In punting, as in life, you should be careful what you wish for, and last night's lamentation about the paucity of head-to-head and line betting this weekend has clearly been taken as a challenge by the Overs/Unders Fund, which has duly sprayed money at five of the six contests.
And speaking of water, the first of those wagers, on Thursday night's Adelaide v Kangaroos game is an interesting case study in the potential perils of wagering without reference to the weather forecast. Last week we were spared that in the Sydney v Melbourne 44-man bath as the market was posted too late for me to place a bet (which would have been an unsuccessful overs bet as it happens) and inform Investors, and, earlier in the season, we were protected from wagering in the Gold Coast v Sydney slip-and-slide because the TAB didn't post an Overs/Unders market at all.
This week, however, the forecast is for inclement weather at Adelaide Oval and the TAB total of 136.5 reflects that. We are, of course on the Overs ....
All four remaining bets are of the more customary Unders variety, with totals ranging from 180.5 to 195.5. In those games, MoSSBODS is forecasting totals about 2 to 4 goals lower than the TAB's.
MoSSBODS has five teams scoring more than 100 points this week, Adelaide, Richmond, GWS, St Kilda, and Hawthorn, the last four of which the TAB also has doing the same thing but to a larger extent.
The Crows v Roos game aside, MoSSBODS' team score projections are mostly within about two goals of the TAB's. So, there's at least some signs of a rapprochement.
Reviewing the past performances of MoSSBODS and the TAB (including the late-posted market on the Swans v Dees game), we have, where errors are defined as Actual - Predicted:
- Home Team Scores: MoSSBODS 20.6 MAE, +9 Average Error; TAB 18.4 MAE, +4 Average Error
- Away Team Scores: MoSSBODS 19.9 MAE, +2 Average Error; TAB 20.2 MAE, -4 Average Error
- Aggregate Scores: MoSSBODS 27.5 MAE, +11 Average Error; TAB 24.9 MAE, -1 Average Error
- Game Margins: MoSSBODS 30.1 MAE, +7 Average Error; TAB 29.7 MAE, +8 Average Error
If you'd offered me those comparative statistics at the start of the season - except perhaps those for aggregate scores - I think I'd have jumped at them.