Monday morning was what I can only describe as an odd period on the markets. By the time I ventured in to see where things were at around 9 or 10am, four of the line markets had moved from where they started, one by as much as the equivalent of half a goal or so (it was at $1.75 / $2.05).
As such, there were a number of adjustments to be made in calculating the average implicit TAB handicap for the round, which eventually wound up coming in at 17.2 points per game, down a couple of points on last week and roughly at the all-season average.
In seven of the games, the (even-money equivalent) start was about 3 goals or less, leaving the Blues v Pies, and Roos v Cats games to drive up the average. Even with their endeavours, it’s now eight successive rounds with an average expectation below 20 points. That’s quite the start to a season.
The average expected margin for the season as a whole now stands at 16.8 points per game, down over 4 points on last season in full.
The MoS forecasters are an interesting bunch this week …
TIPS AND PREDICTIONS
There are unprecedentedly high levels of disagreement amongst the Head-to-Head Tipsters, with as many as three underdog-tipping forecasters in 4 of the 9 contests. The highest level of underdog support has come in the Saints v Eagles game where five forecasters, including the MoS twins, have selected the underdog home team, which makes them 5-4 “favourites” amongst the Tipsters (with MoSHPlay yet to cast a vote).
So, with the Leaderboard so tight, there’s every chance of some significant movement this week.
Higher-than-normal levels of disagreement are also evident amongst the Margin Predictors, but mostly in terms of having forecasters on either side of zero in more games than is usual. That said, we do have an impressive 38-point range in the forecasts for the Saints v Eagles game, a 24-point range in the Dogs v Lions game, and a 21-point range in the Blues v Pies game.
The mean expected margin across the nine games and all Margin Predictors is only 12.4 points per game, which is an unusually high 4.8 points per game below the TAB bookmaker’s average.
Also atypical is the fact that Bookie_3 has the most extreme forecasts in eight of the games, MoSSBODS_Marg in four, and C_Marg in only three.
Turning lastly to the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, we find the largest range in percentage point terms in the St Kilda v West Coast game where the forecasts span an astonishing 42% points from Bookie_LPSO’s 30% to MoSSBODS_Prob’s 72%. There’s also a 28% point spread in the Dogs v Lions game, a 20% point spread in the Adelaide derby, and double-digit spreads in three other games.
C_Prob has the round's most extreme estimates in six contests, Bookie_RE in five, and MoSSBODS_Prob in four.
It truly is a round like no other this season.
With so much variability and disagreement, there’s little surprise that we have quite the chocolate-shop assortment of wagers this week.
The Head-to-Head Fund has gone with five bets, all of them on home team underdogs, and ranging in size from 0.3% on Carlton at $8, to 1.5% on Port Adelaide at $2.35.
Meantime the Line Fund has made four wagers, three of them on the same home team underdogs, and including an eye-watering 9.6% on St Kilda +18.5 at $1.88. That line market looked odd from the moment it was posted and has already been adjusted to +10.5. The $3.05 head-to-head price for the Saints has also been wound back to $2.45.
(Please click on the image below to access a larger version.)
MoSSBODS, whose opinion forms the basis of our line betting, has the Saints as three-goal favourites in their clash, which made the 18.5 points start seem irresistible to it.
The Saints therefore carry by far the week’s largest risk of almost 10% (as measured by the difference between best and worst outcomes). The only other teams carrying risks above 1% are the Port Adelaide (2.2%) and Carlton (1.2%), as you can see in the Ready Reckoner below.
In total, just under 8% of the original Combined Portfolio is at risk across six games, and the maximum upside is just over 8%. Either way, this will be a defining round for Investors’ 2019 wagering.
To finish, here are MoSSBODS' and MoSHBODS' opinions about likely team scoring.
Commentary about these forecasts will come in the week's Overs/Unders blog and MoSHPlay’s various forecasts will be posted after the relevant team line-ups are made public.