Thursday, 23 March 2017

Updated 2017 betting markets, predictions and general buffoonery

A lot has changed since the original markets were framed in the now reasonably redundant season preview. We extended our pre-season winning streak to five before Perth did us in as always, Jake Spencer is back, Colin Garland is gone and dozens of otherwise sensible people are tipping us to finish inside the eight. The last time that happened I was a fresh-faced youngster, now I'm an embittered old man so I'll believe it when I see it.

Anyway, on with the show. And a reminder again that these odds are strictly for the purposes of entertainment only, and if you're in any way considering betting on them (or Melbourne in general) then help is available by calling Gambler's Helpline on 1800 858 858.

Allen Jakovich Medal for Best Overall Player
We're reasonably stable here - the co-captains remain level while Gawn is slightly dialled back based on his reduced time in the middle during the pre-season. The big movers at the top are Lewis and Hogan -$5. Outside the top five Petracca is -$17 while Watts is +$5 after his weird pre-season.

Other significant gains include Hunt ($42 to $35), Melksham ($70 to $60) J. Smith ($500 to $225). As for losses, other than Garland the notable ones are - Tyson ($25 to $35), Kent ($50 to $60), Frost ($100 to $150), vandenBerg ($100 to $200), Pedersen ($125 to $150)

Based on the history of midfielders almost always winning this award it would be a staggering upset if any talls other than Gawn, Hogan or possibly McDonald contend but god damn it anything can happen at this club.

$5 - Jack Viney
$9 - Nathan Jones
$11 - Max Gawn, Jordan Lewis
$20 - Jesse Hogan
$25 - Christian Petracca, Jack Watts
$35 - Jayden Hunt, Clayton Oliver, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince
$38 - Angus Brayshaw
$40 - Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald
$45 - Neville Jetta, Christian Salem
$60 - Dean Kent, Jake Melksham
$70 - Billy Stretch
$80 - Jeff Garlett, James Harmes
$85 - Ben Kennedy, Sam Weideman
$100 - Tomas Bugg, Oscar McDonald
$125 - Alex Neal-Bullen
$130 - Jake Spencer
$150 - Sam Frost, Cameron Pedersen
$200 - Jack Trengove, Aaron vandenBerg, Mitch White
$225 - Jay Kennedy-Harris, Joel Smith, Josh Wagner
$275 - Mitch Hannan, Tim Smith
$300 - Dion Johnstone
$350 - Liam Hulett
$400 - Mitch King, Pat McKenna
$500 - Lachlan Filipovic, Declan Keilty
$1000 - Corey Maynard
$5001 - Colin Garland
$9999 - Heritier Lumumba

Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year
The big mover here is Hunt, one of the joint winners of the Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance, who has come in from $10 to snatch favouritism. McDonald senior has been slightly wound down from $7.50 to $10, while Jetta moves down to the third line after his troubled pre-season. With our rapidly thinning defensive stocks Jack Watts is up from $500 to $100, while ANY OTHER PLAYER and NO PLAYER ELIGIBLE have both firmed. Also turns out I totally forget to include Joel Smith the first time, so he comes in at $60 with a bullet.

$6 - Jayden Hunt
$10 - Tom McDonald
$12 - Neville Jetta, Bernie Vince
$16 - Michael Hibberd
$20 - Christian Salem
$25 - Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham, Billy Stretch
$60 - Joel Smith, Josh Wagner
$70 - Sam Frost, Mitch White
$100 - Jack Watts
$115 - Cameron Pedersen
$150 - ANY OTHER PLAYER
$175 - Tomas Bugg
$300 - Declan Keilty
$1000 - NO PLAYER ELIGIBLE
$4000 - Colin Garland
$7500 - Heritier Lumumba

Jeff Hilton Rising Star Medal
Weideman - who remains eligible as he debuted in the last month of the previous season - remains favourite, but in a very thin field of major contenders the biggest mover is Joel Smith in from $80 to second favourite. NO PLAYER ELIGIBLE has also come in from $100 to $90.

$8 - Sam Weideman
$10 - Joel Smith
$15 - Mitch Hannan, Tim Smith
$25 - Liam Hulett
$30 - Dion Johnstone
$50 - Mitch King
$60 - Pat McKenna
$80 - Lachlan Filipovic, Declan Keilty
$90 - NO PLAYER ELIGIBLE
$500 - Corey Maynard

Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year
Gawn reigns supreme, but the resurgent Spencil jumps from $50 to in front of NO PLAYER ELIGIBLE. Watts is another big mover - recognising that we're one injury away from him having to play in the middle enough to trip the 10 hitout per game qualifying mark.

$1.25 - Max Gawn
$15 - Jake Spencer
$35 - NO PLAYER ELIGIBLE
$50 - Jack Watts
$80 - Cameron Pedersen
$100 - Lachlan Filipovic
$125 - Mitch King
$250 - Sam Frost

The final chosen 22
B: Vince, T. McDonald, Jetta
HB: Hunt, O. McDonald, J. Smith
C: Oliver, Viney, Jones
HF: Petracca, Hogan, Kent
F: Watts, Weideman, Garlett
Foll: Gawn, Lewis, Tyson
INT: Brayshaw, Stretch, Salem, Melksham

Taking a risk on Garlett, Jetta, Kent and Tyson. Probably too much of a risk, but ironically for all our much vaunted new found depth I'm not all that confident in finding replacements.

IN: J. Smith, Melksham, Oliver/Brayshaw individually
OUT: Hibberd (inj), Kennedy (omit), Pedersen/Frost (omit/inj)

Apologies to Spencer, Harmes and Bugg + Hibberd who would be in but for injury. And christ only knows what's happened to Ben Ken, but our recent history with Collingwood imports is that it's one season and barely seen again.

Updated ladder prediction
No changes at all in my top nine, I'm extremely confident that we can narrowly miss the eight. No change in the bottom two either, at least until Carlton beat us in Round 2. All the action comes in the middle, where I've gone off Port and Freo and feel more confident about Essendon, Collingwood and North. I've also added another bracket to split 10-12 and 13-16. You may wonder how I can come to these conclusions having not seen more than about 10 minutes of a non-MFC pre-season game and you'd be right to ask. Like my successful 2016 division two FMI Tipsters League promotion campaign it's all based on the vibe.

1 - GWS [*vom*]
2 - Adelaide
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3 - Sydney
4 - Geelong
5 - Western Bulldogs
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6 - Hawthorn
7 - West Coast
8 - St Kilda
9 - Melbourne
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10 - Gold Coast (up from 11)
11 - Essendon (up from 14)
12 - Richmond (up from 13)
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13 - Collingwood (up from 15)
14 - North (up from 16)
15 - Port Adelaide (down from 10)
16 - Fremantle (down from 12)
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17 - Brisbane
18 - Carlton

Let's have it shall we?

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