This week we return to a full schedule of games and with it has come a significant increase in the activity levels of the Line and Margin Funds.
Six games looked attractive enough to the Line Fund for it to venture a wager, five on teams giving starts of between 20.5 and 70.5 points, and just one on a team (the Blues) receiving start. While a half dozen wagers demonstrates an impressive level of commitment by the Line Fund to its opinions, the Margin Fund's wagering in all but one contest frankly smacks of zealotry. It's wagered on all eight home team favourites.
All eight of these favourites were priced at $1.40 or less, which meant that the Head-to-Head Fund was unable to exercise anywhere near the levels of profligacy exhibited by the Line and Margin Funds, but even it took the chance to wager on the one team that its prohibitions failed to exclude.
Here's what we have:
As you might have noticed, the Margin Fund has made a habit of wagering on short-priced favourites winning by much smaller-than-expected margins, and this week sees it hoping that the Eagles will beat the Suns by only 30 to 39 points, about one-half of the margin expected by the TAB, and that the Swans will beat the Giants by only 20-29 points, about one-third of the margin expected by the TAB. Being unlikely to succeed, these two wagers are attractively priced at $11 and $15 respectively. Amongst the six other SuperMargin wagers, five are priced at the minimum $7, and the suxh carries a $7.50 price tag.
The Head-to-Head Fund's wager on the Blues is modestly sized - just 1.86% - but, at $3.55, represents the longest-priced wager of the season for this Fund. Were it a human you might be tempted to infer that the Fund was buoyed by its success with the $3.05 Roos last weekend.
Converting these wagers to upside and downside gives us this week's Ready Reckoner.
A Dons victory by 40 to 49 points would deliver the best possible single-game return for Investors, landing a Line and a SuperMargin wager worth a combined 5.5c to Investors. A Saints win by 30 to 39 points, or a Pies win by 50 to 59 points would be next best, delivering a 5.3c fillip.
The worst possible result would be a Hawks win by 4 goals or more, which would knock 3.1c from the Overall Portfolio price, though inopportune outcomes for Collingwood, West Coast, Essendon, Sydney or St Kilda would be almost as bad, knocking in each case 3c from the price.
Moving from wagering to tipping, the Head-to-Head Tipsters find themselves unanimous in five contests and nearly so in Friday night's Carlton v Hawthorn matchup, where only Home Sweet Home and Silhouette have found themselves able or compelled to support the underdog home team Blues.
As usual, no such indecision is evident amongst the Margin Predictors. They're unanimous in all nine games, and in six of them the standard deviation of their predicted margins is 9 points or fewer. Larger deviations exist in the Lions v Dees, Swans v Giants, and Pies v Dockers games, but even for these none is much greater than 2 goals. The Margin Predictors are just one great big echo chamber this season ...
Turning next to the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, ProPred, WinPred and H2H all rate the Blues', Pies', Crows', Eagles', Dons' and Cats' chances higher than does the TAB Bookmaker, and all rate the Swans' chances about the same as does the TAB Bookmaker. ProPred and H2H also rate the Lions' and the Saints' chances higher than does the TAB Bookmaker, while WinPred rates them lower.
The Line Fund algorithm assesses the line market chances of five teams as exceeding 60%, including an exceptionally confident 76% assessment for the Dons who are giving the Dogs 30.5 points start. Four of these confident assessments are for home teams and so have resulted in wagers.
For the two other teams on which wagers have been placed, the Pies and the Eagles, the algorithm has rated the line betting chances of the home team at 57%, which might best be described as a mild preference rather than a raging enthusiasm.
In only one contest is the Line Fund algorithm truly bereft of a favourite: in the Geelong v Port Adelaide game, where a 44.5 point handicap essentially has the algorithm searching for a coin to select a line winner.