Week 2 college football power ratings and game spreads

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

USATSI_18983056

Every FBS team has played at least one game, which means that the scrutiny has begun. There are some Week 2 lines that show some notable adjustments to teams that either struggled in Week 0 or Week 1 and some extreme adjustments to teams that struggled in both. This is going to be a recurring theme for the next couple of weeks as both bettors and bookmakers test the waters to see what the right power rating is for all 131 teams.

Now that we have a data point for each team, we’ve got something to go off of, but you never want to overreact to one game. Making adjustments is both an art and a science. It’s also imperfect. You may be right on some teams and wrong on others. The sportsbooks are going to be as well. The goal is to be right more often than they are so you can come out ahead and bet good numbers.

Before I list my 1 through 131 and my Week 2 spreads, I just want to remind everybody about my process for making adjustments. I compare my line with the closing line, analyze the box score for outliers and oddities and scour as many sources as I can for injury information. Then I try to figure out how much to adjust each team as a result of what I find. (Read about how I make my power ratings HERE and my home-field advantage values HERE.)

I may not adjust a team at all. If my line was right (or very close) and the game played to expectation, I won’t move a team up or down. Similarly, if my line was closer to how the game played out than the line or the line move, I’ll dig in a little bit and trust my numbers.

Here are my Week 2 Power Ratings:

Rank

Team

Conference

PR

HFA

1

Alabama

SEC

99.5

3.5

2

Georgia

SEC

97.5

3.5

3

Ohio State

Big Ten

96

3.5

4

Clemson

ACC

87.5

3.5

5

Michigan

Big Ten

86.5

3

6

Texas A&M

SEC

84.5

3.5

7

Notre Dame

Independent

84

3.5

8

Tennessee

SEC

83.5

2.5

9

Oklahoma

Big 12

83.5

3.5

10

Miami (FL)

ACC

83.5

2.5

11

Oklahoma State

Big 12

83

3

12

Utah

Pac-12

83

3.5

13

Michigan State

Big Ten

81.5

2

14

USC

Pac-12

81.5

2

15

Wisconsin

Big Ten

81

2

16

Ole Miss

SEC

81

2

17

Arkansas

SEC

81

2

18

Mississippi State

SEC

81

2.5

19

Texas

Big 12

80.5

2

20

BYU

Independent

80

2

21

NC State

ACC

80

3

22

Baylor

Big 12

80

2

23

Penn State

Big Ten

78.5

2.5

24

Oregon

Pac-12

78.5

3

25

Cincinnati

AAC

78

3.5

26

Florida

SEC

78

3

27

Auburn

SEC

78

3

28

Pitt

ACC

78

2

29

Kentucky

SEC

77

2

30

UCLA

Pac-12

77

2

31

Kansas State

Big 12

76.5

2

32

UCF

AAC

76.5

3.5

33

Iowa

Big Ten

76

3

34

Minnesota

Big Ten

76

2

35

Florida State

ACC

76

2

36

TCU

Big 12

75

2

37

Iowa State

Big 12

75

2.5

38

LSU

SEC

75

2.5

39

Maryland

Big Ten

74.5

2

40

Fresno State

Mountain West

74

2.5

41

Oregon State

Pac-12

74

2

42

Purdue

Big Ten

74

2

43

Washington

Pac-12

74

2

44

Air Force

Mountain West

73.5

2.5

45

Louisville

ACC

73.5

2

46

South Carolina

SEC

73

2

47

Missouri

SEC

73

2.5

48

Houston

AAC

72.5

2

49

SMU

AAC

72.5

3.5

50

North Carolina

ACC

72.5

2

51

Nebraska

Big Ten

72.5

1.5

52

Boise State

Mountain West

71.5

2.5

53

Appalachian State

Sun Belt

71.5

3.5

54

Wake Forest

ACC

71

2.5

55

Virginia

ACC

70

3

56

Boston College

ACC

69.5

2

57

West Virginia

Big 12

69.5

2.5

58

Illinois

Big Ten

69

1.5

59

Texas Tech

Big 12

69

2

60

East Carolina

AAC

69

1.5

61

Arizona State

Pac-12

68.5

2.5

62

Coastal Carolina

Sun Belt

68

2

63

UTSA

Conference USA

68

2

64

UAB

Conference USA

68

3.5

65

California

Pac-12

68

2

66

Stanford

Pac-12

68

2

67

Army

Independent

67.5

3

68

Virginia Tech

ACC

67.5

2

69

Syracuse

ACC

67.5

2

70

Tulane

AAC

67.5

3

71

Marshall

Sun Belt

67

2

72

Indiana

Big Ten

67

2

73

Northwestern

Big Ten

66.5

2

74

Arizona

Pac-12

66.5

2

75

Toledo

MAC

66

2.5

76

Memphis

AAC

65.5

3.5

77

Tulsa

AAC

65.5

2

78

San Diego State

Mountain West

65

2

79

Rutgers

Big Ten

65

1.5

80

Georgia State

Sun Belt

65

2

81

Western Kentucky

Conference USA

64.5

2

82

Louisiana

Sun Belt

64

3

83

Washington State

Pac-12

64

3

84

Central Michigan

MAC

63.5

2.5

85

Utah State

Mountain West

63

2

86

Troy

Sun Belt

62

2

87

South Florida

AAC

62

2

88

Miami (OH)

