Round 12, 2014

Round 12, 2014

Apologies for late update (at 12:37pm on Thursday 29 May).  No update will be provided, because there are no line ball tips.  Any unexpected change would give a 3-6 point change for a stars & 1 – 2 point change for regular players.

Note: R11 begins on Thursday night 29 May 2014 at 7.10pm.  Get you tips in on time!

Scores after round 11 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp
Tips correct: 6 (not that great) for a total of 60 winners + 2 R10 bonus points and declined from 5,265 to 5,641 out of 48,802 tipsters. Streak:  tipped 3 of 3 certs correctly, (Pies and Port doing it okay and the Hawks falling in).  The current winning streak now 8; ranking improved from 12,326 to 4,313 out of 45,718 tipsters.

50/50 tips: 1 out of 2 correct (with Pies doing it easily, but the Tigers letting the team down), so now at 15 out of 23 = 65% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

Please note that the AFL tipping website has a few options.  Beginning in round 5, they have a “pick 5 to stay alive” comp; then a Gauntlet from R11 (which is like a Last Man Standing” comp with certain restrictions).  The Gauntlet has begun.  Sorry for not mentioning it last week.  You have to pick one only winner each week, but cannot pick the same team twice in the year, so plan carefully! Maybe a good week to pick the Dogs!

Early thoughts for R12: there are nine clear favourites this weekend: Cats, Hawks, Port, Dons, Dogs, Swans, Dockers, Roos and Pies.  The absolute certs look to be Port, the Hawks (but see below), Port, the Dogs (yes, really!) & the Pies (but see below).  Not many outsiders have great chances, but the best may be the Giants, suns and who knows what to expect from Richmond!!

Round 12, 2014

Games                   Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:
GEEL v CARL      GEEL 34      HIGH           no hope

HAW v WCE         HAW 30       EXTREME  a tiny chance

PORT V STK         PORT 56      HIGH           no hope

GWS v ESS            ESS 19         EXTREME  a tiny chance

WBD v BRIS         WBD 42       HIGH           no hope

SUNS v SYD          SYD 17        EXTREME  a tiny chance

FREO v ADEL       FREO 44      HIGH           no hope

NMFC v RICH      NMFC 20     EXTREME  a tiny chance

MELB v COLL      COLL 24     HIGH           a tiny 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




1 GEEL v CARL, Etihad Stadium, 7.50pm Friday, June 6

The Cats are certs just

It is not only tough for the teams to assess the losses by the Cats and Blues last week, it is also a hard thing for analysts.  Let’s look at them one by one:
Geelong: they were 3rd up from a bye versus the Swans 1st up.  Usually 3rd up is an advantage, but the teams may now be working out how to handle the bye.  The Cats were on 2 x 6 day breaks and a trip to Perth. Smedts was way underdone and struggled.  They had Mackie and Murdoch injured during the game.
Carlton: they didn’t report any injuries apart from Ellard – but they seemed to have a few players with niggles coming on and off the ground.  The humidity was high late in the game; and maybe they thought that they had done enough to win.

The Cats might come out well – having the Thursday night version of the Friday Night Shocker (and having the heat on them for a whole day before the Saints played).  On that basis, they would be expected to excel this week – but they are very hotly fancied for a team demolished the previous week.

The Blues almost formed a technical pattern when they were overrun late in a game they “had won”.  This would have been their third win in a row.  The tendency is for teams in this pattern to excel the week after they lose like this – but the pattern is usually only reliable when they have strung together 4 plus wins.  If the pattern holds, then they often excel the next week – and often especially after half time.

The BIG plus for Geelong is the 8 day break after 2 x 6 day breaks (vs 2 x 6 day breaks for the Blues which includes a trip interstate.  This is the thing that barely kicks the Cats over into the “certs” category.  Teams playing on Thursday night have a generally poor record next up (see write-up below in the Swans’ game), but the Cats will be okay because they play a mere 8 days later after 2 short breaks.

Varcoe is unavailable due to a family funeral, but may play VFL.

Maths (in points)

Ability: GEEL + 18 POINTS

Home Ground:  EVEN

Current Form:   CARL + 6

Team Changes:  CARL + 2

Psychological:    GEEL + 6

Freshness:    GEEL + 18

Injuries:        EVEN

Total:     Cats by 34 points and CERTS (JUST).

Post Match Review:  Cats were tipped by 34 points and they won by 5. First off: SORRY!  One should never have to go through such stress on a “CERT”.  The CERT call was obviously incorrect.  Next: the variance should have been EXTREME – because both teams were awful last week (Cats the whole night & Blues the last little bit); the scoring patterns (with Blues up 15 points then down 24 points then up by 16 points and then lost).  Furthermore, the Thursday night effect may have been underrated.  It was assumed that the Cats would be the fresher off an 8 day break vs Blues 6 day break.  Maybe the Cats had more energy in the last little bit, but they were very patchy in 3Q.  The Blues were a tad unlucky in terms of umpiring decisions, but also lost in consecutive weeks from 16 points up late in the game. If you tipped the Blues, you were brave – but get nothing for it.



