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TipBetPro Netball Is Here!

TipBetPro Netball is here!

Expanding TipBetPro was a great success in 2016 and we are looking to grow even further in 2017 with the launch of TipBetPro Netball. Why netball you ask? Well there are several reasons:

  1. This particular TBP team member greatly enjoys the sport and when you’re providing a free service, you have the luxury of choosing whatever sport you want

  2. With the launch of the new Suncorp Super Netball league in 2017, this seems like a great time to develop a TBP Netball Model

  3. Empirical evidence suggests the market is relatively inefficient, meaning there is the opportunity for profits

  4. Our website statistics show that we have embarrassingly low numbers of females visiting our site – and with netball attracting a higher percentage of female fans, this is an unashamedly blatant attempt to woo them to our website

The TipBetPro approach

Our approach to TBP Netball is the same as with all of our sports. We collate the historical data (in this case the last 4 seasons of ANZ Championship Data) and back-test to develop an algorithm that can predict the highest percentage of winning teams at the maximum possible profit.

The key statistics

Numerous statistics are collated in netball and eight statistics have found their way into our final model. As you would expect, the key statistics differ by position. For instance the TBP ranking of Goal Shooters (GS) is based heavily on their goals scored, goal shooting %, offensive rebounding and turnover rate. For a Centre (C) the TBP Score is largely based on a high goal assist/feed to turnover ratio. Whilst for a Goal Keeper (GK) or Goal Defence (GD) it is intercepts and to a lesser extent deflections that drive their TBP Score.

What positions matter?

Well they all do of course and we are not about to drive away 1/7th of any potential audience by saying it doesn’t matter what happens in x position! However, the GS, WA, C and GK positions do stand out in the sense that winning that position has historically a statistically significant impact (+65%) on winning the match. Indeed if you win both the key shooting/defender battles (GS + GK) that winning percentage increases to over 80%. There are two possible reasons driving this outcome:

  1. These positions simply have a greater share of influence when deciding the outcome of a netball game

  2. These positions have had greater disparity of talent where there is a significant gap between the premier players in that position and the rest which drives those positions to be more influential. This is certainly the case for the GK position where the performances over the last four seasons of superstars Laura Geitz, Sharni Layton and Geva Mentor have been well ahead of their fellow GKs. There can be little doubt that many Goal Shooters will be breathing a little easier with the news of Laura Geitz’ pregnancy!

2017 – A New Beginning

What do we expect in 2017? Well the traditionally weaker New Zealand teams are out and the five formation Australian teams have been joined by three new teams: Collingwood Magpies, (GWS) Giants Netball and Sunshine Coast Lightning. Do not expect the new franchises to struggle early – with the resources available from rich football clubs – all three new franchises have gone on significant recruiting drives and pillaged much of the talent away from the formation teams. So much so that current premiership odds see only defending premiers the Queensland Firebirds given a reasonable chance to stop one of the new franchises winning a premiership in their first season.

Current Premiership Odds

Top Players by Position

Before we get onto our team ranking – let’s take a look at our top rated players by position for the start of the 2017 season based on 2016 statistics:

What does this tell us? Well firstly the bookends are where the biggest talent discrepancies arise. The Firebirds Romelda Aiken is far and away the highest rated GS in the league and former Fever now Lightning GS Caitlin Bassett is a clear 2nd. The same applies at the other end of the court where Sharni Layton is rated well ahead of any other GK in the competition and Geva Mentor enjoys a similarly large gap to 3rd. Across the rest of the court, there is no clear stand-outs with no single player dominating their position to the extent of Aiken and Layton.

The next thing that stands out is that Magpies pair Madi Robinson and Kim Ravaillion, considered by many to be the best two mid-courters in the world, are not ranked number 1 in their respective positions. Looking at Wing Attack first and based on 2016 statistics, former Diamond and now English Rose Chelsea Locke has pipped out Madi Robinson for top spot. However, the explanation for the anomaly becomes clear when digging deeper into the statistics of the two players. Pittman played in the far weaker NZ conference of the ANZ Championships in 2016 and her average TBP ranking points in her 8 games against NZ opponents was more than double of that against Australian opposition. Just isolating the Australian opposition and Locke wouldn’t rate inside the Top 3 WA’s in the competition based on 2016 statistics. Thus, the big test for Locke is whether she can reproduce her impressive NZ form from 2016 into the tougher Australian only league in 2017.

