When the Low Scorer Wins

One aspect of the unusual predictability of this year's AFL results has gone - at least to my knowledge - unremarked.

That aspect is the extent to which the week's low-scoring team has been the team receiving the most points start on Sportsbet. Following this strategy would have been successful in six of the last eight rounds, albeit that in one of those rounds there were joint low-scorers and, in another, there were two teams both receiving the most start.

The table below provides the detail and also shows the teams that Chi and ELO would have predicted as the low scorers (proxied by the team they selected to lose by the biggest margin). Correct predictions are shaded dark grey. "Half right" predictions - where there's a joint prediction, one of which is correct, or a joint low-scorer, one of which was predicted - are shaded light grey.

Lowest Scorer.png

To put the BKB performance in context, here's the data for seasons 2006 to 2009.

Low Scorer History.png

All of which might appear to amount to not much until you understand that Sportsbet fields a market on the round's lowest scorer. So we should keep an eye on this phenomenon in subsequent weeks to see if the apparent lift in the predictability of the low scorer is a statistical anomaly or something more permanent and exploitable. In fact, there might still be a market opportunity even if historical rates of predictiveness prevail, provided the average payoff is high enough.