Profiling the 2017 #AFLGF Teams


I have kept a record of each quarter played in this year’s AFL competition. My data are compiled manually from the official AFL site.
On the eve of the Grand Final, I have explored the median profiles of both teams in the Final, Adelaide and Richmond. The odds offered by one bookmaker on Friday, 29 September were: Adelaide $1.73, Richmond $2.15.
Darren O’Shaughnessy puts the likelihood of Adelaide winning the AFL Grand Final at 59.1%. Tony Corke provides an overview of predictions for the Final and concludes “Adelaide are forecast to score between 86 and 90 points, and Richmond between 82 and 88 points”.

The Teams

My data are presented here as box plots generated with the BoxPlotR web-tool:


Adelaide Richmond Direct Comparison


Although I have kept a record of every quarter played this season in the AFL, I have not watched one minute of play. I do not read any of the newspaper coverage of the game nor do I listen to any of the football programs during the season.
I hope to find patterns in AFL scoring data and use only one indicator, the score at the end of each quarter of the game. For Adelaide and Richmond, these data give me these median profiles for each quarter of the games played. (Note that I have corrected these data 30 September.)

In terms of “all other things being equal“, this gives me a three goal advantage to Adelaide (18 points) (Note I revised this figure pre-game after reviewing my data). I will not be watching the Grand Final but, post event, I will be interested to learn about:

  • The contest in the 1Q
  • Whether Richmond stayed with Adelaide in the 2Q
  • If Richmond lifted in 3Q

All of which would mean it would come down to which team had the legs and tactical nous in 4Q.
Otherwise we do have a predictable outcome (other things being equal), an Adelaide win. A win for Richmond will lead to fascinating conversations about readiness to perform.
Whoever wins, the day for me, in large part, will be spent remembering Phil Walsh.

Photo Credits

Grand Final Parade (AFL, Twitter)
Phil Walsh (Wikipedia, Fair Use)


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