AFL Round 23 Preview and Betting Tips

Season tally so far

Units Wagered = 383.50 units
Units Won = 382.92 units
Profit/Loss = -0.58 units (0.2% loss)

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


Cheeky Weekend Multi

Andy’s Bet:

Hawthorn to score over 119.5 points @ 1.88

Danyle Pearce to kick a goal at anytime during the Fremantle v Port Adelaide game @ 2.00

Pearce Hanley to score more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Stefan Martin @ 1.88

1 unit @ combined odds of 7.06 (Sportsbet)


Friday 29 August

Collingwood v Hawthorn

7:50 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Collingwood v Hawthorn

Collingwood arrives at the final round of the home and away season in 9th spot, but even the most optimistic Magpie supporter would admit the Pies have an injury list that is longer than Lindsay Lohan’s rap sheet and are virtually zero chance of winning this game and playing finals. Hawthorn was handicapped by injuries to many stars during the middle part of the season, however the Hawks managed to scrape enough wins together to remain ensconced in the top 4 and a victory on Friday night will earn Alastair Clarkson’s men a home Qualifying Final.

Three important senior players all picked up season-ending injuries during Collingwood’s game last week, including 2011 Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan and one of the league best taggers, Brent Macaffer. Hawthorn has also lost three players to injury from the team that played last week, with captain Luke Hodge the most notable Hawks absentee.

The Magpies team is incredibly youthful and 14 of their 22 selected players have played 51 or fewer career games. Teams with that much youth don’t win matches against the reigning Premiers. It just doesn’t happen.

Collingwood have been dining out on finals football each year since 2006. This September the Magpies will be going hungry.

Andy’s Bet: 3 units on Hawthorn at the line (-47.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Jordan Lewis over 27.5 disposals @ 1.87 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Steele Sidebottom to get 30 or more disposals @ 2.90 (Sportsbet)


Saturday 30 August

Carlton v Essendon

1:45 PM AEST, MCG, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Carlton v Essendon

The MCG will be bathed in glorious sunshine for this premium fixture between two league heavyweights and arch-rivals. Despite the fact Carlton have no chance of improving their 13th placed ladder position, the Blues have a strong dislike for Essendon and will be aiming to dent the Bombers confidence ahead of the finals series. If 7th placed Essendon do lose, they risk slipping to 8th spot on the ladder and a potentially daunting interstate trip to face Port Adelaide or Fremantle in an Elimination Final.

Carlton captain Marc Murphy seems to have passed a midweek concussion test and has been named to lead the Blues into battle this Saturday just 8 days after copping a severe knock to the head against Port Adelaide. The Blues appear to be going all-out for a win over their foe by dropping three inexperienced players and bringing in a trio of hardened campaigners. At Essendon, the Bombers training curse continued and key forward Jake Carlisle picked up a hamstring injury that will sideline him for the next two weeks, with Carlisle’s injury coming just a week after gun midfielder Dyson Heppell broke his hand during a training drill. The good news for the Dons is that Heppell only missed a week and will be back in the red and black this Saturday afternoon.

I am expecting a terrific contest in this match and I fancy that it will go right to the wire!

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on either team to win by 15 points or less @ 2.80 (Palmerbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Jarrad Waite to kick 4 or more goals @ 4.00 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Total Match Score over 174.5 @ 1.91 (Bet365)


Fremantle v Port Adelaide

3:10 PM AEST, Patersons Stadium, Perth

View a detailed form guide for Fremantle v Port Adelaide

It might seem strange to say this before the final match of the regular season for two teams that are fighting for a spot in the top 4, but history says the loser of this game can kiss goodbye to their Premiership aspiration. Since the current finals system was first implemented in 2000, no team that has reached the grand final after finishing the home and away season outside the top 4. In fact, only twice since 2000 has a team outside the top 4 reached the Preliminary Final in that year.

Both these teams make the most of their home-ground advantage and, crucially, the Dockers will get the benefit of playing in front of their home crowd this week. Fremantle have a 10-1 record at Patersons Stadium this year, compared to a 5-5 record elsewhere, demonstrating how much more effective they are when playing on home turf. Port Adelaide’s contrast between home and away form is not quite as stark, but the Power are only 5-4 on the road this campaign, meaning Ken Hinkley’s men will arrive in Perth as underdogs.

Fremantle are still without gun midfielders Nat Fyfe due to suspension, but fellow ball magnet Michael Barlow returns earlier then expected from a broken thumb and skipper Matthew Pavlich is also back in the side after being a late withdrawal last week.

The home ground factor should propel Fremantle to an important win.

