Brownlow Medal predictions

Josh who runs Dailyprofit with me makes a nice profit each year with his Brownlow bets. Last year he came second in a competition to win a VIP finals package. As an extra little bonus for Dailyprofit members, Josh posted this on the site earlier in the week. I thought I would reproduce it for any of you that like to have a bet on this event.

Brownlow Medal (AFL)

On Monday night, the AFL night of nights will be held to award the AFL’s best and fairest player the Brownlow Medal. While this is a widely popular event for both AFL fans and also their better halves who tune in early to keep an eye on all the fashion, it is a very rare occurrence where you can bet on an event which has already played out. That being, all games have been played and there are no more variables that can creep in such as injuries, suspensions and rich veins on form to certain players. All information is available to us to make an informed and calculated decision on how the umpires will have voted.

For a number of years, I have personally tracked the Brownlow in aim to gain an edge and ultimately a profit from the night. Years ago, this was made very easy by bookmakers really having no idea and big prices were put up all over the place however; now they have smartened up somewhat meaning the edge can be a little harder to find but it is still there if you look hard enough given the sheer amount of markets offered by bookmakers. In 2014, thousands of entrants entered their votes into Brownlow Tracker to attempt to win 2 x Grand Final tickets. I unfortunately fell agonisingly close, finishing a close 2nd when assessing my full count (3,2,1 in every match of the season) compared to how the count actually played out on the night. Through a number of sources and most importantly, watching as many games as possible, I am comfortable with my method to predicting what will eventuate on Monday night. Below I have provided my thoughts on the overall winner and each clubs most votes.

The information below is provided is general in nature and no specific bet suggestions will be made. Many of you will have interest bets on this event and hopefully this may go someway to making the night that little more enjoyable if a couple of bets get up.

Bronwlow Medal Winner (Overall Winner)

The main market and everyone loves to back the winner. At Round 13, the medal had been stamped and was ready to be delivered to Nat Fyfe only for him not to poll again for the remainder of the season. It is likely to play out like this – Fyfe polls almost every week for 13 weeks and gain a very strong lead only be chased and chased by 6-7 other guys who get very close to catching him by Round 23 but will he hang on? Much depends on if he polls true to how we expect him to early. Here is a quick breakdown of my top 8 guys who I believe are a chance at taking Charlie home.

Nat Fyfe: The $2.00 favourite who was a short as $1.45 mid season. I have him polling 28 votes from Round 1-13 and none afterwards. If he polls true, I think he will hang on with all chasers falling agonisingly short. If he is somewhere in the range of 24-27 at Round 13, he’s a real chance of losing that medal in Round 23. Expected votes: 27-29.

Matt Priddis: Last years winner and the favourite to roll Fyfe if he under polls even slightly. As consistent as ever and with the Eagles winning more games he will have more votes to attract but will a combination of winning the medal last year and Andrew Gaff cost him a chance at back to back medals. Probably comes with the biggest variance of the leading chances given how frequently he is in the best 5 on the ground yet very rarely has a game that demands 3 votes. Expected votes: 23-26.

Dan Hannebery: Typical player who many discount given he can sometimes be inconstant have have periods out of the best however; he’s the perfect Bronwlow player in the sense when he plays well he often dominates and demands 2-3 votes. Very rarely will a Brownlow winner poll 15 x 1-2 votes to win, they poll 10 x 2-3 votes and this is what Hannebery is capable of. I think he’ll need Fyfe to under poll as I’m not sure he can poll 28+ votes but he’ll look a danger at some stage. Expected votes: 23-26.

Sam Mitchell: This guy is a polling machine and in a dominant side, he will give this years medal a mighty shake. Mitchell consistently goes big and outside of Fyfe, I expect him to poll the most best on grounds of any player. As mentioned in Hannebery’s write up – this is the type of player that win the Brownlow Medal. I don’t expect him to poll until Round 5 which could see him giving too big of a head start but he’ll be there about come the final rounds. If Fyfe gets beat by anyone, they should buy this guy a beer. His knee to Fyfe changed this years Brownlow. Expected votes: 23-26.

Patrick Dangerfield: This guy was average in 2014 and still managed to poll in excess of 20 votes showcasing his unique polling ability. He dominates games and given he’s dynamic game breaking style, he attracts votes. I’ve polled him generously knowing how much the umpires love him and still have him falling a few votes short which makes me doubt if he can win. Media hype has him shorter than he should be imo however; he can win IF other don’t go in excess of 26+. Expected votes: 22-25.

Josh Kennedy: Not rated in markets like the guys mentioned above but the sheer amount of games this guy was exceptional in gives him hope of winning. Like Dangerfield, he probably needs a low count to win but if umpires vote him generously, this guy could be in this up to his eyeballs. Could we see an All Australian omission win the medal two years running? Expected votes: 22-25.

