Over on the Statistical Analysis blog, the Projection Pursuit Regression algorithm has won the right to be used as the Official Margin Predictor for Simulation Purposes for the remainder of the season.
It predicts the following margins for the remaining games of the home-and-away season:
Using these predicted margins as the mean and treating the margin of each game as a normally distributed random variable with this mean and a standard deviation of 37.7 points per game, I've run 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the season to come up with the following:
(As in previous seasons' simulations, I've used points differential rather than percentage to separate teams tied on competition points, a tactic I'm forced to employ because I'm predicting margins of victory and not actual scores for the remaining games.)
So we find that:
- Only Collingwood or Geelong finish as minor premiers in any simulation, with Collingwood the premiers over 90% of the time.
- Hawthorn, West Coast and Carlton fight out the remaining two spots in the top 4, with the Blues elbowing their way in only about one-third of the time
- Seven more teams fight out the remaining 3 spots in the final 8, with Sydney and St Kilda near certainties, and the Dogs the most unlikely finalists still with a chance.
- Fremantle, despite lying 8th on the table as of now, are most-often projected to finish 11th on account of their tough run home
- Three teams - the Lions, Suns and Port - are projected to fight for the Spoon, with the Lions longshots and Port the clear favourites.
Given the probability estimates from the simulations, the only value in the current AFL Futures markets on TAB Sportsbet are:
- Carlton to make the top 4 @ $3.25
- Fremantle to make the top 8 @ $4.50
- Gold Coast for the Spoon @ $4.25