Certified Legendary Thread Squiggle 2017

Runnin Blue

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Crows turning it on at the 'G? Pigs will fly before that happens.
This is one of the biggest and stupidest myths on Big Footy.

2015

R10 v Blues win

EF v Dogs win

SF v Hawks loss


2016

R5 v Hawks loss

R15 v Demons win

R16 v Blues win


2017

R2 v Hawks win

R15 v Blues win

R19 v Pies draw


I count 2 losses in 3 years (9 games) and they were both against the rampaging Hawks (and the umpires).
 

LittleG

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This is one of the biggest and stupidest myths on Big Footy.

2015

R10 v Blues win

EF v Dogs win

SF v Hawks loss


2016

R5 v Hawks loss

R15 v Demons win

R16 v Blues win


2017

R2 v Hawks win

R15 v Blues win

R19 v Pies draw


I count 2 losses in 3 years (9 games) and they were both against the rampaging Hawks (and the umpires).
So, 1 narrow win and 2 losses versus top 8 teams.
5 others wins versus bottom 8 teams and 1 versus a now rebuilding Hawks (who may or may not be a bottom 8 team). Nothing wrong with the myth, just need to play more top 8 teams there.
 

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AJB84

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So, 1 narrow win and 2 losses versus top 8 teams.
5 others wins versus bottom 8 teams and 1 versus a now rebuilding Hawks (who may or may not be a bottom 8 team). Nothing wrong with the myth, just need to play more top 8 teams there.
There is only 1 top 8 team that plays there and I would love to play them there considering recent form.
 

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

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So, 1 narrow win and 2 losses versus top 8 teams.
5 others wins versus bottom 8 teams and 1 versus a now rebuilding Hawks (who may or may not be a bottom 8 team). Nothing wrong with the myth, just need to play more top 8 teams there.
Do tell which of these big Victorian teams play at the MCG?

There is 1 Melbourne-based team currently in the top 6 (Richmond) and they haven't exactly been setting the world on fire pre-2017. The Bulldogs and Essendon typically play our games against them at Etihad.

So how the heck are the Crows meant to beat top 8 teams at the MCG when there basically aren't any besides Richmond?
 

Runnin Blue

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So, 1 narrow win and 2 losses versus top 8 teams.
5 others wins versus bottom 8 teams and 1 versus a now rebuilding Hawks (who may or may not be a bottom 8 team). Nothing wrong with the myth, just need to play more top 8 teams there.
That would be all fine and dandy if that was the point the post I was responding to was making, but it wasn't, so your post is irrelevant.

"Turning it on at the 'G". Nothing about top 8 sides in that sentence.
 

Final Siren

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Switching over to the shots on goal model this week right?

Bombers last two weeks need a cheer up.
I wish I'd switched at the start of the year! It moved ahead of ISTATE-91:12 by another tip this week, so it's now +5. Next year it will no doubt get smashed by swings and roundabouts.

Main difference to real squiggle form ratings at the moment is it's less keen on Geelong (5th instead of 3rd) & West Coast (10th instead of 6th) and quite likes St Kilda (8th instead of 11th) and Collingwood (9th instead of 12th).

Both algorithms still like Port Adelaide, though (5th/4th), and refuse to board the Tiggy Train (7th/6th).
 

Final Siren

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The website recommends using the flagpole to determine the likely GF winner, rather than the ladder predictor.
Yep. There's far less evidence for interstate home advantage in finals. Yet if you follow the usual algorithm for tipping, you rely on it almost completely, because finals teams are usually close to each other in strength, so home state advantage becomes the deciding factor.

Home teams do win a lot of finals, but home teams vs interstate opponents don't win as many as you'd expect from evidence gathered in the regular season.

Since these are the games everyone's primed to play, I imagine that fundamental team strength is more important than usual. So it's good to pay more attention to that and less to venue.
 

threenewpadlocks

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Yep. There's far less evidence for interstate home advantage in finals. Yet if you follow the usual algorithm for tipping, you rely on it almost completely, because finals teams are usually close to each other in strength, so home state advantage becomes the deciding factor.

