Welcome to the Round 12 AFL preview. As we enter the second week of 6 game rounds, the reigning premier Sydney is the talk of the competition after producing perhaps the most impressive and complete performance of the season. They have now shortened to $4.50 for the flag, right on the heels of Hawthorn and Geelong. The Swans have the bye this week, but will be strengthened by the availability of Kurt Tippett for the first time in Round 13. It will be fascinating to see the impact he has on the side.
Round 12 produces a group of matches that is dominated by short price favourites. Richmond is the longest favourite, paying $1.32 to win against the Crows. Carlton vs Hawthorn is an attractive Friday night encounter, but unfortunately the quality of games drop off quite a bit from there. The teams that have the bye this week are Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne, St Kilda, West Coast, and as stated earlier, the Sydney Swans.
Port Adelaide to win @ the $2.25 40+ point margin
Centrebet “head to head” 90+ points money back special.
Hawthorn to win @ $1.26
CARLTON ($3.85) vs HAWTHORN ($1.26)
AT ETIHAD STADIUM, FRIDAY 14/06, 19:50
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: Hawthorn 18.12 (120) defeated Carlton 10.10 (70) at the MCG, R14, 2012
Line: Carlton +25.5, Hawthorn -25.5
This is definitely the pick of the games for Round 12. The Blues would still be kicking themselves after giving up a 31 point lead and complete dominance half way through the third quarter to lose to a gutsy Essendon outfit. The Blues were led by an enormous individual performance from Jarrad Waite up forward, who marked anything that came his way and finished with 7 brilliant goals. He is only the third player in the competitions history to have had a 7 goal, 14 mark game and be on the losing side. Waite is obviously in hot form, but the Blues need to create more avenues to goal than sitting the ball 10 metres out in front of him as it became extremely predictable by the second half. The Blues finally regain the availability of Andrew Carrazzo.
Hawthorn is coming off the bye and three previous weeks of Melbourne, Gold Coast and GWS. Their form is a little difficult to read due to their soft past month, but with all the talk around Sydney recently, you’d expect the Hawks to produce some justification of their premiership favouritism.
Hawthorn has won the last 9 encounters against Carlton and that will become 10 on Friday night. Centrebet again have their money back “head to head” special if your backed team scores 90 points or more (maxed at $100.00). Hawthorn average 125.4 points against Carlton the last 5 times they’ve met at Etihad Stadium. While $1.26 isn’t the most attractive price, it is the best opportunity of the week to use this promotion. Free money if you ask me.
HAWTHORN TO WIN BY 35 POINTS
RICHMOND ($1.32) vs ADELAIDE ($3.35)
AT THE MCG, SATURDAY 15/06, 13:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: Adelaide 17.4 (106) defeated Richmond 13.9 (87) at AAMI, R14, 2012
Line: Richmond -19.5, Adelaide +19.5
Richmond produced arguably it’s most defining four quarter effort for years against West Coast in Round 10. They have now had a week off to ponder the positives of the night and work out ways to make them occur on a more consistent basis. One of the great strengths of the Tigers this season has been their disposal efficiency. Operating at 73.1%, Richmond is only second to the silky skilled Hawthorn who is running at 73.5%. The Tigers will be boosted by the returns of recent first round draft picks Brandon Ellis and Reece Conca.
Adelaide was humiliated by the reigning premier last week to the tune of 77 points. But were the Crows that bad? Adelaide matched Sydney in most statistical areas excluding inside 50s (43-65) and disposal efficiency (66.6%-71.2%). It wasn’t an issue of finding the ball but finding space to distribute it effectively. The Swans have now broken down Collingwood, Essendon and of course the Crows, proving it wasn’t just a once off. Sydney’s game plan is holding up and Adelaide was just another victim of that. The Crows were just taught an old fashioned football lesson.
I think this will be tighter than the odds suggest. Still expecting a Richmond victory, but the Crows will be out to make amends.
RICHMOND TO WIN BY 11 POINTS
FREMANTLE ($1.05) vs BRISBANE ($9.50)
AT PATERSONS STADIUM, SATURDAY 15/06, 16:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: Fremantle 8.16 (64) defeated Brisbane 5.5 (35) at Patersons, R3, 2012
Line: Fremantle -49.5, Brisbane +49.5
These two teams are at opposite ends of the form scale and it could well get a little ugly. The only thing that these two clubs have seemingly in common is that they are both coming off the bye.
Fremantle are genuinely getting discussed alongside the likes of Hawthorn, Sydney and Geelong. They have 7 games remaining at Patersons Stadium and meet the likes of Melbourne and St Kilda away. They just about have a top 4 spot sealed up if the current form holds up. Their major concerns are the continued absences of Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Michael Walters. While Walters could return next week, Pavlich and Sandilands are still weeks away. Time is running thin for these two to get enough match conditioning to be at their best come September.
