Week 6 college football power ratings and game spreads

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

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Some major injuries have left important questions in the betting markets for this week. There are some lines that suggest key quarterbacks like Dillon Gabriel and Malik Cunningham will be out of action. Finding injury information with college football can be a real challenge and not all coaches are forthcoming with the intel about their players, so we’ll have to wait and see how those lines react as the week goes along.

We’ve got a lot of information about the teams now that we’re into Week 6, which has actually led to some overreactions, at least according to my numbers. Bad performances are really being viewed in a negative light, especially if they come on the heels of a team failing to cover the spread. I don’t really factor ATS record into my power ratings process, but it sure seems like the market reacts to it pretty heavily.

I do compare my line and the closing line, but I don’t really look at how far a team underperformed relative to expectation. It does show up when I study the box score, but I’m using those to look more for big turnover margin outliers, special teams or defensive touchdowns and other anomalies. For example, Kent State had 736 yards of offense against Ohio and only managed 31 points, while Arkansas State had just 355 yards and scored 45 points. I see that in a box score and then wonder why, so that’s one of the main functions for why I study those.

Perhaps that is something that I do need to work into my equation more. Like I’ve said in previous articles, power ratings are an inexact science. I can always learn something from what I do right and what I do wrong, and maybe I’m not accurately taking performance relative to expectation into account when making my adjustments. It will be something I look at more in future weeks and for future seasons as well.

For now, here is my 1 through 131 for Week 6:

 

Rank Team Conference PR HFA
1 Alabama SEC 99 3.5
2 Georgia SEC 98.5 3.5
3 Ohio State Big Ten 93.5 3.5
4 Michigan Big Ten 89 3
5 USC Pac-12 86 2
6 Utah Pac-12 85.5 3.5
7 Clemson ACC 84.5 3.5
8 Tennessee SEC 83.5 2.5
9 Oklahoma State Big 12 83 3
10 Ole Miss SEC 82.5 2
11 Kansas State Big 12 82.5 2
12 Oregon Pac-12 81.5 3
13 Arkansas SEC 81 2
14 Mississippi State SEC 81 2.5
15 Kentucky SEC 80 2
16 TCU Big 12 80 2
17 NC State ACC 80 3
18 Texas A&M SEC 79.5 3.5
19 Washington Pac-12 79.5 2
20 LSU SEC 79 2.5
21 Baylor Big 12 78.5 2
22 Texas Big 12 78 2
23 Oregon State Pac-12 78 2
24 UCLA Pac-12 78 2
25 Florida State ACC 77.5 2
26 Minnesota Big Ten 77.5 2
27 Cincinnati AAC 77 3.5
28 Notre Dame Independent 76.5 3.5
29 Penn State Big Ten 76 2.5
30 Florida SEC 76 3
31 Wake Forest ACC 75.5 2.5
32 Miami (FL) ACC 75 2.5
33 BYU Independent 74.5 2
34 Maryland Big Ten 74.5 2
35 Iowa State Big 12 74.5 2.5
36 North Carolina ACC 73.5 2
37 Pitt ACC 73 2
38 Kansas Big 12 73 1
39 James Madison Sun Belt 73 2
40 Oklahoma Big 12 72.5 3.5
41 Wisconsin Big Ten 72.5 2
42 Purdue Big Ten 72.5 2
43 West Virginia Big 12 72.5 2.5
44 Illinois Big Ten 72.5 1.5
45 Iowa Big Ten 72 3
46 Texas Tech Big 12 72 2
47 SMU AAC 72 3.5
48 UCF AAC 71.5 3.5
49 Washington State Pac-12 71.5 3
50 Syracuse ACC 71.5 2
51 Appalachian State Sun Belt 71.5 3.5
52 Boise State Mountain West 71 2.5
53 Louisville ACC 70.5 2
54 East Carolina AAC 70.5 1.5
55 Auburn SEC 70 3
56 Air Force Mountain West 70 2.5
57 Tulane AAC 70 3
58 South Alabama Sun Belt 70 2
59 South Carolina SEC 69.5 2
60 Troy Sun Belt 69.5 2
61 Marshall Sun Belt 68.5 2
62 California Pac-12 68.5 2
63 Tulsa AAC 68.5 2
64 UAB Conference USA 68 3.5
65 Stanford Pac-12 68 2
66 Western Kentucky Conference USA 67.5 2
67 Nebraska Big Ten 67.5 1.5
68 Arizona Pac-12 67.5 2
69 Michigan State Big Ten 67 2
70 UTSA Conference USA 67 2
71 San Jose State Mountain West 67 2
72 Coastal Carolina Sun Belt 66 2
73 Toledo MAC 66 2.5
74 UNLV Mountain West 65 1
75 Missouri SEC 65 2.5
76 Houston AAC 64.5 2
77 Liberty Independent 64.5 3.5
78 Boston College ACC 64.5 2
79 Memphis AAC 64 3.5
80 Arizona State Pac-12 64 2.5
81 Virginia Tech ACC 63 2
82 Fresno State Mountain West 63 2.5
83 Indiana Big Ten 63 2
84 Rutgers Big Ten 62 1.5
85 Duke ACC 61.5 2
86 Army Independent 61 3
87 Georgia Southern Sun Belt 61 2.5
88 Vanderbilt SEC 61 1
89 Miami (OH) MAC 61 3
90 Southern Miss Sun Belt 61 2
91 Kent State MAC 61 2.5
92 Arkansas State Sun Belt 61 2
93 Virginia ACC 61 3
94 Utah State Mountain West 60.5 2
95 San Diego State Mountain West 60 2
96 Northern Illinois MAC 59.5 2
97 Louisiana Sun Belt 59.5 3
98 Navy AAC 59.5 2
99 Georgia State Sun Belt 59.5 2
100 Georgia Tech ACC 59 2
101 Middle Tennessee Conference USA 59 2.5
102 Florida Atlantic Conference USA 58.5 3
103 South Florida AAC 58 2
104 Northwestern Big Ten 58 2
105 Wyoming Mountain West 58 2.5
106 North Texas Conference USA 57.5 2
107 Central Michigan MAC 57 2.5
108 Rice Conference USA 57 1
109 Old Dominion Sun Belt 56.5 2
110 Eastern Michigan MAC 56.5 2
111 UTEP Conference USA 56 1
112 Louisiana Tech Conference USA 55.5 2
113 Western Michigan MAC 54 2
114 Ball State MAC 54 2
115 Buffalo MAC 53.5 3.5
116 New Mexico Mountain West 51.5 1
117 Bowling Green MAC 51.5 1
118 Louisiana-Monroe Sun Belt 51 2
119 Texas State Sun Belt 51 1.5
120 Ohio MAC 50.5 2
121 Temple AAC 50 2
122 Charlotte Conference USA 49.5 2
123 Nevada Mountain West 48.5 3
124 Colorado State Mountain West 48 1.5
125 UConn Independent 47.5 1
126 Colorado Pac-12 47 2
127 New Mexico State Independent 46.5 2
128 Akron MAC 41 1
129 UMass Independent 39.5 1.5
130 FIU Conference USA 37.5 2
131 Hawaii Mountain West 37.5 2

