Tipping season on life support? Been behind the eight ball for ten weeks? Put in one absolute stinker of a round to fall behind the pack. Or just looking to give yourself a match-winning lead on your chasing fellow tipsters?
Then rejoice – Round 11 is the weekend for you.
At this time of year, it’s rare to see so many genuine line-ball or line-ball adjacent games as we have in store for us this weekend. With the exception of likely losses to cellar dwellers Hawthorn, North Melbourne and West Coast, virtually every other game is seriously in play.
Put it like this: getting a 7 or even an 8 this round is going to be more beneficial than in any other week so far in 2023. Let’s find out who our expert tipsters think are getting the job done!
Last week: 8
Carlton, St Kilda, Melbourne, Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Essendon, Port Adelaide, Collingwood, Adelaide
Let’s get the easies out of the way first. Hawthorn might have demolished West Coast but won’t be doing the same thing to a proper football side like St Kilda; Essendon would need to fall over themselves to do as they did last year and get beaten by those Eagles, even in Perth; and while North Melbourne should put up something of a fight against Collingwood, actually winning is surely beyond them.
The other six games are all either absolute 50/50s, or ones you could easily make a case for going one way or the other.
Starting us off is another Friday night head-scratcher – the injury-decimated Sydney hosting the badly flagging Carlton. I’ve backed the Blues based purely on the Charlie Curnow-Harry McKay factor against a Swans team with hardly a key defender to speak of, but have no confidence in them getting that pair enough supply (or in McKay turning his accuracy around).
Saturday afternoon sees a Clayton Oliver-less Melbourne take on Fremantle, who of course took the Dees down almost 12 months ago to the day. It’s been a different Freo this year, of course, but they’re in a rich vein of form, and the Demons have more than a few question marks over them considering they’re 7-3.
Immediately following that is a similarly delicately poised game: a Geelong side currently getting obliterated in the midfield on a weekly basis playing host to GWS, who probably aren’t as bad as their 3-7 record suggests. The Giants also have a handy recent GMHBA Stadium, winning their last two games at the venue, and have a guy by the name of Tom Green who could legitimately grind the Cats’ remaining on-ballers’ bones to make his bread.
Plus, there’s a guy with an extra ‘e’ on his surname that apparently goes alright, too.
In both these games, I’m not gutsy enough to go against the home sides – Dees and Cats for mine. But I can’t shake the feeling that one of these games will bring with it an upset.
My tipping the Bulldogs curse officially ended with last week’s win over Adelaide, so I’m happy to back them in to hold off Gold Coast in Darwin – but I wonder whether the warmer, more humid conditions will suit the Suns better than a Dogs outfit that hasn’t travelled up to the Top End in a decade. Add this to the ‘go for it if you’ve got stones of steel’ column.
On Sunday, I would unquestionably be picking Richmond to knock over Port Adelaide, no matter what their respective form lines say, if Damien Hardwick had given himself a farewell game. No team plays with more heart and soul than the Tigers, who really should be on a two-game winning streak right now; but while there’s usually a caretaker coach form spike to factor in, I get the feeling the Tigers might not be as up for this fight as they would have been had Dimma taken the reins for one last ride.
And finishing us off is the only game I’m comfortably picking an upset in – I can’t help feeling Brisbane are due a loss, and that it’ll come against Adelaide this weekend. They still haven’t beaten any properly good teams away from the Gabba, Jack Payne is a big absence down back facing the most dynamic forward line going around, and the Crows have been dynamite all year on their own turf.
In fact, so thoroughly have I convinced myself Adelaide will win that I’m fully expecting they’ll throw in another shocker, lose by 10 goals and I’ll be stuck with another 4 as my weekly score.
Last week: 7
Sydney, St Kilda, Melbourne, Geelong, Gold Coast, Essendon, Richmond, Collingwood, Adelaide
Here we go, tipping is getting exciting!
It’s the last ‘normal’ weekend of footy for a month, so it’s best we soak it in and enjoy ourselves, before the weird bye rounds fixturing commences and we’re stuck with an unusual number of games weekly.
At the start of the season, a marquee Friday night fixture between the Swans and the Blues was a mouth-watering prospect, with top-four expectations on both. Now, one of them could have their seasons cooked this weekend. Sydney to win at home.
The Saints should sweep the Hawks to the side, and it’s another great fixture for Max King, who could have the best return to footy for an injured player we’ve seen in years through his first fortnight. Melbourne should end Fremantle’s current mini-run, which has revitalised their season. I still believe in both these teams. And in the twilight fixture, Geelong against the Giants is a game between two heavily depleted teams – it’s just that one of them has an enormous, unavoidable home ground advantage. The Cats will get back on track.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The Suns have played good, solid footy for a little while, even though the last quarter of the QClash was a disaster; yet Stuart Dew is always the first coach under pressure when another leaves a club. It’d be a wonderful statement to make, beating the in-form Bulldogs. I think they can do it.
The Bombers are depleted too, but not so depleted as to not easily beat the deplorable Eagles. Essendon has been great this season and the results are about to start catching up to their form.
