“I don’t think they recruited enough hard bodies.” – Paul Roos, after the Gold Coast Sun’s 119 point loss on debut to Carlton.
From a sports investment point of view in 2011, it was always going to be a challenging task evaluating Gold Coast Suns in their inaugural year in the competition. Likewise, it was always going to be a “challenging” year for the Gold Coast Suns as a playing group.
A team quickly cobbled together from a base of youngsters, a handful of experienced senior players and a few high profile signings (Karmichael Hunt swapping codes and Gary Ablett Jnr swapping a premiership 😉 sorry gaz – joke) was always going to have a very trying season against the established and well-drilled AFL landscape.
But to answer the question those of us in the sports investment game would really like to ask, “were they profitable?” – we will need to head to the data.
The following charts we have prepared show* (from L – R): a)The posted handicap, b)the line price, c)the head to head price, d)the opponent, e)the final score, f)Gold Coast’s performance in respect to the handicap assigned [a)], g)the cumulative total of [f)], h)Notes on venue, i)flat stake performance against [a)] when investing to “win $100″
(Note : blue highlight indicates return from the bye, pink highlight on “result vs line” indicates Gold Coast failed to cover, pink highlight on team name indicates outright loss)
* for ease of access – line information comes courtesy of the excellent folks at footywire.
Two wins within the first 13 rounds had everybody scratching their heads.
To summarise Gold Coast’s 2011 season:
- Finished 9 wins – 13 losses against the spread.
- Left flat stake punters lighter by -$530 at seasons end (assuming investing $110 to win $100)
- Similarly to what we saw with Sydney, both outperformance and underperformance came unpredictably, making life tough for bookies.
- Never started favourite, but won games at head to head prices at 14.4, 5.85 and 5.60.
- Cumulative points tracking never entered positive territory.
Throughout history, every time a new commercial market appears, variance proves to be very large – often persisting for some time until the market eventually settles. The new market of the Gold Coast betting line showed this trait. You can see above, it is an erratic weekly chart with massive swings in both directions, especially at the start the season. Bookmakers and punters both had their work cut out.
Going immediately into negative territory, Gold Coast then held their ground before fading out late in the season. Understandable you could say, for a young first year team at the end of a long season.
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