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Week 5 S&P+ picks

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Some pretty funky picks this week ... at least compared to what I expected.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

When I was redesigning S&P+ this past offseason, I tinkered quite a bit with seeing how aggressively I could remove the preseason projections and let the current year's data stand on its own. I used to follow the general approach of phasing things out a little at a time for seven weeks; what I found in said tinkering was that I could pretty much lop them off after four weeks with, on average, the same results.

We're down to 10% projections this week, and that means there's going to be some volatility in the rankings in the coming weeks. This makes me nervous -- as you'll see below, S&P+ and Vegas disagree quite a bit on a lot of these games -- but on average, it seems to work. We'll see.

It's working reasonably well so far!

  • Week 1: 20-17 (54%)
  • Week 2: 25-26 (49%)
  • Week 3: 28-23-1 (55%)
  • Week 4: 29-21-2 (57%)
  • OVERALL: 102-87-3 (54%)

This could be an interesting week. Either S&P+ knows way more than Vegas ... or this aggressive use of 2015 data will backfire. We'll see.

Win probabilities

I've mentioned a few times that my main goals aren't to have the single best against-the-spread system in the world -- I just want to be over 50% (preferably closer to 53-54%), and I want the win probabilities to match up. So far this year, the win probabilities are not matching up at all ... granted, in the best possible way...

Win Prob. Range Last Week Overall Win%
50-59% 4-6 19-18 51.4%
60-69% 10-1 41-9 82.0%
70-79% 11-2 45-7 86.5%
80-89% 7-2 56-9 86.2%
90-99% 16-0 84-1 98.8%

That's an 85% win percentage overall -- 51% on what are basically 50-50 games and 90% on all the others. That they're not falling into range more is a little bit of a worry ... but I'm only going to worry so much when it's simply getting the picks right. We'll see. Probably due a course correction week at some point.

Thursday

Time
(ET)
TV Game Spread
(Home)
Proj. Winner Proj. Margin Win Prob. Pick
(Spread)
7:30 PM ESPN Miami-FL at Cincinnati +6.5 Miami-FL (39.3-24.1) 15.2 81.0% Miami-FL

Friday

Time
(ET)
TV Game Spread
(Home)
Proj. Winner Proj. Margin Win Prob. Pick
(Spread)
7:00 PM CBSSN Temple at Charlotte +24 Temple (33.4-10.0) 23.4 91.2% Charlotte
7:00 PM ESPN2 Memphis at South Florida +9 Memphis (31.5-28.5) 3.0 56.8% South Florida
10:15 PM ESPN2 Connecticut at BYU -18 BYU (35.9-16.2) 19.7 87.2% BYU

