2019 : Simulating the Final Ladder After Round 8

The results of the latest 50,000 simulations appear below.

(If you’re curious about the methodology used to create them, you can start here.)


This week, the MoSHBODS simulations have produced an even wider range of Expected Wins, up now to about 9.2 wins (15.9 less 6.7) compared to last week’s 8.9 games, with Carlton now a full game behind Gold Coast at the bottom, and Geelong over a full game ahead of Collingwood at the top.

The week’s biggest losers in terms of Expected Wins, according to the simulations, were St Kilda (down 0.9 Expected Wins), and GWS (down 0.8), while the biggest gainers were Hawthorn (up 0.9), and West Coast (up 0.8).

Looking at the simulations through the lens of making the Finals, we have:


  • St Kilda (down 17% points)

  • Essendon (down 13% points)

  • Brisbane Lions and Fremantle (down 10% points each)

  • Port Adelaide (down 8% points)


  • West Coast and Hawthorn (up 16% points each)

  • Adelaide (up 13% points)

  • Richmond (up 11% points)

  • Western Bulldogs (up 9% points)

Only eight teams are currently better than even-money propositions for the Finals, but Geelong are better than even-money chances for the minor premiership spot alone. Collingwood remain roughly 3/1 propositions for that minor premiership position.


The detailed view of each team’s estimate probability of finishing in each of the 18 possible ladder positions appears below. Blank cells represent ladder finishes that did not occur even once in the 50,000 simulations, while cells showing a value of 0 represent estimated probabilities below 0.05%.


As mentioned for a few weeks now, one way of measuring how much uncertainty there is in the competition is to use the Gini measure of concentration commonly used in economics for measuring income inequality to quantify the spread of each team's estimated final ladder positions across the 50,000 simulation replicates, and to quantify the concentration in the probabilities across all the teams vying for any given ladder position.

This week, overall, left us no clearer about the final ordering of the teams, with the Gini coefficients staying roughly level at around 0.46 to 0.47.

At the team level, we saw the largest relative reductions in uncertainty for Adelaide, Richmond, Gold Coast and West Coast, and the largest relative increases in uncertainty for Hawthorn, GWS, the Brisbane Lions, the Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, and Sydney.

That said, Geelong, Carlton, Collingwood, and Gold Coast currently have least uncertainty about their eventual ladder finishes, while St Kilda, Essendon, Fremantle, and Hawthorn have the most uncertainty.

As you can see from the previous section, Geelong, Carlton, Collingwood, and Gold Coast are at least 60% chances to finish in 1 of 3 ladder positions, while St Kilda, Essendon, Fremantle, and Hawthorn are no greater than 9.4% chances to finish in any given ladder position.

Next, if we adopt a ladder position viewpoint, we see that 1st and 18th remain the positions with the narrowest range of likely occupants at season's end, with about 80% chances that one of two or three teams will occupy them at season’s end, whilst positions 7th through 13th continue to have the widest range of possible tenants, with somewhere between 9 and 12 teams all having estimated 5% or higher chances of occupying them at the end of the season.

Looking more broadly, a range of ladder positions became less certain about which teams will occupy them come the end of the home-and-away season: all of the positions 12th through 16th plus 3rd, 4th, 8th and 9th.


Here are the updated assessments of the 30 most-important games between now and the end of the home-and-away season. (See this blog for details about how these are calculated.)

This week, 19 of the Top 30 are common to last week list, and two of that previous list were Round 8 games so the highest we can have seen was 28. As well, all of the Top 6, and 12 of the Top 16 are from last week’s Top 30.

In terms of the temporal distribution of these games, we now have:

  • Rounds 9 to 13: 6 games from 39 (15%)

  • Rounds 14 to 18: 10 games from 42 (24%)

  • Rounds 19 to 23: 14 games from 45 (31%)

By team we have:

  • 9 games involving Port Adelaide

  • 7 games involving Essendon, Hawthorn, or West Coast

  • 6 games involving Fremantle

  • 5 games involving Brisbane Lions, St Kilda, or Western Bulldogs

  • 4 games involving Adelaide

  • 3 games involving Richmond

  • 2 games involving GWS

  • 0 games involving Collingwood

We can again see the commonsense of this list when we compare it with the simulated probabilities for teams finishing in 8th or 9th, which are:

  • 17%: Port Adelaide, Essendon, Hawthorn, West Coast, and Brisbane Lions

  • 16%: Fremantle and St Kilda

  • 15%: Western Bulldogs, Adelaide, and Richmond

  • 11%: GWS

No other team has a higher than 9% estimated probability of finishing in either 8th or 9th.