Round 1, 2013


Round 1, 2013

Note:  DT+SC players need to finalise their teams before game 1 on Friday 22 March 2013; but can now move players around in their team game by game (after the sub has been announced – handy if you have players on the bench to bring in!).

The round is spread over 2 weekends and the tips below will be done prior to the announcement of any teams.  When the team are announced for round 1B on 28 March 2013, extra comments will be made to assist those who didn’t have to lock in their tips prior to round 1A

For the last 7 games, the maths will not be there initially.  It may be filled in during the week leading up to the game when teams are known.

Due to work issues, this is being updated on 19 March prior to R1A teams being announced.  There will be a 27 March update where winning margins will be added in red below.  This is done so that those who can tip for the second week of R1 can see the latest data.

Apologies for lack of table format

Round 1, 2013

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:

1 ADEL V ESS         ADEL 10       EXTREME   Huge chance

2 FREO V WCE      FREO  17      HIGH             Tipped to win

Week 2 of round 1

3 CARL V RICH     CARL 4         EXTREME   Huge chance

4 WBD V BRIS        BRIS  9 (27) HIGH             Little hope

5 GWS V SYD          SYD    33        MEDIUM      No hope

6 GCS V STK           STK    2          HIGH             Huge chance

7 MELB V PORT    MELB 10 (4) EXTREME  Definite chance

8 NMFC V COLL   COLL 13 (8) EXTREME   Definite chance

9 HAW V GEEL      HAW 15 (9) HIGH             Definite chance

Variance: differs depending on unknown technical and fundamental issues – like possible injuries and tracking of form trend

Medium means the website is expected to be close to the mark

High means expect some likelihood of the website being several goals off the mark

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions


Crows probably

The Crows have relatively few serious injuries, but are struggling to get sufficient game time onto several players – notably Callinan, Petrenko, Sloane, Shaw and Tambling.  Meanwhile Smith will miss R1, while Tambling and Callinan may be subject to tests.  Tambling and Shaw are expected to play SANFL in “NAB4” week to get more game time prior to R1.   It will be a difficult balancing act early to get enough talent on the field without having players run out of puff.

Crouch looks almost a cert to debut, while Jenkins appears to be ahead of McKernan (dropped for NAB3) for a spot in the team.

Don players coming in to R1 underdone appear to be Hardingham, Hille and Pears. Zaharakis has yet to play a NAB Cup game will is expected to play NAB4 in the VFL. His preparation is less than ideal.

Who knows how the Dons will come out of their pre-season.  This makes the game an EXTREME variance game.

The Crows have been tipped to finish outside the top 8 and Essendon just in it; but the Crows are better placed in terms of injuries and have the home ground advantage.  So they are narrowly tipped.

Maths (in points)

Ability: ESS + 6 points

Home Ground: ADEL + 18

Current Form: ESS + 8


Freshness / Injury: ADEL + 6

Total: Crows by 10 points

Accumulator does not begin until Easter Saturday!!

Post Match Review:  Crows were tipped by 10 points but the Dons won by 35.  Analysis was acceptable.  Many had the Crows as certs or close enough.  The fact that there was an extreme variance on the game meant that the ALARM BELLS should have been ringing.



Dockers in an upset

The biggest surprise here is that the Eagles are favourites.

They are without Kerr, Naitanui, Nicoski, Rosa & Wellingham with Embley, McGinnity, Masten & Waters all underdone

On the Freo front, only Morabito & Sandilands are definite outs, with a small doubt of Fyfe and Pavlich being underdone.

And even though the Eagles are more highly fancied overall, their early form has been ordinary and are too depleted to have a great chance.

Maths (in points)

Ability: Eagles + 6 points

Home Ground: Even

Current Form: Freo + 5

Psychological: Even

Freshness / Injuries: Freo + 18

Total: Freo by 17 points and CERTS (can be bold early in the season when there is no “run” to protect)

Accumulator does not begin until Easter Saturday!!

