After a close victory against UCLA, Stanford travel to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies in a clash of two highly regarded teams ranked in the top ten with perfect records.
As such, the professional and scientific ways of picking a winner between the Cardinal and Huskies are all over the map. This is the biggest variation in predictions before a Stanford game in the past two seasons. A 9 1⁄2 point range exists prior to Friday night’s clash with 3 predictors selection Washington and 4 computers favoring Stanford.
So, what is going to happen when these two collide for Pac-12 North supremacy? It seems as if nobody has a real good handle on that.
LINES AND ODDS
The sports books opened Stanford at Washington with the Huskies favored by 3 points and has since moved to Washington by 3 1/2. The change in the line reflects that early betters have laid just a little be more of their money down on Washington to cover the spread.
Vegas lines and odds aren't meant to be predictive. They are made to entice betting in equal portions on each side of the spread. However, combining the line and the over/under usually ends up close to some computer models. After all, Vegas is very good at this and it is a lot of fun.
Combining the line and the over/under, the Vegas combo has Washington winning 24-20.
Some computer rankings are designed to provide a built-in predictive element by comparing the ratings of two teams.
Some of the best ratings out there come from Football Outsiders. The most famous is Jeff Sagarin's for USA Today, previously used in the BCS computer rankings. I've included a couple others from around the web as well.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS F/+
F/+ is a combination of Bill Connelly's S&P+ and Brian Fremeau's FEI ratings. The ratings are usually pretty solid in factoring all the many variables involved in ranking college football teams that have a relatively low level of common opponents.
F/+ does not predict a final score, but does give an expected margin. F/+ likes Stanford by a healthy 6 points.
The F/+ ratings list Stanford # 6 (-1) and Washington # 21.
Bill's S&P+ picks predicts Washington by 1 point (winning 31.5-30.1) and gives Washington a win probability of 53.2%. Connelly picks Stanford at +3 1/2 to cover the Vegas spread.
Stanford is ranked #4 (-1) with a rating of 92.85.
Washington is ranked #13 with a rating of 86.30.
Sagarin’s formula currently values home field advantage as worth 2.40 points. So subtracting the difference between the ratings and then adding 2.70 in favor of the home team, Washington, Sagarin has Stanford favored by 4 points (4.15).
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 margin of victory.
Stanford is ranked #9 (-2) with a rating of 104.716.
Washington is ranked #13 with a rating of 102.712.
The difference is 2 (rounded down from 2.004) points. Billingsley does not provide a home-field advantage factor, but lets apply the standard 3 points to the Huskies and say Billingsley has Washington by 1 point.
Donchess boils down the ratings directly into digestible scores and probabilities, no math required.
Donchess predicts a Stanford win 25-24 and gives Stanford a win probability of 51.4%.
Ashby’s Accurating provides a point spread value for each team, which is subtracted from each other after adding 3 points to the home team. Accurating also provides and over/under value for each team, which are added together for the game’s over/under.
Stanford is ranked #2 (+1) with a point spread value of 72 and over/under value of 24.
Washington is ranked #15 with a point spread value of 64 and over/under value of 26.
On a neutral field, Stanford is favored by 8. Adding 3 points for home field advantage, Stanford is favored by 5 with an expected score of Stanford 28 Washington 23.
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 106 computer ratings across the internet.
In that composite, Stanford ranks #7 (-4) and Washington ranks #12.
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