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Week Ten F/+ Picks

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And now we advance back toward familiar mediocrity.

Last Week's Results

Week 9 Season
22-31 41.5% 219-213-6 50.7%
Upset Picks 2-5 28.6% 19-23 45.2%
0-5 point spread
4-8 33.3% 51-59-2 46.4%
5-10 points
7-11 38.9% 58-53-2 52.2%
10-20 points
10-6 62.5% 61-58-1 51.3%
20-30 points
1-3 25.0% 33-30 52.4%
30+ points
0-3 0.0% 12-12 50.0%

Granted, we stayed above 40 percent, so there have been worse weeks. But ... yikes. This was one of those stupid weeks where stupid things happened (Iowa State crushing Texas Tech? Washington State hanging tight with Oregon? Boston College obliterating Maryland? Virginia taking out Miami?), and even in the games you think you're going to get right, things fall apart at the end (Colorado-Arizona State, Arizona-Washington, Rutgers-WVU, etc.). It's why I don't bet.

Anyway, here are the standard picks. And yes, we're 0-2 before the Thursday games have even begun.

We're going to expound a bit after the jump.

Date Time (ET) Game Spread
Winner ATS Pick
1-Nov 8:00 PM N. Illinois at Toledo (ESPN2) -9.0 Toledo by 19 Toledo
2-Nov 8:00 PM Temple at Ohio (ESPN2) 4.0 Temple by 8.4 Temple
3-Nov 7:30 PM Akron at Miami-OH (ESPNU) -14.0 Miami by 10.7 Akron
3-Nov 8:00 PM Fla. St. at Boston College (ESPN) 14.5 FSU by 16.1 FSU
3-Nov 8:00 PM Tulsa at UCF (CBSSN)
-1.5 Tulsa by 5.1 Tulsa
4-Nov 8:00 PM C. Michigan at Kent St. (ESPN2) -1.0 Kent St. by 4.9 Kent St.
4-Nov 9:00 PM USC at Colorado (ESPN) 21.0 USC by 16.7 Colorado
5-Nov 12:00 PM Syracuse at UConn (ESPNU) -1.5 'Cuse by 3.1 'Cuse
5-Nov 12:00 PM Minnesota at Michigan St. (BTN) -27.5 Mich. St. by 28.6 Mich. St.
5-Nov 12:00 PM Indiana at Ohio St. (BTN) -27.5 Ohio St. by 28 Ohio St.
5-Nov 12:00 PM Texas Tech at Texas (FX) -12.0 Texas by 16.1 Texas
5-Nov 12:00 PM Louisville at W. Va. (ESPN3) -13.5 WVU by 8.9 Louisville
5-Nov 12:00 PM Ball St. at E. Michigan (ESPN3) -2.5 EMU by 2.2 Ball St.
5-Nov 12:00 PM Michigan at Iowa (ESPN) 4.0 Michigan by 8 Michigan
5-Nov 12:21 PM Vanderbilt at Florida (SEC) -14.0 Florida by 7.1 Vandy
5-Nov 12:30 PM New Mex. St. at Georgia (ESPN3) -33.5 Georgia by 27.4 NMSU
5-Nov 12:30 PM Kansas at Iowa State (FSN) -14.0 Iowa St. by 5.8 Kansas
5-Nov 12:30 PM Virginia at Maryland (ESPN3) 2.5 Virginia by 3.7 Virginia
5-Nov 12:30 PM N. Carolina at NC State (ESPN3) 3.5 UNC by 10.7 UNC
5-Nov 2:00 PM TCU at Wyoming (MTN)
19.0 TCU by 14.6 Wyoming
5-Nov 3:00 PM Duke at Miami (ESPN3) -15.5 Miami by 11 Duke
5-Nov 3:00 PM Tulane at SMU -25.5 SMU by 23.7 Tulane
5-Nov 3:30 PM Ole Miss at Kentucky (ESPNU) 1.5 Ole Miss by 1.5 Kentucky
5-Nov 3:30 PM Northwestern at Nebraska (BTN) -17.5 Neb. by 14.8 NW'ern
5-Nov 3:30 PM Tex. A&M at Okla. (ABC/ESPN2) -13.5 OU by 13 A&M
5-Nov 3:30 PM Stanford at Oregon St. (ABC) 21.0 Stanford by 18.4 Oregon St.
5-Nov 3:30 PM UTEP at Rice (FSN)
-1.0 UTEP by 2.4 UTEP
5-Nov 3:30 PM Purdue at Wiscy (ABC/ESPN2) -25.0 Wiscy by 27.5 Wiscy
5-Nov 3:30 PM UL-Mon. at UL-Laf. (ESPN3) -4.5 ULL by 6.9 ULL
5-Nov 3:30 PM Army at Air Force (CBS) -17.0 AFA by 10.1 Army
5-Nov 3:30 PM Troy at Navy (CBSSN)
-6.5 Navy by 4.3 Troy
5-Nov 4:00 PM Idaho at San Jose St. (ESPN3) -8.5 SJSU by 8.4 Idaho
5-Nov 4:00 PM Fla. Int'l at W. Kentucky 3.0 FIU by 7.6 FIU
5-Nov 4:00 PM So. Miss at E. Carolina (CSS)
8.5 So. Miss by 9.3 So. Miss
5-Nov 4:00 PM Arkansas St. at Fla. Atlantic 17.0 ASU by 22.9 ASU
5-Nov 6:30 PM Wash. St. at California (CSCA)
-9.5 Cal by 15.4 Cal
5-Nov 7:00 PM Houston at UAB (CBSSN)
27.5 Houston by 22.5 UAB
5-Nov 7:00 PM Utah at Arizona (FSAZ)
-3.5 Arizona by 7 Arizona
5-Nov 7:00 PM Missouri at Baylor (FX) -2.5 Baylor by 6.4 Baylor
5-Nov 7:00 PM S. Florida at Rutgers (ESPN3) 2.0 USF by 4.2 S. Florida
5-Nov 7:00 PM Cincinnati at Pitt (ESPNU) 2.5 Cincy by 1.3 Pitt
5-Nov 7:00 PM Mid. Tenn. at Tennessee (ESPN3) -20.0 Vols by 23.1 Tennessee
5-Nov 7:15 PM S. Carolina at Arkansas (ESPN) -5.5 S. Caro. by 1.3 S. Caro.
5-Nov 7:30 PM Arizona St. at UCLA (VS) 8.5 Ari. St. by 7.2 UCLA
5-Nov 8:00 PM New Mexico at SDSU (MTN)
-34.5 SDSU by 30.5 New Mex.
5-Nov 8:00 PM Notre Dame at Wake (ABC/ESPN2) 13.5 Irish by 18.5 Irish
5-Nov 8:00 PM Kan. St. at Okla. St. (ABC/ESPN2) -21.0 OSU by 29.4 OSU
5-Nov 8:00 PM LSU at Alabama (CBS) -5.0 Bama by 12.1 Bama
5-Nov 10:30 PM Oregon at Washington (FSN)
16.5 Oregon by 19.1 Oregon
5-Nov 10:30 PM La. Tech at Fresno St. (ESPNU) -3.0 Fresno by 0.1 La. Tech
5-Nov 10:30 PM Boise St. at UNLV 41.5 Boise by 48.7 Boise St.
6-Nov 12:00 AM Utah St. at Hawaii (ESPN3) -3.5 Hawaii by 0.7 Utah St.

