Before I launch into this week's wagering and tipping information, a final reminder: if you want to take part in this year's blog-readers' competition you need to have an entry to me before centre-bounce Thursday night. Details of the competition are in this blog entry.
Entry is free and there are no prizes, which I think has an appealling symmetry to it. Entries can be e-mailed to me at the usual address.
Anyway, onto the footy, which again starts on a Thursday this week but which has no Friday game, it now being traditional for the AFL to avoid games on Good Friday.
The Heuristic Fund is the only Fund active this week and is still under the stewardship of Shadow despite a small loss last weekend. Shadow's opted for just three bets this weekend, two of them on teams giving six or more goals start, making these bets akin to a small investment in the sovereign debt of a generally stable but occasionally startling regime. Even if both of these bets are landed the Heuristic Fund will rise by less than 0.1%, which for many Investors won't even be enough to round them up to the next highest 5 cents.
Our excitement then is all down to the weekend's third and final wager, which is on the underdog Hawks taking on the Cats on Monday and currently paying $2.50 the win.
Here are the weekend wagering details:
For completeness, I'll also provide the Ready Reckoner, dull though it is:
My first thought when I saw the opening markets this week was that it'd been a long time since we'd had two $8.50 shots or longer in the same round, but when I checked I discovered that we'd had Freo at $10 playing Geelong and Melbourne at $11 playing St Kilda in the final home-and-away round of last season. Oh how quickly the memory fades.
This weekend the teams offering the snowball-in-a-warm-place-like odds are Richmond and Melbourne, but the bookies' scorn hasn't been enough to discourage Chi from waving a paw in the direction of the Dees. Perhaps he's making an early and desperate bid to snatch control of the Heuristic Fund should Shadow turn in another two consecutive rounds of losses.
Chi's not alone amongst the heuristic tipsters in plumping for underdog victories this weekend, though he and Home Sweet Home are undoubtedly at the more distant extremities of that particular limb.
Here's a quick summary of the tipping highlights for each game:
- Carlton (away to Brisbane), by virtue of its thumping win over Richmond in Round 1 and the proclivity of most non margin-tipping heuristics to revert to ladder position when they are otherwise undecided, is the first of the underdog teams with majority tipster support, favoured by nine tipsters but not by any with a memory longer than last week.
- Collingwood (at home to Melbourne) is favoured by all but one tipster though clearly not by every man and his dog as I have the dissenting dog sitting next to me as I type this. Chi at least has the commonsense to make this his Game of the Round; he's tipping Melbourne by just 2 points.
- St Kilda (at home to the Roos) is the weekend's only unanimous choice of our tipsters. Amongst the margin-tippers only LAMP has them winning by enough to cover the 37.5 point spread the bookies are insisting they give.
- Port Adelaide (away to West Coast) is another of the tipster-favoured underdogs and is supported by the same amnesia addled set of tipsters that have opted for Carlton. HAMP, one of the tipsters siding with the bookies, has West Coast winning by 10 points, making this game one of its two Games of the Round. None of the other margin-tippers forecast this to be a blowout either - the largest forecast margin is Chi's 19 points.
- Sydney (away to Adelaide) is another underdog supported by the same group of tipsters as Port and Carlton. HAMP rates this game as its other Game of the Round and tips Adelaide by 10 points.
- Fremantle (away to Essendon) is the last of the quartet of teams with identical patterns of tipster support. The margin-tippers foresee this game too as being close; LAMP's predicted margin of 23 points is the largest among them.
- The Dogs (away to Richmond) have only Home Sweet Home standing between them and a clean sweep of supporters and there's not a lot they could have done bar lobbying to have the game deemed a Dogs home game to have convinced Home Sweet Home to have tipped otherwise.
- Hawthorn (at home to Geelong) is the fifth and final tipster-favoured underdog for the week. Once more, all the support is coming from the non margin-tipping tipsters. ELO (who tips Geelong by 5) and LAMP (who tips Geelong by 9) both have this as their Game of the Round, and the bookies are only offering Hawks' backers 13.5 points start.
Which leaves just one item for us to cover: the HELP forecasts.
This week HELP has adopted the Home Sweet Home approach to prediction in selecting all eight home teams as line betting winners, though in its case at least for six of the eight games it's enjoying the benefit of points start.
As you can see, HELP is quite confident about each of its selections, attaching probabilities ranging from 77% to 86% to each.
Good tipping, good punting and good fortune.