The GWS v Essendon line market finally went up late this evening (Thursday) with the Giants receiving 70.5 points start, 10 points fewer than I was expecting. Unfazed, the Line Fund algorithm felt that almost 12 goals start represented value and so added the Giants to its already-committed bevy of 5 wagers, making it 6 wagers in total, or 30% of its initial wealth, half on favourites and half on underdogs.
The Head-to-Head Fund opted for another two wagers this round, the first on the Saints at $1.95 and the second on the Crows at $1.50, thus continuing its 2012 habit of surgical strikes on teams priced in the $1.50 to $2 range.
When the head-to-head markets opened the Saints were narrow favourites and their price was such that Combo_NN2 was predicting them to draw and Investors were therefore facing their - and MAFL's - first ever wager on the absence of a definitive result. As the Saints' price later lengthened, Combo_NN2 began to favour the Swans to win, and the spectre of such a weird wager abated.
Further down the menu in another market, however, the Crows were firming and Combo_NN2, initially predicting a Crows loss, was now feeling more confident about their chances. Come the time to lock in the week's wagers, Combo_NN2 was now predicting a draw in this game. So it is that Investors will indeed find themselves cheering for whichever team is behind at the time, until such time as neither team is behind or ahead, at which point they'll be hollering for the timekeeper. At a price of $51, at least we'll be well-rewarded for such absurd behaviour should Combo_NN2 wind up being correct and the ledger finish all square.
The wager on the Crows to draw is part of a quartet of wagers by the Margin Fund, all of them in games late in the round.
A wager priced at $51 that's a winner only for a single victory margin makes for a strange chart in this week's Ready Reckoner.
Investors note also that there's a gut-wrench gully in the Carlton v Melbourne game that spans the margins between a 40- and a 52-point Blues victory. A Blues victory by any score in that range dooms both the SuperMargin wager, which needs something in the 30-39 point range, and the Line bet, which needs a Blues victory of 53 points or more.
Our Head-to-Head Tipsters are strongly behind 6 teams this week, all of them favourites (Hawthorn, Port, Sydney, Essendon, Carlton and West Coast), fairly strongly behind two more, both underdogs (the Dogs and Adelaide), and in considerable disagreement about the one remaining game, in which they've ultimately split 7-6 in favour of the underdog Lions.
Amongst the Margin Predictors the majority view is, once again, a unanimous one for 8 of the contests. As well as predicting a common victor in these 8 matchups, Margin Predictors are broadly aligned in terms of the margins of victory they're foreseeing too, with standard deviations mostly in the 4 to 8 point range.
Only the St Kilda v Sydney clash has elicited any difference of opinion about which team will win, with 9 Predictors opting for the Saints and 4 for the Swans. No Predictor is, however, particularly strident in its support: predicted victory margins range only from the Saints by 7 to the Swans by 6.
The Saints v Swans game is also the only game in which the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors disagree with the TAB bookmaker's choice of favourite. ProPred and H2H both rate the Saints as about 60% favourites, while WinPred also has the Saints as favorites, but far narrower ones.
In the other games, ProPred, WinPred and H2H all rate the Cats, Hawks and Crows as better prospects than does the TAB bookmaker, while WinPred particularly likes the chances of the two Coasts, and H2H fancies the rhyming Roos and Blues.
The Line Fund algorithm is surest about the Giants', Eagles', Crows', Lions' and Blues' line betting hopes, but is also moderately confident about the Tigers and somewhat convinced about the Dogs and Port. For the Saints v Swans game it's looking, as are all the Tipsters it seems, for a knowledgeable coin.