Post Match Review:  Dockers were tipped by 17 points and they won by 28.  Analysis was almost perfect in this instance.  The extra margin was assisted by the injuries to MacKenzie and Le Cras.  As mentioned above, the Eagles should NOT have been favourites.  On game day, most considered it to be a 50/50 game.  This was the first top tip for the season!!


Week 2 of round 1


Blues just, in danger game

The secret of many tipsters’ success is simply tipping the Blues against Richmond every time they play.  Even last year late in the season, an undermanned Blues team pinched a game against the more favoured Tigers.

The Tigers may prefer NOT to play Carlton in R1; but, then again, they will need to overcome this hoodoo eventually if they are to succeed.

The Blues have omitted Curnow, Rowe and White.  In Garlett (was ordinary NAB3 and missed NAB4 for a funeral – so maybe his NAB3 form can be forgiven).  The teams could select 24 for NAB4, but only 22 for R1 – hence more outs than ins.   Judd will be underdone and maybe Garlett to a lesser extent.  Missing from the Blues’ best 22 are Scotland and Waite, while Ellard (maybe in best 22, maybe not) is also injured.

The Tigers’ changes from their NAB4 practice match is:

In: Jackson, King

Out:  Vlaustin, White, Lonergan, Petterd

The surprises for most were the omissions of Vlaustin and Petterd.  Vlaustin is an emergency (so he is thereabouts), while Petterd was probably going to be picked but is out with groin soreness (not a good sign!).  Chaplin and King (a likely sub) are likely to be underdone.  Missing from the best 22 are Foley and Grimes, while the injured Astbury may prove himself to be in the best team in 2013 and is currently out injured.

The record of NAB Cup GF runners-up in R1 is generally positive, but a little patchy.  In 2012, the Eagles (RU NAB) smashed the Dogs in Melbourne R1.  In 2011, Essendon had a big win over the Dogs.  In 2010, the Saints squeaked past the Swans.  In 2009, the Pies lost at home in an upset to the Crows.  And in 2008, the Crows narrowly lost to the Dogs.

This is yet another game to avoid if you can.  Other games are to be avoided because of so many players underdone.  In this case, it is the uncertainty surrounding the mental side of the contest and also the speed at which the Malthouse game style clicks.

History suggests it is safer to tip the Blues, but the confidence is lower this year than in most.

Maths (in points)

Ability: Even

Home Ground: Even

Current Form: RICH + 4 points

Psychological: CARL + 6

Freshness: Even

Injuries: CARL + 2

Total: Blues by 4 points

Accumulator does not begin until Easter Saturday, but the Tigers are a big chance.

Post Match Review:  Blues were tipped by 4 points but the Tigers won by 5.  Analysis was reasonable, but the wrong team picked.  Some may have said that the Blues may have thrown the game away late.  However, the Tigers wasted just as many chances in 2Q.   The wild swings in momentum tended to confirm the EXTREME variance rating given the contest.  A better excuse was the concussion to Robinson.  For the Tigers, there was huge relief when the siren rang.  Their follow-up form will be watched with interest.



Lions with momentum

The Dogs’ slim hopes went out the window with the Boyd injury.  Add to this, Williams and Wood definitely out.  Then the following are underdone or may miss: Addison (not selected), Cooney, Higgins, Stringer (not selected) & Stevens.

Brisbane will be missing Black and Staker, while Leuenberger is doubtful (not selected).  The rest of the list is fit and firing – even Brown!!  Expect the players from the NAB Cup final to all play again (less 2 players to get back to 22).

As a rule, teams that win the NAB Cup tend to carry their good form AT LEAST into round 1 of the regular season.  Last year’s winner Adelaide were expected to beat the Suns in QLD by 4 goals in R1 and they won by 11.  They then fell in over the Dogs in R2 before being walloped by the Hawks in R3.

The previous year, it was the Pies who were NAB Cup winners are they blitzed everyone for the first few rounds of the season.  Back to 2010, the Dogs won the NAB Cup then put in a shocker against a Pie team on the way up (in a big way).   The Cats won in 2009 and then fell over the line in a GF replay over the Hawks.  In 2008, the Saints won the NAB Cup, then fell over the line against the Swans (like Hawks / Cats, the Saints / Swans games are often tight tussles).  Then in 2007, the NAB Cup was won by the Blues who managed to win over Richmond in R1 {the Blues were dreadful in 2007, but did win 2 of the first 3 games en route to a “4 wins” season).  This is a wordy way of saying: don’t expect a premiership hangover for the Lions – especially not from an opponent in a significant rebuild.