Home teams do win a lot of finals, but home teams vs interstate opponents don't win as many as you'd expect from evidence gathered in the regular season.

Since these are the games everyone's primed to play, I imagine that fundamental team strength is more important than usual. So it's good to pay more attention to that and less to venue.
Is there any particular evidence that home ground advantage is less in the regular season, among finals-quality teams, or are you including bottom 10 teams when comparing regular season to finals series? That might be a worthwhile comparison, controlling for the quality of teams

Because I'm thinking, for example, that worse teams on the ladder are more inexperienced, and therefore have more players that would be playing at any given interstate venue for only the first or second time in their careers, therefore being unfamiliar with the dimensions of the ground? Compared with a finals team that's more experienced and they might have played at any given ground more often, therefore the finals HGA is less strong? So therefore would be worth looking at whether HGA is diminished in finals when compared in H&A games when you take away games that aren't between two finals teams.
 

Final Siren

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2017 Round 20


That was a big round of football!

Sometimes a round is full of crucial matches and they turn out to be close games, so, sure, they're entertaining, but you don't learn a whole lot about either team, other than that they're evenly matched.

Then you have rounds like this one!



Adelaide firmed into a solid, erect position, thrusting firmly into the open, inviting premiership zone. That's quite a trajectory you've made there, Adelaide. There's a real cockiness about it. It came about after a graphic display against the Power, the Crows taking a liking to the wet, slippery conditions and dominating, especially the behinds (18.22 to 7.4).

Less phallically, Sydney demolished Geelong to move into that part of the chart I should really just go ahead and name THE SYDNEY AREA, because the last season they didn't spend time there was 2010. No-one else wants to live there, Sydney. It's really just you and whoever Ross Lyon was coaching at the time. But you keep coming back, year after year.

The week belonged to those two teams, who put a lot of space between them and the rest of the field.

But it was also terrific for Richmond! In fact, I now think Richmond is going to win the flag. This is not supported at all by squiggle. It's more of a vibe. I'll explain more below.

It was an interesting week if you're on Scoring Shot Watch. Essendon's victory over Carlton wasn't so narrow (11.18 to 11.10), Collingwood's over North wasn't so great (16.15 to 7.15), and GWS really destroyed Melbourne (14.13 to 10.2). Fremantle put away Gold Coast pretty handily, too (12.18 to 10.7).

Gold Coast have had a pretty ordinary second half to the year after a promising start. So have North Melbourne, who were far more competitive a few months ago, even though they weren't winning games.

And on the chart, Carlton and Freo became one. Think about that for a moment. It's horrible, isn't it. There is literally nothing good about that for anyone.


This time of year, the Season Predictor becomes less helpful, because with so few matches remaining, you can just about figure things out yourself. Also it averages out a team's chances of winning each match, which works much better over the long-term than just three games.

But Tower of Power is always interesting! Lots of movement this week:


Most noticeable is Adelaide turning into a banner ad in the #1 spot. It would take an Adelaide-grade implosion for them to miss from here. Of course, if anyone can do an Adelaide-grade implosion, it's Adelaide. But top spot is almost certainly theirs.

The trapdoor opened up beneath Geelong, but with games against Richmond (at Kardinia), North, and GWS, they still have a pretty good path to 2nd. And with a 1.5 win break over 5th, things would have to go horribly wrong for them to miss the top 4.

Since Geelong, GWS and Richmond play each other in the remaining three rounds, the effect of each result is magnified. So right now those three teams have a pretty even chance of finishing 2nd, and it will go to whichever of them manages to stand up.

The desolation of Port Adelaide left a lot of room for Sydney and Richmond to move into.

And the Bulldogs still have a remarkable array of plausible finishes! They have a 5% chance or better in every slot from 4th (where Geelong lose a lot) to 11th.

On Flagpole, it's good night to the Hawks:


And otherwise the usual story. Adelaide are surrounded by premiership cups on the main chart; they are going to be 1st.

Now: Why Richmond will win the flag!

Obviously I'm 100% only writing this because I'm a Richmond supporter. Squiggle doesn't foresee good things for Richmond in the finals. But this section applies to other teams as well.

