Richmond is in the middle of a dream scenario.
According to sports data scientist, Darren O’Shaughnessy, the Tigers are the strongest favourites to win the premiership since the 2000 Essendon outfit who comprehensively defeated Melbourne in the Grand Final.
O’Shaughnessy has developed a computer model which predicts the results of all possible match-ups over the finals series.
“The model this year has picked more winners with the highest level of accuracy in regards to the margins than most experts in the game,” Mark Doman outlined to ABC News.
According to the model, not only do Richmond have the best draw in theory as the number one team on the ladder, the two teams O’Shaughnessy has rated the next best chances to win the premiership are Geelong and Melbourne.
These two teams will face off in an elimination final and will likely not face Richmond until the Grand Final if the predictions O’Shaughnessy’s model has made are correct.
However, the ordinary football fan should not despair over this fact.
Despite being such a dominant favourite, the Tigers have less than a 50% chance according to the model to win the flag, 47.7% to be exact.
Only last year, Adelaide lost the Grand Final despite being favoured to win from the beginning of the finals series, by O’Shaughnessy’s same model.
Interestingly, the September buzz-word ‘finals footy’, which is used to describe the higher rates of pressure that fans perceive in finals does not significantly impact the model.
This is due to the minor influence this idea has on actual statistics in game.
“Instead, clearances, high-quality shots on goal and the ability to force intercepts in any part of the ground are all key factors in this model,” according to O’Shaughnessy.
Regardless of whether you believe blindly in statistics or not, this model only goes to reinforce Richmond as one of the strongest favourites for the premiership in recent memory.