2016 Round 11 AFL Preview & Bets

AFL 2017

Welcome to the Round 11 AFL preview. The completion of Round 11 will see the numerical halfway point of the home and away rounds with 50% of matches done and dusted. The premiership favouritism rollercoaster continued to wind and weave as Sydney became the new flavour of the month, shortening to $4.50 after bringing ladder leaders North Melbourne to its first defeat. Despite it being an extremely open season, punters indicate that the top eight is all but set in stone. The current top eight are all priced at $1.18 or less to participate in September, with six of those teams less than $1.05. It certainly sees value in the bottom ten, as Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Carlton find themselves only one game from eighth. The footy world have jumped off Geelong and GWS quickly, but both are likely to have their time in the sun again by seasons end.

BEST BET:
Adelaide @ the -31.5 Line

OTHER BETS:
Carlton @ the -21.5 Line
Sydney 40+ @ $2.05

NORTH MELBOURNE ($1.52) VS RICHMOND ($2.60)

AT BLUNDSTONE ARENA, FRIDAY 03/06, 19:50
Line: North -12.5, Tigers +12.5
Some are saying that North Melbourne got a reality check when losing its first game of the season on Friday night, but I suspect Brad Scott knew exactly where his side is placed and wouldn’t be overly disappointed by the result. The Kangaroos came up against a Sydney side that has been dominant in contested situations, but it was on the outside where they couldn’t keep up. North managed a +2 clearance differential for the match, but were -67 for uncontested possessions despite the tight confines of the SCG. Todd Goldstein is in doubt to take his place after a knee knock against the Swans, but has been picked and will be given every opportunity to get up.
Richmond has continued its mini fight back to be 2016 relevant with a third consecutive victory, but will come up against tougher opposition in top of the table North Melbourne. Simple wins against Fremantle and Essendon have shown that the Tigers are much better than their early season form suggested, but it will need to hit the intensity levels reached in Round 8 against Sydney. Richmond’s big names continue to produce big games, as Dustin Martin this time gathered a career high 38 disposals to win the Yiooken Award.
North Melbourne have a great record in Hobart, winning 8 of 10 games at the venue. I wouldn’t be committing on this game until knowing whether Todd Goldstein takes his spot or not, but the Tigers could surprise either way.

NORTH MELBOURNE TO WIN BY 7 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Under 177.5 Total Points @ $1.88

HAWTHORN ($1.19) VS MELBOURNE ($4.90)

AT THE MCG, SATURDAY 04/06, 13:45
Line: Hawks -33.5, Dees +33.5
Hawthorn ran away to a 48 point win against Brisbane due to a 9 goal final term, but the Hawks were under pressure for a majority of the day. While it felt like the Hawks could blow the game apart at any time, the margin never extended any further than 19 points for the first three quarters. A quick goal to Josh Schache in the first 18 seconds of the last brought the margin back to six points, but Hawthorn quickly settled and took control. We still aren’t seeing vintage the Hawthorn, but a couple of strong second halves consecutively prove that the reigning premier can up the ante when required.
Melbourne travelled to Alice Springs for a home game against Port Adelaide, a team it would have felt very confident beating at the MCG. The neutral venue evened the game up significantly, but there are no excuses for the margin blowing out to nearly 8 goals. This was an opportunity for the Demons to draw level with Adelaide on points in the eight and a 6-4 record, but the players didn’t turn up. For a coach who has always promoted defensive effort first, Paul Roos would have been disgusted with a tally of just 46 tackles, of which only 4 were recorded inside 50. Jack Viney has been suspended for a week, but a fractured knuckle will see him miss longer than that anyway.
It has now been over 10 years since Melbourne defeated Hawthorn, the longest head to head drought in the competition. While the Hawks aren’t flying, I’m confident they’ll make it 13 consecutive victories against the Dees.

HAWTHORN TO WIN BY 40 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Most Possessions Gr2 Tom Bugg @ $6.00

CARLTON ($1.33) VS BRISBANE ($3.40)

AT ETIHAD STADIUM, SATURDAY 04/06, 14:10
Line: Blues -21.5, Lions +21.5
Carlton are becoming the good news story of season 2016 as Brendon Bolton’s men ended its Etihad Stadium curse against Geelong with an impressive 19 point win. The Blues held a comfortable lead for a majority of the second half as everyone waited for Geelong to click, but it never happened. Its defensive pressure was enormous as Geelong turnovers resulted in 12 Carlton goals, highlighted by 23 tackles inside 50. The Blues were also dominant at the stoppages as Gibbs, Cripps and Curnow gave the likes of Selwood, Dangerfield and Caddy a touch up. The +7 clearance differential didn’t properly justify the midfield ascendancy, especially without Marc Murphy who’ll miss some weeks with an ankle injury.
Brisbane were genuinely brave against a Hawthorn side visiting the Gabba for the first since 2008. Early goals to Josh Schache and Nick Robertson in the last quarter saw the deficit at only 6 points, but quick goals to Rioli changed the momentum of the match. The Lions broke even in many categories, but honourable losses are just as frustrating as a 100 point drubbing for teams that have only won a single game. Tom Rockliff returns from another hamstring injury and will look forward to some continuality.
Carlton are a better football team than we are giving them credit, even considering the better results. The -21.5 line deserves consideration.

