2020 rounds 9-13

Round 9 begins on Wednesday 29 July 2020
We are entering a phase of byes, short breaks and some travel to and from QLD and WA. and 20 straight days of football. I’ll just post things as I can during this time.
My notes about teams and breaks: teams will generally cope with short breaks BETTER than most expect (especially those with smaller injury lists).
Teams will generally cope with longer breaks WORSE than most expect – especially after a short break or a series of short breaks.

Teams will manage players, so some players ranked 15 – 30 in the teams will come in and out not just due to form issues; and some top players will be rested – especially older ones.

Here is a chart of team breaks in this period:
Days between games rounds 7 – 12 (eg 6 to 7 column is number of days break between rounds 6 and 7 for that team.  So Adelaide has a 9 day break between rounds 6 and 7, then a 6 day break from round 7 to 8

Team6 to 77 to 88 to 99 to 1010 to 1111 to 12
CARL766BYE R1096
FREO886BYE R1085
GWS6695BYE R116
HAW966BYE R10106
SYD6775BYE R117
WCE876BYE R1087

I might update this next week and include teams that underperform and those that exceed expectations. If you have your own theory on how teams will go during this time, the above chart is a good starting point.

Western Bulldogs v Richmond at Gold Coast Jul 29 (Wed 7:10pm)      

Melbourne v Port Adelaide at Gabba Jul 30 (Thu 7:50pm)           

Carlton v Hawthorn at Perth Stadium Jul 31 (Fri 5:40pm)             

Essendon v Brisbane Lions at Gold Coast   Jul 31 (Fri 8:10pm)        

North Melbourne v Adelaide at Gold Coast Aug 1 (Sat 2:35pm) 

St Kilda v Sydney at Gabba Aug 1 (Sat 5:10pm)  

West Coast v Geelong at Perth Stadium Aug 1 (Sat 8:10pm)        

Gold Coast v GWS Giants at Gold Coast Aug 2 (Sun 3:35pm)       

Fremantle v Collingwood at Perth Stadium Aug 2 (Sun 6:10pm)

Very early tips (Monday night 27 July):
Bulldogs (just)
Melbourne (just)
Carlton (just)
North Melbourne (just)
St Kilda
West Coast
GWS (just)
Collingwood (just)

Western Bulldogs v Richmond at Gold Coast Jul 29 (Wed 7:10pm)    
Forecast:  fine; light winds
This is the only game we have teams for early Wednesday morning). The Dogs bring in Sam Lloyd and Toby McLean for Callum Porter (out injured) and Lachie Young omitted.

Richmond get back skipper Trent Cotchin as well as Sydney Stack, Jack Ross and Oleg Markov. Out goes Nick (there’s no “F” in) Vlastuin injured, while Patrick Naish, Daniel Rioli and Jack Graham have been dropped.
Tom Lynch may be improved from a game or two after injury.

The Tigers played round 7 in QLD, then next week in NSW and now back to the QLD hub again.

My early Wednesday tip is the Dogs by 4 points, but I am looking at how teams go after the grand final rematch in cases where the grand final was very lopsided. Here’s what happens to the grand final winner from the previous year the week AFTER the grand final rematch:
17 wins, 3 losses and 5.4 points better than average (in most cases, they were hot favourites). For those who lost the grand final rematch (as Richmond did last week), it is 9 wins and a loss, but 4.5 points WORSE than expected (as most, again, were hot favourites).

The variance in all matches for the reigning premier AFTER the grand final rematch is slightly above average.

Many of these teams were playing like a team ranked 1 or 2 in these stats. The Tigers, right now, in my opinion, are performing like a team ranked about 5 – 8; they can improve if and when they get their best team together.

Here is a list of the outs for both teams – only listing those who would’ve been a selection chance:
Richmond: David Astbury, Josh Caddy, Shane Edwards, Bachar Houli, Toby Nankervis, Dion Prestia and Nick Vlastuin
Dogs: Bailey Dale, Tory Dickson, Josh Dunkley, Taylor Duryea, Lachie Hunter, Lin Jong, Aaron Naughton and Josh Schache.

The Tigers are slightly worse off in terms of outs and the days break profile is roughly even. The Dogs look just a little more stable and so I’ll tip them. Not a good first game and I don’t like it much.

Dogs by 4 points

Melbourne v Port Adelaide at Gabba Jul 30 (Thu 7:50pm)   
Forecast: fine, but breezy    My analysis of this game has it  as a virtual tie.  I need to look for a tie-breaker and I think I have one.  Both teams are off a very short break – 4 days for the Dees and 5 for Port; but Port have to travel, so that is about even.  Looking to the round 8 games for each club – the Dees came from well  back and almost pulled off a great win.  The game went down to the wire.  Port got a few goals down and then dropped off in intensity late in the game (with a view to this game against the Dees).  The other reason to select Port is that the Dees played the Lions last weekend and Brisbane had several injuries.  Maybe the Dees were lucky to get that close; I have eased off on my excitement about Melbourne when they were unable to win last week.<br><br>But the reason I cannot too bullish about Port is that their injury list is slowly creeping up.  Todd Marshall has been added to it. Riley Bonner has been dropped, but he took a hard hit last game and could also be considered an injury.  Ryan Burton and Scott Lycett remain out.  If the Dees can dominate through Max Gawn, they can win.Port by a point.

Carlton v Hawthorn at Perth Stadium Jul 31 (Fri 5:40pm)    
Forecast: a shower or two clearing by game time and slightly breezy.
Note that this is an afternoon game in Perth and twilight for eastern state viewers.
Mitch McGovern will be an out for the Blues.
The Hawks are expected to bring back Luke Breust, but the club’s website says Jonathon Ceglar will be given every chance to prove his fitness.  That sounds like a “no” to me and also that they may pick him but then give him a test on the day.  speaking of which, I like Will Day – best Hawk new guy by some distance.  If Ceglar plays and is right, the Hawks will be a huge chance
The Blues lost by a kick after the siren two matches ago.  I have checked and seen that teams doing this often excel in that second week back (now for Carlton).  Some of these teams had HUGE first terms 2 weeks after a kick after the siren loss, so watch for that possibility.

The Blues struggled to get over the line against the Roos last week – not great from really – but at least they won and found something when challenged.
I am a bit unsure about the Hawks – will they bounce without Ceglar? Will Ceglar come back – taking Big Boy McEvoy back to defence – and suddenly all is well?  Will the humiliation of having a double goal kicked against them last match fire them up? This is an EXTREME variance game for the reasons above.
Blues by 14 points but EXTREME variance and not the sort of tip to be confident about 

Update Thursday night AFTER team selection: The Hawks have brought back Ceglar; it gives them a chance. I’ll still tip the Blues, but now by 5 points. Note that they fly to Perth to play this game and then have a bye in the west. This unusual situation may mean that, if the game is cooked with 10 minutes to go, one team may drop away big time (either winner or loser).

Essendon v Brisbane Lions at Gold Coast  Jul 31 (Fri 8:10pm)    
Forecast: fine, but breezy   
This preview is done Thursday night. The Lions have more injuries out of round 8 than they have had for ages.  Out injured goes #2 ruck Archie Smith (with top ruck Stefan Martin still out as well), Daniel Rich and Ryan Lester.  Daniel MCStay is suspended (he’s McGo, not McStay, this week!).  That’s a challenge for the club – to be able to make >= 4 changes and perform well.

Their opponents, Essendon, get back Dylan Shiel from suspension but lose Kyle Langford to suspension and Jayden Laverde (pity he never teamed up with Robert Shirley) goes out injured.  Also managed – both Shaun McKernan and Conor McKenna. Sam Draper debuts and the club says he’ll play ruck / forward. And James Stewart comes back after a break of 790 days.

Based on the Bombers falling over the line against an injured Adelaide, it’s hard to tip them.  But their chance comes via the ruck. With Martin and Smith both out, the Bombers need to turn this bonus into winning clearances and then turning them into goals.

Lions by 9 points, not confident and EXTREME variance

North Melbourne v Adelaide at Gold Coast Aug 1 (Sat 2:35pm) 
Forecast: fine, but a bit breezy
Thursday night and still no teams!! What is going on at the AFL? We do know that Majak Daw is in – almost rivaling Bomber Stewart at 706 days (with, of course, more drama for Daw than Stewart in recent years). This should give the team a boost.

The Crows lose Brad Crouch from last week’s game and maybe Tom Doedee, but he is a test.

One secret to tipping winners this year is to tip the team that plays the Crows.  This would’ve given you a 100% strike rate in 2020.  But this week you would be tipping a team which itself is on a 6 game losing streak. The Roos haven’t won since round 2.

The reason I am going for the Roos (subject to change whenever teams come in) is that they finally look a bit more stable. Roos by 14 points

St Kilda v Sydney at Gabba Aug 1 (Sat 5:10pm)  
Forecast: fine, but a bit breezy
The Saints zoomed away from Port late last match and looked impressive. I mentioned above that Port may have put the queue in the rack late in this game, but it was still a good effort.

The Swans got the job done last week against the Hawks without looking like world-beaters. Hawthorn dropped 4 players from that team. And the Swans now travel to QLD for 2 weeks before journeying to WA. Dane Rampe got injured in this game despite scoring well in SC. He is a test. If he is out, it will be tough for the Swans.

At this stage, it’s Saints by 18 points

West Coast v Geelong at Perth Stadium Aug 1 (Sat 8:10pm)   
Forecast: fine; light winds     
Tom Hawkins got suspended than got off on appeal this week. This will annoy Eagles fans (he might even get booed). Joel Selwood is supposedly a small chance to play.

Jeremy McGovern should return for the Eagles. I’m keen on the Eagles here, but not so much because of their current form. That’s a factor, but the long injury list at Catland is the reason. They got away with it last week because the Dockers were about as badly off and then copped an injury very early in the game.

Eagles by 26 points and my certs this week

Friday update: Elliot Yeo is in (not suspended as I errantly mentioned before) and surprised that neither Jeremy McGovern not Joel Selwood were named. Will stick with Eagles by 26 points.

Gold Coast v GWS Giants at Gold Coast Aug 2 (Sun 3:35pm)  
Forecast: fine, but a bit breezy
GWS by 16 points, but more to come.
Last week I looked at grand final revenge matches where there was a grand final thrashing. The Giants “avenged” their grand final loss last week.

“So how do teams like the Giants go the week AFTER their grand final revenge match?”, requested Lidia Saucepan (say it out louid) from the kitchen. Glad you asked, Lidia!

Looking at all 20 such cases 1980 to 2018, on average the grand final loser the week AFTER the grand final revenge match underperforms by 2 points.

If we drill down to the 10 teams that won their grand final revenge match, the news is better: they outperform expectations by 2.6 points.

For those who are favourites by 1 – 21 points (GWS are in this range this week): they outperform expectations by 6.9 points.

In all above three scenarios, they team tends to do poorly in Q1, well in Q2 and 3 and fair in Q4. Looking at all 20 teams here, they were expected (on average) to win by 14 points; so they should win each quarter by 3.5 points on average. Here is the breakdown:
Q1: lose 9 times; win 11 times; exceed expectations only 5 times (as many Q1 wins were 1 – 3 points only)

Q2: lose 9 times; win 11 times; exceed expectations 10 times; BUT when they do overachieve, they can do it HUGE. there were 5 x Q2 wins 20 points or more

Q3: lose 7 times; win 13 times; exceed expectations 13 times

Q4: lose 7 times; win 13 times; exceed expectations 10 times

In 13 of the 20 games, the decisive break is made in Q2 or Q3.

Finally, the variance of these results is 30.7 – slightly higher than average (this variance is measuring how accurate the experts predictions are).

That gives you a hysterical idea of the history. What makes sense to me from a technical analysis viewpoint is this (for the winners the previous week): goody goody, we beat the reigning premiers; how good are we going? Then they lose Q1 next week. Snapped back to reality, they have a good Q2; at HT, the coach implores them to keep going; a good Q3; in Q4, they either coast to the line or the opposition has given up.

Having gone through all that, it appears that the Giants are the tip and I expect them to overachieve and to have a huge Q2 and / or Q3 (win 1 by over 3 goals).

But I won’t make them certs as they are playing in QLD and they just learned that they won’t see the green grass of home for some time now. (Added Sunday morning – and the Swans underperformed a LOT after getting the same news as the Giants; but, of course, the Swans are totally gone as far as finals is concerned, but the Giants have a shot at the flag)

Giants by 20 points but not certs. I thought about calling this EXTREME, but narrowly avoided doing this.

Fremantle v Collingwood at Perth Stadium Aug 2 (Sun 6:10pm Eastern)
Forecast: fine; light winds; but by Sunday morning the forecast is 2 – 3 mm of rain and a bit breezy
Pies by 20 points, but more to come.

Added Sunday morning:
The Dockers get Nat Fyfe back, but lose Michael Walters, Darcy Tucker and Sean Darcy to injury. This leaves Brodie Grundy with a huge advantage in the ruck. The Dockers have Rory Lobb as #1 ruck now, with maybe a little help from Brennan Cox and Matthew Taberner. The fact that the Cats did well against the Eagles gives me some comfort that the Pies will similarly do well. But was that because everyone labelled the Eagles as premiers after last week?

The Dockers have a bye coming up next; They could possibly drop off late if the game is cooked.

I’ll make it Pies by 24 points but stop short of calling them certs.

This “Summary” is done after 2 games in the round.
I expect 2 of these 3 to occur:
A: The result of Carlton vs Hawthorn game to be outside the range of Blues 1-45 and Hawks 1-25
B: The result of Essendon vs Brisbane game to be outside the range of Bombers 1-25 and Lions 1-45
C: Eagles to win by over 4 goals

Round 9 review
I don’t really have time to do a review as round 10 begins Monday 03 Aug 2020. A few quick notes:
I erred in tipping the Dogs as they were almost as injured as the Tigers and I mentioned that Tom Lynch was about to come good – and he did .

Here is a curio – first 2 games of the round – Dogs and Dees were both AWFUL and the BOTH travel to SA to play in round 10. This may be just a statistical anomaly, but thought I’d mention it. The Dogs are 5 -4 (sounds okay), but their losses have all been by 39 points or more!! they have had a win in a thriller – 5 points over the Suns and other wins by 24, 28, 42 and 49 points. Only 2 games in the balance at 3QT – the Suns (obviously) and they were 18 points behind Carlton at 3QT in round 6 before being totally blown away late.

The Cats and Pies are about to travel back to QLD to play on 4 day breaks. Both lost Q4 and both were leading at 3QT. Their opponents (Eagles and Freo) both have byes this round.

I had some awful work in analysis, but two games I got right (mostly) were CAR / HAW and ESS / BRIS. I tipped EXTREME variance in both games and also mentioned that the Blues were likely to get off to a flier. That was true – 31 – 0 at one stage (and the scribes were already penning articles about the Hawks losing again!) and 19 points up and QT. The 2 late goals in Q1 won the game for the Hawks. Had they been 5, 6 or 7 goals down at QT, they would’ve been flat as compact disks at the first break. As it was, they had momentum – kicked the first couple in Q2 and the rest is hysteria. PAtrick Cripps tried a few things to lift his team and they didn’t work out late in Q2. I think he got criticised a bit harshly; he made the wrong call, but every player does that at times. All the Hawks ins (Luke Breust, Jonathon Ceglar, Jarman Impey and Tim O’Brien) all had an impact.

Alex Witherden played his first game for the year and scored 170 SC points if you don’t mind, umpire! The Lions managed with Oscar McInerney in the ruck against debutante Sam Draper and Tom Bellchambers. Draper actually got more hot-outs than Bellchambers (who played a bit forward as well). Connor Ballenden debuted for the Lions – playing forward / ruck and got 2 hit-outs

The Crows were dreadful; Kieran Strachan was a late replacement for Taylor Walker and only scored 39 SC; Riley Knight came in and scored 24; contrasting that was Majak Daw – who returned after many months to score 77, take a speccie and kick a goal.

The Saints were able to back up their win over Port when they pulled away late from the Swans. These last two games both ended up in EXTREME variance territory but I didn’t tip it. SORRY!

I expected it to be tough going for the Cats but they went close to pulling off an upset. Perhaps the Eagles found it tough to deal with the hype after last week’s huge win over the Pies. In any case, Nicnat was the difference with 146 SC – rucking against Mark Blicavs and Esava Ratugolea. The Eagles lost debutante Harry Edwards early.

