MAFL 2010 : Round 25 (Week 3 of the Finals)

If you've been following the story so far and I were to tell you that there are two home-team favourites this weekend, one of them short-priced, you should be able to guess the behaviour of at least two of the Funds that are still trading.

New Heritage, of course, has taken a large piece of each favourite, which amounts to 7.7% on the Pies at $1.80, and 11.8% on the Saints at $1.25, while the Hope Fund is having none of either proposition.

Meanwhile, the two remaining, less predictable Funds in Prudence and ELO-Line have made one and two wagers respectively. Prudence has dropped 6.1% on St Kilda, while ELO-Line has outlaid 5% on each of Collingwood (-6.5 and at $2.05) and St Kilda (-24.5 and at $1.90).

Here's the detail on the week's bets and tips.

Once again this week the tipsters are, like a roof full of well-trained tilers, all pointing in the same direction.

Collingwood is the first unanimous tip and is predicted to win by between 1.5 and 17 points. (By the way, I've inferred the 1.5 point margin for BKB by using the rule that I discovered in this blog, which allows me to infer a handicap from head-to-head prices and vice versa.) Only Chi and ELO expect the Pies to cover the spread.

The Saints are the other unanimous tip, but in this game our Margin Tippers' agreement extends not only to the winner but also to the margin of victory. All five predicted margins lie within a 6 point range from 24 to 30 points. Only the low end of that range - Chi's 24-point tip - is less than the start that the Saints are being asked to give, so on that basis you'd have to like our line bet.

Here's the week's Ready Reckoner:

As I've noted previously, the Prelim Finals have been the almost exclusive province of teams from the top half of the top 8, as you can see from the following table, which summarises team performances based on their ladder position as at the end of the home-and-away season.

Of the twenty teams that have progressed to the Grand Final from the Prelims, two-thirds of them have been teams that finished either 1st or 2nd in the home-and-away season. This year, of course, we know that this tally will increase by only one, since we have 1st facing 2nd in one of the Prelim matchups.

This has happened on 5 occasions previously and the team from 2nd spot has prevailed in 3 of those 5.

In the other game we have 3rd playing 4th, which is another pairing that we've seen 5 times before. Across those clashes, the team from 3rd has won 60%.