This week sees a return to nine game rounds and feels an appropriate point at which to decide that we are officially 'in the run home'.
As far as quality is concerned, Round 15 is very much what a statistician would call bimodal with four games carrying an expected margin - according to the TAB bookmaker - of under two goals, and the five remaining games carrying expected margins of over four goals.
Combined, that makes for an all-game average of just under 21 points per game, which is lower than last week's 31.3, but higher than the season average of 19.7 points per game. It also makes it the 6th-highest average for a round so far this season.
So, with at least a few more closer contests this week, what do the MoS models make of it all?
TIPS AND PREDICTIONS
Seven of the Head-to-Head Tipsters have opted for at least one underdog this week, four of them making their only unorthodox selection in the Adelaide v West Coast game where the Crows have been installed as the early, narrow favourites.
In other contrarian news, Consult The Ladder has tipped the underdog Eagles as well, and also Hawthorn while, more significantly in the context of the Leaderboard, ENS_Linear has gone with Essendon over North Melbourne. At the end of the round then, ENS_Linear will either be two tips clear of Bookie Knows Best at the head of the table, or tied with it.
Amongst the Margin Predictors, it's the MoS twins who've produced the largest mean absolute deviations (MADs) this week, MoSSBODS_Marg's largest of all at 8.7 points per game after coming in as the extreme Predictor in six of the contests. MoSHBODS_Marg is next-largest at 6.6 points per game, though it's at the extreme in only two games.
Looking across the matches, a number of them have MADs in the 4 to 5 points per Predictor range, but the Gold Coast v Collingwood game has the largest MAD of 7.3 points per Predictor as well as a 24 point range in the forecasts.
In comparison to the current leader, Bookie_Hcap, a best set of results for MoSSBODS_Marg would see it move from about 99 points behind to just 3 points behind, while a best set of results for MoSHBODS_Marg would see it move from about 130 to about 47 points behind.
The mean expected margin across the nine games and all Margin Predictors is 19.9 points per game, which is again this week slightly below the TAB bookmaker's average,.
Turning lastly to the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, we find the largest MAD and largest range in the probability estimates for the Adelaide v West Coast game where the MAD is 7.5% points per Predictor, and the range is 28% points thanks largely to MoSHBODS_Prob's relatively low estimate of the Crows' chances. MoSSBODS_Prob, however, has the round's largest MAD of 6.5% points per game and has the most extreme estimates in six of the contests.
With the MoS twins in a decidedly belligerent mood this week, Investors find themselves with a season-record level of activity, comprising seven head-to-head and eight line wagers.
(Please click on the image below to access a larger version.)
The largest of the head-to-head wagers is on the short-priced favourite Pies, and there's also a sizeable bet on the mildly underdog Eagles, but the biggest swing belongs to the Dogs v Cats game where the range between delirium and despair spans 4.5% of the Combined Portfolio.
There is also a 3.8% swing in the Suns v Pies game, a 3.6% swing in the Giants v Hawks game, and a 3.5% swing in the Crows v Eagles game. These, and the swings in every other match, are shown in the Ready Reckoner below.
In total, 10.6% of the original Combined Portfolio is at risk and the maximum upside is just under 11%. Numbers of these magnitudes do grab the attention ...
To finish, here are MoSHBODS' and MoSSBODS' opinions about likely team scoring.
Commentary about these forecasts will come in the week's Overs/Unders blog.