I must say I have enjoyed the free space from the normal AFL cycle. I enjoyed watching the Womens game with free air and in general, avoiding football for a nice refresher before September kicks off. The downside of this is that I haven’t really got around to writing too much about our previous season. I’ve decided that I’ll release some more in depth discussion on the 2016 season after the GF and so for now - here are our regular simulations and ratings updates.
I touched briefly on these last week but we can see heading into our finals campaign that we have a clear leader in our ELO ratings. Sydney currently sit 48 points clear of the next best team (and essentially a tight group of 4). This equations to about 2 goals on a neutral venue and would be enough for Sydney to start favourites against any side, regardless of venue.
Adelaide drop back into a chase pack that all increased their ratings this week. The Crows, Cats, GWS and West Coast all now sit roughly equally placed. The Hawks continued their decline, falling back to 6th on our ratings, after being top only 5 weeks ago. They remain significantly better than our other finals teams in North and Western Bulldogs who have both begun to come perilously close to only ‘average’ teams.
Our simulated finals show us the importance of finishing top 4 - with each of those current top 4 sides >70% chances of making the prelim, largely due to playing at home rather than any significant ratings differences. Of those sides, Sydney are clear favourites to get into the GF - achieving this in almost 6 out of 10 simulations. They also go onto to win the flag in more than 1 in 3 simulations. They are certainly the team to beat.