Sal’s Tips: Round 21

Hello Again All,

Again this week I found myself as a tormented soul.  After agreeing with Jeff Kennett last week, I found myself this week agreeing with Mick on the widening gap between top and bottom teams.  Fortunately order was restored with Kennett blowing out again with his patronising crap on Tasmania and more thought on the gap realising this is worse than usual but it will be cyclical.

Not sure what that great man from down south thinks, but I reckon the Hawthorn deal in Tassie stinks.  $900K per game from the government but then blocking and resisting North’s plan and ultimately limiting their commitment.  I have no problem with the Hawks playing in Launceston, but let’s recognise what it is as a pure self-serving exercise.  Any pre-tense that is for the development of Tassie footy is crap until we see a plan for how a team will be based out of the Apple Isle in the future.  That is what Tassie deserves and it does not need the patronising, self-serving bluff and bluster of Jeff Kennett.  As for the North deal only time will tell.

As for the concern about the gap between the top and bottom teams, I have noticed that many games I preview have the underdog at odds of over $5, I believe this is greater than last year but with no factual evidence.  However analysis of results over the last few years tell the tale.  In each of 2006 and 2008 there were 12 games with 80 point blowouts with 5 of those going over the 100 point margin, this represents 6.82% of games being blowouts.  2007 saw only 6 and 3 games decided in the 80-99 and 100+ point ranges respectively a blowout percentage of 5.11, however there were 3 finals (not included in my numbers) that were blowouts.  In 2009 there were 10 blowouts (5.68%) but only 1 game over 100 points, 2010 had 14 with 4 of those over 100 points a percentage of 7.39 of the 176 games.  In summary over the last 5 years there have been 880 games of which 18 (2.05%) have been decided by 100 points or more and 38 (4.32%) with margin of 80-99 points – that is 61 games out of 880 (6.36%) with margins of 80 points or more.

Now for this year – so far the season has consisted of 155 games with 5 decided in the 80-99 point range (3.23%) and 9 by over 100 (5.81%) for a total of 14 (9.03%) being what I consider blowouts.  This would seem to indicate that Mick might have a point – but we do have a significant change in the competition with the introduction of the Gold Coast who would be expected to be on the end of some fearful drubbings.  So if take out the Gold Coast games the numbers change to only 137 games of which 4 are in the 80-99 range and 6 in the 100+ category giving 7.3% of game being blowouts.  To me this is a non-insignificant increase from 6.93 but not enough to believe the sky is falling.

I have also compared the result to two other years 1987 – the birth of the Eagles and the Bears and 1996 the end of Fitzroy in the AFL.  In 1987 there were 154 games and 16 blowouts (10.39%) – removing the Bears and Eagles it was 12 out of 137 (10.71%).  A significantly worse number than today.  In 1996, 18 of 176 blowouts (10.23%) and removing the Roys from the stats 10 out of 158 dropping the proportion to 6.33%.  Pretty much in line with today’s stats.  My apologies to Butch, Gotchy, Woody and Olly for using 1996!

So while Mick might have a concern and some TV execs might be nervous – there is nothing intrinsically in the numbers to suggest an immediate problem.  There might be a couple of teams we consider basket cases – but one of them played in a Grand Final in 2007 (or did they?) and they have only been on the end of one 80 point play walloping – Melbourne may have been poleaxed by Geelong but have dished 3 of their own hidings.  Next year I suspect we will have the same bleating, but with the advent of GWS it will be worse.  The time to measure and react is if the trend continues to climb in 5 years’ time.

While I am at it – the discussion about shortening the game – maybe if the umpire did not have to wait for 15 seconds for the TV ad to finish there might be a conversation to have.

Managed to get the lot last week – but not a tough week really.  Once again too many shorties this week.


Beat Lloyd ($6.80) vs We’re not that good! ($1.16)

One goal to Milne and he has the goal kicking record in the Loungeroom – will Leon let him!  Meanwhile the Pie publicity machine does everything but emphasise how well they are going.  As for the Saints – their record since the Collingwood game in Round 11 is the second best in the league having lost only to the Cats.  That $6.80 looks pretty enticing.  But on closer investigation with the exception of West Coast, those vanquished by the Saints in that time read as the “Who’s not who” of the AFL.  But this game is in their loungeroom and The Pies can take the foot off the gas now, so whilst I expect the Pies to prevail I reckon that $6.80 is worth a shekel.


The Haughty Ones ($1.03) vs Moved to the Cellar ($27.00)

Port have now moved out of the shack and into the cellar – the $1.03 on Hawthorn is good value!


