“It’s like a nervous breakdown with a paycheck.” – Pat Williams, NBA coach.
Round 17 has most of us looking forward to some great contests where each of the top 8 play each other. From a sports investment perspective, it is a great week of AFL betting – not having to lay too many points on the favourites and getting just a few points from the underdogs.
Let’s get to the lines.
A close game is predicted by the bookies for the Friday night clash – a line set more out of short-term factors than anything. At the start of the year this line would have Geelong as comfortable favourites, and sure, plenty has changed since then that would warrant having Essendon as favourites. But with Essendon nursing injuries to key players and having a habit of being inconsistent, and Geelong – arguably on the slide but still with plenty of talent, we would have Geelong as slight favourites. Should be a great game.
Collingwood vs Hawthorn at the ‘G on what should be a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Another game with the bookmakers listing this at a pick – getting essentially evens for either team here. Would expect Hawthorn to ease on Saturday morning as this has been the early trend and without Buddy this is likely to continue.
Adelaide at home to a West Coast team that has battled these past few weeks. Just sneaking past North Melbourne, then a loss to Sydney at home, they come in as underdogs here against Adelaide at AAMI stadium. Will be interesting to see where this line finishes up, would expect it to continue to warm towards Adelaide. Currently at -14.5 points.
The Lions are playing away, but only travelling locally to tackle the Gold Coast. The Lions should find this fairly easy going, but bookmakers aren’t keen to offer too many points with the Gold Coast on the back of their win last week. Black, Brown and Merrett are all out there, Daniel Rich the only real name missing for the Lions. Gary Ablett will want to be up and about for the Suns.
Anything could happen with this one. Will not be touching it. Dogs well and truly down on form and confidence, and Carlton always seem to disappoint.
Melbourne’s home game up in Darwin. They have been further hit by injuries last week after losing big Jamar and small forward Bennell. Adds to their difficulties as a team in poor form. Port Adelaide were not far away last week against Essendon, and should find the 7.5 easy to cover should they bring the solid football they played last week.
Sydney have been fantastic of late, covering their last three games by big margins. St. Kilda have been bothersome for a few opponents this year, and are able to win plenty of contested ball and as a result put offensive pressure on to their opponents. We put this line ourselves at Sydney -19.5/-20.5.
Richmond and North Melbourne, and not much is splitting them according to the bookmakers. Petrie has been in form and the Tigers welcome back Dustin Martin from club punishment. It’s hard to believe the turnaround in the Kangaroos – they deserve credit for regrouping and pushing good teams to the limit.
Fremantle host the Giants this week and a big loss is on the cards. It is just a question of magnitude, will the Dockers win by 100 points or more? They will look to add percentage and charge towards a finals berth. Most recently, Fremantle have had a habit of covering ATS and this week a lofty -80.5 is about right. It’s all up to GWS to see whether the Dockers cover – if they are persistent enough in the second half on the wide spaces at Patersons they may only lose by 40-50 points.
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