BYU beat the spread for three weeks, then laid an egg at Michigan after most felt UM -7 was too high. Now, the Cougars return home to lick their wounds.
Let's look at how BYU is expected to fair hosting UConn.
(This is, of course, for entertainment purposes only. While we don't encourage gambling, referencing predictions from the people who make money on predictions can be interesting.)
LINES AND ODDS
BYU is favored by 17.5 points at most Vegas sportsbooks. The over/under sits at 44.5, the same place it landed at Michigan.
Vegas lines and odds aren't necessarily meant to predict, but to entice betting. However, combining the line and the over/under usually ends up close to some computer models. At the very least, it's fun.
Combining the line and the over/under, the Vegas combo has BYU winning 31-14.
Some computer rankings are designed to provide a built-in predictive element by comparing the ratings of two teams.
Some of the best ratings out there come from Football Outsiders. The most famous is Jeff Sagarin's for USA Today, previously used in the BCS computer rankings, but I've gathered a couple others from around the web as well.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS F/+
F/+ is a combination of Bill Connelly's S&P+ and Brian Fremeau's FEI ratings. The ratings are usually pretty solid in factoring all the many variables involved in ranking college football teams that have a relatively low level of common opponents.
Football Outsiders site only lists the ratings in order, but Connelly posts F/+ predictions on his SB Nation site Football Study Hall.
The F/+ ratings list BYU #34 (-6) and UConn #99.
Bill's F/+ picks are actually his S&P+ picks this week (read his explanation). They go a touch beyond Vegas in BYU's favor, pegging BYU a 20-point favorite (36-16) with a win probability of 87%. Connelly ultimately picks BYU to cover that spread as well.
BYU is ranked #37 (-11) with a rating of 78.12
UConn is ranked #110 with a rating of 60.02
Sagarin's formula currently values home field advantage as worth 3.37 points. So subtracting the difference between the ratings and then adding 3.37 in favor of Michigan, Sagarin has BYU favored by 21.5 (21.47).
Billingsley's ranking was also previously used by the BCS. With the BCS restriction to remove margin of victory no longer a consideration, Billingsley has created a version of his formula that accounts for MOV.
BYU is ranked #29 (-8) with a rating of 103.176
UConn is ranked #102 with a rating of 83.739
The difference is 19.437 on a neutral field. Billingsley does not provide a home-field advantage factor, but I'll apply the standard 3 points and say Billingsley has BYU favored by 22.5.
DONCHESS INFERENCE RATING
Donchess boils down the ratings directly into digestible scores and probabilities, no math required.
Donchess predicts a BYU win 39-16 and gives BYU a win probability of 92%.
Ashby's Accurating provides a point spread value for each team, which is subtracted from each other after adding 3 points to the home team. Accurating also provides an over/under value for each team, which are added together for the game's over/under.
BYU is ranked #29 (-11) with a point spread value of 58 and over/under value of 29.
UConn is ranked #103 with a point spread value of 38 and over/under value of 19.
On a neutral field, BYU is favored by 20. Adding 3 points for home field advantage, BYU is favored by 23 with an expected score of 35-12.
There are a lot of computer ratings that aren't packaged with a predictive ability. There are also a ton of computer ratings, period. Kenneth Massey, whose ratings were also part of the old BCS computer formula, hosts on his site a composite ranking of 85 computer ratings across the internet. That number of rankings compiled into this composite can balloon over 100 as the season progresses.
In that composite, BYU ranks #36 (-11) and UConn ranks #95.
* * *
It looks like most odds and predictions expect this game to look like last season's opener. It would be a good game to get back on track after last week if BYU can perform as predicted.