Six weeks ago we had a look at scoring trends in the AFL this season, after what seemed like a glut of low scores to start the season.
There were, of course, a heap of rule changes this year. The big ones were the new 6/6/6 rule, the adjustments for kick-ins and fifty-metre penalties, and the softening of “hands in the back” interpretation.
The changes were designed with a few goals in mind:
• To make the game move faster
• To open up the field and give players more room to move and dispose of the ball
• To make it easier for teams to attack quickly through the centre corridor
• To increase scoring
• To reward marking players in contests
The expectation was that scores would go up, but after four rounds we found that wasn’t the case. We now have ten rounds of data. Has anything changed?
Yes, it’s well down. And that’s not changing.
It’s the lowest it’s been over the past five seasons, and now down five points on last season.
The average score after round 4 this season was actually 162 points, where it’s 161 points after round 10. So at this stage, teams aren’t “working out” how to score more… scoring levels seems to have stablilised.
In theory, the total points under/over market should be a 50/50 proposition. At the end of Round 4, unders were running at a massive 64%, indicating the market hadn’t yet adjusted the lower scores.
After round 10? It’s come back somewhat, but unders are still running at 60%.
(And yes, if you’d backed the unders in every match this year at $1.90, you’d be up 14% PoT at level stakes).
A good indicator of the market adjusting to the changes is how much the actual PPG has moved on last year versus the average closing line. As you can see, in each of the past three years, across the whole season they’ve been perfectly in sync.
Not so this year (or not yet, anyway). Scores are down 5 points, but the average closing under / over has only come down by one point.
You’d think this means we’ll see some more aggressive cutting of under / over lines in the second half of the season. We’ll see.
Finally… by team. Whose games have gone under and over to date?
Keen to bet the overs?
Stay away from Essendon!