NRL (& Origin) Tips – Round 16, 2017

Round 14 was great with each game was more exciting than the last, except for the first one and the last one and there was only four games. Round 15 is ahead with some tricky fixtures: 1st vs 2nd, 3rd vs 5th, 11th vs 12th and the always celebrated 14th vs 16th. There’s also an Origin game where New South Wales are going to try to stitch up their first series in a few years.

Origin

qld-sm Queensland (58-2-49) @ nsw-sm New South Wales (49-2-58)

The core issue the Maroons faced in the last game is that they were roughly as effective as the Belgian border at stopping the Germans, which is the Blues forward pack in this poor choice of an analogy.

The Blues’ forwards were so good that they didn’t even bother selecting Paul Vaughan in what I assume is an example of classic anti-Italian bias in the NSWRL selectors panel (Germans again). Andrew Fifita, meanwhile, continues to weigh a, literally, solid 15kg over any of the Queensland forwards. While the Storm contained him fairly well when they played the Sharks recently, Origin seems to get him pretty fired up and the physics of momentum is his friend.

The Queensland selection changes seemed to be made due to public and media pressure. If you believed Slater was good enough for game 2, why not pick him for game 1? It’s not like Darius Boyd was the weak point in the team. Adding Valentine Holmes, yet another fullback, feels like someone has not analysed the issues correctly in a panic to be seen to be fixing the problem.

While I’m tipping NSW, I do hope that everyone that wrote the Queensland dynasty’s obituary before the second game was stitched up are shown up in a hilariously embarrassing way.

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NRL Tips – Round 15, 2017

After an intriguing round 14, we dive into round 15. It’s one of those lovely short rounds that allows me to get on with my life outside of NRL hashtags. I have stuff to do, you know.

Draw

gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast (4-9) @ souths-sm South Sydney (4-9)

The Gold Coast are a chance here. South Sydney have been playing like ANZ has myxomatosis. The Bunnies are yet to win a game at home, which would be unfathomable if we were talking about literally any other franchise. Even Newcastle manages to give the home fans something to cheer about occasionally.

Meanwhile, Jarrod Wallace put in the greatest attempt at the Bart Simpson defence in denying he shoulder charged Blake Ayshford in the game against the Warriors last week. This was the high point of a procedural approach by the Warriors that cooked the Titans in fifty minutes. Hopefully Neil Henry has them doing some cardio this week. The Titans showed a level of fitness I expect from normal people, not professional athletes. So far this year, the Titans are either proof that everyone has a lucky day or two or that the best have off-days but they’ve not exhibited any signs of getting on top of their flaws as a team.

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NRL Tips – Round 14, 2017

I think if the NRL could arrange for most rounds to play out per the form guide as round 13 did, then my experimentation with Elo models and rugby league would be far less embarrassing. It’s less Nostradamus and more John Edwards. Yes, I’m a greasy, shifty fraud who bilks people out of their money despite the fact that you get to read this for free because you Googled the right words and flicked through enough results to land on this smart sounding site. Psychic right?

“Success”

I was hoping a 5 from 7 level of success would be typical this year but it hasn’t been. In fact, this was a rather good round for all concerned. The jury has managed to eclipse the 60% margin I thought we would all be past by now but Euclid is still struggling to break even.

After round 13:

rd14-2017-correct tips

Draw

We’re on for our first full round since all of three weeks ago. There’s something for everyone, not least because all the teams have decided to earn their paychecks by playing. Even for the neutrals – assuming they exist in this sport, in which case they should just pick a team and get on with it – there’s plenty of even match-ups anticipated. That makes it incredibly difficult to tip but being incredibly wrong before hasn’t stopped me.

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NRL (& Origin) Tips – Round 13, 2017

I paid the price for my arrogance. I figured that the Raiders and the Warriors were done, dusted, spent forces that would not be able to stand up to even a weakened Roosters or Broncos outfit. They managed it and came home comfortable winners to boot. Scoring just one from four was not a pleasant experience and not one I intend to repeat. At least the rating systems had an excuse – there was nowhere to put the information that Origin is upon us – but for me, only failure.

“Success”

As suggested, not a great round. No one got above 1 in 4 except good old Eratosthenes, who correctly tipped Canberra over Easts, so there hasn’t been much movement since last week. So far this year listening to the two “form” Elo rating systems would have been less effective than listening to a coin.

After round 12:

rd13-2017-correct tips.PNG

Origin

nsw-sm New South Wales (48-2-58) @ qld-sm Queensland (58-2-48)

It’s the first of the three big games that keeps rugby league relevant in this country. The opening round of State of Origin will be played at Suncorp in Brisbane in front of a not-quite-capacity crowd thanks to a dipshit ticket pricing structure. It’s the showpiece of the entire sport so if you did run rugby league, you would want to ignore the fact that it didn’t sell out in five minutes in one of your most important markets. It’s called “giving the people what they want at a price just above what they can afford”. Look it up.

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Analysis – Where to for NRL expansion according to Cap

When I first started getting elbow-deep into NRL numbers, one of my favourite things to think about was expansion. The NRL has had the same sixteen club format since 2007. The Gold Coast Titans were the first new team to be added to the competition since 1998 brought us the Melbourne Storm.

The idea of some fresh faces and new colour schemes, coupled with a positive sign that the game is growing and the inherent riskiness appeals to many of sport’s more ardent fans. Todd Greenberg, CEO of the NRL, recently fielded questions from Twitter users, a noticeable portion of which were about expansion (which he hosed down).

One of the main drivers for examining the concept of Cap (see 1, 2 and 3) has been this. If we consider attendance a proxy for popularity and financial stability (let’s admit that’s dubious but press on nonetheless), then Cap can tell us something about potential expansion opportunities.

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NRL Tips – Round 12, 2017

Round 11 was about as easy as they get. A lot of games came down as expected and unlike round 10, there weren’t any major deviations from the form book.

“Success”

A good round for all. Six of eight for me and Eratosthenes while the others managed seven from eight. The Greeks tipped Penrith over Newcastle – the right decision if you weren’t being optimistic – but we all expected the Gold Coast, based on their recent form, to get over Manly. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the Sea Eagles might pick up a few more games through the Origin period with Cherry-Evans on the outs with Queensland selectors.

The good news is that we’re all at 50% or higher, except for Euclid who is supposed to be the tipster system. It’s been a bit of a weird season.

After round 11:

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Analysis – Which small town loves their team more?

The answer is Geelong, closely followed by Townsville:

small town cap

Did you want some more explanation or the graph is enough? The graph is fine? Well, I’ll just sit here in case you change your mind. Here’s an appropriate moment from The Simpsons:

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