AFL Line Ladder: Round 17
The home and away season is done…
So what did we learn?
When looking at the final Line Ladder below, the first thing that strikes us is the absolute evenness of it! There’s no tearaway leaders, and things evened up at the bottom as well. With 17 rounds completed, we finished with six teams on 10 covers. Following that was another six teams just one game back on nine covers, Brisbane on eight covers, two teams with seven, two with six and, finally, Adelaide on five covers.
Betting-wise, it was an extremely even season and overall, the market did a good job of predicting most teams.
There are some outliers, of course. Perhaps the biggest one is Brisbane. Despite finishing second on the AFL ladder, they were way down in 13th on the Line Ladder, covering 8 of 17 games. The other is Fremantle, which covered 10 times to finish third… yet were 12th on the AFL ladder.
Though it was close overall, 12 of the 18 clubs finished the season with a positive record against the line. Largely, this was allowed by the performance of the three bottom sides: Adelaide (five covers), Hawthorn (six) and North Melbourne (six). It was clear from early in the season that these clubs weren’t meeting pre-season expectations, however the market took far too long to catch up to just how poorly they were going. So there was value in betting against them.
We’ve spoken about this phenomenon plenty of times when discussing the line ladder. Though some teams perform much worse (Hawthorn, Adelaide, North Melbourne) or much better (St Kilda, Fremantle) than predicted pre-season, those early thoughts remain somewhat ‘baked-in’ to betting lines, which simply don’t react quickly enough. What does that tell us? Pay special attention to very current formlines… that can yield great results.