2 HAW v WCE, Aurora Stadium, 1.40pm Saturday, June 7

The Hawks are almost certs

This week looks to have 9 certs, but it may pay to err on the side of caution in this instance.  Everything points to an easy Hawk victory except their lucky escape win over the Giants last week (when they were expected to win by 13 goals).  They have the “home ground” advantage (but the Eagles have played there multiple times), a higher rating and some good “ins”.

But the reason for the reluctance to go all out (for the Hawks as certs) is that the Eagles had players injured on the day last weekend (Sheppard, Ellis & Bennell, while Cox appeared to be NQR).  So there may have been some excuses for their absolute shocker against the Roos at home.

Also, the Hawks are still muddling through the coaching changes (plural, because someone has to do Brendan Bolton’s old role) plus disruptions to the team due to injuries.  All this makes it an EXTREME variance game.

For those looking for a reason to tip the Hawks as certs, they may have been flat last week after a big build-up to the Port game the week before. Having the media say that the “real test” of Bolton would come later because the Giants wouldn’t be any chance – that didn’t help them last week.

And the Eagles hit their 2nd low last weekend.  This may possibly cause them to exceed expectations this week.  This is a soul-searching sought of low – as per the coach’s comments this week.

The Hawks are close to certs, but not certs!

Weather Forecast: early rain, cold, breezy

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: HAW + 18

Current Form:   WCE + 2

Team Changes:  HAW + 6

Psychological:    WCE + 8

Freshness:     HAW + 6

Injuries:      WCE + 8

Total:     Hawks by 30 points and ALMOST certs

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 30 points and they won by 44.  Analysis was just okay – nothing special.  The EXTREME variance call may have been wrong – although the Eagles did threaten briefly to break away early in the game before the Hawks took control.  There was a slight risk with the Hakws bringing back 3 from injury (Lewis, Rioli and Spangher), but all 3 performed well (although Rioli did get red vested and had ice on his knee).  One of these probably had to have troubles for the Eagles to win. Or the Eagles may have been a chance had the inexperienced Hawks players dropped off.  But the “fill-in” Hawks all did pretty well.  The Hawks may have been able to win by more, but went a rotation down when the sub Hartung went off injured soon after coming on in 4Q.  Dean Cox is currently well below his normal numbers.  Maybe the 6 day break and trip to Tassie didn’t suit him.

The obvious highlight was the Brendan Bolton press conference. He looked like a kid in a lolly shop.



3 PORT vs. STK, ADEL Oval 4.40pm4.10pmFoxtel  Saturday, June 7

This is the place to look for the cert of the week

To begin with – a case FOR the Saints.  They gave us the FNS (Friday Night Shocker) last week when doing about 7 goals worse than expected.   They also copped injuries on the night.  One would expect them to exceed expectations on that basis.  Also, Port’s injury list is growing suddenly.

But that is about it.  Everything else points to Port.  They actually had injuries during the game themselves last weekend vs the Dees but were good enough to pull away late.

It’s hard to imagine the Saints being the first team to knock Port over at their new fortress.  Not when the Saints injury list is still a bit worse than Port’s.  The Saints may well do better than the 10 goal loss everyone is expecting, but not enough to win.

Weather Forecast: dry, light wind

Maths (in points)

Ability: PORT + 30 POINTS

Home Ground: PORT + 18

Current Form:   PORT + 12

Team Changes:  PORT + 6

Psychological:    STK + 12

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:      STK + 2

Total:     Port by 56 points and CERTS of the WEEK.

Post Match Review:  Port was tipped by 56 points and they won by 70.  Analysis was reasonable – and Port was clearly the cert of the round. They lost Boak and White on Friday, but that was never going to matter too much against the depleted Saints.

The Saints were expected to show some fight after their FNS the previous week.  They did, but it was way too brief for their liking.



4 GWS v ESS, GIANTS Stadium, 7.40pm Saturday, June 7

The Bombers probably

The terms “Essendon” and “EXTREME variance” go together like “Sheeds” and “headlines”.  So no explanation is needed to say this is an EXTREME variance game. 

Ok, here it is:  the Giants performed 12 goals better than expected last weekend, while the Dons were about 7 goals up on expectations.  Both opponents on the day appeared to struggle (with the Hawks barely falling over the line).  The question about GWS is: can they get up again (with renewed confidence), or will that effort have flattened them.

On the Dons, their doubt is: how long will their form last?  They sure looked good last weekend – and are probably good enough to win this one.  But there is no sign of Hurley, while Winderlich (off with a sore knee last week) must be in some doubt.