Maths (in points)

Ability: BRIS + 12 points

Home Ground: WBD + 15

Current Form: BRIS + 12

Psychological: BRIS + 6

Freshness: Even

Injuries: BRIS + 12

Total: Lions by 27 points and almost certs
Accumulator tip:  Lions ~ 1.30

Post Match Review:  Lions were tipped by 27 points but the Dogs won by 68.  Analysis was miles off (along with almost everyone else, if an excuse may be offered).  The challenge is how to assess this match.  A few small observations: Cooney and “just you wait, Henry” Higgins were both considered doubtful midweek and both excelled.

For Brisbane, J Brown had a downer (when it was expected his size would be a problem for the Dogs). 
At this stage, it will be assessed as “Lions lulled into a false sense of security”.  As mentioned above, most NAB Cup winners go into R1 full of momentum.  However, they did have to travel in weeks 2, 3 & 4; then, following their return home, they may have “rested” too much.

Also, the bad news coming out of the Dogs’ camp in the lead-up may have caused the Lions to be over-confident. 
Finally, the Dogs had a morale boosting “win” over the Hawks in NAB2 (their first win over any sort for many months) and sometimes this one unimpressive win ran release the pressure from a team and they will then excel the next match.  In the Dogs’ case, they immediately went to WA with many stars out and got flogged.  Did they transfer the NAB2 win to R1 in the regular season?  Probably irrelevant.

The one positive – the Lions were not labelled as certs!




Swans certs, but a record margin unlikely

The Giants have a reasonably healthy list, but will be missing Buntine, Cornes, O’Rourke & Tyson.  Sheeds noted recently that Whitfiled, Plowman and Corr “should be selected on form”.

The Swans will be without Johnson, Rohan and Tippett (all for long periods).  Those underdone or missing include Bird, Goodes, Mattner, Morton, Shaw and Smith.

The Swans’ form so far in 2013 has been average (slightly better in seasonally adjusted terms).  This brings good news and bad for Swans fans.  The critical piece of data is that the Swans play the Giants and Suns in Sydney in R1 & 2.  So the smart plan (if it works) would be for the Swans to build into the season and hit top form in R3.  And it will work if they are 2 and zip after round 2, regardless of percentage.

Then they play Roos away, Cats at home and Saints away (much more “losable” games than in R1 & 2).

So the good news is they should win their first 2 games.  The bad is: don’t expect 100+ point thrashings – rather workmanlike honest efforts.

The Giants’ form has been reasonable (slightly worse in seasonally adjusted terms)

Expect a certain Swans win, but not a premiership type performance.

Maths (in points)

Ability: SYD + 36 points

Home Ground: Even

Current Form: SYD + 8

Psychological: GWS + 6

Freshness: Even

Injuries: GWS + 5

Total: Syd by 33 points and certs of the week

Accumulator tip: Swans at ~ 1.04

Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 33 points and they won by 30.  Analysis was fantastic, given that many experts were going for a 50+ point win by the Swans.  The reasons why a 5 goal win was more likely are explained above, especially the bit about the Swans hitting form by R3.  Even so, the Swans were still the best certs for the round (all the more, given the many upsets)




Big danger game!

The Suns are on the rise.   The only question is: How soon and how much? They are on the verge of getting out of the bottom 4 – possibly next year for that achievement.  Expect more this year out of many Suns players who struggled with injury last year:  Gorringe, Harbrow, Matera, May, Rischitelli, Swallow, Tape and Thompson.  It may be a question of how soon they can all gel together.

And the Saints are a little hard to read this year.  They lost Goddard, but the coaching team is more settled.  They are rated as only a slim chance for the finals; and they have to cope with obvious improvement of the Blues, Tigers and Dons if they are to have any chance for the 8.

