Field Theory by Hadyn Green


So who ya got?

I know that deep down none of you really actually care about sport. Really you're all just heartless result-junkies just waiting for the next score, hoping for some hot tip to run with back to your filthy opium-riddled gambling dens. You sicken me.

But what can I say, I ‘m a pusher: who wants a hot tip?

Offlode is the analytics company that brought us the very interesting study into the relative evenness of various competitions around the world. During the Super 14 they were sending me some very interesting spreadsheets. They were full of predictions for games based on previous performances (I know it's not the greatest measure).

But the thing about their lodeings is that they get better over time. So by the end of that particular competition they were able to do some very fine grained predictions. Perfect stuff to pop down to the TAB with. In fact I was I doing very well in the office sweeps until I started going out for a drink instead of sending in my picks.

For the Tri-Nations Offlode have been adding TAB odds into their calculations as a proxy for the intuition of rugby fans (there are problems with this as I'm sure you can see). And so last week Offlode predicted the All Blacks to win with a 58 percent chance or rather to score 58 percent of the points, which is how their system works. As it was the 22-16 score line meant the All Blacks scored 57.8 percent of the points.

This week isn't looking so good. Offlode has the All Blacks with a 35 percent chance of winning and they agree with the TAB's odds of a 6-point Springbok victory.

Provided South Africa aren't paying somewhere between $1.48 and $1.58, then our confidence interval for the margin is above 6. This would suggest that taking South Africa at the line (-6.5) isn't a bad bet. Importantly, [the data] shows that if South Africa are favourites with the Bookies, our model also has them as favourites (although there isn't any meaningful overlay). Worst case scenario from a South African perspective is when their odds are around the 1.50 mark, but even then they are expected to win.

Bugger, eh?

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