Round 20, 2013

Round 20, 2013

Scores after round 19 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp.

Tips correct: 5 for a score of 122 (118 real winners + 4 bonus points) and slipped back from 11,927 to 12,887 out of 66,708 tipsters.

Accumulator: 3.69 (horrible!) for a total of 146.48 and slipped back from 1,853 to 2.497 out of 11,799 tipsters

Last Man Standing Comp: Eliminated in R14

NOTE: for those still “alive” in the Sportinbgbet free Last Man Standing comp changed from R13 onwards. Those “alive”, they have to pick the “line”.  These “lines” are subject to change, but you will get the “line” applicable at the time you enter your selection. Streak:  tipped 2 of 2 certs correctly – streak now up to 25 (with Lions and Swans winning).  The tips weren’t hard this week, but the key was to avoid tipping the hotly favoured Cats and hawks.  By doing this, the ranking improved from 819 to 486 out of 65,550 tipsters

50/50 tips: 0 out of 3 correct for the round
The Eagles didn’t win by enough
Likewise for the Lions
And the Dons were slaughtered
so now at 20 out of 43 = 47% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for R20:  This week will be (upon first glance) a much easier week to tip.  The following teams would appear to be certs:  Hawks, Cats, Suns, Dockers.  The Dons will win unless they are “distracted”.  The Tigers, Blues and Swans are the likely tips, while the Crows vs Roos is the toughest one and the one that those near the top of the leader board will need to get right.

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:
1 STK V HAW       HAW 62       HIGH           No hope at all
2. RICH V BRIS     RICH 32      HIGH           A tiny hope
3 GEEL V PORT   GEEL 85      HIGH           No hope at all
4 CARL V WBD     CARL 21     EXTREME   Some chance
5 SYD V COLL      SYD 22        HIGH           Some chance
6 SUNS V MELB   SUNS 53     HIGH           No hope at all
7 ESS V WCE       ESS 33        EXTREME   Some chance
8 ADEL V NMFC   ADEL 9       EXTREME   tipped to win
9 FREO V GWS     FREO 88     HIGH           No hope at all

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





The Hawks comfortably

Refer last week’s preview of the Hawks game re the Hawks having their heavy training block to coincide with this game.  This will be a negative for the Hawks.  A positive will be that they lost unexpectedly last week and will NOT be complacent this time.  In fact, the Friday night game will suit them – they will want to redeem themselves as soon as possible.
They are also on a good, shocker, 3rd week pattern after their variance in the past 2 weeks being +35, then -69.  For top teams such as the Hawks, a slight outperforming of expectations is expected.  With the experts predicting a 52 point win, this technical chart should have no effect on who will win.

Meanwhile, down at the Saints, Kozzie is injured and stuck on 199 games.  And they lose 4 to injury all in the one week.  And one IN, Gwilt, may need a fitness test.  Schneider is named as an emergency after 3 games back from injury in the VFL.  He may be a late inclusion.

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 36 POINTS

Home Ground: STK + 3

Current Form:   HAW + 9

Team Changes:  EVEN

Psychological:    HAW + 9

Freshness:    HAW + 6

Injuries:     HAW + 5

Total:     Hawks by 62 points and CERTS
Accumulator tip:  HAW ~ 1.03

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 62 points and they won by 46.  Analysis was reasonable.  Maybe the extent of the current Hawthorn training block was underestimated.  And maybe they are pacing themselves to be right for the big Friday night vs the Pies next week.  Schneider coming in was a correct call, but he came in for Milne (not Gwilt).  As it was, Gwilt was probably brought back a week early due to the unavailability of fit defenders.  The Hawks seemed to be going half pace for most of the evening.  The “certs” call was correct.



The Tigers to roll on

Richmond responded well to their Darren Crocker in Sydney on a 6 day break by smashing the league leaders last weekend.  The danger is whether they relax too much after that big win.  Don’t expect them to do that.  They are better now and should get over the line. 