It's all about the killer bye. The bye is bad, for mysterious reasons, and has always been bad, going back decades. More specifically, it's bad for teams that had a bye last week when their opponent didn't. There is plenty of data on this: Those teams underperform.

The only mystery has been why the bye becomes good when you get one thanks to a qualifying final victory. In those cases, the bye works like it's supposed to, and they win repeatedly and reliably.

Until last year, when we had a pre-finals bye for the first time, and after winning Qualifying Finals, Geelong and GWS both lost. Instead, the Bulldogs won the flag from 7th. Now we all know that had never been done before, which is remarkable enough in itself. But what makes it amazing, and a little suspicious, is that no-one came close before.

If the Final Eight system offers a reasonable chance for 7th to win the flag, you would expect, at some point this century, a team to have at least made the Grand Final from 5th or 6th. Not win the premiership; just make the GF. But nope.


For 16 years, we had a near-perfect statistical distribution where the team that finished 1st was most likely to make the GF and win the flag, then the team that finished 2nd was, then 3rd, and then 4th could make the GF sometimes but never win the flag. And 5th-8th never made the GF.

Then in 2016, 7th wins the flag!


It may well be that 2016 was just one of those years, and the Bulldogs one of those teams, and it'll never happen again. But another explanation is that this answers the mystery of why the Qualifying Final winner bye was good: It was only because it came right at the very end of the year, when all teams were exhausted, which caused the restorative benefits to outweigh the usual negative effect. But since the AFL introduced a pre-finals bye last year, that benefit vanished, and all that's left is the usual killer bye, where teams that had a week off do worse against teams that didn't.

This makes me far less certain that it's necessary to (a) finish top 4 and (b) win a qualifying final to take out the premiership. The fact that the Bulldogs did it last year makes it less certain, and the possibility that it's due to the pre-finals bye makes it doubly uncertain. It may even be bad to finish top 4 and win a qualifying final.

If so, it's a far more open race to the flag than anyone thinks. A team like Sydney, in fine form but up against it to make the top 4, has a perfect run to the flag. A team like Richmond, who might finish 4th but be unable to beat 1st in a Qualifying Final, has a much better shot at redemption than history would suggest. And a team like the Bulldogs, or Essendon, who in previous years would be dismissed as just making up the numbers, can actually go all the way if only they find form at the right time.

The only certainty of the finals campaign this year may be that the form team wins no matter where they placed on the ladder.

That aside, the other reason why I think Richmond will win the flag is that statistical analysis like squiggle is only about what's most likely to happen. Unlikely things happen all the time. They happen all the time in football. I've followed the Tigers my whole life and I wasn't paying much attention to football the last time we were anything like a flag threat, so I don't want to spoil this one with an over-reliance on what stats say usually tends to happen. I'm going to roll with the fact that anything might.

More squiggle!

Live squiggle!
 

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WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

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Less phallically, Sydney demolished Geelong to move into that part of the chart I should really just go ahead and name THE SYDNEY AREA, because the last season they didn't spend time there was 2010. No-one else wants to live there, Sydney. It's really just you and whoever Ross Lyon was coaching at the time. But you keep coming back, year after year.

Most noticeable is Adelaide turning into a banner ad in the #1 spot. It would take an Adelaide-grade implosion for them to miss from here. Of course, if anyone can do an Adelaide-grade implosion, it's Adelaide. But top spot is almost certainly theirs.
These 2 bits had me laughing out loud. Sydney + Ross Lyon! :D

Plus old Adelaide, defying the Squiggle's predictions in all new terrible ways. I can just imagine the conversation.

Adelaide's mate: Hey Adelaide, this Barry guy says that there's no way that you can miss out on top spot from here.
Adelaide: Oh, does he now. Well I'll show him. Here, hold my beer.
 