CARLTON TO WIN BY 45 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Carlton @ the -21.5 Line

GEELONG ($1.50) VS GWS ($2.65)

AT SIMONDS STADIUM, SATURDAY 04/06, 16:35
Line: Cats -9.5, Giants +9.5
Geelong looked like the team to beat for the premiership only two weeks ago, but concerning losses to Collingwood and Carlton has everyone second guessing now. The Blues played some respectable footy on Sunday, but Geelong certainly made things easier for them. 12 of Carlton’s 16 goals came from turnovers as the Cats struggled to not only hit targets but make reasonable decisions. Short kicks to 50/50 contests in the corridor have exposed the Cats in the last two weeks, while the poor goal kicking continued in the perfect conditions that Etihad Stadium offers. Rhys Stanley injured his foot late in the game and is in doubt.
Leon Cameron would have been desperate to see his side perform in front of a big interstate crowd, but the Giants didn’t hit the heights of previous weeks. GWS went into the game as the most damaging club in the competition at stoppages, but the Crows did plenty of homework by blocking the Giants exit points. It worked a treat as GWS ended the game -11 for clearance differential and barely made any scoreboard impact from a stoppage. The Giants stormed home with a 5 goal to 1 final quarter, but the damage had already been done. It will be interesting to see if other clubs employ the successful Crow’s method.
In Round 2 GWS beat Geelong by 13 points and absolutely dominated the stoppages. Simonds Stadium is a more difficult task, but if the Giants grasp early momentum Geelong can go into their shell as we’ve seen in recent weeks.

GEELONG TO WIN BY 6 POINTS 
Bets to Consider:
GWS @ the +3.5 3rd Quarter Only Line 

GOLD COAST ($7.50) VS SYDNEY ($1.10)

AT METRICON STADIUM, SATURDAY 04/06, 19:25
Line: Suns +35.5, Swans -35.5
No one expected much of a depleted Suns outfit travelling to Perth and the final 77 point margin was predictable. It was good to see a slightly stronger midfield take the field with Ablett, Hall and Prestia all running around and while you could argue they broke even in the middle, the remaining parts of the ground were always going to be hard work. Steven May is a good footballer and an important inclusion, but was never going to have a win against Josh Kennedy who snagged another 5 goals. The constant one-sided Gold Coast results don’t look like easing up any time soon.
The Sydney Swans are the new buzz team of the competition and have been installed as outright favourites for the premiership. The Swans ended with 89 more disposals and were just as effective on the outside compared to its usual contested strengths. Their big name midfield of Kennedy, Hannebery, Parker, Jack and Mitchell is nearly impossible to completely shut down and can’t be too far off peak form. They are being helped by the emergence of Kurt Tippett as a genuine star ruckman, who you could argue got the better on Goldstein on Friday night.
Up to 100mm of rain is forecast on the Gold Coast Saturday, so keep a close eye on the total points over/under. The Swans will do this in a canter. The Sydney 40+ must be considered despite the predicted weather.

SYDNEY TO WIN BY 52 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Sydney 40+ @ $2.05

FREMANTLE ($1.26) VS ESSENDON ($4.00)

AT DOMAIN STADIUM, SATURDAY 04/06, 19:40
Line: Freo -26.5, Bombers +26.5
Fremantle teased the hell out of its supporters on Saturday afternoon and should have registered its first win considering the state of the game. After giving St Kilda a 27 point head start before scoring, the Dockers fought back to be 19 points up late in the third quarter. Up to this point of the match, Fremantle were dominating inside 50s, clearances, possession and appeared to be running away with the game. From that position Fremantle wouldn’t score another goal, while the Saints went on to kick the final nine majors of the game. The Dockers proved during two quarters of football on the weekend that it can be far more competitive than it has shown in 2016. David Mundy is a vital inclusion for the Dockers.
Essendon slumped to its eighth consecutive loss during Round 10, falling to the ever improving Tigers. The Bombers were competitive enough, but never looked truly in the game. John Worsfold won’t get many better opportunities to record a second win as Essendon coach, especially with fixtures against Hawthorn, GWS and West Coast to come over the next month. The Bombers will feel comfortable travelling west having won two of the last four encounters against Fremantle at Domain Stadium. The inform James Kelly has been rested.
The media are spruiking this match as a battle for the No.1 draft pick, but there won’t be any tanking going on here. The best five or so players in this year’s draft are very evenly matched and these clubs will know that. You have to back Fremantle’s likely contested prowess and home surroundings.

