Spotless Stadium: 1:10pm AEST Sunday 7 June

We are back again for an AFL write-up, this time looking at Sunday’s match-up between GWS and Brisbane. In our last write-up we were on St Kilda +16.5 and h2h v Western Bulldogs, and we were treated to one of the comebacks of the year as the Saints overcame an 8 goal half time deficit to steal victory by 7 points.

GWS have outperformed many people’s expectations so far this season, and have entrenched themselves in the top 8 sitting at 6-3 nearing the half way mark of the season. They have the benefit of an easy draw and we fully expect them to play finals football this year barring a bad run of injuries. As illustrated by the graph below, GWS have been able to field a consistently strong team this year, which is severely contrasting to their opposition in Brisbane who have had a horrific run with injuries.

This week Brisbane welcome back Pearce Hanley to their line-up, who has been sidelined since pre-season with a hip injury. His return was soured however when several Lions including captain Tom Rockliff sustained injuries last week in their loss to St Kilda. Overall, this is the second weakest team Brisbane has fielded so far this season (marginally ahead of the round 3 outfit that was soundly beaten at home by Richmond). Contrastingly, GWS are right around their season average strength, and they line up for their third game at Spotless Stadium after beating Hawthorn and an injury depleted Adelaide in their previous home outings.

GWS v Bris PR

As you can guess, these personnel changes have a strong impact on our pricing of the game, as the player ratings side of things is one part of a two component pricing model we use. The following should provide some colour on how the game is priced once final teams are announced:

  • Initially, we run our statistical team based model, which crunches team based data from a selection of past matches (mainly from 2014 and the first 9 rounds of 2015) to come up with a team based line projection. Our team based model’s projection for this game was GWS by 50 points.
  • Next, we run the player based component of the model. We take the weighted average aggregate player rating of each team, based on the weightings we gave to each of their historic games that were inputs into the model. We then look at the relative strength of each team for the coming weekend compared to their weighted average strength input into the model, and make a mathematical line adjustment based on any differences.

GWS player rating adjustment: As highlighted by the graph above, the Giants team is right on their average strength for the year, and therefore their weighting is roughly equal to the weighted average of their previous games’ player ratings input into the model. Therefore there was no adjustment for GWS.

Brisbane player rating adjustment: As highlighted by the graph above, the Brisbane team is almost their weakest to date in 2015, and therefore the weighted average of their previous games’ player ratings input into the model are higher than their aggregate player rating heading into this weekend. Therefore they attract a negative adjustment, moving our line further towards the Giants.

Final Line = (Team based model projection) + (Home team adjustment) – (Away team adjustment) = GWS -59

The markets opened -39.5 about GWS, however we are obviously not the only ones pricing them as heavy favourites as the line has steadily climbed throughout the week. Our subscribers got -44.5 tipped to them overnight, and so they already have strong closing line value as the market has now settled around the -46.5 mark with some books as high as -48.5. This is a big minus, so there is a risk that GWS will take the foot off late as they did against Adelaide. Given Brisbane’s lack of key tall defenders and forwards however, we think they will struggle to score against the Giant’s back line, and that the Giants elite forward line will have a day out.

Prediction: GWS by 59 points

Bet: GWS -46.5 @ $1.934 (Pinnacle as at 11pm Thursday)

Rated price = $1.58, expected ROI = 22.4%

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