Not a bad effort lads!
Over the first five rounds, there were a total of 18 games that were predicted to be won by one team by every single one of the 21 sources we track – some human predictors, some punter or writer aggregates, some computer systems – and nine of them lost.
That’s when I declared this season unpredictable and sought to prove my point by betting against the consensus favourite in every case in Round 6. Eight of the nine games were unanimous, and the ninth pitted Adelaide against St Kilda.
Round 6, of course, produced chalk across the board with all eight unanimous favourites winning, and an Adelaide victory made me 0-9 when the consensus went 8.5 for the week.
Since then, there have been 14 more unanimous favourites, and they’ve gone 13-1. The Bulldogs’ upset of Richmond in Round 7 was the loan upset.
The footy world is back upright again. If they look like a favourite, we should back them like a favourite.
At least until the topsy-turvy world returns.
North Melbourne vs Richmond
Professional point spread: Tigers by 23.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Tigers by 10.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Tigers.
The Buffalo says: Richmond are top four with a bullet despite Alex Rance’s Round 1 injury, and I’m not betting against them until they face a team above them. Tigers by several goals, at least three.
Collingwood vs Fremantle
Professional point spread: Magpies by 29.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Magpies by 32.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Magpies.
The Buffalo says: Collingwood’s on a seven-game win streak, and there will come a day when they’ll get upset and it’ll end. On that day, I’ll lose my bet, because I’m taking them every game until then.
Greater Western Sydney vs Gold Coast
Professional point spread: Giants by 48.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Giants by 50.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Giants.
The Buffalo says: The problem with this spread is the same as it was last week for both teams. After a while, the Giants will take the foot off the pedal, and it’s hard to imagine this Suns team pulling a Carlton and losing by 90. Take the Giants but not the points.
Geelong vs Sydney
Professional point spread: Cats by 32.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Cats by 34.5.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Cats.
The Buffalo says: Geelong haven’t had a bad game yet, though of course some have been better than others. Sydney can’t handle them, with or without Franklin.
Cats by at least 20, because 20 seems to be about their comfort zone. Except for two tight games against the Pies and Giants – the other really good teams – and one 80-point blow-out against Melbourne, their wins have been by 24, 23, 58, 32, 24, 44, and 27.
Five of the seven fall between 23-32 points – that seems pretty normal for them.
Brisbane vs Hawthorn
Professional point spread: Lions by 8.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Hawks by 3.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Lions.
The Buffalo says: This is the only questionable game of the weekend. The other eight are fairly obvious, but this feels like it might be the third one-point game in a row for Brisbane.
If it is, I’ll take the Lions to turn it around at home against the Hawks – last year, they completely had Hawthorn’s number, winning by 90 points over two games.
Melbourne vs Adelaide
Professional point spread: Crows by 4.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Crows by 15.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Crows.
The Buffalo says: Melbourne happened to be in a hot spell when they annihilated Adelaide last year. Don’t expect this Demons team to repeat that beat down.
Adelaide are getting relatively good this year, despite the loss to West Coast last week at home, and Melbourne are the team that scored their second goal last Sunday midway through the third quarter, when the Giants had put their cue in the rack. Crows plus the points.
St Kilda vs Port Adelaide
Professional point spread: Power by 14.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Power by 13.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Power.
The Buffalo says: St Kilda looked okay against the 1-8 Blues, winning by less than predicted. Port are not Carlton, and 14 is about right for a neutral site.
But considering that Port have familiarity with this particularly unusual road trip and the Saints don’t, I’d bet that the Power win by a couple of extra goals – let’s say 25-30 points or so.
Essendon vs Carlton
Professional point spread: Bombers by 18.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Bombers by 34.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Bombers.
The Buffalo says: I have very little faith in the Bombers. And I love watching Carlton improve and play together more and more every week. But I need to stop betting in favour of a 1-9 team that have won three games in two years. Bombers by the 18, not the 34.
West Coast vs Bulldogs
Professional point spread: Eagles by 29.5.
ELO-Following Football spread: Eagles by 24.5.
Percentage/Home Field advantage method: Eagles.
The Buffalo says: The Eagles have dominated this fixture of late, and I don’t see any reason for that to change quite yet.
With the exception of a 17-point upset of Hawthorn, the Bulldogs have lost their three other games on the road so far this season by 19, 14, and 44 points.
And with the exception of the 52-point annihilation of GWS in Round 2, the Eagles have won all three games at home this season by 13, 23, and 16 points.
So a victory of something in that 24-point range for the Eagles seems called for. We’ll take the 24.5-point spread – after all, the ELO-FF numbers have done far better than I have this year.
Professionals: 7 last week, 58 overall.
ELO-Following Football: 6 last week, 59 overall.
Percentage/HFA method: 6.5 last week, 50.5 overall (predicted a draw between Port/Hawks).
The Buffalo: 5 last week (I liked Carlton and Brisbane), 44 overall.