For the 2023 season, Canberra were judged to have the easiest draw, based on the following matchups
Forecast numbers first, actual in brackets
Top eight: 8 (11)
Top four: 5 (6)
Bottom eight (nine): 14 (13)
Bottom four: 7 (7)
Broncos had the hardest draw, because they had the following draw (followed by actuals)
Top eight: 14 (10)
Top four: 7 (5)
Bottom eight (nine): 8 (14)
Bottom four: 5 (5)
Note that each team was only rated for 22 of their 24 games, because they both played Dolphins twice, who were neither a top 8 nor bottom 8 team in 2022.
In the end the team with the "easiest" draw had more hard games than the team with the "hardest" draw. Which is mostly explained by the team with the hardest draw being in the top 4 and unable to play themselves.
My stats make no attempt to analyze games around origin when a "hard" game could be made easier due to player availability. broncos had to play Warriors (another top 4 team) in R13 when Broncos were missing heaps of players and Warriors were basically full strength (Broncos still won 26-22)
Also you can't predict stuff like Newcastle being average for the first half of the year and then going on a massive run in the 2nd half and being a much tougher opponent.
In short, I wouldn't pay too much attention to analysis of draw strength, other than playing Panthers is probably bad, and playing Tigers is probably good.
Last edited by Milchcow on Tue Nov 14, 2023 4:09 pm; edited 1 time in total