UNDERDOG status spells success in recent years when fierce modern-day combatants Hawthorn and Sydney have faced off, with the outsider always successful.
If you follow that formline, the Hawks — .35 outsiders with TAB — could be just the roughie for those trailing in tipping competitions as they attempt to reel in their rivals.
The fact that Hawthorn has not lost at the SCG since 2010 also augurs well for the true believers.
THE PUNT SPECIAL
Tom Hawkins to score more than Gold Coast at . Market located under AFL specials.
NICK QUINN’S BEST BETS
Race 7, No. 9
ROSEHILL, SATURDAY 3.45PM
Former import who could not have been any more impressive winning at his Australian debut over 1600 metres. Steps up to 1900 metres where he has won his only previous attempt at Chantilly and looks the winner.
Race 6, No. 2
MOONEE VALLEY, SATURDAY 3.25PM
Won strongly two starts ago before going down as a short priced favourite last week having not raced for five weeks, should strip fitter for that run and looks the best each-way bet on the card.
TOM HAWKINS TO OUTSCORE GOLD COAST ()
GMHBA STADIUM, SATURDAY 1.45PM
Last week Tom Hawkins outscored Fremantle 37-25.
Hawkins is in contention for the Coleman medal with Gold Coast having nothing to play for.
COLLINGWOOD -32.5 (.85)
OPTUS STADIUM, SATURDAY 4.35PM
Collingwood could potentially finish in the top 2 and they should comprehensively beat a Fremantle side who was belted by 133 points last week.
TWO RONKES DON’T MAKE A RIGHT
SYDNEY (.65) V HAWTHORN (.25)
SCG, SATURDAY 7.25PM
EXPECT the unexpected on Saturday night at the SCG.
The past five times modern-day rivals Hawthorn and Sydney have faced off, the match has been won by the underdog.
Following that formline, the Hawks — .35 outsiders with TAB — could be the roughie of the round for those still in contention in their footy tipping competitions.
Coupled with that is the fact that Hawthorn hasn’t lost at the SCG since 2010, winning its past four matches there, including three as the underdog.
The past four matches between these two teams have been won by single-figure margins, so the .40 for either team to salute by less than 15.5 points looks attractive.
In their Round 8 clash earlier this season, the Hawks were single-handedly beaten by rookie Swans forward Ben Ronke, who put in one of the more remarkable games in AFL history.
Playing just the third game of his career, Ronke, 20, who was selected at No. 17 in the 2016
rookie draft, became the first player in AFL history to kick seven goals and have 10 tackles in the same game.
HAWTHORN V SYDNEY ODDS
R8, 2018 — Sydney (.40) won by 8
R19, 2017 — Hawthorn (.80) won by 6
R10, 2017 — Hawthorn (.50) won by 6
R17, 2016 — Hawthorn (.40) won by 5
R9, 2016 — Sydney (.05) won by 14
HISTORY SAYS DONS
PORT ADELAIDE (.60) V ESSENDON (.35)
ADELAIDE OVAL, FRIDAY 7.50PM
IF you believe in history repeating, Essendon is the team to beat tomorrow night despite going in as the outsider.
This season, no team has lost more when favoured than Port Adelaide, which has lost seven matches it was backed to win.
And no team has caused more upsets than the Bombers, winning five as the underdog.
Port Adelaide needs to win to get in the top eight and put some pressure on Geelong ahead of its match against Gold Coast, while Essendon’s focus has turned to Mad Monday after losing to Richmond last Friday night.
A shining light for the Bombers in what has been a disappointing season is Devon Smith.
The former Giant is the league’s premier tackler this year, averaging 8.3 tackles a game and totalling 23 more than any other player.
DEES TO DELIVER
MELBOURNE (.43) V GWS (.85)
MCG, SUNDAY, 3.20PM
THIS is a match the old Melbourne would have lost. During the past decade, the Demons have had the worst winning percentage when they have been favourite.
Melbourne has won just 58 per cent of games it has been expected to win, ahead of the Brisbane Lions at 59 per cent and, surprisingly, Port Adelaide at 60 per cent.
But this is the new Melbourne — a team that has qualified for finals for the first time since 2006.
The Demons are 1 with the TAB to win the premiership after being as high as 4 after Round 5.
Their march to September has been led by ruckman Max Gawn, who has compiled one of the all-time great seasons from a big man.
The 208cm cult figure is the equal second favourite to win the Brownlow Medal with Carlton’s Patrick Cripps, behind Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell at .35 favourite.
Gawn needs just another 37 hit-outs to be the second player, after North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein in 2015, to amass 1000 hit-outs in a season.
Lowest win percentage as favourites since 2008
58% — Melbourne
59% — Brisbane
60% — Port Adelaide
62% — Carlton
63% — Essendon
TORNADO TEARS (.60)
Race 5, Box 2
Sandown, Friday 8.30pm
Tornado Tears is Australia’s number one stayer and he should do Victoria proud in the state-versus-state Group 1 National Distance Championship (715m).
