Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
Three finalists from 2016 find themselves 0-4 and at the bottom of the ladder – Sydney, North Melbourne and Hawthorn – but each under different circumstances. Sydney has been injury riddled and has had a tough draw – they will turn things around (perhaps starting after another loss this weekend against GWS). North have had a tougher draw than anyone having played the Eagles, Cats, Giants and Bulldogs and have been desperately close a couple of times. North’s tough draw continues and it would take a huge effort to make finals from here. Hawthorn seems to be gone for all money. It’s hard to see how the Hawks turn things around especially considering they too have been gifted a pretty difficult draw.
Round 4 lines favoured the favourites (7 out of 9) and most tipsters managed above the 50% mark. Moose Dogs led the way with 8 out of 9 winners and now tops the table.
ROUND 5 LINES
Port Adelaide -37.5 / Carlton +37.5
Carlton’s three losses this year to the Suns, Demons and Tigers have been at an average losing margin of a tick over 30 points. Port Adelaide in Adelaide seems like an even harder task and Port knows how to win big at home.
Port to cover the huge 37.5 point line.
Port Adelaide -37.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Shan, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Carlton +37.5 points – Hollywood
Western Bulldogs -42.5 / Brisbane +42.5
It is not surprising that this is the biggest line so far in 2017 given it is last year’s premiers up against a team who managed only 3 wins last year (equal wins with the wooden spooners).
The Bulldogs have been winning dirty so far this season with an average winning margin of only 13 points across their three wins. Despite injury troubles with their big men the Dogs seem due for a big win and in the same round last year they thumped the Lions by 53 points at Etihad Stadium.
The Lions look to be in for another very long season. If the Tigers can beat them by 52 points in Brisbane then the Dogs can cover this enormous line in Melbourne.
Western Bulldogs -42.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Brisbane +42.5 points – none
Gold Coast +27.5 / Adelaide -27.5
Adelaide has a great record over the Gold Coast with an all-time record of 9-0 at an average winning margin of 55 points. They played once last year when it was the Crows by 75 points at Metricon Stadium. Have the Suns got significantly better? There may be some signs of improvement but one could argue that the Crows improvement this year has been even more significant.
I’m going with the favourite again to cover the line.
Gold Coast +27.5 points – Hollywood, Shan, Moose Dogs, Ding Dong
Adelaide -27.5 points – Dusty, Big O, TRM
Sydney +13.5 / GWS -13.5
Sydney has a 0-4 head-to-head record so far this season and also has a 0-4 record at the line (they have been underdogs twice and not covered the line). The Swans are finally getting over their injury problems as they are set to bring back three or four important players this week.
But is this line still too narrow against the flag favourites?
Sydney +13.5 points – Dusty, Hollywood
GWS -13.5 points – Big O, Shan, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Image credit: Jason Tong (License)
Fremantle -12.5 / North Melbourne +12.5
Freo will start favourites for the first time this season. Poor North would have expected this match to be the start of an easier run after having played West Coast, Geelong, GWS and the Bulldogs in the first four rounds but instead they catch an in-form Fremantle.
If Freo can beat the Bulldogs at home by 16 points (round 2) then why can’t they beat North by just as much? Freo to cover the 12.5 point line.
Fremantle -12.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
North Melbourne +12.5 points – Moose Dogs, Ding Dong
St Kilda +15.5 / Geelong -15.5
In 2015 these teams drew in round 21 then in round 14 last year the Saints beat the Cats by 3 points. Will this be another close one?
Jack (Stevens) is back (well he might be back from a punctured lung but we’ll have to wait for final teams) and the Saints are going ok at 2-2. Geelong however are rolling along very well at 4-0 and coming off an 86 point win over Hawthorn. With a nearly full strength team it is hard to tip against the Cats even when giving the opposition a 15.5 point head start.
St Kilda +15.5 points – Hollywood
Geelong -15.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Shan, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Hawthorn +18.5 / West Coast -18.5
At the MCG in round 3 the Eagles let one slip against Richmond with poor kicking for goal letting them down early in the match then some bad luck when the rain set in shortly after the Tigers hit the lead. They’ll be keen to show some form on the ground where they might need to play some big matches come September.
Will Sam Mitchell play against his old team? He’s considered a good chance despite an ankle complaint.
The Hawks have had a rough run so far this season but there is still enough quality there to keep this one close against the Eagles in Melbourne.
Hawthorn +18.5 points – Dusty, Hollywood, Shan, Ding Dong
West Coast -18.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM
Richmond -4.5 / Melbourne +4.5
Jordan Lewis is still out of the Melbourne team after his fairy tap on Carlton’s Patrick Cripps in round 2 cost him three weeks on the sidelines while Jesse Hogan is available after a two week ban for a knock-out punch on Sam Rowe in the same match. Something doesn’t quite seem right there.
The Demons will be desperate to get back on the winners sheet after two straight losses while Richmond will be desperate to win this 50/50 clash before their draw gets considerably harder in the coming weeks.
This one is a toss of the coin but our tipsters are favouring the Tigers.
Richmond -4.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Melbourne +4.5 points – none
Essendon +4.5 / Collingwood -4.5
This feels like a disrespectful line to Collingwood. Sure they are 1-3 but the good performances against the Bulldogs and Sydney have to stand for something and the Richmond and St Kilda losses were not disgraceful. The Bombers on the other hand have put in two stinkers in a row.
Collingwood won the ANZAC Day clash last year by 69 points. The forecast of cold and wet conditions dampens my confidence a little but I feel like the Pies can run away with this one as well.
Essendon +4.5 points – Big O, Hollywood
Collingwood -4.5 points – Dusty, Shan, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Round 5 results and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..
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