Round 23, 2013

Round 23, 2013

Scores after round 22 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp.

Tips correct: 8 for a score of 144 (140 real winners + 4 bonus points) and improved from 9,269 to 7,504 out of 66,767 tipsters.

Accumulator: 13.61 (tipped all 9 correctly for the first time all year!!) for a total of 178.59 and improved from 1,998 to 1,254 out of 11,800 tipsters

Last Man Standing Comp: Eliminated in R14

NOTE: for those still “alive” in the Sportinbgbet free Last Man Standing comp changed from R13 onwards. Those “alive”, they have to pick the “line”.  These “lines” are subject to change, but you will get the “line” applicable at the time you enter your selection. Streak:  tipped 3 of 3 certs correctly – streak now up to 35 (with Pies, Crows and Tigers all winning).  Once again, the tips weren’t hard this week, it was just a matter of avoiding Carlton.  The ranking improved from 114 to 82 out of 68,788 tipsters.

50/50 tips: 3 out of 4 correct for the round
Right:  Pies to win by over 38 points; Cats to win by over 16 points; Saints to win by over 5 points.

Wrong:  The Giants had to get within 10 goals of the Tigers, and never got close so now at 24 out of 52 = 46% for the 50/50
(anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for R23:  IMPORTANT: If you are seeing Collingwood vs North Melbourne as the first game, then you are looking at an old fixture.  The new one has the Swans and Hawks playing on Friday night.  The “battle for 9th” games will be reviewed once Essendon’s fate is known.
The Suns are the certs of the week.  Their game has some real meaning.  The Hawks, Cats, Dockers
(but not now – after teams announced) and Dogs will all be tipped.  Also, the order in which games are played may be very important this week.  EG the battle for 2nd between the Cats and Dockers occurs on Saturday afternoon, with the Dockers starting their game 25 minutes earlier.  An upset Saints victory would mean that the Cats could relax late in their game vs the Lions.  Conversely, a Docker win would mean that the Cats would need a win to avoid a trip to Perth the following week.  The other teams to be tipped will be Richmond (fairly confident), then probably Pies, Eagles and Port (not very confident).

A quick note for those close to the lead in footy tipping:  if you are leading, they key will be tipping correctly in the Port / Blues and Eagles / Crows games.  These are both close to 50/50 contests in the eyes of the experts. For those wishing to catch up a game, you could try to pick the 2 above games correctly.  Or the other alternative may be to go for North as a roughie (but their finals chances may be shot on Saturday night!)

Where is the best spot to finish?  In recent years, it has been 2nd or 3rd, not 1st.  The recent flag winners, and where they finished at the end of the home and away season, were
Swans, 3rd
Cats 2nd
Pies 1st
Cats 2nd
Hawks 2nd
Cats 1st
Eagles 1st
Swans 3rd
Port 1st
Lions 3rd
Lions 2nd
Lions 2nd

This year, the top team (probably the Hawks, but maybe Geelong) will play an injured Swans team and go easily through to the prelim.  But there they will probably play a fired up Dockers team, fresh from a week 2 finals win at home.  Or, if the Dockers win in week 1, this would give us a Cats / Hawks prelim.  However, the winner of 2 vs 3 in week 1 will progress through to a prelim final against either the Swans, or the winner of 5 vs 8.  Any way you look at it, the winner of 2 vs 3 in week 1 of the finals gets the easier draw.
Down to 5 – 8, the best spot appears to be to finish 6th (which the Pies and Tigers can do) because it gives you a home final vs Port.  The 5th team will probably have to play Carlton or the Roos with no home ground advantage.  But, looking forward to week 2, the winner of 6 vs 7 may well have to travel to Perth to play the Dockers.  That should spell the end to the season for that team.  The winner of 5 vs 8, however, gets an easier game vs the Swans.  Summing it all up, it would be smarter to go for 5th than 6th – that is, if you want to at least progress to a prelim final.

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:
1 SYD V HAW       HAW 16       HIGH           some chance       
2 STK V FREO      STK 20        EXTREME   tipped to win
3 GEEL V BRIS     GEEL 53      HIGH           no hope at all
4 PORT V CARL   CARL 1       HIGH           tipped to win
5 ESS V RICH       RICH 26      EXTREME   a small chance
6 WCE V ADEL     WCE 16       EXTREME   some chance
7 SUNS V GWS     SUNS 74     HIGH           no hope at all
8 COLL V NMFC   COLL 17      HIGH           a small chance
9 WBD V MELB    WBD 37       HIGH           no hope at all

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

A quick discussion about variance in R23:  in recent seasons, the average variance for any game is about 25 – 30 points (which explains why it is so hard to pick 9 winners).  The variance in the last round before the finals has been:
2010 – 15
2011 – 35
2012 – 21
This year, it has the potential to be a high one.  This is because of a collection of factors.  Firstly, there is the Essendon thing.  Then we have teams with injury problems & finals teams looking at resting, or getting game time into, various players.  Then there are the teams playing for finals spots, but relying on other results to go their way.  Finally, what about coaches who may go, interim coaches who may be wanted or unwanted?  Beware!!! And some big variances are likely this weekend!!

