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  Crocky's AFL 2008 Review - Part A
Monday March 10, 2008
by Crocky


The madness is fast approaching with Victorians and other interstaters become over-emotional about 44 hairy males running around an oval trying to kick a watermelon shaped ball between 2 wooden posts. “’Carn the Pies!” and “You white maggot!” you will hear on many occasions. Yep its AFL 2008 back upon our doorstep and guess what? Its one of Australia’s biggest gambling sports.

Who will win in 2008 on that final day in September? Obviously Geelong are favourites to win but are they value to bet on? Let’s work backwards and go through the teams look at their prices and come up with some selections that might be value to bet on.

Last Season’s Bottom 8:

RICHMOND 16th - Odds 101.00

If there’s ever a team that has suffered from mediocrity Richmond fits the bill perfectly. After having many seasons just missing the eight they have had little compensation. The AFL rewards failure not mediocrity, so the Tigers have missed on many high draft picks not like some other teams. Main guns are getting older in Matthew Richardson and Nathan Brown. Joel Bowden gets plenty of the ball but doesn’t use it efficiently enough. Looks like a bleak season in 2008 for the Tigers and bottom 4 looks like their best result.

CARLTON 15th - Odds 41.00

By not winning more than 7 games in 2 consecutive seasons the hapless Blues are being rewarded for being pathetic with 3 wins in 2006 and 4 wins in 2007. As we all know the Blues were trying their guts out the last few weeks of last season. If you don’t believe me, just ask Andrew Demetriou and Paul Roos!

I will be very surprised if the Blues don’t go close in making the Top 8 this season. Talent is plentiful with a good mix of young and experienced players at the helm. Judd is a huge asset, Fevola, Stevens has plenty of talent, and young guns Gibbs, Murphy, Waite and Simpson ready to explode in what I am sure the club is expecting to be a huge year. I’m tipping the Blues to make the 8 in 2008.

MELBOURNE 14th - Odds 60.00

Very disappointing in 2007 and don’t look that bad on paper. They did suffer many injuries and that always ensures a poor season. Even with a long and varied list of hobbled players, which invariably led to speculation about Daniher's future, the Demons managed to win five games. They lost four games by a goal or less and dropped another against Collingwood by less than two goals.

So, with an ounce of luck, the Dees could have had eight wins or more. Neitz is getting old and his battle-scarred body will have to be treated with similar coaching methods Matthews used with Voss in his last 2 seasons. Their price looks good value and don’t be surprised if Melbourne have a top 8 season.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 13th - Odds 46.00

Who let the Dogs out? Obviously no one last season. What a pathetic second half finish for a team that beat the 2007 premiers in round one and finished outside the top 8. West, Johnson, Cross, Gilbee, Griffin, Grant and up and comer Shaun Higgins - their performance last year was too bad to be true. Another team that looks value to me and must be given another chance to atone. Plenty of talent in youth in the side and could easily be a force in 2008.

ESSENDON 12th - Odds 51.00

With political turmoil half way through the season with the sacking of Sheedy, Essendon looks like a team on the downward spiral. Hird, Fletcher, Lucas and Lloyd are not getting any younger and Hird has retired. Bottom 4 looks the likely spot again for the Bombers. Their depth looks poor so they can’t afford any injuries. I would be very surprised if they made the top 8.

FREMANTLE 11th - Odds 12.00

Best award and premiers for being underachievers the last 3 years. They promise so much and deliver so little. New coach is definitely a plus as I never had much of an opinion of Connolly. Pavlich, Bell, Carr, Hasleby, Tarrant and Sandilands will be the key to Fremantle’s season. Look to be top 8 material but not sure if 12.00 for the flag is any value. No bet here and unless they make the top 4 wont shorten for the flag from this quote.

BRISBANE LIONS 10th - Odds 26.00

Super team a few years ago who now are in a rebuilding stage as their warriors have retired or departed due to age or disgruntled emotions with the coaching staff. Brown, Lappin, Black and Power will be very heavily relied on. Their depth looks a worry but Matthews has a way of surprising us with young talent. Home ground is a huge advantage and depending on injuries look to finish in the middle pecking order. No value here price looks about right.

ST KILDA 9th - Odds 9.00

Disappointing in 2007 in my book and this price looks far too short for me. Riewoldt, Montagna, Hayes, Del Santo, Ball and Koschitzke are all in their top 10 and played 90% of last year and still they finished out of the top 8.

Gehrig retired and now is back again, looks like his first decision was best as he’s not getting any younger and will have problems playing a full 2008 season. Plenty of talent in the team but seem to find ways to let their supporters down. Pass - too short for me. Middle of the field once again.

There many betting shops in Australia now so if you are a punter all I can say is shop around. Most people bet with the TAB and look no further. Well if women were punters that would be the last place they would bet. By the way don’t bet what you can’t afford. Money management and self control are some of the essential factors of a good gambler. This is no different to poker where some of the world’s best players have won so much but don’t have a pot to piss in as they have too many leaks in their characters.

Next review will be on last seasons top 8 performers and what will Crocky’s crystal ball foresee?

Ciao from Billy the Croc

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