Round 4, 2013

Round 4, 2013

Scores after round 3 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp
Tips correct: 8 (very good) and a big improvement from 46,946 to 24,637 out of 64,818 tipsters

Accumulator: 10.19 (very good) and ranking improved from 3,949 to 2,119 out of 11,773 tipsters

Last Man Standing Comp: Alive (Saints won well). Streak:  tipped 1 of 1 certs correctly, with the Saints winning – streak now 2

50/50 tips: 1 out of 3 correct for the round (the Dees lost by too much; the Lions didn’t win by enough and Port won to save the weekend), so now at 3 out of 6 = 50% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for R4: TBA on or before Wednesday

Back to the normal tipping now

Apologies for lack of table format

Round 4, 2013

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:        
1 SYD V GEEL        SYD 15       EXTREME      a definite chance
2 HAW V FREO      HAW 30
3 RICH V COLL     RICH  1      EXTREME      there is no outsider
4 STK V ESS            ESS 
5 WCE V CARL     
6 SUNS v PORT     
7 MELB V GWS     
8 ADEL V WBD     

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

1 SYD V GEEL       
The Swans without huge confidence

The Cats are 3 and zip due to experience more than brilliance at present. In each game they won it by a short burst of scoring.  It wasn’t totally convincing, but it was effective enough.  They have been highly primed for the early season, and this has helped them overcome a series of nuisance injuries.

Conversely, the Swans have been slowly warming the engine up.  They finally hit top gear in 3Q last week and won well despite losing each other quarter.  While they should be further improved for R4, they aren’t yet totally convincing.

This is Geelong’s 3rd 6 day break in a row, and the effects are starting to show.  They dropped off late last week vs the Blues when they appeared likely to romp home.  Had this been mid season, the Swans would be even more heavily fancied.  As it is, the Cats have been talking about “THE FIRST 4 WEEKS” for months now.  So they have it as a goal to maintain the intensity until after the Swans game.  Then they get an 8 day rest and a Dogs game at Etihad.   So expect the Swans to gain only a slight advantage on this score – unless they get well in front.  In that case, the Cats may go into early rest mode and drop off dramatically in 4Q.

With questions marks over each team (despite both being undefeated), this is an EXTREME VARIANCE game.  Beware!

Maths (in points)

Ability: EVEN

Home Ground: SYD + 15

Current Form: SYD + 1

Team Changes: GEEL + 2

Psychological: GEEL + 3

Freshness: SYD + 3

Injuries: SYD + 1

Total: Swans by 15 points
Accumulator tip: SYD ~ 1.62 (but the Cats at 2.30 is tempting)

Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 15 points but the Cats won by 21.  Analysis was just fair.  The ability of the Cats to “come up” after 3 x 6 days breaks was underestimated and the Swans were probably not as far advanced as their R3 win vs the Roos indicated.  Also, the Swans lost LRT early and Hannebery was clearly struggling after a few knocks.  And George Horlin-Smith exceeded all expectations for the Cats!.  And


2 HAW V FREO     
The Hawks are almost certs

The loss of Pavlich (who Docker fans were hoping was about to run into form) has all but killed off any chance for the Dockers.  Not that he was that great last week – the loss is felt due to his best form.

Freo lost McPharlin early and Bradley (ironically an ex-Don) was cleaned up early and struggled; now we find out Pav needs a long rest.  It didn’t help them last week in their efforts to hang on to a lead.  And all this while Clarke is still out injured.  Among the emergencies named are talls Hannath at 201cm and Smith at 195cm.  It makes one wonder if Bradley and McPharlin are okay.  They would both need to be playing and doing well for the Dockers to have a chance.

The Hawks were great late last weekend and it was a pleasure (for all except the 4 billion Pie fans) to see Luke Hodge return to his best footy.

The “Friday night humiliation” factor kicks in here.  When a team has a humiliating loss on a Friday night, they often bounce back extremely well the following week.  The score line was not a shocker for the Dockers, but losing from 6 goals up in slippery conditions was.  So expect last week’s result to provide a small boost for Freo – not enough to expect an upset, but just enough to resist labelling the Hawks as certs.

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 12 points

Home Ground: HAW + 18

Current Form: HAW + 9

Team Changes: HAW + 1

Psychological: FREO + 10

Freshness: FREO + 6

Injuries: HAW + 6

Total: Hawks by 30 points
Accumulator tip: HAW ~ 1.17

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 30 points and they won by 42.  Analysis was quite good, considering that the Dockers lost McPharlin before the game.  The Hawks’ loss of Guerra was not as critical.  Maybe the Friday night small loss was “not humiliating enough” to cause the Dockers to outperform expectations.  Given McPharlin’s absence, the Hawks were virtually certs.  It was a borderline decision on whether to label them certs anyway.