For Brisbane, Stefan Martin comes back in a week too early perhaps.  He has had one game back in the NEAFL and was in the best, but he may find it tough as a key forward 2nd up in tricky conditions at the MCG.

The Lions are some small chance, but the Tigers are almost certs.

Forecast:  showers clearing, breezy

Maths (in points)

Ability: RICH + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: RICH + 15

Current Form:   RICH + 7

Team Changes:  BRIS + 1

Psychological:    BRIS + 1

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:     EVEN

Total:     Tigers by 32 points
Accumulator tip:  RICH ~ 1.14 (Lions at 5.50 is not totally silly)

Post Match Review:  Tigers were tipped by 32 points and they won by 23.  Analysis was reasonable.  Maybe the Tigers could have been tipped as certs.  They led by 46 points and the Lions eventually cut that lead in half.  This was most likely due to the fact that they were low on energy after beating the Hawks the previous week.  As it was, the Lions had slightly more injury worries.  They lost Moloney early; and Martin (see above) struggled in terms of SC points in his first game back.  Clarke also had an injury.  The Tigers only had Newman with a sore ankle from the game.



The Cats to bounce back strongly

All the technical leads point to a big Geelong win this weekend.  They had a Friday night shocker (surprise loss to the Roos) and should hit back hard from that loss.  And they also are in a good week, shocker, 3rd week scenario.  This is also a slight positive.  And Port tend to “Slowdown” after “Showdowns”.  These things added together give the Cats an extra 3 goals on top of their other plusses for this game (adjusted down from 4 goals due to the possibility of negating tactics – see below).

It was a shock to see neither Taylor Hunt nor Josh Hunt in the hunt for spots this weekend.  And also 2 ruckmen dropped at once!!  Rookie Walker (196cm) and Pods can assist in that regard.

There may be some doubt on Tom Hawkins who was struggling from very early on last round.  Blicavs is the likely emergency to come in if Hawkins misses.

Port pulled off a miracle win (stressing out Blues fans no end) last Sunday when they came form 20 points down with 6 minutes to go to win.   In Melbourne Cup terms as far as playing finals goes, they are 4 lengths in front at the clock tower and wondering how well the chasers are going.  They may need to win only 1 more game to make it.  Given that the Blues’ percentage is just above that of Port now, they will most likely lose 8th if the Blues match them for wins.  Nonetheless, they may be tempted to play an extra man spare in defence and limit the bleeding at some stage at Kardinia Park.  This could tend to reduce the winning margin (and reduce almost any chance of a Port victory at the same time).

Despite that risk, the much more likely scenario is a bigger than expected Cat victory.  And the Cats’ injury list is beginning to diminish!  But, whatever the winning margin, Port will head home next week at least 1 game clear in 8th.

Forecast:  showers clearing, windy

Maths (in points)

Ability: GEEL + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: GEEL + 18

Current Form:   GEEL + 6

Team Changes:  GEEL + 8

Psychological:    GEEL + 18

Freshness:   GEEL + 6

Injuries:     GEEL + 5

Total:     Cats by 85 points (to be reduced slightly if conditions very heavy) and CERTS of the WEEK
Accumulator tip:  GEEL ~ 1.10

Post Match Review:  Cats were tipped by 85 points and they won by 25.  Analysis was MIIIIIIIIIIIIILES off, but looking like an inspired tip when they led by 63 points early in the last.  What happened?  Well, they lost Duncan early, Hawkins was struggling and Walker had a wrist problem.  Given the fact that they have a clutch game vs the Eagles (now in form) in Perth next week, maybe they put the cue back in the rack.  This was a disaster as far as tipping the margin was concerned, but the tips and the CERTS call were all still correct.  Lobbe had 59 hit-outs to Vardy’s 17 and maybe dropping both West and Blicavs in the same week was an error.  The other aspect is that Port was good enough to fight back late in order to reduce the margin (and protect their percentage somewhat).