Overall Top 8:
Nat Fyfe – 28
Matt Priddis – 26
Dan Hannebery – 26
Sam Mitchell – 25
Josh Kennedy – 24
Patrick Dangerfield – 24
David Mundy – 22
Andrew Gaff – 22

Adelaide

Patrick Dangerfield is 1.01 in most markets and deservedly so, he should almost double any other Crow. Early odds on Scott Thompson being next in line were attractive but those odds are long gone but still expect him to just pip Rory Sloane for 2nd. A host of guys should be between 7-10 with 11-12 votes being enough to win the market ex Dangerfield.

Verdict: Dangerfield from daylight and veteran Scott Thompson.

Brisbane

I believe only two guys can win this – Dayne Beams or Stefan Martin. Martin had an outstanding year where I was shocked he didn’t win Brisbane’s B&F by the length of the Flemington straight. Despite having a great year, attracting Brownlow votes is a different kettle of fish when you are in a losing side. Martin was frequently in my thoughts when considering minor votes but it is Beams that I am wanting to be on here. Many of his votes have been awarded in loses but given his big name and midfield numbers, he will attract enough votes to beat Martin.

Verdict: Beams being a chance in 9 games will see him accumulate enough votes here.

Carlton

A battle between the Captain and Rising Star here with Marc Murphy and Patrick Cripps being the two guys in the mix here. Both were outstanding in their early season win vs St Kilda on ANZAC day and Cripps again dominant in their win against Melbourne later in the year. Cripps is entitled to attract 8-9 votes across three big games however; I think Murphy will do enough across a potential six polling games to get the chocolates in a dismal season for the Blues.

Verdict: Murphy by a single vote

Collingwood

We have the two regulars here – Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan – fighting it out for the Pies. I won’t spend too long here as I believe Pendlebury while not being in overall calculations will have done enough to hold off Swan. He is very short in the market so I wouldn’t want to be backing Pendlebury despite him the likely winner.

Verdict: Pendlebury from Swan and Adams.

Essendon

This market is a big of a mess as the Bombers season. Dyson Heppell is shockingly short here and although I have him on top, it wouldn’t shock me one bit to see a number of guys take this out. Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley were Essendon’s two best players all season however; key position players simply don’t poll like midfielders so they have scope to win here but as to which one will do it, your guess is as good as mine. The surest thing about Essendon’s count is Joe Daniher polling 5-6 votes but I suspect this will be a couple of votes short of winning.

Verdict: Heppell wins but the value with others.

Fremantle

Here we have Fremantle onballers Nat Fyfe, David Mundy and Lachie Neale. A dominant side finishing minor premiers with these three guys more often than not in the mix for votes. With the same guys in the mix all the time, it presents a case where big swings in votes can occur if one guy in particular over polls. I suspect given Fyfe and Mundy are the senior guys, they will get the better of young gun Lachie Neale. I recall backing him at 400-1 for the rising star, only to see him shorten to 26-1 and get injured!

Verdict: Fyfe ahead of Mundy and Neale to poll in the high teens.

Geelong

In years gone by, Joel Selwood would typically be $1.01 given his ability to lead his Cats side. Selwood has had somewhat of a disappointing year where he should do just enough to hold out a fast finishing Steven Motlop (looking for more $$ on his contract) and a few big games from Josh Caddy. I suspect there will be a host of Cats poll between 4-8 with Selwood’s 2-3 big games being enough to see him finish on top.

Verdict: Selwood – but again very short in markets.

Gold Coast

This is a topic I have spend some time trying to break down and establish who will win this market. I am yet to gain any confidence but I can tell you that I honestly believe 7 votes would win it and 6 votes will likely get you a tie. I believe Harley Bennell, Tom Lynch, Charlie Dixon and Aaron Hall will all attract between 4-6 votes with Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli also chances to be in this range. Dixon and Hall have the least variance and I’m confident both will be 5-6 votes with a minimum of 4 but give Bennell the biggest scope to win the market given he has three games he can poll.

Verdict: I will say Bennell and hope he gets 3 in Round 5 and pinches 4 votes across Rounds 17 & 18.

GWS

An interesting team here with Dylan Shiel starting the season with a bang and will most likely be 10-12 votes after Round 8 before losing form and then getting injured. Callan Ward polled really well last year and is again favoured to win the GWS count this year but he will need to poll 11+ to do so given Shiel’s early season form. Adam Treloar also showed enough to potentially take it away also but I’d suggest it will be Shiel or Ward sitting on top after Round 23.

Verdict: Ward – 1 vote in Round 22 or 23 will be enough to chase down Shiel.