The Hawks should probably win this one

See the note above about the benefits of finishing 2nd.  The Hawks could almost guarantee a number 2 position at weekend’s end by losing on Friday night.  The Cats could not throw their game vs Lions, because that would send them down to 3rd (assuming the Dockers won) and a trip to Pert for F1.  So the Cats would be going flat out to win.  That would put them above the Hawks on percentage.

However, it is not expected that the Hawks will throw the game.  Another way to view it is a convincing win over the Swans would give them confidence for a rematch in Melbourne the next week.

The Swans have had 2 problems in the last half of the season.
A: new injuries, and
B: not getting long term injured players back.
This has caused them to run out of steam as the season unfolds.

There is still no sign on Goodes, Jetta and LRT.  This week the lose Hannebery, Shaw (for the year) and Smith.  The 4 ins include 2 who have hardly played.

The Hawks appear to be taking a “no risk” policy with Rioli, while it is a concern that Guerra has missed 2 of the past 3 weeks now.

In terms of freshness, the Hawks are coming off breaks of 8 and 6, compared to the Swans 6 and 6.  All this points to a Hawthorn win, but not with huge certainty.

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: SYD + 12

Current Form:   HAW + 8

Team Changes:  HAW + 5

Psychological:    SYD + 6

Freshness:    HAW + 6

Injuries:     HAW + 3

Total:     Hawks by 16 points
Accumulator tip:  HAW ~ 1.47

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 16 points and they won by 12.  Analysis was pretty good, but no different to the experts.  The 2 late withdrawals (Tippett and Bailey) roughly evened themselves out.  The problem for the Swans was that their “ins” scored SC points as follows: Biggs 62, Cunningham 30, B Jack 28, Bolton 63, Morton 18 (as sub).  This shows that the Swans are struggling for depth.  Conversely, the Hawks’ “ins” were better.




The Saints to win in an upset, but no great certs.

Freo has been playing for 2nd for some weeks now, but now they need the Lions to cause a huge upset over the Cats to get there.

To top it off, they suddenly have injuries.  Looking at their team (with 7 players rested and doubts on Sandilands and Ibbotson), they have virtually conceded this game to St kilda.

The Dockers are undefeated at Etihad this year (with wins over the Dogs and Blues, following wins over the Saints, Dees and Roos there in 2012).

The Saints blew the Suns away last week, but the Suns copped injuries during the game, were on the road for a 2nd week in a row and had a fair few injuries even prior to last week. 

Also, the Saints broke an 8 game losing streak with last week’s win.  The fact that they won big (46 points) and outperformed expectations (by 43 points) suggests, on the technical charts, that they will lose this week.  Of the past 17 teams to break a 4 or more game losing streak with a big win, only 4 of them have won the following week.  Of the 4 wins, 3 were against bottom teams and only 1 (when Port beat the Swans this year after a big win over the Giants) was against a top team.  And the Saints aint going as well as Port.

But then there are the farewell games for Kozzie, Blake and Milne to consider.  Maybe Kozzie isn’t 100%.  Perhaps he will be the sub, but that is a risk.

The negative technical for the Saints prevents the tip for them being so positive.  But they still will be tipped.

Maths (in points)

Ability: FREO + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: STK + 18

Current Form:   FREO + 13

Team Changes:  STK + 35

Psychological:    FREO + 9

Freshness:     EVEN

Injuries:     STK + 13

Total:     Saints by 20 points
Accumulator tip:  STK ~ 2.20

Post Match Review:  Saints were tipped by 20 points and they won by 71.  Analysis was a fair way off, but the experts were tipping the Dockers to win when the analysis above was completed.  On the day itself, the Dockers also left out Mundy (rested) and Ibbotson (didn’t come up – see above).  When the virtually unknown replacements Simpson and Moller came in for Freo, the Saints ended up as favourites.  Had the above analysis been redone at the “jump”, it would have been something like Saints by 50 points.  A team that drops 12 players virtually has no hope at all.  So the analysis was very good.  And the experts (once again) had it assessed wrongly on Thursday AFTER the teams were announced.




