Back to a full round of AFL action after the bye weeks, but still with Thursday night matches. Over to the smartblokes from AFL Ratings...
AFL Round 14 Preview by aflratings.com.au via @aflratings
Only 1 upset in the AFL last week, here are our thoughts for Round 14 for a full book of 9 games.
Sydney 9-3 v Port Adelaide 5-7
The Swans will be without their 2 key forwards Franklin & Tippett this Thursday following suspension by the MRP, but a change in the
dynamic for a week may not be all that bad an outcome as the Swans were not lighting up the scoreboard with both in the team. The weight
of expectation for Port Adelaide has almost disappeared, an AFL Premiership selection by many in the pre-season has turned in to a
nightmare opening 12 games of the year. It is a last roll of the dice for the Power in a must win game, they have averaged 97.5pts FOR in
their past 4 games whilst the Swans are conceding only 67.8pts per game (Rank 2) in the 2015 Home & Away Season. Weather conditions look
ok but expect the game to be played in slippery conditions in Sydney this time of year, both Sydney & Port Adelaide are -1 against the
Betting Line this season.
Collingwood 8-4 v Hawthorn 8-4
Since the start of the 2012 season Hawthorn has totally owned Collingwood, the Hawks have averaged 130.0pts per game and have a 7-0 record
during this period. Whilst the Magpies have improved this year this is one of the bogey teams they need to overcome to be considered a
legitimate Finals contender this season. Hawthorn are the highest scoring team in the AFL this year (110.2pts Ave) & Collingwood are
Ranked 3RD (98.6pts Ave), both teams have hit 100pts in a game on 7 occasions. Hawthorn are 42-0 when scoring 100pts or more in game since
the start of the 2012 season, if any team is going to challenge that record it could be Collingwood on Friday Night in what is shaping up
to be a high scoring contest despite being in the middle of winter at the MCG.
Richmond 7-5 v GWS Giants 7-5
Richmond are one of the toughest teams to put a read on this year, they are 2-4 when starting as Favourite & 5-1 when starting as Underdog
through 12 games of the AFL Home & Away season. The Tigers recent history is littered with continual letdowns for punters & fans, but
considering the Giants current injury list a positive result is more than likely at the MCG on Saturday. GWS have conceded 104.0pts per
game from their past 4 games, a 30pt win over Brisbane in Round 10 is surrounded by heavy defeats by Collingwood (R11 42pts), Nth
Melbourne (R12 56pts) & the Western Bulldogs (R9 45pts) over the past month. The Giants have not cleared their Betting Line in their past
Gold Coast 1-11 v Nth Melbourne 6-6
In yet another week of turmoil for the Suns it is hard to imagine all players are 100% switched on with allegations beset upon the club,
despite a 1-11 record competitive efforts have been the norm in recent weeks but the inevitable heavy defeat almost always eventuates.
Gold Coast have scored only 50.3pts per game from their last 6 games and have conceded 101.5pts during the same period, they have been
decimated by injuries to their A Grade midfield all year which equates to being Ranked 17th with 44.0 Ave Inside 50s per game FOR & Ranked
18th with 57.0Ave Inside 50s AGA in 2015. The pressure is not all on Gold Coast this week, Nth Melbourne currently reside outside the Top
8 & are desperate for a win to kick start a push for a Finals place. Nth Melbourne are 5-2 when starting as favourite & 3-2 in all travel
games this season.
Western Bulldogs 7-5 v Carlton 3-9
Don’t let the Win/Loss record & Head to Head odds fool you, this game is closer to a coin flip than many suspect. Carlton has won their
last 2 games, they have scored 101.0pts Ave from their last 3 games and their appetite for the contest is clearly visible compared to that
of the 1st half of 2015. Despite a solid 7-5 record this season the Bulldogs have not been convincing starting as Favourite (2-2), they
have actually done most of their damage as Underdog this year (5-3). Interestingly the Total Match Points Line last week for the
Bulldogs/Saints game was O/U187.5pts with a result of only 118pts, the Line for this week is around O/U189.5pts. The Bulldogs were under
pressure from the Saints last week conceding 56 Inside 50s and turned very defensive, the same could eventuate this week again at Etihad
Stadium against the Blues who have averaged 54.7 Inside 50s FOR in the last 3 games.
Melbourne 4-8 v West Coast 9-3
Both teams are coming off the Round 13 Bye, West Coast have had an impressive 1st half of 2015 and are very much Finals bound whilst
Melbourne are coming off one of their best wins in recent history defeating the Cats in Round 12. The Eagles are Ranked 2nd scoring
105.2pts Ave & 3rd conceding just 68.5pts Ave per game in 2015, they are 4-2 in all travel games and 7-2 when starting as Favourite this
season. As Melbourne begin to improve they are going to vary in their output each game, the Demons have failed to score 80pts in 6 games &
scored 100pts or more in three games. This game is to be played in Darwin, generally conditions are very humid making for extremely slippery
conditions thus conducive to low scoring games.
Essendon 4-8 v St Kilda 4-8
Not sure the Head to Head odds are correct in this one, the Saints have been very competitive for quite a few weeks now and the Bombers
are in the midst of a scoring drought averaging only 58.5pts in their last 4 games. The Saints are every chance to cause an upset at
Eithad Stadium on Sunday, they have averaged 55.5 Inside 50s FOR in their last four games whilst the Bombers have conceded 57.0 Inside 50s
from their last three games. The form line for Essendon is not good having dropped their last four games, St Kilda has won 2 of their last 4
games. There is likely to be an odds adjustment towards the Saints prior to game time given no major team selection news.
Adelaide 7-5 v Geelong 6-6
Adelaide were unconvincing & inaccurate for 3 Qtrs last week against a very young defensive Brisbane team at the GABBA on Sunday, the
Crows were able to take advantage of a significant drop off by Brisbane to come from 24pts down at 3Qtr time to win by 13pts. Adelaide
will not be afforded such a luxury against a well organised Geelong team on Sunday at the Adelaide Oval, the Cats will be smarting from a
shock loss against the Demons and will want to redeem themselves quickly if they are to play a part in Finals this year. It is hard to
separate both teams here, the Crows are 7-1 when starting Favourite in 2015.
Fremantle 11-1 v Brisbane 2-10
This will be as close to a non-event as they come, the all-conquering Fremantle team against a very young Brisbane team devoid of any key
forwards or defenders. The Betting Line of Fremantle -54.5 is interesting, the Dockers have won only 2 games greater than that Line all
season and rarely continue to press for big margin victories. It is quite possible for the Dockers to have a healthy lead close to half
time, in this scenario the Live Line is likely to be quite high and there could be a play for Brisbane at a juicy number. Hopefully if
this scenario plays out, Fremantle just chip the ball around and concede a few goals late. Highly unlikely Brisbane can cause an upset.