MAC

62

3

89

Florida Atlantic

Conference USA

62

3

90

James Madison

Sun Belt

61.5

2

91

Georgia Tech

ACC

61

2

92

Liberty

Independent

61

3.5

93

Western Michigan

MAC

60

2

94

Colorado State

Mountain West

60

1.5

95

Northern Illinois

MAC

59.5

2

96

Colorado

Pac-12

59

2

97

North Texas

Conference USA

59

2

98

Southern Miss

Sun Belt

59

2

99

San Jose State

Mountain West

59

2

100

Old Dominion

Sun Belt

59

2

101

Vanderbilt

SEC

58.5

1

102

South Alabama

Sun Belt

58

2

103

Kansas

Big 12

58

1

104

Wyoming

Mountain West

57

2.5

105

Middle Tennessee

Conference USA

56.5

2.5

106

Eastern Michigan

MAC

56.5

2

107

Duke

ACC

56.5

2

108

Ohio

MAC

56

2

109

UTEP

Conference USA

56

1

110

Louisiana Tech

Conference USA

55.5

2

111

Kent State

MAC

55.5

2.5

112

Navy

AAC

55.5

2

113

Bowling Green

MAC

54.5

1

114

Buffalo

MAC

54

3.5

115

UNLV

Mountain West

53.5

1

116

Georgia Southern

Sun Belt

52

2.5

117

Nevada

Mountain West

51.5

3

118

Ball State

MAC

51

2

119

Texas State

Sun Belt

51

1.5

120

New Mexico

Mountain West

50

1

121

Charlotte

Conference USA

50

2

122

Rice

Conference USA

50

1

123

Arkansas State

Sun Belt

49.5

2

124

Louisiana-Monroe

Sun Belt

49

2

125

Temple

AAC

47.5

2

126

Akron

MAC

46.5

1

127

Hawaii

Mountain West

45

2

128

UConn

Independent

44.5

1

129

New Mexico State

Independent

43.5

2

130

FIU

Conference USA

43

2

131

UMass

Independent

41

1.5

Here are the Week 2 adjustments that I made:

Up: Tennessee +  1, Oklahoma State +  2, West Virginia +  1, Missouri +  4, UCF +  1, Duke +  2, TCU +  1.5, Syracuse +  1, Maryland +  1.5, Rutgers +  1, James Madison +  3.5, Miami (OH) +  1.5, SMU +  2, Ohio +  2, USC +  2, Washington +  2, Georgia +  2, Alabama +  1, Tulane +  2, East Carolina +  1.5, UConn +  2, Iowa State +  2, Arizona +  2, Vanderbilt +  2, Mississippi State +  1, Duke + 4

Down: Pitt -2, Ball State -1, Penn State -2, Louisiana Tech -1, Northern Illinois -1.5, San Jose State -2, Temple -2, Colorado -1, Charlotte -5, Old Dominion -1, Utah -1.5, Louisville -2, Buffalo -1, Middle Tennessee -2, Kentucky -1.5, NC State -2, Utah State -3, UTEP -1.5, Houston -2, Hawaii -2, Iowa -2, Navy -2, Nebraska -1, Washington State -2, Boston College -1.5, San Diego State -3, Ohio State -1.5, UMass -3, Louisiana -1, Memphis -1.5, South Carolina -1, Boise State -2, San Jose State -2, Oregon -2.5, Liberty -3 (Brewer inj.), LSU -3

Questionable: Southern Miss (QB Keyes inj - concussion): -3

A few notes on some of the biggest adjustments:

Charlotte (-5): The 49ers have had two horrific data points. They lost by 30 to FAU (who lost as a favorite at Ohio) and then lost by 17 to William & Mary. Based on this week’s line, five points isn’t enough, but I think anything more than that is a bit of an overreaction.

Duke (+ 4): Duke really impressed me against Temple. The Owls are awful, but Duke looked really competent and I think Mike Elko just might be a hell of a coach.

Missouri (+ 4): It seemed like I was a bit low on Missouri coming into the season and my line was five points light last week against Louisiana Tech. I’d rather catch up on a team like that early because I was off preseason and also off in Week 1.

James Madison (+ 3.5): James Madison didn’t just beat Middle Tennessee, the Dukes dominated. JMU held MTSU to 2.05 yards per play. The defense is for real. I don’t know if the offense really is, but the defense is clearly FBS-caliber. My line was also badly off on this game and I lost with MTSU in that one.

LSU (-3): My line was actually a little lower than the closing number here, but LSU got dominated by a Florida State team that hasn’t looked very good the last few seasons. I felt it best to move LSU now and adjust later if they show better moving forward.

