Round 5, 2013

Round 5, 2013

Scores after round 4 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp
Tips correct: 6 (not flash) and a drop from 24,637 to 26.323 out of 65,235 tipsters

Accumulator: 3.79 (awful!!) and ranking dropped 2,119 to 5,283 out of 11,780 tipsters

Last Man Standing Comp: Alive (Crows won well). Streak:  tipped 1 of 1 certs correctly (Crows), with the Saints winning – streak now 3

50/50 tips: 2 out of 3 correct for the round (the Dees won well enough, as did the Crows; the Lions didn’t get close enough), so now at 5 out of 8 = 63% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

Early thoughts for R5: Full write-up to be done by Wed 6AM and comment made on Thursday PM after the team selections for the final 7 games.

From now on, the technical analysis kicks in big time. You will see comments about it for the games applicable to the technical charts.

Apologies for lack of table format

Round 5, 2013

Games                  Tip / By    Variance       Outsider is:        
1 ESS V COLL         ESS 15           EXTREME   Tipped to win

2 STK V SYD           SYD 47          EXTREME   No hope

3 FREO V RICH     FREO 67       HIGH             No hope

4 GWS V SUNS        SUNS 38        HIGH             No hope

5 CARL V ADEL     CARL 26       HIGH             Some small hope

6 WBD V GEEL      GEEL 34       HIGH             A tiny hope

7 PORT V WCE      WCE 20         EXTREME   No real favourite here

8 BRIS V MELB      BRIS 36         EXTREME   A tiny hope

9 HAW V NMFC     HAW 39        HIGH             No hope

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 Dons in an upset

This is a fascinating match from both a fundamental and technical aspect.

Firstly, the fundamentals!!  And this preview is done prior to the official teams being named.  Usually, a challenger (like the Dons) missing 3 key talls would have no hope against a top 4 team like the Pies.

But one thing Essendon do have a plethora of is big blokes.  They are missing Ryder, Hurley and Fletcher.  But Hille, the long awaited Gumbleton and “Soapy” Pears come in to plug the gaps as if nothing has happened, although there may be a doubt on Gumby being able to back up and star again in consecutive weeks.  In reality, losing 3 key midfielders would have been more of a tragedy for the Bombers.

The Pies got over the Tigers by a bit of brilliance, pressure and bluff last week.  This covered a multitude of “best players” missing from the team.  There would be considerable doubt as to whether they can repeat the dose this week against an opponent much more used to big matches – maybe for no other reason than the ANZAC Day blockbusters they play each year.

Based on all the fundamental data, and given that the game is on a short break for both teams and therefore an EXTREME VARIANCE game, the Pies would be tipped.

But then there is the technical analysis.  The Pies have formed one of the most reliable technical patterns in recent times.  It is when a team’s performance against expectations declined over a period of three weeks (ending in an underperformance in week 3); and then has a huge upturn.  In Collingwood’s case, they outperformed expectations by 2 points in R1, then by a point in R2 (so a slight decline by the measurements used here), then a huge decline to underperforming by 47 points in R3.  Finally, R4 yielded a result of 37 points above expectations.  Coincidentally, these patterns often occur beginning with R1 as the starting point.  The 2010 example of Geelong will be used because they are a similarly rated top team in comparison to Collingwood 2013.  The Cats were +3 in R1, 2010, then -3, then -17 (a downtrend over 3 weeks), then +60 thumping of Port (the big uptrend).  The 5th week yielded a -65 shocker against Carlton.

This trend over 2010,11,12 has occurred 10 times and the week 5 underperformance rate was 9 out of 10 (but with 2 cases of a -2 and a -5, which would be just enough to give the Pies a win on Thursday if applied) and an average underperformance of 29 points.

This will be applied to the Pies for the ANZAC Day game.  The result will be a Bomber win.

Note also that the Bombers are coming off breaks of 8 and 5 days, compared to the Pies 6 and 5.  This is very significant, especially as some Magpies have been carrying “extra load” while their highly rated team mates have been out injured.

