Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
Welcome to Hump Day Lines, the place where we liven up footy tipping by eliminating the one-sided matches from regular head-to-head tipping contests. Instead of simply picking the winner of each match, we’ll be tipping against the spread. For example, if Geelong is playing Brisbane in Geelong, almost 100% of tippers in a normal tipping comp would pick the Cats to win and most likely they will all get a point for the correct tip. That’s boring. However, if the line was set to give Brisbane a 50 point head-start, then the pick becomes a lot more difficult – will the Cats thrash the Lions and go past the 50 point mark or will the Lions tough it out and only lose by 30 or 40 points.
With the line tipping format, if you can pick over 50% correct, you’re doing well. If you manage to get over 60% you’re doing really well and over 70% is exceptional.
Each round we’ll review the lines for each match and our resident tippers will test their expertise against the Hump Day Lines. The lines used will be as of Wednesday (hence the name Hump Day Lines) for a normal round starting with a Friday night match. Note: lines are usually subject to change due to changing conditions (eg. player injuries) but for the purposes of a tipping contest we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere so we’re going with Wednesday lines.
Right … let’s get into the Round 1 lines.
Carlton +14.5 / Richmond -14.5 (i.e. Carlton have a 14.5 point head-start)
Richmond won the season opener against Carlton last year by only 9 points. The Tigers should be a much better team than the Blues in 2017. The Blues are very young and are starting from scratch whereas the Tigers are trading away their early picks for mature players because they still think they have a good list (after trading to get Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy Richmond’s first pick in the 2016 draft was pick #29).
Richmond should win this game easily and I think they will cover the 14.5 point line.
Carlton +14.5 points – Hollywood
Richmond -14.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Shan, Ding Dong
Collingwood +16.5 / Western Bulldogs -16.5
The Dogs last game at the MCG was the 22 point win over Sydney in last year’s Grand Final. Collingwood and the Dogs met twice last year for two Bulldog wins (by 21 points at the MCG in round 10 and by 3 points at Etihad in round 21). Collingwood also have a plethora of injuries including Wells, De Goey and Jamie Elliott. The Dogs on the other hand desperately needed the off season to mend their long injury list and should be much healthier.
All things considered this line seems a bit low so expect the Bulldogs to steam past the 16.5 point margin.
Collingwood +16.5 points – Hollywood, Ding Dong
Western Bulldogs -16.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Shan
St Kilda -1.5 / Melbourne +1.5
This is basically a head-to-head choice with the line at 1.5 points. Both teams are expected to continue their upward trend on the AFL ladder and be pushing for a place in the final eight.
St Kilda have had the wood over the Demons in recent times including beating them convincingly twice in 2016 (by 39 points in round 6 and 36 points in round 17).
But despite recent history, and perhaps just to go against the majority of tippers, I’m picking Melbourne.
I’m expecting big improvements to come from the young Melbourne stars, including Petracca and Hogan, and hopefully that starts from round 1.
St Kilda -1.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Shan
Melbourne +1.5 points – Dusty, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Sydney -25.5 / Port Adelaide +25.5
I always overestimate Port Adelaide. I think it is because, similar to Richmond, their top four or five players are amazing (the likes of Robbie Gray, Chad Wingard, Ollie Wines, Travis Boak and Hamish Hartlett) so I expect them to win all the time. But the depth is the problem. This is a tough one to pick – I’m going to give Port another chance and tip them to get within 25 points of Sydney.
Sydney -25.5 points – Big O, Ding Dong
Port Adelaide +25.5 – Dusty, Moose Dogs, TRM, Shan, Hollywood
Essendon +10.5 / Hawthorn -10.5
This is a tough one to judge given there have been some important player changes at Hawthorn and we haven’t seen the Essendon senior list for about 18 months. But those good players departing Hawthorn (including Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Brad Hill) have been replaced by other talented players (including Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell) and they have Roughead returning so I think they’ll be very strong again in 2017.
Hawks to stroll past the line.
Essendon +10.5 points – Hollywood
Hawthorn -10.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Shan, Ding Dong
Gold Coast -18.5 / Brisbane +18.5
Does anyone, particularly those in the southern states, really watch much of these two teams?
In round 1 anything can happen but the Gold Coast should be good enough to win this one comfortably. Suns to cover the line.
Gold Coast -18.5 points – Dusty, Big O, TRM, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Brisbane +18.5 points – Moose Dogs, Shan
North Melbourne +16.5 / West Coast -16.5
West Coast won by 32 points in the only clash between these two teams in 2017. That game was in the west. A lot of people expect the Eagles to remain a strong team and even improve with Sam Mitchell added to the midfield while most are predicting the Kangaroos to fall down the ladder. Hence North get a 16.5 point head-start.
It’s a tough one to pick but West Coast’s difficulty in performing well away from home pushes me over to the Kangaroos side.
North Melbourne +16.5 points – Dusty, Shan, Hollywood
West Coast -16.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Adelaide +6.5 / Greater Western Sydney -6.5
The Crows beat the Giants by 22 points in Adelaide in round 10 last year. Many are tipping GWS to be premiers this year but Adelaide in Adelaide in round 1 is a tough assignment.
This should be a cracking game. GWS to cover the line.
Adelaide +6.5 points – Big O, Ding Dong
Greater Western Sydney -6.5 points – Dusty, Moose Dogs, TRM, Shan, Hollywood
Fremantle +14.5 / Geelong -14.5
This feels like a tough game first up for Geelong having to travel to the West and Freo having Fyfe back fit and strong. Fremantle and Geelong only met once last year – it was in the West and the Cats won by 17 points. But there was no Fyfe. I’m tipping Freo to get within 14 points.
Fremantle +14.5 points – Dusty, Moose Dogs, Shan, Hollywood
Geelong -14.5 points – Big O, TRM, Ding Dong
Results from round 1 and the ladder positions of our tipsters will be published next week on Footy Inc..