Wishful thinking or blind loyalty? Risking it all with a tip of Richmond to upset a firing Port Adelaide outfit, who are genuine flag contenders this season. But really, is anyone an actual chance of winning the premiership outside of Collingwood? They’re clearly the best team in the competition, and seemingly would need a Bradbury-style result to happen to be knocked off in their quest for greatness. It certainly ain’t happening for a North Melbourne team, even if they try playing 28 players on the field this week.
Finally, another upset is on the cards. The Crows to beat the Lions… why not?
Last week: 7
Carlton, St Kilda, Melbourne, Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Essendon, Port Adelaide, Collingwood, Adelaide
An interesting week awaits for us – I got both last weekend’s 50/50 games wrong, so fingers crossed better luck awaits this time around.
I’m giving Carlton one last chance to convince me they’re legit – a red-hot Charlie Curnow can win this game all by himself against a threadbare Sydney backline, so the Blues’ number one priority should be getting the ball in his vicinity as much as they can. Do that, and they win.
On Saturday, it’s the Saints by how much against Hawthorn, while Melbourne might find the going tougher against Fremantle, especially without Clayton Oliver, but should win. Later on, it’s never safe to pick against Geelong in Geelong, where they should return to the winners’ list against GWS, while Essendon get their chance for a nice old percentage boost against the WAFL Eagles on Saturday night.
The other game that evening is more interesting: the Bulldogs are in great form but I’m still not completely convinced in them, particularly their forward line. If the Suns’ star-studded midfield can get ahold of them, they’ll be a real shot in this game – not that I’m confident enough in Gold Coast to tip them to do it.
Fun fact: this weekend Andrew McQualter becomes Dustin Martin’s second-ever senior coach. The Damien Hardwick era is done, and I’m interested to see how much drive is left for the older Tigers to impress the caretaker. We might have to wait another week to know for sure – Port are in hot form and talent-wise the Tigers should be no match.
Collingwood host North Melbourne at *checks notes* North Melbourne’s home ground. It’s a bit farcical, but shouldn’t matter – you could play this game on the moon and the Pies are still getting it done and comfortably.
Finally, I like Adelaide against Brisbane: the Crows have been superb on their home ground all year, the Lions decidedly less menacing away from the Gabba, and with Taylor Walker in and Jack Payne out respectively, it couldn’t be a better time for the Crows to get one of the flag favourites.
Last week: 6
Carlton, St Kilda, Melbourne, Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Essendon, Richmond, Collingwood, Adelaide
A decent-ish week for me, with a score of 6 that keeps me just nevertheless pushes me just behind Dem on the overall leaderboard. I need to make a move this week, and that means a bit of chaos tipping – because that usually goes well.
Speaking of chaos, tomorrow night’s game is sure to fulfil that quota. The Blues are in strife. Sydney remain that way, too. Statistically, Carlton matched reasonably well with the Pies last week, but were hopeless in finishing and had zero urgency compared to their superb opposition. The Swans weren’t great either, but got a mathematical error in their favour against North last week.
The Blues are undeniably due a win – if they lose, I don’t know what to tell you, except the 3AW switchboard will be busy again.
Saturday’s day games are actually disconcertingly easy to tip. The Hawks put in a fine effort for a big win last week – with the caveat it was against the Eagles – but are likely to lose this encounter with the Saints (who have lost a bit of their lustre in recent weeks). Despite Freo’s much improved form and the upset in this fixture a year ago, the Demons should earn a win here, as will the reigning premiers over the Giants in the twilight clash – neither should be a blowout, though, as the Dockers and Giants are both capable of threatening upsets.
Saturday night’s line-up is a fizzer, for sure. Up in Darwin, the Doggies – who I underrated last week, whoops – will earn their eighth win of the year over the Suns, while over in the west, the Bombers are highly likely to beat the Eagles. Possibly by a fair amount.
Not much chaos tipping, so far, eh? Sunday provides two opportunities – excluding the mid-afternoon game, in which the Pies should pummel the Kangaroos – in Richmond and the Crows. The Tigers are sure to be motivated by the shock departure of Damien Hardwick during the week and have a decently strong recent record over the Power. As do the Lions over the Crows, even in Adelaide.
This is likely to be an arm-wrestle – the Crows will welcome back some key players, but Brisbane a tour-de-force this year, and deservedly favourites coming into this one. But chaos-tipping is promised and must be delivered.
The Crows burnt me last week, but I’m backing them over the Lions this weekend. And call it lunacy, but the Tigers are due a win. And while this is likely to backfire, they’ll get one over the incredibly strong Power here.
|SYD vs CAR||CAR||SYD||CAR||CAR||SYD|
|STK vs HAW||STK||STK||STK||STK||STK|
|MEL vs FRE||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL|
|GEE vs GWS||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE|
|GCS vs WB||WB||GCS||WB||WB||WB|
|WCE vs ESS||ESS||ESS||ESS||ESS||ESS|
|RCH vs PA||PA||RCH||PA||RCH||PA|
|COL vs NM||COL||COL||COL||COL||COL|
|ADE vs BL||ADE||ADE||ADE||ADE||BL|
First appear at The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions Round 11: Why this could be the weekend of upsets