Georgia a Safe Bet in Las Vegas According to This


As I’ve mentioned before, the benefit to the somewhat advanced scoring analysis that I conduct (the Normalized Scoring Models explained here) is to analyze the previous performance of two teams and draw conclusions by putting them on an equal (normal/average) playing fields with regard to competition.  Stats can be used to draw conclusions from the past, but they are not necessarily indicative of what will happen next – especially not in a game like football with some many variables at hand on each and every play.

For instance, I can use previous statistics to learn that Florida has a very good defense and that Louisville has an above average offense, but I can’t use those statistics to show that Florida’s defense will play well against an above average Louisville offense.  And I can’t use those statistics to show what type of success Louisville’s offense will have against an elite defense.  All I can do is say, “if both teams play the way they have been playing on both offense and defense, then then a score like X – Y would be realistic.”  That’s a lot of ifs.

Conditional statements notwithstanding, I went ahead and used the advanced scoring metrics to analyze every potential matchup using the following statistical matchups:

  • Team A Scoring: Average of Team A’s Offense vs. Team B’s Defensive Coefficient, Team B’s Defense vs. Team A’s Offensive Coefficient 
  • Team B Scoring: Average of Team B’s Offense vs. Team A’s Defensive Coefficient, Team A’s Defense vs. Team B’s Defensive Coefficient

 

In each game Team A was the team favored by Las Vegas (courtesy of VegasInsider.com).  As a test of the betting odds and the accuracy of this process (which again, is not designed to predict games, but rather to analyze teams) I charted the lines relative to what the model showed about the two teams by subtracting Team B’s score from Team A’s and comparing it to the spread.  I then took hypothetical (only bet where it is legal and do so responsibly knowing that I don’t even endorse this method…yet) action based on the line and the model results.  Here is what I found.

 

Favorite Underdog Spread Normalized Scoring Differential Hypothetical Bet
Arizona Nevada

7.5

-7

Nevada   +7

Utah State Toledo

7.5

14

Utah State   -7.5

BYU SDSU

2.5

13

BYU   -2.5

UCF Ball State

7

11

UCF   -7

LA-Lafayette E. Carolina

4.5

6

LA-la   -4.5

Boise State Washington

7.5

15

Boise State   -7.5

Fresno State SMU

11.5

36

Fresno State   -11.5

W. Kentucky Central Michigan

6

5

C. Michigan   +6

San Jose State Bowling Green

7.5

4

BGSU   +7.5

Cincinnati Duke

11

20

Cincinnati   -11

Baylor UCLA

1

-9

UCLA   +1

LA-Mo Ohio

6

5

Ohio   +6

VA Tech Rutgers

1

-6

Rutgers   +1

Texas Tech Minnesota

13

10

Minnesota   +13

Rice Air Force

1

3

Rice   -1

AZ State Navy

14.5

-1

Navy   +14.5

West VA Syracuse

3.5

-3

Syracuse   +3.5

Oregon State Texas

1

3

Oregon State   -1

TCU Michigan State

1

-6

Michigan St   +1

Vandy NC State

5

6

Vandy   -5

Southern Cal Georgia Tech

10.5

11

USC   -10.5

Tulsa Iowa State

3

8

Tulsa   -3

LSU Clemson

3

1

Clemson   +3

OK State Purdue

17.5

13

Purdue   +17.5

Mississippi State Northwestern

2

-2

N’Western   +2

South Carolina Michigan

4.5

2

Michigan   +4.5

Georgia Nebraska

8.5

16

Georgia   -8.5

Stanford Wisconsin

6.5

0

Wiscy   +6.5

Florida State NIU

14

0

NIU   +14

Florida Louisville

15

6

Louisville   +15

Oregon K-State

8.5

7

K-State   +8.5

Texas A&M Oklahoma

3

7

Texas A&M   -3

Ole Miss Pittsburgh

2

-6

Pitt   +2

Arkansas State Kent State

4

6

Arkansas St   -4

Alabama Notre Dame

9.5

3

ND   +9.5


A few notes:

  • These formulas still don’t account for schedule strength, so dominant small conference schools seem artificially propped (like Northern Illinois).  But, then again we’re supposed to believe that NIU is a great team and to the Huskies credit they have consistently been at the top of these ratings since I started them in early November.
  • Twenty of the thirty-six matchups (55.56%) favored the underdog.  I don’t think that we can safely conclude that this attests to the accuracy of the betting lines or the strength of this process, but I would feel a lot worse if it was an 80/20 split towards the underdog – or vice versa.
  • The formula actually picked eight favorites to lose outright.  The listed lines on those games were: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3.5, 7.5 and 14.5.  The two largest spreads that might lose outright were Arizona State (-14.5) against Navy and Arizona (-7) against Nevada.  This doesn’t bode well for teams from Arizona taking on schools that start with the letter “N,” but I’m not sure how the formula knew that.

 

Games that seem odd:

  • Bettors must expect the same Baylor team that beat the tar out of Kansas State to show up this Bowl Season.  I do not, and the numbers do not.  I think UCLA is a better team and it is surprising to me that this spread is so small and that Baylor is favored at all.  We’ll see if the formula gets it right as it picked the Bears.
  • I think a similar situation exists in the VA Tech / Rutgers game.  The Big East is sneaky good in these numbers, and it’s not like Virginia Tech plays in a conference that is anymore challenging.  Tech is getting “historical” value built in to their program’s tradition.  But Rutgers – in my opinion – is the better team.
  • The USC/GT math was surprisingly close.  But I agree with the ultimate conclusion.
  • These numbers show Wisconsin and Stanford to be almost identical.  I think that might be the case – when Wisonsin is good.  But the Badgers need to show and play to their potential, which may be hard without the lead Badger.
  • The NIU / FSU game is also dead-even.  This is either indicative of the formula’s inability to account for differing schedule strengths and conferences or of my inability to accept the numbers and ignore personal biases.

 

Georgia vs. Nebraska 

This analysis seems to support everything that scared Cornhuskers believe to be true.  The 8.5 spread, according to this data, is much too small as it projects Georgia to be 16 point superior.  That 16 point differential is the third largest of the 36 bowls trailing only Fresno State over SMU and Cincinnati over Duke (both of which opened with 11+ point spreads).

 

Conclusion

Again, these are not necessarily my picks, but I’ll continue to keep tabs on them as Bowl Season progresses.  I’ll also offer more insight as I preview every single Bowl game, so check back for more learning and fun!

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

 

 

About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on December 11, 2012, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, SEC and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Seems like your model suggests betting on Notre Dame vs. Alabama. Is this correct?

  2. So far so good. I just took out a second mortgage and am putting it all on LAL tonight!

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