Mick’s Picks: Round 12 AFL Preview

Mick Malthouse: Round 12 Preview

Mick Malthouse is back on the William Hill team in 2018 and Mick’s Picks will be a weekly article throughout the season.

This is a pivotal round for three teams fighting to keep their finals hopes alive – Port, GWS and Adelaide. They currently sit 8th, 9th and 11th on the ladder with six wins in the case of the two Adelaide teams, and five wins and a draw in the case of GWS. The extra incentive is that with North Melbourne playing Geelong, one of the teams in the mix for a finals team will drop a game, as will the loser of Melbourne and Collingwood. Richmond finished off Essendon’s finals hopes last week, and they can put a significant dent in Port’s chances if they manage to beat them on Friday night.

Round 12 Tips

(Time AEST)
Mick’s Pick
Port Adelaide v Richmond (Fri 19:50) Richmond WIN ($2.10)
Geelong v North Melbourne (Sat 13:45) North +15.5 ($1.91)
GWS v Gold Coast (Sat 16:35) GWS 1-39 ($2.70)
St. Kilda v Sydney (Sat 19:25) Sydney -25.5 ($1.91)
Brisbane v Essendon (Sun 13:10) Essendon WIN ($1.66)
Fremantle v Adelaide (Sun 16:40) Adelaide 1-39 ($2.20)
Melbourne v Collingwood (Mon 15:20) Melbourne -10.5 ($1.91)

Port Adelaide v Richmond (Fri 19:50)
Dustin Martin will miss this week and the announcement of him not playing led to a dramatic change in betting, and Port Adelaide assuming favouritism. I still think the Tigers can win though, as their pressure game is suited against Port. I thought long and hard about changing my selection when the injury news came in, but I’m still not sold on Port. The Power’s strength is playing an uncontested style and keeping possession of the football – if Richmond can stop them doing that, they can win the game. The Tigers will need to find more players to go through the middle, but their depth is strong.
Mick’s Pick: Richmond WIN ($2.10)

Geelong v North Melbourne (Sat 13:45)
North have defied all expectations this season and show no sign of stopping. Geelong did a number last week on the Gold Coast but that said as much about the Suns as anything. Some of the match ups will be interesting – who goes to Ben Brown, and who will Ben Jacobs tag? If he can stop Patrick Dangerfield then that will go a long way towards North winning. I don’t think there is as much between these two teams as the betting market suggests so North Melbourne with the head start looks the way to go.
Mick’s Pick: North +15.5 ($1.91)

GWS v Gold Coast (Sat 16:35)
GWS had a huge win last week against Adelaide – their season was all but dead and buried, but that win, combined with a likely victory against the Gold Coast, then the bye and the return of some personnel, could see them make a charge in the second half of the season. Gold Coast on the other hand are really struggling. Their injury list makes for horrid reading, and many of their key players like Steven May and Aaron Hall are set for long stints on the sidelines. The continued speculation around Tom Lynch won’t help. GWS should win comfortably but given their biggest win apart from Round 1 was 34 points, the 1-39 looks value.
Mick’s Pick: GWS 1-39 ($2.70)

St. Kilda v Sydney (Sat 19:25)
The Saints finally put together a good quarter of football last week against West Coast, but it was after the game was well and truly decided. Sydney on other hand, despite being 4th on the ladder, will have concerns. If they played anyone other than Carlton last week they might well have lost. Nonetheless, they match up well against St. Kilda. They don’t have an obvious match up for Lance Franklin, and even though Sydney’s midfielders have failed to fire together all year, the lack of depth in the Saints midfield gives them a great opportunity to build some confidence.
Mick’s Pick: Sydney -25.5 ($1.91)

Brisbane v Essendon (Sun 13:10)
After two impressive wins, the Bombers regressed badly last week. They looked fumbly and slow against the Tigers, but Brisbane are a much easier proposition. Like every week, the Lions fate will largely be determined by how Dayne Zorko and Dayne Beams play. If they get off the leash, they can make life very difficult for Essendon. The loss of Charlie Cameron will hurt badly though, and even Mitch Robinson’s absence will be felt. In the end I think the Bombers should have a bit too much class, despite the loss of David Zaharakis to injury.
Mick’s Pick: Essendon WIN ($1.66)

Fremantle v Adelaide (Sun 16:40)
Fremantle got beaten by ten goals last week against Collingwood, but even more than that, what disappointed me was the lack of work ethic from Nat Fyfe and Lachie Neale, two players who are meant to be among the best in the competition. Fyfe was just plain lazy, and he will miss this week through suspension anyway. David Mundy was asked to carry a huge load and he was impressive, but the other top Dockers want to have a long hard look at themselves. Adelaide are really struggling, and need the bye, but they can’t afford a loss. I think they can bounce back.
Mick’s Pick: Adelaide 1-39 ($2.20)

Melbourne v Collingwood (Mon 15:20)
Collingwood have been impressive in the last month and one reason for that is they have been able to hit the scoreboard with medium sized players. Jordan De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Jaidyn Stephenson have popped up and kicked bags of goals. The Demons have had a lot of success in recent weeks at limiting the effectiveness of the opposition forwards, but they will have to do it this week without Jake Lever. Still, with Michael Hibberd, Neville Jetta and Oscar McDonald, they have the personnel to do it. The other key battle will be in the middle – the ruck duel between Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy will be fascinating – and the Demons’ class through the middle against Collingwood’s depth. If the Dees stay mentally focused – and there were several times when I was coaching the Pies that they weren’t, on the Queen’s Birthday – they can get the job done.
Mick’s Pick: Melbourne -10.5 ($1.91)

All prices correct as of 1:00pm, Thursday 7 June.