Maths (in points)

Ability: COLL + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: ESS + 7

Team Changes: COLL + 6

Psychological: ESS + 25

Freshness: ESS + 6

Injuries: COLL + 5

Total: Bombers by 15 points
Accumulator tip:  ESS ~ 2.30.

Post Match Review:  Dons were tipped by 15 points and they won by 46.  Analysis was pretty good here as the outsider was correctly tipped and to begin with 2.30 in the Accumulator (always gives one a warm feeling!).  Back to the technical pattern for the Pies: the 5th week underperformance in the past 12 examples have revealed some real shockers, such as 49, 65, 66 and 71 points worse than expected in week 5 of the trend.  So the Pies coming in at 54 points worse comes right in amongst the range of the poor performers. Pie fans can genuinely complain about a few umpiring decisions, but their players made more errors, in line with the dip in form predicted.




The Swans to win in Wellington

The venue (Wellington NZ – expected to be dry and cool) is important here because the Swans played on Friday night and the Saints on Saturday twilight.  The 5 day break for the Saints, plus their lower rating, makes it very tough for them to compete.

A further complication for them is the good, shocker technical charts.  Both the Swans and Saints were good in R3 (Swans outperformed expectations by 32 points and Saints by 40), and then ordinary in R4 (with the Swans underperforming by 28 points and the Saints 24).  For the technical lead to apply, a team has to outperform by over 20 points in one week and then underperform by more than 20 the next.

And here is the killer blow for the Saints – middle of the road teams (such as the Saints) tend to underperform AGAIN in week 3 of this technical chart – usually by about 4 goals, whereas top teams (Eg Swans) tend to exceed expectations in the third week – generally by about 4 goals in the positive.

It is rare for both teams to have the same technical chart going at the same time.  And while one is tempted to add the expected variances together – which would yield a Swans victory by 28 points (as expected by the experts) +24 +24 = 76 points, a more conservative approach will be taken which gives something more akin to 28 + 24 = 52.  This allows for the Swans to play 2 goals better than expected, while the Saints go 2 goals worse.

The fact that this game is in Wellington, coupled with the short breaks, will make this an EXTREME VARIANCE game.

Maths (in points)

Ability: SYD + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: SYD + 4

Team Changes: STK + 6

Psychological: SYD + 22 (see above)

Freshness: SYD + 11

Injuries: STK + 2

Total: Swans by 47 points and certs
Accumulator tip: SYD ~ 1.20.

Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 47 points and they won by 16.  The win by the Swans was so modest that an apology is almost in order.  This is not the way you want a cert to win. 
The concern for the Swans is that their response to “good, shocker, 3rd week” technical chart above was the response of a middle of the road team.  Maybe their slow build-up is affecting them; or perhaps a premiership hangover.  They only got their first goal from an interchange free kick and their final goal came from a free which was loudly booed by the “local” Saints.
Credit to the Saints, who looked like they especially set themselves for this match.

The other factor may be that the game was in Wellington and, as this was the first game there AND the first game for 4 points out of Australia, the variance was labelled as EXTREME.




The Dockers are certs of the week

Richmond had a great chance to knock off a vulnerable Magpie team and blew a chance.  Had this game been played again and the Tigers showed a bit more poise, the result could have been different.

The Tigers have already ruled out Morris (suspended) and Chaplin (concussion). Likely inclusions are Vlaustin and (Aaron) Edwards.

The Dockers (unsurprisingly) lost McPharlin before the game last weekend.  It may have been a wise move to save him for the Richmond game.  They still are missing Sandilands, Clarke and the Pav, but should have enough with Griffin and Bradley to get away with a win.

Many a team has missed the finals one year and then strung a few wins together to begin the following season.  One pattern which is consistent is that when the team has a bad loss (such as Richmond suffered on the weekend vs the Pies), they tend to underperform for a while after that loss as well.

