How to Manage Your Own Brownlow Speadsheet

It’s time to change the channel, alter social events around the AFL fixture fridge magnet, setup your Brownlow spreadsheet and use half an hour (give or take) each week for six-weeks to set yourself up for the best betting race that’s already over. The Brownlow Medal. If you’re too lazy to do that we’ll be running a spreadsheet for you on The Hub (as we did last year).


Why?

The Brownlow Medal is the biggest punting day on the AFL calendar. It pays to create and manage your own Brownlow spreadsheet. To provide some context to this statement, 2017 was the year the punter gained the upper hand. Competition was rife between bookmakers and promotions were plenty. Markets and inflated prices were there for the picking. Ultimately this allowed the punter to get creative and for some, maximize their returns for six months of spreadsheet grinding.

Markets likely to be available to punters this season:

Team top vote getter
Player X to poll a vote
Player X to poll 2 votes in round two
Player x to be leading round six and finish out of top 5 etc
Head to heads
Over/under player votes
Managing your own spreadsheet combined with sourcing other voting (unbiased mates/ media awards) systems and cross-referencing votes by ‘picking the eyes out’ of the spreadsheets at your disposal will allow you not only to just focus on outfights and team votes but the obscure markets too.

For example, say you’re using four separate voting worksheets and all four have Lynden Dunn polling round three. Is this a small sample size perhaps or shrewd opinion?

This opportunity allows you to at least look for smaller and for the large part more untapped markets on Lynden Dunn polling a vote. Due to the nature of these markets, you may find that quite a large edge as they can often present great value to shrewd punters. Plenty of these scenarios occurred last year. The Brownlow is one of the key marketing exercises for bookmakers and Betfair alike and because of this, putting in a little extra effort over the course of the season can be very profitable.

Simply put, the more data / comparisons you can input into your spreadsheet, will only benefit your future edge. The media awards we touched on before can be any or all the following:

The Age Player of the Year
Herald Sun Player of the Year
3AW Player of the Year
Triple M Player of the Year
SEN Player of the Year


The Workbook

While the process of setting up and maintaining a spreadsheet seems like a lot of effort at face value, it is actually far more simple than it sounds. However, it will take some dedication and an unbiased opinion to come together at years end. A widely used method is simply using the below Microsoft Excel worksheet setup:

We recommend assigning six votes each game using 0.5’s where you think applicable. For example:

The above suggests it’s a flip of the coin between Marcus Bontempelli and Jackson Macrae for ‘best on ground’ and Lachie Hunter or Daniel Rich getting the single vote.  The 0.5 can come in handy later in the year for less renowned players where markets like ‘to a poll a vote’ could present a large edge. So it’s important to award votes in a holistic manner and not narrow in on the same players each and every week.

Remember also that most three votes are awarded to the winning team, so winning games certainly helps. Since 2000 (inc Jobe) we’ve had 3 Brownlow winners come from outside of the top 8.  This is worth considering when looking at the top contenders in the outright.

One statistic-based website I tend to use frequently throughout the year is www.footywire.com which allows you to source data on past players dating back to 1965. Thankfully this sort of data is at your disposal and watching every game isn’t required.


The Gold

Whilst above may be a small sample size, we can make the following inferences and assume something similar going forward from Brownlow Medal winners:

  • Potential winners will need to play upwards of 18 games to ensure they are a chance, with more recent winners playing the entire regular season. Taking into account the whole sample size, the average games played for winners since 2009 is 20.67 games. This speaks volumes about just how good Nat Fyfe’s 2015 season was (playing just 18 games).
  • The average disposal per game count for winners since 2009 sits at over 30 disposals per game, which is truly elite territory. This all but rules out all players that do not play large minutes in the midfield and highlights the importance of collecting large possession numbers.
  • Lastly, there is also a need for Brownlow Medal winners to hit the scoreboard on a regular basis. Since 2009 the winners are sitting at over 1.0 goal per game. Dustin Martin took this to a new level last season averaging 1.5 goals a game, while Matt Priddis managed to win the count in 2014 while only averaging 0.5 goals a game. He is well and truly an outlier.

Analysing data-sets like this can help you find an edge when looking at the Brownlow Medal markets this season, so I would highly recommend putting in the extra effort.


Conclusion

The Brownlow Medal is clearly an elite midfielder’s award with the last nine winners averaging over 30 disposals and a goal per game. It also demands consistency.

To help find the winner it pays to manage your own spreadsheet. Watch games, keep an eye on the important statistics and also get other opinions. Check out the media awards and pool spreadsheets with your friends. Not only will it improve your Brownlow accuracy but it will help you back more winners in September. Not just in the winner market but in top 3s, top 5s, most team votes, head to heads and custom market requests. The power lies in your spreadsheet.


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