Tough to pick – Tigers just, but with EXTREME VARIANCE

There are 2 opposing forces pulling tipsters one way or the other.  Looking at the team line-ups and current form points one strongly to Richmond.  They are missing Foley and, possibly, Astbury from their best side.  The Pies are without Ball, Beams, Didak, Johnson, Jolly, Keeffe, Krakouer and Maxwell.  And then Fasolo and Dale Thomas are underdone, which a small doubt hangs over Ben Reid.  This is the slightly stronger and more logical argument.

Then there is the recent record (Pies 5 straight over Richmond and 4 by huge margins) as well the experience of Collingwood in the many big games they have played in recent years.

In reality, the Tigers will win if they can maintain their composure under pressure and scrutiny.  This contest is similar to the Hawks / Dons match of R9, 2001.  The Hawks were 8 and zip – just ahead of reigning premiers Essendon at 7 and 1.  The Hawks were given a huge chance, but were blown off the park by 65 points.  This is the fate the Tigers face if they wilt under pressure.

Hence the EXTREME VARIANCE call.  And so, despite the narrow margin tipped, almost anything could happen.

The Pies were ordinary last week, but may possibly have had a letdown after the Blues game; and then they would be expected to recover in R4.   The Tigers’ form against the Dogs looked good, but was flattered by the WBD injury toll during the game.  But a small positive for the Tigers was that they finished the Dogs off nicely.

It is likely that any sizeable lead (say of over 4 goals) will be extremely difficult to peg back in this game.

Maths (in points)

Ability: COLL + 18 points

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: RICH + 5

Team Changes: RICH + 1

Psychological: COLL + 5

Freshness: RICH + 3

Injuries: RICH + 15

Total: Tigers by a point
Accumulator tip: RICH ~ 1.91

Post Match Review:  Tigers were tipped by 1 a point but the Pies won by 34.  Analysis was poor here – to quote some coaches: it wasn’t the result, it was the process.   The Tigers told us midweek that “the pressure is on us”.  They were thinking like a challenger that shouldn’t really be there.  This should have been given more weight than the Magpie injuries.  During the game, Mark Maclure talked about “perceived pressure”.  That is why the “cattle on the ground” did not matter.  Had the correct weighting been given to this, the correct team would have been tipped.  The Tigers also had limited bench options in the final quarter.



4 STK V ESS           
The Dons to probably roll on

This should have been an easy game for Essendon based on their recent form.  But the loss of Ryder, Kommer, Fletcher and some doubt on Hurley (the Dons have been VERY QUIET about him in recent days) makes it an interesting game.  Hurley’s possible replacement, Gumbleton, is an emergency.  To slightly muddy the Waters, Ryder’s replacement Hille was due to play VFL last weekend but pulled up sore after the last training session and was a late withdrawal from the VFL team.

In the last 3 years, teams that outperform expectations for the first 3 weeks of the season (such as Essendon has done this year) have continued that trend in R4.  The one exception in the 6 cases was the Swans in 2011, when they outperformed expectations only by 6, 2 and 14 points in R1, 2 & 3.

So there is a reasonable technical lead (not very strong) which suggests that the Dons should do so again – and therefore win quite well.  To help this along, Goddard knows the Saints players well and seems to be a student of the game.  He may be able to feed valuable info to the Essendon team.

Looking at last year should bring a feeling of DANGER VOUS to Essendon.  They have come off the bye with 2 big wins (over Freo in the west than a shellacking of the Dogs) and were warm favourites to beat a Saints team that had just been overrun by the Roos.  But the Dons were deplorable on that night and lost by heaps.

The Giants played the Saints back into some form last weekend, but they would need to improve to beat the Dons.  And how long can Essendon feed off “it’s the whole world against us” mindset?  James Hird looked quite drained on the Bombers website when announcing the teams.

A danger game due to varying factors with an EXTREME VARIANCE call.

Maths (in points)

Ability: ESS + 6 points

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: ESS + 10

Team Changes: STK + 11

Psychological: ESS + 5

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: ESS + 1 (comparing both teams injury lists to 3 weeks ago)

Total: Dons by 11 points
Accumulator tip: STK ~ 2.55

Post Match Review:  Dons were tipped by 11 points and they won by 37.  Analysis was just fair; and more weight should have been given to the Dons being on a roll.  In that case, they would have also been the tip in the Accumulator.  Maybe also the Dons need to be re-assessed in terms of ability rating!!