A good example of this is Collingwood in 2000.  After finishing last in 1999, they won 5 straight to begin 2000.  This included 3 wins against top 8 teams from 1999.  In R6, they lost by 32 points to reigning premiers North (who weren’t setting the world on fire in early 2000), then a loss to eventual premiers Essendon.  Alarm bells rang loudly when the Pies dropped a home game to the Dockers (who finished 15th in 1999 and eventually 12th in 2000) in R8.

This technical trend would virtually kill off any chance the Tigers have of winning.  And Crowley will await Deledio or Cotchin.

To help Freo even more, they come into this Friday night game with an 8 + 6 day break, compared to Richmond’s 6 + 6 day break.  Dockers are big certs!

Maths (in points)

Ability: FREO + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: FREO + 24

Current Form: RICH + 1

Team Changes: RICH + 1

Psychological: FREO + 24

Freshness: FREO + 9

Injuries: EVEN

Total: Freo by 67 points and certs of the week
Accumulator tip:  ~ 1.50.

Post Match Review:  Dockers were tipped by 67 points and they won by 1.  Analysis was horrible and huge apologies for any undue stress caused to anybody.

The Dockers were lucky to get out of it with a win, in the end.  As well as the much publicised “non-goal” late in the game, there were also several umpiring decisions in 4Q to frustrate Tiger fans.

The fact that the Tigers could outperform expectations after their 3 wins then a bad loss in week 4 suggests that the Tigers may (not certainly, but may) be about to become a top side.

The other factor underestimated may be the way Freo plays the week after playing in Tassie.

In 2012, they were thrashed by the Eagles 8 days after playing in Tassie; the Eagles running away with the game in latter stages.  In 2010, they were 29 points up at 3QT and fell over the line against the Blues by 6 points.  And Freo rested a heap of players in the Tassie game the week previous.

In 2006, the Dockers were a top 4 side and, after playing in Tassie, beat the wooden spoon Blues by 15 points and were outscored 9 goals to 4 after half time.  Apologies for not noting this trend prior to the match.

The Dockers were not helped by losing Bradley early – they were already without several talls.  Walters also blew 2 chances to put the game almost beyond reach.  One was on the 3QT siren when he missed a sitter and another early in 4Q.

As the yanks say, we “lucked out” here, it a big SORRY!!!




The Suns are BIG certs (really!!)

The Giants are set for their 3rd home game this weekend.  Trouble is, they are still yet to have a fair dinkum home ground advantage.  R1 was a home game, but the opposition only lived a few suburbs away.  They then went to Adelaide and then a “home game” in Canberra.  Then followed an away game to the Dees; and now they face another “home game” at Manuka.   This will be their 4th week on the road in a row, and it is already taking its toll.

The travel-weariness was a big reason for them falling away dramatically last weekend vs the Dees.  Expect life to get tougher until R7 when they finally have another game in Sydney.

The suns were blown away by Port last weekend in 2Q and have a few injury concerns.  But not too more than that of GWS!!

It is likely that the Gold Coast were a bit flat after failing narrowly in the Q clash the previous week.  A strong bounce-back now is quite likely.

It looks like a lean season for the Giants, whose best chances appear to be in R15 and 19.

Maths (in points)

Ability: SUNS + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: GWS + 6

Current Form: SUNS + 9

Team Changes: GWS + 1

Psychological: SUNS+ 5

Freshness: SUNS + 18

Injuries: SUNS + 1

Total: Suns by 38 points and certs
Accumulator tip:  SUNS ~ 1.45.

Post Match Review:  Suns were tipped by 38 points and they won by 44.  Analysis was perfect.  The suns were correctly named certs and would have been a better “cert of the week” than Freo.  The “4th week on the road” scenario.  It was a clear case of the experts wrongly assessing the game.




The Blues to make it 2 in a row

Carlton deserve at least one win by the way they have played the first 4 games (although they lost their 3 games due to serious lapses where each opponent went berserk for a short space of time).

