Week 8 college football power ratings and game spreads

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

USATSI_19241801

When teams have results that deviate from the expectation, the betting markets can be ripe for overreaction. We see a lot of that in Weeks 2-4 when the season is just getting going because there is a race to have the teams accurately rated and properly valued. However, there are going to be times later in the season when a win or a loss might get too much credit.

Week 8 could very well be one of those weeks.

Underdogs simply crushed it in Week 7, going 34-11 ATS with 15 outright upsets. There were some real surprises in that group, like Georgia Southern over James Madison, Michigan State over Wisconsin, Stanford over Notre Dame and Colorado over Cal. There were also some that altered the national landscape like Tennessee over Alabama, Kentucky over Mississippi State and Illinois over Minnesota. There were plenty of close calls, too, like Iowa State against Texas and Duke over North Carolina.

Betting on college football has been like tiptoeing around landmines for the last few weeks. Quarterback injuries seem to be more of an epidemic than ever. Head coaches have been fired and interims have had highs and lows. Players are planning for their futures by sitting out to maintain a year of eligibility. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances in a lot of these games, not to mention all the totals movement we saw with Hurricane Ian and then this past week with wind in the Great Lakes region.

One thing that the transfer portal and college football free agency have done is spread the talent around the country. Players want to play in the biggest games under the brightest lights, but also realize that scouts and talent evaluators will find you if you stand out and sometimes that’s easier to do on a lesser team in a lesser conference.

There are only 25 teams with one or zero losses. There are only 10 Group of Five teams that are unbeaten in conference play and only 12 in the Power Five conferences. We joke about wondering “Is anybody actually good?”, but we might as well just get used to the increased parity in college football. It’s only going to grow from here.

Here are my Week 8 Power Ratings:

Rank

Team

Conference

PR

HFA

1

Georgia

SEC

98.5

3.5

2

Ohio State

Big Ten

96.5

3.5

3

Alabama

SEC

93.5

3.5

4

Michigan

Big Ten

89

3

5

Tennessee

SEC

87

2.5

6

Texas

Big 12

85

2

7

Clemson

ACC

84.5

3.5

8

TCU

Big 12

84

2

9

USC

Pac-12

84

2

10

Oregon

Pac-12

83

3

11

Kansas State

Big 12

82.5

2

12

Ole Miss

SEC

82.5

2

13

UCLA

Pac-12

82

2

14

Utah

Pac-12

81.5

3.5

15

LSU

SEC

81

2.5

16

Notre Dame

Independent

80

3.5

17

Kentucky

SEC

79.5

2

18

Texas A&M

SEC

79.5

3.5

19

Baylor

Big 12

78.5

2

20

Florida State

ACC

78.5

2

21

Oklahoma State

Big 12

78.5

3

22

Penn State

Big Ten

78

2.5

23

Wake Forest

ACC

77.5

2.5

24

Arkansas

SEC

77

2

25

Mississippi State

SEC

77

2.5

26

Washington

Pac-12

76.5

2

27

Boise State

Mountain West

75.5

2.5

28

UCF

AAC

75.5

3.5

29

Cincinnati

AAC

75

3.5

30

Oklahoma

Big 12

75

3.5

31

Oregon State

Pac-12

75

2

32

Pitt

ACC

75

2

33

Purdue

Big Ten

75

2

34

Illinois

Big Ten

74.5

1.5

35

Iowa State

Big 12

74.5

2.5

36

Minnesota

Big Ten

74.5

2

37

James Madison

Sun Belt

74

2

38

North Carolina

ACC

73.5

2

39

Texas Tech

Big 12

73.5

2

40

Washington State

Pac-12

73.5

3

41

Maryland

Big Ten

72.5

2

42

West Virginia

Big 12

72.5

2.5

43

Miami (FL)

