While everyone else is out at the pool this time of year, degenerate college football gamblers hunker down in their basements with some No. 2 pencils and cases of Mountain Dew to put together their power rankings and projected point spreads for the upcoming season. A few betting shops, such as 5 Dimes, have even set early win totals for teams and lines for some of the college football games of the year.
I figured I'd try to come up with a number for Oklahoma. Let's review the process of engineering a projected win total first:
- Project a point spread for every game of the team's season.
- Determine the probability of a win based on the line.
- Use win probabilities to calculate win equivalents (between 0 and 1) for every game.
- Sum the resulting win equivalents to engineer a projected win total.
As an example, I'd favor the Sooners by 18.5 in their game at West Virginia. Teams favored in the range of 17.5 to 24 points win 93 percent of the time. (Phil Steele has done research on this if you're looking for an explanation of how the spreads correspond to likelihood of winning.) That works out to 0.93 expected wins for OU in 2014.
Got it? Let's do this business:
Projected point spreads for Oklahoma's games in 2014
I make the Sooners betting favorites in every game this season. However, my projected point spreads translate into slightly more than 10 wins in the regular season. (I'll go into more detail on the spreads in another post soon.)
As such, I'd set OU's 2014 win total at 10.5 with the juice to the under.