HURRICANE HARLEY (.20)
Race 5, No. 5
Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 7.33pm
In scintillating form and looks primed to turn the tables on Centenario this week and avenge his Vicbred Super Series defeat.
RUGBY — BLEDISLOE CUP
AUSSIES ON NOSE
NEW ZEALAND (.05) V WALLABIES (0)
EDEN PARK, AUCKLAND, SATURDAY 5.35PM
IT verges on the absurd to even call this a trans-Tasman rivalry, such has been the All Blacks’ dominance over the Wallabies.
The All Blacks (.05) have won 35 of the past 46 contests against the Wallabies (0) since 2003 — including World Cups.
If being dismantled 38-13 last weekend at ANZ Stadium wasn’t bad enough for the Wallabies, the Australians must snap a 32-year hoodoo to keep the series alive at Auckland’s Eden Park cauldron.
Not surprisingly, the All Blacks have attracted a whopping 96 per cent of the money wagered with TAB, despite the short quote.
The Wallabies will be without poster boy and fullback Israel Folau (ankle) for the must-win game. Folau’s absence opens the door for young guns Jack Maddocks and Tom Banks to step in, with veteran Kurtley Beale also in the mix.
WEST COAST (.55) V SUNSHINE COAST (.35)
PERTH ARENA, SUNDAY 1PM
WEST Coast Fever (.65) will start favourite in the Super Netball Grand Final ahead of fast-finishing reigning champions Sunshine Coast Lightning (.15).
The Melbourne Storm-affiliated Lightning surged into the decider last weekend, defeating the Giants 59-50 in Sydney.
Lightning and Diamonds spearhead Caitlin Bassett bagged 40 goals while captain and England international Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius blunted the Giants at every opportunity.
It caps a stunning turnaround by Lightning, which languished second last after four rounds.
As good as West Coast has been this season, Lightning poses a significant threat, having maintained an unbeaten 4-0 record in Super Netball finals in the past two seasons.
Fever, which will host the decider in front of more than 10,000 fans at Perth Arena, has lost only once at home this season.
It defeated Sunshine Coast twice during the season — both one-goal thrillers.
West Coast star Jhaniele Fowler is expected to play after recovering from a knee injury.
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
A TWO-MAN RACE
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX, STAVELOT, SUNDAY 11.10PM
FORMULA 1 superstars Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will renew hostilities at the Belgian Grand Prix as the race for the driver’s title heats up.
Mercedes ace Hamilton has claimed the chequered flag in the past two outings to establish a handy 24-point buffer on Vettel with nine races remaining.
Vettel commands top billing at .25, with Hamilton at .50, and Kimi Raikkonen () and Valtteri Bottas () given hope.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (3) and Max Verstappen (5) round out the top six.
Hamilton is best backed to complete the hat-trick after wins in Germany and Hungary, though Australian punters are rallying behind Ricciardo.
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
3 Ricciardo, Verstappen
YOU BETCHA WITH ELIZA SEWELL
NET WINS WITH SUPER GRAND FINAL
We got some value with the Lightning last week and we’re backing them to strike twice in this weekend’s Super Netball grand final. This is a big moment for West Coast Fever but Sunshine Coast have been here before. Jhaniele Fowler is the key but Lightning have the defensive strength with Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius to quell her.
Lightning by between one and five goals
TOMAHAWK TO CUT LOOSE
A fun wager the TAB has on offer is Tom Hawkins to outscore Gold Coast on Saturday.
Hawkins hasn’t gone crazy against the Suns in the past but has healthy hauls including a couple of fours and several three-goal games. He’s in brilliant touch after kicking six against the Dockers and let’s face it, he might not even need that many to eclipse the Suns on the scoreboard, so let’s back him in.
Tiger Woods is on the up and should finish top 10 at the Northern Trust Open.
Melbourne Storm take on Gold Coast up north and we won’t get fancy with margins, simply back the boys to win.
Melbourne host GWS coming off that massive win in Perth, but either team could take the win on Sunday and that’s the safest bet.
LEG 1 Tiger Woods to finish Top 10 at the Northern Trust Open .40
LEG 2 Melbourne Storm to beat Gold Coast .44
LEG 3 Melbourne or GWS to win by less than 15.5 .70
NATIONAL SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP
SANDOWN PARK, FRIDAY 9.08PM
TAB has opened a special market for Friday night, offering 1 for Port Adelaide to beat Essendon and South Australian greyhound Cairnlea Kenny to win the National Sprint Championship (715m) at Sandown Park.
Cairnlea Kenny, named after and closely connected to Port coach Ken Hinkley, should not be underestimated, according to his trainer Petar Jovanovic.
“Port Adelaide supporters should consider having a little bit on that special. I’m not declaring that Cairnlea Kenny will win, but he is in with a good chance. He is drawn well, he’s very professional, and when he comes out of the boxes he just accelerates. I think he’s a genuine chance,” Jovanovic said.
With the Power at .55 to beat the Bombers in the Adelaide Oval contest, the offer does look excellent value.
The race is scheduled to run at 9.08pm, during the half-time break of the footy.