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Vegas vs. FPI: Week 1 disagreements

Can Jim Harbaugh and Michigan QB Shea Patterson hold off Notre Dame in Week 1? AP Photo/Tony Ding

Las Vegas and FPI both try to predict the future -- often in lockstep, occasionally at odds.

In this weekly article, we'll examine the latter scenario. The instances when, for one reason or another, our predictive metric for college football has a substantially different view on the game than the betting market does.

The parameters: We're looking at four games per week where the Vegas line differs by five or more points from FPI's predicted points margin. That's the computer element. Then I come in and try not to screw it up by picking the best bet in those four games.

What you do with this information is up to you. Just reading because you're curious? Cool. Plan on driving through New Jersey and making your wife pull over on the side of the road before crossing out of the state -- that's definitely a hypothetical, certainly not me last weekend -- so you can open up a particular app? Do as you wish. But you should know that FPI was not specifically designed to beat the spread. In the interest of record keeping, we will note that, if measuring against the spread, this article last year would have gone 23-21.

Now, to 2018 and Week 1.

Note: All odds are via Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Aug. 29.


Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (PK)

FPI: Notre Dame by 6.5 points
Game: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET

FPI may be a kindergarten-aged system, but it is riding for Notre Dame this season like it's already a grandparent. In the very beginning, the books were on board, too. According to VegasInsider.com's consensus lines, this game opened Michigan -1.5 and hit Michigan -2.5 before the pendulum started to swing toward South Bend, especially after Wolverines receiver Tarik Black broke his foot over the weekend.