While the Eagles somewhat shot themselves in the foot last week and Worsfold probably got out-coached, the Blues still deserve credit for winning in the west.

They still look a little vulnerable without Waite and Kreuzer, but Rowe has stepped up in the interim and Warnock was serviceable last week.

The Crows were too good for the Dogs last round, but the Dogs did lose Griffen after subbing out Gia – leaving them a rotation short.  Right now, the Crows are teetering between looking like a genuine top 8 team and an also-ran.  The experts still seem to be rating them on their 2012 form, which is likely to be a mistake.  They should be down-rated from last year’s showing.

This website rates them below Carlton and, along with the home ground advantage, the Blues will be tipped; but not with great confidence.  There is a slight worry that their interstate win last week was a blip to be followed by another downturn in form.  This will be expanded upon if it happens in the wrap-up.

A game to avoid if you can.

Maths (in points)

Ability: CARL + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: CARL + 18

Current Form: CARL + 5

Team Changes: CARL + 1

Psychological: ADEL+ 7

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: CARL + 3

Total: Blues by 26 points
Accumulator tip:  CARL ~ 1.52.

Post Match Review:  Blues were tipped by 26 points and they won by 32.  Analysis was very good, but the Crows were disadvantaged by losing Tex Walker early and then Luke Brown by half time.  Given this, the Blues probably should have won by more.  But they subbed off Gibbs at half time to give Eddie Betts a run.  It seems like they were tinkering with things once they were well in front and the Crows down a rotation..




The Cats to win smaller than most think

Geelong have just finished their BIG 4 games (all tricky and with 6 day breaks between them) with a 100% record.  They have been talking about “the first 4 weeks” for ages now, as if week 5 will be a lay down misere.  And it appears to be the case, now that Griffen has been added to the casualty list and Murphy is still out.  Also, Kelly is set to return for the Cats.

But expect a letdown from the Cats this week, especially after a nice weekend’s rest following the Sydney match.

This “letdown” factor plus the large number of ex Cats at the Doggery these days gives a tiny glimmer of hope to the Western Oval folk.  Mind you, it is only tiny.  But it is enough to refrain from labelling the Cats as certs.  Mind you, it is possible that we could see a similar scenario to a similar call on the Dees / Eagles game where the non-certs call on West Coast went from genius in 2Q to sill in 3Q.  Such is football.

Boyd should be improved by the run and the Dogs should not be adversely affected by playing in the rain last Sunday.

Maths (in points)

Ability: GEEL + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: GEEL + 18

Team Changes: GEEL + 2

Psychological: WBD + 17

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: GEEL + 7

Total: Cats by 34 points and not quite certs
Accumulator tip:  GEEL ~ 1.03 (Dogs at 12.00 appeals only for the wild optimists)

Post Match Review:  Cats were tipped by 34 points and they won by 21.  Analysis was wonderful.  Most were tipping a huge Cat win (10 goals or more).  But the reasons above show why that was unlikely to happen.  Adding to the Dogs’ hopes was the resting of Chapman and Hawkins.  Then injuries to Rivers and Caddy left the Cats down a rotation after half time.  And Duncan copped a slight knock to the knee.  This helped reduce the winning margin.  The Dogs were not quite good enough to take full advantage of Geelong being on a bit of a  downer.





The Eagles to bounce back

Forecast:  windy and a chance of showers

Grown Eagles fans must have been crying like Brendon Goddard to see what their team dished up last weekend – easy shots at goal missed, terrible field kicking, keeping Glass on the ground when he was uncompetitive and “local boy” Yarran running Adam Selwood off his legs.

When one considers this game purely on home ground advantage and form, Port would have to be tipped.

