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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

After the best week the Composite has had picking games (30-23 Against The Spread (ATS) in Week 8) we regressed hard to the mean with a 22-31 performance.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron

That is just not going to get it done as we hope to move toward probability. This is one of the tighter weeks so far as far as projections go compared to the line. In Week 9, the computer gave us 24 games that produced what we’d hoped to be an edge (more than three points off of the Vegas line). This week, there are 13 such games.

There is some cause for optimism that this pretty tight correlation to the line will help us because the actual mean absolute error (MAE) of the Vegas line is 12.6 (pretty good). MAE tells us how far off a prediction is from the actual game’s scoring margin.

The Composite’s MAE is actually pretty good among models tracked by ThePredictionTracker.com as well as Twitter user Andrew Percival.

If we’re tight to the Vegas line, hopefully that will get us in the right direction with the picks. We’re at the mercy of the line this week, but then again, when are we not?

Last Week: 22-31-0, 41.51%
Season: 221-249, 47.05%

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The process behind the picks is briefly explained in my Week 1 column. Most of the time, the computer spits out something within one or two points of the real line (and at that point, sharp plays and whale plays are what’s moving the line anyway). But if the computer gives something more than three points, it’s worth a second look.

Favorites
-Kansas State (-23.5) over Kansas
-Notre Dame (-21) over Navy
-NC State (-2.5) over Florida State
-Iowa (-12) over Northwestern
-UTSA (-11) over UTep
-San Diego State (-7) over Hawaii

Dogs
-Middle Tennessee (+15) over Western Kentucky
-Mississippi State (+5) over Arkansas
-Boise State (+5) over Fresno State
-Indiana (+19.5) over Michigan
-USC (+8.5) over Arizona State

The Big Dogs
-Missouri (+38) over Georgia
-LSU (+28.5) over Alabama

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