The Cats are certs

These teams played recently.  In R13, the Cats were 53 points up on the Lions in 3Q, but got overrun at the Gabba.  Geelong were first up from the bye that day and probably put the “Q back in Iraq” (as Mal Prop would say) a bit too early.  There is no chance of that happening this weekend.  This time it is at KP.  The last time the Lions won there, Chris Scott was playing for them!!

Despite the Lions having a slim chance to play finals, it is hard to see them going close this time – especially with both Merrett and Brown missing.  Moloney is a surprise inclusion and may require a test.  Black is still not back.

The Cats had it easy last week because the Swans had injuries.  But no need to waste too much time here.  Just pick the Cats.

Maths (in points)

Ability: GEEL + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: GEEL + 18

Current Form:   GEEL + 13

Team Changes:   EVEN

Psychological:    BRIS + 9

Freshness:    GEEL + 6

Injuries:     GEEL + 1

Total:     Cats by 53 points and CERTS
Accumulator tip:  GEEL ~ 1.05

Post Match Review:  Cats were tipped by 53 points and they won by 1.  Analysis was a long way off.  And a CERT should never win by just a point!!! So, an apology is offered for any undue stress caused.  But why???  The one thing that may have had a big influence was the distraction of the Saints vs Freo game (which began 25 minutes earlier).  Most expected it to go down to the wire.  But the big screen at Geelong kept on pumping out the fact that the Saints were romping in against the Dockers.  Hence the Cats players not only knew the score, but their motivation for winning was removed.  Also, Moloney was reported to be out for the year recently, so it was a surprise that he actually played.  Also Motlop hardly touched it and was subbed out early. Fortunately, the streak remained intact and no harm done.  The scoring trend of the match made it close to an EXTREME variance game – maybe due to the Saints match as above.




The Blues by a whisker

This is the most important game of the round, as far is claiming 8th spot is concerned.  After being totally out of it, the Blues now have their destiny in their own hands.  That is, win and they are in.

A good question to ask is: how will Port approach this game?  They have nothing to gain by winning, except confidence.  But it is simplistic to assume that the Blues will automatically triumph due to greater motivation.  History and hysteria has disproved this theory many times.

One plus for the Blues is that Port have to come back from a Perth trip.

To add to the complexity, the Blues are on a good week, shocker, 3rd week technical chart pattern.  This would suggest that they would underperform considerably (and, if that is correct, lose).  The fact that this is R23 and a finals berth is on the line may possibly negate the technical chart to a degree, but it is worth keeping in mind.

Also, Port has just formed a 2up 2down technical chart with recent variances of -7, -2, 15, -11 and -39.  This chart would suggest that Port would underperform expectations this week.

Now that we have 2 charts giving conflicting information, almost anything could happen.  While the temptation exists to cal this game an extreme variance game, the urge will be resisted.  The reason is that the charts may, somewhat, cancel each other out.  This would leave the fans all over Australia with what the AFL would want – a close game that holds people’s interest.

There may be fitness tests required for Wingard, Cassisi and Ebert (Port) as well as Scotland and Yarran (Blues).  This makes the tipping all the harder.  Blues just, but SO hard to pick

Maths (in points)

Ability: CARL + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: PORT + 15

Current Form:   CARL + 4

Team Changes:  CARL + 11

Psychological:    PORT + 11

Freshness:    CARL + 6

Injuries:     EVEN

Total:     Blues by 1 point
Accumulator tip:  CARL ~ 2.02

Post Match Review:  Blues were tipped by 1 point and they won by 1.  Analysis was perfect from an outcome viewpoint, but maybe the variance should have been labelled EXTREME (see discussion on that subject above).  Also, it was “brave” (and almost stupid) to pick the Blues in both the normal and Accumulator.  But it just worked this time!  The late withdrawals (Gray out for Renouf and Scotland out for Duigan) approximately evened themselves out; although Scotland was somewhat expected.  A curio is that Port won the SC score 1762 to 1534, but the inside 50s were 512 apiece.




The Tigers to claim 5th

See above why 5th is better than 6th, if the team has some level of optimism.  It is likely that Richmond will win well and claim that spot.  The Pies can steal it from them on Sunday, but would need to win by 60 points MORE than Richmond’s winning margin.

The Bombers, having sold a million papers already this year, are now virtually at the end of the never ending story.  They have an interim coach for R23.  The news, and all the hullabaloo, could have either a big positive or huge negative effect on the performance this weekend.