But the Eagles are a higher rated team – in fact, still a top rated team.  And, more importantly, they have just hit their 2nd low for the season at a -43 against the Blues.  Their previous spike low was in round 2 with a -48 vs the Hawks.  Both these games were at home and the necessary upwards blip (IE better than -43) came with a bigger than expected win over the Dees in R3.  Given that they are still really a top team, the technical lead suggests that they will outperform expectations.  Furthermore, there is another technical lead of “the good followed by the shocker”.  Again, top teams bounce back well from this.  And this is the critical lead.  Top teams in early season outperform expectations for the good / shocker by about 4 goals.  Critically, middle of the road teams tend to underperform by the same amount.

So, if the Eagles win, they will retain their status as a top team (with finals certain barring injuries).  However, if they lose the match (which is not tipped here), they will be relegated to a middle-rated team and 7 or 8 would be their best hope.

Port has been terrific so far against the 3 bottom teams plus the Crows.  This will be a bigger test for them – even with quite a few Eagles still injured.  Of slight concern for them is that they have dropped off late in their last 2 games in 4Q.  They were 24 points up on the Crows (level at 3QT but blitzed early in 4Q, then dropped off) and followed up against the Suns by conceding 3 of the last 4 goals.  These are small signs that they have been up for a while and due for a downer.

Despite all this and with some bullishness on the desperate Eagles, they will not be tipped as certs by any means.  There are better certs in other games, because there remains a nagging doubt that Port may roll on (with Cassisi and Gray having just come back into the team) and the Eagles could easily be in the midst of a big slump.  Hence the EXTREME VARIANCE call on this game.

Waters may return for the Eagles, while Glass must be in doubt.

Maths (in points)

Ability: WCE + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: PORT + 21

Current Form: PORT + 7

Team Changes: WCE + 3

Psychological: WCE + 19 (as explained above)

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: WCE + 2 (comparing injury lists now to 3 weeks ago)

Total: Eagles by 20 points
Accumulator tip:  WCE ~ 1.80.

Post Match Review:  Eagles were tipped by 20 points but Port won by 5.  Analysis was okay.  But sometimes the right analysis doesn’t pay off.  Refer to the Dockers / Tigers game above where the reverse was true (IE Analysis was lousy, but the Dockers fell over the line to save one’s bacon).

The Eagles were flying early and also lost Priddis a few minutes into the game.  The lack of fresh legs late cost them dearly (Gray came on in 3Q and scored 73 SC points).  Also, Port had the wind in 1Q & 3Q; then the wind swung around approx ¾ time to a mainly cross breeze in 4Q.

So the Eagles can consider themselves unlucky… but!!  They only have themselves to blame for missing easy shots.  Port’s superior fitness helped them back in the game and credit needs to be given to them.





The Dees revival likely to be short-lived

The Dees were fantastic in 4Q against GWS last week and kicked their highest ever score in a quarter.  Of course, it was against the struggling Giants.  And the Giants were on the road for the third week in a row.  But still, it was impressive.

When a team such as Melbourne wins big after a long run of losses (they lost their last 2 in 2012 and the first 3 this year), they tend to underperform the following week.  But the fact that they were struggling for most of the match is almost a positive, because teams that have a struggling win after a long series of losses do better the following week than those which win brilliantly.

The Lions have plenty of problems of their own.  It starts with their big men.  Staker and Maguire (who plays big, although not overly tall) are both out injured.  Last weekend, the Supercoach scores for Brown, Martin and Merrett were 32, 23 and 29 respectively.  Brown has had one good game in the Q clash and 3 poor returns.  Merrett was “more interested in fighting” according to one media reporter.  His previous form was good, so expect him to bounce back.  Martin was subbed off in R3 and it is likely that he wasn’t quite right for the North game.  Again, look for a better output from him.

