What a shocker. What a deadset Daisy Crocker.
I can scarcely remember a round going as pear-shaped on the tipping front as last weekend. It’s entirely conceivable that many a respected tipping voice on this website would have picked up a big, fat zero.
It wasn’t quite that dire for the members of The Roar’s AFL expert tipping panel, but it was still an almighty bloodbath.
Incredibly, Dem Panopoulos’ score of two whole points was the best of anyone and moves him into a slender one-point overall lead. Liam Salter, myself and even the Crowd could only manage a single correct selection.
Unreal. Thank goodness we only have five chances to embarrass ourselves this weekend.
Geelong, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, GWS Giants, Essendon
It was in the second quarter of Hawthorn’s surprise win over Sydney when it hit me. The Hawks were absolutely bullying the Swans in the contested ball and looked so much sharper it wasn’t funny. I knew then they were on track for a big win and that us tipsters were on track for one of those weeks.
Hey, at the very least we got an exciting round of football in a weekend that otherwise looked like utter dross on paper.
The Cats are firing on all cylinders now. They’ve won five straight and their last four games against top eight sides have comprised three very decisive wins (West Coast by 97, Richmond by 63 and Port Adelaide by 21) and the slimmest of losses (Sydney by two).
There are two things (amongst, presumably, millions of others) that haven’t happened since 2003; the Bulldogs winning at Kardinia Park and the Bulldogs winning the wooden spoon. I’ve got good news and bad news for you Doggies fans, neither streak is ending on Friday.
Last Saturday’s loss to Fremantle might be the day Stuart Dew’s honeymoon at the Gold Coast Suns ended. I didn’t tip them (none of the experts did, despite them being favourites with the punters), but the manner in which they were outclassed was very disappointing.
Gold Coast could go on to catapult into a finals place next season, but they won’t be getting anywhere near Port Adelaide this Saturday.
The Kangaroos are clearly a different kettle of fish when they play in Tasmania, but Brisbane have won on both of their two most recent visits to the Apple Isle and, really, should be in no danger of falling down against the incoming wooden spooners.
Greater Western Sydney’s 70 per cent lifetime winning percentage against Carlton is their best against any club not called Gold Coast.
Carlton are also one of four clubs to have never tasted victory at Giants Stadium and their lifetime percentage at the ground – 50.91 – is the worst of any club.
You don’t need three guesses to work out who I’m tipping.
Essendon are at very real risk of getting done in by the Hawks again after their horror second half in Round 1 and Hawthorn’s stunning performance last Friday night. However, the Bombers just have too much to play for and the Hawks won’t have the advantage of playing a non-rested team with the wind of the bye at their backs again.
Shoe-In of the Week has to be the Brisbane Lions, who won’t get ambushed after seeing North almost pull one out of the hat last week.
Geelong, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, GWS Giants, Essendon
It’s weeks like last that make you truly appreciate the wonders of AFL tipping.
Only five games this week so surely, surely, we’ll all be better for it.
The Cats and Bulldogs play in a Friday night cracker, one which should be interesting given the Bulldogs generally struggle straight off the break.
It’s been ten games since the ‘Dogs won in Geelong, while that forward line of the home team will cause way too many problems if Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron get going.
Since that infamous 2011 win against Port Adelaide, the Suns have gone 11 games in a row with a win over their opponents this week, with the last five coming at an average margin of 55 points.
If Sam Collins returns, this has the potential to be a danger game for the Power, but expect them to win and people to momentarily forget how average they have been this season.
It’ll be a new experience for the Lions against North at Blundstone Arena, who they strangely tend to struggle against. Any mid-table opponent and I’d be pumping up the Kangaroos’ chances again this week, but not against the might of Brisbane.
Excitement is brewing for the Saturday night clash between… GWS and Carlton. Not only do the Blues not like playing against the Giants, their last three losses at Giants Stadium have come at an average over 13 goals a piece. Phil Davis would be a welcomed return and really solidify that back six that struggled to contain North.
Do the Bombers know where Tasmania is?
A lot has changed since that remarkable Round 1 clash between the two teams and, despite Hawthorn’s impressiveness last week, this should be one-sided if Essendon wants to push for finals.
That’s right, I’m not tipping any grand upsets. That’ll be disastrous.
Geelong, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, GWS Giants, Hawthorn
Yeah, it was a bad week for tipping last week. Yeah, we’re not gonna talk about it – my only relief being it wasn’t just me.
By virtue of the excellent Eagles-Richmond game – originally scheduled for this week – being brought up a week, this weekend has just five games of footy. Doesn’t provide much of a margin of error.
There’s one very clear contender for most interesting game of the week – tomorrow night’s Geelong and Western Bulldogs game. It’s the only game in Victoria, the only game between two top eight sides and the only game with a genuinely up in the air result.
Geelong have some logic in keeping this game at GMBHA Stadium; their opposition have played here 58 times for just 13 victories. The Cats – aided by a returned Patrick Dangerfield – are coming of a strong win over the Power, and now they’ve broken their post-bye streak.
The Doggies will be refreshed by a week off, and a super strong team in their own right, but I’ve been underestimating the Cats. In Geelong, with their forward line as powerfully potent as it is right now, they’ll prevail.
The rest of the games are all a bit ‘meh’. Sunday’s Hawks-Bombers match does appeal a bit, given the former’s win last week and the latter’s general form of late. Hawthorn produced their best performance of the season against the Swans, and I’d imagine they’re likely to translate that into this game. The Bombers are more consistently strong but have suffered the losses of Andy McGrath and David Zaharakis adding to an already lengthy injury list.
I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to be tipping Essendon, but I’m going it take a risk and go the Hawks.
The Giants hosting Carlton has a smidgen of upset potential. The hosts were pummelled early by lowly North last week and were fortunate to ultimately split the points, while the Blues were horrendous against the Eagles prior to the bye. There isn’t a lot of wriggle room for either team here.
But it’s evident the Blues are under significantly more pressure. Expect that pressure to go up several notches as they lose a close one here.
Brisbane travel down to Tasmania – not a traditionally strong stomping ground for them – to play North. North have a fair bit of spirit for a lowly side, as evidenced by their draw with the Giants last week and will be emboldened to push the Lions.
The visitors are simply a vastly better side, however, and will win. It’s much the same as the Suns-Power clash. The Suns were poor against Freo, but not as dramatically bad as pundits suggest. My bold call: they simply remain a danger for the Power, as ridiculous as it sounds. I’m not at all suggesting it’ll be an upset – the Power will win this – but it might be closer than most think.
|GEE vs WB||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE|
|GCS vs PA||PA||PA||PA||PA|
|NM vs BL||BL||BL||BL||BL|
|GWS vs CAR||GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS|
|HAW vs ESS||ESS||ESS||HAW||ESS|