Finals 2,3&4, 2013

Finals weeks 2, 3 & 4, 2013 (PAGE DOWN FOR WEEKS 3 & 4)

Herald Sun Tipping comp is now closed, but scored only 1 of 4 (2 winners was good going this weekend)

Accumulator: 4.25 (pretty good!!) for a total of 193.17 and improved from 884 to 674 out of 11,801 tipsters.  This comp continues during the finals. Streak:  tipped 0 of 1 certs correctly – streak of 38 now totally wiped out.  Which all goes to show you what happens when you trust the Pies.  The ranking of 55 out of 68,788 tipsters for the 38 straight winners remains, but current streak is 0.

50/50 tips: 0 out of 1 correct for the round
Wrong:  Pies didn’t win by enough.  In fact, they didn’t win at all!  So now at 26 out of 55 = 47% for the 50/50
(anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for Finals week 2:  the clear favourites are the Swans and Cats.  The Cats look like absolute certs; and the Swans will be tipped.

Looking ahead:

Hawks: they now look like having to play the Carts in the prelim, followed by the Dockers in the GF. This won’t be plain sailing, but they are well placed and deserve favouritism

Cats: They have made it hard for themselves now, but would be expected to get through to play them Hawks

Dockers: They will play either the Swans or Blues in Perth in the prelim and will almost certainly go through to the grand final. Once there, they have a definite chance.

Swans: Almost gone.  Should beat the Blues, but hard to see them beating the Dockers in Perth.

Port: They were terrific in beating the Pies. It keeps getting harder now and will have to travel every week.  Unlikely to get past the Cats.

Blues: snuck into the finals after getting some tips from Steven Bradbury.  They are some chance to beat the Swans, but wouldn’t progress any further.

Tigers: GONE

Pies: GONE

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:
1 GEEL V PORT   GEEL 56      HIGH           no hope at all
3 SYD V CARL      SYD 29        EXTREME   some small chance

Variance: differs depending on unknown technical and fundamental issues – like possible injuries and tracking of form trend

Medium means the website is expected to be close to the mark

High means expect some likelihood of the website being several goals off the mark

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions

The Cats are HUGE certs this week

You should expect the Cats to especially dominate the third quarter (3Q) this weekend.  The reason for this bizarre statement is all in the technical analysis (TA).  The TA pattern for the Cats is that they won 4 on the trot subsequent to their loss to the Roos in R19.  The technical trend requires the last win to be a “diminishing” one.  That is, they fall over the line when expected to win well.  The trend usually expects that some earlier wins have to be much more impressive than the last one.  This is true of the Cats, who smashed the Eagles R21 and Swans R22 prior to their R23.  The next leg of the TA is for the said team to look like they are gong to win but just fall behind – usually late in the game.  That is precisely what happened in F1 vs Freo last weekend.  The Cats were in front early, in touch all game but then couldn’t find a goal in 4Q and lost by 15 points.

With that long intro, what happens the week following the loss is that the team comes out and blitzes.  Typically, also, they do better in the second half than the first.  But, in the event of a prelim final 7 days later and a big lead, it is possible that the Cats might ease off a little in 4Q.

However, the most recent close example of this trend was Geelong themselves earlier in the year.  They won their first 7, then they just lost narrowly to the Pies.  The next week, they came out and played Port (coincidentally).  This time they smashed them early with 7:1 to 0:4 in 1Q.  The Cats exceeded expectations by about 4 goals that day.

Expect them to do similar this weekend.  This would equate to an 8 goal win.  With that likelihood, 3Q is most likely to be their best period, without totally discounting a significant breakaway in the first half.

Just looking at the game fundamentally, one needs to take into account that Port has to travel for the second week in a row.  Doing that on a 6 day break is hard work.  And last week’s results may have artificially skewed the experts thinking for this week.  The fundamental analysis alone should lead people to predict a 7 goal win, even before the technical analysis adds to the margin.  The threat of rain should not reduce the expected margin too much – unless they are playing in shocking conditions.

Tom Hawkins will be picked on Thursday night, but subject to a Friday fitness test.  The wetter it is, the less likely he is to play.  Trent West would be his obvious replacement from the emergencies, unless the Cats want to go small due to the weather.

