Round 23 is very much a round of two halves, with four of the contests expected to be decided by about two-and-a-half goals or less, and the other five by between 4 and 13 goals.
The big expected margin is in the Geelong v Gold Coast game where the Cats are expected to prevail by about 76 points. That's a season high, eclipsing the 62.5 points start that the Gold Coast received when they met Richmond in Round 21, and the 60.5 points they received when facing Melbourne the round before that.
So, we finish the 2018 home and away season with an average expected margin of 20.9 points per game, almost three points per game higher than last year. The actual average margin to the end of Round 22 is higher by about the same amount (3.2 points per game).
The median expected margin is 2 points higher this year than last.
We end the home and away season then with the second-highest average expected margin since 2012 and, barring an average 62-point actual margin this week, the second-highest average actual margin as well.
To the forecasters then.
TIPS AND PREDICTIONS
Home Sweet Home and Consult The Ladder have the majority of the dissension this week, they the only Head-to-Head Tipsters opting for an underdog in more than one game.
C_Marg and the MoS twins have joined in, but only half-heartedly, each choosing the underdog in a single game.
That means ENS_Linear, Bookie Knows Best and the two RSMP Tipsters are, yet again, in complete alignment across all nine games, so there'll be no movement at the top of the Leaderboard once more this week.
The MoS twins as Margin Predictors again find themselves with mean absolute deviations (MADs) towards the higher end of their peers, MoSSBODS_Marg highest of all at 6.7 points per game, ahead of Bookie_9's 6.5, MoSHBODS_Marg's 6.0, C_Marg's 5.8, and Bookie_3's 4.5. MoSSBODS_Marg, however, has the extreme forecast in only one contest, while Bookie_9, Bookie_3 and C_Marg each have it in four games. Which just goes to show that you can be highly MAD without being extreme. (And, no, I have not been saving that up.)
The all-Predictor all-game MAD is 4.4 points per game per Predictor, which is just 0.2 points higher than last week's.
On a game-by-game basis, we find five with MADs of 4.5 points per Predictor or higher, highest of all for St Kilda v North Melbourne, Geelong v Gold Coast, and Carlton v Adelaide where it's above 6 points per Predictor. The range of forecast margins in those three games is around 4 goals or higher.
In comparison to the current leader, Bookie_Hcap, a best set of results for MoSSBODS_Marg would see it move from about 93 points behind to about 18 points behind, while a best set of results for MoSHBODS_Marg would see it move from about 209 to about 142 points behind.
The mean expected margin across the nine games and all Margin Predictors is 27.3 points per game, which is just over 2 points below the TAB Bookmaker's average.
Turning lastly to the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, we find the highest MAD in the same two game where the MAD is also highest amongst the Margin Predictors: the St Kilda v North Melbourne game where the Probability Predictors' MAD is almost 10% points per Predictor and the range of probability estimates spans 26% points.
C_Prob has the round's highest MAD, ahead of MoSSBODS_Prob.
Wagering is more subdued this week, with only three wagers from MoSHBODS in the head-to-head markets sporting sizes ranging from about 2% to 3%, and five wagers from MoSSBODS in the line markets, sized from 0.2% to 3.8%.
(Please click on the image below to access a larger version.)
The round's largest potential swing comes in the final game, where best and worst results differ in their impact on the Combined Portfolio by just under 7c. The MoS twins just won't stop chasing head-to-head and line wins on the Saints it would seem.
As ever, the detailed impacts are in this week's Ready Reckoner, which appears below.
In total, 5.5% of the original Combined Portfolio is at risk across just five games, and the maximum upside is 8.0%.
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.