This week, I've used the same methodology as I did last week, but expanded the number of simulations to 100,000, which means I've doubled the precision relative to last week's estimates (since four times the number of simulations provides twice the precision). It took about 7 hours to run the simulations, but that's a small price to pay for added precision (he offers, self-affirmingly ...)
Regardless, with another round's uncertainty resolved, what we find is that most team's menu of possible finishes has diminished, though a number of mid-table teams still have quite broad vistas spanning 8 or 9 plausible ladder finishes in some cases.
Also, as we observed last week, the teams again seem to form a number of natural groupings:
- Geelong - most likely to finish 1st
- Adelaide, GWS, the Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn and Sydney - most likely to scrap over 2nd to 6th
- West Coast and the Kangaroos - most likely to compete for 7th and 8th
- Port Adelaide - (now, uniquely) most likely to finish 9th
- St Kilda, Melbourne, Collingwood, Carlton and Richmond - likely to split 10th to 14th amongst them
- Gold Coast and Fremantle - prime candidates for 15th and 16th
- Brisbane Lions and Essendon - prime candidates for 17th and the Spoon.
So, relative to last week, we find that:
- Adelaide's prospects for the Minor Premiership and for a Top 4 finish have increased by 1-2% points
- The Western Bulldogs' prospects for a Top 4 finish have increased substantially (+14% points), mainly at the expense of Sydney's prospects
- St Kilda's hopes of a Finals tilt have diminished dramatically from about 9% to 2%
- The Brisbane Lions have become slightly better prospects for the Spoon
Comparing these probability assessments to the latest TAB markets reveals that the only wagers with a significantly positive edge are the Cats and the Crows for the Minor Premiership or for a Top 4 finish.
As ever on MoS of course, YMMV, especially if you've different estimates of team ability.
Top 2s, 4s and 8s
So, what do the latest simulations tell us about the most likely Top 2 teams at the end of the home-and-away season?
Geelong, perhaps unsurprisingly, figure prominently, appearing in 8 of the 10 most-common Top 2s, including the two commonest of all, where they finish 1st and which represent almost 30% of the simulation replicates.
The Cats aside, Adelaide and GWS each appear in four of the Top 10, and Hawthorn and Sydney in two each.
If we expand our view to Top 4s, we find that Geelong now completely dominates, appearing in 1st place in each of the Top 10. Adelaide also appears in all of the Top 10, five times in 2nd, three times in 3rd and twice in 4th, while GWS appears in nine of them, four times in 2nd, four times in 3rd, and once in 4th, while
Sydney and the Western Bulldogs appear in three each, 3rd in one and 4th in two, while Hawthorn pops up in five, once in 2nd, once in 3rd, and three times in 4th.
And, lastly if we look at the entirety of the Top 8, we find, most importantly, that no ordering has achieved an estimated probability higher than about 0.30%, but also that the eight most-common orderings all have the Cats in 1st place.
Eight of them, also, have the Giants in 2nd, and nine of the 10 have the Crows in 2nd or 3rd.
Perhaps most interestingly, all of them involve the same eight teams in a different permutation.