The Giants had a regulation win over the Suns. They lost Toby Greene to a hammie late in Q1; their game trend was opposite to the historical trend I listed above – instead of losingf Q1 and excelling in Q2, Q1 was their best quarter with a 13 point margin – and they were even in Q2.

The Dockers had a 12 point win over the Pies – very pleasing for coach Justin Longmuir who was Buckley’s assistant in recent times. Bucks had to be isolated from the team for a while after a COVID breach. This was less than ideal and may have been a cause for the defeat (though the Pies aren’t likely to use it as an excuse)

Round 10 begins 7.10pm AEST on 03 August 2020
Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval Aug 3 (Mon 7:10pm)
Richmond v Brisbane Lions at Gold Coast Aug 4 (Tue 7:10pm)
Geelong v North Melbourne at the Gabba Aug 5 (Wed 5:40pm)
Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Aug 5 (Wed 8:10pm)
Collingwood v Sydney at the Gabba Aug 6 (Thu 5:40pm)
Gold Coast v St Kilda at Gold Coast Aug 6 (Thu 8:10pm)
Essendon v GWS Giants at Gold Coast Aug 7 (Fri 7:50pm)
Carlton, Fremantle, Hawthorn and West Coast Eagles have a bye (but not a long break necessarily)
(Round 11 starts Saturday afternoon 08 Aug 2020)

Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval Aug 3 (Mon 7:10pm)
Port has named their team
IN: Trent McKenzie and Boyd Woodcock (latter to debut)?
OUT: Brad Ebert (injured) and Jarrod Lienert has been omitted

The Dogs bring back Cody Weightman, Josh Dunkley and Roarke Smith.
Matthew suckling is out injured, while Billy Gowers and Jackson Trengove have been omitted.

Port was terrific last week and will be the tip – playing at home this week. The days breaks are
Port 5 days (round 8 to 9) and then 4 days (round 9 to 10)
Dogs 6 and 5
The days breaks (incorrect grammar) wasn’t conclusive last week; I will watch with interest this week and weeks following. I am trying to work out if Port was good last week or the Dees were awful. And I am also trying to work out why the Dogs are blown away early as a rule when they lose in 2020. I am marking this as an EXTREME variance game – being the first game of the round on a Monday and the first time a round begins a day after the previous round has ended. I expect the Dogs to show something, but am tipping Port. Port still have not got Scott Lycett back. It will be interesting to see if the Dogs can gain an advantage from Tim English in the ruck.

Port by 10 points and EXTREME variance

Richmond v Brisbane Lions at Gold Coast Aug 4 (Tue 7:10pm)
This is a line ball one; Lions by 1 point, but will re-assess after teams selected. The Tigers have announced that Nick Vlastuin is in! Oleg Markov goes out.

The Lions have left out Grant Birchall (managed) and brought in tall defender Jack Payne for his debut.

I still think it’s a line ball game and will stick with the Lions by a point.

Geelong v North Melbourne at the Gabba Aug 5 (Wed 5:40pm)
No weather problems.
The Roos won after 6 losses in a row and won big last week (69 point win). Teams that do this tend to slightly out-perform expectation the following week, but the results are all over the place – some winning big time and others getting thrashed.
Added Wednesday 4.00pm: I want to expand a little on this; if we look at team that win big (and at least 20 points above expectation) after >= 4 losses in a row and then play a competent team (ie rated mid or high – which is Geelong) the stats I have suggests the variance averages out at 0. IE they perform as expected the following week. Looking further, the 10 most cases yields 4 wins and 6 losses; 3 of the wins were upset wins with teams outperforming expectations by 24, 73 and 55 points. The Cats are expected to win by 16 points; so any numbers as per the last sentence would give the Roos a win. Before you get too excited about tipping the Roos, I need to point out that the biggest result (the +73) came in the final round of the 2013 season when the Saints thrashed the Dockers. This was aided by the Dockers resting heaps of players – so I would almost ignore this figure. Teams such as the Roos in this circumstance often have a shocking Q3 and a good Q4. Finally, to add complexity to the mix; teams that are a half decent team that snap a long-ish losing streak often exceed expectations big time the following week. And usually start with a huge Q1. So what do we call North? I reckon they are a mid ranged team down on their luck in terms of injuries and also injuries during games. But they are still quite a bit injured.

The Cats come back from Perth and play on a 4 day break.
Geelong 5 and 4 (rounds 8 to 9 to 10)
Roos 7 and 4
Cats by 5 points for now
For those who think the shorter breaks will be difficult to overcome, this is the ultimate test. The Cats played in Perth and then play in QLD 4 days later (same story for the Pies). Both Geelong and Collingwood will virtually not train at all between games – it will just be recovery, team meetings and play. Maybe they will both perform similarly – in terms of performance against expectation or how they start and / or finish.

I like the Cats bringing in Rhys Stanley (if fully fit) to replace Esava Ratugolea. Ratugolea needs a rest after battling Nicnat; Joel Selwood and Jack Steven coming back in is also a plus.

The Roos dropped Ben Brown last week but he is back in. The ONE week (last week) when they moved the ball well into forward 50, he was missing! Not sure how he will go and how smooth the delivery will be this match.
Jared Polec comes in after a surprise omission last week. I sort of suspect he may have been slightly injured last week but, in any case, I expect him to be fired up tonight.

I’ll now go for the Cats by 11 points, but with EXTREME variance. The variance call is due to the losses in a row (then a win) by the Roos and the different scenarios throw up; I also want to put a watch on the Cats on a 4 day break back from Perth

Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Aug 5 (Wed 8:10pm)
No weather problems.
Day breaks
Adelaide 6 and 4 (rounds 8 to 9 to 10)
Melbourne: 4 and 6
Both teams were dreadful last week. But it was more painful for the Dees. I am tipping them to rebound and win; Dees by 19 points for now,

I had a look at North above – winning after a long losing streak. They did it by thrashing the Crows. I had a squiz at how the opposition went next week when thrashed in such a way. This will give a lead on the Crows. Teams in this space outperform expectations by 9 points on average. For the 11 most recent examples, there were 4 wins outright and 7 losses. Two wins were as favourites (Crows are 18 point underdogs here) and 2 were upset wins. But all 4 wins came against fellow bottom ranked teams. I rate the Dees as a mid team (not that you would know it by last week’s effort). If we elimiante the bottom ranked opponents, then teams i the Crows position this week ever so slightly underperform and the 6 cases reveal 0 wins and 6 losses. In 2 of the 6 cases, teams lost but overachieved. One was Richmond vs Hawthorn with Dimma coaching against his old coach for the first time (17 points better than expected) and the other was Port in round 23 almost causing a huge upset against Essendon at Docklands in 2011.

All this makes me more confident on the Dees. Dees by 27 points; I’ll call the Dees certs, but I’m not risking a big winning run of certs; if you are, you might baulk at following my lead.

Collingwood v Sydney at the Gabba Aug 6 (Thu 5:40pm)
No weather problems.
Day breaks
Collingwood 7 and 4 (rounds 8 to 9 to 10)
Swans: 7 and 5
The Pies are higher rated than the Swans and both have injury concerns.
Pies by 18 points for now

Gold Coast v St Kilda at Gold Coast Aug 6 (Thu 8:10pm)
No weather problems.
Day breaks
Suns 10 and 4 (rounds 8 to 9 to 10)
Saints: 7 and 5
Saints are flying; can they keep it going? I think so. Saints by 14 points for now.

Essendon v GWS Giants at Gold Coast Aug 7 (Fri 7:50pm)
Weather: lots of rain coming 8-15mm
Day breaks
Bombers 5 and 7 (rounds 8 to 9 to 10)
Giants: 9 and 5
The Bombers get Kyle Langford back from suspension. The Giants lose Toby Greene and Matt de Boer but Callan Ward is likely to return.
When you see these outs, you will be tempted to tip the Bombers; don’t do it!
Giants by 14 points for now.
Friday morning update: I’m a little less confident on the Giants now; the “ins” for Essendon are replacing players who hardly contributed last game. nonetheless, with a longer injury list and a lower rating, I cannot tip the Bombers.

Mummy comes back for the Giants while Sauce Jacobs is rested. I like Mummy in small doses; don’t think he can play week after week for a whole season, but this week against Essendon should work well.

