Not a bad effort lads!
The Buffalo looks at the upcoming round of footy.
Essendon vs GWS
The Giants are in third place with a record of 9-4, with a percentage of 132.9% and an ELO-FF rating of 71.7.
The Bombers are 6-7 in tenth place with a percentage of 100.8% and an ELO-FF rating of 53.6.
The oddsmakers say GWS by 11.5. The ELO-Following Football rating system says GWS plus 16. The simple percentage/home field system picks the Giants, too.
So does the Buffalo. While the Giants are coming off a bye following a fairly standard win over the Kangaroos, the Dons were shut up by West Coast last Thursday. There are easy-to-spot weaknesses throughout the Essendon line-up, while the biggest threat to a stacked charcoal-and-orange roster seems to be complacency.
A stand-alone game on Thursday night in Melbourne should prevent that. The Buffalo says Giants by more than two goals.
Geelong vs Adelaide
The Crows are currently fifth at 8-5, 115.1% and an ELO-FF rating of 62.0, their highest of the season.
The Cats, still leading after their second loss of the season, are 11-2 and hold a percentage of 146% and a rating of 76.7. There’s nothing wrong with Geelong, friends.
The oddsmakers say Geelong by 22.5, the ELO-FF ratings say Geelong by 15, and the percentage/HFA system will still favor them over any team in the AFL, home or away.
If there was any chance of Adelaide sneaking into Kardinia Park and stealing a victory over a relaxed Geelong team, please look at what Brisbane did to St Kilda last week following their upset loss to Carlton. Also note that after the first eight losses of Geelong’s nine-game post-bye losing streak, they won each of their next games.
Yeah, this could get that ugly. The Buffalo says Cats by four goals or more at home.
Hawthorn vs West Coast
West Coast sit in fourth place, sharing a 9-4 record but trailing dramatically in percentage behind peers GWS and Collingwood at 106% and a rating of 57.8.
The Hawks sit 12th, five wins against eight losses, but hold a better percentage than their peers below them at 97.3%, and a rating of 48.5.
With those numbers, you’d expect the possibility of an upset at Hawthorn’s fortress, and the ELO-FF numbers only favour the Eagles by one point. West Coast hold a big enough percentage lead to be favored by the percentage/HFA system.
The oddsmakers, though, say Eagles by 14.5, and I think that’s more accurate. Hawthorn aren’t going anywhere this season, and the West Coast are looking at Nic Naitanui returning as soon as this game. A tale of two sides going in different directions. The Buffalo says Eagles by 14.
Sydney vs Gold Coast
Gold Coast are on a nine-game losing streak, at 3-10 with a percentage of just 71.9% and a rating of 21.9.
Sydney won last week, so they’re riding high. However, they are just 5-8 and 14th place with a 92.2% and a rating of 53.6 following their two-game winning streak.
The Swans are favored by 34 on the ELO-FF rating, by 29.5 on the oddsmakers sheets, and in general by the percentage/HFA system. The Buffalo refuses to overthink this – even without Lance Franklin, even with the historic upset here last year – Sydney by 30.
Collingwood vs North Melbourne
The Kangaroos are 13th at 5-8 and a 92.2%, along with an ELO-FF rating of 52.1. The Magpies sit second alone on the ladder, 10-3, and third in both percentage (126.3%) and rating (62.6).
The Magpies are favored professionally by 23.5 points. The ELO-FF rating picks them by 7.5, and the percentage system doesn’t care who the home team is with a 30-point gap in percentage. Neither does the Buffalo. Collingwood will, as usual, do just enough to win by a couple of goals.
Port Adelaide vs Bulldogs
Right after the bye, it’s much easier than previously to tell which teams to take seriously and which teams are prepping for next year more obviously than others.
Port Adelaide (7-6, 108.3%, 58.3 rating) have an opportunity to make a statement with this four-game home stretch, so are going at full throttle. They’re favored by 23.5 (oddsmakers) and 26.5 (ELO-FF).
The Bulldogs (5-8, 88.9%, 39.7), in contrast, are experimenting with modes of play that will work best with the shorter personnel they’ve got on both ends. They looked great against Collingwood, and with that kind of effort should look great against the Power, too.
Just not great enough to win. The Buffalo says Port by ten.
St Kilda vs Richmond
See previous sentiment. Richmond (7-6, 92%, 46.7 rating) are favoured by 25.5 (oddsmakers) and 21 (ELO-FF ratings), and by the percentage/HFA system. They see an opportunity to win in 2019, depending on who can come back from injury in the next two months.
St Kilda (6-7, 83.4%, 23.8 rating) are trying to decide if Alan Richardson is still going to be coaching this team in the future.
The Buffalo will be surprised if they stay within four goals of the yellow and black, even in their current shadow-of-themselves form. The Tigers will be looking for a percentage boost.
Brisbane vs Melbourne
Melbourne sit in 16th, 4-9, with a percentage of 78.7 and a rating of 41.3. Meanwhile, their Queensland hosts are currently sixth with a record of 8-5, a percentage of 108.1, and a rating of 50.6. The oddsmakers say Lions by 12.5. ELO-FF places the spread closer to 15, and the percentage system agrees.
Despite the Demons’ victory coming out of the bye over a similarly situated Fremantle club, the Buffalo thinks this is a Lion of a different colour.
The Dockers were hampered by two strategic injuries mid-game that may by themselves have tilted the scales towards the home team.
If Brisbane suffer a similar fate, check for Victorian voodoo activity. If they don’t, it seems to me that the Gabba residents are a more complete team than Freo, and Melbourne’s level of game from last week won’t take down the Lions. The Buffalo likes Brisbane by the 15-point spread.
Fremantle vs Carlton
Fremantle’s injuries notwithstanding, if the Dockers are to live up to their status as a top eight team (7-6 record, 108.2%, 49.9 rating), they should be able to handle Carlton (2-11, 79%, 29.2 rating) at least in the way that the oddsmakers (26.5 points) and the ELO-FF ratings (25 points) say they can.
Carlton have performed better under interim coach David Teague, so we’re splitting the difference. The Buffalo says Fremantle win, but we’re not betting the line.
ELO-FF won 4/6 last week, 78 for the season. Percentage/Home Field won 4/6, 77 for the season. Oddsmakers won 5/6 and edged ahead to 79 for the season. The Buffalo fell to 3/6 for liking the Hawks, and is at 69 for the season. Boo.
The only way you should ever read my predictions is recreationally. I’m no prophet. I just share my thoughts with you, and they’re worth exactly what you paid to read them.
Secondly, the only money you should ever wager is money you can afford to throw away. If spending $15 punting is as enjoyable as spending $15 eating out, by all means. But never chase your losses, and always treat any winnings you receive as gravy, not earnings. Always stick to your budget if you bet, and once you reach your budget limit, walk away.
If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t ever gamble. Ever.