We are five rounds into the 2017 season which seems like a good point to reflect on a few things and check out some stats.
We all know that Richmond, Geelong and Adelaide are five and zip and that poor old North and Sydney are zero and five but which of those at the top of the pile will drop away and which of the cellar dwellers are likely to hit a bit of winning form over the next five rounds?
Starting at the top of the ladder with Adelaide and the first thing to mention is that they have covered the spread in all five games so they are outperforming market expectation, as they did last year when they went 15/9 ATS. They’ve been favourites to win four of their five games, only underdogs to GWS in round one when they ended up on top by 56 points. Their average winning margin of 45.8 points is pretty special when you consider they’ve played GWS, Port and the Hawks already.
Geelong have surprised many with their excellent start to the year and they have covered the spread in four games and look rock solid with an average winning margin of 39.2. They have also been accurate kicks at goal, sitting only 6th in the ladder for scoring shots.
In short I don’t see either the Crows or Cats dropping away and they both look set for top 4 berths come September.
On to Richmond, who like the Crows have covered in all five of their games. Four of the five were at the MCG with the other at the Gabba. The big question mark over the Tigers form thus far is in the quality of the teams they’ve beaten. Wins over Carlton, Brisbane and Collingwood suggest their lofty position on the ladder may be a false one while the win over West Coast could also be slightly tainted with the Eagles’ form at the MCG under much scrutiny. Their other win was over the Dees when they were 5.5 points favs and ran out 13 point victors. The Tigers’ next four games are against the Crows, Bulldogs , Dockers and Giants. If they can win two of those four they’ll have done well.
At the bottom of the ladder are North and Sydney. One we expected, one we did not: we backed North for most losses at $13 pre season and said
“If they go into their match in Perth against the Dockers at 0-4 it could be curtains for Scott should they lose that one”
They have had a tough start in terms of opposition however, starting as underdog in all five matches and covering in three. The fact they’ve lost both the shot count and inside 50 count in all of their games would be a slight worry. They’ve been average underdogs by 22.5 points and this suggests they are not doomed but they won’t want to face the Crows and then Swans should they lose to the Suns this weekend, a game in which they start as favourites for the first time this term.
The Swans have surprised everyone with their dismal start to 2017, failing to win or cover up to this point with three of the losses coming at the SCG where they’ve traditionally been so strong. They’ve only been favourites to win two of the five games however so we’ll give them a bit of slack.
The best team to have backed straight up in 2017 has been the Dockers (+$5.01) with most of that profit coming when they won at odds of $5.07 against the Dogs. The Tigers at +$4.57 are next best.
Notables in the total points markets are Geelong and Gold Coast whose games have gone over in four out of five and Richmond whose have gone under in four from five.
So no real surprises in our conclusions that we see the Crows and Cats holding up as top four teams, the Tigers dropping away but still making the eight and both North and Sydney improving their positions but not enough to make the finals. Of the mid table sides I see Gold Coast as one that can push for a finals berth but they’ll have to fight it out with Freo, Essendon, St Kilda and Melbourne for one of the bottom slots in the eight.