2011 Round 18: Betting Like It Knows Something ...

How much start would I need to offer to tempt you to take the Suns with that start facing Collingwood on Saturday? Would 3 goals a quarter be enough?

Well it's not enough for the Line Fund, which this week has passed on the opportunity to take the Suns with a record-breaking - well, in the context of my records, anyway - 80.5 points start. That's 15 points more than any other home team has received since at least 2006, and 5 points more than any other team has received in that time, period.

Instead, the Line Fund has opted for four wagers in other games, three of them on home team favourites in the Saints, Cats and Roos, and the fourth on Fremantle with 14.5 start facing West Coast in the Subiaco derby on Sunday.

Those four wagers, which represent about one-eighth of the Line Fund, are dwarfed by the seven wagers from the Head-to-Head Fund totalling over 40% of that Fund. The largest of these is for almost 14% of the Fund and is on the Cats at $1.07 playing the Tigers on Sunday. Another slab of almost 11% of the Fund is at risk on the Roos priced at $1.10 taking on the Lions. The remaining five wagers are all sized roughly in the 2.5-4.5% range, and three of them are on underdogs in the forms of the Dons, Dees and Freo.

The upside from this collection of wagers is widely spread, with favourable results in five games offering Portfolio gains of 2c or more. The downside is also abundant, however, with unfavourable results in five games threatening Portfolio losses of similar magnitude. Two of those losses are even more substantial and would eventuate if the Lions topple the Roos, or the Tigers beat the Cats.

So, in contrast to last weekend, we've action in seven of the eight games this week and the potential for at least a mid-green or a mid-red result in each.

Our Head-to-Head Tipsters are all broadly in agreement that the favourites should win the weekend's first four clashes, that the Dons should spring the upset against the Blues, and that Geelong should account for Richmond, but they're far less aligned for the Melbourne v Hawthorn matchup where they're favouring the Hawks 7-6, and for the Fremantle v West Coast game where they're behind Freo 8-5.

Majority Margin Predictor opinion concurs in all but two games: in the Dons v Blues game the Margin Predictors favour the Blues 8-5, and in the Fremantle v West Coast encounter they're solidly behind the Eagles 11-2. The range of predicted margins for both of these games is quite large though. For the Essendon v Carlton game the margins start at Carlton by 22 and end at Essendon by 5, and in the Fremantle v West Coast game they start at West Coast by 25 and finish at Fremantle by 4.

Collectively, there's not much to say about the home team biases in the Margin Predictors' predicted margins this week as, standardised and averaged, they're all pretty much at or around their season levels. Only the margin predictions of the Head-to-Head Unadjusted Margin Predictors are of an atypical sign (this week they're pro Home teams) and differ in absolute terms by a substantial amount from their season-long average.

That leaves only the Probability Predictors to discuss. Amongst the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, ProPred has opted to disagree with the TAB Sportsbet bookmaker in the Essendon v Carlton game where it would install the Dons as slight favourites. WinPred disagrees with the TAB for this game too, and for the Fremantle v West Coast game where it rates Freo as slight favourites. In all other games all three Predictors agree with the TAB Sportsbet bookmaker about the favourites and their approximate chances of victory.

A scan of the Line Fund algorithm's probability assessments makes it clear why Investors have no wager on the Suns this week. Even with the Suns receiving a massive 80.5 start the Line Fund algorithm rates them as just 26% chances to win on line betting. Given its way, in fact, the Line Fund would have had a thumping wager on the Pies.