The Blues, without great confidence

Carlton was slight favourites last weekend, but it all went pear-shaped late in the game.  But there were excuses.  Carrazzo went off early and Lucas was subbed in.  The previous week he was subbed OUT; so they probably didn’t really want him to play a full game in R19.  Now he is omitted, but is in their best 22 when all is going well.  Murphy was tagged out of it by Crowley.  To top if off, Yarran and Betts had shockers.

This week’s assignment looks a bit easier when they play the lowly, but improving, Dogs.

The technical leads go in opposite directions for this game.  Firstly, there is the good, shocker, 3rd week chart for the Blues.  There last 2 variances were +31 (vs Suns) and -38 (vs Dockers).  For a middle of the road club such as Carlton in late season, the likelihood is that they will underperform by about 5 goals (which would equate to a loss in this instance).

However, there is also a possible positive.  When a team loses a critical match as the Blues did last weekend to “virtually miss the finals”, they often outperform expectations the next week.  This case is also highly likely.   Finally, did the Port miracle comeback on Sunday (the day after they had ALREADY LOST to the Dockers) knock the stuffing out of them???

All these factors make this an extreme variance game.  To make matters worse, Waite is back earlier than expected.  He wasn’t even mentioned in Andrew McKay’s injury report on Tuesday!!!  He must be in some doubt.  With Robinson unexpectedly demoted to emergency, a late change is in the wind!!! And Kreuzer was an unexpected out. His SC figures of 72 were the worst since R7 (his first game back from injury back then).  Fortunately for the Blues, Warnock has been starring in the VFL and comes in as a handy back-up.

For the Dogs, Boyd is still out.  Lower was expected back from concussion, but is playing VFL.  And they have 2 out with soreness and 1 rested???  Jones is coming back from an ankle injury and may require a test.  The Dogs are on the improve, but would still probably need the Blues to be a little bit off their game in order to beat them.

The final piece of the technical puzzle is that the Swans were probably UP for the Tigers game and then not totally switched on for the Dogs last week.  Similarly, their R18 win over the Eagles was against the most depleted Eagles team in years.   EXTREME VARIANCE!!!

Maths (in points)

Ability: CARL + 18 POINTS

Home Ground:  EVEN

Current Form:   CARL + 2

Team Changes:   EVEN

Psychological:    EVEN (but see above and tough to predict!)

Freshness:     EVEN

Injuries:     CARL + 1

Total:     Blues by 21 points
Accumulator tip:  WBD ~ 3.20 (narrowly, in front of Blues at 1.35)

Post Match Review:  Blues were tipped by 21 points but the Dogs won by 28.  Analysis was not totally horrible; and the Accumulator call was correct.  It appears that the technical lead from the good, shocker third week proved correct.  The Blues variance was -46, which is slightly higher than the 5 goals mentioned above.  The Blues had some excuses on the night.  They played Waite too early (as hinted above).  He was probably going to be subbed out, but had injury concerns with Watson, Garlett and Judd.

The best par tof the analysis was the EXTREME variance call.  Hopefully, it swayed someone away from picking the Blues as certs.



The Swans without much feeling of certainty

Few changes here, with McGlynn in for Lamb the only change. McGlynn is back from 3 weeks suspension, but he also did a hammie in that game, so there may be a small doubt on him.

This game looks very even.  Both teams are similarly rates and have comparable injury lists.

The biggest problem is to know how well the Pies are travelling.  Was their win against the Dons last week a genuine return to top form, or just a blip helped by Essendon’s trauma?  The headlines read that Collingwood have won 4 of their past 5 games.  This includes 2 good wins against the Blues and Bombers.  But also an uninspiring win over the Giants and a just okay win over the Crows in Melbourne.  The loss was to the Suns in QLD, and the Suns had plenty of injuries at the time.  Having said that, they are gradually (but slowly, as some say) getting their better players back into the team.

A key battle will be the ruck.  The Swans have Mumford and Pyke versus the inexperienced “Reg” Grundy and the “just back from injury Quentin Lynch.  This is where the Swans have a definite edge.  The Pies other ruck options, Jolly and Hudson, are both in the VFL this week after struggling recently with injury.

