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BYU vs. UTSA: Odds, betting lines and computer predictions for Cougars vs. Roadrunners

Using data from Las Vegas and available computer predictors that might give us an accurate look for BYU’s game against Texas-San Antonio.

NCAA Football: Texas-San Antonio at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 15 BYU Cougars get an afternoon kickoff on ESPN2.

The Cougars, 3-0 by a total score of 148-24, look to keep rolling against the UTSA Roadrunners (3-1) with ever-increasing betting lines resulting from consecutive weeks of beating up on G5 fodder.

The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. MT Saturday from LaVell Edwards 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 34.5 by most books in what has to be one of the largest lines for BYU in memory. The over-under is 63.

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 49-14.

PREDICTIVE RANKINGS

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.

SAGARIN

Despite the lack of games or schedules in some parts of the country, Sagarin has a 2020 preseason ranking up.

BYU is ranked #11 with a rating of 88.91

UTSA is ranked #126 with a rating of 54.82.

Sagarin’s formula currently values home field advantage as worth 1.43 points. Subtracting the difference between the ratings and adding home-field points, Sagarin has BYU by 35.5.

BILLINGSLEY

Billingsley’s ranking was also previously used by the BCS. Billingsley has created a version of his formula that accounts for MOV.

Of 77 teams to have played games, BYU is ranked #6 and UTSA is ranked #68.

Billingsley has eliminated his direct projections due to the uncertainty of scheduling during the 2020 season, but using the values associated with his ranking formula and factoring a modest 1.5 points for home field, Billingsley has BYU by 15.5.

DONCHESS INFERENCE RATING

Donchess boils down the ratings directly into digestible scores and probabilities, no math required.

This rating has BYU winning 42-18 at a probability of 94.3%.

RANKING BY POSITION

SPORTS-REFERENCE

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.

Early returns favor BYU’s massive point differential.

Among 75 teams with an SRS rating, BYU is ranked #2 and UTSA is #50.

COMPOSITE RATING

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 36 computer ratings across the internet.

BYU is ranked #10 and UTSA is ranked #79.