An up-and-down season against a tough slate has come to its finish in a bowl matchup on the islands on Christmas Eve.
BYU (7-5) kicks off at 6 p.m. MST Tuesday, Dec. 24, against Hawaii (9-5) in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl on ESPN, played in the Warriors’ home of Aloha Stadium.
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
BYU is favored by 1 point in most books, with a few that are now showing pick ‘em. The over/under is 64 or 65, depending on the book.
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 BYU winning about 33-32.
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.
BYU is ranked #64 with a rating of 70.20
Hawaii is ranked #76 with a rating of 67.30
Sagarin’s formula currently values home field advantage as worth 2.33 points, which we’ll allocate to Hawaii for their home bowl game. Subtracting the difference between the ratings and adding home-field points, Sagarin has BYU by 0.5 points.
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 #75. Hawaii is ranked #79.
New to his site, Billingsley gives a direct spread prediction. This week: BYU by 0.66.
Donchess boils down the ratings directly into digestible scores and probabilities, no math required.
This rating has BYU winning 29-28 at a 52% 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.
BYU is ranked #56 with a rating of 2.08. Hawaii is ranked #74 with a rating of -0.13.
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 106 computer ratings across the internet.
BYU is ranked #52 and Hawaii is ranked #54.