Given the ratings of the teams, this game looks to be closer than many would think.  The Saints will be tipped but WARNING – don’t pick them as certs!

The Suns will be missing Bock, Brown (suspended), Lonergan, Lynch & Tape.  Those underdone or missing comprise McKenzie, Patrick, Russell & Stanley.

The Saints are without Dempster, while Fisher, Schneider, Simpkin & Stanley are all underdone or may be missing.  Ex Sun Tom Hickey may be there for R1 and Trent Dennis-Lane may be a chance.

Maths (in points)

Ability: STK + 6 points

Home Ground: SUNS + 18

Current Form: STK + 2

Psychological: STK + 6

Freshness: Even

Injuries: STK + 6

Total: STK by 2 points

Accumulator tip: Suns ~ 3.30

Post Match Review:  Saints were tipped by 2 points but the Suns won by 13.  Analysis was pretty good, but also apologies must be made:

1. failing to notify of Montagna being out suspended; and
2. failing to check the humidity forecast
Teams from the south generally have trouble with the QLD humidity when it is high.  
These two factors, having been fully assessed, would have led to an outright tip for the Suns.  Everything else in the analysis was good and the Accumlator tip was correct.



Line ball game

The Dees have a short injury list with Bail, Gawn & Trengove missing, but add to this Blease, Clark, Dawes Tom McDonald who are underdone or may miss.

Port have a shorter list with Butcher Brett Ebert Logan Renouf, Cassisi & Gray underdone or missing.

Kane Mitchell has been upgraded from the rookie list on 27 March (no surprise there!).

The AFL website says: Chris Dawes, David Rodan, Shannon Byrnes, Tom Gillies, Jimmy Toumpas and Jack Viney are those in line to make their Demons’ debut, while Dean Kent (cleared to play by VFL tribunal on 26 March), Dean Terlich and Matt Jones are also pushing their cases.  Expect Magner to be upgraded prior to this match.  Mark Neeld seemed to be keen on playing Clark, but a little less so on Dawes and Trengove.  He also noted that Matt Jones was “in the mix”.

Port is more highly rated than the Dees, but it is difficult to line them up – especially with a lot of stars for each team severely underdone.  Consequently, this game has “EXTREME VARIANCE” and “AVOID IT IF YOU CAN” written all over it.

In the end, it may come down to the team with the least number of underdone players on the park.

Maths (in points)

Ability: PORT + 6 points

Home Ground: MELB + 18

Current Form: PORT + 2

Psychological: Even

Freshness: Even

Injuries: PORT + 6

Total: Dees by 4 points

Accumulator tip:  Dees at ~ 1.87, but Port is tempting at 1.93

Post Match Review:  Dees were tipped by 4 points but Port won by 79.  Analysis was…. OUCH.  While quite a few tipped Port, the margin was WAY OUT of range for most.

The lone positive:  EXTREME VARIANCE!!  However, given that tag, the logical thing to do would have been to pick Port in the Accumulator.  Having the tip + the Accumulator both being the Dees was unnecessarily putting too many eggs in the one basket.

The logic behind the extreme variance call was the numbers of changes since 2012 to both teams and severe doubts about some players for both teams.  It was difficult to line them up and, also, things going wrong can often REALLY go wrong for such vulnerable teams.

PS: How did the Dees manage to leave out from their team Magner (averaged 92 Supercoach points in NAB 2, 3 & 4) and Strauss (played NAB 2 & 4 averaging 90) and Terlich (averaged 79 in NAB 2, 3 & 4) – all this done AFTER the final tips were made???  All three would be a chance for R2!



Pies, but a danger game

The Roos are fairly healthy, although both Harvey and McMahon miss through suspension.

Those underdone or missing include Adams, Grima (yes, he got a million Supercoach points in NAB4, but that was his only hit-out for the month) & Petrie.

The Pies will miss Ball, Didak, Fasolo, Keeffe & Krakouer; while the following will miss or be underdone:  Reid & D Thomas.  Also Jolly, who went to hospital after NAB4 with a knock to the back.  Ben Hudson has been elevated from the rookie list to assist and expect him to play R1.  Watch for news on Jolly as the week continues.

