TEAM v team charts

This page contains charts based on the final scores in all home and away and finals, looked at from the perspective of the pair of teams involved. Final scores have been sourced from the www.afltables.com website.

winning rates 

ALL-TIME

Topic: Here we explore the all-time winning rates between every pair of teams. Each row records the rate achieved by a particular team against all possible opponents, with darker green dots denoting lower winning rates and darker red dots higher winning rates. The size of the dot denotes the number of times that the pair of teams have met.

Points of Interest: 

There are a number of pairs where the winning rates are quite distant from 50% even though the teams have met a large number of times. For example, Carlton and Collingwood both have near 75% records against St Kilda despite having played them over 200 times. Essendon also has a 67% win rate against St Kilda, also from over 200 games.

Only two teams have 100% records against another team: Sydney and Adelaide against the Gold Coast.

BY ERA

Topic: We can get an idea of how teams' dominance of and by other teams has shifted across time by performing the same analysis after defining 6 football eras.

Points of Interest: 

Looking solely at the most-recent era, which is defined as running from 2001 to 2017, we find a number of surprising skews:

  • Geelong has won 91% of the time against Richmond (22 games)
  • Hawthorn has won 86% of the time against Carlton (22 games)
  • Sydney has won 85% of the time against Carlton (26 games)
  • Hawthorn has won 80% of the time against Melbourne (25 games)
  • Port Adelaide has won 78% of the time against St Kilda (23 games)
  • Hawthorn has won 76% of the time against Fremantle (25 games)
  • North Melbourne has won 76% of the time against Melbourne (25 games)
  • Sydney has won 75% of the time against North Melbourne (26 games)

MARGINS BY ERA

AVERAGE MARGIN

Topic: Here we look at the average victory margin in clashes between pairs of teams, with a view to determining which pairs tend to have more closely fought contests. The dots are now coloured on the basis of the average victory margin.

Points of Interest: 

One obvious feature is that margins generally were smaller in earlier eras, which is also when average scores tended to be lower (see chart below).

Looking solely at the 2001-2017 era and restricting our attention to pairs that have met at least 20 times, we see that

  • Adelaide v Collingwood games have had the smallest average margin (22.2 points in 26 games)
  • Sydney v West Coast games have had the next smallest (23.0 points in 26 games)
  • Collingwood v Sydney games have had the third-smallest average margin (23.3 points in 24 games)
  • Adelaide v Essendon games have had the highest average margin (50.8 points in 22 games)
  • Brisbane Lions v Hawthorn games have had the second-highest (47.1 points in 23 games)
  • Geelong v Melbourne games have had the third-highest (46.9 points in 24 games)

PROPORTION OF CLOSE GAMES

Topic: Sometimes, averages can be a deceptive measure of centrality, in particular when the underlying data is what's called "bimodal" - that is, is clumped around two distinct values, one small and one large, or when it has "long tails" because of a few very large values. Given that, if we're interested in which pairs of teams have most commonly produced close contests we might want to look solely at the proportion of times they've finished separated by less than 2 goals.

Points of Interest: 

Even though scores tended to be lower in the earlier eras, we see that many pairings in the modern era have produced relatively high proportions of narrow victory margins.

In particular, for pairs that have played 20 times or more:

  • Geelong v Hawthorn games have been "close" 45% of the time (33 games)
  • Essendon v Sydney games have been "close" 42% of the time (24 games)
  • Port Adelaide v St Kilda games have been "close" 39% of the time (23 games)

Note that none of these pairings appeared in the earlier list of pairings with, on average, narrow victory margins.

Modern pairings that have struggled to produce close games have been:

  • Brisbane Lions v Hawthorn (only 1 close game from 23)
  • Fremantle v Hawthorn (only 2 close games from 25)
  • Melbourne v Sydney (only 2 close games from 24)
  • Melbourne v St Kilda (only 2 close games from 25)
  • Carlton v Collingwood (only 3 close games from 33)

PROPORTION OF BLOWOUTS

Topic: In the same way that the average can mask the prevalence of close games, it can also obscure the proportion of blowouts, which here we'll define as victory margins in excess of 6 goals.

Points of Interest: 

Blowouts, quite clearly, were far less frequent in the earlier eras, though there are pairings in the modern era that have produced relative few.

In particular, for pairs that have played 20 times or more:

  • Adelaide and Collingwood have produced only 3 in 26 games
  • Fremantle and Sydney have produced only 5 in 24 games
  • Collingwood and Sydney have produced only 5 in 24 games

Blowouts have been far more frequent for the following oft-meeting pairs:

  • Brisbane Lions and Hawthorn (17 from 23)
  • Brisbane Lions and Geelong (19 from 28)
  • Adelaide and Essendon (14 from 22)

TEAM AND TOTAL SCORES

TEAM SCORES

Topic: We can get a sense for the offensive and defensive abilities of teams from different eras by analysing their average scores for and against different opponents, which we do in the chart below.

Points of Interest: 

Immediately evident is the lower average team scores in earlier eras, and the spike in the 1981 to 2000 era.

In the 2001-2017 era, for pairs that have played 20 times or more:

  • Adelaide has averaged 115.2 points per game against Essendon (22 games)
  • North Melbourne has averaged 113.9 points per game against Carlton (22 games)
  • Geelong has averaged 111.6 points per game against Essendon (22 games)
    Β 
  • West Coast has averaged 71.9 points per game against Geelong (23 games)
  • Richmond has averaged 72.2 points per game against Sydney (26 games)
  • Melbourne has averaged 73.0 points per game against Geelong (24 games)

We might also choose to focus solely on the AFL period, commencing in season 1990, so that the variability in that period is more readily revealed. 

AGGREGATE SCORES

Topic: We can get a sense of the typical style of play - whether defence or offence tends to be more emphasised - by looking at the average aggregate scores produced when two teams meet. This we do in the chart below.

Points of Interest: 

The tendency to lower scoring in the earliest eras of football is revealed perhaps most starkly of all in this chart, as is the spike in the 1981-2000 era.

In the 2001-2017 era, for pairs that have played 20 times or more:

  • Western Bulldogs v Essendon games have averaged 209.6 points per game (24 games)
  • Carlton v North Melbourne games have averaged 203.5 points per game (22 games)
  • Carlton v Brisbane Lions games have averaged 203.3 points per game (25 games)
    Β 
  • West Coast v Sydney games have averaged 163.8 points per game (26 games)
  • St Kilda v Sydney games have averaged 165.9 points per game (28 games)
  • Collingwood v Sydney games have averaged 166.5 points per game (24 games)

Here too we might also choose to focus solely on the AFL period, commencing in season 1990, again with a view to highlighting the variability in this period.