There is a technical chart called “down, down, down big up”.  This is where teams get gradually worse over 3 weeks – significantly underperforming in the third week, and then suddenly have a huge spike in form on the 4th week.  Teams in this technical chart often do poorly on the 5th week.  Here are the numbers for the two teams (in points vs expectations in the past 4 weeks):

GWS: 12     -56     BYE  -94     71     
ESS:  -14     -16     -32     BYE  42

The trend is perfect, as far as the DDDBIGUP is concerned, but the bye (and the fact that both teams have this trend at the same time) brings in even more uncertainty.

Teams that follow this trend tend to do worse in the second half of a game.

Hurley is still not back, while there may be a doubt on Dempsey and Winderlich.  Kelly is still not back for GWS.

Weather Forecast: few showers, breezy

Maths (in points)

Ability: ESS + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: GWS + 15

Current Form:   ESS + 8

Team Changes:  GWS + 3

Psychological:    ESS + 12

Freshness:     EVEN

Injuries:      GWS + 1

Total:     Dons by 19 points.

Post Match Review:  Dons were tipped by 19 points and they won by 15.  Analysis was excellent, as most experts were tipping around the 6 goal mark.  The one thing that wasn’t apparent in the game was the EXTREME variance prediction.  It was more of a dogged contest – although the Giants did make 2 brief runs at the Bombers.  Not helping Essendon was the late withdrawal of Winderlich and the below average numbers posted by Dempsey (see preview notes above).



5 WBD v BRIS, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm Saturday, June 7

The Dogs are huge certs

The Lions are on their second high (coinciding with their second win last week).  Bottom ranked teams usually underperform markedly after such an event.  This fact, along with the home ground advantage, makes the Dogs big certs.

Everything goes the Dogs’ way, except the improved injury status of the Lions.

The Lions lost West (their back-up ruckman) last week.  Martin appears to be the one to get the gig this week, but this gives the Dogs a big advantage.

A good week to go for the Dogs in the Gauntlet (AFL tipping comp)

Maths (in points)

Ability: WBD + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: WBD + 18

Current Form:   WBD + 3

Team Changes:   EVEN

Psychological:    WBD + 18

Freshness:     EVEN

Injuries:      BRIS + 9

Total:     Dogs by 42 points and BIG CERTS.

Post Match Review:  Dogs were tipped by 42 points but the Lions won by 8.  Analysis was awful. OUCH! And SORRY!! This loss was quite unexpected, but it is now noted that when a team wins by a narrow margin after a series of losses, they often exceed expectations the next weeks.  The Lions had lost 3 in a row (normally this is tracked after >=4 losses in a row) when they came from behind to beat Carlton the previous week by 7 points.

The other things of note were: Stefan Martin played a HUGE game against Will Minson.  This was expected to be a huge plus for the Dogs, but turned out to be a minus.  Next, Jarrad Grant struggled in his first game back.

The loss still needs some more explanation – this one goes into the mystery bag.  If anything surfaces of note, it will be added here.




6 SUNS v SYD, Metricon Stadium, 3.20pm Sunday, June 8

The Swans in a danger game

A few weeks ago, the Hawks were virtually unbeatable.  They lost to the Swans in Sydney… and now the Swans have the flag in the bag.  Meanwhile, the Suns came crashing down last week in Adelaide vs the Crows. And the Suns have more injuries!

So what’s the danger?  Firstly, the Swans have had huge positive publicity after a Thursday night win AND also too big a break (10 days until they play Sunday).  So far this year, most teams playing on a Thursday night have underperformed the following week.  Here are the scores for Thursday night teams the following week (in points: versus expectation): +4, -49, -19 (loss as fav), -67, +20 (upset win on a Friday), -34, -12 (loss as fav).  The Collingwood performance after playing the Crows on a Thursday night is excluded, because they had a bye following.  A similar trend is seen in 2013.  This is enough to steer clear of tipping the Swans as certs – especially if you are “protecting” a big strings of wins.

Injuries….the Suns have doubts on Stanley and McKenzie. They will need to train well on Saturday in order to play Sunday. Bennell and Thompson have trained well and look certain to play.

The above concerns make this an EXTREME varianc game.

Forecast: possible shower, breezy, moderate humidity

Maths (in points)

Ability: SYD + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: SUNS + 12

Current Form:   SYD + 12

Team Changes:   SYD + 3

Psychological:    SUNS + 16

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:      SYD + 6

Total:     Swans by 17 points.

Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 17 points and they won by 35.  Analysis was nothing flash, but at least the correct team was selected.  The EXTREME variance call does not seem justified, given the end result and the path to it.  The Swans seem to be handling all challenges thrown their way – this time the 10 day break between games.

Of note for the Suns is that Clay Cameron received a head knock in R11 and had to be subbed off after terrible numbers this week; and he was the one Buddy collected high – only to get the all clear from the MRP.  Danny Stanley also copped a late knock in R11 and was a bit below his normal output this week.

