The first bye round of the year presents us with two groups of games - coin flip’s in the North/Hawks, Freo/Port and Bulldogs/Geelong games, while the others the ELO model expects to be relative blowouts. You’ll also notice that I’ve added ‘match importance’ to the table below, which you can read about in my recent blog post.
I’ll summarise some of the important games below.
North Melbourne v Hawthorn, Fri 7:40pm Etihad Stadium
My model, as I keep harping on about, is still unimpressed by North Melbourne, rating them as the 8th best team and having them finish 7th on a (tightly packed) simulated season ladder. The Hawks on the other hand sit in 2nd in our ELO ratings. The system gives North a bit of a bump for being the home team. Our model is also naive to player selection so it doesn’t care about the Kangas injuries! **Hawks by 5 points. **
Fremantle v Port Adelaide, Sat 3:35pm Domain Stadium
Freo, despite their awful start to the season, has been steadily improving their ELO rating and currently sit just behind Port Adelaide on the ELO ladder. They get a decent bump for their home ground but a relatively impressive Port team just gets the nod. **Port by 7 points. **
Bulldogs v Geelong, Sat 7:25pm Edihad Stadium
Possibly the game of the round - certainly the most important by our new importance rating! Two teams with almost identical ELO ratings - the Bulldogs get a bump with the notional Home ground. Has some big implications for each teams final ladder positions, roughly reducing the losers chance of a top 4 spot by 35%! **Bulldogs by 7 **