This week's portfolio of wagers reminds me of the archetypical visit to the dentist: little prospect of a positive outcome, the likelihood of a little pain, and the real possibility of lasting physical, psychic and financial trauma.
That's to be expected as a MAFL Investor in 2011, I guess, when six of the home teams are favourites and five of them are priced at $1.11 or less.
In any case, we've five head-to-head bets, two of them large (one of them the season's largest at about one-sixth of the entire Head-to-Head Fund, risked on the Saints when they face Freo on Friday night) and four line bets, three of them of little consequence.
I realise that the maturity of chances is a myth and all, but did the Head-to-Head Fund really need to wait until favourites had won every game in the past two rounds before betting the farm on the TAB's chosen ones?
Anyway, here's what it all means:
If the Saints or the Hawks lose, or the Blues fail to win by 40 points or more, it's hard to see this being anything but an unprofitable weekend.
On the upside though, Investors could be part of history should the Cats cover the 15 goal spread they're being forced to spot the Suns in their Saturday game. In terms of my records at least, 90.5 points is the largest handicap that any team has been asked to concede in line betting history. Even if we're successful though, that 0.3% isn't going to cover much by way of slip-ups in the remaining games.
Should every result go the way of Investors, Portfolios will be in profit by the end of the weekend.
Such high levels of certainty from the TAB Sportsbet bookmaker are reflected in the unanimity, actual or near, of the Head-to-Head Tipsters in seven of this week's eight contests. They're split only in the Lions v Crows game, where the vote's 8-5 in favour of the underdog Crows.
The Margin Predictors see it differently in only two games: in the Esendon v Sydney game where they favour the Dons, the narrow underdogs, 7-6, and in the Lions v Crows game where they're backing the Lions 8-5. In all six other contests they're unanimously behind the favourites.
This week's margin predictions are especially different in that:
- Bookie_3 is relatively more home team biased than is usual
- Bookie_9 is relatively more away team biased than is usual
- Win_3 and Win_7 are decidedly relatively away team biased this week when home team bias is their more usual demeanour
- Combo_NN_1 is quite relatively home team biased when it has, on average this season, been relatively neutral in comparison to all Predictors
- Combo_NN_2 is also relatively home team biased, a little less so than Combo_NN_1 but a little more so in comparison to its season-long relative bias towards away teams
The Head-to-Head Probability Predictors all agree on which team should be favourite in six of the eight games. Only in the Essendon v Sydney clash, where the TAB and ProPred have the Swans as slight favourites and WinPred and H2H Unadjusted have them as slight to moderate underdogs, and in the Lions v Crows matchup, where H2H Unadjusted feels that Crows should start narrow favourites, contrary to the opinions of the other three Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, is there any disagreement.
The Line Fund algorithm particularly fancies the Blues' chances of covering the 39.5 points they're offering the Dees, and the Crows chances of emerging victorious on line betting once their 6.5 points start has been added to the final result.