FREMANTLE TO WIN BY 17 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Fremantle 1-39 @ $2.05

COLLINGWOOD ($2.05) VS PORT ADELAIDE ($1.77)

AT THE MCG, SUNDAY 05/06, 13:10
Line: Pies +5.5, Port -5.5
It is easy to blame the outcome of results on injuries, but Collingwood had some legitimate reasons to consider itself unlucky after being left with no rotations on the bench for the final quarter. Collingwood looked to be taking control of the game halfway through the third quarter when it got out to a 15 point lead, but injuries to Toovey, Adams, Fasolo and Moore left the Pies stuck on 57 rotations. Fatigue appeared to set in about 10 minutes into the last quarter and the Dogs took full advantage kicking the final four goals. Injuries just continue to plague the Pies. Alan Toovey has been named, but the remaining three injured players will miss the match against Port Adelaide. Travis Cloke has been given a lifeline.
Port Adelaide took full advantage of Melbourne playing a home game in Alice Springs, running away to a potential season defining 45 point win. It leaves the Power within a win of the top eight and keeps their finals hopes realistic. Charlie Dixon is beginning to justify himself as an important signing with another 5 goals on the weekend, taking his season tally to 26. Chad Wingard also had a welcome return to form with 26 disposals and 2 goals, while Gray and Boak were back to high standards around the stoppages. This becomes yet another vital game for Ken Hinkley as his side looks to stay in touch of Adelaide in eighth position.
The Pies have some holes to fill this week, which always affects structural stability. In saying that, the Pies replacements are more than capable of doing the job and have done so at the top level before.

COLLINGWOOD TO WIN BY 12 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Collingwood Head to Head @ $2.05

WESTERN BULLDOGS ($1.82) VS WEST COAST ($2.00)

AT ETIHAD STADIUM, SUNDAY 05/06, 15:20
Line: Dogs -4.5, Eagles +4.5
The Western Bulldogs will be pleased to have got four points at the MCG, but you have to wonder how successful they would have been if not for Collingwood’s injury epidemic. The Dogs had the luxury of 29 extra rotations, with the difference mostly extending during the final quarter when the Pies had only 18 fit players. It saw the Dogs kick the last four goals of the game, but hid the fact that their form has been scratchy of late. They’ll be needing to lift their output against another top four contender in West Coast this week.
West Coast went home to Domain Stadium in Round 10 and recorded another one sided win, this time against the hapless Gold Coast. I doubt Adam Simpson will spend too much time reviewing the tape though with his focus firmly set on getting away points against a top eight team. The Eagles have been marked harshly on the road with losses to Hawthorn, Sydney and Geelong, but a win against the Power at Adelaide Oval restored some faith. Two consecutive wins on the road will see us all discussing West Coast as a premiership contender again. Andrew Gaff and Elliot Yeo are very handy inclusions.
This is an extremely difficult game to split. The Dogs have beaten the Eagles the last two times at Etihad Stadium, but they certainly haven’t been comfortable results. We’ll know more about prospects of both sides at the final siren.

WESTERN BULLDOGS TO WIN BY 3 POINTS 
No Bets to Consider

ADELAIDE ($1.20) VS ST KILDA ($4.50)

AT ADELAIDE OVAL, SUNDAY 05/06, 16:40
Line: Crows -31.5, Saints +31.5
It was difficult not to be impressed with the Crows performance against GWS, not only on the field but in the coach’s box. Don Pyke and his men must have spent some long hours assessing the stoppage edits of the Giants because a unique strategy was implemented and ultimately successful. Adelaide managed to starve the Giants scoring surges from the resets, but just as vitally went the other way to create scoreboard pressure. An eight goal to one third quarter set up the victory as the margin blew out to 46 points at three quarter time. The return to form of Taylor Walker has everyone smiling at West Lakes. Rory Laird finally returns to the side.
The final 34 point margin looked comfortable enough for St Kilda against Fremantle, but Alan Richardson’s men had to overcome a massive momentum swing during the middle stages of the match to ensure they got the four points. After the Saints scored the first 27 points of the match, Fremantle took control and outscored St Kilda 9.3 to 1.4 from deep in the first quarter to late in the third quarter. The Saints looked shot at the 25 minute mark of the third quarter when trailing by 19 points and no one could have predicted they’d kick the last nine goals of the game from that position. The Saints are prone to long periods of uncompetitive football and must become more consistent.
St Kilda are yet to win a game at Adelaide Oval in five attempts and hold an average losing margin of 58.2 points at the venue. The Crows look great value at the line.

ADELAIDE TO WIN BY 52 POINTS
Bets to Consider:
Adelaide @ the -31.5 Line

Author

mm

Rover

Covering all things Australian Rules Football for The Profits. I’ve been a passionate supporter and follower of AFL for as long as I can remember. Having been born into a family with deep football history and tradition on both sides, you can say it runs through my blood. I’ve got a keen interest in the stats and analysis of the game, which helped me finish in the top 100 of fantasy competitions DreamTeam and Supercoach last year. While my own local football career was cut short due to injury at 22, it has created an opportunity for me to frequently watch and build a deep knowledge of the sport at its highest level. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and views throughout the season.

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