Crocky's AFL 2008 Review - Part B

Posted at 09:00 2008-03-18


Now let’s review last year’s contenders and see if they will end up being pretenders in 2008! Geelong were awesome in the last half of the season and destroyed a well backed Port Adelaide in the Grand Final. So can the mighty pussies give them a licking again, or will they be skinned? NB All ladder positions were at the end of round 22 in 2007 GEELONG 1st - Odds 3.40 They look pretty short to me for winning the flag again. Don’t forget in 2006 with a similar team they missed the Top 8, so I wouldn’t be pulling out my hard-earned cash yet until we see how they perform early in the season. They do have four superstars in the side in Gary Ablett Jnr, Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Mooney and Joel Selwood who I believe was a huge asset to them last year. Throw in young gun Tom Hawkins and the experience of Brad Ottens and you can see they will be a force in 2008. However too short for me so early in the year. PORT ADELAIDE 2nd - Odds 14.00 Be weary of last year’s finalists as I think their decline in 2008 is imminent. Tredrea is battle scarred and no longer in the Power’s best side. This could clearly be his last season. There is too much reliance on five players to perform every week - the Cornes brothers, the Burgoyne boys and Brendon Lade. I don’t like their depth and I am tipping a clear decline in 2008. WEST COAST EAGLES 3rd - Odds 14.00 This WA side has been a power house over the last few seasons playing in two of the last three Grand Finals and winning in 2006 in a thriller against their arch enemies, the Sydney Swans. However I don’t like what I see. Losing Judd to Carlton and Cousins to personal problems is too much for my cup of tea. You can’t take out two spark plugs of a fine tuned engine and expect to run as smooth. Daniel Kerr and Matt Priddis have to take on the midfield on their own - a daunting task. Can big Dean Cox rise to the occasion (excuse the pun) and can David Wirrapunda at 28 years of age hold steady in defence? Their home ground advantage will certainly assist in many wins but at 14.00 and little hope of a Top 4 finish I will pass on 2008 on the Eagles winning the flag. KANGAROOS 4th - Odds 41.00 For a team who finished so high up in 2007 the betting shops are giving this team no hope at offering such big odds. I am still confused how they finished so high up in 2007 myself. On paper they look brittle with no superstars just hard workers. Names like Furrito, McIntosh, Smith, Hale, Wells, Grant and Gibson are the players they will be relying on. Archer is gone and he will be missed as his inspiration and leadership cannot be taught. Another team I am tipping to decline with last year’s other Top 8 teams. However at 41.00 I wouldn’t know which way to go, lay or bet. HAWTHORN 5th - Odds 12.00 Will it be the year of the young Hawks to fly the coup? Loads of talented draft picks and of course have one of the AFL’s elite playing for them in Lance Franklin. Luke Hodge is a huge contributor and Williams was out early last season so he is like a new recruit. Crawford, Mitchell and Croad are the experience, Lewis and Roughead the up and comers. Their price looks fair for a team who I think needs one bigger defender to be complete. Think will finish high in Top 8 for sure. COLLINGWOOD 6th - Odds 12.00 Surprised many with huge finish to win flag in 2007 and I really do believe if they beat Geelong in the preliminary final they would’ve won the flag. They didn’t, so life goes on. I just liked the way the young kids stood up and I think they can be a force in 2008. Cloke, Pendlebury, Thomas (who I love watching play), Goldsack and Rusling to assist in the forward line. Their defense looks a little deficient but if their midfield can keep the ball up forward, they might be in for a huge season. Ok, sticking my neck out Top 4 for the Pies and at 12.00 is ok in my book for a small bet. SYDNEY 7th - Odds 21.00 With regular success last few seasons comes a price, no high draft picks. Similar to West Coast their gladiators which they so heavy rely on are getting older and more battle scarred. Everitt, Hall, Barry and Goodes have to stay on the park for Sydney to have a good year. Their depth looks suspect and a decline out of the Top 8 is my tip for this wonderful team. ADELAIDE 8th - Odds 21.00 Similar to Sydney they have had their chances to win a flag last few seasons. Sydney took theirs and accomplished their dreams. Unfortunately for the Crows their ship has sailed. Their champion Ricciuto has retired, Goodwin and McLeod are no younger. Their forward setup looks weak with Welsh not their anymore and was their leading goal kicker with 49 goals. Next best was Bock on 29 and Burton on 24. Predict another drop out of the Top 8. CROCKY’S CRYSTAL BALL SUMMARY By the way at 104.83% that’s not bad for searching for your team’s best price to win the flag. The teams in bold are my tips for betting on if you are looking for a flag bet in 2008. Just remember opinions are like bums - everyone’s got one. So I am sticking mine out right out and it’s ready to get kicked by all the supporters of the teams I am tipping to decline. Don’t forget to sign up for Poker Network’s AFL Tipping Competition where you can test your tipping skills against me and win the chance to play off for a seat to the Poker News Cup! I will also try to put up my weekly best bets if possible.
Ciao from Billy the Croc!

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