Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
Dangerfield suspended for one week. In other big news, in our resident line tipping competition we had Big O get a big 0 in round 19 – 0 correct tips from 9 lines. The second donut this season. Terrible.
Round 19 was another round for the Underdogs – 6 from 9 lines – continuing the trend across the whole season (60% of all lines have been won by the underdog).
On the team line ladder the Tigers got the job done again (covering the line against Gold Coast) while the Crows fell short only managing to draw against the Pies. Richmond now have the outright lead.
ROUND 20 LINES
Geelong +1.5 / Sydney -1.5
Two in form teams kick off round 20 down at Simonds Stadium. The Cats are 4 from 4 at that venue this season with some big scalps including the Dogs, Port and the Crows. However their biggest star is out suspended so this could be their biggest test yet down in Geelong. The line tightened significantly after the Dangerfield news and now the Swans are 1.5 point favourites.
The Swans winning streak ended at 7 matches when they lost to the Hawks last week by one goal. Geelong down in Geelong is not an easy assignment to get yourself back on the winners list.
2nd vs 6th on the ladder with so much at stake with finals only one month away – this should be a ripper. I think Sydney’s big strong midfield might prey on the Geelong mids in Dangerfield’s absence so I’m leaning toward the Swans.
Geelong +1.5 points – Hollywood, Ding Dong
Sydney -1.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan, TRM
GWS -12.5 / Melbourne +12.5
The Giants finally got back on the winners list last week after a month of losses and draws. It was a pretty unconvincing win though – they only limped over the line against Fremantle by 12 points. They will go into Saturday’s match against Melbourne as 12.5 point favourites.
The Demons are also going through an ordinary run having gone L-W-L-W-L over the last five matches and the loss of full-forward Jesse Hogan with a broken collarbone won’t make things any easier.
Both teams have a lot to play for with top 4 and top 8 positions on the line. Up in Sydney, GWS at -12.5 points seems the safe bet.
GWS -12.5 points – Dusty, Moose Dogs, Shan, Ding Dong
Melbourne +12.5 points – Big O, Hollywood, TRM
Essendon -26.5 / Carlton +26.5
Despite a crucial loss last week to the Bulldogs, the Bombers finals hopes are still alive thanks to a healthy percentage (107.1) and a relatively soft draw on the run home. This week they face the Blues who knocked them off at the MCG back in round 3.
Since then though the Blues line-up has weakened with a long list of injuries and the performances on-field have waned – they are currently on a six match losing streak.
With a finals spot still sitting there right in front of the Bombers I think they will cover the -26.5 point line.
Essendon -26.5 points – Dusty, Ding Dong
Carlton +26.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
Brisbane +28.5 / Western Bulldogs -28.5
The Bulldogs won a critical game last week against the Bombers to push up into 9th position on the ladder. With only four games left before finals the equation is simple for the Dogs – they just need to keep winning. They beat the Lions by 32 points in round 5 in Melbourne but this time it’s up at the Gabba.
The Lions have thrown in the odd good game this season and pinched a few surprise wins but generally it has been a very tough year. Hopefully a couple more good young players from the draft and an extra season under the belt of their already young list will hold them in good stead for 2018.
The Dogs showed glimpses of 2016 form last weekend and with so much on the line again this week they should be able to beat 18th placed Brisbane easily. Dogs to cover the -28.5 point line.
Brisbane +28.5 points – Hollywood, Shan
Western Bulldogs -28.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
North Melbourne +10.5 / Collingwood -10.5
North Melbourne coming off a good win over Melbourne up against Collingwood who played out a crazy draw against Adelaide last week.
The Pies played some amazing football against the Crows to earn a 50 point lead by the early stages of the third quarter. Sure they blew it from that point on but in fairness it was the top side grinding them down.
At the -10.5 point line I like the Pies.
North Melbourne +10.5 points – Ding Dong
Collingwood -10.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
Fremantle -17.5 / Gold Coast +17.5
14th Dockers vs 15th Suns on Saturday night in Perth. Both teams had reasonable starts to the season but are now struggling badly. The Dockers have lost 8 of their last 9 matches and the Suns have lost 6 of their last 7.
It’s difficult to mount an argument for a team at a -17.5 point line when their form has been so bad for such a large chunk of the season. Therefore by default I’m taking the Suns with the 17.5 point head start and will keep my fingers crossed for a return of G Ablett.
Fremantle -17.5 points – Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Gold Coast +17.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan
St Kilda -4.5 / West Coast +4.5
Round 2 in Perth the Eagles beat the Saints by 19 points. In Melbourne this time the line has been set with St Kilda as 4.5 point favourites. The Eagles record in Melbourne will come under the microscope again – they have won only 2 of 6 matches this season (2-2 at Etihad Stadium and 0-2 at the MCG). The Saints have a win/loss at Etihad this season of 7-5.
The Eagles need to win to stay in the top 8 and the Saints need the win to stay in the race for a top 8 position. There is so much on the line here – who will prevail? For no good reason I’ll be taking the Eagles.
St Kilda -4.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, Ding Dong
West Coast +4.5 points – Dusty, TRM
Richmond -4.5 / Hawthorn +4.5
Hawthorn had a great win over Sydney last week to keep their slim finals hopes alive. Still in 12th position on the ladder there is no room for slip ups from here – they need 4 straight wins.
The Tigers will go in as slight favourites on Sunday at the MCG. They’ve won their last three matches and they too need to keep winning if they want to hold onto a top 4 spot. Richmond managed without a true key forward last week against Gold Coast but a similar set-up may not be enough against Hawthorn.
Jack Riewoldt’s unavailability (eye injury) has swayed my tip over to Hawthorn.
Richmond -4.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, TRM, Ding Dong
Hawthorn +4.5 points – Dusty, Hollywood, Shan
Adelaide -11.5 / Port Adelaide +11.5
Round 20 will kick off with a cracker – 2nd (Geel) vs 6th (Syd) – and will be closed out with a cracker. 1st placed Crows vs 5th placed Power.
Adelaide withstood one of Collingwood’s best performances of the season last week and chased down a 50 point deficit to force a draw with a kick after the siren. The Crows won the first Showdown of the year with a 17 point win in round 3 and have not lost to the Power since early in 2015. They will start 11.5 point favourites this time around.
Port are on a good run having won 5 of their last 7 matches and find themselves knocking on the door of the top 4.
But despite the Powers good run I think the Crows look like the more complete team this season and should cover the -11.5 point line.
Adelaide -11.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
Port Adelaide +11.5 points – Moose Dogs, Ding Dong
The line tipping table after round 19:
Round 20 results and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..