ACC

72

2.5

44

Stanford

Pac-12

71.5

2

45

Syracuse

ACC

71.5

2

46

Florida

SEC

71

3

47

Kansas

Big 12

71

1

48

South Carolina

SEC

71

2

49

Troy

Sun Belt

71

2

50

East Carolina

AAC

70.5

1.5

51

Louisville

ACC

70.5

2

52

San Jose State

Mountain West

70.5

2

53

Wisconsin

Big Ten

70.5

2

54

Air Force

Mountain West

70

2.5

55

Auburn

SEC

70

3

56

Iowa

Big Ten

70

3

57

South Alabama

Sun Belt

70

2

58

Toledo

MAC

70

2.5

59

Tulane

AAC

70

3

60

Appalachian State

Sun Belt

69.5

3.5

61

BYU

Independent

69.5

2

62

UTSA

Conference USA

69

2

63

Arizona State

Pac-12

68.5

2.5

64

NC State

ACC

68

3

65

SMU

AAC

68

3.5

66

UAB

Conference USA

68

3.5

67

Arizona

Pac-12

67.5

2

68

Missouri

SEC

67.5

2.5

69

Michigan State

Big Ten

66

2

70

Tulsa

AAC

66

2

71

Western Kentucky

Conference USA

66

2

72

California

Pac-12

65.5

2

73

Marshall

Sun Belt

65.5

2

74

Memphis

AAC

65.5

3.5

75

Nebraska

Big Ten

65

1.5

76

Fresno State

Mountain West

64.5

2.5

77

Houston

AAC

64.5

2

78

Indiana

Big Ten

64

2

79

Duke

ACC

63.5

2

80

Rutgers

Big Ten

63

1.5

81

Georgia Southern

Sun Belt

62.5

2.5

82

Navy

AAC

62.5

2

83

Coastal Carolina

Sun Belt

62

2

84

Georgia State

Sun Belt

62

2

85

Georgia Tech

ACC

62

2

86

Liberty

Independent

61.5

3.5

87

Arkansas State

Sun Belt

61

2

88

Southern Miss

Sun Belt

61

2

89

Virginia

ACC

61

3

90

Buffalo

MAC

60.5

3.5

91

Kent State

MAC

60.5

2.5

92

Northern Illinois

MAC

60.5

2

93

Utah State

Mountain West

60.5

2

94

Boston College

ACC

60

2

95

North Texas

Conference USA

60

2

96

San Diego State

Mountain West

60

2

97

Virginia Tech

ACC

60

2

98

Louisiana

Sun Belt

59.5

3

99

Eastern Michigan

MAC

58.5

2

100

Texas State

Sun Belt

58.5

1.5

101

Army

Independent

58

3

102

Vanderbilt

SEC

58

1

103

Wyoming

Mountain West

58

2.5

104

UNLV

Mountain West

57.5

1

105

Rice

Conference USA

57

1

106

Middle Tennessee

Conference USA

56.5

2.5

107

Old Dominion

Sun Belt

56.5

2

108

Ball State

MAC

56

2

109

Florida Atlantic

Conference USA

56

3

110

Ohio

MAC

56

2

111

South Florida

AAC

56

2

112

UTEP

Conference USA

56

1

113

Louisiana-Monroe

Sun Belt

55.5

2

114

Northwestern

Big Ten

55

2

115

Miami (OH)

MAC

54.5

3

116

Central Michigan

MAC

53.5

2.5

117

Louisiana Tech

Conference USA

53.5

2

118

New Mexico

Mountain West

51.5

1

119

UConn

Independent

50.5

1

120

Temple

AAC

50

2

121

Charlotte

Conference USA

49.5

2

122

Colorado

Pac-12

49

2

123

Colorado State

Mountain West

49

1.5

124

Western Michigan

MAC

49

2

125

Bowling Green

MAC

48.5

1

126

New Mexico State

Independent

48.5

2

127

Nevada

Mountain West

45.5

3

128

Hawaii

Mountain West

40.5

2

129

FIU

Conference USA

39.5

2

130

Akron

MAC

39

1

131

UMass

Independent

37

1.5

Here are my Week 8 PR Adjustments:

Up: UCF + 2, Navy + 3, FIU + 2, Toledo + 2, Buffalo + 2.5, Tennessee + 2, Duke + 2, Ball State + 2, Memphis + 1.5, Illinois + 2, Georgia Southern + 3, New Mexico State + 2, Colorado + 2, Fresno State + 1.5, Texas State + 3.5, UL Monroe + 2.5, TCU + 2, Ohio + 5.5, Michigan State + 1, Western Kentucky + 1.5, North Texas + 2.5, Hawaii + 3, Stanford + 2, Kentucky + 2.5, Oklahoma + 2.5, Northern Illinois + 1, LSU + 2, Washington State + 2, Wake Forest + 2

Down: Marshall -3, SMU -2, Kent State -3, UMass -2.5, Alabama -4, Mississippi State -4, NC State -8 (Leary OFY), Central Michigan -3.5, South Florida -2, Minnesota -3, Miami (OH) -5, Coastal Carolina -4, James Madison -2.5, BYU -2, New Mexico -2, Cal -3, USC -2, Troy -1.5, Oklahoma State -2, Western Michigan -3, Wisconsin -3.5, Middle Tennessee -2.5, Louisiana Tech -2,  Nevada -3, UNLV -3, Kansas -2, Liberty -3, Florida Atlantic -2.5, Florida -3, Boston College -2, Vanderbilt -3, Penn State -2.5

Injury: Maryland -6 (if Tagovailoa out), Arkansas -5 (if Jefferson out), Kansas -6 (if Daniels out), Marshall -2.5 (if Colombi out), Baylor -6 (if Shapen out), Minnesota -3 (if Morgan out), USF -3 (if Bohanon out)

A few notes on the biggest movers:

NC State (-8): Devin Leary is officially done for the year and the first data point for the Wolfpack with that knowledge was a 24-9 loss to Syracuse with 3.7 yards per play. This season has not gone the way Dave Doeren and his staff expected and now the team’s best player is no longer going to save the day.

Ohio (+ 5.5): The Bobcats actually played a little defense in the 33-14 win over Western Michigan by forcing six turnovers. The Broncos also only had 5.4 yards per play, which was a huge upgrade from what Ohio usually does on defense. The offense has been virtually unstoppable and that’s a big deal in a bad defensive conference.

Miami (OH) (-5): As one of the few teams that play defense in the MAC, I gave Miami the benefit of the doubt, but this is not a very good football team. The market was lower on them than I was and any loss to Bowling Green is a bad loss.

Alabama (-4): This is the big one. The Crimson Tide defense is nothing like what we’ve seen in the past. The wide receivers finally made some plays in support of Bryce Young, but that group isn’t on par with the standards set in Tuscaloosa. Young also took an absolute beating in that game while already dealing with a shoulder injury. Alabama’s talent still has to be respected, but this team is down a few notches from its predecessors.

Mississippi State (-4): Alabama’s opponent this week also took a dive and that’s Mississippi State. Maybe this one is a little harsh, but the Bulldogs were very bad against Kentucky and my initial line for Alabama/Mississippi State was quite a bit off-market, so I had to compensate. Maybe I should have trusted my original number of 16. We’ll find out on Saturday.

Coastal Carolina (-4): Reluctantly, the time has come to acknowledge that the Chanticleers just aren’t very good. Last season’s losses at the skill positions have really taken a toll and Grayson McCall hasn’t been good enough to overcome them. What concerns me more is that the defense has totally derailed. I was much higher than the market on Coastal coming into the season and now it was time to admit defeat.

Injuries: Note the injury ratings as well. Those decreases would be in addition to any that have already taken place once we get some more intel on the injury situations. Some of those teams are on byes this week.