5 WCE V CARL     
The Eagles to land

The Eagles looked great in 2H last week against the Dees.  But they are still a fair way off getting their best team on the park.  Le Cras and Kerr returned last week (the latter being rested at 3QT), but we still await Rosa, Naitanui, the yet to debut Wellingham, Waters and others while Embley is out again.  As such, they won’t be tipped with a lot of confidence.  Masten seems to have hit form now after a patchy pre-season.

Meanwhile the Blues and Roos continue to compete for the title of the best winless team in the comp.  They could have, with a bit of luck, been 3 and zip.

The Blues have their own worries with Betts, Kreuzer, Waite and a few fringe players injured.  They have been doing okay in matches, then suddenly conceding a flurry of goals in quick time.

The desperation kicks in for the Blues, but it doesn’t guarantee success.  They may improve 2 weeks after the Magpies game, but it is not clear if this will occur.  One positive is that they have done well in Perth in recent times.

Both teams have been struggling a tad in their bottom end players.  Whoever gets more out of their least talented will go a long way towards winning.

Maths (in points)

Ability: WCE + 18 points

Home Ground: WCE + 21

Current Form: CARL + 2

Team Changes: CARL + 6

Psychological: CARL + 10

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: WCE + 1

Total: Eagles by 22 points
Accumulator tip: WCE ~ 1.38

Post Match Review:  Eagles were tipped by 22 points but the Blues won by 24.  Analysis was just average and it appears that the Eagles’ form against the Dees was overestimated.  Also, the Blues’ comeback against Geelong last week was blamed on the Cats being tired. But the Cats disproved this theory on the Friday night against the Swans.  Had thee factors been properly accounted for, at least the Accumulator tip would have been correct!

The Eagles were horrible in terms of their goal-kicking and field kicking.  The positives from a spectator viewpoint were the shutdown roles assigned to the Blues players and WA boy Yarran’s running goals.

Why was Cripps subbed off in 3Q while Glass could hardly move one arm?  Glass’s immobility cost him team several goals either directly or indirectly.



6 SUNS v PORT     
The toughest to pick and Port narrowly

The Suns were some chance to be in the eight, but just failed last weekend in the Q clash.  Their form after Lions’ games has been patchy and they cannot afford to drop off if they want to win this one.  There may be some small doubt on Gazza and Dixon.  Both are said to have passed fitness test and they are expected to play.  But will they excel?

Port’s last 4 “after Showdown” matches have been awful.  Even more so than the Suns above (if you will pardon the pun), they need to ensure they don’t Slow Down after a Showdown.  Gray (slightly underdone, perhaps) and Cassisi come in and this should help –  so long as the others don’t take it as a cue to have a little snooze.

This season they have outperformed expectations by  80, 25 &22 points in R1, 2 &3.  See the Bombers…. technical trend explained above and you will see that this is a positive lead for Port.

Coach Hinkley is an ex assistant at Gold Coast, while Matthew  Primus has gone the other way.

Neither team has “settled” into their normal form pattern – with both being much better than in 2012.  So it’s yet another EXTREME VARIANCE game.

Last weekend, Port had the luxury of a 2nd week in a row at home.  This time the pleasure belongs to the Suns.

Maths (in points)

Ability: PORT + 6 points

Home Ground: SUNS + 15

Current Form: PORT + 5

Team Changes: PORT + 7 (allowing for small risks on Ablett and Dixon)

Psychological: PORT + 5

Freshness: SUNS + 6

Injuries: SUNS + 1

Total: Port by a point
Accumulator tip: SUNS ~ 2.60

Post Match Review:  Port was tipped by a point and they won by 38.  Analysis was okay and not too disappointed, because this was an EXTREME VARIANCE game and it is difficult to assess both teams.  Cassisi was better than expected first up.  The Suns were hurt by losing Bennell before the game.  Then they lost Wilkinson fairly early and later lost Warnock to injury.



7 MELB V GWS     
The Dees to please

Apart from one thing (form), everything points to a big Dees win.  And this would usually be followed with the words “CERTS”.  But not in this case.  One does not label a team which is lowly rated and in terrible form CERTS.

But there are numerous plusses for Melbourne.  Peter Jackson has been installed as interim CEO and his experience should come in handy.  The Dees are at home and the Gaints are on the road for the 3rd week running (maybe walking soon as they travel R5 and 6 as well).

Also, the long awaited 208cm ruckman Gawn has been promoted from good form in the 2s.  Watts is back and may find the touch he had in the NAB Cup.

Finally, the Giants have lost Brogan and Smith to suspension, while Patton has done a knee.

The only way the Dees could lose this is if there is still severe troubles festering at the club (EG like Port when they lost to the Suns at home in 2011).

