I must sound like a broken record spouting the fact that, no matter how irrelevant the contest in the context of the season, there is money to be made. Punting doesn’t discriminate against the lesser lights and there are sides who, despite not being in the finals mix, have something to play for.
Last week, this column spoke of some money floating around for Melbourne to upset the all conquering Hawks. If you followed that trail, you would most likely have had a solid Saturday night on the sauce. If you barrack for Melbourne and didn’t back them, you probably had a solid night anyway basking in the fact a decade long drought had broken. Let’s see if we can uncover another upset in the making.
THE BIG FIVE
- $20k Hawthorn to win final 3 games @ $2.80
- $10k Bulldogs (v Collingwood) @ $1.38
- $5k Bulldogs (v Collingwood) @ $1.38
- $5k Gold Coast -21.5 line (v Essendon) @ $1.92
- $3.5k Bulldogs -19.5 (v Collingwood) @ $1.92
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
These two sides told very contrasting tales last round. Collingwood, as a heavily backed hot favourite, fell to a Richmond side who had shown nothing for more than a month. The Bulldogs, already decimated by injury, lost another player earlier against a top eight team in North Melbourne and still managed to wrangle a victory.
If the scripts from last round continue to another chapter tonight, the Doggies will be far too good for the Magpies and the money suggests that is exactly what will happen.
The Bulldogs have been subject of some very solid support, backed from $1.38 into $1.35 prior to the teams being named, but the axing of the much maligned Travis Cloke coincided with a move back in the Magpies direction.
Having drifted from $2.75 to $3.30, Collingwood was backed back in to $2.95 with the line shifting from 19.5 to 15.5.
The Bulldogs, who eased out to a high of $1.42, remain a clear best backed in the two horse race though, despite the moderate push for the Pies on Thursday night.
Hawthorn doesn’t generally lose two in a row and, after the Kangaroos performance last week and the fact Ben Brown will be absent for the full four quarters, it’s hard to see them dropping this one. The head to head has been rock solid this week with punters backing both teams. We have seen a reasonable go for the premiers at the line given they require a decent victory as they push for a week one home final. Unfortunately we have no market on whether or not we will see a few reports given the usual ill feeling between the sides and the fact they have the two angriest coaches in the AFL.
ST KILDA’S SWAN SONG
The old adage, still mathematically possible, applies to the Saints finals hopes but a loss to Sydney here would mean even Albert Einstein – or Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting – would struggle to come up with a realistic formula about the Saints extending their season. There has been good support for St Kilda at the line here, which has been crunched from 29.5 into 19.5. The fact it is at Etihad and under lights, where their record is outstanding, would suggest it is a good bet. Sydney have barely been touched in the head to head with punters reluctant to take the shorter quote, except in multis where the Swans head to head has been included in nine of every 10.
NO GIANT KILLERS
West Coast and the Giants have played four times in history. The Eagles have one all four by an average of 94 points. You can just about write your own odds on that happening this time around. Actually you can’t, but you can have $3.60 about West Coast just winning, which not too many punters are willing to take given both their form away from home and the Giants form at it. GWS have been the darling of punters in this one with the head to head solid but the line pushed out from 24.5 to 26.5. If I was making a multi, i’d take Giants head to head and Gold Coast at a very generous minus of 25.5 (out from 20.5) versus Essendon.
- Gold Coast (line)
- St Kilda (line)
- West Coast