2016 Round 19 AFL Preview & Bets

AFL 2017

Welcome to the Round 19 AFL preview. This weekend of matches could well be the biggest round of individual milestones in the history of the competition. The most impressive of these is Brent Harvey reaching 427 matches, overtaking Michael Tuck to become the new AFL games record holder. It is also a big night for Geelong on Friday night with Corey Enright breaking the club’s games record of 325 and Jimmy Bartel reaching 300 matches, while Fremantle will celebrate the ever popular Matthew Pavlich’s 350th game. All four players are champions of the competition and deserve the required recognition, despite having to share the limelight with each other. The top eight is still extremely tight with six different teams on 48 points, but the reigning champs Hawthorn have raced away on top of the ladder to develop a two win gap.

Best Bet:
Port Adelaide -34.5 Line @ $1.92

Other Bet:
St Kilda +10.5 Line @ $1.92


Line: Cats -25.5, Dogs +25.5
Geelong was back to looking great against a top team, defeated the fancied Adelaide Crows by a comfortable 30 points. The Cats successfully implemented a plan that stagnated the Crows defensive run, which resulted in limited opposition scoring opportunities. Geelong’s defenders ensured they wouldn’t push high and follow the Adelaide forwards up the ground, instead camping themselves no further than half back. With no space to kick into and the Crows forwards out of position, Corey Enright was able to pick off rushed attempts forward with ease. The Cats were also able to open up Adelaide quickly on the rebound, as the forwards finally enjoyed some faster movement.
Saturday night couldn’t have been much worse for the Dogs, not only going down to St Kilda, but suffering some horrific injuries in the process. The broken leg of Mitch Wallis is one of the more awful visuals I can remember on an AFL field, certainly rivalling injuries suffered by Nathan Brown and Michael Barlow. It was a traumatic experience for his teammates too, as they entered the change rooms with him still screaming in agony. Jack Redpath was the second Dog to suffer a serious injury in tearing his ACL, meaning both players will be on the sideline for 12 months. Dale Morris also suffered a hamstring injury, while Matthew Boyd and Matthew Suckling will both miss with achilles problems. Despite the terrible injury toll, there was some positive news with Jake Stringer and Luke Dahlhaus cleared to play against Geelong.
It is a big night for the Geelong Football Club and all players will be striving to ensure a win is secured for their two champions. The Dogs have had a distressing week, so it will be interesting to see how they respond. Despite the two big inclusions, the five omissions are structurally concerning.

Bet to Consider:
Geelong -25.5 Line @ $1.92

GWS ($1.11) VS RICHMOND ($6.50)

Line: Giants -39.5, Tigers +39.5
The Giants produced a gutsy away performance against Port Adelaide, delivering a 19 point victory in difficult conditions. GWS looked shot at half time when down by 20 points, in weather that suggested such a margin would be worth much more than usual. Although three goals in five minutes to Scully, Reid and Patton changed the momentum of the game during the third quarter and the Giants were able to hold a six point advantage at the final break. Two quick goals from Shiel and Cameron to start the fourth quarter saw the margin out to 18 points and ultimately led to GWS winning its first game at Adelaide Oval. It was a mature performance and one that could prove significant for the clubs confidence. Ryan Griffen returns for the Giants.
Richmond have been one of the more successful clubs against Hawthorn in recent times, but you wouldn’t have known it based on Sunday’s result. The Tigers went down by 70 points as it was completely dominated on the outside. Richmond were able to win the stoppages and contested possessions, but had 94 less uncontested possessions and 100 less effective disposals. Despite having 99 less disposals overall, the Tigers could only lay 51 tackles in an encounter that lacked defensive pressure, especially in the second half. Griffiths and Edwards miss through injury, but Bachar Houli is back
Surprisingly the Giants have never beaten Richmond, but you suspect that will be a different story come Saturday evening.

