For quite some time now many pundits thought the top eight was locked in and the Kangaroos could be the real deal. It looks as though many pundits could have been wrong on both fronts. It is going to make the final six weeks of the season very interesting and round 18 could well shape how interesting it gets. If the Kangaroos falter tonight, Port Adelaide and St Kilda will have added incentive for causing a couple of boilovers and, for the record, I think this will be a round of upsets which means more money to be made.
THE BIG FIVE
- $8k on Collingwood (v North Melbourne) @ $2.25
- $6k on Essendon -11.5 (v Brisbane) @ $1.92
- $5k on Collingwood (v North Melbourne) @ $2.20
- $4k on Port Adelaide +9.5 (v GWS) @ 1.92
- $2500 on Adelaide (v Geelong) $2.40
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
A final before the finals is how this is being billed, which is a bit of a stretch for mine, given Collingwood has no chance of making the business end and North would have to set a record for free falling to miss but, the way they are playing, that is every chance. With that in mind we have seen an almighty go for the Magpies to continue the Kangaroos slide from ladder leaders to also rans. Collingwood opened $2.25 and are now favourites. $1.88 as of midday Friday and shortening, while the Roos have blown out from $1.65 to $1.95. The line was +7.5 into -1.5 Collingwood. A massive market shift by anyone’s standards.
A PURPLE PUSH
You don’t have to be a good team to be a good bet and that is certainly the case with Fremantle this week. Up against Gold Coast, this looks a simply awful game but as soon as the market went up with the Suns a solid favourite, I thought, gee the Dockers look big overs here. And punters agreed. This has been another case of an underdog being backed into favouritism. Fremantle went up $2.40 with the Suns $1.50 before everyone remembered the Suns stink and we now find this a flip of the coin game, $1.92 each of two. The line 8.5 point into no line. Awful game, great betting match.
Adelaide is a good travelling side and Geelong isn’t in the greatest of form but, despite the familiar surrounds of Skilled Stadium being a fortress of sorts for the Cats, punters thing the Crows can head down the highway and keep their winning streak alive. Geelong has been $1.57 out to $1.73 with the Crows very, very well backed from $2.40 into $2.15 while the line has firmed three points, in from +8.5 to +5.5 on the back of that good go for the Crows.
If St Kilda is to make an unlikely run to the finals, they need to claim some big scalps and the Bulldogs, who are probably due a downer, would set a nice little precedent. While punters have been trending toward the upsets this round, this game isn’t one of them. The market has been quite solid with the Bulldogs $1.32 to the Saints $3.50 while there has been a slight push for the dogs at the line which is -20.5 out to -22.5.
When two terrible teams square off to see who is slightly better and not losing, there is a definite morbid fascination for the footy fan/punter. To be honest, having some kind of bet on this match would be all that would get me to watch it. It speaks volumes about Brisbane that they could start underdogs against a side which had a majority of it’s guns rubbed out and was expected to go winless for the season. Essendon is favourite, clearly, and also well supported. The head to head has remained fairly solid at $1.50 and $2.65 while the line has been -10.5 out to -12.5 with that support for the Bombers.
THE POWER TO UPSET
With no Charlie Dixon and up against a top four team, logic suggests Port Adelaide should lose to the Giants, but logic doesn’t always play a part in footy punting. The Power has been well supported at home, $2.45 into $2.15 with the line crunched from +10.5 into +4.5. The Giants, yet to win in Adelaide against either South Australian side, are $1.55 out to $1.73 but they have done many things this season which they hadn’t done before so, win in Crow Eater country could be another.
- SYDNEY v CARLTON – Sydney’s history of taking the foot of the pedal against the lesser lights coupled with some experience outs has seen a small go for Carlton at the line which is +53.5 into +46.5
- WEST COAST v MELBOURNE – Market has barely moved since opening for the week
- HAWTHORN v RICHMOND – No moves, market very solid.
- Port Adelaide
- North Melbourne