelaide team that has fallen to 5th place and is a loss away from having its top 4 hopes smashed to pieces.

Port Adelaide have lost four of their past five matches, with the losses all coming against teams ranked 7th or lower. Even their home ground fortress has not proved a sanctuary as Essendon pipped them by 2 points a month ago and, more recently, the Power were worryingly only a kick away from defeat against a disastrously out of form Melbourne.

To add to Port’s woes, Franklin returns from a game’s rest to recover from a knee complaint, while gun midfielder Dan Hannebery is back from injury for his first game since injuring his ankle against the Power in Round 13. Up until that point the 23-year-old Hannebery had been enjoying career-best numbers this season.

Port Adelaide really are out of luck, because they have also been struck down by illness as five of their players have contracted viral meningitis during the past week. The only good news for the Power is that they are playing on their home ground, otherwise this would be a smashing.

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Sydney to win @ 1.48 (Pinnacle)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Lance Franklin most goals @ 3.50 (Sportsbet)


Sunday 10 August

Brisbane Lions v Adelaide

1:10 PM AEST, Gabba, Brisbane

View a detailed form guide for Brisbane v Adelaide

You can guarantee that fans of North Melbourne, Essendon, Collingwood, Gold Coast, West Coast and Richmond (if the Tigers win on Friday night) will be cheering for Brisbane to win this game and take the points away from Adelaide. The Crows are currently 10th and a game outside the top 8, but they do have a decent percentage. Brisbane have been a much improved team since their Round 10 bye, winning 5 of their past 9 matches to climb to 15th and well away from wooden spoon danger. Adelaide also have a 5-4 record during the same period, so there is not much to split these terms in terms of form.

Brisbane’s upswing in form during the second half of this season is closely replicating what they did in the second half of their 2013 campaign. Last year the Lions went 3-8 through their first 11 games before turning things around with a 7-4 record in their last 11 matches. This year they were 1-8 through the first 9 matches, before going 5-4 during the past 9 rounds. If only the Lions could start the season stronger!

In their past three home games at the Gabba, Brisbane have beaten North Melbourne (6th) by 4 points, lost to West Coast (11th) by 12 points and beaten Gold Coast (9th) by 54 points. Based on those results, the Lions should push Adelaide all the way. This game could be a bit topsy-turvy and I will take any other result in the wire to wire market, which basically means that I don’t expect either team to be able to lead at the end of every quarter.

Andy’s Bet: 1 units on any other result in the wire to wire market @ 2.10 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Richard Douglas over 22.5 disposals @ 1.90 (Sportsbet)


St Kilda v Western Bulldogs

3:20 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for St Kilda v Western Bulldogs

For last placed St Kilda, this clash against the 14th placed Western Bulldogs represents their best chance of climbing away from the foot of the ladder by the end of the season. Following this game, the Saints  face interstate trips to Sydney and Adelaide either side of a match at the MCG against an in-form Richmond. The Bulldogs seem to have an endless array of talented young midfielders and flankers, but the Doggies have not actually improved their win-loss record from last year and still need to find two more victories from this campaign to match their tally of wins from 2013.

These clubs have followed very similar trajectories during the past 6-7 years, with appearances deep in September during 2008-10 followed by the inevitable decline into rebuilding mode. St Kilda got much closer to winning Premierships than the Bulldogs during the 2008-10 period, but the Dogs seem to be at a much more advanced stage in their rebuild as 2014 draws to a close. It is going to be difficult for many clubs to compete with Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney during the next 5-10 years, but the Bulldogs are assembling a list that could pinch a flag in about 2018. St Kilda’s best hope is to peak a few years later and hope to hit GWS and Gold Coast on the decline.

Anyway, that’s enough crystal balling into the distant future, this week is an important game for both clubs for different reasons. The Doggies development is dinted by losses in games like these, while the Saints have a chance to avoid their first wooden spoon since 2000. I think the Bulldogs will have too much depth and should open up a match-winning lead with a burst of goals at some stage during the four quarters.

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Western Bulldogs to win by 16 points or more @ 1.60 (Bookmaker)


West Coast v Collingwood

4:40 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for West Coast v Collingwood

Collingwood will begin the weekend in 8th spot on the ladder, but by the time the Magpies run through their banner in the late afternoon Sunday match, it is very likely that either Gold Coast or Adelaide will have taken the Pies spot in the top 8. This means the pressure will be on Collingwood to get a result in this clash against a West Coast side that will also be chasing the four points, because the Eagles conjured an upset victory over Adelaide last week to keep Adam Simpson’s team within two games of the top 8.

I only caught glimpses of West Coast’s win last weekend, but the Eagles looked like they had their forward line functioning the best it has since the beginning of the season. Marking targets Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling combined for eight goals, while the crumbing forwards and midfielders combined for plenty of other six-pointers. West Coast’s dominance was reflected by the fact they had 36 scoring shots to Adelaide’s 25.

Collingwood showed some improvement in their defeat against Adelaide a fortnight ago, and the Magpies backed that up with a similarly intense effort against Port Adelaide last Sunday, which was turned into an important win thanks to the Pies cleaner ball use forward of the centre.

This game should be another ripper to round out a weekend of great football. I am going to side with the Eagles because I thought their win last week was more meritorious and they also have the home ground advantage.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on West Coast to win by 24 points or less @ 3.50 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Mark Hutchings most AFL Fantasy Dream Team points in his group @ 7.00 (Sportsbet)


Betting Summary

Round by Round Summary


Units Wagered

Net Round Result (Units)

% Profit














































































Bet Type Summary

Bet Type


Net Result

% Profit

Goals Pick Your Own Line








2-leg Multi




AFL Fantasy Dream Team Group




AFL Fantasy Dream Team Individual Line




Team Goals (line)




Supercoach player H2H




Win by 40 points or more




Either team by 15 points or less




Win by 70-79 points




Win by 24 points or less




Wire to Wire (any other result)




AFL Fantasy Dream Team H2H




Most Disposals in Group B




Supercoach group




First Half line




Win by 25 points or more




Win by 60 points or more




Supercoach Individual Line




Half Time/Full Time




Medal Winner




Time First Goal




Win by 20-39 points




Win by 40-59 points




Team Score (Line)




Anytime goalscorer




Win by 19 points or less




Either team by 24 points or less




Total Match Score (line)




Second Half Line




Most Goals




Win Q4




Individual Player Disposals (Line)




Win by 39 points or less




Win by 16 points or more




Most Disposals in Group A




3-leg multi









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