 

Here are my Week 6 Power Ratings Adjustments:

 

Up: UCLA + 3.5, Illinois + 2, Boston College + 3, Georgia State + 2, Minnesota + 1.5, Navy + 2, Kansas State + 4, NC State + 3, North Carolina + 1.5, James Madison + 3, Kansas + 2, Tulsa + 6, UMass + 2, Utah + 2.5, Oregon + 1, Mississippi State + 2, TCU + 3, Alabama + 2.5, UConn + 3, Kent State + 2.5, Arkansas State + 3.5, Nebraska + 2, Rice + 3, San Jose State + 6, Utah State + 2.5, Boise State + 2.5, Ole Miss + 1.5, South Alabama + 2, Troy + 3, Arizona + 3, Washington State + 2.5

Down: BYU -3, Washington -2, Wisconsin -4.5, Army -5.5, Northwestern -2, Louisville -5 (if Cunningham out, -12), Florida State -2, Clemson -1, Michigan State -2.5, Virginia Tech -4.5, Old Dominion -2, Purdue -1.5, Temple -1.5, Cincinnati -4, Colorado -3.5, Texas A&M -3, Oklahoma -7 (-12 if Gabriel out), Texas -2.5, Arkansas -2, Fresno State -3, Ohio -4, Indiana -3, Wyoming -2, USF -4, UCF -3, San Diego State -3, Colorado State -4, Houston -3

A few notes on the biggest movers:

Oklahoma -7: This is one of the potential overreactions that I’m talking about. Oklahoma’s defense is clearly bad, but this is a pretty good offense on the whole. That being said, the loss of Dillon Gabriel could be huge for this team and the line against Texas seems to imply that he’s unlikely to play.

San Jose State + 6: This is a bit of a market correction here, as it appears that San Jose State is held in much higher regard than where I had them rated. Time will tell if the market is right or not, but I’ve definitely been off on some of their lines recently.

Tulsa + 6: Same thing here, where I had been low on a couple straight Tulsa lines and way too low in last week’s cover against Cincinnati. Davis Brin wasn’t 100%, but played, so he should be fine going forward, so there’s no reason to worry about the Golden Hurricane.