GWS by 12 points

Might try for a quick summary preview after teams selected on Monday. In summary (before the Tuesday games): at least one of the following to occur:
Dees to win by over 5 goals; and / or
Giants to win by over 4 goals

Round 10 quick review
I am really annoyed I didn’t think more about the Richmond / Brisbane game. The Tigers were on a 14 game winning streak against the Lions. The Lions kicked at goal poorly but were generally pushed wide going forward

I got my EXTREME call wrong – Port and the Dogs; this was more a typical dour struggle; I didn’t tip EXTREME for the Tigers game and it narrowly fell into the EXTREME range. Also in the EXTREME range was Melbourne’s win over the Crows; not too concerned about that, because I was VERY bullish on the Dees anyway. Happy to tip the Pies by 18 points; they had multiple injuries and their kicking at goal was poor. The Saints gave me a bit too much stress, but they got over the line. And Geelong (and, to a lesser extent, Collingwood) proved my theory that you shouldn’t jump off good teams merely because of a short break.

Round 11 begins 4.35pm AEST on 08 August 2020 (the games just keep on coming)

Port Adelaide v Richmond at Adelaide Oval Aug 8 (Sat 4:35pm)
Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs at Gabba Aug 8 (Sat 7:40pm)
West Coast v Carlton at Perth Stadium  Aug 9 (Sun 3:35pm)
North Melbourne v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Aug 9 (Sun 6:10pm)
Geelong v St Kilda at Gabba Aug 10 (Mon 6:10pm)
Fremantle v Hawthorn at Perth Stadium Aug 10 (Mon 8:40pm)
Adelaide v Collingwood at Adelaide Oval  Aug 11 (Tue 7:10pm)
Gold Coast v Essendon at Gold Coast  Aug 12 (Wed 7:10pm)
BYES: GWS Giants; Sydney Swans (who are both heading west)
Early tips: Friday afternoon 07 Aug 2020:
Port (just)
Lions (danger game)
Eagles (certs)

Port Adelaide v Richmond at Adelaide Oval Aug 8 (Sat 4:35pm)
Weather: possible shower and a bit breezy
Possible significant team changes:
IN: Scott Lycett, Jarrod Lienert; Cameron Sutcliffe late in
OUT: Justin Westhoff (omitted); Sam Mayes (suspended); Connor Rozee (late withdrawal)
These are actual team changes with Port going early on Friday afternoon

IN: Daniel Rioli, Josh Caddy
OUT: Trent Cochin (rested), Jack Higgins
Didn’t get to amend the analysis before game time, but will go for Port by 2 points (added in early Q1 with Port up 6-0)

Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs at Gabba Aug 8 (Sat 7:40pm)
Weather: no rain; light winds
Possible significant team changes:
IN: Grant Birchall (likely); Daniel McStay available after suspension; Daniel Rich (test)
OUT: Cam Rayner (hammie)
Western Bulldogs
IN: Aaron Naughton (test)
OUT: Hayden Crozier (toe)

Added 5.30pm game day
This is a real danger game for the Lions; I was almost going to switch to the Dogs, but I like the Lion ins; however, if Naughton can solve the forward problems for the Dogs in his first game back from injury, they are a chance; I’ll make this an EXTREME variance game; I don’t trust either tema overly for this contest only; I said that we shouldn’t worry too much about short breaks; the Lions are on a 4 and 4 day break (rounds 9 to 10 then 10 to 11) compared to 5 and 5 for the Dogs; I’ll watch to see if this has any adverse effect on the Lions; Lions by 2 points but watch out! Not a tip to be confident about!

West Coast v Carlton at Perth Stadium  Aug 9 (Sun 3:35pm)
Weather: 25-40mm of rain and windy
Possible significant team changes:
IN: Jeremy McGovern, Jack Redden (both likely)
IN: Mitch McGovern (test); Caleb Marchbank (test)
Update late 08 Aug 2020; still no McGovern for the Eagles nor Blues; no Marchbank, but Redden back in for West Coast.
The Eagles should win this one very easily; they are coming off the bye but only an 8 day break; the Blues are off a 9 day break after dropping off badly in their last match against Hawthorn. Often we think of wet and close games; but what often happens is that the loser scores extremely lowly and the winner kicks goal after goal. So if we imagine a total score of 80 here, most would imagine a 50 to 30 score line. But it is often something like 65 to 15. Eagles by 43 for me and CERTS

North Melbourne v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Aug 9 (Sun 6:10pm)
Weather: no rain; a bit breezy
Possible significant team changes:
IN: Nick Larkey (test)
OUT: Ben Brown (knee)
IN: Kysaiah Pickett
OUT: Alex Neal-Bullen (sent to the tribunal); there was talk of Christian Salem being reported, but no news now so assume all well with him.

Big news here is that Max Gawn has been rested; Tom McDonald is in and listed as first ruck. He should get help from Luke Jackson – who has been giving Gawn a chop out in recent weeks. Also out rested in Jack Viney and Jay Lockhart. I still favour Melbourne here; I’m thinking that being settled in Adelaide might have worked well for them; it remains to be seen; I kind of think that the Dees might lift a bit due to Gawn being out, so I’m still bullish on them; the Dees went from 11 point favourites to 3 point favs on the back of the team announcement. Viney is good, but the Dees have similar players to him anyway; Dees by 15 points

Geelong v St Kilda at Gabba Aug 10 (Mon 6:10pm)
Weather: a bit breezy
Possible significant team changes:
IN: Jordan Clark (test); Charlie Constable (test); Quinton Narkle (test); Esava Ratugolea (test); Jake Kolodjashnij (test); Gary Rohan (test); Brandon Parfitt (test)
St Kilda
IN: Jarryn Geary (theage says he will play); Dean Kent (test)
Update added Sunday night: the Cats have managed 3 players and the Saints get back Geary and rested Zak Jones. This is an intriguing game. It is a good test for the Saints against a finals type opponent.

The test for Geelong was to come up after a game in Perth and a 4 day break. Both Geelong and Collingwood did this last round with wins. But can they front up again and perform well? The emphasis would have been on the travel from Perth, settling in to the east coast and winning. It may be harder to do so the next game (because there is a sense of “whew, we did it; now to relax for a brief stint”); so I’m going to call this an EXTREME variance game; I’ll tip the Cats by 3 points and without any great confidence

Fremantle v Hawthorn at Perth Stadium Aug 10 (Mon 8:40pm)
Weather: 15-35mm of rain and windy
Possible significant team changes:
IN: James Aish (test); Jesse Hogan (test); Stephen Hill (test)
OUT: Shaun Burgoyne (hammie)
Update added Sunday night: Hogan is still out but other changes as above are correct and nothing else game-changing to report. I noted that the Eagles / Blues match was a bit wobbly (the scoring line was wobbly). It verged on EXTREME variance. This was after both teams coming off a mini-bye. Same applies for these teams; the Dockers’ break is 8 days and the Hawks 10. 10 days is almost too much in this year and it remains to be seen if this is a negative for the Hawks; over here on the east coast, it’s hard to remember that the Dockers won their last game; they beat the Pies – who have won since – and it’s like a distant memory. Freo fans will remember and they have won 3 of 5 lately. The best win was the comeback victory over the Saints; but both that win and the win over Collingwood puts them in with a chance in this game.

The Hawks snapped a 4 game losing streak with a come from behind win over the Blues. This looked like great form earlier today when the Blues looked like beating the Eagles; but West Coast finished well to win. Anyway, back to Hawthorn – teams that break a 4 or more game losing streak in the last 10 years with a winning margin of 21-40 points underperform HUGELY the following week. The results are (from best to worst): +21 (did 21 points better than expected), +5, +4, -13, -18, -19, -26, -36, -39, -42, -46, -56, -58, -62, -62; it averages out at -30 (ie 5 goals worse than expected). In this game the Hawks are 1 points favourites; so a +21, +5 or +4 would give them a win, but any of the 12 negatives above would see them lose.

That’s the technical story; on the fundamental issue, I like the Hawks because they have got some of their better players back into the team and their injury list is shorter than Fremantle. But the technical lead is very strong; a curio is that teams who break a 4 or more game losing streak and win by 1 – 20 points over-achieve the following week; the same for teams winning big (41+ points – although the Roos won by 69 points breaking a 6 game losing streak recently and then slightly underperformed against Geelong – I covered the reasons why I didn’t tip them above). I cannot fathom why teams winning 21 – 40 points do so badly. Is it just a statistical anomaly?
The Dockers by 10 points; I’m not totally sold on them, but very interested to see if the technical trend holds up. EXTREME variance!

