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EYE-BALL’s Rookie Bookie – The Final Series Begins

September 4, 2011
The Final Series Begins
While the ink is hardly dry on the premiership table, Titans want Bulldogs to win by 81 points so the Raiders win the spoon, and Dogs know they have to win by 90 points to steal the 8th spot, more realistic souls are actually looking at the more real paths that lie ahead. Tonight’s match between Cowboys and Warriors show both are chances in this comp, but by this time next Saturday one is very likely to be thinking about the season past, and possibly both.

In the final match ups the hardest game to call is Saints v Wests. We are yet to observe how Manly and Melbourne face up to the adversity dealt them during last weeks tribulations. Most important point is both get a second bite at the cherry and both should regain quite a bit next week end. Return of Foran is the best example. I have felt most of the week, that Broncos will somehow earn a well deserved rest in the 2nd weekend. Knights are really hard to tip, and as I said last week Melbourne should be at least 70% probability of coming through. They just have that style of form. Similar cuts for Manly against Cowboys but note Cowboys beat Manly 22 – 20 in round 8. I am therefore putting Manly at 60%. I feel you will get substantly better than 6 – 4 about Cowboys. Of note here is the Toyota Cup. Cowboys are second to Warriors. Both teams will gain from the finals experience.

The lapses in player instinct is vital here. Newcastle’s inability to go on with the game in the second half is well noted, but Wests have not drawn sufficient criticism for their lapses in the 3rd Quarter. Last Monday they gave Titans a sniff, and interestingly tonight Parramatta put 20 on the Titans in avoiding the wooden spoon. Not only do I think Tigers are over rated but after week one they are in the hurly burly of sudden death football.

In both AFL and NRL it is difficult to gauge motivation as teams shape up to their respective positions in the finals. Hawthorn rested 8 players today and won sufficiently with several grand final winning replacements, who were actually lacking in match fitness. Can you draw any conclusion from that.

How do you explain Geelong’s loss to Swans last week, and beating the raging favourites Collingwood this week. Dale Thomas will be missing again for the Magpies next weekend, but I feel a Pies triumph over Weagles is a given. I also feel that Hawthorn will dust Geelong in a cliff hanger. Carlton will beat the Bombers in another one which will go down to the wire, and St Kilda will have a comfortable margin over Sydney by half time and Sydney will fail to come back in the 3rd quarter, despite some valiant efforts.

Media will continue to throw in furphys attempting to get scoops on tactics, ins and outs and so on. No one thought Geelong a chance, before ball up last night.

Good Punting and Happy Hunting.


The Rookie Bookie …

  1. Rookie Bookie
    September 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Writing this column has been an absolute delight. Easts tossing the Storm was simply more exhiliration. By match time there were rumours circulating of Easts being backed for $20,000 outright. Melbourne were resting players and so on. The storm had blown from $1.35 to $1.60. When the chooks were up 12 nil, the storm had blown to $4.25. The most telling stat for mine was how calm Craig Bellamy was through out the match. Very importantly Storm met a team who are not in the eight. On the Broncos, I feel Thaiday must get 2 weeks, and that is basis no carry over. Gallop will still be criticised for years to come over his handling of last weeks brawl, how it had so much bearing on the final series. As was predicted Manly put up a good show, and gave Broncos supporters every reason to fear.

    By this time next week the comp will be down to 6 where 2 of Knights, Cowboys and Warriors are most likely gone. Last night Sheens was saying Wests will be training light this week because they could not go on with it against the Sharks. Again Sharks had nothing to lose, only pride. About the Warriors and Cowboys they have added so much to this comp, this year. Warriors lost their first 3 matches this year, and after round 6 were on 2 wins. Warriors and Cowboys both beat Melbourne Storm in rounds 3 and 7. I would love to see their style continue in this series but it is simply not to be. Could Wests and Knights be the two to drop out. It is too hard to see Knights as serious contenders

    This week I will be waiting to see the odds posted about Saint George, West Coast Eagles, and some interest in St Kilda.

    I see Collingwood about 75% probability, Geelong 55%, Carlton 60% and St Kilda 70%.

    In NRL I have already set Storm 70%, Manly 60%, Broncos 66% and Saints v Wests evens. From yesterday I will re rate Manly to 65% and Broncos to 60%.

    In both comps Collingwood and Storm have been clinical is winning the minor premiership, where Collingwood only appear vunerable to Geelong, and Storm to either Manly or Saints. Finals footie is so different. In the ultimate 2 weeks, you must win two gruelling matches, where over the years, too often clinical teams become victims to the need to play brilliant attack and defence consistently. Teams that can dominate unstructured play and capitalise on mistakes will gain advantage.

