BYU reaches the second half of its football schedule with a losing record and needing some big wins.
BYU (2-4) kicks off at 8:15 p.m. MDT as it hosts #14 Boise State (6-0) on ESPN2. The Cougars are now in a position where they must win games as underdogs in order to become bowl eligible.
Let’s take a look at what oddsmakers and computer predictions have to say about the matchup.
(This is, of course, for entertainment purposes only. While we don’t encourage gambling, referencing predictions from the people who make money on them can be fun!)
LINES AND ODDS
Boise State is favored by 7 points and the over/under is 46.
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.
Combining the line and the over/under, the betting combo has Boise State winning about 26-19 or 27-20.
Some computer rankings are designed to provide a built-in predictive element by comparing the ratings of two teams.
The most famous of computer ratings 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.
Bill Connelly, now at ESPN and creator of SP+ — “a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency” by his own definition — uses his formula to tabulate predictive probabilities.
Connelly has Boise State winning 31-23 at 68% probability.
BYU is ranked #79 with a rating of 67.12
Boise State is ranked #22 with a rating of 82.60
Sagarin’s formula currently values home field advantage as worth 2.43 points. So subtracting the difference between the ratings and adding home-field points, Sagarin has Boise by 13.
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 #90. Boise State is ranked #18.
New to his site, Billingsley gives a direct spread prediction. This week: Boise by 14.5.
Donchess boils down the ratings directly into digestible scores and probabilities, no math required.
This rating has Boise State winning 29-22 at a 71.8% probability.
RANKING BY POSITION
S-R is a fantastic library of data so make sure you support them by clicking through to the site and perusing.
Sports-Reference uses something it calls a Simple Ratings System (SRS). It describes SRS as “a rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule.” The rating is expressed in points above/below average, with zero being average.
Boise State is ranked #14 at a rating of 14.61. BYU is ranked #86 with a rating of -2.05.
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 what is currently 104 computer ratings across the internet.
BYU is ranked #85 while Boise State is ranked #12.