Adelaide v Collingwood at Adelaide Oval  Aug 11 (Tue 7:10pm)
Weather: showers and windy
Possible significant team changes:
IN: Brodie Smith (test); Kyle Hartigan (likely)
OUT: Lachlan Murphy (suspended); Tex Walker looks sore and may be in doubt
IN: Levi Greenwood available, but not sure if he needs more practice
OUT: Adam Treloar (hammie); Isaac Quaynor (leg); will Hoskin-Elliott (leg); Brayden Maynard sore and may need a rest

Added Monday night; no Greenwood yet for the Pies; Maynard named, but Darcy Moore and Ben Reid managed and Jamie Elliott is out injured. Notable ins are: Travis Varcoe (back from a family funeral) and Lynden Dunn (adding to a long list of players coming back from a year or more out).

I’m concerned about the Pies – with a long injury list – and the Crows looking to break their duck in one of their home games. Bad news for the Crows, however, is that Daniel Talia is out injured.

This is a slight danger game for the Pies; I’ll tip them by 11 points; but there are better weeks to tip the Crows as certs to lose and there won’t be too many more depleted Collingwood teams taking the field than in this round.

Gold Coast v Essendon at Gold Coast  Aug 12 (Wed 7:10pm)
Weather: slight chance of a shower (now they say fine); light winds
Possible significant team changes:
Essendon: TBA after round 10 game completed

Added Tuesday night: the Bombers are managing Sam Draper and Michael Hurley; with Jacob Townsend injured. Tom Bellchambers comes back in as does tagger Dylan Clarke for his first game in 2020.

The notable change for the Suns was Brayden Fiorini who comes in. He was dropped after round 6; Sam Flanders debuts and might be one to watch for bargain hunters in fantasy land.

I still like the Suns; both teams had stressful and narrow losses last week, but the Suns have the home state advantage here and a MUCH shorter injury list; Suns by 20 points

In summary (on Saturday night): Eagles are certs and to win by over 5 goals. I also expect at least 1 of these to occur:
Dees win by over 3 goals
Suns win by over 3 goals
Well, only 1 of these three came true, frown!

Round 11 quick review
At a glance, it’s the best straight our tipping effort of the year – with 7/7 at the end of Tuesday and 7 1/2 out of 8 at the end. Notable highlights: sticking with the Dees despite them losing Max Gawn; the margin blew out into the EXTREME variance range, but that was due to the Roos being injury-riddled late.

I tipped the Cats just (way off), but saved myself by calling in an EXTREME variance game.

The technical analysis work saved me in the Freo / Hawthorn game. All the fundamental leads suggested that the Hawks (fresh off an impressive comeback against Carlton – who led the Eagles well in Q3 this week) should be the tip. But I stuck with the technical analysis and it paid off.

My main interest isn’t so much in tipping winners, but in predicting trends and possible EXTREME variances from expectation; in this regard, I was a way off a 7 out of 8. Nonetheless, a reasonably good week of work.

Round 12 commences Thursday, 13 August 2020 8.10pm eastern when the Swans “host” the Giants at Perth Stadium.
Sydney v GWS Giants at Perth Stadium Aug 13 (Thu 8:10pm)
Geelong v Port Adelaide at Gold Coast Aug 14 (Fri 7:50pm)
North Melbourne v Brisbane Lions at Gold Coast Aug 15 (Sat 2:35pm)
Melbourne v Collingwood at Gabba Aug 15 (Sat 5:10pm)
Fremantle v Carlton at Perth Stadium Aug 15 (Sat 8:10pm)
Western Bulldogs v Adelaide at Gold Coast Aug 16 (Sun 1:05pm)
St Kilda v Essendon at Gabba Aug 16 (Sun 3:35pm)
West Coast v Hawthorn at Perth Stadium Aug 16 (Sun 6:10pm)
Richmond v Gold Coast at Gabba Aug 17 (Mon 7:10pm)
Very early tips (overnight Tuesday before the Suns / Bombers game)
GWS (almost certs)
Port (just)
Brisbane (certs)
Melbourne (just)
St Kilda
West Coast

Sydney v GWS Giants at Perth Stadium Aug 13 (Thu 8:10pm)
Weather: Small chance of a shower only and light winds
This is the first non-Sydney clash between these rivals.
The teams are out for this game and the notable changes are for the Giants: Phil Davis is out injured and Mummy is managed. In comes Sauce Jacobs. the Giants are much higher rated and should win – provided they have settled in. With a slightly shorter injury list as well, I’m keen on them. GWS by 27 points and certs.

Geelong v Port Adelaide at Gold Coast Aug 14 (Fri 7:50pm)
Weather: possible shower and a bit breezy
Likely significant team changes:
Port: Brad Ebert and Steven Motlop are tests to return; Sam Mayes is available after a 1 game suspension
Geelong: Jordan Clark is a test to return.
The Cats’ breaks into this game a 4, 5 and 4 – compared to 4, 5 and 6 for Port. I have this game as a close one – with Port just in front. the fundamentalists will probably enjoy the clash of styles (Port trying to tale the game on and the Cats looking to control it – I’ll be out of my depth if I try to elaborate). this is the first game where I am putting a little weight on the game breaks. Over rounds 9 – 11, it’s 2 extra days’ break for Port. In a tight contest, it might be just enough to get them over the line. Having said that, it seems that the Cats have managed their list well until now (“so far so good”, from Chris Scott – said in a way that it’s a guessing game as to how to do it).
Early tip: Port by 6 points

No surprises at selection and I’ll stick with the Power by a goal

North Melbourne v Brisbane Lions at Gold Coast Aug 15 (Sat 2:35pm) {NOTE: North the “HOME” side here in the fixture}
Weather: 8 – 15 mm of rain and a bit breezy
Likely significant team changes:
Roos: Jamie Macmillan has gone home due to a baby on the way; Jed Anderson (eye), Majak Daw, Josh Walker and Robbie Tarrant (corked calf) are all tests, so up to 5 outs
Ed Vickers-Willis is about ready to go, while Marley Williams and Kyron Hayden are possible INS. Ben Brown is a test and may return
Lions: Charlie Cameron was hampered last round and is in doubt; Daniel Rich goes out suspended

Early tip: Roos are too injured and probably would like to rest some players, but cannot. Lions by 37 points and certs

Melbourne v Collingwood at Gabba Aug 15 (Sat 5:10pm)
Weather: 8 – 10 mm of rain and early moderate winds abating
Likely significant team changes:
Melbourne: Max Gawn, Jack Viney and Jay Lockhart are all tests and may come back in.
Luke Jackson is out with a hammie – making Gawn’s availability even more important.
Collingwood: Darcy Moore, Jamie Elliott and Ben Reid are all available to come in; Pendles might return but is a test; Will Hoskin-Elliott is also right to return
Jordan Roughead was concussed last game and is likely to be out
The fitness of Gawn will be critical in this game; I’m keen on the Dees if he is right to go; their breaks have been 6, 4 and 6 days between games; for the Pies, it has been 4, 5 and 4 days; in that time, they have traveled from WA to QLD to SA and back to QLD; this is why I am keen on Melbourne. I’ll probably rip them even if Gawn is out.
Early tip: Dees by 17 points

Friday afternoon: Gawn is out and Pendles is in! Brayden Preuss comes in for Gawn, but he has had a knee injury in the early season and is just working his way back. It’s a big test for him – with a little help from Tom McDonald. I’m still tipping the Dees, but by 8 points

Fremantle v Carlton at Perth Stadium Aug 15 (Sat 8:10pm)
Weather: 10 – 20 mm of rain and a bit breezy
Likely significant team changes:
Dockers: out injured goes Travis Colyer; Michael Walters is almost certain to come in
Blues: Jack Martin goes out injured, while Harry McKay looks set to return

The experts have the Blues as slight favourites. I favour the Dockers slightly at this stage: Dockers by 3 points

See note on Hawks below and their trends. The Dockers were the Hawks opponents last week; so, looking at the trends for the team that played Hawthorn (and others in the same boat at the Hawks in recent years) here are the figures:
Teams in the space Fremantle are in underperformed by an average of 19.2 points. 2 teams lost as favourites and only 2 of the 8 overachieved (by 7 points and 29 points). And the worst Q was Q2 (losing 7 out of 10, but some BIIG losses in there and only small wins – so the average for Q2 is -15.2 ie lose the quarter by around 15 points). If this trend holds true, then the Dockers have a 20% chance of winning only. As this is a line ball game, I’m changing to the Blues on this basis. But…… I don’t trust the Blues either after back to back blowing of leads. So I’m making it an EXTREME variance game. Avoid if you’re still in the Gauntlet.
Updated tip Thursday: Blues by 10 points.