    With RWC starting this week end I will do nothing but look at a small wager on South Africa to win. NZ deserve to be favourites, and the European influence is to upset the southern hemisphere heavy weights. Typically the finals are made up of 2 from Northern Hemisphere and 2 from Southern Hemisphere with the Southern Hemisphere dominating. I truly believe SA are prepared to scarifice Tri Nations for RWC. It won’t be the first time.

    Why was Hansie Cronjie buried rather than cremated? Because no South African was prepared to throw the match.

    Good Punting and Happy Hunting.

  2. Snoop-Poop
    September 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Hey Rookie Bookie –

    Your all-up Chooks and Geelong paid well – well done.

    The NRL finals present a very even contest – it might be that the top 4 teams could all lose if suspensions and form hold true –

    That would throw all betting markets into dissaray – for mine offering 4/1 the field is about where the markets should be …

    Snoop-Poop …

  3. Rookie Bookie
    September 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Great Gran pappy loved to say a gambler only talks about their wins. They never talk about their losses. That is based in truth, when no one really cares to hear about the sob stories.

    You will hear many rules of gambling, and they tend to be of a constant idea. Cut your losses and ride your wins. When fortune is apon you go for it, when the tide turns, cut your losses. A very common rule is don’t bet recklessly. Don’t base judgements on superstitions, numbers, colours, names. Sport is tribal, and that creates delusion. In this years tri nations silly assumptions are made about NZ dominance. Similar is happened in AFL. Collingwood are good, make that mighty good but to accept $1.30 about them being in the Grand Final and $1.75 about them winning the Grand Final is just nonsense. Melbourne Storm at $3.50 is probably just as wrong. Your 4 to 1 field is probably about right. As I tried to highlight last week 4 to 1 means 4 chances of losing and 1 chance of winning. Manly, Melbourne and Broncos are somewhere there and then you have the teams 4 and 5 Saints Wests and it keeps going, to Warriors and so on.

    I actually prefer the McIntyre draw to the AFL draw. In 2005 teams 4 and 5 contested the Grand Final but look at the Minor Premiership that year, Wests were only one win from the 3 equal on points who decided the minor premiership. This year we have Melbourne with 5 losses, Manly with six, Broncos with seven. It tends to show the comp is somewhat even. Then why are Newcastle there at all with 12 wins and 12 losses? Cowboys are hardly better with 13 wins. South of the border, the stats are more stark, Collingwood two losses, Geelong 3 and so on. Down there it is really hard to look past the top three, and Sydney and Essendon, clearly are just making up the numbers. They finished with 13 wins and 11 losses.

    When it is all over there is probably time for review, but it would be limited to a review of wagering rather than anything about going forward in next years premierships. Because in AFL, 5 plays 8 and 6 plays 7 the match probabilities are tighter. If they were using McIntyre I would rate teams 1 2 and 3 probably about 85% to 90%. The Weagles might be somewhere about 58 to 54% against Carlton. It means that the winners give over belief to their teams chances, and gambling is more skewed.

    In the NRL, I really think there are 2 lower teams likely to beat higher teams, but Saints defeating Wests Tigers is not an upset. Knights beating Storm would be. I note Cam Smith has highlighted Uate as a risk next Sunday. None of my current ratings suggest any game will not have its chances for both contestants. What I want to accept is that Melbourne have a consistency about them that warrants respect. Any team that shows up to play, against a team not motivated sufficiently will win. Of the favourites who might be vunerable?

    I love the way Sheens it trying to turn the venue into a problem on Friday night. Hasler has chimed in. Onya. Sheens worry about your teams defence. Saints will be trying to regain that 80 minute mistake free football, knowing Benji Marshall will create tries, but how will you defend against constant pressure on your line.

    The one element I have been intending to focus on is nurseries. Several teams that include Broncos and Knights seem to find players who grow a foot when they pull on the guernsey. This year that might include Cowboys and even Warriors. As I said earlier Warriors were considered wooden spoon material for quite some time this year. Where did these players come from.

    There won’t be a post about Dally M, just get on Anthony Griffin for coach of the year. Such awards are made 4 weeks too early. The actual Dally M will probably be tied, and winning teams should feature. Smith, Slater, Lockyer, Marshall, Thurston with a couple of roughies like Sandow.

  4. Rookie Bookie
    September 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Last night I had a chance to look at the Rugby World Cup. As i expected South Africa are at 9 to 1. As Snoop Poop said about NRL it is 4 to 1 the field, so too in RWC it is 2 to 1 about Aus, NZ and SA with a shade shorter for home ground advantage. Why is it that Aus have 2 RWC, so do SA, one for NZ (despite their obvious supremacy) and Northern Hemisphere (England) have 1? Does it simplistically come down to home ground advantage?