Where to for the Lions? Michael Voss has apparently reassessed his preseason goals of what he wanted to get out of this team. With so many key players out, who can blame him? He will take another inexperienced squad to Perth and wouldn’t hold overly high expectations against the disciplined Dockers. On a positive note Matthew Leuenberger, Daniel Rich, Mitch Golby and Tom Rockliff will return, but they aren’t enough to cover all the holes, especially if Brent Moloney doesn’t get up. The Fremantle -49.5 line deserves consideration.
FREMANTLE TO WIN BY 63 POINTS
ESSENDON ($1.19) vs GOLD COAST ($4.75)
AT ETIHAD STADIUM, SATURDAY 15/06, 19:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: Essendon 15.15 (105) defeated Gold Coast 13.10 (88) at Metricon, R3, 2012
Line: Essendon -33.5, Gold Coast +33.5
It was one of the comebacks of the season and the Bombers will still be on a massive high after pulling it off. Trialing Carlton by 31 points at the 13 minute mark of the third quarter and with no momentum, Essendon stole the points on the back of some brilliant individual performances from Jake Carlisle, Patrick Ryder, Michael Hurley and Jake Melksham. The position swap of Hurley and Carlisle in particular had a massive impact on the game. For all that this team has gone through this season, it is a credit to their coaching department that they’ve been able to keep the squad in a right frame of mind to compete and fight at such levels. Dustin Fletcher will miss with a groin injury.
The Gold Coast Suns just keep producing. In wet and slippery conditions, North Melbourne looked home at quarter time before the Suns changed some priorities and began the domination in tight. The Suns had 23 inside 50s to 3 in the second quarter and kicked 5 goals to 1. From quarter time onwards, Gold Coast was continuously first to the ball at stoppages and held the ball in their forward 50 for as long as possible. Gary Ablett was again outstanding and has now shortened to $2.40 Brownlow favouritism. He just can’t be stopped. Charlie Dixon misses again will an ankle.
Gold Coast will be competitive again, but the Bombers will be too strong this time around. Ablett had 45 possessions against Essendon last year, they need to find a way to curb his influence to be certain of victory.
ESSENDON TO WIN BY 28 POINTS
GWS ($4.20) vs PORT ADELAIDE ($1.23)
AT SKODA STADIUM, SUNDAY 16/06, 13:10
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: Port 19.20 (134) defeated GWS 11.12 (78) at AAMI, R2, 2013
Line: GWS +30.5, Port -30.5
Here we have the first double up of the season after Port Adelaide had a commanding 56 point victory against the Giants in Round 2. Unfortunately, neither of these teams have seen a victory since April.
GWS put up potentially its most respectful performance against Geelong at Skoda on Saturday, when they were still genuinely in the game at three quarter time. Yes, the Giants had their weekly last quarter capitulation and the Cats were a fair way off their best, but its ferocious attack on the footy in the first three quarters was a nice taste of the future. Although every time GWS have produced a respectable effort, they haven’t been able to back it up. The Sydney and Essendon performances were both followed by multiple weeks of disappointing results. At this point in time it appears they can only produce that high standard on a monthly basis.
The Power is coming off the bye and the timing couldn’t have been better. A 5 game losing streak has taken its toll and the week off has given them a chance to reassess. The poor starts have killed Port Adelaide in the last month and a half, but if you take away those first quarters, they have been competitive against all teams. A tough draw follows this match for Port, so a confidence building effort is vital.
The Giants rarely back up a good performance. Port is coming off the bye and will be well rested. 10 of the Giants 11 losses have been by 39 or more points. . The $2.25 40+ result looks outstanding value.
PORT ADELAIDE TO WIN BY 56 POINTS
COLLINGWOOD ($1.13) vs WESTERN BULLDOGS ($6.00)
AT ETIHAD STADIUM, SUNDAY 16/06, 16:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: Collingwood 15.8 (98) defeated Dogs 11.11 (77) at Etihad, R6, 2012
Line: Collingwood -37.5, Dogs +37.5
Collingwood are travelling along without doing anything overly special. Excluding the Geelong victory, they have beaten teams around and below them on the ladder, but have been smashed by the top 4 sides like Hawthorn, Sydney, Essendon and Fremantle. There are continuous rumours of divisions between some of the playing group and the coaches, but they have defiantly been denied by Nathan Buckley. Whether they are true or not, it isn’t the preferred perception the club would want to be carrying and the more recent outings certainly haven’t given indications of unity. Andrew Krakouer is back at the club after dealing with some family issues, but won’t take his position in the team this week.
The Dogs are on a two win streak and would be feeling pleased with where they are at. They have no ridiculous expectations of finals, but every win is a step in the right direction for the development of the young squad. The form of Ryan Griffen has been one of the highlights of the year for the Dogs. While he has always been a very good player, he has taken another step this season. Matthew Boyd and Adam Cooney return to the lineup.
Collingwood will be too good for the young Dogs side.
COLLINGWOOD TO WIN BY 44 POINTS
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.
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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