Added just before game time: I’m a little concerned about the Blues going with Tom de Koning as first ruck now that Marc Pittonet is out injured (as well as Matthew Kreuzer); I’ll still tip the Blues – by 4 points and am more sure now that EXTREME variance is the right call; we will see!

Western Bulldogs v Adelaide at Gold Coast Aug 16 (Sun 1:05pm)
Weather: light winds
Likely significant team changes:
Dogs: Zaine Cordy was injured at training and is an OUT; Jason Johannisen is also in doubt after an injury at training.
Crows: Tom Lynch and Tom Doedee are both OUTS injured, while Rory Sloane is an almost certain inclusion

The Dogs have a monstrous 8 day break between games, but should be too good for the Crows – so long as they don’t teat the game as an easy kill and start half asleep.
Early tip: Dogs by 33 points and certs

Friday: Lachie Hunter returns this week

St Kilda v Essendon at Gabba Aug 16 (Sun 3:35pm)
Weather: moderate winds abating
Likely significant team changes:
Saints: Zak Jones and Paddy Ryder look set to return and Seb Ross is a test, but may return.
Jade Gresham is an OUT injured
Bombers: Cale Hooker and Jacob Townsend may return

This looms as a danger game for the Saints, who are favoured to win by 2 – 3 goals. My early tip: Saints by 9 points, but not too enthused about them and I’ll mark this as an EXTREME variance game.

Friday afternoon – I’ve done some work on teams like the Saints who are in the top 4 after years of being out of the finals. Well, they were in the top 4 before the loss to the Cats. Teams in this space – having a bad loss like St Kilda did last week – generally exceed expectations with a good Q1 and / or Q4 as a rule; they on average exceed expectations by 7 points. The one baddie was the Saints in 2004. They had won 10 straight to start the season and then went out to the pictures together as a team. Must’ve watched a horror movie because the season went off track thereafter. After their round 11 loss, they lost to the Dogs in round 12 in an upset. Because of the unusual nature of the Saints in 2004 and their unbeaten run of 10 games before the bad loss, I’m almost inclined to ignore it. If I do, then teams in the position that the Saints are in this week won 7 out of 7 and exceeded expectations 6 out of 7 – and exceeded expectations on average by 16 points. I’ll leave the EXTREME variance call in but mainly to cover the Saints winning big. Saints by 25 points.

West Coast v Hawthorn at Perth Stadium Aug 16 (Sun 6:10pm)
Weather: 15 – 20 mm of rain and windy
Likely significant team changes:
Eagles: Jeremy McGovern is a test and may return
Hawks: Isaac Smith is out injured; Shaun Burgoyne and Jonathon Patton are available to come back in; Friday news suggests that Smith is a test now.

Early tip: the experts favour the Eagles by 4 goals and I agree
I checked what happened to teams like the Hawks who snap a 4 or more game losing streak with a win by 21-40 and then lose the following week – while underperforming. There are 10 such cases in the past 10 years. 3 of the ten were expected to win and 1 of the 3 lost (Port in 2012 when the coach was about to be sacked – I will ignore this case due to an overriding situation). 7 of the 10 were expected to lose and all 7 lost. but here is the amazing thing – if we ignore the match that killed off Matthew Primus’ coaching career – the variance from expectation was a mere average of 10.8. A random selection of games would yield about 29. If this holds true, we would expect the game to go closely according to expectation. And team in the position of Hawthorn as mentioned here tend to have a bad Q1.

Eagles to lead at each change and win by 29

Richmond v Gold Coast at Gabba Aug 17 (Mon 7:10pm)
Weather: light winds
Likely significant team changes:
Tigers: Trent Cotchin is an almost certain IN; Bachar Houli returned to training 13 Aug, but my guess is he won’t come back in this week.
Suns: none to report

Early tip: I like the Tigers by 25 points.

Added Sunday
The Suns are managing David Swallow and Jarrod Harbrow; no other significant ins nor outs & Cotch returns as indicated above
See my note below about Port; I know last round (Port vs Rich) was bigger for Port than Richmond, but it also may have taken something out of Richmond as well; they had a long break to recover – 9 days; is that a plus or minus? maybe a minus; not sure; I will downgrade the Tigers a bit now; Richmond by 13 points and not certs
Monday afternoon update: did some research on teams like Port which come from mediocre form for a few years to be a top team and then beat the reigning premier (Richmond, in this case). The next round, the reigning premier tends to slightly underperform (not enough for me to tip the Suns) and has a bad Q3 and Q4. However, as the Suns play Friday night and the first game in round 13, 2 possibilities open up:
A: they are totally flat for this game as they prepare for their big Friday night free to air clash ( a small chance they may be pumped for this game as well); or
B: if the game is gone in Q4, they may shut up shop and allow the Tigers to pile on late goals.

I tend to expect the Suns to do well in Q3 and maybe Richmond do well in Q4; but I’m not hugely confident like I am in other cases; I narrowly avoided labeling this as extreme; Tigers by 13 points still.

Summary BEFORE any game played: load up on certs this week! The Giants, Lions, Dogs and Crows are all certs.

I’ll also go for at least 1 of these to occur:
Dees to win by over 3 goals
Bombers to win

Round 12 quick review
Swans 66 GWS 25
I came a gutzer first up – tipping the Giants as certs over the Swans; where did I go wrong? I mentioned that they would win provided they settled in well; maybe they didn’t, but I also have another theory now (thanks to chatting to my good friend Harry Hindsight); two possible reasons:
A: this was the grand final for the Swans; their season was cooked long ago, so they penciled in GWS as the one to win when the fixture came out.
B: unlike the Swans, the Giants were in with a shot for the flag (still are a long-shot hope if they can get back into form); then they found out that they wouldn’t get any home finals (about a month ago); after beating the Tigers in Sydney, their bubble has slowly deflated and they were flat as CDs this round; sorry to tip them as certs.

Cats 91 Port 31
If you ever watch Poirot, you will see him castigate himself for not spotting the obvious sooner (even though nobody else has a clue on solving the case); that’s what happened early in Q2 in the Port / Geelong game. Everyone raved about the Tigers / Port game the previous round; in the 150th year of Port and playing the reigning premiers at home, they were bound to be up for it; this game was going to mark them as a genuine flag hope. The following match against Geelong was away from home and of a lesser consequence (seemingly). They were a bit flat from go to whoa; had I put this into my calculations, the Cats would’ve been tipped.

Lions 53; Roos 52
I don’t like tipping a cert that wins by under 2 goals as the Lions did against the Roos. They were clearly flat as indicated by footage of Chris Fagan giving them a good old spray at HT. Even so, they struggled to the line. They never really looked like losing – with the Roos closing to a point deficit from a kick after the siren. In retrospect, it appeared that the Lions had chalked this up as a win before they hit the field. It’s a vital 4 points anyway, but no tick for percentage.

Dees 100 Pies 44
I’m glad I stuck with the Dees when almost everyone else tipped the Pies (especially after the news that Gawn was gawn). Brayden Preuss did okay filling in for Gawn. The Pies, breaks were 4, 5 and 4 leading into this game and for the Dees it was 6, 4 and 6; with the pies losing Brodie Mihocek in Q2 and then Ben Reid in Q3 gave them not much hope. Reading between the lines in the presser, the multiple short breaks and then playing the Dees with injuries on top was all too much for the Pies. It’s 3 games in a row now where the Dees have blown teams away late. with the Dees pulling away, the game went into EXTREME variance territory; I am not too concerned about missing tipping the variance – I see it partly to do with the Pies running out of petrol tickets.

Blues 40 Dockers 36
This game was low scoring in difficult conditions. Much has been discussed about the final free to the Blues and subsequent magnificent kick to win by Jack Newnes (similar to the Robbie Gray kick for Port against the Blues several matches earlier). And Blues fans reckon they have got a raw deal in Perth overall with umpiring decisions. I won’t buy in – except to say that it was a 50/50 game; happy to tip the winner and happy that the technical lead steered me AWAY form tipping the Dockers; I did err in tipping EXTREME variance, however. Dockers fans won’t agree but it was just beautiful to see a player execute such a perfect kick under pressure.

