AFL – Round 14 in Review

Round 14 of the 2022 AFL season saw two Top 8 hopefuls suffer crucial upset defeats, while the lights were shot out in Western Sydney.

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Saints, Swans struggle

If the scramble for the Top 8 was tight before Round 14, it became a full-blown logjam after the weekend. There are now four clubs, from sixth to ninth, together on eight wins. It’s a square-peg-round-hole sort of situation in 2022. And it was made even tighter due to two upset losses. Coming off the back of a huge win over premiers Melbourne, plus a week’s break, Sydney started as $1.68 favourites on the road against Port Adelaide. And after kicking the first three goals, things looked like they were going to script for coach John Longmire. But the Power were enormous from then on and, in securing a 23-point win, have kept their season alive. At one stage 0-5 in 2022 (and $6 to make the Top 8), they’ve shortened into (still outside) $3.50 AFL Finals hopes.

If the Swans were poor, the Saints were  insipid on Friday night. Strong $1.26 favourites against the lowly Essendon, Brett Ratten’s men conceded eight of the last 11 goals to lose by 35 points — a ten-goal swing on the pre-game line (St Kilda -24.5). The Saints’ finals hopes now look far shakier than they once were. Back-to-back losses has seen them lengthen from $1.25 out to $1.75.

Goal glut at Giants Stadium

In the hyper-analysed era of AFL footy, team defences and all, it is becoming rarer and rarer that three players would kick five goals or more in a single game. But that’s exactly what happened at Giants Stadium on Saturday night. Toby Greene (seven goals), Cody Weightman (five) and Aaron Naughton (five) were on-song in a free-flowing clash. And it wasn’t just those three. The 125-105 scoreline was the highest-scoring match of the 2022 AFL season. It would smash the pre-game Total Points line of 163.5 by a whopping 11 goals. An anomaly, yes. And you love to see it.

A ‘win’ for the Eagles?

In a season as dire as what 2022 has been for the West Coast Eagles, it’s important to acknowledge the little wins. And the 18-point loss to Geelong at home, while on paper not something that screams ‘celebration time’, was a significant improvement. In fact, after losing their last nine games in a row, this result was the first time in that period that the defeat didn’t exceed 30 points — and to a Top 4 AFL side no less. It also meant that they comfortably covered the pre-game line of 38.5 points. The Eagles remain locked on $1.90 with North Melbourne in Palmerbet’s ‘Least Wins’ market for 2022, with both stuck on one victory.