Resting Players – Gimme a break

Greetings and Salutations all

Another week of issues, issues, issues – are they genuine or just too much media?  But the one to take a look at this week is resting players.  The pragmatist view is that it just makes sense and as a Carlton supporter, I certainly took that view last weekend with Judd and Waite having a day off.  The clubs need to weigh what gives the greater benefit – massive percentage boost or keeping players fresh.  I reckon the latter will take precedence as the season progresses.  Also reckon the Hawks are more than managing the skipper, suspect his load will build at the business end of the season.

However as a fan of the game it exposes the inequity of the competition.  Geelong and Collingwood were so far ahead of the competition last year they were able to manage their list, the Blues started it this year and more clubs are talking about it.  It is no coincidence they are all clubs at the top of the tree with the greater depth (or at least perceived depth).

Clubs further down the pecking order are less likely to take those risks and therefore be further disadvantaged in the competition – further stretching the inequity.  Then to exacerbate the issue at the bottom end of the table clubs will also manage their lists, understandable for GWS and Gold Coast at this stage with their very young lists. This should come to an end once they mature.  However there will still be “list management” amongst the under achievers to optimise their draft positions at seasons end.

I dread that the competition becomes the EPL with only the same few teams every year fighting for the title and the rest just hunting their own forms of honour (Go the Hammers).  At the moment, football department spend seems to be a key determining factor of capability.  There is little coincidence that the competition has been dominated by Collingwood, Geelong and Hawthorn of late and the challengers to them in Carlton, West Coast and the rising Bombers are not short of a shekel.  I don’t believe that is where we are yet, but Vlad and the Fixers need to be wary.

A review of last week’s prognostications reveals a mixed bag.  At least Zabeelionnaire did the job in the little derby, we talk about our crowds for the carnival 165,000 at the Kentucky Derby.  The imbalanced competition has made overall footy tipping much easier – getting less than 7 in a week is pretty poor – by the same token I am yet to win a burger.  Another perfect start to the weekend and then challenged on Sunday getting my South Australian selections the wrong way round, noting though I did suggest Adelaide were great investment value against Sydney.  But now onto this week’s challenge.

Snow Season ($15.00) vs Best of the Rest ($1.06)

Demon fans are looking forward to the Queen’s Birthday weekend especially with the challenging draw they have.  While the Hawks are spluttering a little and still outside the 8 they still have plenty over the Dees and should lift their record over 50%.

Tipping they’re Dangerous ($2.26) vs The Pivotonians ($1.77)

The Crows have their most valuable assets on show and up against one of those assets’ suitors in Patrick Dangerfield.  Having a great year adding consistency to his explosiveness.  This is a great test for both teams – Adelaide to test themselves up a team that has dominated over them since 2007 and for the Cats to show that they are up for the challenge when it is presented.  The ins for the Cats show they expect a challenge – no A-Graders resting this week.  I expect this will be such a challenge for them, but believe that Adelaide’s monster effort against Sydney will takes its toll both mentally and physically.  Would want about $2.50 to think about Adelaide – Geelong to prevail in a no bet encounter for mine.

The Newbies ($3.60) vs The Old Hands ($1.36)

Heard some rubbish during the week that the Suns might be better without G Ablett – what twaddle.  However in his absence a couple of players have certainly shown they are up to the level and in Bennell’s case maybe even above and he is back this week.  More self-belief across the entire list will make them a much sterner test.  GWS put on a great performance against the Blues who certainly deserved a right bollocking for their performance, but the effort of GWS should not be discounted especially after losing Brogan and “Bad Santa” early.  I hope Setanta can make a recovery and comeback, might not have been one of the Blues stars but always tried his hardest which is more than can be said for many of Dennis’ other recruits.  I do believe there is too much in this for Gold Coast to lose and expect them to register another away win.  From a betting perspective GWS represent some value and I reckon a fair price would be about $3.30.  But hard to trust the even harder earned (thanks Wayne) on such an outfit.