Dogs 111 Crows 54
This is the type of win you look for when you tip a team as a cert. The Dogs never looked in doubt; the Crows weren’t helped by Taylor Walker producing low numbers (I expect he’ll need an op at year’s end) and moderate numbers from Rory Sloane first up from an injury break. The Dogs lost Tim English late and watch the injury news on him for next match; the Crows have slightly more injuries than the Dogs and, with their level of talent and experience, they cannot afford to be more injured.

Saints 68 Bombers 33
The Bombers never really looked likely and I though the margin probably should’ve been a bit bigger; so happy to look at the technical lead on the Saints which worked pretty well (technical lead predicted that the Saints would outperform expectations); also, of interest is that the Bombers and Giants played a nail-biter last round and this round they both perform poorly – especially early in the contest.

WCE 81 Hawks 49
The analysis was spot on here – especially the technical lead on the Hawks – predicting a bad Q1; from then on, it was roughly even. The Eagles lost Elliott Yeo before the game and Jack Redden late in it. The Hawks lost James Sicily late in the game (now confirmed an ACL) and Jaeger O’Meara played with a hand injury, but racked up good numbers.

Tigers 53 Suns 32
My technical leads on this game were all wrong, but I tipped the winner; not much to say here really; it was a good, honest win by the Tigers and a good test for the Suns.

Here is the Bye information (by club and round):

Brisbane Lions14Melbourne3
Fremantle10West Coast10
Gold Coast15GWS Giants11
GWS Giants11Adelaide14
Hawthorn10Brisbane Lions14
North Melbourne15Gold Coast15
Port Adelaide15North Melbourne15
Richmond16Port Adelaide15
St Kilda15St Kilda15
Sydney11Western Bulldogs15
Western Bulldogs15Collingwood16
West Coast10Richmond16

Round 13 commences Friday 21 August 2020 at 7:50pm
Gold Coast v Carlton at Marrara Stadium Darwin Aug 21 (Fri 7:50pm)
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne atGold Coast Aug 22 (Sat 1:45pm)
Port Adelaide v Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval Aug 22 (Sat 4:35pm)
Essendon v Richmond at Marrara Stadium Darwin Aug 22 (Sat 7:40pm)
Fremantle v Sydney at Perth Stadium Aug 22 (Sat 8:10pm)
Adelaide v Geelong at Adelaide Oval Aug 23 (Sun 1:05pm)
Brisbane Lions v St Kilda at Gabba Aug 23 (Sun 3:35pm)
West Coast v GWS Giants at Perth Stadium Aug 23 (Sun 6:10pm)
Collingwood v North Melbourne at Gabba Aug 24 (Mon 7:10pm)

Early tips Wednesday night
Blues (not confident)
Dogs (but a toss-up and watch for ruck selection news)
Port (confident)
Eagles (but expect better effort from Giants)

I’m hoping we get a relatively normal Thursday night IE all teams selected (at least the first 8 games of the round, anyway). It will finally be a pleasure to preview the whole round with team selections IN.

Gold Coast v Carlton at Marrara Stadium Darwin Aug 21 (Fri 7:50pm)
Weather 23-33 degrees for Friday and dropping to 21 overnight – and humid!
How many Friday night marquee / Marquis games have the Suns had in their 10 seasons? Zero! until now. This is huge for them. I might note here that even the lowliest NFL teams in the US get 1 Thursday night and 1 Monday night game per year (these are the sought after time slots from a promotional viewpoint). The off field team at the Suns will be doing what they can (pity for them it wasn’t in QLD, but good for NT people to get exposure to them). The on field team will be up and about – but will it be enough to provide a win? I have mixed feelings about this. They may excel…or the wait could have been too long and this could cause them to flop big time! I tend to favour them doing well in this space.

Then the breaks need to be considered. The Suns played Monday, so they are coming up on a 4 day break and breaks prior to that 5 and 6 days. For the Blues it is 6 days and before that 6 and 9. This may be a minus for the Suns – I feel that the short breaks are worse when teams are losing.

To muddy the waters further, the Blues won with a kick after the siren last weekend. Teams which do this after trailing at 3QT underperform by 6 points on average.

The teams:
In: David Swallow, Jarrod Harbrow and Sean Lemmens.
Out: Brayden Fiorini, Alex Sexton and Nick Holman all omitted

In: Marc Pittonet and Jack Martin
Out: Matthew Kennedy injured and Josh Honey omitted.

I like the IN of Pittonet.

Finally – the weather; this may suit the suns more as they are more accustomed to it.

This is an EXTREME variance game due to all the above; I have no feel at all what may happen. I’ll tip the Blues by 2 points; a game to avoid from a tipping viewpoint.

Regrettably, no other teams in on Thursday night (insert a frown here).

Western Bulldogs v Melbourne at Gold Coast Aug 22 (Sat 1:45pm)
Forecast: windy
As mentioned above, was hoping to have the teams ESPECIALLY for this game
Possible changes of note:
In: Jason Johanissen and josh Bruce are expected to return and maybe Matt Suckling + Hayden Crozier
Out: Tim English has to pass a fitness test

Ins: Max Gawn will need to pass a fitness test, but is a chance
Outs: Brayden Preuss injured himself at training and will also be tested
Thursday tip: Dogs by 4 points
Friday update: no Gawn, but Preuss will play, says Simon Goodwin.
Luke Beveridge is talking too.. he’s saying NO COMMENT and wait until 6.20pm.

Friday tip: now that we know Preuss will play, I’m going for the Dogs by a point. Will pick Dees if English doesn’t get up for the Dogs.

Friday night update: English has been named for the Dogs, but I will still wait until the last minute to see if he plays; I have a slight leaning to the Dogs if he does. This is a good test for the Dees after they beat up on lowly or injured teams of late (albeit disposing of the Pies with ease last time).
At this stage, Dogs by a point.

Port Adelaide v Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval Aug 22 (Sat 4:35pm)
Forecast: showers and windy
Possible changes of note:
Ins: Brad Ebert is likely
Outs: Dan Houston and Peter Ladhams are out suspended

Ins: Isaac Smith is a chance
Outs: Jaeger O’Meara is out injured and James Sicily is gone for the year
Thursday tip: Port by 24 points

Friday night update: the Hawks also lose to injury James Frawley and Jack Gunston; this makes it very tough for the Hawks; that’s 4 quality players all out in the one week. The INS include Jonathon Patton and Tom Scully, but overall the INS are inferior to the OUTS.

Port by 41 points and certs

Essendon v Richmond at Marrara Stadium Darwin Aug 22 (Sat 7:40pm)
Forecast: 23-33 degrees for Saturday and dropping to 21 overnight – and humid!
This seems to be an appropriate place to play the Dreamtime at the G game in 2020
Possible changes of note:
Bombers: all likely to return: Devon Smith, Aaron Francis, Tom Bellchambers and Jake Stringer a chance
Tigers: Bachar Houli is likely to return after personal leave; Toby Nankervis is a chance also
Thursday tip: Tigers by 18 points

Friday night update: Houli is in, but not Nankervis. All the possible INS for Essendon listed above come in; they lose Connor McKenna to injury (an eventful year for him – with the Covid and also the Gaelic Football trick he displayed).

I agree with most in tipping the Tigers by 24 points. The crowd really got into the Friday night game and they should be cock-a-hoop about this one.

Fremantle v Sydney at Perth Stadium Aug 22 (Sat 8:10pm)
Forecast: chance of a late shower and light winds
Possible changes of note:
Swans: Dane Rampe is out for the year
Thursday tip: Dockers by 21 points

John Kennedy comes back for the Swans; this will help, but I suspect that the Swans played their grand final last week. Based on this, I expect the Dockers to win well. They have to overcome the shock of losing after the siren last week. The sense of injustice they felt may help.

