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2013 : Round 23 - Wagers & Tips (Preliminary)

In a typical week, the TAB Sportsbet Bookmaker posts his initial Head-to-Head markets on Monday at Noon and then, progressively, after Noon on Wednesday significantly reduces the overround on those Head-to-Head prices and posts the Line, SuperMargin and other markets.

But, this has been anything but a typical week in AFL history and, reflecting that, it's been anything but a typical week on TAB Sportsbet.

As I type this, no markets at all exist on the TAB for the Dons v Tigers game, and all but the Head-to-Head markets for the Saints v Freo game are suspended, after an extraordinary afternoon that saw a Line market posted with the Saints receiving 33.5 points start, priced at the usual $1.90/$1.90 only to be savaged by the punters in the first 20 minutes, so much so that the pricing was adjusted to $1.68/$2.20 before the dust had even considered settling and that market too was suspended.

Consequently, the wagers and tips that I'll be describing in this post should be considered preliminary, in the sense that I might add wagers on any of the Head-to-Head, Line or SuperMargin markets for the Dons v Tigers game should any eventual pricing seem propitious, and that I might add a Line bet on the Saints if my current estimate of a 20.5 point handicap proves prescient. As well, I'll update the Head-to-Head Tipsters, and Margin and Probability Predictors prognostications for these games as appropriate.

In terms of wagers, here's what Investors have locked in:

(Note that I've shown here markets for the Essendon v Richmond game, which I've based on the actual Head-to-Head market currently available at and the Line market that such pricing would imply should the TAB Sportsbet Bookmaker adopt those prices, and a Line market for the St Kilda v Fremantle game, which I've inferred from the current, actual TAB Sportsbet Head-to-Head market.)

No matter what else happens over the next few days, here are what those wagers mean for Investors:

It is, therefore, the start and the end of the round that matters, with all five games in which we've currently an interest offering upsides in the 1.2% to 2.1% range and downsides in the -0.2% to -1.7% range. Frankly, it's comforting to me to have a low egg-to-basket ratio in the current footballing climate.


Just as the wagering is subject to change for the Saints v Fremantle and Dons v Tigers games, so too should the tips and predictions for those two games be considered preliminary unless and until such time as the markets for those games are resolved.

Given what we know so far though, here are the Head-to-Head Tipster predictions, which will only change if a Head-to-Head market for the Essendon v Richmond game materialises and is significantly different from what I've assumed:

Only in the Port Adelaide v Carlton game is there substantive disagreement and, amongst the remaining games, only in the Adelaide v West Coast game is there more than token dissention. Still, Home Sweet Home has managed to make selections that are, on average, almost 50% different from its peers.

It's interesting to note also that the best-performed Tipsters have tipped against the favourites in two games, opting for the Blues over Port, and for the Crows over the Eagles.

The Margin Predictors are divided only over the same two games, with the majority also supporting the Blues but with an 8-8 split in the Eagles v Crows game. Based on average predicted margin, for the Margin Predictors, as for the Head-to-Head Tipsters, the Crows have it.


For the first time since I can remember, the standard deviation of the Margin Predictors' margin predictions is single digit in every game.

The Head-to-Head Probability Predictors are a bit less collegiate, especially in the Saints v Freo game (which is subject to amendment) where estimates of the Saints' chances range from 24% to 49%. In four other games - Sydney v Hawthorn, Port Adelaide v Carlton, West Coast v Adelaide, and Western Bulldogs v Melbourne - the difference between the high and low assessments of the home team's chances slip into double digits.

In four games this week, the Line Fund algorithm rates the line betting chances of one of the teams as 60% or better : the Swans (65%), the Saints (68%, though only if they receive the 20.5 points start I'm expecting), Adelaide (63%), and Gold Coast (72%). It's these four games that will mostly determine the probability score for the algorithm for this round.


2013 : MARS, Massey, Colley and ODM Ratings After Round 22

If MARS Ratings are a reliable guide, the teams currently sitting in Finals positions on the competition ladder represent only six of the eight highest-Rated teams in the competition. Should the Dons be excluded or choose not to play Finals, the inclusion of Carlton - the most likely scenario - would increase that count by one, leaving the Roos as the unlucky outlier.

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2013 : Round 22 - Results

A very wayward Carlton, in going down to Essendon 9.22 to 12.10 on Saturday became only the 3rd team in the last decade to lose a game despite kicking as many or more behinds as their opponent had scoring shots.

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2013 : Round 22 - Wagers & Tips

The Head-to-Head Fund has yet another wager on a longshot this week, but that bet is at least somewhat balanced by a more sizeable wager on the short-priced favourite Lions and by a more modest wager on the underdog Roos.

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2013 : MARS, Massey, Colley and ODM Ratings After Round 21

Wins by each of the competition's and MARS Rating's four top teams ensured that there was no changes at the top of the MARS Leaderboard this week.

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