Behind the Machine: Numbers Direct From Ed Feng's Database

Man vs Machine

Ed Feng

Saturday, September 16, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Ed Feng shares his personal notes and thoughts for this week's Man vs. Machine.


197 Troy (-7) at New Mexico State
New Mexico State got a huge win over rival New Mexico last week, but don't overlook the best team in the Sun Belt.  

Troy has 28th ranked defense by my yards per play adjusted for schedule. This defense is significantly better than the Arizona and New Mexico defenses that New Mexico State has faced this season.

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176 Texas State (+23) vs Appalachian State
Appalachian State should get the definitive win over Texas State, the worst FBS team in my team rankings from 2016.

However, regression to the mean applies to outliers like Texas State, who should be better on defense with almost everyone back in the front seven.  My numbers predict a 14.6 point win for Appalachian State.

In addition, Appalachian State has a conservative offense that runs the ball a lot.  If the game is close at halftime, they will find it difficult to score enough points to cover that big spread in the second half.

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141 Baylor (+14) at Duke
If this game happened in week 1, my preseason numbers would have made Baylor a small favorite on the road at Duke.

Baylor has looked awful in two losses to FCS Liberty and UTSA.  Duke just scored a big win over Northwestern.

However, this small sample size of games should not cause a two-touchdown swing in the spread.  Neither team is top 40 caliber, but you have to believe Baylor is a bottom 25 FBS team to believe a spread of 14 to be fair.

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