It was a close-run thing as far as the Pies are concerned, but we've wound up with the Grand Final that the pundits and the MARS Ratings have been suggesting we'd have for some time.
The Pies' eventual victory by just 3 points was enough to propel them into the last weekend in September - which this season falls in October - but wasn't enough to secure Investors' line bet and so dropped another couple of cents from the Portfolio price.
With both favourites again proving victorious it was another week of perfect tipping for the Head-to-Head Tipsters, the two-from-two results for BKB and Bookie_9 elevating their season performances to 148.5 from 195 (76.2%). I can't recall a season in recent times where favourites have won at a rate better than 3 games in 4.
The victory margin in both games also proved to be relatively predictable this week, the average Margin Predictor being, on average, within about 19 points of the eventual results. Combo_NN_1 was nearest the two results, in aggregate missing by a margin of just under 33 points.
Bookie_3 erred by just over 38 points and Combo_7 missed by about the same aggregate margin leaving both of them capable of finishing the season with a sub-30 MAPE. For Bookie_3 it'll take a blowout result for this not to happen, as it would need to mis-predict the margin in the Grand Final by about 128 points to nudge its MAPE over 30. Combo_7 will need to be far more precise to achieve this milestone however, needing to finish within about 12 points of the final margin to end with a season MAPE starting with a 2.
Probability Predictors all registered positive probability scores across the two games, best among them H2H, which turned in a marginally superior performance to the TAB Bookmaker.
The Line Fund algorithm had a poor round, assessing Collingwood as about 63% chances to cover the spread and the Cats as about 55% chances not to, putting it on the wrong side of both results.
Collingwood's win over the Hawks made it 4 and 0 for minor premiers taking on teams from 3rd on the ladder in Prelims, and the Cats' win over the Eagles made it 6 and 0 for teams from 2nd on the ladder playing teams from 4th.
All 24 of the teams that have finished in 1st or 2nd in any the seasons from 2000 to now have played in the Prelims, and their combined aggregate record now stands at 18 and 6.
On the back of that record, every Grand Final during the period has had at least one of the teams from the top 2 playing in it; in four of the past five seasons, both of them have.