An Early Look at the Best and Worst Defences

Figuring Footy is using shot position data to study how different teams protect the big sticks:

As seems to happen more often than not these days, the frantic, high scoring pace of the first couple of rounds has started to wear off, and strong, composed defensive efforts are once again having a big say on who’s winning games. As longtime readers will have seen in the lead up to the Grand Final last year, shot location data can give us a great idea of the capabilities and tactical styles of different defences in the competition.

Source: An Early Look at the Best and Worst Defences – Figuring Footy

Tower of Power after Round 3

What does it look like if you run 10,000 simulations and count how many times each team winds up in each position? This!

At this stage, there’s still lots of uncertainty, so teams are mostly long slashes, capable of finishing in many different positions. As the weeks go by, they tend to flatten out.

Adelaide are already settled in the top 4, though, the squiggle reckons, and Brisbane are very likely for the spoon.

Gold Coast and Freo evacuating those bottom rungs opened up a lot of space for other teams to fall into. That chute opening for Hawthorn all the way down to 17th is kind of terrifying.

Computers are beating the bookies

It’s been a rough start to the year for tipsters. And the start of a season is a tough time for computer models, which generally don’t know about personnel changes during the off-season.

Still, after three rounds, the computers models are doing okay!

Tips Bits
Figuring Footy 18 0.88
Squiggle 18 -0.96
PlusSixOne 17 1.28
Aggregate 17 0.48
Footy Maths Institute 17 -1.84
Punters 16 0.73
Matter of Stats 15 0.16
The Arc 15 0.04

“Bits” from Monash University rewards tipsters for saying a win was likely and punishes them for saying it was unlikely.

Squiggle has been fortunate with a few line-ball calls, doing well on raw tip numbers but badly burned on over-confident predictions that turned out to be upsets.

Figuring Footy has been strong on both. PlusSixOne has been excellent in probabilistic terms, and is currently leading in Bits.