AFL Ladder

The traditional AFL Ladder might be the single most important bit of footy information, but it offers precious little for AFL punters!

That’s why we take things to the next level with the AFL Line Ladder.

AFL Line Ladder: Round 6

A few rough results this week on the line ladder. The most notable was, of course, Carlton versus the Bulldogs. Carlton were given a 9.5 point head start, only to romp to a 52 point win. It’s quite rare you see a side beat the betting line by more than ten goals, so it’s a result that’s perhaps testament to this strange season.

Elsewhere, Geelong’s 27 point win over Brisbane (who were 7.5 point favourites) was another shock, as was the final score in Hawthorn versus Collingwood: the market had Collingwood just 4.5 point favourites, but they won easily by 32 points.

Overall, the market is still underrating runaway line ladder leaders Port Adelaide. The market had them just 1.5 point leaders against GWS, with them going on to record a comfortable 17 point victory. This week’s clash against Carlton will be fascinating, as both teams have very good records against the line. At this early stage, the market has a 15.5 point head start for Carlton. Too big? Perhaps…

AFL Line Ladder: Round 5

We’re five rounds in (for everybody except Melbourne and Essendon, anyway) and if there’s one team the betting market is struggling with, it’s the Bulldogs!

This might not seem the case on face value. They’ve covered three lines and missed two, for an overall differential of just 4.5 points. Pretty close, right?

Wrong. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that close differential is the result of some big numbers offsetting each other!

The Bulldogs’ lines have been close all year. The biggest margin that’s been predicted in one of their games is just 8.5 points, which is the head start they were given over St Kilda in Round 2. But their actual performances have swung wildly.

The Dogs stunk it right up in Rounds 1 and 2, missing their lines by 54.5 and 47.5 points. But since Round 3, things have done a complete 180-degree turn. In the past three games they’ve smashed their line by 28.5, 33.5 and 44.5 points. The market just can’t catch them. On form, they’re being massively underrated of late. Will that continue? Perhaps, but you always need to be wary on teams that the market just cannot seem to predict accurately.

Either the market or the team – or both – are very unpredictable. They currently sit in eight place on both the AFL ladder and the Line Ladder.

AFL Line Ladder: Round 4

Just how good are the Gold Coast?

It’s been a remarkable early-season turnaround for the Suns, who were the AFL’s whipping boys in 2019. And for a few years prior to that, as well!

They’ve won three of their four games to sit second on the AFL ladder, and are rejuvenated by a bunch of hungry kids led by Matt Rowell.

It’s the same position they occupy on the Line Ladder, trailing only the white-hot Port Adelaide.

However – while it may only be one game – there’s evidence the betting market is catching the Gold Coast. While they smashed their two prior lines by 76.5 and 51.5 points, at the weekend it was just 7.5 points. They went in as 5.5 point favourites and defeated Fremantle by 13 points.

As always, line betting is not simply a case of following the form of teams… we also need to take into consideration the ‘form’ of the market in accurately predicting results.

AFL Line Ladder: Round 3

Are the Blues rising once again?

Carlton were one of the punters’ favourites in 2019, consistently beating their line – particularly in the first half of the season where expectations were very low and they languished at the bottom of the AFL ladder. That looked unlikely to repeat in 2020 given increased expectations surrounding new coach David Teague. But early in the season, Carlton is again the punters’ friend. They’ve covered two of three lines so far, missing their Round 1 mark against Richmond by just 1.5 points. Their best outcome came at the weekend when the market gave them a 25.5 point headstart against Geelong… a headstart they didn’t need as they recorded a win.

At the other end of the table, Adelaide are really stinking things up and the market are yet to catch up with them. They were installed 1.5 point favourites against the Gold Coast, only to cop a 53 point beating. Things aren’t good at the Crows.

Also, we should note that we have our first disruption of this crazy season after the postponement of the Essendon versus Melbourne clash – they’ve both played one game less than the rest of the competition until they catch that game up.

AFL Line Ladder: Round 2

There’s one very clear message on the early season AFL Line Ladder… steer well clear of the Bulldogs!

The Dogs have obviously disappointed greatly already this season, and the numbers say the market is yet to catch up with them. They’ve missed the line by a cumulative 102 points already – a huge figure after just two games. They were tipped by the market to win by 2.5 points in Round 1 (they lost by 52), and 8.5 points in Round 2 (they lost by 39). It’s hard to be confident in the market catching up to them quickly, so they’re an ‘avoid’ for now!

Table-toppers Port Adelaide are basically the exact opposite. They were given just 14.5 points to overcome in the weekend’s Showdown, and saluted by 75!

AFL Line Ladder: Round 1

Of course, there was only one round played before the season was halted, so at this stage the line ladder only includes one set of results. Collingwood were far and away the most impressive in Round 1, with their opponents in the Bulldogs being the total opposite. The market tipped a close game – 2.5 points in favour of the Bulldogs. Collingwood ran out 52 point winners to destroy the closing line by 54.5 points.

Another impressive performer was Fremantle. The closing market saw them as 17.5 point underdogs to the Bombers. They lost by just six points to beat their line by 11.5 points.

The AFL Ladder for Punters

The Line Ladder is a fairly simple premise: it’s the same as the regular AFL ladder but we measure performance against the closing betting line instead of the scoreboard.

For example, let’s say Collingwood were playing North Melbourne. The closing line is -9.5 (Collingwood) and +9.5 (North Melbourne.

Collingwood win the game by 20 points.

Collingwood covered the line by 10.5 points. So they record 1 cover, and their ‘Final margin v closing line’ figure is 10.5.

North Melbourne record 1 miss, and their ‘Final margin v closing line’ figure is -10.5.

Then those figures just accumulate through the season. The ladder is ranked first by covers, then by cumulative margin vs the closing line.

That’s all there is to it. It measures team performance, but in relation to the market. So you get a view of how well the betting market is performing in predicting each team’s results. A good example of this in 2019 was Carlton. For the first half of the year, their win and loss performance was awful. However, they were getting a lot closer to their opponents than the market thought they would, and very often covering the line. They consistently sat at or near the top of the line ladder despite being glued to the bottom of the league ladder. That’s the sort of information that is valuable as a punter.

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