What a terrific year it has been for Port.  Many experts had Port in the bottom 4 and almost nobody had them in the top 8. And it should be noted that they would have got there even if the Dons were not penalised.  This website had them at 13th with 9 wins.  Their 12 wins were enough to grab 8th spot (then 7th after the Bombers were demoted).

Colquhoun has been named, but P Stewart may be a late inclusion.

Weather:  Cool, with rain.

Maths (in points)

Ability: GEEL + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: GEEL + 15

Current Form:   PORT + 4

Team Changes:   EVEN

Psychological:    GEEL + 15

Freshness:    GEEL + 9

Injuries:     PORT + 3

Total:     Cats by 56 points and CERTS of the WEEK
Accumulator tip:  GEEL ~ 1.23

Post Match Review:  Cats were tipped by 56 points and they won by 16.  Analysis was a long way off; bad in one way, but great in others.  First comes the good news.  The Cats dominated the third quarter, winning it by 30 points and 11 scoring shots to 1.  Then there were the correct tips of the Cats in both std and Accumulator.

Next, entering into the “doubtful” part, the Cats tipped as certs.  This was a borderline call, but the summary is that is was still correct – just.

The really bad bit was picking the Cats to win by so much.  They were expected to be up by a few goals at HT, not down by 4.  This was the piece of the puzzle that was totally unexpected – and caused the large discrepancy between the tip and the actual margin.

Port has done tremendously well in this finals series and exceeded the expectations of almost everyone!





The Swans to atone, but not total certs

The Blues have done remarkably well, and had a touch of luck, to get this far in the season.  They looked great last week (well, for the last 40 minutes, anyway).  They went within a goal or 2 of being blown away by the Tigers, but fought back well to overrun them.

It is likely, however, that the Tigers ran out of gas due to finals nerves.  Thus, the win by the blues may be slightly overrated.  Kreuzer is in some doubt this week, but McLean looks to be ok, but is named as an emergency.  Yarran wore a glove on Wednesday while training. Perhaps this is a new fashion statement?  And there must be a query on how Judd will come up after a 6 day break.

Now to the Swans:  they are 99% gone as far as winning the flag is concerned.  A trip to Perth in F3 then another to Melbourne in week 4 would finish them off.  But they are pretty well placed to beat the Blues this week.  Firstly, Carlton may have played one too many “finals” to come up again in good nick for this game.   Next, they get an 8 day rest compared to the Blues only 6.  That is HUGE for this time of year – especially for a battle-weary Swans team.

Given the fact that they are a higher rated team, playing at home (well, at Homebush, anyway) and have the longer break, they should almost be certs.

But!!!! The concern is that they look very tired (Hannebery has struggled lately, McVeigh copped a knock towards the end of last week’s game and the end is near for Bolton), many of their key players have been overworked and some other key players are coming back underdone (Rohan & Jetta).   The fact that Rohan has been omitted augurs (as opposed to “all goes”) well for the Swans, as does leaving out Goodes. Their team for this week looks a lot more “match fit” than the one we expected to take the field.

Nonetheless, all these concerns give the game an EXTREME variance rating and just barely prevents the Swans from being labelled as certs.  But they are close to being certs.

Weather:  Cool night after a warm day, with a possible shower.

Maths (in points)

Ability: SYD + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: SYD + 12

Current Form:   CARL + 8

Team Changes:   EVEN
Psychological:    SYD + 9

Freshness:    SYD + 9

Injuries:     SYD + 1

Total:     Swans by 29 points
Accumulator tip:  SYD ~ 1.30 (but Blues at ~3.50 is tempting, but not a high enough figure to be REALLY tempting)

Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 29 points and they won by 24.  Analysis was almost perfect.  The tip was correct, the temptation to select the Blues in the Accumulator was resisted and some of the assumptions above were correct.  Note that Judd totally ran out of steam in the 2H, while late inclusion McLean really struggled. So, although the Swans had obvious rotation problems, the Blues had a host of players underperforming.  The following low SC scores were recorded by Carlton:  Armfield 36, Betts 48, Casboult 26, Duigan 29, Garlett 33 & McLean 46.  Judd stopped to a walk in 2H.




