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Villanova vs. Old Dominion: Sagarin Ratings & Predictions

Gambling odds on FCS games are rare, so we turn to Jeff Sagarin's formula to predict the outcome of the Villanova-Old Dominion football game.

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

If you're a college football fan, you've probably heard of Jeff Sagarin and the computer rankings that he applies to various sports. Most notably, his computer rankings are used in determining the participants in the NCAA basketball tournament and in the BCS rankings.

If you're not familiar with the Sagarin ratings, I would suggest reading the ratings overview at the Sagarin website (the full team-by-team ratings are also in there.

The big change this week is that the games are now "well-connected" meaning that the ratings are unbiased towards last season's results.

Here's a look at the current ratings for the CAA conference (HA = Home Advantage):

HA = 2.67 HA = 2.78 HA = 2.51
94 James Madison 63.88 64.53 63.57
95 Old Dominion 63.61 65.53 63.07
110 New Hampshire
61.17 60.20 61.16
116 Richmond 59.98 56.85 60.38
122 Villanova 59.13 58.22 59.11
131 Maine 56.63 53.09 57.10
133 Delaware 56.54 55.73 56.50
135 Towson 56.13 53.03 56.51
146 William & Mary
54.13 48.63 54.93
221 Rhode Island 35.02 37.24 34.35
226 Georgia State 32.68 32.61 32.50

The first thing to note is that Villanova actually dropped 2 spots in the overall football rankings after their loss to Richmond last weekend.

Based on the current ratings, Villanova would be an approximate 6.5-point underdog when using the Pure Points/Predictor rating, and about a 7-point underdog when using the blended ratings.

Frankly, I think that is seriously underrating a very, very good ODU team at home. However, ODU has shown some serious vulnerability in their defense, so if Villanova can slow down Taylor Heinicke and control the time of possession with their run game, they might have a shot at the upset.

What do you think of the Sagarin ratings and their validity in predicting the Villanova-Old Dominion game?