The Roar
The Roar


My white flag AFL predictions

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Roar Guru
22nd April, 2019
1523 Reads

All right, I give up. I surrender.

The parity parody of a league that the fine folks at AFL House have put together in 2019 has succeeded in making mincemeat out of every one of us who thought we could logically predict the outcome of games or seasons.

I track 20 sources of game picks weekly, including the ELO-Following Football consortium I’m part of, and of those 20 nobody is over the half-right mark except the site’s own predictions, which are one game up at 23 out of 44, though I wrote this before the Easter Monday blockbuster.

There are a handful of ‘us’, including ELO-FF, at 22 from 44, and the aggregate percentage correct total for Squiggle’s collection of sites combined is at 22.01, though that depends greatly on when you extract the numbers from them – it varies widely.

So in accordance with the world-turned-upside-down motif this season has pressed upon us for five rounds, I present my new strategy: I’m going to logically determine which team I believe will conquer the other in Round 6 and then bet on the other team! Common sense says I can’t be any worse than I have been, right?

Dean Kent

St Kilda’s Dean Kent (Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Right? Right. Here we go.

Last week

Betting line
Five right out of eight (Magpies, Dons, Tigers, Crows and Cats).


ELO-Following Football ratings
Five of eight right (Magpies, Dons, Tigers, Crows and Cats).

Percentage/home field advantage (HFA) method
Four of eight (Dons, Saints, Tigers and Cats).

The Buffalo
Officially four of eight. Got Essendon and St Kilda right. I picked Carlton and Gold Coast to beat the spread, although I could argue that I called for Adelaide to win the game. That wasn’t my main thrust, though – I thought the Suns would beat the spread, and they sure as shoot’n didn’t. But Carlton I can take credit for. Plus Geelong on Monday night.

Sports opinion delivered daily 



Richmond vs Melbourne

Wednesday night at 7:35pm, MCG
Point spread: Tigers by 13.5
ELO-FF: Tigers by 15.1
Percentage/HFA method: Richmond
Everything says ‘Richmond’ for this game – the Tigers are surging after a couple of good showings while the Demons continue to struggle. Therefore I’m taking Melbourne to win big, even though there’s no logical basis for that pick.

Essendon vs Collingwood

Thursday at 3:20pm, MCG
Point spread: Pies by 12.5
ELO-FF: Pies by 10.1
Percentage/HFA method: Collingwood
This is a tough one. Essendon has played lights out the last two weeks, but right now the Magpies are the highest-rated team in the competition. Since all the traffic seems to be flowing Collingwood’s way, we’ll take Essendon to win a close one, against the flow.

North Melbourne vs Port Adelaide

Friday at 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
Point spread: Power by 23.5
ELO-FF: Power by 28.5
Percentage/HFA method: Port Adelaide
There is no way the Kangaroos are ready to go into Adelaide Oval and win against a Port team that utterly dominated West Coast last week, so I’m taking North to win.

Paddy Ryder

Port Adelaide’s Paddy Ryder (Will Russell/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Q-Clash: Gold Coast vs Brisbane


Saturday at 1:45pm, Metricon Stadium
Point spread: Lions by 15.5
ELO-FF: Lions by 25.6
Percentage/HFA method: Brisbane
This is Anzac Day in reverse. Both sides looked terrible last week, but the 3-2 Suns have sunk to the bottom of our ELO-FF ratings board at 20.1. They can’t win, therefore I will tip them to win by 25 points.

St Kilda vs Adelaide

Saturday at 4:35pm, Marvel Stadium
Point spread: Saints by one-half point.
ELO-FF: Saints by 2.3 points.
Percentage/HFA method: St Kilda
Here’s the real test of my belief in this newfound contrariness of mine. Betting against a half-point spread is silly, and so is the ELO difference of two points. Because the Saints have saved my bacon pick-wise for weeks, I can’t turn my back on them now. Saints to go five and one!

Sydney Derby: Sydney vs GWS Giants

Saturday at 7:25pm, SCG
Point spread: Giants by 13.5
ELO-FF: Giants by 17.3
Percentage/HFA method: GWS.
Easy. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how do you pick this game? I pick the Swans, who have long odds, and hope my luck stays the same.

Stephen Coniglio (right) and Josh Kelly of the Giants

GWS players Stephen Coniglio (right) and Josh Kelly (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Fremantle vs Western Bulldogs

Saturday at 8:10pm (AEST), Optus Stadium
Point spread: Dockers by 11.5
ELO-FF: Dockers by 25.4
Percentage/HFA method: Fremantle
Again, everyone’s flowing towards the Dockers after a great win over the Giants, while the Dogs are overlooked because they gave Carlton their first win – and 7.15 is giving away the store. Before the game got out of hand, though, the Dogs played well but couldn’t kick straight, as is often the case. Seems to me it’s time for a role reversal – Western Bulldogs win by a dozen.


Hawthorn vs Carlton

Sunday at 3:20pm, University of Tasmania Stadium
Point spread: Hawks by 25.5 as of Sunday night.
ELO-FF: Hawks by 21.8 before Monday’s game v Geelong.
Percentage/HFA method: Hawthorn.
Nobody beats Hawthorn in Tasmania. This would be an easy pick, so I’ll go the opposite and take Carlton to extend their winning streak to two, sheltered away from the Melbourne crowds and pressure.

Geelong vs West Coast

Sunday at 4:40pm, GMHBA Stadium
Point spread: Cats by 11.5 as of Sunday night.
ELO-FF: Cats by 17.2 before Monday’s game v Hawthorn.
Percentage/HFA method: Geelong.
West Coast has played downright stupidly recently, losing to Port at home and nearly handing Freo a pointless derby win. So it would be perfectly contrary for them to now walk into Geelong’s Kardinia fortress and steal a game from the Cats. That’s my contrary pick.

For the season


Point spread: 22 out of 45 correct, worse than a coin flip.
ELO-FF: 23 of 45, same as eeny-meeny-miney-moe.
Percentage/HFA method: 21 of 45, having lost ground the last two weeks.
My tips have delivered 22 from 45, including the Cats on Monday night. For Round 6 I’m taking Melbourne, Essendon, North, Gold Coast, St Kilda, Sydney, the Doggies, Carlton and West Coast to win. IF it turns out I get five or more right, I don’t know what I’ll do in the future.

The overall average of all 20 systems we monitor through 44 games? Only 20.96 correct. You might as well bet against what we all think!