Well, it’s here. The final home and away round of the season which, thanks to Melbourne putting as Melbourne a performance as possible and losing to Carlton last week, has had a majority of the life sucked out of it. There is still a bit on the line for those headed to finals with home ground advantages there for the taking and also a possible Melbourne farewell for four champions – one absolute champion – in Brent Harvey. This is about betting though so I won’t go into what a terrible decision it is to not renew Boomer’s contract. You can see my Twitter feed for my thoughts on that.
THE BIG FIVE
- $9k on Port Adelaide -19.5 line (v Gold Coast) @ $1.92
- $6k on St Kilda -53.5 line (v Brisbane) @ $1.92
- $5k on Hawthorn Premiership @ $5.50
- $3k on Collingwood +28.5 line (v Hawthorn) @ $1.92
- $3k on North Melbourne (v GWS) @ $2.82
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
A huge game in the context of the final eight make up, where both sides will be without one of their biggest stars.
Adelaide goes in without Rory Sloane and West Coast without Nic Natanui and, while the Crows will get their vice-captain back for the real stuff, NicNat will be a no show for most of next season as well given the nature of his knee injury. As we have already seen in premiership betting, that will have serious ramifications for the Eagles beyond this week and even this season.
But, this is about tonight and the market has remained fairly solid all week with Adelaide firming ever so slightly from $1.32 to $1.29 and West Coast steady at $3.75. The line went from 25.5 to 23.5 but has now settled in the middle at 24.5, so a fairly good betting game in the eyes of punters, with Adelaide fancied but West Coast certainly not without support.
From a purely spectating point of view, hopefully this is the final time we have to see any side take to the park with a sub-standard line-up courtesy of drug suspensions. The big question being, can Essendon and its team of replacements pull one last rabbit from the hat? They could hardly get a better chance, up against arch-rival Carlton who have very little to play for after getting back on the winners’ list last week. The Blues have already exceeded expectations for the year and with Brendon Goddard returning for the Bombers, we have seen a little support for them, in from $3.45 to $3.25 in the head to head with the line +20.5 into +18.5. Carlton $1.33 out to $1.36 but obviously still a clear favourite.
If the Cats and Crows have lost prior to this game beginning, then Sydney would have secured a top two finish and can take the foot of the pedal. If this results have happened, then back the Tigers. They have beaten them in Sydney in recent times and defeated them at the MCG earlier this season. If a top two finish remains on the line, Sydney should do this comfortably and that’s what the market has shown all week. It has been one-way traffic, with the Swans $1.08 into $1.05, the Tigers $8 out to $11 and the line ballooning from 45.5 to 53.5.
After informing four of its finest there’s to be no contract beyond this season, North Melbourne has been subjected to some solid support in the market.
An obvious question is, how will the team handle the shock of the announcements regarding Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito? Punters seem to think it’ll steel them in the final home and away game of the season, with the Kangas $2.85 into $2.65 and the line into 15.5. The Giants have eased from $1.45 out to one $1.50 with more money on the underdogs in this one.
A note from our Head AFL bookie: Look for Boomer to get best on ground and win the match for the Roos.
I can’t help but hope he is on the money.
ONE LAST TIME FOR PAV
Fremantle will farewell its greatest ever player on Sunday afternoon and with emotion playing a big part in footy, there has been plenty of support for the Dockers belying their position on the ladder and general form all season. At home against a Bulldogs side which is without a host of its best players due to injury (but still couldn’t find room for Jake Stringer), Freo is $3.60 into $3.25 with the Bulldogs $1.30 out to $1.36. The line is 19.5 into 18.5 with Freo having won 4 of its last 5 against the Dogs; the exception being round one at Etihad when the latter was victorious by 11 goals. A result which set the tone for the club’s respective seasons.