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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week 1 picks and Vegas' interpretation of the offseason

A number of people have asked me about week 1 predictions. To make a long story short, I just haven't had the time; week 1 predictions have the lowest payout/effort ratio of anything I do on this site, and something had to give. 

Instead, as a compromise, I offer the table below. In place of unique predictions, I give the predicted margin if the two teams were to play at the end of last season and compare that to the line (from Tuesday). The final column is the implied change from 2012 to 2013. For example, the implication from the predicted scores relative to the line is that Virginia Tech got 16.3 points better relative to Alabama between last season and this season. Now, I don't believe that and I don't think you believe that, which is why the line has moved in Alabama's favor since I pulled these numbers. 

Others that stand out to me: Rice +12.9: the Owls returned almost everyone and the A&M offseason has been tumultuous to say the least, but I see the Aggies, with Hill and then Manziel, onloading this weekend - chips don't even began to describe what these folks have on their shoulders; Virginia +13.3: BYU will be better in 2013 than 2012 as they trade some defensive talent for a functional offense; Utah +16.4: it wasn't a great offseason for the Aggies, but that's a huge number; Iowa +17.7: wow; NC State +14.2: it's a big number, but Louisiana Tech was stripped clean.

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