No Bet to Consider

HAWTHORN ($1.06) VS CARLTON ($9.00)

Line: Hawks -45.5, Blues +45.5
Hawthorn is really beginning to flex its muscle after running away to a 70 point victory against Richmond, creating a two win gap at the top of the ladder. The Hawks winning streak has now grown to eight and its premiership odds have shortened to $3.50. It is becoming more and more likely that this club could do the unthinkable and win its fourth premiership in a row. Hawthorn again lost the contested possession and clearance counts on the weekend, but no one at the club seems to care. Despite contested football historically being a successful method to judge contenders, the Hawks know that its rebound and uncontested style can match it with any team. Paul Puopolo misses with a hip injury.
Carlton have put together two performances of substance consecutively against top eight teams, despite going down by six and seven points to Sydney and West Coast respectively. The Blues genuinely matched it with Sydney and were unlucky not to get the points. Carlton had a small +2 clearance win which Bolton would have been ecstatic with and were far more efficient with ball in hand. Admittedly all of Carlton’s seasoned stars performed well, which they needed to against a side like Sydney to be competitive, but the youngsters contributed too.
The Hawks have a frightful record against Carlton, winning the last 13 encounters. It is difficult imagining that not becoming 14.

No Bet to Consider


AT THE MCG, SATURDAY 30/07, 16:35
Line: Pies +9.5, Eagles -9.5
Nathan Buckley would have entered the game on Friday night believing his side could easily match it with North Melbourne, but a second consecutive slow start ruined any pregame expectations. Collingwood conceded six of the first seven goals and were playing catch up early again. After looking like being a very late withdrawal, Daniel Wells appeared to constantly run away from stoppages uncontested in the first quarter. The Pies are now consistently playing inconsistent football and have become the most difficult team in the competition to read. It could blow West Coast away at the MCG or be down by five goals at quarter time. Its range has become enormous.
West Coast are barely resembling a top eight side, let alone a premiership contender after somehow getting the points against Melbourne at home by six points. If you looked at the statistics without a score line, you would have been sure the Demons won. The Eagles finished with the following negative differentials; -91 disposals, -77 effective disposals, -15 contested possessions, -14 tackles, -14 tackles I50 and the big one -29 for inside 50s. A win is a win at the end of the day, but Adam Simpson would be embarrassed with those numbers.
West Coast haven’t beaten Collingwood at the MCG since 1995, losing the last nine encounters at the venue. Collingwood are certainly value based on that fact alone, but how can you possibly trust them with confidence?

Bet to Consider:
Collingwood head to head @ $2.25


Line: North -10.5, Saints +10.5
North Melbourne are one pleased football club to be back on the winners list, but it is still potentially in danger of getting overtaken in eighth spot. This is one of those “eight point” games as a win will create a three game break and relative safety, while a loss sees the Saints just one game behind with the Roos possessing a tough run home. Not to mention that fact that Boomer Harvey is playing his record breaking 427th game, so a loss could genuinely be catastrophic. Brad Scott won’t look fazed on the outside, but he’ll be nervous as hell about this match. Jarrad Waite returns to the side.
The Saints are marching in and on the hunt for North Melbourne’s top eight position. St Kilda have won seven of its last nine matches, with all of those wins coming at Etihad Stadium. It has become a fortress and the players are developing a sense of invincibility playing at the venue. It isn’t knocking over just bottom ten teams during this time either, having gained the scalps of Geelong and the Western Bulldogs last week. The Saints were helped by the Dogs injury epidemic, but were already on the way to getting the job done.
The Kangaroos produced a nice victory against Collingwood last week, but the Saints are an enormous chance here. North battled to a seven point win in Round 7, but the form of both teams have gone in opposite directions since then. All trends are pointing St Kilda’s way and if it can produce the same intensity as recent weeks, I have no doubt it will win. I’d be looking at the Saints +10.5 line at the very least.

Bet to Consider:
St Kilda +10.5 Line @ $1.92


Line: Lions +34.5, Power -34.5
The horrendous 12 game losing streak has finally ended and amazingly we saw genuine footage of Justin Leppitsch with a smile on his face! The Brisbane Lions were emphatic at the stoppages against Essendon, running away to a very comfortable 37 point victory. While there were some misleading statistics at the end of the game, Brisbane’s +16 clearance differential was a major factor for the final result. The Lions proved that there are still big problems defensively by conceding 66 inside 50s and 31 shots on goal, but were efficient enough going the other way that it didn’t matter on this occasion. Stef Martin has been rested.
Port Adelaide let a great opportunity to be right in the mix for North Melbourne’s eighth position go against GWS, giving up a 20 point half time lead in wet conditions. Admittedly the tide was turning in the second quarter as Port Adelaide had 10 less inside 50s, but GWS couldn’t put the pressure on the scoreboard. The momentum turned completely after the main break as Port couldn’t match it in congestion during the third quarter, losing the contested possession count 38-54 which resulted in fast goals being conceded. The season looks done for Ken Hinkley’s men.
Port Adelaide will possess far too many offensive weapons for Brisbane and kick a big score in fine conditions. The Power’s line doesn’t look nearly enough.

