GWS are set to lose one of their biggest stars for their preliminary final next week, after the AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian announced a one-game ban for Toby Greene.
Since all my own efforts to uber-analyse the data this year are getting me exactly nowhere, I’ve decided to try a secondary method of extracting potential winners this week – aside from all the outlandish methods we already share with you each week from ‘the ELO-following football’ rating.
Friday night at the SCG
Opening line: Magpies by 20.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Magpies by 23.
Percentage/home-field advantage method: Collingwood.
The Buffalo: Collingwood.
Random pattern prediction: In rounds four, six and eight – every other game of their six-game winning streak – the Magpies have played down to lesser opponents and won but failed to cover or even come close. Expect the Magpies to win by less than three goals if that trend holds in R10.
Saturday afternoon at University of Tasmania Stadium
Opening line: Hawks by 6.5.
ELO-FF spread: Port by 0.5 point.
Percentage/HFA method: Port holds exactly an eight-point percentage margin, which is the cut-off for switching over to home-field advantage. So – a draw?
The Buffalo: Port Adelaide to win outright.
Random pattern prediction: Hawthorn’s pattern of victories this season (WLWLL, WLWL) implies that a loss is coming next. The Power’s pattern is simpler: WWLLWWLLW, so last week’s W should be followed up by a second win this weekend against Hawthorn.
Saturday afternoon at Marvel Stadium
Opening line: Doggies by 10.5.
ELO-FF spread: Dogs by 3.5.
Percentage/HFA method: Bulldogs win.
The Buffalo: North to cover, and it’s worth the risk to take them to win.
Random pattern prediction: The Western Bulldogs have this annoying habit of packing long losing streaks between short bursts of wins. This year it’s been two wins and four losses, then two wins and one loss last week. It’s hard to believe there won’t be some more coming in a row. Meanwhile, North was victorious in R4 and R7. Is R10 the next win in their pattern?
Saturday twilight at Adelaide Oval
Opening line: Crows by 1.5.
ELO-FF spread: Crows by ten.
Percentage/HFA method: Adelaide all the way.
The Buffalo: Adelaide all the way.
Random pattern prediction: The Crows have had four average games that fell in line with predictions recently. They’re favoured to win at home. Meanwhile, the Eagles followed their first three-win streak with two straight losses to good teams. They’ve won three straight again – over three losing teams – and are due to lose to a good team like the Crows.
Saturday night at Metricon Stadium
Opening line: Cats by 33.5.
ELO-FF spread: Cats by 55.
Percentage/HFA method: Cats.
The Buffalo: Cats plus the points. As much as I’d like to say the Suns keep it close for a half, even three strong quarters didn’t keep them within the spread against Port last week.
Random pattern prediction: If their season-long habit holds, Geelong hasn’t played an off-brand game yet – the Giants played above themselves to hand them their only loss. If their existence-long habit holds, Gold Coast won’t win more than one more game all season, and this sure isn’t going to be it. Geelong by a thousand and six.
Saturday night at the MCG
Opening line: Richmond by 15.5.
ELO-FF spread: Richmond by one point – big difference, I know!
Percentage/HFA sethod: Tigers.
The Buffalo: The Tigers win, but by how much, I don’t know. They’ve only had one bad game recently, in R7, so it’s hard to see them losing to a clearly inferior team – as of May 2019, that is.
Random pattern prediction: Over the last four Dreamtime games Richmond has entered the game as the clear favourite and won all four by a total of 137 points, or 34-plus per game. Even half of that beats the odds-makers’ spread!
Sunday afternoon at the MCG
Opening line: Giants by 12.5.
ELO-FF spread: Giants by 19.
Percentage/HFA method: Giants.
The Buffalo: The Giants to win, even though they’re a miserable two for 16 at the MCG right now. They’ve got to start winning sometime (fingers crossed), and playing a team which plays matador defence when Jeremy Cameron desperately needs to get off the schneid as a goal-kicker should be the ideal time, right? Right?
Random pattern prediction: The Giants win-loss pattern this season has been WLW, WLW, WLW. Therefore they should win here in R10 and lose in R11, which is at home against the Suns. Hmm…
Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium
Opening line: Saints by 15.5.
ELO-FF spread: Saints by 19.
Percentage/HFA method: Saints.
The Buffalo: You know, the Blues may not be up to the task of taking out the Magpies or Giants, but they are good enough to beat the Saints if they’re playing well. And the Saints have not been spectacular or even above average over the last month after a strong start. I’m taking the Blues in the upset.
Random pattern prediction: While the Saints have played four average games in their last four losses, Carlton has had two bad games out of nine – North and last week’s loss – playing very competitively in the other seven. And as for patterns, they’ve gone LLLLW (in Round 5, against mid-low level Bulldogs side), LLLL. And now? Time for a win in R10 after one in R5!
Sunday afternoon at Optus Stadium
Opening line: Dockers by 3.5.
ELO-FF spread: Dockers by 8.
Percentage/HFA method: Fremantle.
The Buffalo: This would be too daunting a task for all the previous incarnations of the young Lions. The small spread tells us the odds-makers think Brisbane’s the better team, but the home ground makes the difference. However, these Lions have played equally well in and out of the Gabba – their two blowouts are one per home and away. They just won a toss-up game against Adelaide last week, so why not another one Sunday? Brisbane to win outright.
Random pattern prediction: While the Dockers have been erratic this year, the Lions have continued their previous years’ pattern of winning games in bunches. This year? Three wins, followed by two (bad) losses. Two more wins, then a loss. They started a new streak on Saturday with a gutsy hold-on against a good Adelaide team – expect a second consecutive win in Perth on Sunday on eight days of rest.
On a bonus random note, last week Brisbane became the first team to exceed their win or loss total from last year. The Saints are next in line, having been stuck on four wins for a few weeks now.
Opening line: Eight out of nine; 51 correct overall.
ELO-Following Football: seven out of nine; 53 correct overall.
Percentage/HFA method: six out of nine; trailing with 44 correct overall.
The Buffalo: seven out of nine; just 39 coorect overall thanks to my R5 gambit that failed so drastically.