Add to this is the fact that the Dons broke a 4 game losing streak to win narrowly last week.  Teams in this situation usually do better than expected.  The reason is that the burden has been removed from them and they can play without the continued pressure of bad press after losses.  And the fact that they win “small” means that they are often underestimated by their next opponent and / or they don’t get too cocky.  All this logic would seem irrelevant in view of the penalties handed out to the Dons this week.  It messes with the usual mindsets of the players.

As well as all the emotional drama, they have also been losing players at a rapid rate over recent weeks.  There are doubts on Hurley and Crameri, while NLM and Hille have been brought in to play their last games.

For the Tigers, Newman is not yet back, but most else looks okay.

So, folks, this is yet another EXTREME variance game.  So, even though everything looks positive for the Tigers, they won’t be named as certs.  But they may well be certs by quarter time.  If the Dons look totally flat and are 5 goals or more down at QT, you can put down your glasses.

Maths (in points)

Ability: RICH + 6 POINTS

Home Ground:  RICH + 3

Current Form:   RICH + 7

Team Changes:  RICH + 3

Psychological:    EVEN (but who knows)

Freshness:    ESS + 3

Injuries:     RICH + 10

Total:     Tigers by 26 points
Accumulator tip:  RICH ~ 1.38

Post Match Review:  Tigers were tipped by 26 points and they won by 39.  Analysis was fairly good and the margin estimate was reasonably close.  The scoring trend was not akin to an EXTREME variance game, but the call was still justified due to not really knowing the mindset of the Bombers.  In the end, to get away with a win on both tips was a positive.




The Eagles maybe!

The line above isn’t much help!  This is a critical game for those who are near the top of the table in tipping comps. 

For a start, the Eagles have been dreadful in the past 2 weeks after demolishing the Dons in Melbourne.  They were blown away in the first half of 1Q by both the Cars and Pies.  Their injury list is high and we don’t know if the players and club want Woosha there in 2014 (or is he wants to be there himself).

Then there is the faint hope of the Crows playing finals.  There chances are currently rated at about 9%.  But, by game time, they will be totally out if either the Blues or Lions win.  And that may discourage them.  In any case, the Roos can blow them out of the race by winning on Sunday. 

Just looking at the game as if it were in mid season (with no finals / coaches stuff to influence the result), there are 2 conflicting aspects.  The “Eagles to win” side suggests that the Eagles are a better team (when all fully fit) and they are playing at home.  And also, it will be a farewell game for the retiring (Adam) Selwood and Embley.

The “Crows win” suggests that they are way better off than the Eagles in terms of current injuries and the Eagles are playing like Worsfold is on the way out.  And Shuey is still not back!!

However, Woosha denies this and has also put it on the players during the week that they have “let themselves down” and some players are “playing for their careers”.  Two clichés in the one week!!!

Hence, this is an EXTREME variance game.

But the strong suggestion in this game is to tip the Eagles.  The variance is extreme, but the mean (in mathematical terms) falls well the Eagles side of the line.

Forecast: shower or 2 and windy

Maths (in points)

Ability: WCE + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: WCE + 21

Current Form:   ADEL + 7

Team Changes:   EVEN

Psychological:    WCE + 9

Freshness:    WCE + 3

Injuries:     ADEL + 22

Total:     Eagles by 16 points
Accumulator tip:  WCE ~ 1.81

Post Match Review:  Eagles were tipped by 16 points but the Crows won by 86.  Analysis was a million miles off, and both tips were wrong.  The only positive was that the EXTREME variance call was definitely correct.  Darling was a late withdrawal for the Eagles.  The only conclusion is that something is wrong at the Eagles.  Either the coach is about to go, or there is disunity in the club, or similar.  A common tator said Josh Hill looked disinterested on Sat night.  In the post match press conference, the coach said the players’ confidence was shot and that they struggled to get themselves up mentally.  That explains the result quite well.  Having said all that, the Crows were very good and definitely “UP” for the game – as if they were keen to show that they were better than their ladder position suggested.




The Suns are the certs of the week!!

The Saints sure fixed up Gold Coast good and proper last week in what was expected to be a close contest.  But, as was forecast in the Round 22 preview, the experts had this game assessed wrongly.

The fact that the suns had a large injury list AND were on the road for the 2nd week running meant that it was highly unlikely that they were going to win.  On top of that, they copped injuries during the game.

This time, they are playing back at home against a team that is really waiting for the final siren to ring.  It can’t come quick enough for the Giants.  The last straw for fans hoping for an unlikely win and 17th place on the ladder was losing B&F fancy Ward for the match.  And Brogan had retired, while Treloar also misses with injury.

Yes, the Suns still have a longer injury list than the Giants (Swallow is still not back), but so much different that it will possibly affect the result.

