And while it used a regulation modern computer and excel spreadsheets, we played up the angle of a big, lumbering 'old skool' computer 'machine'. It was eventually named "Ol' Bessie" by John @theholyboot, and adopted by us as her name.
In 2012, we happily tipped games and margins for our own fun and no profit, to a then weekly blog readership numbering in the tens, if that.
Somewhere along the way, the notion of a 'machine' dominating a tipping competition was borne by Dave @davpope, who challenged us to match his wits to our 'machine'.
And so back in mid 2012, the first ramshackle tipping competition began. Through the rest of 2012, Dave fought the rise of the machine, and was joined by others, some consistently, and others intermittently. And so, some alleged fun was had by all (none of it able to be proven in the Federal Court though).
In the lead-up to 2013, the foundation of the FMITL (FootyMaths Institute Tipping League) was laid, rules written, re-written, added too, washed, rinsed, and finally codified, The website/blog you see today began as the true home of the FMITL, with 10 'foundation partners', who have barely missed a beat for almost 2 seasons now.
We at the Institute campus are greatly encouraged by how this little competition has been received and the good nature that you all play with. "You have floored me, totally floored me" with your comments about this competition. And the way the new players this season have embraced it is even more encouragement. For us at FMITL HQ... 'This is dizzy stuff, folks!'.
Which brings us to the point of this post.
A new player this year is Michael @Carlo_Monty_AFL is also an avid spreadsheet manipulator and tipping aficionado. He has spent this year loading data from the FMITL, and all the other tipping competitions in Melbourne's newspapers.
In his logging of data he has compared our tipping efforts (restricted to 5 games tipped, as they are) to those published by journos, experts and former players. And while travelling through the northern hemisphere, he composed this first for the FMITL - a guest post on correlations of tipping.
Correlating Your Tips With Other Published Tippers
The excitement of anticipation of a football season of pitting my tipping model against the collective might of 'the only margin tipping competition in the western hemisphere' has quickly evaporated over a handful of rounds. The expectation of a rapid rise through Division 2 and asserting my rightful place amongst the Foundation Club members in Division 1 has been replaced by frantic outbreaks of sweat and anxiously checking mid round results in the hope of avoiding the indignation of
- last place;In order to deflect some of the scorn I should obviously find some statistics to quote and generate many newspaper inches of commentary which will in turn dilute the focus on my poor tipping ability.
- the worst MAPE;
- low tipping accuracy, and, in general;
- the scorn of my fellow FMITipsters.
The secondary goal of my recent analysis of some margin tipping statistics is to develop a deeper understanding of my competition and to turn that to my advantage in future rounds – sort of applying 'The Art of War' to FMI Tipping.
So where to start?
Well the majority of the Carlo Monty excel spreadsheet is used to rate and rank the teams and massage a game day prediction for each match. Rather than just predicting a winner and a loser, individual teams scores are predicted and the margin used for the FMIT predictions.
A couple of sheets in the excel file are dedicated to keeping an eye on the published margins in the newspapers (The Age and The Herald Sun) and a handful of published internet margin tips (Matter of Stats: Chips; Footy Forecaster; TipBetPro and FootyForecaster).
The Village Idiot and current footballers who do not tip a margin are excluded (with the exception of the Bulldogs Murphy who we assign a week in and week out prediction of a ten point win for the doggies).
All of the published margin predictions were filtered to only include official FMITL games (presented in the standard format of –ve for an away win and +ve for a home win). The actual margin for all of the relevant games is used for correlation purposes:
FMITL Tipping Data with Other Published Data
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We then run good old excel correlation to look for simplistic correlations between the actual margin and all of the published tipsters. Sounds simple but it took the old work computer just under an hour to crunch the numbers. But oh the nuggets of gold uncovered by this process! Questions such as who correlates the closest to Tony Abbott or Jason Dunstall are answered via a quick scan of the correlation table.
FMITL Margin Correlation Ladder (as at end Rnd 12)
Yep coming in in 21st place with a correlation of 0.413 is the good ol' Carlo model. TheT and Kevs are helping me hold up the ladder, but there is a healthy buffer between 21 and 20!
At the other end Wal1 is a clear leader on 0.683 which is also the highest correlation when considering the papers and is only bettered by TipBetPro on a massive 0.724
Given there was not much joy for me in looking at the league table of correlations to actual margins I turned my attention to which of the “celebrity” tipsters do I have the most in common.
The analysis of the FMITipsters compared to the published celebrity tipsters was interesting:
Correlating FMITL Tipsters with 'Celebrity' Tipsters (as at end Rnd 12)
The remaining FMI tipsters surprisingly (to me) share strong correlations with other FMI tipsters:
J_Foreigner and A_OKeefe must follow Sam Lane closely. While Footy_Maths and LucasGarth follow Jesse Hogan (hence the FMI Atari is a boy and Ol Bessie is a misnomer!!).
Ethan_Meldrum and Kevs_View must be dyed in the wool Hawks fans as they follow Jason Dunstall closely – Although Ethan has another strong correlation, being as he is the FMI tipster with the strongest correlation with Tony Abbott: we will need to get some security guards around to protect our fellow tipper? Dunstall correlates more strongly to Abbott.
The largest groupings of commonality correlations are left for Gary Lyon and Dennis Commetti (DavPope correlates strongly with both) Supermercado99, Amul82 and TheHolyBoot side with Lyon. While Coldogs, SJHRoss and myself align with Commetti.
Commetti! How could I?
Tim Lane I could cope with or Crawford. Even Dermie. But Comemtti!?!
Below I publish the full tipster correlation ladder. The conclusions I draw from this analysis?
- The Murph and I should have a couple of beers at the Plough Hotel in Footscray.
- My games against TheTipsGuru and Kev look set to be the grudge matches.
- Wal113Freo sits atop Div 1 for a reason – the powerhouse foundation club tipper that everybody else is gunning for! Does Wal play more Friday night and Anzac day games than anybody else?
If TipBetPro published their tips earlier I should use them as a default – either that or I have got to spend my number crunching time to try and work out their system. Then I might be able to climb the ladder and pass Tony Abbott who notoriously picks GWS and still manages a better margin correlation than my ten year old model.
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