Adam Burke shares his weekly college football power ratings
We made it! The college football regular season begins on Saturday August 26 with seven games, which seems like a fitting number to get us going. The Week 0 card lacks marquee matchups, but does have a couple of name-brand teams in USC and Notre Dame. Also, let’s be honest, it’s real, live, meaningful football for the first time in a long time. No offense to the XFL or USFL.
In our 2023 College Football Betting Guide (available only to VSiN Pro subscribers), I talked about my process for creating power ratings and how I use those to create my own game spreads for each week. I also talked about my home-field advantage values and how I got to those numbers. I highly encourage you to subscribe to the plan that fits your wants and needs and get that Guide, along with everything else we’ll do for college football and other sports.
Now that the season is starting, I will show my power ratings updates and detail my process on a weekly basis, including the teams I’ve moved up or down the most and the reasons why. Look for that on Sunday night/Monday morning each week.
I’ll reiterate what I’ve said the last two seasons in doing these for VSiN that power ratings are meant to be a guide. They are not gospel. They allow me to try and get some line value early in the week by jumping on spreads that I expect to move. The way to grade the efficiency of a team’s power rating is to see if the market moves towards your line when there is a difference of opinion. If it does, that’s good. If it doesn’t, that isn’t necessarily bad, it just means that you may have to reevaluate one team or both teams. Sometimes a result will be closer to my power ratings. Sometimes it won’t be anywhere close. It’s all about making adjustments sooner rather than later.
I’ll detail the updating process in Week 1 and Week 2 once we get data points for the teams. For now, I’ve made a few edits prior to the season based on the betting markets, which have had ample time to settle in for Week 0 and Week 1. Lines have been up for a while, but we will still see some noteworthy line movements on game week when limits increase and people start to focus more on college football.
Here are my Week 0 College Football Power Ratings:
As you can see, there are 133 FBS teams this season, as Sam Houston State and Jacksonville State have been added to the mix. My default home-field advantage for this season is 2 points, with some teams above that and some below that. We do get some neutral-site or quasi-neutral site games early in the season, which I do account for with the lines I have for that week’s games.
Here are my Week 0 betting lines:
A couple games seem to have some line value relative to my numbers.
Louisiana Tech (-10.5 / -16) vs. FIU: LA Tech is one of the teams I am purposely high on coming into the season. Hank Bachmeier is a really experienced QB to infuse into Sonny Cumbie’s Air Raid offense and I think that side of the ball will be a lot better. The defense was atrocious last season, but I expect improvement there. I’m also a little high on their Week 1 line, so we’ll see if I’m right and I’ll adjust quickly if I’m not.
Ohio (+3.5 / +0.5) at San Diego State: I think people forget how good Ohio was with a healthy Kurtis Rourke last season. Perception of the MAC is deservedly low, but I don’t think San Diego State is that good of a team. I don’t like this one as much as the LA Tech one, but it’s an interesting game to follow.
Like I mentioned, I’ll be doing this feature each week at VSiN.com on Sunday night/Monday morning, so hang with us throughout the season!