LittleG

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Final Siren you are fixated on 7th when it was the most wins by any team finishing 7th. So:
Who many teams have won the flag with a 14:8 home and away record?
How many teams have won the flag within 2 games of top spot?
Sometimes statistics don't tell the whole story.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

nobbyiscool

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Final Siren you are fixated on 7th when it was the most wins by any team finishing 7th. So:
Who many teams have won the flag with a 14:8 home and away record?
How many teams have won the flag within 2 games of top spot?
Sometimes statistics don't tell the whole story.
Agree that these are valid and interesting questions.

Maybe it's not that getting 2 byes in 3 weeks is bad - maybe it's just that, in the past, the top 4 teams (and/or top 2 teams) have just proven to be far superior teams over the course of the season, and the finals were an extension of that.

Maybe, in the case of 2016, the competition was just much more equal. And (/or?) maybe, rather than 2 byes in 3 weeks being a bad thing, the pre-finals bye was just an equaliser that removed the (probably unquantifiable) advantage of the week 2 bye.

I don't know, but I think it'd be interesting to analyse the actual output (wins, points for, points against) of teams rather than simply analysing ladder positions. (In re-reading this post after hitting "reply", it occurred to me that, by-and-large, this is what squiggle measures... Oh, sweet irony!)
 
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WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

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Agree that these are valid and interesting questions.

Maybe it's not that getting 2 byes in 3 weeks is bad - maybe it's just that, in the past, the top 4 teams (and/or top 2 teams) have just proven to be far superior teams over the course of the season, and the finals were an extension of that.

Maybe, in the case of 2016, the competition was just much more equal. And (/or?) maybe, rather than 2 byes in 3 weeks being a bad thing, the pre-finals bye was just an equaliser that removed the (probably unquantifiable) advantage of the week 2 bye.

I don't know, but I think it'd be interesting to analyse the actual output (wins, points for, points against) of teams rather than simply analysing ladder positions. (In re-reading this post after hitting "reply", it occurred to me that, by-and-large, this is what squiggle measures... Oh, sweet irony!)
Yeah, the main problem is we don't know whether there is causality or correlation (or even if it was just a really random event that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon).
 

Hobbes

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Yeah, the main problem is we don't know whether there is causality or correlation (or even if it was just a really random event that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon).
Well, if it's possible it will probably happen eventually. Allowing for something like the 5-8 team being a 1/3 chance in each subsequent week, you'll still get a premier from 5-8 once every 13.5 years.
 
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harrythetiger

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Final Siren you are fixated on 7th when it was the most wins by any team finishing 7th. So:
Who many teams have won the flag with a 14:8 home and away record?
How many teams have won the flag within 2 games of top spot?
Sometimes statistics don't tell the whole story.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The quality of 7th place teams wasn't his entire point, rather that you have to win 4 finals on the road to win a flag from 7th, which is a lot more difficult than winning 3 with at least 2 at home games and having a week off in the middle. The bye may close the gap in difficulty slightly.
 

Sentinel

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Agree that these are valid and interesting questions.

Maybe it's not that getting 2 byes in 3 weeks is bad - maybe it's just that, in the past, the top 4 teams (and/or top 2 teams) have just proven to be far superior teams over the course of the season, and the finals were an extension of that.

Maybe, in the case of 2016, the competition was just much more equal. And (/or?) maybe, rather than 2 byes in 3 weeks being a bad thing, the pre-finals bye was just an equaliser that removed the (probably unquantifiable) advantage of the week 2 bye.

I don't know, but I think it'd be interesting to analyse the actual output (wins, points for, points against) of teams rather than simply analysing ladder positions. (In re-reading this post after hitting "reply", it occurred to me that, by-and-large, this is what squiggle measures... Oh, sweet irony!)
I think a point often forgotten is that between 1972 and 1990, with the final 5 system, the top team would also have 2 byes in 3 weeks prior to the Grand Final, provided they won their first final (which was the semi final after not having to play in week 1).

During this 19 year period, the top ranked team won their first final 10 times, and went on to win the premiership 7 times. That's a 70% premiership record for teams who had 2 byes in 3 weeks prior to 2016.

In those years, the second bye was during a prelim rather than a semi final, so last years equivalent game to the grand final with the final 5 was the prelim, which both teams lost.
 

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