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Buti's Call: AFL predictions mostly off the mark as favourites stall

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The temptation was too great when this respected media outlet gave me the opportunity to wax lyrical on all things AFL.

So how did I commence the new adventure? By doing what most "self-respecting" pundits do: forecast how the AFL season will pan out.

Nat Fyfe and Fremantle are travelling better than expected in season 2019.Credit:AAP

We have now completed the mid-season bye and only nine home-and-away rounds are left to play before the finals are upon us.

So how are the predictions looking at this stage of the season? This is how I saw the ladder playing out:

Bottom 6: Gold Coast, Saint Kilda, Carlton, Fremantle, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne.

9th-12th: Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, Adelaide, Sydney.

5th-8th: Essendon, Greater Western Sydney, Brisbane, Geelong.

1st-4th: Richmond, West Coast, Melbourne, Collingwood.

As the ladder now stands, my greatest under-estimation has been my beloved Fremantle Dockers. I had them in the bottom six but currently they cling onto eighth spot on the ladder, on the same wins (seven) as seventh place Port Adelaide and ninth place Richmond. For once, percentage is not working against them, an attribute of the team’s consistency this season and eliminating the tendency of the past few seasons of losing games by large margins.

My next biggest under-estimation would have to be the Geelong Cats. Even though I had them finishing in the top eight I did write I felt some unease with that prediction. Well my unease was misplaced, with the Cats being this year’s trendsetters, sitting four points and percentage clear on top of the ladder with a 11-2 win-loss ratio. They have been playing some irresistible football this season. The fab five midfield of Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly, Gary Ablett and Mitch Duncan didn’t quite click last year but they have been on song this season and with the addition of experienced former Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus and Swan Gary Rohan to the forward line, the Cats would have to be the current favourites for the 2019 flag.

Obviously my biggest blooper was predicting that last season’s........

© Brisbane Times