AFL Round Eleven Preview – Part Une

Time for the first of a two part look at this weekend’s round of AFL football.

I’m in no way receiving kickbacks from TABSportsbet I’m simply using their markets as a guide. If you can find a better price, then I wish you all the very best of luck.

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Round 11 kicks off tonight when Essendon takes on Melbourne at the MCG. TABSportsbet has the Bombers raging fave’s at $1.22 and there’s not a lot of love for the Dee’s at $4.20.

On paper, you would think the Don’s: experience and possible key position winners, but there’s evidence to suggest that so far, teams have struggled coming up off the bye. The Bombers will also be without Jobe Watson and Michael Hurley.

The loss of Watson immediately puts the Dees midfield at an advantage, but their forward line in recent weeks has been non-existent. While Trengove and Tom Scully are welcome additions for the Dee’s, they still have too many of their best 22 in the stands watching or simply not firing.

Major concerns though, that the Dees have chosen to publicly take opposing players statements out of context as some kind of motivational tool. Add to that mix players coming out and suggesting they’re going to be even harder and you’ve got the umpires over-sensitised and watching for aggression beyond the ball. It could work against the Dee’s (And let’s be honest, Brad Green talking tough as the back page lead of today’s Herald Sun carries about as much weight as Tony Abbot calling for a bi-partisan approach to carbon pricing. He’s not Robbie Flower or Jim Stynes’ arsehole as a Captain).

The weather will also be a factor. Neither team is amongst the most skilful in the competition, and to say it’ll be a scrappy affair is about as big an understatement as saying Sepp Blatter can be a bit stubborn.

I’m staying out of this one myself, but the selection of a Tri-Bet for either team under 15.5 points at $3.35 may be the way to go.


Geelong V Western Bulldogs.
There was a time where, if he had the choice, I reckon Brad Johnson would have quite happily played the Cats on their home deck for 22 weeks if it meant a September berth. Ol’ Johnno had been known to rum amok in a forward pocket without even once needing to feign a possible spinal injury, major head trauma or similar grave injustice five meters from goal and under the watchful gaze of an umpire or two.

Times have changed considerably. Where once, this clash would have the full-house signs up by around 12.30pm on match day, Bulldogs phone staff are allegedly responding to calls from fans checking on what time the game starts with the response; “that depends… what time can you get there?”

The Bulldogs are a rabble so far this season and the market reflects this with the Dogs at $6.25. As it was with his tenure at Sydney, Eade’s shelf life at the Bulldogs is fast reaching expiry date and whether old-schoolers like it or not, spoilt, narcissistic brats GenY’ers don’t take kindly to being publicly bollocked by authority figures. And we’ve seen that quite a few times in recent weeks, right kids?

Geelong, by contrast, is going along swimmingly. They’ve even managed to drop Tom Hawkins who, to borrow from the great Allan Jeans, is fast proving to be all sizzle, no sausage. At 10-0 for the season, it’s a case of Gary Who? at Latrobe Terrace. It will be 11-0 on Saturday evening. Most punters agree with the Cats at $1.10.

The Cats are way too short in head-to-head betting and the weather will also be a factor. Advice here is to wait until the final teams are in and the weather conditions are a bit more certain. Geelong in a margin bet will be the value pick. Geelong >39.5 is odds on at the time of going to press, but with squally conditions and rain forecast in the 3220, maybe the Cats39.5 at $1.75, or throw them in on the head-to-head as part of a multi-bet.


WCE V Gold Coast
Kills don’t come much easier than this. Imagine Black Caviar lining up in a 1200m sprint at Murtoa and that might go someway to summing this contest up. There’s no doubt the Gold Coast are on the improve, but the Eagles are City quality and racing in Listed company, while the Gold Coast are Geelong midweek on the all-weather track. West Coast at $1.04 is just buying money and there’s a reason the Gold Coast are $9.00 at Subi. Staying out. Not even any value in multiples here.


Collingwood V St Kilda
Last year’s Grand Final re-match. Not surprisingly, the money coming for Collingwood at $1.25 and St Kilda at $4.25 slight unders here. I haven’t seen anything that suggests St Kilda have improved enough to overcome the Pies (and yes, I know that St Kilda drew with the Pies in GF1.0, but in GF2.0 they were as ordinary as Collingwood were sensational).

The loss of Hayes hasn’t and can’t be covered, as tough as he is and Brendon Goddard is a risk if he plays. Conversely, with the exception of Darren Jolley and Nathan Brown, the Pies are again enjoying as charmed a run with injuries as one can in modern footy and will smack St Kilda.

They may have pumped Freo last week, but St Kilda would need to arrive with a little more to show for their season than a win over one of the league’s Jekyll and Hyde teams.

Hold off on getting on with this match. Wait until the weather pattern is clearer. A margin bet on the Pies is good value here. Collingwood 1-19 $4.75 and Collingwood $4.00 for the 20-39 could be the way to go.


In the next thrilling post:  North Melbourne V Adelaide, The Brisbane Lions V Sydney, Hawthorn V Fremantle and Port Adelaide V Carlton…


Giddy Up!


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