The one plus for Sydney is that teams losing like the Dockers can underperform a bit the following week and perform badly in Q4. I still like the Dockers and, against the possible Q4 trend, it is possible that the Swans might drop off in Q4 if the game is shot as they consider leaving WA (having already played the Eagles); Dockers by 21 points

Adelaide v Geelong at Adelaide Oval Aug 23 (Sun 1:05pm)
Forecast: chance of showers and moderate winds abating
Possible changes of note:
Ins: Ned McHenry and Ben Crocker are chances to return

Ins: Jack Steven likely and maybe Luke Dahlhaus
Outs: Chris Scott said Joel Selwood is a likely out with injury; Cam Guthrie is a test but likely to be okay
Thursday tip: Cats by 15 points

I remembered the Cats beginning a year with 3 x 6 day breaks (rounds 1 – 4); most said that they couldn’t win all 4; but they did (albeit mainly by small margins); they they had a nice 8 day break until their next game against the then lowly Dogs (15th on the ladder at the time). The Cats were hot 10 goal favourites and controlled the game to lead by 6 goals at 3QT. In Q4, they booted 0:5 to 3:2 to win by 21 points.

This time they have come off multiple short breaks and looked better each week. I expect a similar thing may recur – that they will win unimpressively this time. I reckon that they will be a bit flat either in Q1 or (more likely) Q4. They are 6 goal favourites here; the trouble is that the Crows seem to be down and out. If the Cats still win big, I will assume it is reflective of the Crows and not the Cats. Cats by 27 points and expect a significant flat spot for them during the game.

Brisbane Lions v St Kilda at Gabba Aug 23 (Sun 3:35pm)
Forecast: windy
Possible changes of note: Daniel Rich has served his suspension and is expected to come back in; Cam Rayner a likely in
Thursday tip: Lions by 11 points

Saturday update; Rich has hammie tightness and so doesn’t return. The Lions have the bye in round 14 and the Saints get a rest in round 15. I am wondering why the Lions struggled against the Roos last week. Are they slowing down and desperately need a rest (in which case they could flop this week)? Or, what I suspect – it just looked like an easy kill and they were a bit complacent. I expect them to be okay energy and concentration-wise this time. But that doesn’t guarantee them a win.

The Saints bounced back nicely from the loss to the Cats to comfortably defeat the Bombers last week, but I didn’t like their tendency to coast later in the match. There is a chance that they may underperform here two weeks after the Geelong match (see preview of Saints Bombers above – and teams like St Kilda the following week generally underperform and can have a bad Q4).

After all that thought, I’ll go for the Lions by 21 points and to win Q4 by over 2 goals

West Coast v GWS Giants at Perth Stadium Aug 23 (Sun 6:10pm)
Forecast: early showers expected to be finished long before game time and light winds
Possible changes of note:
In: Liam Duggan likely to return
Out: Jack Redden expected to miss

In: big news – Toby Greene given the tick by the coach and Phil Davis considered likely, along with Daniel Lloyd
Out: debutante Tom Hutchesson is out injured
Thursday tip: Eagles by 7 points, but a danger game for them

Saturday update: As predicted for the Giants, except that Davis is still not back and Mummy comes in for Sauce Jacobs; GWS dropped 5 players; I expect them to be really UP for this one and it is a danger game for the Eagles.

I’ll stick with Eagles by 7 points, but most are tipping a more comfortable West Coast victory.

Collingwood v North Melbourne at Gabba Aug 24 (Mon 7:10pm)
Forecast: light winds
Finally the Pies play a team more banged up than themselves!
Possible changes of note:
In: Jordan Roughead a likely in; Levi Greenwood a chance
Out: Ben Reid will miss, while Brodie Mihocek has a concussion test to pass
In: Robbie Tarrant a chance to return and maybe Ben Brown as well
Out: Will Walker is out with a hammie
Thursday tip: Pies by 21 points

Sunday night update: no huge surprises at the selection table. I will stick with the Pies here by 21 points, but wouldn’t label them as certs.

Will sign in Friday, hopefully have some teams and do the fuller preview
In summary Friday night:
Keen on Port to win by over 5 goals
Keen on the Dockers to win by over 3 goals.
They are both certs in my opinion; the Cats also look like certs and I have listed them as such in my “certs” comp in
But I am reminded of the Lions (Fitzroy, that is) not winning a game at all in 1963 and 1964 except for a win against 1963 premiers in Geelong (who had players away playing for the state that day). I am just a bit wary of the Cats after those wins off short breaks and then a 9 day break. I am also looking at the Giants as the best chance for an upset

Round 13 Review
At first glance, it was a perfect week of analysis for me; I tipped 9 out of 9 and won the weekly tipping comp at
Bit when we delve deeper, there were some mixed results

Blues 60 Suns 27
Expected result: Blues by 10
I tipped: Blues by 2 and EXTREME variance. So in this game, all I did correctly was tip the winner; the experts got closer in the margin and my call of EXTREME was incorrect. In my defence, I didn’t really like the game as there were too many factors difficult to form into any decent analysis. I got out of it with a win and that was about it. Harry McKay looked good for the Blues and maybe the Suns were gassed due to the short break (more so than overawed by their first Friday night game).

Dogs 80 Dees 52
Expected result: Dees by 4 points
I tipped: Dogs by a point
I found this one tough to tip, but went for the Dogs due to the uncertainty about the Dees’ ruck stocks. Nathan Jones was a VERY late withdrawal for the Dees and was replaced by Mitch Hannan; this would not have altered my tip. I was impressed by the Dees’ recent run of wins, but not totally convinced because their opponents were either lowly or banged up; they failed the test (but might do better with Max Gawn back next round). The Dogs played English up forward for large parts of the game

Port 68 Hawks 58
Expected result: Port by 26
I tipped: Port by 41 and certs
I never want certs to win like Port did; It was a huge struggle all the way and they got jumped early. Not sure if Port was shell-shocked from the previous match (bad loss) of just feeling overly confident leading in to this one. Anyway, they managed to fall over the line in front. I tipped Port (in my summary) to win by over 5 goals; that was likely at the first bonce and then never a hope; sorry. Only good news: Port won

Tigers 73 Dons 61
Expected result: Tigers by 24 points
I tipped: Tigers by 24
Not much to report here, except that Bomber fans were extremely unhappy about the umps. From my viewpoint, they were never really likely to win but kicked 2 late snags to make it look closer than it was. Happy with the tip and the locals got plenty of entertainment

Dockers 50 Swans 19
Expected result: Dockers by 8
I tipped: Dockers by 21
Very good work here by me; the critical but of info was that the Swans played their grand final last week and were consequently flat against the Dockers.

Cats 65 Crows 37
Expected result: Cats by 37
I tipped: Cats by 27
Analysis good overall here (as I tipped Cats by less of a margin than the experts and almost nailed it perfectly) but I expected maybe a flat spot for the Cats in Q4. In fact, they were flat in mid-game; looking back, the Crows had the round 14 bye and dropped off late. See also note on Lions below

Lions 50 Saints 48
Expected result: Lions by 15
I tipped: Lions by 21 points; I tipped the winner but messed it up otherwise. The Lions fell away late and just barely hung on – kicking 1 point to 1:3 in Q4; see review on Crows; both Lions and the Crows have a round 14 bye and both struggled late (Crows blowing a slim chance and Lions probably lucky to hang on). I missed this in my previews; sorry. Charlie Cameron still looks to be playing sore; the bye gives the Lions a 12 day break and maybe he’ll be right by then

Eagles 61 Giants 49
Expected result: Eagles by 18 points
I tipped: Eagles by 7 points.
Happy to tip a winner here and my “danger game” tip looked silly at QT with the Eagles leading 27 to 1; but the Giants gradually fought back – never really looking like winning, I might add – but they ended up making my tip slightly better then the experts. Why the Q1 shocker by GWS? Coach Leon Cameron said that they held the ball in fwd 50 for the first 8 minutes, but couldn’t score; then the Eagles scored on the counter-attack. Cameron said Nicnat was dominant early but Mummy (33 and on one leg) was great after QT. The Mummy comment together with the poor form overall of Sauce Jacobs means that I have written off the Giants as a flag hope now. Callan Ward got a bad finger fracture and looks gone for the season now.

Magpies 65 Roos 35
Expected result: Pies by 16 points
I tipped: Pies by 21
Collingwood got the win they wanted without terrifying fans of other teams. They will now lose Steele Sidebottom for the rest of the regular season at least due to personal reasons; they lost Q1 narrowly and then won the other quarters by 2 goals apiece. Good to be slightly more confident than the experts here, but the best thing was to tip the card and win the office footy comp weekly prize – a free latte!