So last week in Varsity Numbers, I talked a bit about concepts like momentum and variability.

Standard Deviation: This is simply the standard deviation of each team's week-to-week Adj. Scoring Margin. The higher the standard deviation (and rank), the more a team's performance varies from week to week. This allows us to differentiate between one good/bad team and another. No. 9 Michigan State is all over the place, while No. 4 Oregon is steely and consistent. No. 72 Northern Illinois has shown some high upside and low downside; No. 81 Ole Miss has been consistently below average. [...]

One thing we could use this data for is picks. Here are all of the Week 9 F/+ Projections. In tomorrow's Boston College-Maryland game, we basically know what we are going to get from both teams. The "Maryland by 10" pick might be a bit safer than, say, the "Tennessee by 7.8 over South Carolina" or "Texas A&M by 15.1 over Missouri" picks. Those teams, either because of youth, injuries or general multiple personality disorder, might be incredibly unsafe. I will be tracking this in future weeks.

Of course, we DIDN'T know what to expect from BC-Maryland (I'll just blame the snow), but that's beside the point. In theory, games between teams with low variability should lead to less variable results. And if we are dealing with a game where the spread and projection aren't, you know, 0.1 points apart (i.e. not Ole Miss-Kentucky, A&M-Oklahoma, Indiana-OhioSt, etc.), then those picks should be safer, right? So with that in mind...

"Safe" Picks
North Carolina (-3.5) over N.C. State
Oklahoma State (-21) over Kansas State
Kansas (+14) over Iowa State
New Mexico State (+33.5) over Georgia
Alabama (-5) over LSU
Arkansas State (-17) over Florida Atlantic

All of these picks involve a) teams with a combined variability of under 20 points and b) games that involve at least five points of padding between projections and the spread. Some of the picks go against my instincts -- picking KU ATS versus Iowa State scares me, nobody ELSE feels safe about 'Bama, and while I think NMSU is improved, I would fear picking them to cover against ANY major conference squad -- but we'll see what happens.

And on the flipside...

"Incredibly Unsafe" Picks
Tulane (+25.5) over SMU
Texas A&M (+13.5) over Oklahoma
Michigan State (-27.5) over Minnesota
Baylor (-2.5) over Missouri
Ohio State (-27.5) over Indiana
Louisville (+13.5) over West Virginia

These are the games that a) have almost no padding between projections and spread and b) involve teams that have been, relatively speaking, all over the map.

And just for the record: I would wait a week to see how these picks do before, you know, using them in any way. Just saying.