Best cert: the Cats (eventually got there)

Best Outsider: The Blues have a tiny chance only, but expect both favourites to win (both favs won)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated):  Cats to win by more than 29 points (wrong – gave Port too big a start)

Happy tipping!  This is a week to play it safe with your tips

Finals week 3

Herald Sun Tipping comp is now closed, but scored 2 of 2 (which wasn’t all that hard this week)

Accumulator: 2.53 (both winners) for a total of 195.7 and improved from 674 to 538 out of 11,802 tipsters.  This comp continues during the finals. Streak:  tipped 1 of 1 certs correctly – streak now sits at 1.  The ranking of 55 out of 68,788 tipsters for the 38 straight winners remains, however.

50/50 tips: 0 out of 1 correct for the round
Wrong:  Cats didn’t win by enough. So now at 26 out of 56 = 46% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for Finals week 3:  The Hawks are the logical choice, but the Cats aren’t totally out of it via the fundamentals – and then there is this 11 games in a row thing….

The Dockers look likely to win, but should they be certs or not?

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:
1 HAW V GEEL     HAW 12       EXTREME   a definite chance
2 FREO V SYD      FREO 34     HIGH           a tiny hope only

Variance: differs depending on unknown technical and fundamental issues – like possible injuries and tracking of form trend

Medium means the website is expected to be close to the mark

High means expect some likelihood of the website being several goals off the mark

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions

The Hawks look the winners, but…..

Now is an appropriate time for some therapy for Hawks fans.  How do you know if you are comfortable about playing the Cats in the prelim.  One Hawks fan was heard to immediately lament the Dockers week 1 win at Geelong, because “now we will have to play Geelong in the prelim!”  Others were quite buoyant last Saturday morning and feeling confident about beating the Cats.  Her eis the litmus test about how you really feel about it:  when Port was a few goals up in 3Q last Friday night and the Cats made their charge, what was your heart’s reaction?  Therein lies the answer.

Let’s look first at the fundamentals:  The Hawks seem to have the Cats covered in this regard.  They have the week’s rest, are in better form and the injury list is shrinking at the right time.  Well, if you use Rioli as the sub (as Clarkson has hinted), he may not be 100%.

The Hawks’ current form is much better than that of Geelong, but the Hawks may have got the Swans at a good time.  And is Geelong running out of puff?  Or did they have one eye already on Hawthorn when they played Port last week (who were on the road for the second week running)?

Then again, who knows how Hawkins will come up?  He was better in 2H last week.  West and Kersten are in the emergencies to come in if needed.

Comparing the teams when they last met (when the Cats got out to a huge lead and then just hung on), the Hawks regain Shield, Guerra and Birchall for Duryea, Savage and Simpkin.  The Cats lose Enright, T Hunt, Simpson and Stringer and in come Johnson, Rivers, Varcoe and Vardy (note: Chapman missed the R14 clash).  These changes favour the Hawks and about enough to make up for the 10 point loss.

So it all gets back to the Kennett curse.  Should be over as soon as Jeff says, “those Cats are quite a good team”…. And maybe, “Labor was a worthy opponent in 1999”.  Okay, that’s a long shot!!

The Hawks will be tipped without confidence and the Cats are value at about 3.20 in the Accumulator.  As far as possible outcomes, the variance is marked as extreme.  The Hawks may possibly do a Pies in 2010 Prelim and smash Geelong early.  Option 2 is that they break away in 2H similar to the Swans match 2 weeks ago.  Or, the third option is that it is yet another close game and the Cats find a way to win.

Extreme changes in momentum and, even a bizarre final score line are all possible.  Beware!!

Weather:  Cool, breezy, with showers expected to clear well before game time

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form:   HAW + 11

Team Changes:   HAW + 5

Psychological:    GEEL + 18

Freshness:    HAW + 3

Injuries:     HAW + 4

Total:     Hawks by 12 points  
Accumulator tip:  GEEL ~ 3.20

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 12 points and they won by 5.  Analysis was very good in this instance.  What actually happened was that the Hawks dominated most aspects of the game, but the hoodoo (or something) almost prevented them from winning.  They seemed to miss some very easy shots, and had one or 2 other things not quite go their way.  Despite seeming to have more injury problems, the Cats appeared to be the ones running out of steam.  Their form, generally, trailed off late in the season.  Of course, the Accumulator was incorrect, but still considered to be a worthwhile tip.

