PRETTY confident of your tips this week? Been studying the pre-season comp and watching the new recruits? Got the Suns to beat Essendon as your lock of the week? Yeah, nah, good.
The fact is the bookies have studied the games more than you, are better at tipping than you, have more resources than you – and they still get it wrong.
In the last four seasons, five Round 1 games featuring a team at odds of $3+ have seen the underdog come out on top.
This week, Carlton ($4.25), Essendon ($5), St Kilda ($4.40) and Brisbane ($11) have all had the big fat red line scratched through them.
So go on. Live a little. Have a punt on the little guys because occasionally, it pays off.
2014: GWS (15.9.99) def SYDNEY (9.13.67) – Odds: $12
HEY everyone, look! It’s Buddy! Buddy’s here! Buddy’s talented and handsome and is going to cure canc…oh.
The Swans were handed a Giant reality check in Round 1 of 2014.
With the arrival of the chosen one from Hawthorn, the other 21 guys probably figured they could watch the show from the stands
Franklin finished the game with only seven touches and a goal, while Giants full-forward Jeremy Cameron kicked four majors.
Granted, the Swans went on to play in – and lose – the grand final, but it showed the good ol’ upset wasn’t dead.
2013: Gold Coast (13.12.90) def St Kilda (10.17.77) – Odds: $3.25
GIVEN the decline of the Saints since, it’s easy to forget why the Suns were underdogs.
In 2012, St Kilda had finished a reasonable 9th with a 12-10 record, while the Suns sat in 17th having won just three games for the year.
The bookies obviously had some confidence though, and with good reason – Ablett.
The little genius picked up 34 touches and kicked four goals on his way to single-handedly destroying one of those rare eras when St Kilda had relevance.
2015: Melbourne (17.13.115) def Gold Coast (13.11.89) – Odds: $3.15
DEMONS supporters hadn’t been this aroused since they started serving foie gras in the MCC Members.
After the plucky Suns put up solid numbers in 2014 – and Melbourne propped up the ladder again – many thought the Gold Coast would establish themselves as a force.
But the only force felt around the ‘G that day was below the belts of the Demons faithful, as golden boy Jesse Hogan debuted and kicked a goal, while notorious tease Jack Watts finally gave himself to his admirers with three goals.
2013: Western Bulldogs (19.13.127) def Brisbane (7.17.59) – Odds: $4.40
REMEMBER when the Lions were favourite to win games?
Neither did I, so I looked it up. Turns out it’s true! People did think Brisbane were on the up and up with Michael Voss at the helm, following a 13th placed finish in 2012.
Well, up and up might be a stretch…it’s more that they thought the Bulldogs were shit and that the Lions were a little less shit.
How wrong they were.
They were equally shit.
The Dogs finished the year in 15th, while Brisbane finished 12th and started to realise that maybe Vossy was a little bit batshit insane.
2012: Port Adelaide (13.11.89) def St Kilda (13.7.85) – Odds: $3.05
WITH a leadership group like that, how did the Saints go wrong?
I mean, less than half of them are still at the club today but who cares? IT’S GWILTY!
Having been fair dinkum Primus-ed in 2011 with a ridiculous three wins, most pundits believed Port Adelaide would stink it up again in 2012.
Meanwhile, a nice little stench was building at Moorabbin as the club was taken over by stagnant Watters.
Flooding the team with terrible decisions and poor trading, Watters signalled the end of what was kinda, sorta a golden era for the Saints – but would be considered just alright by the standards of most other clubs.