Andy’s Bet: 2 units on Fremantle to win @ 1.45 (Centrebet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Michael Walters most goals @ 5.50 (Sportsbet)


Sydney v Richmond

4:40 PM AEST, ANZ Stadium, Sydney

View a detailed form guide for Sydney v Richmond

For the first time in many weeks, Richmond is the master of its own destiny. If the Tigers can win this weekend then they will play finals. After 8 successive wins, Richmond has climbed from 16th to 8th, however their final task will be their toughest, with a trip to Sydney to face the top of the ladder Swans. Richmond’s scenario is a bit like all the old video games where each level needed to be negotiated before the big finale against a powerful boss that was typically tough to kill. In this game the role of the boss will be played by Sydney’s league leading goal kicker Lance Franklin.

Richmond will obviously take confidence from their 8-match winning streak, but the Tigers will also be heartened because this game will be played at ANZ Stadium rather than the SCG, which is Sydney’s preferred home ground. Since the start of the 2013 season, Sydney has an excellent 14-1-2 record at the SCG and a far less imposing 3-3 record at ANZ Stadium.

Sydney is guaranteed to play a home Qualifying Final next week, but the Swans have resisted the urge to rest any of their players, naming a very strong squad for this match. Richmond have made just the one selection change and have boosted their squad by including powerful midfielder Dustin Martin.

Richmond have won their last four interstate matches and even though Sydney is the toughest test of all, I think the Tigers will take it right up to the premiership favourites. I am not sure the yellow and blacks will get the win they need, but I think they can cover the line.

Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Richmond at the line (+21.5) @ 1.93 (Sportsbet)


Geelong v Brisbane Lions

7:40 PM AEST, Simonds Stadium, Geelong

View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Brisbane

If Geelong wins this game they will almost certainly finish the season in third and face an MCG Qualifying Final showdown against Hawthorn, while a loss would probably consign the Cats to a daunting trip to Sydney in week one of the finals. Brisbane don’t have any exciting permutations or combinations riding on this game, with their possible final ladder positions ranging from 13th-15th.

Simonds Stadium has been a fortress for Geelong in recent seasons, with the Cats winning 51 of their past 53 matches at the ‘Cattery’ since the start of the 2008 season. Brisbane did come within a point of winning the corresponding fixture last year, but that was when the Lions were playing for a spot in the finals and Geelong were unable to change their final ladder position. Given the Lions poorer 2014 campaign, the stakes are rather different this time compared to last year’s match.

Geelong have lost a couple of fringe players to injury and have elected to rest senior trio Hamish McIntosh, Steven Motlop and Allen Christensen. Notably, mercurial midfielder Steve Johnson does not make a return from a foot injury. Brisbane have made four changes, three of which were forced by injury or retirement, although ruckman Matthew Leuenberger is a big inclusion after recovering from knee and Achilles injuries to play his first game for the Lions since April.

For this match I am taking Geelong at the 20-39 and 40-59 markets, which is essentially giving me odds of $2.10 for them to win by 20-59 points.

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Geelong to win by 20-39 points @ 4.30 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.5 units on Geelong to win by 40-59 points @ 4.20 (Sportsbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Tom Hawkins most goals @ 2.50 (Sportsbet)


North Melbourne v Melbourne

7:40 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for North Melbourne v Melbourne

This match is the only dead rubber of the day and it is tough to get excited about it. Regardless of the result in this match, North Melbourne is guaranteed to be playing an Elimination Final at the MCG on the first weekend of September. For 17th placed Melbourne, a win would ensure the Demons don’t finish with the wooden spoon, but they should be fairly safe from that unwanted prize considering the only team ranked below them, St Kilda, faces a daunting interstate trip to Adelaide.

The Kangaroos have picked up wins during their last three starts and look to be in good form ahead of their finals campaign. Things are not so rosy at Melbourne though, with the Demons currently on a 9-game losing streak, including losses by at least 50 points in their last three outings. The early season promise under new coach Paul Roos has vanished and Melbourne now appears to be a lower-scoring version of the the many awful teams that have worn red and blue since the club slipped to the foot of the ladder in 2007.

North Melbourne is still without game-breaking half-forward flanker Brent Harvey, who will serve the second of a three-game suspension, but the Kangaroos have recalled classy midfielder Daniel Wells from his suspension. The Roos have taken the opportunity to rest a few senior players by giving ruckman Todd Goldstein, midfielder Levi Greenwood, forward Lindsay Thomas and defenders Luke McDonald and Michael Firrito the week off to freshen up before the finals. The Kangaroos should get the job done comfortably, but perhaps Melbourne’s defensive pressure will keep the margin down.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on North Melbourne to win by 39 points or less @ 2.56 (Palmerbet)

Andy’s Bet: 0.75 units on Ryan Bastinac most disposals in Gr2 @ 5.00 (Sportsbet)


Sunday 31 August

Gold Coast v West Coast

1:10 PM AEST, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

View a detailed form guide for Gold Coast v West Coast

If the formbook runs true and both Collingwood and Richmond lose their matches, then West Coast will begin this match playing for a spot in the finals and this contest will be well worth watching. However, if either the Magpies or Tigers win their games, then this match will be an absolute fizzer and I would recommend doing some housework to earn some points with your better half before you set up camp on the couch for all four finals games next weekend!

