Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
Round 14 was an absolute rip-snorter with four games decided by 3 points or less. Lines were dominated by Away Teams again with 7 out of 9 away teams covering the spread.
Round 15 has some great match-ups as well with four lines set at below 4 points. It’s hard to believe that Sydney who started the season 0-6 could easily be inside the top 8 by the end of the round (if they beat Melbourne and Fremantle beat St Kilda).
On the teams line ladder the Tigers take the outright lead after a solid win over the Blues.
Here are the hump day lines (cut on Wednesday):
ROUND 15 LINES
Melbourne +2.5 / Sydney -2.5
A cracking match to kick off round 15. Both teams are flying with the Demons having won four straight and the Swans winning six of their last seven.
Both teams are also coming off amazing last-minute wins in round 14 – the Demons over West Coast (3 points) and the Swans over Essendon (1 point).
The Dees haven’t beaten Sydney since 2010, having played a draw in 2011 followed by five straight wins to the Swans. But this new Demons line-up cares little about the past – last week they broke a 9-match losing streak against West Coast.
This is a very narrow line – basically a head-to-head pick – so it could be team selection/ injuries that tip the scales. Jack Viney and his AC joint will be one of the big question marks.
With the toss of a coin – Swans to win the line.
Melbourne +2.5 points – TRM
Sydney -2.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, Ding Dong
Western Bulldogs -14.5 / West Coast +14.5
At Etihad Stadium, the Bulldogs as 14.5 point favourites probably makes sense despite their sluggish form. West Coast’s terrible record in Melbourne cannot be denied.
The Eagles last two trips to Melbourne have been disastrous having lost badly to teams beneath them on the ladder – a 50 point loss to Hawthorn (MCG) and a 61 point loss to Essendon (Etihad).
The Dogs cannot really be trusted either having been the worst performing team against the spread this season (4-9 record).
Based on the above, the line tip becomes a decision on the lesser of two evils. The Dogs for me.
Western Bulldogs -14.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, Ding Dong
West Coast +14.5 points – nil
Carlton +23.5 / Adelaide -23.5
Interesting game and interesting line. Adelaide were big favourites (48.5 points) last week at home against Hawthorn and lost the match by 14 points. This week their handicap is 23.5 points against the Blues at the MCG.
You have to expect the Crows to bounce back but the Blues have very rarely been blown away this season. The Blues have also played the MCG pretty well winning 3 of their last 4 there. Blues to win the line.
Carlton +23.5 points – Dusty, Shan
Adelaide -23.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Gold Coast -3.5 / North Melbourne +3.5
There are still plenty of matches left in the season but it appears that finals are out of the question for both these teams. Is it too early for teams (particularly a team like North in 17th position) to start experimenting and playing younger players without care for the result? Regarding the draft, it’s in the Roos best interests to stay in 17th position rather than getting on a good run and finishing 11th or 12th. For now though we’ll assume both teams are still desperate to win.
The Suns are slight favourites at home (line at 3.5) and the result may come down to one question: is Gary Ablett fit to play?
Gold Coast -3.5 points – Dusty, Shan
North Melbourne +3.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Ding Dong
GWS -19.5 / Geelong +19.5
1st vs 3rd on the ladder, this shapes as a massive test for both sides. Can the Cats get a win against a top side away from Simonds Stadium? Can the Giants continue to scrape up wins with their wounded player list?
GWS -19.5 points seems like a big line for the Giants to cover. And the Away Team and Underdogs season records (both just under 60% of lines) are also up against the Giants. Cats to stay close and take this line.
GWS -19.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Geelong +19.5 points – Dusty, Shan
Port Adelaide -19.5 / Richmond +19.5
4th vs 6th on the ladder but the jury is still out on both of these teams. Port have been beating all the teams below them but then falling at the big hurdles (Cats, Eagles, Giants and Crows).
It’s a similar story for the Tigers who have been winning the games they are expected to win but just falling short against the best teams (Swans, Giants, Bulldogs and Crows).
The Power in Adelaide should get the win but the line at 19.5 points is the difficult part. The Tigers 5 losses this year have all been by less than 10 points with the exception of a thumping (76 points) from the Crows in Adelaide. I think they’ll keep it much closer against Port.
Port Adelaide -19.5 points – Moose Dogs
Richmond +19.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, Ding Dong
Essendon -44.5 / Brisbane +44.5
The Bombers surely win but do they really smash the Lions and cover the 44.5 point line?
The Lions have had some blowouts this season but in two trips to Etihad Stadium their losing margins have only been 31 points (vs St Kilda in round 3) and 32 points (vs Western Bulldogs in round 5).
The Dons last two at Etihad have been big wins against the Eagles (61 points) and the Power (70 points). Why wouldn’t they do the same to the wooden-spooners?
Dons to cover.
Essendon -44.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Shan
Brisbane +44.5 points – Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Hawthorn +3.5 / Collingwood -3.5
Both teams have a win/loss of 5-8 which is two wins off 8th position on the ladder. The loser here is surely out of finals contention while the winner hangs in there by the skin of their teeth.
Hawthorn’s form is terribly hard to follow with some great wins like the Swans in round 10 and the Crows last week slotting in between some bad losses.
The Pies have also had an up and down season. They beat the Hawks by 18 points only a month and a half ago and are reasonably close to full strength.
Pies to cover the -3.5 point line.
Hawthorn +3.5 points – Big O, Shan
Collingwood -3.5 points – Dusty, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Ding Dong
Fremantle -2.5 / St Kilda +2.5
The Saints seem to have settled the ship with wins over North and Gold Coast after three straight losses between rounds 9 to 12 (to the Swans, Bulldogs and Crows). They are holding 8th spot on the ladder but have a bunch of teams breathing down their neck.
One of those teams fighting the Saints for a spot in the finals are the Dockers. They are sitting 12th, one win behind St Kilda but also way behind on percentage (79.6 compared to the Saints 97.9).
With Fyfe and Sandilands back in the Freo line-up this should be a tough task for the Saints. Dockers to win the narrow -2.5 point line.
Fremantle -2.5 points – Dusty, Hollywood
St Kilda +2.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan, Ding Dong
The line tipping table after round 14:
Round 15 results and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..