Footy tipping for fence sitters

probabilistic footy tipping


The 2016 AFL football season is almost upon us, which means so too is the serious business of footy tipping.

For those who find the weekly dilemma of picking nine clear winners a painstaking task, Associate Professor David Dowe has the perfect footy tipping comp for you.

The Probabilistic Footy Tipping Competition allows footy tippers to sit on the fence – or more accurately – hedge their bets, by enabling them to enter the probability (between 0 and 1) that a particular team will win.

It means that if you think a certain team will win, but also believe the opposing team has at least a slight chance of winning, you can tip that way.

This table shows how the scoring system works. Basically, the more confidence you place in a particular team to win, the more you have to gain, if they do in fact, win. But, with more extreme tips, the returns for a correct tip diminish but the penalties for an incorrect tip become more severe.

Associate Professor Dowe from the Faculty of Information Technology at Clayton launched the game-changing competition in 1995, on the back of research he was undertaking with the late computer science pioneer Professor Christopher Wallace and other Monash colleagues.

Twenty-one years on, the probabilistic competition – also referred to as the ‘information theoretic or info competition’ is still going strong.

Associate Professor Dowe said it is more than just a tipping competition and has important learning implications for students and the general population interested in mathematics, probability, statistics and information theory - and led him to publish a subtle uniqueness in the scoring system.

“The competition offers something for all levels of students, from those learning about numbers (fractions) between 0 and 1, to students learning about probability and logarithms, to students learning differential calculus and beyond,” he said.

All are welcome to enter and entry is free.