Hermanators ($3.15) vs Open Bookshelves ($1.45)

Without Waite up forward and Jamieson at the back Carlton remain exposed, But through adversity comes opportunity and the Blues have measured up quite well in their absence aside from the games where they were both injured (West Coast and Footscray) the only other blemish against the rampant Pies.  Meanwhile in the land of Purple desperate measures are now needed to save the season and they have played the joker this week bringing Herman back into the team.  If he is ready to go then that will cause a headache for Warnock because he will have to compete – but if not then the Carlton midfield will hold sway.  There is the great small forward match ups with Hadyn Ballantyne (or is it Eddie Munster?) and the Betts/Garlett show.  The ace for Freo is the skipper – who whilst I don’t rate as a big game player – he does dine out when he is allowed to dominate and there is not an obvious “good” match up.  Suspect the job will go to Gibbs.  Anyway once again an inordinate amount spent on the Carlton game.  Blues to win – but for those Blue “baggers” out there Freo at over $3 at home must be enticing.


Big, Bad ($2.26) vs Loungeroom Lizards ($1.76)

In noted in selection that Mulligan has been dropped the Bullies – surely he can have another shot at it!  As for the rest of the Dogs this is their last shot at it – 10 points out and some tough assignments.  Lose this and it won’t matter.  With that in mind and two weeks to prepare I like their chances at $2.26.  The Bombers have been great lately and this is in their comfy couch – but the Dogs share the couch and it also their favourite place to play.  I reckon Rocket will come up with the right tricks this week and will select the Dogs – with all the confidence one can muster with them – not much at all!


Kings of This Jungle ($1.44) vs Rodney Dangerfield ($3.20)

I don’t think the “respect” will be an issue this time and expect that Brisbane will stake their place in the Queensland turf.  Not sure either of these teams could considered worthy carriers of finance though.


What about Jack! ($4.50) vs The Corporation ($1.26)

Much talk about the draw this week – but none more cruel for the Dees in not playing West Coast at the MCG.  Woosha would not be that pleased either as I am sure they would like another crack there before the finals.  While the Dees lament over Scully – they should be rapt with the two Jacks Trengrove and Watts and then they add another in Viney in two years – with a couple of aces they will have a full house.  All should remember they are a very young side with plenty of talent but not much leadership – on a roll and at the G they could beat West Coast.  However they take such a poor attitude to the Loungeroom I can’t see an upset.


Tucked In ($3.90) vs Goodes Enough ($1.32)

The Tigers won this game last year and at the odds provided seem a fair bet.  Interesting discussion this week regarding whether to play Shane Tuck or not and with reference to his poor disposal.  Hang on they also went and got Shaun Grigg who can butcher it with the best of them!  As for the hoo-hah on whether Adam Goodes rates up there with the holy trinity, Hird, Buckley and Voss.  He is a great and skilful player who plays on instinct and can turn games on his own – but I don’t believe that he brings his team mates into the game enough to be in the same league as Hird and Voss.  Buckley was also seen as an individual – however I suspect that was more his persona rather than what he did on the ground.  Anyway Bloods to prevail – but the Tiggers at $4 could be enticing.


Bickley’s Chance ($11.50) vs Hail St Jimmy ($1.09)

The Geelong lack of motivation factor gives the Crows some hope here.  But the Cats do milestones well and this week Jimmy Bartel reaches 200 – one of my favourite players – always does the right things at really important moments.  Cats to win – but Adelaide should really be at about $10.


This week the Friars head off to Williamstown where a win will lock in place in the finals!  But the last venture went quite sour – so a really important encounter.

Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal



  1. Saints a big chance tonight.Pies will have the cue in the rack and Ross Lyon is renegotiating his coaching contract so the Saints will be very keen to do well..

  2. G’day Sal,
    I will see you at the Fearon tomorrow if you are going.
    Smokie Dawson.

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    Blowouts now Sal, eh? There is always something wrong with ‘the system’. Have we found out what was wrong with the system that caused the 2006 top four to be all non-Victorian teams? or has the coroner not finished the inquiry yet?

  4. Sal – nice work.

    Another blow out today but, geez, I love them when Port are on the receiving end.

    The game is fine – move on.

    Dips – Pies were very gettable last night. I thought we played good, solid footy against a pretty pumped Saints outfit looking for “improvement”. The Saints will be stiff opposition for any outfit that they face in September but their lack of kicking skills remains a worry.

    Can the rejuvenated Crows stun the regal ones tonight?

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