Tall defender Jack Frost has been elevated from the rookie list and seems certain to play against the Roos.  Maybe Reid won’t get up for this week.   Lynch looks a cert to play.

Chris Scott said Currie, Daw and Jacobs are in the mix for R1, as in Hine (as a stand-in for the suspended McMahon).

In the final analysis, the Roos’ suspensions partly offset the Magpie injuries; and the Pies tipped without confidence.

Maths (in points)

Ability: COLL + 18 points

Home Ground: Even

Current Form: COLL + 1

Psychological: Even

Freshness: Even

Injuries: NMFC + 11

Total: Pies by 8 points

Accumulator tip: Roos at ~ 2.60

Post Match Review:  Pies were tipped by 8 points and they won by 16.  Analysis was okay at first glance, but Collingwood lost Shaw and Beams before the game and also had emergency Seedsman unable to be called up due to hammie tightness.  Then they lost Johnson and then Reid copped a heavy knock.

In summary, dumb luck was the reason for the tip being so close.  Note that the variance was EXTREME (correctly).  This was due to doubts on both Brown and Reid down back + whether the Roos could take advantage of the depleted Pies’ team.   And the Roos did what they have done quite a few times against top teams in recent seasons – fail miserably.  Prior to North easily beating Collingwood in R21 last year, the Pies beat the Roos by 117 points, then before that 87, 66 and 52.  It was a return to the bad old days for North Melbourne.



This is the big chance for the Hawks!!

The Federal Labor Party is longing for the day when Jeff Kennett says, “The ALP don’t have the mental drive to win the next election”.  For once, Jeff is silent on a topic.  The “Kennett curse” has now extended to 9 games – most of them were in the cliff-hanging basket until the last few postal votes were counted.

The 2 close losses against Geelong last year may have cost the Hawks a flag.  With those 2 extra wins, they could have rested a few more in August with top spot sewn up.

While almost every game has gone down to the wire in recent years, it may not go on for ever.  The unsettled nature of both squads makes this an extreme variance game.  And, as mentioned before, when the Hawks finally do break through for a win, they may really run away with it.

Realistically, another game to avoid – especially for tipping certs.  Non-Hawk fans will be hoping for a tight finish.

The Hawks will not have Hodge, Osborne, Suckling, Whitecross & Woodward; while the following are underdone or may miss: Ellis, Gibson, Lake & Rioli.  The fact that Gibson’s NAB4 injury was downplayed and no specifics were given makes the footy analyst suspect that he won’t be there R1.

The Cats will be missing J Hunt, Johnson (suspended & injured), Kelly (suspended), McIntosh, Menzel, Simpson & Vardy.

And Chapman + West may miss or be underdone.  Blicavs and Walker upgraded to the main list on 26 March and highly likely to play early weeks while the regular ruckmen are injured.  The upgrading of 2 talls suggests that West won’t be fronting up for R1, at least.

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 12 points

Home Ground: Even

Current Form: GEEL + 3

Psychological: GEEL + 6

Freshness: Even

Injuries: HAW + 6

Total: Hawks by 9 points

Accumulator tip:  Cats at ~ 2.22

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 9 points but the Cats won by 7.  Analysis was just fair – the Accumulator tip was correct!  In viewing the game, the Cats virtually looked to have the game won at half time (silly as this may seem), because the Hawks had let an opportunity for a huge lead slip.  The impression became reality in 3Q but, as per the script in these games, the end margin has to be small; so the Hawks kicked a couple of late ones without really looking like winning.


Best cert: Swans (cert of the week in Last Man Standing) (won well); then Dockers (won well)

Best Outsider:  Dockers, obviously (won well), then Suns (won well), then a whole host….. Tigers (won just), Dons (won well), Roos (quite poor), Cats (looked winners in 2nd half), Dogs (won big, but not given much hope after Boyd pulled out)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated): 2 this round:  Dockers to win or lose by a point (looked certs late in the game); Suns to get within 21 points of St Kilda at home (safe after 3QT)

Happy tipping!