Saturday

Time
(ET)
TV Game Spread
(Home)
Proj. Winner Proj. Margin Win Prob. Pick
(Spread)
12:00 PM ABC Texas at TCU -15 TCU (40.4-26.5) 13.9 78.9% Texas
12:00 PM BTN Minnesota at Northwestern -4.5 Minnesota (21.5-19.1) 2.4 55.6% Minnesota
12:00 PM CBSSN Houston at Tulsa +7 Tulsa (41.3-33.4) 7.9 67.6% Tulsa
12:00 PM ESPN Iowa at Wisconsin -7 Wisconsin (32.3-21.3) 11.0 73.7% Wisconsin
12:00 PM ESPN2 Purdue at Michigan State -2 Michigan State (42.0-16.6) 25.3 92.8% Michigan State
12:00 PM ESPN3 Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech -5 Virginia Tech (31.4-27.0) 4.4 60.0% Pittsburgh
12:00 PM ESPNN Central Florida at Tulane Tulane (27.5-21.5) 5.9 63.4%
12:00 PM ESPNU Army at Penn State Penn State (42.6-13.3) 29.3 95.5%
12:00 PM FS1 West Virginia at Oklahoma -7 Oklahoma (28.3-28.0) 0.2 50.5% West Virginia
12:00 PM SECN South Carolina at Missouri -4 South Carolina (28.9-22.3) 6.6 64.8% South Carolina
12:00 PM FSN Affiliates Kansas at Iowa State -16 Iowa State (44.3-15.3) 29.0 95.3% Iowa State
12:30 PM ESPN3 Louisville at NC State -4.5 Louisville (29.4-29.1) 0.3 50.7% Louisville
2:00 PM ESPN3 Ohio at Akron +3 Ohio (30.7-25.7) 5.1 61.5% Ohio
3:00 PM ESPN3 Toledo at Ball State +6.5 Toledo (30.3-24.2) 6.0 63.6% Ball State
3:00 PM ESPN3 Northern Illinois at Central Michigan +3 Northern Illinois (28.7-22.5) 6.2 64.0% Northern Illinois
3:00 PM ESPN3 Florida International at Massachusetts -3 Massachusetts (35.2-27.2) 8.1 67.9% Massachusetts
3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 Ohio State at Indiana +21 Ohio State (39.9-20.1) 19.8 87.3% Indiana
3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 Baylor vs. Texas Tech +17 Baylor (47.2-39.0) 8.2 68.1% Texas Tech
3:30 PM BTN Nebraska at Illinois +7 Illinois (29.8-23.8) 6.0 63.6% Illinois
3:30 PM CBS Alabama at Georgia -2 Alabama (32.3-20.4) 11.8 75.3% Alabama
3:30 PM CBSSN Air Force at Navy -5.5 Navy (34.0-29.4) 4.6 60.5% Air Force
3:30 PM ESPN Florida State at Wake Forest +19 Florida State (42.6-9.5) 33.0 97.2% Florida State
3:30 PM ESPN3 Bowling Green at Buffalo +8.5 Bowling Green (38.2-27.0) 11.2 74.1% Bowling Green
3:30 PM ESPN3 Wyoming at Appalachian State -5 Appalachian State (45.7-12.9) 32.8 97.1% Appalachian State
3:30 PM ESPN3 Boston College at Duke -7 Duke (20.1-11.3) 8.7 69.3% Duke
3:30 PM ESPN3 Miami-OH at Kent State -10.5 Kent State (21.4-11.8) 9.6 71.0% Miami-OH
3:30 PM ESPN3 Liberty at Georgia State Liberty (32.2-31.4) 0.8 51.9%
3:30 PM ESPNU North Carolina at Georgia Tech -7 Georgia Tech (35.7-22.2) 13.5 78.3% Georgia Tech
3:30 PM FSN Affiliates Western Kentucky at Rice +7.5 Western Kentucky (45.9-21.9) 24.0 91.7% Western Kentucky
3:30 PM CSCA Old Dominion at Marshall -18.5 Marshall (31.5-20.6) 10.9 73.5% Old Dominion
4:00 PM ESPNN East Carolina at SMU +5.5 East Carolina (40.1-28.9) 11.2 74.2% East Carolina
4:00 PM FS1 Kansas State at Oklahoma State -7.5 Kansas State (26.7-25.9) 0.8 51.8% Kansas State
4:00 PM Pac-12 Washington State at California -19 California (43.3-19.6) 23.7 91.4% California
4:00 PM SECN San Jose State at Auburn -20 Auburn (36.0-24.7) 11.3 74.3% San Jose State
7:00 PM CBSSN Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee -1 Middle Tennessee (26.0-25.8) 0.3 50.6% Vanderbilt
7:00 PM ESPN Ole Miss at Florida +7.5 Ole Miss (32.4-24.5) 8.0 67.7% Ole Miss
7:00 PM ESPN2 Arkansas at Tennessee -6.5 Tennessee (35.6-30.9) 4.7 60.7% Arkansas
7:00 PM ESPN3 Georgia Southern at UL-Monroe +6 Georgia Southern (31.1-21.6) 9.5 70.8% Georgia Southern
7:00 PM ESPN3 Colorado State at Utah State -4.5 Colorado State (27.8-20.0) 7.8 67.5% Colorado State
7:00 PM ESPN3 South Alabama at Troy -6 Troy (37.6-26.2) 11.4 74.6% Troy
7:00 PM ESPN3 Idaho at Arkansas State -20 Arkansas State (39.4-22.3) 17.1 83.8% Idaho
7:00 PM ESPNU Eastern Michigan at LSU -44.5 LSU (55.5-12.0) 43.5 99.4% Eastern Michigan
7:00 PM MWC Video UNLV at Nevada -7 Nevada (29.3-27.3) 1.9 54.5% UNLV
7:00 PM FCS North Texas at Southern Miss -16 Southern Miss (40.0-22.9) 17.1 83.9% Southern Miss
7:00 PM ASN UL-Lafayette at Louisiana Tech -18 Louisiana Tech (45.8-20.1) 25.7 93.1% Louisiana Tech
7:30 PM Fox Arizona State at UCLA -13.5 UCLA (36.9-21.4) 15.5 81.5% UCLA
7:30 PM SECN Mississippi State at Texas A&M -7 Texas A&M (36.5-28.4) 8.0 67.9% Texas A&M
7:30 PM SECN Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky Kentucky (45.2-12.5) 32.7 97.1%
8:00 PM ABC Notre Dame at Clemson 0 Clemson (33.0-24.2) 8.8 69.5% Clemson
8:00 PM BTN Michigan at Maryland +16 Michigan (34.3-15.5) 18.8 86.1% Michigan
8:00 PM $Video UTSA at UTEP +3 UTSA (45.1-24.4) 20.7 88.4% UTSA
8:00 PM RSRM New Mexico State at New Mexico -12.5 New Mexico (37.5-27.5) 9.9 71.7% New Mexico State
10:00 PM ESPN Oregon at Colorado +8 Oregon (34.8-27.0) 7.8 67.3% Colorado
10:15 PM ESPN2 Hawaii at Boise State -24.5 Boise State (32.5-15.0) 17.5 84.4% Hawaii
10:30 PM CBSSN Fresno State at San Diego State -9 San Diego State (28.8-22.9) 5.8 63.2% Fresno State
10:30 PM Pac-12 Arizona at Stanford Stanford (43.3-22.3) 21.0 88.8%