Stanford now No. 3 in the BALLS Index 

October, 5, 2011

One fortunate NFL team will be presented with the gift of Andrew Luck next April. (So let the tanking begin!) Until then, he'll be providing Stanford and those backing the Cardinal with many joys. As the BALLS Index shows (thanks to data provided by Sal Selvaggio of Stanford has been a 21-point favorite on average this season. Covering the spread hasn't been an issue, though, as Stanford is the only top 10 BALLS team to have a perfect ATS record at 4-0.

The Cardinal, led by Luck's 11 touchdown passes and only one interception, has put up at least 37 points in every game, won by an average of 36 points and is covering the spread by an average of 13.5 points per game. Only Wisconsin (3-1 ATS) has a better ATS margin (15.3) in the country. To keep Stanford backers happy again this week, Luck will need to have another huge game -- the Cardinal is a 29-point favorite against Colorado.

Stanford isn't the only top 10 BALLS team that is a massive favorite this week. Alabama, Boise State, Oregon and Oklahoma State are all 20-plus point favorites as well.

The anti-Stanford has been Virginia Tech. The Hokies, who are 4-1 straight up, have been a consistently large favorite with an average line of minus-17, but have yet to reward their backers with even one ATS win. Perhaps they'll be helped this week as a more reasonable 7.5-point favorite at home against Miami.

Jeff Gold

ESPN Contributor