Aussie Rules Football Odds, Picks and Predictions: Brisbane Lions vs. Fremantle Dockers (Friday, June 12)
Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Nat Fyfe of Fremantle
AFL Odds: Brisbane Lions vs. Fremantle Dockers
|Spread||Brisbane Lions -17.5
|Time||Friday, 11:45 p.m. ET|
If you’re looking for late-night wagering, the AFL has you covered, as the Brisbane Lions host the Fremantle Dockers at 11:45PM ET on FS2. This match will be the first to take place under the guidelines of the AFL’s temporary hub-based configuration. Although the Dockers hail from Western Australia, for the next month they will be staying in a hotel on the Gold Coast, about an hour south of Brisbane.
Even with a few days to acclimate, this arrangement does the Dockers no favors, as Fremantle to Gold Coast is a seven-and-a-half hour trip; akin to flying from Seattle to Miami. While Australian time zones mean it is only a two-hour time shift as compared to three for that trip in the US, the early afternoon start time in Brisbane still equates to a pre-noon start in Fremantle.
Looking only at the current standings, the spread might seem like a misprint. The Lions were thoroughly outplayed in their Round 1 loss, while the Dockers were in their contest until the final whistle. Small samples are your enemy here, as Brisbane are a much stronger team on paper and were undoubtedly the better outfit in 2019.
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After years of finishing at the bottom of the ladder, Brisbane surged to second place last season. They led the AFL in scoring and placed three players on the All-Australian team. Expectations were high for the Lions coming into 2020 and they should be extremely motivated to make up for their lackluster showing in Round 1, especially given the fact that the season has been shortened from 22 games to 17.
Every game means more in a shortened season, particularly home games against a team from across the country that you are expected to beat. Not to mention the revenge factor after their 2019 meeting: a 1-point Dockers win on a kick after the final siren, in a game the Lions had led at the end of every previous quarter.
Motivations, talent, and location favor taking the Lions, but the Dockers do have a habit of keeping teams within range. Of their 13 losses in 2019, seven came by less than the current spread of 17.5 points. In total they were only outscored by 139 points last year, reasonably impressive considering their 9-13 record and the fact that they had a 91-point loss mixed in.
Australian Rules Football Scoring
Australian Rules Football only has two scoring increments: 6 points for a goal, 1 point for a behind. These scores are not tied together (unlike a touchdown and extra point).
A goal is scored by kicking the ball between your opponents’ two main uprights without it being touched. A behind is scored when the ball is touched before going through the main uprights, by hitting one of the two main uprights, or by sending the ball through the two outer goals created by the main posts and 2 smaller posts on each side of the main goal.
Fremantle’s problem lies not in their defense, but in their offense. The Dockers have finished inside the bottom-3 in points scored for the last four years. Although they have a new coach this year, Round 1 looked like the same old Fremantle. Conservative approach, keep the game close, eventually lose.
In a prior preview I mentioned a simple ideology, “See Fremantle, take the under”. The presence of the high-powered Lions on the other side counters that mantra, but their offense is not infallible, and their kicking accuracy can waver.
They were one of only five teams to average more behinds than goals last season. Another member of that undistinguished list: the Fremantle Dockers.