Losing Hanley (suspended) and McGrath (inured) won’t help.  It opens the door for pre-season star Karnezis to return

Brisbane has now hit their second “low” for the season.  That is, they have underperformed twice by more than 20 points with an uptrend in the graph in between.  Their year so far reads:

R1 vs Dogs -92 (92 points worse than expected)

R2 vs Crows -15 (this is the uptrend from a graphical viewpoint, even though they underperformed)

R3 vs Suns -17 (but a win)

R4 vs Roos -40 (this is the 2nd dip below -20)

Top teams and lowly teams bounce back well from such a dip, as a general rule.  Teams rated in the middle group (which is where Brisbane are currently rated) tend to slightly underperform unless the 2nd dip is a worse than -50 performance.

With the fundamental analysis pointing to a comfortable Brisbane win, the technical analyses for both teams cancel each other out.

So the end result is a winning tip for the Lions.  But, like the tip for the Dees last weekend, they won’t be tipped as certs due to the “lack of trust” factor about them at present.

Maths (in points)

Ability: BRIS + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: BRIS + 18

Current Form: BRIS + 8

Team Changes: EVEN

Psychological: EVEN (both have slight negative technical leads, which cancel each other out)

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: MELB + 2

Total: Lions by 36 points and almost certs
Accumulator tip: BRIS ~ 1.16.

Post Match Review:  Lions were tipped by 36 points and they won by 28.  Analysis was pretty good overall, but it played out like a low to medium variance match, rather than an extreme variance one.  All’s well that ends well.





The Hawks by heaps

Forecast:  rain “later” – keep yourself updated closer to the day.

The Hawks are rated the highest of any AFL team at present.  That makes them the best in the whole universe!  Their injury list is low, although most of those who are injured are out long term.

They caught the Dockers at a good time with Pav, Sandilands and McPharlin all out.

The Hawks are in the middle of a 7 game streak against all the other 2012 top 8 sides.  Their aim would be to get to R7 at 5 and 2 minimum, maybe 6 and 1.   This will be the definite one of the last 3 that they have pencilled in as a definite win.  The next 2 are the Crows in Adelaide and the Swans back at the MCG.

The Roos are a work in progress and are still not quite up to competing with the top teams – as was evidenced by their losses to the Pies and Cats when both teams were slightly vulnerable due to injuries; and then getting blown away by the Swans.

The loss to the Swans may have been somewhat forgivable, as they seemed flat after throwing away a big lead to lose the previous week.  Their win against the Lions was great, but the Lions seemed to be on a big downer.  So the win over Brisbane needs to be a little downplayed.

With Schoenmakers biting the dust, Lake can slot in after 2 weeks in the VFL.  Sewell and “Che” Guerra are also likely to return.   The Roos will bring in Tarrant if Daw doesn’t pass his concussion test, while Jacobs may also come in.

Maths (in points)

Ability: HAW + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: HAW + 9

Team Changes: HAW + 3

Psychological: HAW + 3

Freshness: EVEN

Injuries: EVEN

Total: Hawks by 39 points & certs
Accumulator tip: HAW ~ 1.20.

Post Match Review:  Hawks were tipped by 39 points and they won by 3.  Analysis was a long way off.  Maybe the Roos were not given enough credit for their win over the Lions.  The Hawthorn coach seemed to indicate that the Hawks were a little off their game on the day (many KPIs down).  In the end, it was the familiar story of a top team finding a way to win over a middle of the pack opposition who were challenging strongly.  Apologies for naming the Hawks as certs.  One never wants a cert to be in trouble 10 seconds prior to the final siren.




Best cert: the Dockers (fell over the line), then Suns (never in doubt), Hawks  (fell over the line) & Saints (sorry, this was meant to say SWANS – as per tip above – Swans won unimpressively)

Best Outsider: The Bombers stand out as the best outsider by a long way (won well)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated): So many games this weekend seem to be wrongly rated.  Let’s go with the Dockers to win by over 16 points, then the Suns to win by over 14 points (didn’t win by enough); then the Dogs to win or to lose by less than 55 points (got close enough and never in doubt in 4Q) and finish off with the Hawks to win by over 29 points (didn’t win by enough).

Happy tipping!  This is a week where some narrow favourites can win really big and don’t expect too many upsets.