Hawthorn

Sam Mitchell should do enough to win this despite a great year from Luke Hodge. No markets are being offered on ex Mitchell so I won’t waste time here.

Verdict: Mitchell ahead of Hodge.

Melbourne

Here we have almost a genuine 50/50 between Bernie Vince and Melbourne stalwart and outstanding poller Nathan Jones. Jones has made a habit of winning the Demon’s count the last few years and often exceeding everyone’s expectations in a poorly performing side. This year Vince has gone to another level being unlucky not to make the All Australian squad. These two will fight it out and often went big in the same games making it very difficult to split – will they sway with the bald captain Jones or flashy Vince? Vince has the upside to top the count and Jones will need every bit of his past polling ability to win it this year.

Verdict: Vince to take the mantle from Jones.

North Melbourne

Todd Goldstein has been dominant in a typically even performing Kangaroos side this year. I have my doubts about him being in contention to win the medal however; there is no doubting how good this guy was in 2015. He’s a ruckman and I think he’ll miss the odd vote when he should poll but I believe he will still do enough to comfortably win the Kangaroos count. I wouldn’t be adding him in any multi’s at 1.01 though as I’ve seen stranger things happen!

Verdict: Goldstein ahead of Ziebell.

Port Adelaide

Robbie Gray entered the 2014 Brownlow single figures to win the medal. He was a disappointment to many and Travis Boak actually pipped him for Port Adelaide most votes. In hindsight, it was always a chance given Boak’s polling ability and Gray being largely unknown at the beginning of 2014. He was victim of this, underpolling on a number of occasions when many expected he would poll more generously. Umpires are human and they now know why Gray is and I expect him to poll much more truly this season. I finished the year with Gray and Boak within a vote of one another but I have clearly polled Boak generously and Gray has more opportunities to sneak votes than Boak. Some have Wingard in the mix however; despite being outstanding in a number of games, I can’t see him getting the 14-15 votes needed to win.

Verdict: Robbie Gray to get back some of those votes umpires missed last season.

Richmond

At the completion of 23 rounds of football, I remarkably had the three big named Tigers midfielders tied on 16 votes – Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin & Brett Deledio. Given the closeness and the markets also representing that, it’s a market I want nothing to do with. When trying to pick a winner, I believe Cotchin and Martin have the advantage for their own reasons. Cotchin is a genuine polling machine, he polls when he expected to and almost always snatches some where he really shouldn’t. Martin went big all year and like Deledio kicks goals which get noticed yet Martin seemed to be in my thinking much more often than Deledio. Ellis is the smokey but can’t see him outpolling all three of his higher profile midfielders.

Verdict: Martin if I must pick one on nothing other than a feeling.

St Kilda

David Armitage will need just 5 games (Round 2, 5, 6, 9 & 14) to accumulate 13-15 votes and in turn lead the Saints count. Jack Steven should be next best but to this point I’ve only seen markets with Armitage included.

Verdict: Armitage comfortably on 13-15.

Sydney

Dan Hannebery and Josh Kennedy have both has outstanding seasons and will fight it out for most Swans votes. Hannebery started the season in extraordinary fashion and is my tip to be leading the chase of Fyfe mid way through the count. Kennedy finished the season with 8 consecutive 30+ possession games and is sure to close in on Hannebery come the final few rounds. Kennedy had more good games where he is a chance to poll but Hannebery has more dominant games where he will demand 2+ votes with a smaller variance.

Verdict: Hannebery simply due to more big polling games.

West Coast

Is there such a thing as a Brownlow hangover? We will find out here with 2014 winner Matt Priddis picked to go very close again this year. He’s a model of consistency this bloke but may find it slightly tougher to poll early as previous winners have found out the year after winning the medal. In 2015 West Coast have won plenty more games than in 2014 however; we have seen the rise of young gun Andrew Gaff who has racked up big possession numbers on a regular basis. The knock on Gaff is he’s not yet a notable poller (think Gray 2014) and he’s very uncontested style of game. I expect both guys to poll extremely well, having them combining for 50+ votes.

Verdict: Priddis – just. He’s polling history will see him pip the unproven Gaff.

Western Bulldogs

Western Bulldogs surprised plenty in 2015, including myself and it was done on the back of a model of consistent performances from their players and as a result, the top polling dog is very tough to pick. My count has veteran Matthew Boyd and rising stars Mitch Wallis and Marcus Bontempelli all within a single vote of one another. Expect 12-13 votes to be enough to win the dogs count given the spread of vote getters and guys like Jack Macrae and Jake Stringer could also go close.

Verdict: I’m leaning Bontempelli given his media profile with not a whole heap of confidence.

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