Bet to Consider:
Port Adelaide -34.5 Line @ $1.92


AT THE MCG, SUNDAY 31/07, 13:10
Line: Dees -29.5, Suns +29.5
Melbourne should have ended its awful Domain Stadium streak based on statistics alone, but the only numbers that count are the ones on the scoreboard. Excluding the score, the only KPI that the Demons didn’t dominate was the clearances and even then Paul Roos would have been relatively happy with the -4 differential. Apart from that, Melbourne won more of the ball, were more efficient, got in more attacking areas, but couldn’t build enough scoring pressure. All the same it is still a very positive result for the Dees, but a win could have ended a mental demon (pardon the pun) that has haunted the club for years.
A four goal win against Fremantle was a positive result for a team missing a stack of midfield stars. In the absence of Ablett, Prestia, Hall and Rischitelli, the likes of Alex Sexton and Touk Miller stepped up to have seven clearances each and high 20s disposal figures. The young Suns team was ferocious defensively too, laying an impressive 25 more tackles than Fremantle. There were some good signs for the Gold Coast, despite both clubs naming second string teams.
Melbourne gave the Suns a decent touch up earlier in the year at Metricon, running away to a 73 point win. Hard to see the Demons losing at the MCG.

Bet to Consider:
Melbourne 40+ @ $2.10

FREMANTLE ($4.50) VS SYDNEY ($1.21)

Line: Dockers +26.5, Swans -26.5
Without accusing Fremantle of tanking against Gold Coast, the club didn’t appear too concerned about losing during Round 18. It certainly wasn’t going to waste Pavlich’s 350th game at Metricon Stadium, while the overall intensity of its performance could only be described as flat. Lachie Neale was prolific again with 42 disposals, Walters was electric with four goals and 24 disposals and Ed Langdon did some nice things, but there wasn’t many other performances of note. The season is a write off for the Dockers, but at least the supporters have the last of Pav to celebrate.
After three tough encounters against the Western Bulldogs, Geelong and Hawthorn, Sydney were flat against Carlton and it almost cost four vital premiership points. The Swans were surprising beaten for clearances by a Blues team that has lifted its output at the stoppages in the last two weeks. It is an area that is likely to make or break Sydney’s premiership chances, so it can’t afford to be dropping off at this time of the year. You get the feeling the Swans were hoping for a lower intensity encounter than what the Blues offered, but with the top four race so tight, all top eight clubs must be ready for anything. Jarrad McVeigh is back for the Swans
The Swans should win comfortably, but don’t be surprised to see Fremantle lift its output for Matthew Pavlich.

Bet to Consider:
Sydney 1-39 @ $1.91

ADELAIDE ($1.01) VS ESSENDON ($19.00)

Line: Crows -63.5, Bombers +63.5
Don Pyke was left scratching his head as Geelong managed to stem the Crows offensive prowess for the second time this season. Against all other teams in 2016 Adelaide are averaging an impressive 114.26 points per game, but against the Cats that number drops to 63.5 points. No other team has been able to restrict the Crows to lower than 97 points in a match. It begs the question as to whether Geelong has worked Adelaide out or does it simply match up better structurally. It was obvious that the Cats defenders weren’t following their opponents too far up the ground, so expect other teams to follow suit. Walker and Henderson are both out with ankle and achilles injuries respectively.
Essendon all but stitched up the wooden spoon against Brisbane with arguably its worst performance of the year. The Bombers were mauled at the stoppages as Lions players constantly strolled from the stoppages with minimal pressure. Once Essendon turned the ball over it was able to cause Brisbane issues going the other way, but once inside 50 the players couldn’t hit a shed. The Bombers ended with 12 more inside 50s and three more scoring shots in a frustrating day for supporters. It was Essendon’s 15th consecutive loss, a new club record streak. James Kelly has been rested.
The Crows will be back to their attacking best against the Bombers and will give the percentage a much needed boost.

Bet to Consider:
Scott Thompson to get 30 or more disposals @ $6.00



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.

Leave a Reply