Any remote chance Gold Coast had of sneaking into the finals disappeared last week after a brave Suns performance only ended in defeat against Essendon. That result was Gold Coast’s fifth loss in six matches since skipper and midfield maestro Gary Ablett suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Collingwood in Round 16.

The main selection news is West Coast’s recall of ruckman Nic Naitanui, while fellow Eagle big man Dean Cox misses with soreness. Cox has already announced he will retire at the end of the season, so if West Coast doesn’t qualify for the finals, Cox won’t be seen an AFL field again.

If West Coast is playing for a top 8 spot, then I expect the Eagles will post a big win because they will want to get a big percentage gap on Adelaide, who is playing bottom placed St Kilda later on Sunday afternoon. Therefore, West Coast at the line looks good value to me.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on West Coast at the line (-16.5) @ 1.93 (Bet365)


Adelaide v St Kilda

3:20 PM AEST, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v St Kilda

For 11th placed Adelaide to play finals they need a few things to go their way. Firstly, they require Collingwood to lose on Friday night, then Richmond to lose on Saturday afternoon, and then finally they need West Coast to lose in the early Sunday game, or, if West Coast win, the Crows will need to beat St Kilda by about 60 points more than the Eagles beat Gold Coast. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No.

St Kilda also have plenty to play for as a win would probably ensure the Saints avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, while everyone except Adelaide supporters would be hoping for St Kilda to win as a tribute to the universally loved retiring Saints legend Lenny Hayes. The ‘Hayes Factor’ should not be overlooked considering St Kilda has only won one match since Round 5, which was against then second placed Fremantle on the first weekend after Hayes announced this would be his last season.

St Kilda is 0-8 away from Etihad Stadium so far this season, so even though the ‘Hayes Factor’ is on their side, I can’t see the Saints overcoming an Adelaide side that could potentially be playing a spot in the finals.

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Adelaide at the line (-54.5) @ 1.92 (Sportsbet)


Western Bulldogs v Greater Western Sydney

4:40 PM AEST, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

View a detailed form guide for Western Bulldogs v GWS

The home and away season will conclude with this low-key match between Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney. On paper this looks like a classic dead rubber, but I am still going to get excited by it because I expect these teams are going to competition powerhouses challenging for Premierships in about three years from now. Matches like this excite me because I feel like am glimpsing into the future.

Unfortunately GWS is missing about 10 players from their best line-up due to injury, so a Western Bulldogs team that is closer to full strength should have few problems signing off the 2014 season in style. This match takes on greater significance for the Bulldogs because it will be the final match for one of their favourite sons, the retiring half-forward flanker Daniel Giansiracusa.

GWS faded against an injury-hit Collingwood team last week, so I think the Giants are all but of gas and the Doggies can post a big win.

Andy’s Bet: 1.5 units on Western Bulldogs to win by 40 points or more @ 3.00 (Palmerbet)

Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Toby Greene to get more AFL Fantasy Dream Team points than Jack Macrae @ 1.88 (Sportsbet)



Betting Summary

Round by Round Summary


Units Wagered

Net Round Result (Units)

% Profit


























































































Bet Type Summary

Bet Type


Net Result

% Profit

AFL Fantasy Dream Team Group




Goals Pick Your Own Line




2-leg Multi








Team Goals (line)




Supercoach player H2H




Win by 40 points or more




Either team by 15 points or less




Win by 70-79 points




AFL Fantasy Dream Team H2H




Wire to Wire (any other result)




Supercoach group




First Half line




Win by 24 points or less




Win by 60 points or more




Win by 25 points or more




Team Score (Line)




Most Disposals in Group B




Win by 39 points or less




Supercoach Individual Line




Half Time/Full Time




Medal Winner




Time First Goal




Win by 20-39 points




Win by 40-59 points




Wire to Wire (lead at end of every qtr)




Anytime goalscorer




Win by 19 points or less




Either team by 24 points or less




Total Match Score (line)




AFL Fantasy Dream Team Individual Line




3-leg multi




Second Half Line




Win Q4




Most Disposals in Group A




Most Goals




Win by 16 points or more




Individual Player Disposals (Line)









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