    In the pool rounds NZ and France should emerge from pool 1, England and either Argentina or Scotland from pool 2, Australia and Ireland from pool 3, and SA and Wales or Samoa from pool 4. Very sadly there is no crossover in the quarters other than runner up pool B meets winner pool A. That means that NZ and France from the same pool could meet in semi final again rather than at Final.

    It also means England probably play France in quarter final, where the winner would play NZ in semi final. The other team with real upset potential is Ireland. They play Aus in pool round and likely SA in quarter final. It also means that 8 matches at the pool round stage have significance, and the others are just casual football. Until the second week of October there will be little interest.

    TAB considers NZ 73% probability and Australia at 26.67% then SA at 10% . Please consider.

    Good Punting and Happy Hunting

  5. Rookie Bookie
    September 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

    For all of the news that has emerged since Monday, nothing has really changed. For mine the probabilities, have hardly changed. The probabilities of the two top teams in NRL both losing are about 8 to 1, while the probability of the loser of Saints v Wests dropping out of the finals contention would be more like 5 or 6 to 1. When you consider the suspensions of Blair and Stewart and now Thaiday, it has opened up the comp slightly for the likes of Saints, Wests, Warriors and possibly Cowboys, I still feel that should Newcastle, Cowboys or Warriors pull off a miracle this week end, they will not survive what I call hurly burly of Finals football well. It is on again next week, and again the week after, and that is just to qualify for the Grand Final with injuries and post match review and so on.

    Through all this, what is stark is that the winner of Saints v Wests will get a week off at about a 14% ish probability. I really can’t see Knights toppling the Storm. Greater upsets have occurred. Newcastle are favoured to score first, particularly Uate, and Melbourne should have a game plan to create undue pressure, and get home, through the likes of Cronk, Smith and Slater. The same cuts for Manly, where they must be favoured over Cowboys, both can create pressure, but Manly have more attacking options. They will want to mark Thurston, and over time that has proven to be near impossible. But Thurston can not carry the team alone and where will he find support. Warriors are all about freakish forward busts and it really comes down to Broncos hurting them through defence. Trying to arrest this trend early. I am not impressed with the prices offered on Saints v Wests, I have said all the way through, it is even money.

    About scuttlebutt like Dean Wallis, Akuila Uate, I think the one that does rate sufficiently is the concept of Mick Malthouse taking over the Demons next year. Just look at St George performance since it was announced that Boyd and Bennett will be at Knights next year. Commentators are still obsessed that Collingwood can not be beaten. Can I back the Weagles? There is simply more value there than Wests v Saints.

    I am more looking forward, let us try to imagine the James Hird factor gets the Bombers a win over Carlton. Can Essendon then get a miracle run (lets guess) against first either West Coast or Collingwood then Hawthorn or Geelong, to then meet one of those four in the grand final? Essendon’s time is of the future, not this year. I can’t see them pulling off two upsets, not alone 4.

    If you care for the exotics, look beyond Uate and Slater scoring first. Also knowing that it will be a relatively high scoring match about 7 to 9 tries, total points of 30 to 50 does not really represent excellent value. You risk too much of your money to win too little. Example only the Mad Dog is $15 14 to 1, and Issac de Gois $34 33 to 1 to score first. I tend to feel Gidley 4 1/2 total points at $1.87 is a fair bet. Go long. Where Melbourne are a fair bet to win (maybe not at that price), Melbourne winning by a cricket score is not just as likely.

    Good Punting and Happy Hunting

  6. Rookie Bookie
    September 11, 2011 at 3:38 am

    As things stand before Sundays matches, next weekend Wests will play Warriors (possibly Storm) and Saints will play Broncos (possibly Knights). Wests will play in Sydney (SFS) and they will play a Broncos match in Brisbane.

    In AFL Swans will play Collingwood and the winner on Sunday (Carlton?) will play Hawthorn.

    Saturday morning Tigers had been shortened to $4 (3 to 1) to win the premiership. That nonsense annoyed me so I lashed out and backed Manly at 9 to 2. Naturally I now want to see the upset between Melbourne and Knights. Betting suggests a score line of about 28 12 to Storm but I would like a golden point game, either 22 or 24 all with Knights winning in extra time. I am not that fussy. I want Isaac de Grois to score a meat pie, preferably the 1st one, and Knights to have a comfortable lead at half time, where Melbourne will score first in the second half. With all of that live betting will go na na.

    I do believe Melbourne will win, but want Knights to put on a show, in the AFL I can’t see how it matters. Tonight both Collingwood and Geelong being in the Grand final is a 72%+ probability where you need at least 15 to 2 to back Hawthorn or West Coast and better again if you are silly enough to want to back the Swans.

  7. Rookie Bookie
    September 11, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Next week Swans will play West Coast (Grand finalists 2005 & 2006)

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