Simulating the Finalists and Finals for 2016 After Round 18

The Roos did just about enough this weekend to secure the final spot in the 8, though an upset victory over the Dogs and Port Adelaide's loss to the Giants, left a very small door open for the Saints. They're now 14% chances of taking that last place while the Kangaroos are 84% chances.

At least that's the view from the latest MoSSBODS' simulations using the methodology explained in detail in this post but which, simply put, combines Offensive and Defensive ratings of all 18 teams along with an assessment of how well each team plays at every ground to simulate the remainder of the home-and-away season and the finals. For this week's blog, we'll perform this simulation 10,000 times and summarise the results here.

GWS and Geelong did a great deal for their own Top 4 hopes this weekend, increasing them to 83% in the case of the Cats and to 67% in the case of the Giants. These gains came mostly at the expense of Sydney and the Western Bulldogs, whose Top 4 chances have now fallen to 52% and 15%, respectively.

The complete profile of every team's possible ladder finishes at the end of the home-and-away season appears in the chart below, known affectionately here as the Dinosaur Chart, for obvious reasons.

As the season progresses, team's menu of possible finishes tends to shrink, and we find now that each team has, at most, four ladder spots that span the range of its opportunities. For some teams, such as the Brisbane Lions, Essendon and Fremantle, the range is even narrower.

If you prefer your data numeric, here's the same chart as a heat-map, which shows even more clearly how most teams are now homing in on a handful of ladder finishes.


A Hawthorn-Geelong 1-2 finish at the end of the Home-and-Away season is now the most likely, that combination cropping up in almost one-quarter of the simulation replicates.

Next most likely is a Hawthorn-Adelaide finish, which has an estimated probability of 20%.

Combined, the 10 most-likely 1-2 finishes now account for over 80% of all replicates, with Hawthorn appearing in 6 of them, Adelaide and Geelong in 5, GWS in 3, and Sydney in 1.

Moving next to Top 4s, we find that Hawthorn appears in 1st place in all of them, and Geelong appears in 2nd place in half of them.

Adelaide comes 2nd in three of them, and GWS in the remaining two.

Sydney appears no higher than 3rd, and does that it only one of the Top 10 combinations, finishing 4th in three more.

No combination, however, appears in more than about 6% of replicates, so there are a lot of feasible possibilities not listed here.

The Kangaroos finish in 8th place in all but one of the Top 10 combinations for positions 5th through 8th, and snag 7th in one other.

West Coast finishes in 6th in three of the combinations, 7th on six more, and in 8th in another.

Sydney finishes in 5th in three of the entries, and in 6th in one more.

Note also that no combination shown here appears in more than 7.5% of replicates so, again, there are many feasible combinations not shown here.


Lastly, let's take a look at what last week's results have done to the Flag prospects of the teams in contention for that honour.

Adelaide remain favourites for the Flag, winning it about 31% of the time (and losing it another 26%), ahead of Geelong who win it 24% of the time (and lose it 18% of the time) and Hawthorn who win it 22% of the time (and lose it 19%).

Hawthorn, Geelong and GWS are also assessed as being most likely to go out in a Preliminary Final, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs in a Semi-Final, and West Coast and the Kangaroos in an Elimination Final.

A breakdown of these results in terms of where a team finished at the end of the home-and-away season in the relevant simulation replicate, appears in the chart below. 

Looking more closely at the simulation replicates, we find that the most likely Grand Final sees Adelaide meet Geelong (18%), or Adelaide meet Hawthorn (17%).

Other common pairings are GWS v Adelaide (11%) and Hawthorn v Geelong (10%).