Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
“Sad Saturday …. the fall of two great clubs” is how Brian Taylor described the start to the season for Hawthorn (after a big 75-point loss against St Kilda) and Sydney (after a shock loss suffered against Carlton). It’s crazy to see these powerhouse clubs from the past decade fall to 17th and 18th positions on the ladder and look extremely unlikely to play finals. Most thought that the Fremantle performance in 2016 – falling from minor premiers in 2015 to 16th position in 2016 – was an anomaly but it seems to be happening again in the very next season.
The Cats loss to Collingwood came as a shock as well. Thankfully two great teams did live up to expectations on Friday night with the Giants and Dogs putting on another great show.
Head-to-head tipping was hard enough in round 6 let alone tipping the line. It was all about Away Teams again which have almost a 60% winning record this season. Before we look at the round 7 lines, here is the table after round 6:
ROUND 7 LINES
St Kilda +14.5 / GWS -14.5
Saints fans would have enjoyed their 75 point win against Hawthorn last week. They probably also enjoyed the fresh speculation that Nat Fyfe will move to St Kilda as a free agent at the end of the season.
GWS are also coming off a good win beating another genuine premiership contender (the Dogs) by 2 points on Friday night.
Based on the line record so far this season, when in doubt go for the away team – they’re tracking at almost a 60% win rate.
St Kilda +14.5 points – none
GWS -14.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
North Melbourne +37.5 / Adelaide -37.5
Adelaide should keep their undefeated run going with a win here but can they pass the huge line (-37.5 points)? Their average winning margin this season is 51 points so you could argue that this line is low.
On the flip side the Roos are 1-5 but they have stayed close in most matches – this is probably driven by fear in all the players of how Brad Scott would react to a blow-out loss.
North Melbourne +37.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
Adelaide -37.5 points – Moose Dogs
Collingwood -19.5 / Carlton +19.5
Both of these teams have gone L-L-W-L-L-W in the first six rounds. That pattern will end for one team (or even both if it’s a draw).
Both teams are coming off surprise wins last week – Collingwood beating Geelong and Carlton downing Sydney – but it seems like there is more on the line for the Pies in this match compared to the Blues. If the Pies win they go 3-4 and their fans will start to believe finals are a chance again. If the Blues win and go 3-4 their fans will just be surprised that they have managed 3 wins so early in the season when the expectation is that they will only win 5 or 6 for the whole season. Pies to cover.
Collingwood -19.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
Carlton +19.5 points – none
Port Adelaide -20.5 / West Coast +20.5
Who knows? Port have had a soft draw so far and are great front runners so it’s possible that their 4-2 record and percentage of 152.2 makes them look better than they are. For West Coast, which team will turn up? This is particularly concerning every time they cross the WA border.
It looks like the “Away Team” rule needs to be applied to pick this line.
Port Adelaide -20.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, TRM, Ding Dong
West Coast +20.5 points – Dusty, Shan
Gold Coast +20.5 / Geelong -20.5
This is a tricky match for Geelong up in Queensland coming off an unexpected loss to Collingwood. They would not want to drop another game that they would have had pencilled in as a W at the start of the season.
It will also be interesting to see how Gary Ablett goes against his old club and potentially his future club if the speculation around a return to Geelong in 2018 has any merit.
I get the feeling that the Cats will bounce back hard this week.
Gold Coast +20.5 points – Big O, Shan, Ding Dong
Geelong -20.5 points – Dusty, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, TRM
Western Bulldogs -18.5 / Richmond +18.5
The Dogs started to show some of their 2016 form last week despite losing to the Giants by 2 points – if not for poor kicking they would have won comfortably. Back at Etihad Stadium the Dogs have a chance to crush the hopes of Tiger fans who are just recovering from the belting they received from the Crows last week.
Granted Adelaide are belting most teams at the moment but it felt like Richmond had the wrong mindset and slipped back into old bad habits last week. After early season success on the back of playing a faster more attacking style of football, Damian Hardwick decided to go back to his favourite son, the ultra-defensive Steve Morris. It didn’t go well.
The Dogs haven’t really smashed an opponent so far this season. Maybe this is the week.
Western Bulldogs -18.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
Richmond +18.5 points – none
Sydney -44.5 / Brisbane +44.5
Sydney would need to win 12 out of 16 matches from here to make finals. Will Brisbane at the SCG be the match the Swans need to kick-start there season?
The Blues last week seemed like a “gimme putt” for the Swans and they missed so who knows what to expect this week?
Surely the Swans get the 4 points this weekend but whether they can break through the 44.5 point line is a much tougher question.
Sydney -44.5 points – Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Brisbane +44.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan
Melbourne -14.5 / Hawthorn +14.5
Jordan Lewis will get a chance to rub Hawthorn’s nose in it on Sunday when he plays against his old team for the first time.
Jesse Hogan will likely be back for the Dees. It will be interesting to see if Hawthorn makes any meaningful changes at the selection table as well after another bad loss.
On current form you have to go with the Demons to cover here (and hope that the powerhouse Hawks of past seasons don’t re-emerge).
Melbourne -14.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, TRM
Hawthorn +14.5 points – Shan, Ding Dong
Fremantle -12.5 / Essendon +12.5
Both teams have a win/loss of 3-3 but Fremantle’s form over the past month (3-1) has been better than the inconsistent Bombers (1-3).
In Perth it feels like Freo should get over the 12.5 point line in this one although I may be made to eat my words if Joe Daniher gets his hands on the football a bunch of times and manages to kick a bit straighter than last week.
Fremantle -12.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Shan, TRM
Essendon +12.5 points – Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Round 7 results and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..
Share your “lock of the week” as a comment on the Facebook post.