All Hail the Mullett ($1.98) vs No Goodies ($2.00)

What is going on with these odds?  Sydney are 5-and-1 to the Tiggers’ 2-and-4 and Sydney winning 9 from the last 11 over Richmond.  The markets are clearly factoring those two losses, both in the last two years and both at the Mecca of Football.  Add the loss of Goodes and it make even more sense.  Nevertheless I am going with the overall record and test of time and selecting Sydney – reckoning anything better than even money has historically been a good gamble against the Tiges.

Welcome to the Jungle ($5.60) vs Jungle Bunnies ($1.20)

The Gabbatoir is probably most aptly named for the Pies.  Their record up there, 2 wins from the last 12 attempts indicate Brisbane’s dominance of their patch of jungle.  But again looking at recent history those 2 wins are in the last 4 and there was no encounter at the venue last year.  Whilst the Pies lose Ben Johnson, they are likely to get a couple back.  Meanwhile the Lions have more to worry about than injuries – a sterner showing can be expected.  Won’t be enough though and Collingwood will prevail, could not contemplate any wager on the Lions till I see the effort levels increase.  Another mention of Ben Johnson, not highly rated outside the Pies but highly rated inside and like Setanta is never short of effort – another one I hope can make a successful recovery.

Loungeroom Lizards ($1.80) vs Quack, Quack ($2.20)

Well the Bombres are out and the money is talking!  West Coast represent great value here – yes they have injuries but they seem to have covered them so far.  They have also developed a great record in the loungeroom.  The confined space really suits their defensive style and the guaranteed dry conditions are handy for the forest up forward.  Nothing can be taken away from Essendon though, aside from the brain fade against Collingwood the coaching is astute and has been very good tactically against the opposition this year.  As for the ducking issue – I’d be more concerned that the West Coast players are winning the footy!  I am sticking with the Eagles to win, especially at $2.20 or better!

Not Whingeing, but! ($1.39) vs Beatle Wings ($3.40)

Talent wise these team might not be that far apart, but at least the Roos have theirs spread, the Dogs lead by McCartney just don’t have enough that kick goals which has cost them dearly so far.  I expect the same again this week and until I see different they will be a no bet proposition.

The Purple Curse ($1.16) vs Back to the Shack ($7.00)

Freo escapes over the Suns – but Port revert to last year’s effort levels and capitulate.  This will be a real test for Port to show their mettle against GS Lyon’s scrum who will be in front of their flock.  It could get ugly again.  Freo, comfortably I suspect.

Kosi Can ($2.30) vs New Order ($1.28)

I’ll certainly be hoping for a Blue Monday!  The return of Judd is the obvious bonus, however as relevant will be return of Jarrad Waite.  Carlton were extremely indirect last week and the poor shooting for goal is exactly what to expect when most shots are from the pockets.  Waite should present a target closer to the corridor.  Meanwhile the Saints lost another couple in their valiant effort against Hawthorn.  Fisher might play in the easiest place on the ground, but he does it well.  A bigger issue though against the Blues is the absence of McEvoy against the Kruezer/Hampson combination.  On the plus side, the Reiwoldt-Kosi show will be of concern to the Blues defense.  Not enough for the Saints to win though.  Mind you once again, too much Blue money and trying to be objective I would rate the Saints good value at $4.00.

Group 1 Action

Adelaide gets to host the “Queen of the Turf” with Black Caviar once again to grace the track at Morphettville – such an event the footy has been moved to finish in time for the time-honoured Goodwood.  Clearly the great mare to win – maybe tactically Go the Knuckle might be aptly named to have the best chance against her.  But I will add We’re Gonna Rock and Stirling Grove to be first or second in her wake.  Then Group 1s head to Brisbane for the BTC Cup over 1200m at Doomben.  Buffering has been in the wake of Black Caviar and Hay List and deserves favouritism, but the $2.70 is way too short in this line up.  Any sign of moisture will have me excited again about Temple of Boom and the Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim is a huge finisher.  Both of them around the $14 mark on Betfair is enticing but the increased 6.5% take out, makes that effectively $13.15 when comparing to the corporates.

The Friars head to the picturesue surrounds of Como Park to take on the OGS.  Hopefully an opportunity to get back on the winners list after last disappointment.

Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal


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