Maths (in points)

Ability: SUNS + 30 POINTS

Home Ground: SUNS + 18

Current Form:   SUNS + 19

Team Changes:  SUNS + 3

Psychological:    SUNS + 3

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:     SUNS + 1

Total:     Suns by 74 points and CERTS of the WEEK
Accumulator tip:  SUNS ~ 1.14

Post Match Review:  Suns were tipped by 74 points and they won by 83.  Analysis was excellent.  Yet AGAIN, the experts had this one wrong.  The late withdrawal of Zac Williams didn’t help the Giants, it must be said.  Apart from that, the analysis was spot on.




The Pies, but not certs

This game may be of no significance by the time it begins.  If either the Blues or Lions win on Saturday, North will be out of the hunt for a finals berth.  However, if both the above lose, then the Roos only need the 4 points to claim 8th.

Meanwhile, if the Tigers have a good win, then the Pies are basically stuck in 6th place (needing to win by about 60 points MORE than Richmond to displace them).

One thing against the Pies is that they caught the Eagles at a good time.  And the Pies might have enjoyed their last weekend off for a while with a nice rest.  The 9 day break is a little bit too long for the Pies, in terms of preparation for the game.

The Roos may be slightly flat if they are not playing for something.

Maths (in points)

Ability: COLL + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: COLL + 3

Current Form:   COLL + 1

Team Changes:   EVEN

Psychological:    NMFC + 9

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:     COLL + 4

Total:     Pies by 17 points
Accumulator tip:  COLL ~ 1.53

Post Match Review:  Pies were tipped by 17 points but the Roos won by 11.  Analysis was just fair, with both tips wrong.  The sticking point may have been the rating of the Pies as 3 goals ahead of the Roos.  Also, maybe the “nothing to play for” had more effect on the Pies than the Roos.  Also, O’Brien was a late withdrawal for the Pies (more serious than Greenwood being out for the Roos).  And Beams (back from a week off) was well down on his recent efforts (60 SC points compared to an average of 109 since returning).   Then Q Lynch was off for the last quarter after rolling an ankle. In review, the Roos were never going to be tipped, but the question was whether they should have been tipped in the Accumulator at ~ 2.5




The Dogs look like certs

The dogs gave the Dees a huge start when they last played in R14, coming from 44 points down to just lose by 3 at the bell.  Don’t expect them to be so kind this time.

The Dees have a tiny chance to get the spoon, but would need the Giants to claim an unlikely win to do so.

The Dees hate going to Etihad, and this will assist the Dogs in ensuring victory.  Cooney comes back in.  Most people doubted his ability to return to top footy, but not the Cooneyites!!!  He is back.

Dogs by a fair bit

Maths (in points)

Ability: WBD + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: WBD + 6

Current Form:   WBD + 12

Team Changes:  WBD + 3

Psychological:    EVEN

Freshness:    EVEN

Injuries:     WBD + 5

Total:     Dogs by 37 points and CERTS
Accumulator tip:  WBD ~ 1.10

Post Match Review:  Dogs were tipped by 37 points and they won by 20.  Analysis was fair, and just a bit better than the experts who tipped them by 42.  The Dees did quite well, considering that Dawes was a late withdrawal.  For the Dogs, Stevens wore the red vest last week and was sub this time.  So it is assumed that he was carrying a niggle.  The Dogs won the inside 50 52 to 37 and the Supercoach points 1843 to 1460.  The Dogs kicked goals per quarter as follows:  4, 9, 1 & 2.  They actually lost 3 of the 4 quarters.  Maybe they played like a team that had been “up” for a long time and is almost due for a downer.  R23 is a good time to do it!!




Best cert: Suns (never in doubt), then (it’s raining) Cats (just squeaked in) and Dogs (never really in doubt)

Best Outsider: The Saints are easily the best outsider (romped home!).  Then the Blues (although this is almost 50/50) (just got there).  Not sure if the Crows are favourites or not, but the Eagles would be a great tip as outsider (the Crows romped home)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated)
Saints to win or lose by less than 6 points (never in doubt)
Suns to win by more than 38 points. (never in doubt)

For those still alive in the Last Man Standing, the lines are approx

Hawks 13.5

Dockers 8.5
Cats 54.5

Port 3.5
Tigers 20.5

Crows 2.5
Suns 38.5

Pies 11.5

Dogs 42.5
The recommendations is to go for the Suns
(correct) or Saints (correct)

Happy tipping!  This is a week where you should expect some upsets (the Saints, Blues and Crows all won, but they were all either favourites or close to it at the jump; which leaves the Roos as the only genuine outsider to win – but it was a tough week for tipsters with those on AFL tipping averaging 6 winners)