2011 AFL Season Betting Preview – Part 2
ESSENDON Premiership Odds $41
The messiah is back in the shape of new coach and club legend James Hird and the Bombers powered into the NAB Cup final.
The new regime has concentrated on building a solid defence after leaking goals in recent seasons and using it to springboard their attack. The Bombers have an abundance of pace but their disposal leaves a serious question mark about the gameplan Hird and co have adopted.
Prisnall and Watson are keys in the engine room and getting goals out of Hurley will be paramount to how far the Bombers go this year.
You Can Bet On: To Miss The 8 @ $1.35 – The Bombers will improve but they’ll be behind the eight ball after a tough first half dozen games of the season. Expect it to be a little beyond a young squad to power home in the last few weeks of the season.
FREMANTLE Premiership Odds $17
The Dockers were surprise packets in 2010 and the acid test is whether they can maintain the improvement in 2011. Fremantle has lost Chris Tarrant, who has returned to Collingwood, but do regain Michael Barlow after his unfortanate knee injury. In Hill, Palmer, Duffield and co the Dockers have youngsters that are the envy of many sides but the key will be keeping Sandilands and Pavlich injury free. John Anthony should give Pavlich and Mayne some much needed relief up forward and all in all the WA boys are looking in good shape.
You can bet on: Highest Placed Non Victorian Side @ $2.60 – I’d be tempted to take the $3 about the Dockers making the Top 4 but this seems a little safer. The Dockers are flag contenders.
GEELONG Premiership Odds $10
It’s a long time since we’ve seen the Geelong at double figure odds for the premiership but it’s hard to argue that they don’t belong there. The Cats head into 2011 with a rookie coach after losing flag winner Mark Thompson. On top of that they’ve also lost Brownlow medalist and arguably their best player in Gary Ablett who heads to the Gold Coast. While the Cats have some more than handy youngsters coming through many have suffered from the difficulty in gaining senior experience over the past couple of seasons and now must be developed in a rush. Many of Geelong’s topliners are heading toward the twighlight of their careers and accordingly a lack of pace looks to be their achilles heel. The Cats can’t be written off but the likes of Ling, Chapman and Milburn may struggle to maintain their level and players such as Mackie, Hawkins and Stokes will need to step up in order to help out Bartel, Sellwood, Corey and Enright.
You can bet on: To Make The Final 8 @ $1.33 – I’m not sure the Cats will be a Top 4 side this season but you’re stealing money backing them to make the 8. There’s too much class in this outfit for them to miss the finals action.
GOLD COAST Premiership Odds $126
The Suns are rank Premiership outsiders in their first season and rightly so. But while it’s too much of an ask for them to win a flag immediately there is enough talent in this side to cause a few upsets. Look out for names such as Swallow, Bennell, Day, Matera and Dixon who are all good enough to make an immediate impact on AFL football. As good as these youngsters are however, the onus on this teams performance will fall heavily on established recruits such as Ablett, Brown, Harbrow, Brennan and Bock. The Suns may well surprise a few pundits at the half way mark of the season but such a youthful list is likely to find the rigors of a full season of AFL taxing by season’s end.
You can bet on: David Swallow To Win NAB Rising Star @ $3.00 – I rate Swallow and Bulldog Mitch Wallis to two best midfielders amongst the players eligible. Wallis however will struggle to be a regular fixture in a strong Bulldog midfield while Swallow will enjoy plenty of game time.154 views