NCAA Football: P2PY Week 3 Recap and Week 4 Picks

P2Y nailed the picks in week 3. There’s almost literally nowhere to go but down from here…


Last week was the first time I used points squared per yard (P2PY) to try to predict game score and did surprisingly well. The picks along with the spreads are summarized below (ATS picks in bold italics). P2PY went 7-2-1 against the spread and 10-0 picking winners. This likely is not a sustainable win percentage but still a good sign going forward.

Away Home Away Predicted Score (ACTUAL) Home Predicted Score (ACTUAL)
Houston Cincinnati (+7) 26 (48) 20 (16)
Florida St. Louisville (+2.5) 29 (20) 38 (63)
Miami (FL) Appalachian St. (+3) 29 (45) 14 (10)
Alabama Mississippi (+9.5) 39 (48) 21 (43)
Oregon Nebraska (-3) 27 (32) 37 (35)
Texas A&M Auburn (-4) 28 (29) 22 (16)
Georgia Missouri (+6.5) 26 (28) 22 (27)
Ohio St. Oklahoma (+2.5) 42 (45) 22 (24)
Temple Penn State (-9) 20 (27) 25 (34)
Baylor Rice (+30) 36 (38) 11 (10)


The Good

  1. Correctly picking all 10 winners (I forget if I mentioned this above).
  2. Correctly picking five underdogs to beat the number (Louisville, Texas A&M, Missouri, Temple, Rice.
  3. Picking the two underdogs to win outright (Louisville and Texas A&M).

The Bad

  1. Missing on Houston/Cincinnati and Alabama/Mississippi. I did say that I liked Houston better than the prediction would indicate but this is still a loss. I believed that the Alabama prediction was solid. This looked very bad early on, then good, then bad again…


Week 3 was a good first pass for the use of P2PY to pick games, but I also watched almost every one of these games and in a lot of cases, college football is fickle. If Oregon kicked extra points, they may have beaten Nebraska. If Penn State doesn’t turn the ball over at terrible times, they roll Temple. Those couple of things going in my favor make the result a little better than maybe it would’ve been otherwise. On the flip side, if Alabama secured an onside kick, they would’ve covered so I guess it goes both ways.

Season Long Results: ATS 7-2-1 (75%); Straight 10-0 (100%)

On to week 4…

Week 4 Picks

Method Notes

  • Predictions are based on the same formula as demonstrated for week 3 using offensive P2PY and defensive yards allowed.
  • Updated conference strengths-of-schedule rating from the same source as last week and P2PY is adjusted accordingly. Yards allowed are currently unadjusted.
  • I am using a team’s average adjusted P2PY with an equal weighting for all previous games. Again, eventually I will start to weight early games less but I’m not comfortable to do this just yet.
  • Game lines are current as of Monday (9/19).

The Picks

Away Home (Line)   Away Prediction Home Prediction ATS Pick
Kent St. Alabama (-43) 17.8 35.3 Kent St.
Washington Arizona (+9.5) 40.1 14.5 Washington
Nebraska Northwestern (+7.5) 34.4 11.4 Nebraska
Wisconsin Michigan St. (-5.5) 21.2 13.5 Wisconsin
Georgia Mississippi (-7) 25.9 22.9 Georgia
Florida Tennessee (-6.5) 24.5 22.2 Florida
Oklahoma St. Baylor (-9.5) 24.5 27.0 Oklahoma St.
USC Utah (-3) 18.0 15.2 USC
Stanford UCLA (+3) 24.2 17.2 Stanford
Penn St. Michigan (-18.5) 27.2 42.7 Penn St.
Arkansas Texas A&M (-6) 25.5 30.4 Arkansas
LSU Auburn (+3.5) 20.4 20.5 Auburn
Louisville Marshall (+25.5) 41.3 20.0 Marshall
Florida St. South Florida (+6) 29.2 27.6 South Florida
Clemson Georgia Tech (+9.5) 20.4 18.0 Georgia Tech
Houston Texas St. (+34.5) 32.5 28.1 Texas St.


Week 4 Pick Notes and NGFT

  • I legitimately think Kent St. has a real shot to beat the spread. Their defense isn’t terrible.
  • Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida, and USC are predicted to win outright as underdogs. I think I like all of them.
  • LSU and Auburn are basically dead even. I’ve got the Tigers all day long.
  • Florida St. may come back strong or they may be totally sunk.
  • If Texas St. can end up within four points of Houston, a reality TV personality can end up president of the US.


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