Brownlow Medal analysis and betting preview
Our comprehensive analysis and preview of the Brownlow Medal has unlocked some tips and predictions for the big night that will help you extract value from this year’s count.
The 2016 count is set to be different to any other thanks to the extraordinarily low quote of $1.20 for the favourite, Patrick Dangerfield. After switching clubs from Adelaide to Geelong, the midfield star is the shortest price Brownlow Medal favourite in recent history. Only Shane Crawford started at odds anywhere near Dangerfield’s price, Crawford was a $1.50 chance when he took home Charlie in 1999. Dangerfield’s odds are prohibitive in our opinion. Fear not though, our analysis unlocks some value on other players in various Brownlow markets.
The 2016 Brownlow Medal will take place at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium Ballroom on Monday 26th September. The count will be televised from 8:30pm on Channel 7. The Brownlow Medal is steeped in history and past winners include several of the all time AFL greats.
Past 20 winners: their playing position, votes polled and their starting price
|2014||Matt Priddis||West Coast||26||Midfield||9||$21.0|
|2013||Gary Ablett Jr||Gold Coast||28||Midfield||14||$1.8|
|2009||Gary Ablett Jr||Geelong||30||Midfield||2||$3.3|
|2008||Adam Cooney||Western Bulldogs||24||Midfield||3||$13.0|
|2006||Adam Goodes||Sydney Swans||26||Ruck / Midfield||4||$2.7|
|2005||Ben Cousins||West Coast||20||Midfield||2||$2.1|
|2004||Chris Judd||West Coast||30||Midfield||7||$11.0|
|2003||Adam Goodes||Sydney Swans||22||Ruck / Midfield||4||$6.0|
|2002||Simon Black||Brisbane Lions||25||Midfield||2||$3.5|
|2001||Jason Akermanis||Brisbane Lions||23||Midfield||2||$16.0|
|1998||Robert Harvey||St Kilda||32||Midfield||6||$11.0|
|1997||Robert Harvey||St Kilda||26||Midfield||1||$2.5|
|1996||Michael Voss||Brisbane Lions||21||Midfield||3||$3.5|
Patterns of Brownlow winners: looking for an angle
Trying to predict the minds of the umpires that compile the 3, 2 and 1 Brownlow votes for each AFL match may seem like an impossible task, but there are however patterns, winners tend to have similar credentials.
The ‘Midfielders Medal’
The Brownlow is now described by many pundits as the ‘Midfielders Medal’, and it’s easy to see why. In the past 20 years, the medal has only been won by midfielders, except for the two Brownlow’s that Swan great Adam Goodes won in 2003 and 2006. An important stipulation, Goodes was effectively an old-fashioned ruck rover, covering the ground and collecting possessions much in the mould of a midfielder. The only other notable winner in the past 20 years in terms of the position they played is Jason Akermanis. The charismatic Lion combined time in the forward half with extensive periods in the midfield. Look for midfielders to win the medal and to feature prominently in most team votes markets. If in doubt, back the midfielder.
Look for players that have polled well in the past
When looking for the winner of the medal, or the most team votes, look for players that have consistently polled well in prior years. Of the past 20 winners, only Shane Woewodin failed to consistently poll well in the years either side of his Brownlow victory. Adam Cooney is perhaps the only other player to not rack up votes year after year, however, his career was curtailed somewhat by injury; and when he was fit, he still polled relatively well. Cooney only polled 4 votes and 9 votes in the years prior to his victory, however, in a pointer to his eventual win, he polled 12 votes in the 2005 count as a 21 year old. Most winners poll at least 13 votes at some point early on in their career, or in the few years just prior to their Brownlow; an indicator that their style of play falls under the notice of the adjudicating field umpires.
Ladder position of winner’s team
Until recently, there was a very strong trend of the winner’s team finishing inside the top 8 and playing in the AFL finals. From 1996 to 2011, only one winner came from a team that finished the season outside of the top 8,; Hawthorn finished 9th when Shane Crawford won in 1999. Perhaps even more significant, 11 of those winners played for teams that finished inside the top 3 ladder positions. However, in a sign that this indicator is far less important, three of the past four winners have come from teams that finished the regular season outside of the top 8. In summary, don’t be too perturbed if your selection played for a team that didn’t playoff in the finals, but be mindful that the trend of winners coming from teams that filled the top few positions on the ladder is still strong.
Polling record of 2016 Brownlow favourites
Strategy for tackling the 2016 count
Patrick Dangerfield: The $1.20 favourite
What to do with a $1.20 favourite? There is no value in backing Dangerfield to win the Brownlow. The Brownlow still remains somewhat unpredictable even for the hottest of favourites. In fact, of the past 10 winners, 5 have been double figure odds just before the count. In that time, 4 favourites have gone on to win the medal.
That being said, there is no knock on Dangerfield’s form, nor his Brownlow credentials. In numbers that are remarkably consistent, Dangerfield has averaged 22 votes for each of the past 4 counts, with a low of 21 votes in 2014. He has pedigree. If you do really fancy the Geelong champ, consider including him in your Brownlow multi with other markets, or look for him to poll over 30 votes and try and extract value that way.
Winner without Dangerfield
We normally shy away from these sorts of bets, but this just may be the year to consider who might run second to the Geelong star. Most bookmakers will field a market on who will finish second. Dustin Martin is currently a $3.25 chance whilst there is great value for a player like Sam Mitchell ($11).
