Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
The Tigers take the outright lead on the line ladder after they were able to easily cover the -5.5 point line with a 35-point win over North Melbourne last week. Being top of the line ladder is a reflection of a team outperforming expectations. At the other end, the Hawks have fallen to dead last after a 51-point shellacking dished out by Port Adelaide which reflects a team massively underperforming this season.
The grand final rematch kicks off round 12. Here are the hump day lines (drawn on Tuesday due to the Thursday night match):
ROUND 12 LINES
Sydney -3.5 / Western Bulldogs +3.5
The second grand final rematch finds the Swans favourites despite being in 16th position on the ladder with only three wins from their first ten matches. In comparison the Bulldogs are sitting in 6th position with a 6-4 win/loss record. The Swans however have managed their three wins over their last four matches which does suggest they may have turned a corner and may justify them being slight favourites. Certainly most pundits would expect the Swans second half of the year to be better than the first half.
The Dogs are also yet to hit top gear in 2017 but they did enough good work early in the season to have themselves nicely poised for a run at a top four finish. In the first five rounds the Dogs went 4-1 whilst in the next five rounds they went 2-3. Coming off a bye week, Bulldog fans will be hoping that their team start the next string of matches off with a good win up in Sydney.
Lines have favoured underdogs and away teams all season so for that reason the Dogs win this line with the +3.5 point head start.
Sydney -3.5 points – Hollywood, Ding Dong
Western Bulldogs +3.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan, TRM
Adelaide -37.5 / St Kilda +37.5
This is the fourth time in a row that the Crows/Saints fixture has been played at the Adelaide Oval. It is not since round 4 2014 that they have played in Melbourne. Then you need to go back to round 18 2011 for the Saints last win over the Crows. That’s six straight wins for the Crows over the Saints at an average winning margin of 57 points.
But this is an improving St Kilda team who are coming off a bye so, while a win over the Crows at the Adelaide Oval would take an enormous performance, staying the right side of the +37.5 point line does seem very attainable.
Adelaide -37.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
St Kilda +37.5 points – Dusty, Ding Dong
Hawthorn -7.5 / Gold Coast +7.5
The Suns beat the Hawks by 86 points in round 3 this season which was probably the lowest point in Hawthorn’s woeful start to the season. The Hawks have improved as the season has progressed with a 4-3 win/loss record over the last seven rounds but they are definitely not the powerhouse they once were.
The Suns mixed form continues with a good win last weekend against the Eagles coming after two terrible losses (to Melbourne by 35 points and Port Adelaide by 72 points).
The Suns are far too inconsistent to pick with any confidence and being down in Melbourne you have to favour the Hawks to cover the -7.5 point line.
Hawthorn -7.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Shan, Ding Dong
Gold Coast +7.5 points – Moose Dogs, Hollywood, TRM
Brisbane +19.5 / Fremantle -19.5
Brisbane has lost 9 games in a row and the average losing margin has been 49 points. The closest they have got to an opponent in those last 9 matches was in round 2 when they lost to the Bombers by 27 points. It seems disrespectful to the Dockers that this line has only been set at 19.5 points.
The Dockers form has been patchy this season but a 6-5 win/loss record and wins over other top 8 teams (Richmond and Western Bulldogs) proves they are a much better side than last year.
With a bye next week for the Dockers they will be determined to retain their place in the top 8 and take a 7-5 win/loss record into the break. Dockers to cover the line comfortably.
Brisbane +19.5 points – Moose Dogs, Ding Dong
Fremantle -19.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
Essendon +15.5 / Port Adelaide -15.5
Port Adelaide have played three very good matches in a row having achieved big wins over the Hawks and Suns and a narrow loss to the Cats down in Geelong, a game they probably should have won. For the Power this is a chance to take a top four spot.
For the Bombers as well there is a lot on the line – a win would take them to a 6-6 win/loss record and keep them in reaching distance of the top 8.
Even in Melbourne, with the form Port are in they should be able to cover the -15.5 point line.
Essendon +15.5 points – Hollywood
Port Adelaide -15.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
Carlton +33.5 / GWS -33.5
For a 1st vs 17th clash you would normally expect the line to be a lot higher than 33.5 points but strangely it does make sense (or may even be too high) – it’s unusual for a team in 17th position to have a win/loss record as good as Carlton’s 3-7 and most of their seven losses have been kept close (within 5 goals). In addition, the Giants have a long injury list which hasn’t stopped them winning but they are not blowing teams away. Finally, the Blues have won their last three matches at the MCG.
There are definitely enough reasons to tip the Blues side of the line.
Carlton +33.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
GWS -33.5 points – Moose Dogs, Ding Dong
Melbourne -8.5 / Collingwood +8.5
Both teams are sitting on five wins with the Demons in 9th position on the ladder and Collingwood in 10th position. The prize will be a spot in the top 8.
Collingwood have hit good form but, just as the wins start rolling in, the injury list starts growing. This weekend they will likely be without Jamie Elliot, Tyson Goldsack and Daniel Wells who were all a part of the team that beat Fremantle on Sunday.
The Demons form has been on and off all season. After a bye round last week they will be determine to have a more consistent second half to the season.
With the Pies weakened by unavailable players this is a great opportunity for a refreshed Demons. The Dees have also beaten the Pies in their last three encounters. Melbourne to cover the line.
Melbourne -8.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan
Collingwood +8.5 points – TRM, Ding Dong
Here is the table after round 11:
Round 12 results and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..
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