Southern Miss (-3?): The Golden Eagles had to go full-on wildcat when Ty Keyes got hurt against Liberty (who also lost starting QB Charlie Brewer). It’s a concussion for Keyes, so who knows what happens as the week goes along, but it’s pretty clear that they have QB depth issues if they couldn’t really use one when the starter went out. I’ll keep an eye on the situation throughout the week.

As you can see, many of my adjustments were under three points. I don’t want to throw away my preseason work based on one or two games.

Here are my Week 2 spreads (sorted by Rotation Number):

Date

Away

Home

My Line

9/9

Louisville

UCF

-6.5

 

Boise State

New Mexico

+ 20.5

 

 

 

 

9/10

Arkansas State

Ohio State

-50

 

North Carolina

Georgia State

+ 5.5

 

Ohio

Penn State

-25

 

UTSA

Army

-2.5

 

Southern Miss (w/ Keyes)

Miami (FL)

-27

 

Duke

Northwestern

-12

 

Missouri

Kansas State

-5.5

 

South Carolina

Arkansas

-10

 

Alabama

Texas

+ 17

 

Wake Forest

Vanderbilt

+ 11.5

 

South Alabama

Central Michigan

-8

 

Western Michigan

Ball State

+ 7

 

Marshall

Notre Dame

-20.5

 

Maryland

Charlotte

+ 22.5

 

Tennessee

Pitt

+ 3.5

 

Memphis

Navy

+ 8

 

Colorado

Air Force

-17

 

App State

Texas A&M

-16.5

 

Washington State

Wisconsin

-19

 

Middle Tennessee

Colorado State

-5

 

Akron

Michigan State

-37

 

Virginia

Illinois

-0.5

 

UNLV

Cal

-16.5

 

Houston

Texas Tech

+ 1.5

 

Iowa State

Iowa

-4

 

Old Dominion

East Carolina

-11.5

 

Kansas

West Virginia

-14

 

UAB

Liberty

+ 3.5

 

Kentucky

Florida

-4

 

UMass

Toledo

-27.5

 

Syracuse

UConn

+ 22

 

Kent State

Oklahoma

-31.5

 

Eastern Michigan

Louisiana

-10.5

 

Northern Illinois

Tulsa

-8

 

FIU

Texas State

-9.5

 

San Jose State

Auburn

-22

 

Georgia Southern

Nebraska

-22

 

USC

Stanford

+ 11.5

 

Arizona State

Oklahoma State

-17.5

 

Hawaii

Michigan

-44.5

 

Boston College

Virginia Tech

PK

 

New Mexico State

UTEP

-13.5

 

Baylor

BYU

-2

 

Oregon State

Fresno State

-2.5

 

Mississippi State

Arizona

+ 13

Remember, it is much more notable to have a difference of a few points with a single-digit or small double-digit line than it is with a big spread (like my difference between Hawaii and Michigan or Arkansas State and Ohio State).

Based on my power ratings, here are some bets on my radar:

Georgia State + 8.5 (+ 5.5) vs. North Carolina: South Carolina scored two touchdowns on special teams, as the Panthers held the Gamecocks to just 4.43 yards per play. I know UNC’s offense is a lot better, but the Tar Heels defense is terrible. We’ve seen indications of this line coming down and I think it continues.

Missouri + 8.5 (+ 5.5) vs. Kansas State: What’s interesting here is that if I didn’t adjust Missouri up three points, I’d be on the market number. Was I originally right or am I right to adjust the Tigers now? I’m not sure I can fire here as a result, but it is an interesting internal dialogue to have.

Wake Forest -7 (-11.5) vs. Vanderbilt: The Demon Deacons still won’t have Sam Hartman back here, but are we sure we want to get excited about Vanderbilt after facing Elon and Hawaii? This line looks cheap and I think it will move off of 7 pretty quickly.

Pitt + 6.5 (+ 3.5) vs. Tennessee: Tough game here. If I can get up to 7 or more with Pitt, I’ll be on it. My line is 3.5, but I had Pitt lined wrong last week. I moved Tennessee up and Pitt down and I’m still low here. Again, power ratings are a work in progress, but I think the Volunteers hype is getting a little too high. And I say that as somebody with them ranked in the top 10, so it’s not like I’m down on this team.

Virginia + 4.5 (+ 0.5) vs. Illinois: I felt like I was high on the Illini coming into the season, but here I am with some value on Virginia. Brennan Armstrong is the best player on the field and I think UVA hangs in here.

Oklahoma State -11.5 (-17.5) vs. Arizona State: This is one of my biggest overlays of the week. I purposely wanted to come into the season looking to fade Arizona State and I think I’ve got a chance here.

Mississippi State -9 (-13) vs. Arizona: I think this game gets to double digits by Monday evening. Arizona scored a really nice win over San Diego State, but that program is in a bad way right now with no QB play and the rape investigation surrounding Matt Araiza. This is a huge step up in class for the Wildcats, who I was high on coming into the season. I think this closes 11 or 11.5, if not more.

I’m open to questions and happy to do what I can to help. Hit me up on Twitter, @SkatingTripods, or aburke [at] vsin dot com via email.

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