Army -5.5: The Black Knights might just be bad. Georgia State jumped out to a big lead and won comfortably in West Point. Army just isn’t on par with some of the previous versions and I had them a double-digit favorite in last week’s ugly performance.

Virginia Tech -4.5: This offense is terrible. I sang the praises of the defense a few weeks ago and maybe prematurely elevated them up the rankings.

Wisconsin -4.5: This team also isn’t very good and just fired Paul Chryst. I think Chryst was an unfair scapegoat in this whole thing, but Lance Leipold may be available and he was simply elite at Wisconsin-Whitewater, is a Wisconsin native and was also a graduate assistant at Wisconsin from 1991-93. They are positioning themselves for a run at him and we’ll see what it does for the rest of the season.

Here are my lines for the Week 6 games:

 

Date Away Home Line
10/5 SMU UCF -3
       
10/7 Nebraska Rutgers 4
  Houston Memphis -3
  Colorado State Nevada -3
  UNLV San Jose State -4
       
10/8 Duke Georgia Tech 0.5
  Purdue Maryland -3
  Louisville (Cunningham?) Virginia 6.5
  North Carolina Miami (FL) -4
  Michigan Indiana 24
  Buffalo Bowling Green 1
  Virginia Tech Pitt -12
  Auburn Georgia -32
  Clemson Boston College 18
  Liberty UMass 23.5
  Ohio State Michigan State 24.5
  South Carolina Kentucky -12.5
  Florida State NC State -5.5
  TCU Kansas 6
  Missouri Florida -14
  USF Cincinnati -22.5
  Georgia Southern Georgia State -0.5
  Kent State Miami (OH) -3
  Eastern Michigan Western Michigan 0.5
  App State Texas State 19
  Army Wake Forest -17
  James Madison Arkansas State 10
  Kansas State Iowa State 5.5
  Fresno State Boise State -10.5
  Akron Ohio -11.5
  Air Force Utah State 7.5
  Oregon Arizona 12
  Washington State USC -14
  Utah UCLA 5.5
  Washington Arizona State 13
  Oregon State Stanford 8
  Coastal Carolina UL Monroe 13
  Ole Miss Vanderbilt 20.5
  Tennessee LSU 2
  East Carolina Tulane -2.5
  Texas Tech Oklahoma State -14
  Texas Oklahoma (N) 2
  Texas A&M Alabama -23
  Southern Miss Troy -10.5
  Arkansas Mississippi State -2.5
  Wisconsin Northwestern 12.5
  Iowa Illinois -2
  Tulsa Navy 7
  Ball State Central Michigan -5.5
  Toledo Northern Illinois 4.5
  Middle Tennessee UAB -12.5
  Western Kentucky UTSA -1.5
  UConn FIU 8
  UTEP LA Tech -1.5
  Wyoming New Mexico + 5.5
  BYU Notre Dame (N) -2
  Hawaii San Diego State -24.5

 

Games that have some power ratings value relative to market lines:

 

Louisville -3.5 (-6.5) at Virginia: I think Virginia has really taken a tumble this season. Des Kitchings and the offensive staff are ruining Brennan Armstrong. I know Malik Cunningham might be out for the Cardinals, but Virginia has been one of the biggest disappointments this season.

Eastern Michigan + 4 (+ 0.5) at Western Michigan: The MAC stinks, which leads to a lot of uncertainty when ranking these teams. I wonder if the narrative about Arizona State coaches giving out plays to the opposition is really hurting Eastern Michigan here. I guess ugly efforts against Buffalo and UMass don’t help either, but anything over a field goal seems to be too much.

Kansas State -2.5 (-5.5) at Iowa State: I’m a huge believer in the Wildcats at this point. Adrian Martinez looks like a completely different player and Chris Klieman continues to prove that he is one hell of a coach. I even listed the high-water mark on this line and think it’s worthwhile under a field goal.

Troy -6.5 (-10) vs. Southern Miss: The Trojans have impressed the hell out of me this season. They should’ve beaten App State, but didn’t let that hurt them the following week against Marshall. They just beat a really good Western Kentucky team. First-year head coach Jon Sumrall is doing some fine work here.

Western Kentucky + 5 (+ 1.5) vs. UTSA: Two contrasting styles here make for a fun game, but I still really love the way Austin Reed has been playing for the Hilltoppers. UTSA wants to run it. Western Kentucky wants to throw it. I like the team that throws it a lot with a high total of 70.

Due to a family matter, I won’t be on the VSiN College Football Podcast with Tim Murray on Tuesday, but I’ll be back the following week. Make sure you listen and subscribe!

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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

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