2013 : Round 26 (Week 3 of the Finals) - Wagers & Tips

With short-priced, home team favourites being required to offer "too much" start to their opponents, it's another quiet week for MAFL Investors. Hawthorn at $1.45 are off-limits to the Head-to-Head Fund, as are Fremantle at $1.30, and the Line Fund algorithm assesses as too great the 13.5 and 20.5 points start that these two teams are, respectively, being made to grant the Cats and Swans.

So it is we find ourselves with only Margin Fund wagers again this week, for the second time during the 2013 Finals series.

I was, I suspect like many Investors, at first disappointed in the absence of activity by the Head-to-Head Fund this week. Granted, the Line Fund is free to come to its own conclusions about the merits of the handicaps on offer in any given week and to choose to weigh-in or refrain from wagering as it sees fit, but surely at least one of the favourites must be worth a fling this weekend.

Suitably affronted I decided to calculate the notional return that the Head-to-Head Fund would have recorded this year had I let it wager on favourites priced under $1.50 whenever its probability assessment determined that this was a wise course of action. Bearing in mind the relative predictability of results this year and the solid, if not ladder-topping, performance of the BKB Tipster, you'd think that wagering on favourites all year, regardless of price, would have been lucrative.

Well, it turns out that this isn't the case. Had we wagered on teams priced under $1.50 when the algorithm underpinning the Head-to-Head Fund had suggested this idea had positive expectation, and assuming we'd adopted the same divisors for bets in each part of the season as those we've used for our actual wagers, we would instead of being up by 10c as we are right now, been down by a little over 1c. Okay, fair enough then, there's good reason to surrendering your wagering decisions to a rule that you laid down when all you were focussed on was the evidence.

With little activity, all of it in the Fund with the lowest weighting, upsides and downsides are very subdued this week.

Even the most calamitous of outcomes in both games would strip less than half a cent from the Recommended Portfolio, while two optimal outcomes would add just under one and a half cents. It really does look as though 2013 will be a profitable year.


At least the MAFL Tipsters and Predictors are offering a little intrigue this week.

Every one of the Head-to-Head Tipsters trailing the leading quartet by a single tip has tipped the upset result in the Hawks v Cats contest, which means that we could go to the GF with 11 Tipsters tied for the lead. Alternatively, we could have four Tipsters all tied in 1st and with an unassailable lead over the remaining Tipsters.

The Hawks v Cats game has also created meaningful difference of opinion amongst the Margin Predictors and has seen six of them opt for the upset Cats result, albeit by only 2 points or fewer. Combo_NN2 has installed itself as the firm favourite's favourite in that game, tipping a Hawks win by almost six goals.

In the other game there's conformity not just about the predicted winner, Fremantle, but also about the size of their win, with predicted victory margins ranging only from a low of 10 to a high of 26. Bookie_9 and Combo_NN2 are almost of one mind about the victory margin in this game, which is why Investors have two wagers on the Dockers to win by between 20 and 29 points.

Amongst the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, ProPred and the H2H Predictors are all rating the upset as the more likely outcome, though only narrowly. The Bookie_LPSO Predictor, in contrast, rates the Hawks as 68% chances. In the other game these Predictors rate Fremantle as being between 67% and 76% chances.

Turning lastly to the Line Fund algorithm's assessments we find that, in both cases, the away team is rated as the team slightly more likely to prevail once the handicap adjustments have been made.