These things may explain a slightly under par performance from the Suns



7 FREO v ADEL, Patersons Stadium, 4.10pm Sunday, June 8

The Dockers are certs

The Crows pulled away for a seemingly impressive win last weekend against the Suns.  But the Suns had injury concerns during the match – which left them struggling on the bench.

The Crows have noted that Sam Jacobs is in doubt, and that McKernan has been named on the 7 man IC bench as a possible replacement.  Watch for news about who flies west, if you can.

The Dockers are cruising along nicely at present. Fyfe has been named. He didn’t train Wednesday, but the coach expects him to train Friday and then play Sunday.  Let’s mark him as 75% likely.

Weather Forecast: cool, breezy, some rain

Maths (in points)

Ability: FREO + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: FREO + 21

Current Form:   FREO + 1

Team Changes:  FREO + 1

Psychological:    FREO + 6

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:      FREO + 3

Total:     Dockers by 44 points and CERTS.

Post Match Review:  Dockers were tipped by 44 points and they won by 40.  Analysis was just about spot on; everything went basically according to plan.  There were doubts on Jacobs (Crows) and Fyfe (Dockers), but both performed creditably.



8 NMFC v RICH, Etihad Stadium, 7.10pm Sunday, June 8

The Roos in a danger game

This was going to be a tough selection until last week – when the Roos had a big upset win and the Tigers had a big upset.

A week ago, the Roos would have been narrow favourites.  Based on last week, they would be tipped by 10 goals.  The actual level of confidence is about 4 goals, according to the experts.

What actually happens is anyone’s guess… meaning EXTREME variance. The main reason is that Richmond’s ability to fight back is dubious.  They may have one last upsurge in them, but they could also flounder.  Four changes minimum is on the verge of too many, but just another reason to make this an EXTREME variance game.  And then there is the Roos coming back from a late Sunday night Perth game – at least they don’t have to play until Sunday.

Lindsay Thomas is in doubt and will be assessed on Saturday.

The most likely thing is for the Tigers to coming out steaming, but the Roos able to hold them out.  But avoid the game if you can.

Maths (in points)

Ability: NMFC + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: NMFC + 3

Current Form:   NMFC + 9

Team Changes:  NMFC + 6

Psychological:    NMFC + 4

Freshness:    RICH + 6

Injuries:      RICH + 2

Total:     Roos by 20 points.

Post Match Review:  Roos were tipped by 20 points and they won by 28.  Analysis was quite good – the best thing being the EXTREME variance call.  The end result was close to the expected one, but the path to it was bizarre!  The Tigers led by 35 points at half time, but had lost the lead half way through 3Q.  This all goes to show the fragility of the Tigers.

The “game trend” was also correctly hinted at above – IE the Tigers come out fired up, but the Roos being able to hold them out.



9 MELB v COLL, MCG, 3.20pm Monday, June 9

The Pies are not quite certs

The Dees have two things that will affect their rating.  The positive is that they are slowly getting their big guys back playing and in form.  The negative is that they have had luck against teams recently in that their opponents seem to keep getting injuries on game day (“may this trend last another week” some Dee fans may say).

While the Pies are close to being certs, there are a couple of minuses for them.  Firstly, they have a 10 day break between games – only 1 day longer than the Dees, but it is a slight concern.  Next is that the Saints had injury concerns on the night last week, so that somewhat lessens the form line of Collingwood.  Finally, the Magpie injury list is still a bit high for comfort.

The plus for the Pies is that the form of Melbourne lessens the chance of them taking things too easily.

Weather Forecast: cool, light winds

Maths (in points)

Ability: COLL + 24 POINTS

Home Ground:  EVEN

Current Form:   COLL + 2

Team Changes:  COLL + 4

Psychological:    COLL + 9

Freshness:    MELB + 6

Injuries:      MELB + 9

Total:     Pies by 24 points

Post Match Review:  Pies were tipped by 24 points and they won by 33.  Analysis was reasonable – like most other analysts.  The thing in doubt here was whether the Pies should have been tipped as certs….. maybe, but the long break from Friday to the Monday was the main reason why the Dees were given some hope.

Best cert: Port (never in doubt), then Dockers (drew away 2H), Dogs (finished fast but never looked like winning) and Cats (fell over the line)

Best Outsider: none really stand out, but the following all have slim chances – Suns, Tigers, Dees, Giants & Eagles (they all lost, with the Giants going closest to a win)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated): Dogs to win by more than 20 points (didn’t even win!); Giants to win or to lose by less than 34 points (fought on well to lose by 15 points); Dockers to win by more than 32 points (struggled but eventually won by 40)

Happy tipping! There are 9 clear favourites, but some of these are not the certs they may appear.