Wow, did not realize that Neb was only 4 point favorites over Wyoming. Makes the close game a bit more understandable, but they definitely aren't a great defense. Not sure Pelini will last another year if his defense gets shredded often.
B1G Football: Week 1 Against the Spread
Edited to correct erroneous Nebraska spread included previously.
There is already a snowflake thread going about B1G football performances here:
I was in the process of creating the table below, showing the difference between point spreads and actual scores, when that thread was posted. The table does add a numerical value to the discussion, but not really any huge surprises. Yes, Purdue really crapped the bed against Cincy. Even though Purdue wasn't expected to win (they were the only B1G underdog) the way they lost and by how many points does not bode well for them this season. But, even though they won their games, MSU and OSU also underperformed by quite a bit. Obviously points and point spreads don't tell the whole story, like how monumentally inept MSU's offense looked, and how strong their defense looked.
At the top of the table was Michigan followed by Minnesota, Indiana, and Northwestern. On paper at least, Northwestern's point total against a PAC 12 school was impressive.
Here's the table. Spread 1 is the pre-game spread, Spread 2 is the actual spread based on the score, and the final column is spread 1 minus spread 2.
|Team||Opp||Spread 1||Score||Spread 2||Sp1 - Sp2|
|7. Iowa||N Ill||-3||27-30 (L)||3||-6|
|8. Ill||S Ill||-17||42-34||-8||-9|
|11. Pur||Cincy||10||7-42 (L)||35||-25|
Edit: My intial amazement at Nebraska's four point spread turns out to have been a misreading of the line on my part (I was looking at the line for the game listed below the Nebraska game). I didn't double check until Farnn showed amazement as well. Fortunately, most posters seem to have ignored this diary so far. I've corrected the table and deleted my ignorant comment about Nebraska. Nebraska sucked in that game, especially for a night game at home against an opponent they should have blown out.
It looks like you're right. I misread the line below the Nebraska game. It should have been 31 points (other sites had Neb -29), but that is still a hell of a difference! I'm going to edit the table and re-post.
Thanks. It would be very cool if you could do this for the top 25?
Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately, my work load is starting to pick up, and I probably won't have time to do anything like this again, either for the B1G or the top 25. But if anybody else is interested in doing it, I say go for it.
Interesting. Also, comparisons to historical records ATS would be great to see. As in, how good a predictor, historically, has the Week 1 ATS performance been? Maybe also do it for UM's opponents.
NW's win to me is the most impressive. Without their starting QB and RB, on the road, out west in a very late game, they found a way to win - and cover, even.
I would expect week 1 results to have more variability than later weeks. For example, I don't think anyone will expect a whole lot out of Purdue's or State's offenses next week. The expectations for what several teams are capable of has been lowered, and others may be raised. Early season, and especially first games, there are still a lot of unknowns that are hard to factor in.
I agree with you about NW. It helps the whole conference (though probably not as much as Iowa and Purdue hurt the conference with their losses).
skewed by a few issues. Only two Big Ten teams played road games Saturday while the rest were at home, mostly against very inferior competition by design.
We have come to base quality of performance by expectation of scoring outcome to point spread variation, even if Ohio's 20 point win over a 4-8 Buffalo team of a year ago, is seemingly less impressive than the Cats victory over a non-ranked Cal team. Why? Because they were on the road playing a major conference opponent, the same team Ohio will face in two weeks in Berkeley. You could make other judgments about their rival performance. But the vital and comparative outcome will come later in the month.
Opening games are always statement contests: what have you got, what have you learned, how do you look, what needs work, who stands out, how do you respond? If the answers are mostly positive, the score is somewhat irrelevant. Even Clemson beating Georgia, says less about the NC race than it does about playing a first-game challenge like that. And it should, because the risk is so much higher.
Nebraska, facing 2012's 70th rated offense in the country, held on to beat Wyoming before a record crowd in Lincoln after their their dynamic quarterback Taylor Martinez committed two turnovers late that fueled an unexpected comeback by the Cowboys. Mostly gassed and running on hopeful adrenaline, Wyoming racked up more than 600 yards in total offense.
Watching the BTN broadcast of this game, you were served up the usual blackshirt homilies and offensive firepower inuendo by Eric Crouch and company, while the camera panned the sideline and found a constantly perturbed Pelini turning to his perplexed DC, who seemed aghast about the prospect of the Lincoln version of The Horror unfolding as a desperate Cowboy qb looked hopelessly downfield before firing a wayward pass out of bounds as the clock ran out.
Pelini ran off the field, a man in constant Dantonio mode, and actually dialed up some cheerful response about the victory. Clearly, there must be something in the air and water in coaching offices. The Coach's Poll actually found this entertaining, rollercoaster contest a step-up show and rewarded the Huskers with a 19th ranking after they won by a 3 point margin in a game where only a missed two-point conversion could have really squelched a Big Red opening night with a late field goal try.
Or how about that game at Kinnick? Last year, Iowa beat Northern Illnois 18-17. This year the Hawkeyes turned a late game drive into a Husky mission of mercy, as Iowa's first year quarterback got picked and then the Huskies picked off their opener to the massive disappointment of the Kinnick crazies.
Then you have the 26-13 Spartan victory over Western Michigan in which the teams combined for 22 punts and more than 900 yards of total punting yardage, far eclipsing the work of either offense. This was primarily because the vaunted Sparty defense proved expectedly daunting with two takeaway scores while the beleaguered Sparty offense looked completely beleagured with no real running attack and a non-anchored passing game run by a pair of would-be quarterbacks and a no-hands group of receivers. This was in between an hour long rain and lightening delay, which made the game longer but not any more fun or interesting.
Always good to see people talking Vegas numbers. Are you using the closing number pre-game or the opening number?
I know you mentioned not having much time but it'd be good to include the over/under and/or team totals. I was especially impressed with Michigan's performance given they covered by over 18 and still held Central under their team total. I know the line didn't factor CMU losing their starting QB & RB, but it also didn't have Gordon out for the game.