Dusty Lines for Footy Inc.
All teams have started as favourites in at least one match this season except for the Brisbane Lions. That will change this weekend though when the Lions start favourites against the struggling Gold Coast Suns. At the line the Lions have a pretty good record winning 11 of 19 (see line ladder below).
The Tigers and Crows notched up another win at the line last week and continue to lead the line ladder. Had the Tigers won two or three of those narrow losses between round 7 and round 9 (5 points to the Dogs, 2 points to the Dockers and 3 points to the Giants) they would also be leading the premiership ladder.
ROUND 21 LINES
Western Bulldogs +3.5 / GWS -3.5
The Dogs have snuck into the top 8 for now but, with several teams only one win behind them and with a modest percentage of only 101.1, they need to keep winning to hold their spot. Up against 2nd placed GWS, this will really test the Dogs worthiness of a spot in the finals especially with the Giants line-up improving every week as star players come back from injury. The good news for the Dogs is that they get them at Etihad Stadium where they have a win/loss of 7-2 this season.
The Giants will start slight favourites but the Bulldogs have their season on the line and should be able to push the Giants to the wire.
Western Bulldogs +3.5 points – Dusty, Shan
GWS -3.5 points – Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, TRM, Ding Dong
Sydney -49.5 / Fremantle +49.5
The last time these two teams met the Sydney Swans whacked the Dockers by 90 points. That was round 19 last year in Fremantle.
This time they meet in Sydney and the Swans are absolutely flying winning 11 of their last 13 matches. The Dockers have lost 8 of their last 10. Understandably the line is big.
Despite the unpredictable nature of this season so far, a Swans win here seems inevitable but the line is a little too big for comfort. Dockers to keep it reasonable.
Sydney -49.5 points – Hollywood, TRM
Fremantle +49.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan, Ding Dong
Geelong +6.5 / Richmond -6.5
Geelong had a nightmare of a night against the Swans last Friday not only because of the hefty loss (46 points) but also because of the injury to star midfielder Joel Selwood and suspensions to Tom Hawkins and Mitch Duncan. Even with the return of Patrick Dangerfield the Cats line-up will be depleted going into this match against the Tigers. It’s unusual for the Cats to start underdogs down at Simonds Stadium.
Richmond (3rd) have snuck in front of Geelong (4th) on the ladder and will see this match against a weakened Cats as a great opportunity to consolidate that position and even push up into a top 2 position. And whilst the Cats lose players, the Tigers are likely to get their one and only key forward back with Jack Riewoldt likely to come in.
All the momentum seems to be with Richmond and this line seems to be theirs for the taking.
Geelong +6.5 points – Hollywood, TRM
Richmond -6.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan, Ding Dong
Brisbane -7.5 / Gold Coast +7.5
18th vs 15th on the ladder so pride is all there is left to play for here for the Lions and Suns. In round 1 the Lions managed a 2 point win over the Suns and right at the minute the Lions form is looking the stronger of the two teams with a win over Carlton 3 weeks ago and a respectable loss (only 14 points) against the Bulldogs last week.
The Suns on the other hand have lost the last five matches by an average of 38 points. Their star player Gary Ablett is out again and the sacking of their coach mid-week add further doubts over their chances this weekend.
This is the first time the Lions have been favourites for the entire season and they could easily cover the -7.5 point line.
Brisbane -7.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan
Gold Coast +7.5 points – Hollywood, TRM, Ding Dong
Essendon +16.5 / Adelaide -16.5
Such a tough match for the Bombers who are desperately clinging onto a spot in the top 8. Whilst the Crows have a little bit of breathing space at the top of the ladder they will not want to put too much pressure on themselves with matches against Sydney and West Coast in Perth to follow.
In round 4 the Crows crushed the Bombers by 65 points in Adelaide. Essendon should be more competitive at Etihad Stadium this week but they were very unconvincing against the Blues last week. Crows to cover the -16.5 point line.
Essendon +16.5 points – Shan, Ding Dong
Adelaide -16.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, TRM
West Coast -33.5 / Carlton +33.5
The Eagles sit in 9th position on the ladder, only percentage keeping them out of the top 8. After Carlton their remaining matches are against the 2nd placed Giants and top-of-the-table Adelaide. Their chances of sneaking a finals spot look grim but at very least they should get the win here and keep the flame alight for another week.
That said West Coast’s patchy form gives little confidence in their ability to cover a big line like this one. Carlton have been pretty competitive across the whole season and should be able to keep within the +33.5 point line.
West Coast -33.5 points – Moose Dogs, Ding Dong
Carlton +33.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Hollywood, Shan, TRM
Melbourne -7.5 / St Kilda +7.5
Many experts predicted that either one or both of these teams would play finals this year and at different times throughout the season it has looked like that might eventuate. But right now they sit in 10th (Melb) and 11th (StK) on the ladder outside the top 8 on percentage only. The loser of this match is almost certainly out of the finals race.
In round 1 the Demons beat the Saints at Etihad Stadium by 30 points and go into this week’s match at the MCG as slight favourites. The Demons have two very winnable games after the Saints match which could see them push into a top 8 position if they can just get over the Saints in this one. My tip is Melbourne at the -7.5 point line.
Melbourne -7.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood, Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
St Kilda +7.5 points – nil
Hawthorn -28.5 / North Melbourne +28.5
After a woeful start to the season, the Hawks almighty run towards an unlikely finals birth finally came to an end last week when they lost to the Tigers at the MCG.
Neither team has a lot to play for here which makes tipping the line even harder. With a 28.5 point head start the safest option might be the Kangaroos.
Hawthorn -28.5 points – Hollywood, TRM, Ding Dong
North Melbourne +28.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Shan
Port Adelaide -20.5 / Collingwood +20.5
The Magpies have had a very good month of football with three solid wins and a draw against the top team (Adelaide). This good patch of form is not helping their position in the draft but it may well be saving their coach.
The Pies good form is also concerning for Port Adelaide who are trying to push up into a top 4 position. This looks like a tricky match for Port at home but with a relatively healthy player list they should get the win.
At the line I expect the Magpies to be very competitive and keep within +20.5 points.
Port Adelaide -20.5 points – Shan, TRM, Ding Dong
Collingwood +20.5 points – Dusty, Big O, Moose Dogs, Hollywood
The line tipping table after round 20:
Round 21 results and an updated ladder will be published next week on Footy Inc..