Brisbane are healthy for their game with Richmond in the Qualifying final round this weekend and if we were on that list, we would be taking exception to be installed as the unders on our own ground.
We do not suspect the bookies of any sort of Victorian bias, although many have said as much in the past.
If there is bias on the part of any bookmaker, it is the bias toward making punters’ money into bookie money.
The Lions are the AFL’s success story for the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition, trading the 15th placed finish in 2018 for a top-two in 2019.
They finished tied with Geelong and Richmond on 64 points and are almost five percentage points better than Richmond. The Lions scored 112 more points than the Tigers and surrendered just 30 more, so we find the 5.5-point favourtism shown the Tigers to be more than a little perplexing.
True, the Tigers have beaten the Lions 13 consecutive times, but given the poor performance of recent years, many clubs have gotten fat from playing Brisbane.
Richmond did hold the Lions’ offense in check when they won the Round 23 matchup 82 – 55, but it seems obvious that Brisbane will make adjustments to its offense.
The Round 23 game, for those whose thoughts tend to lead to strategy, could have been an instance of the Lions throwing a bit of misdirection in the direction of the Tigers.
Richmond will not have the vast and friendly confines of the MCG to lend support.
The Tigers’ defense was formidable during the last half of the season, and only West Coast managed to score more than 70 points on Richmond over the Tigers’ last 10 games.
Richmond also has proven that it is a club than can travel well, but it is doubtful that they will find many friendly faces when they run out on the Gabba.
Since this is a qualifying game, there is incentive for Brisbane to win to keep their finals quest in Brisbane, while Richmond would like nothing better than to win and return to Melbourne.