2011 Round 3: A Considered Response

Investors can relax: we're not reliant on the Gold Coast's "answering their critics", "producing a remarkable reversal of form", nor "vindicating their supporters" this weekend. In fact, we need quite the opposite.

Whilst the Head-to-Head Fund has, thankfully, struggled to see value in the Dogs at $1.02 taking on the Suns on Saturday, the Line Fund reckons that 11 goals start isn't going to be enough for Gold Coast. So, Investors will be banking on a Carltonesque walloping of the Gold Coast this weekend. Though that'll be good for Investors, it's hard to see how it'll benefit the League.

In any case, Investors should be rooting far harder for Tiger and Cats victories this weekend, for reasons apparent in the following table.

(Before I move too far from the data in the first table I should note that, for the first time this season, the Home team in every game has greater Venue Experience than its opponent. It's also interesting just how much Venue Experience the Pies have at their home ground, the MCG. They've played 17 games here during the past 12 months, which makes it about as homely as a home ground gets. They might as well be decorating the goal posts and picking out the wallpaper for the commentary boxes.

In stark contrast to this, the Cats have played only 7 games at their home ground, Kardinia Park, in the past 12 months. Given the demonstrable advantage that playing at a familiar home ground brings, it's hard to fathom why they'd have agreed to playing here so infrequently.)

Only two games - Adelaide v Fremantle and St Kilda v Essendon - have generated any significant levels of dissention amongst our head-to-head tipsters this week. In every other game, minority support comes from only 3 tipsters or fewer, and for 4 games the tipsters are unanimous.

In 5 of the 6 games in which there's a clear majority position, support is with the Home team favourite (albeit a narrow favourite in the case of the Eagles); in the other game with strong majority support it's with the Away team favourite, the Hawks.

Majority opinion amongst Margin Predictors matches that amongst Head-to-Head tipsters except in the Richmond v Hawthorn game where the Margin Predictors tip the Tigers 8 to 5, and in the Adelaide v Fremantle game where the Margin Predictors are tipping an Adelaide victory in identical numbers.

The Richmond v Hawthorn game aside, the standard deviations in predicted margins for each game this week are all quite low, ranging from a minimum of 3.9 points for the St Kilda v Essendon game to a maximum of 9.2 points for the Melbourne v Lions game.

The Combo Neural Network 1 is a clear outlier on three games this weekend in tipping Richmond to win by almost 7 goals, Sydney to win by over 2 goals, and Essendon to win by almost a goal and a half. Combo Neural Network 2 is also an outlier in the first two of those games but to a lesser extent.

If we compare the Margin Predictors' victory margins with the points start being offered by the TAB Sportsbet bookmaker, we have:

  • Collingwood favoured to cover the 26.5 point spread by 10 of the 13 Margin Tipsters
  • Gold Coast unanimously favoured to prevent the Dogs from covering the 65.5 point spread
  • Fremantle unanimously favoured to prevent Adelaide from covering the 11.5 point spread
  • Richmond favoured by 10 tipsters to 3 to prevent Hawthorn from covering the 22.5 point spread
  • West Coast favoured by 8 tipsters to 5 to cover the 1.5 point spread
  • The Lions favoured by 9 tipsters to 4 to prevent Melbourne from covering the 30.5 point spread
  • Geelong favoured to cover the 46.5 point spread by 7 of the 13 Margin Tipsters
  • St Kilda favoured to cover the 3.5 point spread by 9 of the 13 Margin Tipsters

Finally, to the Probability Predictors.

A few things I'd point out from this table:


  • The high victory probabilities attached to Collingwood by all 3 head-to-head Probability Predictors.
  • The (relatively) high victory probabilities attached to Richmond by these same 3 Predictors.
  • The disagreement amongst the Probability Predictors in relation to the Adelaide v Fremantle game, where ProPred and H2H Unadj narrowly favour Freo but WinPred is moderately confident about a Crows victory.
  • The high probabilities attached by the Line Fund to Adelaide, Richmond and Geelong winning on line betting.


I've a sense, unsupported by anything and certainly not by any data, that this weekend will define the trend for MAFL for this season. At least there's nowhere left to regress to.