The Swans’ form since the bye has definitely been more reliable.  Their only loss was first up vs Port in Adelaide.

While both teams appear to be safely entrenched in the top 8, this match is critical in terms of securing home finals for both of them.

Forecast:  no rain; slight breeze

Maths (in points)

Ability:  EVEN
Home Ground: SYD + 12 POINTS

Current Form:   SYD + 6

Team Changes:  EVEN

Psychological:    SYD + 7

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:     COLL + 3

Total:     Swans by 22 points
Accumulator tip:  SYD ~ 1.45
Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 22 points but the Pies won by 29.  Analysis was a fair way off, and this result was the most baffling.  There may be an echo here, but was McGlynn played a week too early (yes, he came back from suspension, but also a hammie injury).  Not only that, but his replacement came on a 3QT and scored 0 SC points in 4Q.  Add that to 19 SC points for McGlynn, and they were virtually a player down.  Then they lost Tippett late in the game, but it was probably lost by then anyway.  The rumours about Pendlebury and Swan seemed way off the mark (and the Pies denied any problem during the week, it should be noted).  Maybe the Pies have hit form after getting some game time into players, such as Ball, Beams, Goldsack.  Grundy and Lynch also held up better in the ruck than expected.  The other thing not properly assessed is the form line of the Pies last week.  The 79 point win was put down to the Dons being terrible.  The Pies were not given enough credit.  SORRY!!!  The ONE positive from this was that the Swans were not tipped as certs.



The Suns to shine!

The Dees couldn’t beat the improved Giants last weekend and now they have to travel for the 2nd week in a row and play Gold Coast.  It will be too much for them.  One positive is that they get McKenzie back in the team.  As a tagger, he may get the job on Ablett.  The last time that Melbourne put in a half decent performance was R15 when they lost at home to the Swans by about 5 goals.  Now, they are all hoping for the year to end.  The uncertainty about who will coach them in 2014 isn’t helping.

Having said all that, you should expect an upward BLIP in their form at some stage.  Any there is a slight possibility that the loss to the Giants would be the spur.  However, the Bombers ensured that Melbourne would be far from the front and back pages in Melbourne once they lost to the Pies by 13 goals.   While this spared the Dees in Monday’s papers, it also lessens the chances of a huge game by them up in QLD this weekend.  Expect a better performance for their R21 match against the Dockers, perhaps.

The Suns have their own travel concerns, with a 7 day break back from a competitive match against he Eagles last Saturday.  This should not be as huge a concern as Melbourne’s 2 weeks on the road.

Thompson and Bock should be better for their firs tup runs last week.    Rumours of a slight Ablett injury have coincided with his SC scores or 116 and 100 in the past 2 weeks.  He averaged 138 for the season up until then.   Nicholls is still out, but the Suns should win this one easily and are CERTS

Forecast:  no rain; light breeze, humidity no problem

Maths (in points)

Ability: SUNS + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: SUNS + 18

Current Form:   SUNS + 17

Team Changes:  MELB + 1

Psychological:    MELB + 1

Freshness:    SUNS + 6

Injuries:     SUNS + 2

Total:     Suns by 53 points
Accumulator tip:  SUNS ~ 1.12 and CERTS

Post Match Review:  Suns were tipped by 53 points and they won by 13.  Analysis was a long way off, but the correct tips were made and happy (just!) with the CERTS call on the Suns.  What “went wrong”?  Well, as hinted above, Ablett seems to be struggling.  The Suns also began to run out of players.  They lost Bock at half time after having no impact on the game.  They then lost Day with a hammie and Sexton with a shoulder injury.  The other thing probably not properly assessed was getting the balance between Melbourne’s tiredness after being on the road for 2 consecutive weeks (a negative) versus the positive of the rebound from the embarrassment of having been beaten by the 0 and 18 Giants.  The positive note is that the right tips were made.



The Bombers without great confidence

While this ASADA / WADA thing is still in full swing, the Bombers games will all be EXTREME VARIANCE games.  This one is no exception.

Take away the melodrama, and the Dons would be hotter than hot favourites.  The Eagles’ year has gone from bad to worse.  Their injury list is long and looks to be getting a bit shorter this weekend.  But all 4 ins (Le Cras, Masten T, Priddis, McGinnity) are on the 7 man IC bench.  This suggests that some fitness tests may be occurring.  Still out of the WCE team are Brennan, Hurn, Kerr, Nicnat, Nicoski, Rosa, Adam Selwood, Shuey, Waters and Sinclair (purple ones are not walk-up starts in the best 22).  Compare that to the injury list for Essendon – Crameri, Dempsey and Hurley.

So the Dons would have to hugely underperform to lose.  But underperform is EXACTLY what they did last weekend.  And with all the speculation about the club and coach going on now, the team cannot be trusted to hit top gear this weekend.   They may just do that, but don’t trust them; especially if you are sitting on a long winning streak.

Like last week for the Bombers, you should get a pretty good gauge early on as to how “ON” the Bombers are.  In summary, if the Eagles win, it will be because the Dons lost it.  And if the Bombers are ON, look for a big win!!!

Maths (in points)

Ability:  EVEN

Home Ground: ESS + 21 POINTS

Current Form:   WCE + 4

Team Changes:  WCE + 1 (but hard to assess before squads trimmed)

Psychological:    EVEN (but huge chances for huge variance)

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:     ESS + 17

Total:     Dons by 33 points but NOT certs
Accumulator tip:  ESS ~ 1.34

Post Match Review:  Bombers were tipped by 33 points but the Eagles won by 53.  Analysis was miles off, but not that bad.  The warning about the Bombers was given above.  Had they been UP mentally, they would have been dead certs.  Re the idea that the Bombers would show us EARLY ON how “up” they were, that wasn’t so clear – except that they were down 8 tackles to 1 early on.  But they remained in the game until 3Q and then were blown away.  Hird admitted in his presser that the ASADA stuff is getting to the players and interrupting with their preparation.  Unlike earlier in the season when the team excelled under the pressure, they now seem to have been worn down.  Rumours abound that something big may happen this coming week!!



The Crows, but avoid the game if you can

This is an EXTREME variance game and any winner could possibly win big.  The psychological factors involved in this game are many.  Firstly, looking at teams that win big on a Friday night (as the Roos did last week).  The variance of these teams is greater than the average.  In the past three years, of the 15 teams that won big on Friday night, there have been teams that underperformed by 70, 69, 60 and 59 points.  There are also teams that outperformed expectations by 57 and 49 points.   On average, these teams underperform by 7 points (or by 10 points if you exclude the Geelong win in R24 – which may possibly be excluded because the following week was a final).  Also, the later in the year that it occurs (barring finals), the worse a team performs.

The One time that the Roos fell into this pattern was last year when they thrashed the Blues on a Friday night, then fell over the line against Richmond (won by 4 points when expected to win by 6) the following week on a Sunday.  This was in R16/17 last season.

Next technical factor is the Crows laying down (Sally) late last week and throwing away the Showdown.  That would burn in their guts; and they recover from Showdowns better than Port.   And they would be expected to excel the following week.  Plus they get to play at home 2 weeks in a row.

With the slimmest hope of playing finals, the Roos are like a boy running flat out blindfold through the forest – hoping to get to the other side early enough.  The ride is exhilarating, but the likely crunch will be painful.

Finally, on the technical charts, what happened to the Crows last week happened to the Roos (at the hand of the Crows) in R9.  The Roos get to “set things right” this week and that could also be a huge motivational factor.

The above will most likely determine the outcome of the game.  Yes, you are correct.  This hasn’t helped you much!!  The Crows are tipped but, if you are confident about the Roos, this probably won’t sway you.

Back to fundamental matters.  Sloane (and all other 7 INs for this game) have been named on the 7 Man IC bench.  There must be some doubt about Sloane playing.

Forecast:  mostly sunny; slight breeze

Maths (in points)

Ability: NMFC + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: ADEL + 15

Current Form:   NMFC + 9

Team Changes:  ADEL + 1

Psychological:    EVEN (but could go anywhere!!)

Freshness:    ADEL + 6

Injuries:     ADEL + 2

Total:     Crows by 9 points
Accumulator tip:  ADEL ~ 2.05

Post Match Review:  Crows were tipped by 9 points and they won by 9.  Analysis was perfect from a numerical viewpoint, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story!!!  The analysis was good, in that an outsider was correctly tipped – and by the exact margin.  But remember that the variance was EXTREME and this was listed as a game to avoid.   The EXTREME variance call was justified by the Roos having a 34 point lead just before HT, losing it in 3Q and in 4Q, but fighting back to win again.  A couple of things that went the Crows’ way was the injury to Ziebell and the fact that Sloane was able to play – and score 180 SC points (one of the highest for the year).  He marked courageously running with the flight of the ball to kick the sealer late in the match.



The Dockers are big CERTS!

This will be no great surprise to tipsters. The main interest will be in the margin.   And the margin will be determined by 2 things:
A: How keen the Dockers are to win huge; and
B:  How the Giants come up after celebrating their first win.

The answer to point B is: probably not that well.  In general terms, a team with a long losing run and then a big win underperforms the following week.  However, not many of them are already expected to lose by 12 goals.

The Dockers are a game and 19% behind the Swans.  They will have to decide whether they want to manage their players through the last 4 weeks (vs Giants, Dees away, Port and Saints away) or whether to go for 4 wins and a big percentage gain.  The Swans last 4 weeks are Pies, Saints, Cats away & Hawks.  With Freo and the Swans having a draw, the percentages of Hawthorn, Geelong and Essendon are virtually irrelevant.

Given that the Dockers play away in R23 (and may have to play away in F1 as well), R23 is the most likely time for them to rest players.  However, Mundy may be in some doubt after playing out last week with a sore ankle.  It is suggested that DT/SC players may wish to carefully check the final teams after the squads of 25 are trimmed to 22.

Forecast:  rain easing; breezy

Maths (in points)

Ability: FREO + 54 POINTS

Home Ground: FREO + 24

Current Form:   FREO + 11

Team Changes:  FREO + 6

Psychological:    GWS + 7

Freshness:   EVEN

Injuries:     EVEN

Total:     Dockers by 88 points and CERTS
Accumulator tip:  FREO ~ 1.01

Post Match Review:  Dockers were tipped by 88 points and they won by 113.  Analysis was okay, as the experts had them winning by a little less than 88.  It was all about the mindsets of both teams at opposite ends of the ladder.  The Giants probably didn’t come up too well after their maiden 2013 victory (but who could blame them).  And the Dockers seemed to be ON all match, except for a lapse in 2Q.  Overall, this was acceptable, but nothing to brag about really.

Best cert: Cats, then Dockers, Hawks & Suns (they all won)

Best Outsider: The Crows are clearly the best outsider, then the Dogs (but both games are EXTREME variance games) (they both won)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated)
Cats to win by over 42 points (looking good early but fell in a hole)
Suns to win by more than 40 points (fell away late a la Geelong)
Dockers to win by more than 76 points (never in danger)

For those still alive in the Last Man Standing, the lines are approx

Hawks 51.5

Tigers 33.5

Cats 39.5

Blues 19.5

Swans 16.5

Suns 37.5
Dons 19.5
Roos 3.5
Dockers 73.5
The recommendations is to go for the Cats by over 39.5; others to win by over the line may be Hawks, Suns and Dockers
(first 3 wrong; last one right)

Happy tipping!  This is not a week to gain ground on the leaders.  If you are up near the top, best to go for 8 favourites and try to get the Crows / Roos game correct.  Expect some big wins in other games. (but the Dogs and Pies winning made it a good week to catch up after all)