The Dockers should progress to their first grand final

There are 2 ways of looking at the teams in this game:

A: the Dockers have had 2 weeks to think about the fact that they are hot, hot favourites to play in their first ever grand final.  The pressure would be huge!!! And can they cope with it?  Maybe not, even with Ross Lyon at the helm
B: the Swans have already fired all their bullets.  The huge effort to win against the odds, seemingly, last week will flatten them for the prelim.

Option B is ever so slightly favoured, but it is not clear which is correct.  The teams are pretty much ex expected.  Maybe the Swans line-up is not so top heavy this week.  There may be slight doubt on Docker Johnson and Swan O’Keeffe.

If one MUST pick a cert, then the Dockers would be it for the week.  They would be cert for certain (?) if they had had previous grand final experience.

Weather:  Mild, slight breeze and a possible shower

Maths (in points)

Ability: FREO + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: FREO + 18

Current Form:  FREO + 1

Team Changes:   SYD + 1

Psychological:    FREO + 6

Freshness:    FREO + 6

Injuries:     SYD + 2

Total:     Dockers by 34 points and almost certs
Accumulator tip:  FREO ~ 1.33

Post Match Review:  Dockers were tipped by 34 points and they won by 25.  Analysis was very good – almost perfect, when one considers the Dockers slowdown at the end.  Perhaps they could have been more strongly tipped as certs.  The experts were closer, however, in tipping the Dockers by 20 points.  But this is a moral victory, of sorts, as the realistic hopes of the Swans were more clearly “indicated” by a 34 point tip.

Best cert: the Dockers, if you have to pick a cert.  Pass if you are wanting to protect a big run of certs (which this website is currently NOT doing, so will tip the Dockers as a cert in

Best Outsider: The Cats have a definite chance

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated):  None will be given this week.  Again, if you must, then it’s the Cats to win or get within 2 goals of Hawthorn.

Happy tipping!  This is a slightly tricky week, despite there being 2 highly fancied favourites.

Finals week 4 (Grand Final)

Herald Sun Tipping comp is now closed, but scored 2 of 2 (which wasn’t all that hard again this week)

Accumulator: 1.3 (missed on the Cats) for a total of 197.0 and improved from 538 to 494 out of 11,802 tipsters.  Assumed improvement is due to many not entering tips for week 3 of the finals.  This comp continues during the finals. Streak:  tipped 1 of 1 certs correctly (with the Dockers winning comfortably) – streak now sits at 2.  The ranking of 55 out of 68,788 tipsters for the 38 straight winners remains, however.

50/50 tips: didi not make a selection, but the Cats to get within 2 goals was correct (see above). So now at 26 out of 56 = 46% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for GF:  see below for the real thing (added early this week).  In many ways, this is the easiest game to tip for the year.  It is because all the hard work is done for you.  There will be reporters telling you about the fitness of all the players, and analysing everything to within an inch of its life (you just need to sort out the pearls from the perils).

For many, the “year” is over as tipping finished in R23.  for others, there is a “stand alone” finals tipping comp.  Often a margin has to be selected to separate those on equal wins.  In this instance, it is often smart to go a little outside the norm.  This could mean picking the outsider.  It would have worked last year.  Or it may mean selecting the favourite to win by more than expected.  The latter is the favoured tactic this time.

The next question is: how much to pick them by?  A good rule of thumb is to be the person with the highest margin – just.  Here is how to approximately calculate it:  the expected margin is currently about 8 or 9 points.  So most tipsters will tip the Hawks to win in the range of 1 – 20 points.  If you have 3 or less to compete with, a margin in the high 20s would probably be about right.  The more you are directly competing with, the higher you would need to go.  For 4 – 8 people to compete with, a margin in the 30s is probably the way to go.  For more than 8, a margin in the 40s might do it.  Remember, if you are the person with the highest margin, then the Hawks can win by up to infinity and you still win.  So if you tip 32 points and they win by 96, you will still collect if 32 is the highest margin tipped.  You may feel like an absolute hero picking 96 and getting it exactly right, but that would be a smart play, statistically speaking.

