The Line Fund has wielded its new-found ability to inflict and suffer twice as much damage per game by constraining itself to only three wagers for Round 6, one on St Kilda giving the Lions 15.5 points start, another on the Dees basking in just over 7 goals start playing the Swans, and the third on Port Adelaide receiving 4.5 points start against the Cats.
With the Dees, when they're taking on a more-accomplished team, I always feel that if four goals start isn't enough then virtually no amount will be, so I'm not sure what to feel about a seven goal handicap. I guess I just think it'll be a comfortable result, either way.
Both of the two other Funds remain under the same wagering constraints they've faced all season. The Head-to-Head Fund has found three bets that it likes and, even with its restrictions, has risked just over 2% of the Fund, the second-highest proportion that it's imperilled in a single round this season. As well, the Margin Fund has made eight bets, all of them in the first four games of the round and no pair of them, mercifully, creating a Chasm of Despair.
Combined, all 14 wagers cover seven of the round's nine games, leaving the Blues v Eagles and Dogs v Crows games uncontested, and putting at risk 6.4% of the original Recommended Portfolio. That's the second-highest proportion of the Portfolio staked in a single round this season, behind only the 7.3% made available for sacrifice in Round 4.
An ideal set of outcomes this week would see the Recommended Portfolio grow by 12.5% while a horror round would see it shrink by 6.4%. As ever, the result will almost certainly be somewhere in between these extremes.
Collingwood - and, I suppose, for its part, Essendon - holds the key to the best possible single game outcome, a win by them by 1 to 9 points promising a 3.3c gain for the Portfolio. Melbourne, should they win, offer 2.5c more, and a St Kilda victory by 16 to 19 points offers about the same increment. Were we to secure any pair of those three results surely canonisation would be but a mere formality.
Favourable results for Fremantle, Port Adelaide or Gold Coast would also be welcomed, each adding at least another 1c to the Portfolio.
The majority of the week's downside rests with St Kilda, Melbourne and Port Adelaide, each capable of stripping about 1.5c of value from the Recommended Portfolio.
HEAD-TO-HEAD TIPSTERS AND MARGIN PREDICTORS
Only in the Collingwood v Essendon, Richmond v Hawthorn and, most especially, Port Adelaide v Geelong games is there anything other than very mild levels of disagreement amongst the Head-to-Head Tipsters about the likely results this week. There's unanimity in one game, St Kilda v Brisbane Lions, and only a single dissenting voice in three more : the Fremantle v Kangaroos game (with Silhouette opting for a Roos win), the Gold Coast v GWS game (with Easily Impressed II getting behind the Giants), and the Melbourne v Sydney game (with Home Sweet Home tipping a huge Dees upset).
Across all nine games combined, Home Sweet Home has the most divergent opinions, while Easily Impressed II, Combo_NN_1 and Silhouette are also quite contrarian, if a little less majestically.
Very low levels of disagreement are also in evidence amongst the Margin Predictors, as only the Pies v Dons and Power v Cats games have elicited more than a single margin prediction on the other side of zero.
On average, the Port Adelaide v Geelong game has provided the most draw-like margin prediction: the average prediction in this game has Port Adelaide winning by less than a single behind. Next comes the Carlton v West Coast game where the average prediction is for an Eagles win by just over 3 points, then follows the Pies' and the Crows' average predicted victories each of just under a goal.
The week's only predicted blowout victory is that of the Suns over the Giants, which is tipped, on average, to be by about seven goals, with a minimum prediction of about five goals and a maximum of about 10.
Combo_NN_1 is the round's greatest contrarian, very closely followed by C-Marg. Bookie_3 completes the podium of independent thinkers, some distance behind.
As the Margin Predictors, the Probability Predictors are of one mind about the likely victor in all but the Pies v Dons and Power v Cats matchups.
In the Pies v Dons contest it's the two H2H Predictors who are the contrarians, both opting for a Dons victory, while in the Port Adelaide v Cats game the Predictors are split 4-4. Overall, C-Prob is the Tipster Most Different this week, while WinPred is second.
Port Adelaide is a near-certain line betting winner according to the Line Fund algorithm, its 77% rating of their chances the second-highest rating it's made this season. The highest rating occurred last week for St Kilda with about seven-and-a-half goals start facing Essendon, and proved to be very much the correct call, the Saints eventually running out 16-point winners.
St Kilda is the only other team assessed to have a better than 60% chance on line betting this week, It's rated a 62% chance giving 15.5 points start to the Lions.
Ratings differences have driven ChiPS' predictions this week, in all nine cases the team with the higher ChiPS Rating also being the team tipped by ChiPS to win.
The Gold Coast is tipped to win by the largest margin, just over five goals on account of about a three-and-a-half goal better Team Rating, a one-and-a-half goal Home Ground Advantage, and a one-goal Interstate advantage, offset almost imperceptibly by mildly poorer form equivalent to about half a goal.
That predicted margin hasn't been enough to entice ChiPS to suggest a wager on the Suns. Instead, it's made that recommendation about the Pies at $1.65, and Melbourne at $8.50.