2011 Round 17: I Hear Crickets 'Til Saturday Night

Investors this week need not trouble themselves with the progress of any football game until Saturday evening, such is the lack of interest - or respect for the TAB Sportsbet bookmaker pricing - shown by the Head-to-Head and Line Funds this round.

Neither Fund knows quite what to make of the Tigers v Suns clash on Saturday, which sees both teams debuting at the ground and the designated Home team, the Tigers, needing to fly in to do so. Frankly I don't blame the Funds for passing on this game.

The Blues v Pies game also poses a home ground conundrum. Here the designated Home team, the Blues, face a team with 13 more games experience at the venue in the previous 12 months. This is perhaps partly the reason for Carlton $6 price, he magnitude of which is another reason the Head-to-Head Fund has said no thanks.

In the week's third game pitting a designated Home team against a side with excess venue experience the Fund's could no longer hold themselves back, both of them making wagers on the Dees despite their not having played at Marrara in the past 12 months. The Line Fund's wager is mostly inconsequential, but the Head-to-Head Fund's 10% outlay represents serious potential suffering should Port have a day out.

For the next wager Investors at least have venue experience on their side though they've not much upside to go with it. The Head-to-Head Fund has seen fit to lob almost 13% of the Fund on the Swans, facing Freo at the SCG on Sunday. A Fremantle upset victory in this game would be even more painful than a Port mishap on Saturday.

Should those first two wagers be safely negotiated, the headline for the round will be determined by the Roos ability to topple the Dogs on Sunday evening. If, at the very least, the Roos stay in the hunt then a small profit for the weekend should still be secured.


Our Head-to-Head Tipsters don't get to pass, however. In each of the week's eight contests majority Tipster support is behind the favourite and there's really only one game where you could label that support other than strong: the Lions v Geelong game where 5 tipsters, including Shadow, have preferred the Lions.

The Margin Predictors, in aggregate, agree with the Head-to-Head Tipsters in every game except the last of the round, where something about the Roos has enticed 8 of them to tip the upset that would have Investors smiling. The ProPred pair are most confident in their support for the Roos, both tipping double-digit Roos victories. In contrast, Bookie_3 and the two neural network models are even more confidently predicting a Dogs win. They foresee the Dogs being victorious by 3 goals or more.

So, which Predictor's predictions are most unusually different this week? That label is most aptly applied to Combo_NN_1, which has margin predictions this week that favour the Home teams by considerably more than the average Margin Predictor does, in contrast with its more usual slight relative bias towards the Away teams. (This is a behaviour it has displayed in four of the past five rounds, so I guess you could say that Combo_NN_1's behaviour this week has actually been similar to its more recent pattern of differently different behaviour.)

Most of the other Margin Predictors are this week biased in the same direction as they have tended to be all season, or they're close to unbiased this week and have been all season.

That leaves only the Probability Predictors.

Amongst the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors there's some minor debate about the Saints v Eagles game with the TAB Sportsbet bookmaker and WinPred both assessing the Saints as 57% chances, but H2H rating them only 49% and ProPred 46%.

The serious argument is over the Roos v Dogs game, however, with the bookmaker rating the Roos as only 33% chances, WinPred having them narrow favourites at 51%, but H2H and ProPred rating them as solid 60-65% chances. Here's hoping they're right.