Final Ladder Positions: Simulations After Round 19

Two of the markets for final ladder positions are no longer being offered by TAB Sportsbet. Collingwood's victory over the Cats has, it seems, all but determined the destination of the minor premiership, and the Lions' last-gasp win over the Eagles has done something similar for the Spoon.

Minor Premiership Market

Across the 100,000 simulations run this week, four teams finish in 1st place in at least one simulation. However, in 98% on those simulations, it's the Pies that take the minor premiership. That's why there's no longer a market being offered on this result.

The Cats finish 1st in about 2% of the simulations, while St Kilda and Freo each take out the minor premiership in so small a fraction of the simulations that we might as well call it none.

Top 4 Market

Collingwood is assured of a Top 4 spot - in none of the simulations could my script create a scenario that dumped the Pies out of the first four spots - and Geelong is virtually assured of another.

The Saints' and the Dogs' chances are also very good. In the simulations they missed the top 4 only about 3 or 4% of the time. When one of them did miss it was Fremantle that grabbed the spot. The simulations suggest Fremantle is about a 6% chance of finishing in the top 4.

Based on the simulation results there's a tiny edge in backing the Saints at $1.03, which is the price that the TAB's currently offering. I wouldn't be rushing though as the fair price is only about $1.02.

Finals Market

Hawthorn's loss to Sydney significantly reduced their chances of making the finals, knocking 18% points from their probability, which dropped it to 73%. Losses by Port Adelaide and Adelaide all but eliminated their already-slim chances of participating in September.

The probability surrendered by Hawthorn, Port and the Crows was transferred to the Swans, whose probability rose 10% to 86%, to the Blues, whose probability rose 7% to 94%, and to the Roos, whose probability rose 9% to 26%.

Amongst the five teams on which TAB Sportsbet is willing to field bets for a top 8 finish there's only value for three of team - Carlton, Sydney and Hawthorn - and the edge on each is again small.

The Spoon Market

West Coast took out the Spoon in about 94% of the simulations, Richmond in about 5%, and the Lions in a bit less than 1%. The TAB Sportsbet bookie doesn't feel inclined to frame a market based on these lopsided chances so the market no longer exists.

Here are the full results of the new simulations.

Next, a summary of the same 100,000 simulations showing each team's most likely ladder finish, other relatively high-probability potential finishes for that team, and the best and worst ladder positions that the team occupied in at least one of the 100,000 simulations.

Notice how much more compact are the distributions of final ladder positions for the teams currently towards the top or the bottom of the ladder than they are for the teams mid-ladder such as the Roos, Melbourne, Adelaide, the Dons and Port. Melbourne, for example, finished as high as 6th in about 3% of the simulations and as low as 14th in a very small fraction of them.

To help you with your own prognostications about the makeup of the final 8, here's a table showing which teams meet in the remaining 3 rounds and the most likely result as determined by the MARS-Rating based model I've used for the simulations: