It’s been one of the weirdest years for assessing the relative strengths of the teams, I think, but let’s, once again, simulate the Final series by applying the methodology described here to the 50,000 final ladders produced by our original simulations.
If we do that, we get the chart shown below, which shows each team’s Finals fate in terms of where they finished on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season.
(Again, note that the bottom half of the chart is a mirror of the top half, but with each team enjoying its own y-axis in the bottom half to improve the ability to discern their underlying percentages.)
The Cats are, once again, a story in red, a reflection of their now estimated 70% chance of taking out the Minor Premiership. The Lions’ have a lot more orange in their results because their most-likely finish is second on the ladder. Amazingly, given that there are only four rounds left, 15 teams make the Finals - and, in fact, make the Grand Final - in at least one simulation replicate.
By comparing the heights of the last two bars for each team we can see that Geelong & Richmond win slightly more Grand Finals than they lose, GWS win about as many as they lose, and that the remaining teams (that make the Grand Final in a reasonable number of replicates) lose slightly more Grand Finals than they win.
Summing across the teams, we have now the following analysis of Grand Final success based on final home-and-away ladder position:
1st or 2nd wins 42% of the time, and finishes runners up 40% of the time
3rd or 4th wins 39% of the time, and finishes runners up 40% of the time
5th or 6th wins 12% of the time, and finishes runners up 12% of the time
7th or 8th wins 8% of the time, and finishes runners up 9% of the time
Those percentages are broadly unchanged from last week, with a slight increase in the chances of ultimate success for the teams finishing in the top half of the Final 8.
WEEK OF ELIMINATION IN FINALS
In this next chart we look at teams' chances for various Finals finishes, ignoring their home and away ladder positions (ie we focus solely on the heights of the bars in the previous chart). The numbers shown inside a cell are the percentage of simulation replicates (multiplied by 100) in which the specified team went out in the specified week of the Finals.
We see here that, if we define the season in terms of the six events listed above plus "Miss the Finals", the most-likely finishes for each team are estimated to be:
Lose a Preliminary Final: Geelong, Brisbane Lions, West Coast, and Richmond (note though that Geelong, Brisbane Lions, West Coast, Richmond and GWS are all more or about as likely to play in a Grand Final as to go out in a Preliminary Final)
Lose a Semi-Final: GWS
Lose an Elimination Final: Collingwood, Essendon and Adelaide
Miss the Finals: remaining teams
In terms of the Flag, we have fair prices of about $4.85 for Geelong, $5.10 for Brisbane Lions, $6.00 for Richmond, $6.50 for West Coast, $7.50 for GWS, and $16 for Collingwood.
GRAND FINAL PAIRINGS
In this final chart we look at all of the Grand Final pairings that occurred in at least one of the simulation replicates. The numbers shown inside a cell are the percentage of simulation replicates (multiplied by 100) in which the team named in the row defeated the team named in the column in the Grand Final.
We see that the most common Grand Final still has Geelong beating Brisbane Lions, and the second-most common has the opposite occurring. These two outcomes, combined, occurred in just under 10% of replicates.
The next-most likely pairing is Brisbane Lions and West Coast, which occurred in about 8.9% of replicates, followed by Geelong and West Coast (8.2%), and then Geelong and Richmond (7.9%), and Brisbane Lions and Richmond (7.8%).
(Note that zeroes in the chart represent pairings that did occur at least once but in less than 0.05% of replicates.)