But if you have tipped, say 17 points, there may be someone else tipping 13 points and another 20 points.  So you have little margin for error.  If possible, have a look at the margins the others tipped.  It will give you a good guide as to the usual spread of margins tipped.  Or look at the tips in the newspapers.  All the best and have fun.

Games                Tip / By Variance       Outsider is:
1 HAW V FREO     HAW 40  HIGH*            no hope at all (well, a tiny,      tiny hope)

*  Variance not quite extreme

Variance: differs depending on unknown technical and fundamental issues – like possible injuries and tracking of form trend

Medium means the website is expected to be close to the mark

High means expect some likelihood of the website being several goals off the mark

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions

The Hawks look like winners

In a sense, the Hawks are really winning last year’s flag 12 months too late – just like the Eagles did in 1991/92, the Bombers in 1999/2000 and the Cats in 2008/09.

This “we let it slip last year” will provide some motivation for Hawthorn.  Add to this their GF experience (compared to that of the Dockers) and we have a psychological advantage to the Hawks.

This is diminished somewhat by the fact that the Dockers have been “holding back” a little in some of their recent performances.  But the psychological edge still goes to the Hawks.

The main problems in assessing this game are the sore / doubtful players for both teams:

Hawks: Hale, Guerra, Puopolo & Franklin.

Freo: Mayne, McPharlin, Johnson & Danyle Pearce

The ones most doubtful would be Hale and Johnson (either not to play or to get re-injured during the game).

But, overall, these doubts tend to even themselves out.  Of course, it can occur that one team gets all the bad news on the day, but it is somewhat unlikely.

Given that the Hawks lead in almost all categories, they are strongly tipped to win.  And they are just barely named as certs.  It’s a close call.

The trick to the Dockers winning will be to pressure the Hawks off their crisp. Clean disposal type game.  It is possible that they may be able to do this early.  But it is unlikely that they can sustain it for the full game.  A possible scoring pattern would be similar to the 1991 GF.  In that game, the Eagles (in their first GF) flew out of the blocks and led by over 3 goals late in the first term.  A couple of late goals brought the Hawks back into it.  The Hawks gradually got on top before storming away in the final quarter.

Weather:  Cool, breezy, with a few showers

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 9 POINTS

Home Ground: HAW +18

Current Form:   HAW + 4

Team Changes:   FREO + 1

Psychological:    HAW + 6

Freshness:    HAW + 3

Injuries:     HAW + 1

Total:     Hawks by 40 points and barely CERTS
Accumulator tip:  HAW ~ 1.65

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 40 points and they won by 15.  Analysis was looking good at half time, but the Dockers fought back well.  Looking at the “doubtful” players who all took the field and their Supercoach scores:

Hawks: Hale 67 vs season average of 84, Guerra 41 vs season average of 82, Puopolo 57 vs season average of 76 & Franklin 83 vs season average of 88

Freo: Mayne 66 vs season average of 90, McPharlin 55 vs season average of 71, Johnson 124 vs season average of 88 (the only one to exceed the average) & Danyle Pearce 58 vs a season average of 80

– the conclusion is that both teams struggled to get their “doubfuls” up, except for Johnson.  The net for each team is Hawks -82 points and Dockers -26, so this definitely helped the Dockers to be competitive.  But it doesn’t fully explain the discrepancy between a 40 point margin and a 15 point margin.  The 56 points “gained” by the Dockers is about a goal difference at best.

The other possibility is that the Hawks may have been somewhat flattened by their prelim final win and, therefore, ran out of puff a bit in the 2nd half.

Or, finally, the Dockers were better prepared than many first time grand final teams because of Ross Lyon.

Whatever, the analysis was not that great, despite picking the winner in both the std and the Accumulator.

Best cert: the Hawks (they won, but the “certs” call was questionable)

Best Outsider: Don’t expect one this week

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated):  The Hawks to win by 2 goals or more (they just got there!)

Happy tipping!  This looks easier than the experts reckon; let’s see how it pans out