The AFL has scheduled this week's matches so that all six of the games with a direct bearing on the finals take place on Friday and Saturday, rendering Sunday's three matchups of limited interest to anyone but the supporters of the six teams involved - and to MAFL Investors; we'll have 15% of the Line Fund and 5% of the Margin Fund running around the various parks on Sunday being vigorously pursued by the TAB Bookmaker.
This week the risks and rewards are spread remarkably evenly across the nine contests, with the Cats v Swans and Tigers v Port games offering the greatest upside at a tick over 5%, but favourable results for the Dons, Hawks or Fremantle also promising returns in excess of 3c. In the remaining games, the Blues, Giants, Crows and Lions could also each deliver between about 2 and 2.5c of value for Investors.
Geelong failing to cover the 7.5 points spread it's offering would be the round's worst possible outcome for Investors, costing us a little over 3.5c, while maximally sub-optimal results for Adelaide, Essendon, Richmond or the Lions would strip about 3c from Portfolios. Worst-case results in the remaining games would all cost 2.5c or less.
The Head-to-Head Tipsters are all in broad agreement about the likely outcome of most games, there being at most three dissenting tipsters in all but the Hawthorn v West Coast game where the consensus is with the TAB-favourite Hawks, but only by 7 tipsters to 6.
Unanimity is in evidence in two contests, with the Crows and the Tigers univerally haled as likely victors. In three more games only a single tipster has a contrarian view, the serial contrarian Home Sweet Home in two of them, and Easily Impressed II in the third.
Amongst the Margin Predictors, only Combo_NN1 has found reason to tip against the trend by selecting Carlton to upset the Saints on Sunday by just under 3 goals.
In the other games, though no Predictor has been bold enough to tip an alternative victor, there are Predictors proferring single-digit victory margins in the Hawks v Eagles, Cats v Swans, and Blues v Saints contests, but the Crows v Suns, Giants v Roos, Dockers v Dees, Tigers v Port, and Lions v Dogs matchups are universally seen as probable mismatches.
Turning lastly to the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors and, as usual, comparing the non-TAB based Predictors with the TAB Predictor we find that the former unanimously rate the Hawks and the Blues as a little less likely to win, the Tigers and the Lions as a little more likely to win, and the Cats as much more likely to win than does the TAB.
The Line Fund algorithm rates the Eagles as 76% chances on the line market given their 26.5 points start, the fourth-highest assessment that this algorithm has afforded any team this season and the highest it's afforded to any Away team. It also rates the Lions as 68% chances, and the Tigers and Giants as 64% chances. Amongst the remaining teams it rates Sydney as 57% chances, Adelaide as 56% chances, and Essendon as 55% chances.
Let's hope that its impressive probability scoring of late continues into this round - at least as far as it pertains to Home teams, which is all that matters to Investors.