Tag Archives: Tips

NRL Tips – Round 7, 2019

In what seems like fairly tame news compared to recent months, Phil Gould has been ousted from the Panthers. I don’t particularly care for Gould but that’s because he’s a massive gronk and cranky old man in the commentary box.

I don’t have any strong opinions about his ability as a club executive, largely because I wasn’t paying much attention to rugby league for most of his tenure. Plenty have pointed out Penrith’s successes in reforming their pathways (see last year’s U18 national championship and NRL State Championship wins) while others claim the club had a losing record under his command, along with some frankly bizarre personnel decisions (see punting the coach a few weeks out from the 2018 finals to keep a somewhat above-average halfback happy).

I will point to the club’s class graph, because that’s the kind of thing that can be used for, and from 2012 onwards, we see an unmistakable and steady uptick in performance. At one point, it looked like the pieces were in place for a premiership.


It’ll be interesting to see where Penrith go from here. My hope is that the resolution of the blatant conflict of interest in having a club executive commentate from a national platform will help slightly improve the coverage of the game (remember the 90 second infomercial for Oak at half time of a Panthers game that was presented as part of the Channel 9 broadcast?). I don’t mind bias in commentators within limits but that’s taking the piss.

In other news, you might notice the tip sheet format has changed. This is an attempt to make it a bit clearer and faster to put together. I think I’ve been successful but let me know if you believe otherwise.

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NRL Tips – Round 6, 2019

It’s a short post from me but it’s a big weekend of football:

  • Most games for the QCup will be on Thursday night with the Easter weekend ahead (I’ll be at Langlands watching the Magpies get pummelled)
  • Top of the table clash between Sydney and Melbourne on Friday night
  • Port Moresby is hosting a triple header with Digicel Cup teams playing either side of the Hunters
  • Potential spoon bowl down the Gold Coast
  • Bankwest Stadium opens Monday with a western Sydney derby
  • Matt Moylan revenge game, although he won’t actually be participating

What a time to be alive.

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NRL Tips – Round 5, 2019

Interesting to note this week that the first half of the NRL round will be played in Queensland, with Souths having taken a home game against the Warriors to the Sunshine Coast while Brisbane, Gold Coast and North Queensland all have home games.

Easts and the Sunshine Coast Falcons will be playing what I assume is a curtain raiser and will be the biggest clash of the Intrust Super Cup this weekend, so should be worth checking out if you’re there anyway.

It’s a rare highlight for Queensland rugby league, which is currently struggling with:

  • The Queensland clubs occupying three of the bottom four places on the NRL ladder with no hope on the horizon
  • Not being the defending Origin champs for the first time in a while
  • Back-to-back smashings at the NRL State Championships
  • Tweed Heads will probably win the Queensland Cup

At least we have the NRLW premiers and a Universities team that hasn’t lost in years.

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NRL Tips – Round 4, 2019

The photo below is unrelated to this week’s tips (except for the first one). The NRLW doesn’t start for months. Well, that of course assumes

  • that the crippling $400,000 per season that it costs to run a women’s team isn’t too big a burden for the biggest clubs in the competition that are supported by an annual grant from the NRL of $13 million
  • the clubs remember that their raison d’etre is playing football
  • the attendance at a free game of AFL doesn’t crush all other women’s sport in this country because what would be the point of continuing in the face of 53,000 people turning up to an event?

I mean, we could go on about how the AFLW had inferior ratings, inferior average attendances and offers no opportunities for representative footy compared to the NRLW but that would be petty #codewarz garbage. Why would anyone waste their time with that?

Now let’s get back to expansion and relocation. How anyone written anything about that lately? My plan is…

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NRL Tips – Round 3, 2019

It’s very early days in the 2019 premiership but injuries seem to be taking their toll early. Medial collateral ligaments have replaced syndesmosis as the blessure du jour. We haven’t even seen Kyle Feldt or Wade Graham yet and now we’re missing the likes of Jason Taumalolo, Tyson Frizell, Ash Taylor and Brett Morris.

For our tipping purposes, the obvious place these major outs would be noted is in xPPG, which tracks the personnel named on Team Sheet Tuesday and forms a tip based on their previous performances as measured in terms of Production Per Game.

This week, we see teams rated on a range from 25.0 to 31.5, which is a variation of 25% across the entire league. Interestingly, unless teams are particularly close, a major in or out at a key position might still not be enough to shift the tip. Cronk missed a game for the Roosters last week, taking about 10% of the team’s expected production with him. Even if his replacement, Lachlan Lam, had also missed the game, xPPG still would have tipped Sydney over Manly. That would later prove to be correct, even though Lam did end up having a pretty average game in production terms (that’s pretty good for a first timer though).

In the medium term, though, we’ll see some of these absences reflect themselves in changes in form ratings, with potential to surprise on the upside, like Jake Clifford did for the Cowboys last year, as well as downside risks, e.g. Ryley Jacks coming in for Ash Taylor at the Titans. In the longer term, this will also be reflected in Poseidon ratings as teams improve/struggle to score/defend. I update the ratings every Monday here, which might be worth keeping an eye on to get a relatively objective sense of the magnitude of these outs.

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NRL Tips – Round 2, 2019

I mentioned during last week’s tips that the rating systems take a while – give or take six weeks – to dial in to a new season. I was asked during the week what the Jury’s tipping rates look like across the year. I thought that was a good question, so I looked into it:


This is just for the unanimous Jury verdicts but I think we’d see a similar pattern across all of the metrics or voting combinations. As you can see, we start out pretty wobbly but come storming home towards the back end of the season. Your own tipping rates probably aren’t too dissimilar.

It’s also worth pointing out that, while 56% is a bit better than a coin flip, it’s also about par for the average home team winning rate. Since the NRL began in 1998 to the end of the 2018 regular season, the home team won 2,294 out of 4,012 games or 57.1%. That rate has dropped noticeably over the last years to just 55.7% or 535 wins in 960 starts.

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NRL Tips – Round 1, 2019

But first, a refresher

This year I’m going to be providing tips for each round of the NRL and the ISC using four mathematical rating systems. None of the four metrics rely on subjective human assessments and instead, each rating system takes in cold, hard numbers and spits out tips.

While each tool has a useful predictive track record (some are better than others), they are unlikely to outperform the best human tipsters. However, the systems are also not subject to the cognitive biases that people naturally develop and can offer insights that might otherwise be overlooked.

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