This week we have nine home team favourites - and considerable favourites at that in most cases.
Across the nine games the average implicit TAB handicap for the round has come in at 23.3 points per game, easily the highest for a round this season, but fairly much in keeping with Round 9s from recent, previous seasons.
The average is bolstered by a forecast margin of over 6 goals in the last game of the round (GWS v Carlton), and three forecasts in the 27.5 to 29.5 range, and is reduced by three forecasts of victory margins in single digits in the Lions v Crows (2.5), Roos v Swans (4.5), and Tigers v Hawks (9.5) games.
That takes the all-season average expected margin to 17.5 points per game, which is still well below the 2018 season average of 20.9, but nearing the 2017 average of 18.0.
So far this season, unlike 2018, we’ve had low actual margins accompanying low actual scores, as you can see in the table at left.
Last week’s 17.9 points average margin dragged the season average down to 27.4 points per game, which is over a goal lower than the all-season average for 2018, and more than 4 points lower than that for 2017. That average was the second-lowest for the season (behind only the 14.0 points per game we saw in Round 4), is lower than any single round average from seasons 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, and is beaten by only single rounds from 2013 and 2017.
However, Round 9 margins have been amongst the largest in recent seasons so, should that be the case this year, we might see that 27.4 points average ratchet up a little.
Here’s what the MoS forecasters are thinking …
TIPS AND PREDICTIONS
Only the Lions v Crows game has attracted any significant underdog support, with four of the Head-to-Head Tipsters going with the Crows. In the other games the underdogs have garnered, at most, one supporter (though, uncharacteristically, never Home Sweet Home who finds itself in the unusual position of tipping nine favourites).
It’s a similar story for the Margin Predictors where only the Lions v Crows, and Tigers v Hawks games see forecast home margins on either side of zero.
In terms of range, however, the Power v Suns game has elicited the most disagreement, with forecast Power victory margins spanning 25 points, from 26 to 51. Two other games have ranges exceeding 3 goals: Roos v Swans (19 points) and Tigers v Hawks (19 points).
The mean expected margin across the nine games and all Margin Predictors is 21.6 points per game, which is 1.7 points per game below the TAB bookmaker’s average.
This week C_Marg has the most extreme forecasts in four of the games, and Bookie_3, Bookie_9, and MoSHBODS_Marg in three each.
Turning lastly to the Head-to-Head Probability Predictors, we find the largest range in percentage point terms in the Richmond v Hawthorn game where the forecasts span a 21%. Next-largest are the 19% point range for the North Melbourne v Sydney game, and the 17% point range for the Port Adelaide v Gold Coast game.
C_Prob, Bookie_OE, and Bookie_LPSO have the round's most extreme estimates in four contests each, and the MoS twins in three each.
We’ve fewer bets, but similar downside and much lower upside this week, with the Head-to-Head Fund opting for three bets, two of them quite sizeable, and the Line Fund opting for two moderately-sized wagers..
(Please click on the image below to access a larger version.)
The head-to-head and line bets converge in the Port Adelaide v Gold Coast game, which has left Port Adelaide shouldering by far the the week’s largest risk of almost 6% (as measured by the difference between best and worst outcomes). Melbourne, Geelong, and North Melbourne are each carrying between 1.2% and 2.6% risk, as you can see in the Ready Reckoner below.
In total, just under 8% of the original Combined Portfolio is at risk across just four games, and the maximum upside is just under 4%.
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.