Last Updated: 2018-01-03
After looking at the America East Conference, we’ll take a good-sized step up in class with our next conference, as well look at the American Athletic Conference, which is paced by Cincinnati and Wichita State, as was expected before the season began. We see a wide range in philosophies here in terms of preseason schedules, as Cincinnati and SMU have feasted on weak teams, while Temple and UConn have done battles with some of the toughest teams in the country, both ranking in the top 15 in terms of strength of schedule.
American Athletic Conference Power Ratings
Wichita State 92
Central Florida 80
South Florida 66
East Carolina 66
The interesting thing about the AAC is that the power ratings tend to have a correlation with a team’s spread record. Of the top five teams only Wichita State has a losing spread record, while the bottom four teams all have losing records against the spread. UCF and Tulsa have been the best two teams in terms of ATS performance, with UCH at 7-2 and Tulsa at 8-3, while Uconn is 3-7 and Memphis and USF are both 3-7-1, while East Carolina is a dismal 1-5. Whether it’s a case of opposing teams fired up to play a team from a major conference or the team being slightly overrated due to its conference affiliation is a bit of a tough call.
UConn could be a good candidate to show some improvement in the second half of the season, particularly in the ATS department when they’re underdogs. I’m still not entirely sold on the Huskies as favorites, although they’re likely to improve on their 0-3 record. They are 0-6 against top 50 teams straight-up so far this season.
Temple is another team who could fare better as an underdog than as a favorite and a team who pull off an upset or two when hosting one of the ‘Big 3’ teams in the conference.
Wichita State has been favored in every game and are being asked to lay some steep numbers, including last game out when they failed to cover as 10.5-point favorites at UConn.
Houston and SMU are the only two teams to post wins against top 25 teams, as Cincinnati and Wichita are both 1-2 against top 50 teams and 0-1 against top 25 squads, while Temple is 2-2 against top 50 teams, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the numbers tighten a little bit as conference play really kicks in.
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