Clutch Betting

The English language has many wondrous, often euphonious collective nouns ready to serve as descriptors for sets of objects, especially animals. So we have, for example, an exultation of larks, a murder of crows, a gaggle of geese, a cloud of bats, a flutter of butterflies, a cackle of hyenas, a smack of jellyfish, a deceit of lapwing, a richness of martens, a parliament of owls, a watch of nightingales and - a personal favourite - a prickle of porcupines.

English lacks, however, a collective noun for a group of bets, a deficiency I feel needs to be remedied. Accordingly, I'm nominating the word 'clutch' for this purpose.

Its appropriateness can be argued on a number of fronts.

Firstly, the word clutch evokes images of an anxious punter, betting slips gripped tightly in hand, attention riveted on a large screen that's beaming the performance of some two- or four-legged determiner of his or her fate. Surely such a punter can be said to be in the clutch.

The word's also evocative of the notion of 'clutching at straws', a desperate and generally futile exercise, which can seem an especially apposite metaphor some weekends.

Further and more positively, the term 'clutch' already has a sporting pedigree as an honorific applied to the exalted few who can be expected to perform when it matters - hence 'clutch' putter, 'clutch' hitter, 'clutch' pitcher and, more generally, 'clutch' player.

Clutch it is then.

This weekend Investors most certainly face a clutch of bets, 21 in all for the second weekend in a row, and 8 of them on underdogs priced as high as $3.

Chi-squared's own clutch is the scariest. Three bets totalling over 44% of the Fund, the two largest on Essendon and Fremantle both at $3 and both facing teams that are fighting for top 8 and possible top 4 positions. The remaining bet is on Richmond, also the underdogs, but they're only at $1.95 and the bet is relatively small.

New Heritage is also putting a large proportion of the Fund at risk - just under 63% of the Fund on 6 teams, all of them favourites and all but one of them home teams. The largest wager is just over 13% of the Fund on Geelong at what others might call an unbackable $1.04. The smallest wager is just over 2% on the Roos at $1.80 away to the Tigers.

Prudence, as has been its habit for most of the season, has this week nibbled on a smorgasbord of teams rather than gorging on just a few. It has 7 bets totalling a little over 30% of the Fund, 2 of them on underdogs and including a surprising 2% wager on the Dons at $3. The largest wager is for a trifle under 7% of the Fund on the Cats at $1.04.

Line Redux has four wagers representing 20% of the Fund. Two of these wagers are on favourites (Geelong and Port Adelaide) and the other 2 are on underdogs (Essendon and Fremantle).

(There is still one line market to be posted - that for the Tigers v Roos clash - but I don't expect we'll have a bet in it.)

Hope, whose selectivity has been its hallmark this season, has only 1 bet this week, its 20th of the season and its 6th on the Dons. It has 5.5% of the Fund on them at $3.

Together these bets yield the following Ready Reckoner:

The entire tenor of the weekend will be established late on Friday night for all Investors except MIN#017, though even a Dons win won't make the weekend entirely pot-hole resistant.

Next we move to tipping where we find:

  • Essendon are 8-5 favourites over the Dogs. Amongst our top 5 tipsters, Silhouette, BKB and CTL have sided with the Dogs, while Shadow and STM II (along with a cadre of anxious MAFL Investors and a badly-bred Pomeranian) are riding the Don train. Chi could definitely be more convincing in his Dondom - he has them as only 1 point winners making this game one of his two Games of the Round.
  • Carlton are unanimous favourites over the suddenly unpopular Swans.
  • Geelong are 8-5 favourites over the Dees, the narrowness of their favouritism due mostly to the shortness of the memories of many of our heuristic-based tipsters. Amongst the cream of these tipsters, only Shadow and STM II are lining up behind the Dees in what will surely be the shortest of queues.
  • Collingwood are 8-5 favourites over the Hawks. Once again it's only Shadow and STM II from the top 5 tipsters who are supporting the underdogs.
  • Brisbane are 11-2 favourites over Fremantle, the sole support for the Dockers coming from HSH and Chi, who has this as his second and final Game of the Round.
  • Port Adelaide are unanimous favourites over the Eagles.
  • The Roos are 8-5 favourites over Richmond. The Tigers' following amongst our top tipsters is thin: only STM II is in their corner. ELO is another Tigers tipper, though only by 6 points, making this its Game of the Round.
  • St Kilda are 11-2 favourites over the Crows, with EI I and II the only ornithologists amongst the MAFL tipsters.

On line betting, ELO will surely improve on its 0 from 8 record last weekend, though I'm not as certain that Chi will better his 3 from 8 performance. This week:

  • Chi's on: Essendon, Sydney, Melbourne, Collingwood, Fremantle, West Coast, Richmond and Adelaide.
  • ELO's on: Essendon, Sydney, Geelong, Collingwood, Brisbane Lions, West Coast, Richmond and St Kilda.
On Line Betting this year teams receiving start have fared much better than those giving it. The current tally is 69-51 in favour of the teams receiving start. The teams with the best records when receiving start are Carlton (4-0), St Kilda (3-0), Brisbane (4-1), and West Coast (8-3). Those with the poorest records when giving start are Fremantle (0-4), West Coast (0-4), Hawthorn (1-11), Port Adelaide (3-6), Adelaide (2-4), Sydney (2-4), Geelong (6-9) and Carlton (4-7).

One last statistic before I go. Which teams do you think have the best and worst win-loss records this year in games that have been decided by fewer than 12 points?

Three teams have perfect records: Essendon (2-0), St Kilda (2-0) and Adelaide (1-0). The Hawks (3-1) also have a strongly positive record. The worst, or perhaps the unluckiest, team in these situations has been Carlton (1-4), followed by 5 teams - Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Richmond, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs - all with 1-2 records.

No team has failed to register at least one result where the margin of victory or defeat has been 11 points or fewer.