Look to other markets
If you do fancy a roughie to outpoll Dangerfield, you’re sure to get good value owing to the short price of the favourite. However, most of our bets will be placed on other markets including: most team votes, top 5 finish and top 10 finish markets.
Odds and analysis of the favourites
|Player||Outright||Top 5||Top 10||Comment|
|Patrick Dangerfield||1.25||1.02||NA||Likely to win but way too short to back|
|Dustin Martin||14||1.45||1.01||Outstanding vote getter, the only threat to Dangerfield|
|Luke Parker||16||1.6||1.04||Best season to date but has failed to poll more than 12 votes in any count|
|Rory Sloane||NA||1.7||1.02||Ineligible to win, good chance to finish top 5 at short odds.|
|Marcus Bontempelli||21||2||1.15||Rising star, may needs another year given the top 2 picks.|
|Joel Selwood||23||2.25||1.1||Proven vote getter, will poll but not enough to beat his team mate|
|Daniel Hannebery||23||2.25||1.15||Attracts votes, fancy for top 5 or most team votes|
|Sam Mitchell||29||2.75||1.2||Cannot ignore a player that has polled 26 votes or more three times|
|Jack Steven||51||5.5||1.8||Big year Jack after a decent showing last year.|
|Luke Shuey||51||4||1.8||Hasn't polled more than 9 votes in three years|
|Josh Kennedy||51||8||2.25||Prolific vote getter, faces competition from own team though|
|Stephen Coniglio||81||17||4||Prefer others given that his best tally to date is 4 votes in 2015|
|Matthew Priddis||101||7||2||Should be thereabouts in top 10|
|Lance Franklin||81||13||3||Expecting a good showing from Buddy, has polled well in the past|
|Nick Riewoldt||201||21||9||Had a great year, will the old stager do what Richo did in 2008?|
Selection: Small bet on Dustin Martin to win at $15
It would be a major surprise if Dangerfield, the $1.20 favourite, didn’t win the Brownlow. A proven vote getter, he has enjoyed a stellar season and fits the criteria of past Brownlow winners. For what it’s worth, we think he’ll win. We will back him? Absolutely not!
Dustin Martin on the other hand is at a very appealing price for a player whose career is on a strong upward trajectory. He is a proven vote getter, and has enjoyed his best season to date: his disposal count is up, he has fared much better in media awards this year compared to last; and there is little competition for votes from his team mates. The knocks would be that Richmond didn’t win as many games this year, his goal tally is down on years previous and he has to outpoll a raging favourite. However, for someone that has polled extraordinarily well in the past, and considering the record of favourites in the Brownlow, it’s worth a small play.
Top 5 finish
Selection: Dan Hannebery at $2.75
There is value in this market as a few of the top 5 favourites don’t have great polling records in the Brownlow. Luke Parker, Luke Shuey and Jack Steven all feature prominently in Brownlow markets yet none of them has ever polled more than 12 votes. Whilst not eligible to win, Rory Sloane is a key figure in top 5 markets. His best count was in 2013 when he polled 15 votes. Whilst he will be close to top 5, his price of $1.70 simply isn’t appealing given that in all other counts his best tally is 11.
Prefer to look for a bit of value in this market and select a proven vote getter. Swan Dan Hannebery has enjoyed another fine season and is set to back up his performance in last year’s count where he polled 24 votes. He also polled 21 votes in 2013.
Top 10 finish
Selections: Matt Priddis at $2.00, Lance Franklin $3
Along with the top 5 market, the top 10 finish market is appealing this year given Dangerfield’s short quote. The good thing about this market is that it’s slightly more predictable, in that the proven vote getters normally occupy the majority of the top 10 positions. West Coast Eagle Matt Priddis has polled a whopping 54 votes in the past two years. Whilst his stats are down a little on last year, they are similar to 2014 when he won the medal. Even money for a Brownlow darling to finish top 10 seems like a good price.
Lance Franklin has enjoyed his best season in a couple of years and has twice polled 20 votes or more in the Brownlow. In 2014 he polled 22 votes and whilst he will face opposition for votes from his fellow Swans players, he does appeal at the $3 price.
Most team votes
Selections: West Coast – Matt Priddis at $2.10, North Melbourne – Daniel Wells at $3.25, Melbourne – Jack Viney at $3.15, Brisbane – Dayne Zorko $3.40, GWS – Callan Ward $2.25
Where possible, the strategy should be to back players that are proven vote getters and pot those traditionally don’t perform so well. There are two great value picks: Daniel Wells to attract more votes than Todd Goldstein at North Melbourne, and Jack Viney to outpoll Max Gawn for the Melbourne Demons. In both cases, the ruckman is fancied by the bookies, however, we would much prefer to take the midfielder at far superior odds.
The other market of interest is the Greater Western Sydney team votes. Coniglio has polled a total of 7 votes in four seasons so we would prefer to take a punt on Ward, who polled 19 votes last year, or an up-and-comer in Dylan Shiel ($5).
Team votes markets provide a good opportunity to extract some value if you have followed a team’s performance closely throughout the year. Other players of interest that appear very good value are: Matt Priddis, Aaron Hall, David Zaharakis and Luke Dahlhaus (market without Bontempelli and Hunter).
Tell us who you think is good value to poll the most votes for your team!