Here are my Week 8 spreads based on my power ratings:

Date

Away

Home

My Line

10/19

Georgia State

App State

-11

 

 

 

 

10/20

Virginia

Georgia Tech

-4

 

Troy

South Alabama

-1

 

 

 

 

10/21

Tulsa

Temple

+ 14

 

UAB

Western Kentucky

PK

 

 

 

 

10/22

Kansas State

TCU

-3.5

 

UL Monroe

Army

-5.5

 

Duke

Miami (FL)

-11

 

Texas A&M

South Carolina

+ 6.5

 

Indiana

Rutgers

-0.5

 

Iowa

Ohio State

-30

 

Boston College

Wake Forest

-20

 

Pitt

Louisville

+ 2.5

 

UCF

ECU

+ 3.5

 

BYU

Liberty

+ 4.5

 

Houston

Navy

PK

 

Toledo

Buffalo

+ 6

 

Bowling Green

Central Michigan

-7.5

 

Akron

Kent State

-24

 

Western Michigan

Miami (OH)

-8.5

 

Northern Illinois

Ohio

+ 1.5

 

Marshall (w/ Colombi)

James Madison

-10.5

 

Georgia Southern

Old Dominion

+ 4

 

Syracuse

Clemson

-16.5

 

Utah State

Wyoming

PK

 

Hawaii

Colorado State

-10

 

Fresno State

New Mexico

+ 12

 

San Jose State

New Mexico State

+ 20

 

Eastern Michigan

Ball State

+ 0.5

 

UNLV

Notre Dame

-26

 

Colorado

Oregon State

-28

 

Rice

Louisiana Tech

+ 1.5

 

Arizona State

Stanford

-5

 

Washington

Cal

+ 9

 

UCLA

Oregon

-4

 

North Texas

UTSA

-11

 

Texas

Oklahoma State

+ 3.5

 

Mississippi State

Alabama

-20

 

Ole Miss

LSU

-1

 

Kansas

Baylor (w/ Shapen)

-9.5

 

West Virginia

Texas Tech

-3

 

Cincinnati

SMU

+ 3.5

 

Memphis

Tulane

-7.5

 

Vanderbilt

Missouri

-12

 

Southern Miss

Texas State

+ 1

 

Northwestern

Maryland (w/ Tagovailoa)

-19.5

 

FIU

Charlotte

-12

 

Purdue

Wisconsin

+ 2.5

 

FAU

UTEP

-1

 

Boise State

Air Force

+ 3

 

Minnesota (w/ Morgan)

Penn State

-6

 

San Diego State

Nevada

+ 11.5

Some bets to consider based on my lines vs. the market lines:

Texas A&M -3.5 (-6.5) at South Carolina: The Gamecocks beat Kentucky without Will Levis and it was a great win for them but their other wins are Georgia State, Charlotte and South Carolina State. I don’t think Texas A&M is a very good team, but I think the market is a little low on them and a little high on SC.

Pitt + 1 (-2.5) at Louisville: Malik Cunningham being healthy is great, but I still think Pitt’s a pretty decent team and their running game has really taken off. Wrong team favored here for the books that have Louisville laying the 1.

Colorado State -5.5 (-10) vs. Hawaii: I haven’t rewarded Hawaii the way that some others have. They had the “close” loss to San Diego State, but they were also comfortably outgained and gave up over 300 passing yards to the Aztecs, which may not happen again this season. I don’t think I’ll bet this game since these are two bad, untrustworthy teams, but it’s a big difference from the market, so I wanted to mention it.

Purdue + 1.5 (-2.5) at Wisconsin: Similar situation right here to Pitt and Louisville where I have the visiting team favored. Wisconsin had that big, one-game bump immediately after Paul Chryst was fired, but then lost to the slumping Spartans. Purdue is a much different team when Aidan O’Connell is out there and he’s looked good of late.

Boise State + 3.5 (-3) at Air Force: The Falcons have disappointed me this season. Boise State’s recent rushing dominance has completely changed my view on the Broncos. This will likely be a slugfest in the trenches, but Boise State has really, really improved the last few weeks and comes in off of a bye to prep for the triple-option.

Be sure to tune into the VSiN College Football Podcast on Tuesday, as I’ll join host Tim Murray to talk about games, power ratings and more. Listen, share and subscribe!

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