The Centre position also sprung a surprise with Maddy Proud (formerly of the Thunderbirds now of the Swifts) and Liz Watson pipping out Australian Diamond Kim Ravaillion. The answer to that may well be in the game style of the Queensland Firebirds who Ravaillion played for in 2016. Whilst Ravaillion protected possession better than any other Centre in the competition, she wasn’t called upon to feed into the circle as much as other centre court players due to the input of Firebirds GA Gretel Tippett who often took it upon herself to feed the ball into the irrepressible Romelda Aiken. This cost Ravaillion ranking points but that is not to say that she is not capable of being a first-rate feeder into the goal circle. We expect that will shine out in the 2017 season when she is charged with feeding into Magpies goal shooting duo Caitlin Thwaites and Alice Teague-Neeld.

No huge surprises across the rest of the positions. The criminally under-rated Susan Pettitt just pips Diamonds Nat Medhurst and Gretel Tippett as the highest rated GA in the competition. Recently announced Firebirds captain and Australian Diamond Gabi Simpson nudges English Rose Serena Guthrie as the premier WD. The door is open for a premier GD to stand up (the clear lowest ranking position based on 2017 squads) following the recent retirements of Julie Corletto, Bec Bulley and Claire McMeniman. The three most likely contenders appear to be Kate Shimmin, Jo Weston and April Brandley although new imports Karla Mostert and Stacey Francis may also be contenders for the mantle. It should be noted based on ranking points they are all inferior to versatile GK/GD players (who we have treated as GKs for the purpose of this exercise), most notably, West Coast Fever’s Courtney Bruce.

The Team to Beat

So who wins? Well who knows? Long range predictions are fraught with danger and not the specialty of TipBetPro which concentrates on game by game predictions. However, our view is as good as any so what does the TipBetPro model say based on current player ratings remaining unchanged (which they never do!). Well, full squad previews are coming but the TipBetPro model agrees with the market that Collingwood are the team to beat. The Magpies have clearly the best defence in the competition in Sharni Layton and April Brandley and also enjoy the highest rated mid-court in Madi Robinson, Kim Ravaillion and Ash Brazill. Finishing the work is perhaps the only issue for the Magpies but Caitlin Thwaites is only just rated outside the top 3 Goal Shooters whilst Alice Teague-Neeld showed enormous potential when given greater opportunity in 2016. Just to top off the squad nicely – on the bench the Magpies boast Shae Brown who would be a starter in just about every other side and Cody Lange, who looked a rising star shooter before going down with a horrific knee injury early in 2016.

The biggest contenders are Giants Netball although they may find life considerably tougher with the loss of up and coming defender Kristiana Manu’a with a ruptured achilles tendon. Defending premiers Queensland Firebirds will again be in contention as even with the loss of Laura Geitz, Claire McMeniman and Kim Ravaillion they still boast a star-studded side headed by a top rated shooting combination in Romelda Aiken and Gretel Tippett. Sunshine Coast Lightning and Melbourne Vixens (who loom as the most under-rated team by the bookmakers) should be right in the finals mix, or premiership mix if all goes well, whilst it will be very much a rebuilding season for Adelaide Thunderbirds, West Coast Fever and NSW Swifts.

TipBetPro 2017 Pre-Season Netball Team Rankings:

  1. Collingwood Magpies

  2. Giants Netball

  3. Queensland Firebirds

  4. Melbourne Vixens

  5. Sunshine Coast Lightning

  6. Adelaide Thunderbirds

  7. West Coast Fever

  8. NSW Swifts

Hope you’ve enjoyed our first look at netball. Squad reviews are coming soon and the first game is just over a month away on 18 February!

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