NCAAF – Calculated Relative Spread (CRS) Detailed Explanation

The following is a detailed explanation of my Calculated Relative Spread (CRS) formula relative to college football.  This is an offshoot of my NFL version of the formula.

There are three categories that make up the CRS and I'll explain each of them.

Each category is given a value based on the underlying statistic or metric.

         1.  Simple Rating System (SRS)

A rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule.  The rating is denominated in points above/below average, where zero is average.

The value used here will simply be whatever the actual SRS rating is for that team.  I get the SRS figure from

          2.  Defense (points per game)

This is the teams average points per game (ppg) allowed.  The value given is based on the following schedule:

Less than 20.0 ppg        +2                                   30.0 - 34.9          -1

20.0 - 24.9 ppg               +1                                   35.0 and above   -2

25.0 - 29.9 ppg                0

          3.  Home Field

The general rule of thumb is that the home field advantage is worth 3 points, so that is the value we place on this category.


Just like it says, the sum total of all the above values given in each category.

Calculated Relative Spread:

The differential between the teams totals.  The team with the highest total will be deemed the CRS favorite by the amount of the differential.

Number of Units to Bet:

I use a scale of 1 to 5 units.  Based on the differential between the Vegas spread and the CRS.  The recommended bet, of course, goes to the team with the favorable CRS relative to the Vegas spread using the following differential (unit) schedule:

0  (1 unit on the underdog)                                6.1 - 9.0          (3 units)

0.01 - 3.0     (1 unit)                                            9.1 - 12.0         (4 units)

3.1 - 6.0        (2 units)                                         12.1 and up      (5 units)

By utilizing the CRS, you will have better knowledge of what the true spread should be.  Please remember that the Vegas lines are set based on similar models, but they are influenced by public perception as well as the money bet on each side once the spread is released.  With the CRS, you will be able to use a relatively true spread, outside the betting influence, to make an educated betting decision.