2011 Round 5: Seven Games, Six Days

Well the AFL have certainly made the most of this week's longest of long-weekend by stretching the Round's seven fixtures across Thursday to Tuesday, while preserving the tradition of scheduling no game on Good Friday.

Here are the fixtures and the wagers:

All the away teams, excepting Collingwood and, to a lesser extent, Richmond, are playing at relatively unfamiliar stadia this weekend, Gold Coast most of all as they venture to Footy Park for the first time in their club's history. The Saints have been to the Gabba only once in the past calendar year, and the Dogs have seen the inside of Subi only once too in that same time period.

The Suns' 63.5 points start is much higher than I'd expect based on empirical evidence for a team with a $9.50 starting price, but if the TAB Sportsbet bookie is finding it hard to accurately handicap the Suns, then he's very much in the longer queue. For what it's worth, the Line Fund thinks that the start is generous and rates the Suns a 61% chance of keeping Port's demolition to less than this level. They are, as a result, the Line Fund's biggest bet of the weekend. 

Prior to that game, the Thursday night clash will be an important, if a tad confusing, one for Investors as they cheer loudest for an upset Lions victory that would add 5c to the shareprice but then instead, if reasoned hope for that outcome must be abandoned, will cheer a bit less enthusiastically for a Saints win by 22 points or more, which would at least limit the shareprice damage to under 2c.

Amongst the weekend's other fare, an Essendon upset win over the Pies offers the greatest upside, and an upset Blues loss to the Crows carries a weekend-destroying downside. The Dons v Pies clash is another where Investors would rather a Pies thumping win than a narrow one, given that they can't have want they want most, which is a Dons victory. Such is our lot for having two independently-minded algorithms.

Here's the information tying result possibilities to Portfolio impacts:

To tipping then next, where we find majority support amongst the head-to-head tipsters for the bookmaker favourite in every game except for the Roos v Tigers clash, where the tipsters are 7-6 in favour of the Tigers while the bookmaker has the Roos as $1.85 narrow favourites.

The Margin Predictors have a slightly different view of the Roos v Tigers game. They favour the Roos 8-5, though none has the Roos winning by more than 7 points. On line betting they're divided in the opposite direction, favouring the Tigers 8-5 with their 1.5 point start.

Actually, favouring one team to win head-to-head and the other to win on line betting is the situation in five of this week's games, the exceptions being Carlton (expected to cover the 26.5 point spread by all the Margin Predictors bar Bookie_9) and the Dogs (expected to prevent Freo from covering the 7.5 points spread by all Margin Predictors except Bookie_9 again and Combo_NN_1).

Three games appear to be this week's strongest candidates for the obligatory Drawn Game of the Round: Roos v Tigers, Freo v Dogs and Hawks v Cats.

Here's the Margin Predicting detail:

Finally, to the Probability Predictors, where we find considerable dissent this week.

WinPred narrowly favours a Lions upset on Thursday night as well as Dogs and Hawks upsets later in the Round, Head-to-Head favours upsets by the Tigers and the Dogs, and ProPred sees the Dons going very close to upsetting the Pies.

Here's all the detail for the Probability Predictors: