BYU eyes a surprising 3-1 start after two straight overtime victories. Enter Washington, ranked No. 22 in the AP Top 25, who arrives in Provo for a game that kicks off at 1:30 p.m. MT Saturday. The game airs on ABC in most of the country, and on ESPN2 on the east coast.
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
Washington is favored by 7 points after opening at 7.5, and the over/under is 50.5.
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 Washington winning about 29-22.
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 Washington winning 31-21 at 72% probability.
BYU is ranked #78 with a rating of 66.17
Washington is ranked #17 with a rating of 84.23
Sagarin’s formula currently values home field advantage as worth 2.64 points. So subtracting the difference between the ratings and adding home-field points, Sagarin has Washington by 15.5.
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 #53. Washington is ranked #22
New to his site, Billingsley gives a direct spread prediction. This week: Washington by 3.5.
Donchess boils down the ratings directly into digestible scores and probabilities, no math required.
This rating has Washington winning 23-20 at a 57.3% 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.
Washington is ranked #34 at a rating of 12.35. BYU is ranked #64 with a rating of 4.50.
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 63 computer ratings across the internet.
BYU is ranked #50 while Washington is ranked #21.