Teams that underperform expectations in weeks 1 – 3 of a season in the past the years have unperformed in R4 of 5 of 7 occasions; although 2 of the 5 “underperformances” were by less than a goal.  Such an effort this week would give the Dees a narrow win.  In fact, the Dees began 2012 with variances of -56 (56 points worse than expected in R1), -60 and -34 (similar to 2013 without being as severe).  In R4, 2012, they only underperformed by 2 points.

The Giants have re-activated their 2012 revolving door policy.  Another EXTREME VARIANCE game.

Maths (in points)

Ability: MELB + 6 points

Home Ground: MELB + 18

Current Form: GWS + 10

Team Changes: MELB + 3

Psychological: MELB + 6

Freshness: MELB + 15

Injuries: MELB + 5

Total: Dees by 43 points but not certs (see above)
Accumulator tip: MELB ~ 1.50

Post Match Review:  Dees were tipped by a point and they won by 38.  Analysis was extremely good in this case – not that the forecasted margin was so close to the actual, but the fact that the Dees were tipped by 43 points but not labelled as certs. QED.  Nobody wants a cert to be 19 points down at the last change (unless kicking with a 10 goal wind).

In support of GWS, they seemed to run out of fit players a bit towards the end.  Their official injury report is not out yet



8 ADEL V WBD     
The Crows are the certs of the week

The Dogs were going to struggle in this clash anyway, but losing Murphy, Wood, Missy Higgins and Dickson gives them no hope at all.

Adelaide get the benefit of a second week at home following their bad fade-out in last week’s Showdown.  The Crows have generally done well after Showdowns.  They have desperation as an incentive; for to fall to 1 and 3 against 4 teams from the bottom half of the 2012 ladder would be a huge disaster.

Their injury list is short with only van Berlo and Smith missing.

The Dogs will definitely debut MacRae this week as they rebuild their list.  Boyd will be welcomed back from injury.

Maths (in points)

Ability: ADEL + 6 points

Home Ground: ADEL + 18

Current Form: ADEL + 4

Team Changes: ADEL + 6

Psychological: ADEL + 5

Freshness: ADEL + 6

Injuries: ADEL + 2

Total: Crows by 47 points and certs of the week
Accumulator tip: ADEL ~ 1.12

Post Match Review:  Crows were tipped by 47 points and they won by 52.  Analysis was very good and everything went according to plan.  The early rain that fell lowered the scores and there was a concern that this may limit the Crows’ winning margin.  But this was offset by the injury to Griffen and the Dogs were a rotation short late in the game.  The debutants for Adelaide were slightly better than those of the Dogs this time..



The Roos without confidence

These aspiring top 8 teams have 1 win between them – and that was when the Lions fell over the line a la Pheidippides against the Suns.

To make a case for the Roos: maybe they were “UP” for the Cats game (after a poor showing vs the Pies in R1) and then flat the next week after getting overrun by Geelong.  They would then bounce back in R4.

Nothing much inspires one about Brisbane except for one technical lead.  When a reasonable team has a terrible losing run (and a run of 2 is not long enough normally, but this is the start of the year and it must feel like forever for Lions fans) and then wins unimpressively, they can often outperform by approx 6 – 8 goals the following week.  This pattern has repeated numerous times over the years.  One example was when the Saints lost R6, 7 & 8 in 2011 and then had a struggling win over the Dees in R9.  Then in R10 they were slight underdogs vs Freo in Perth and won by 46 points.  When teams follow this pattern their big win tends to come with a sizeable early lead.

The technical lead is enough to make Brisbane the Accumulator tip and to dismiss all notions of calling the Roos certs.

Daw makes his debut this week for North.

Maths (in points)

Ability: EVEN

Home Ground: NMFC + 18

Current Form: NMFC + 5

Team Changes: BRIS + 1

Psychological: BRIS + 6

Freshness: BRIS + 6

Injuries: NMFC + 4

Total: Roos by 14 points
Accumulator tip: BRIS ~ 3.65

Post Match Review:  Roos were tipped by 14 points and they won by 63.  Analysis was a long way off.  Refer to the possible technical lead for Brisbane above.  When this technical lead works, the underdog usually comes flying out of the blocks.  So when the Roos, jumped out to a sizeable early lead, they were certs from that time onwards.  The Lions weren’t helped by losing McGrath very early.  North lost Daw not too long after, but they got their money’s worth from him by then.  And Hanley came off in 4Q and this didn’t help the Lions, but the game was well gone by then.


Best cert: The Crows and that is it (never in doubt)

Best Outsider: The Suns, with chances to the Lions & Saints (never likely – other outsiders won)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated): Let’s go (not sure why) for the Dees to win by more than 14 points (got there late), then the Crows to win by more than 43 points (eventually got there) and finish with Lions to win or to lose by less than 21 points(never a chance).

Happy tipping!  This week is more difficult than it looks and several outsiders have good chances.