College Football Power Ratings Plays of Week 4


As Adam continues on with the arduous task of keeping up with’s Power Ratings, we once again look for value in what the market and our numbers tell us are a few of the best plays of the week.

It’s been a slow start to the season if tracking our plays, as a 1-2 Week 3 brought our record on the season to 2-7. But the sample size is small, and as variance apparent in such a small one often demonstrates, downswings are inevitable. Of course it was a lot more fun when our plays were 9-0, as they were at this point in the season last year, but we’re dealing with a very small number of games, and the season is still quite young.

And it is in times like these that the reminder to supplement the plays with situational and matchup-based handicaps of your own, becomes ever important to express. Yes, the recommended plays are often showing numerical value and the market is usually in support, but there are always things that aren’t caught in the numbers.

Therefore, with another week of data at our disposal, further adjustments to our numbers, and the pendulum bound to swing back in the positive direction, let’s get to the Week 4 Power Rating Plays of the Week.

Florida Atlantic @ UCF

Off shore Consensus Open: FAU 13.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: FAU 13.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: FAU 9

Opening just south of a two-touchdown dog, one has to wonder if Florida Atlantic is simply getting disrespected in the market, or if the love for UCF has gone too far. Our number would say that at least one of the above is true, for we have this game lined below the secondary key of 10, giving us some decent value on the Owls.

With 75% of the action coming in UCF, you would expect to see some upward movement on this number, but it has stayed put for the most part, and thus reveals a sharp/public split. Further evidence of this split was seen earlier in the week, when some other 14’s popped-up off-shore, and sharp money quickly bought those up; save for Bovada, who is the only of the major off-shores to currently show a 14, though juiced to the FAU side.

With some of the sharper books such as BetCris and The Greek down to 13, even more of a case is made for FAU, but with a consensus so dramatically lopsided, I’d be in no rush to fire on FAU just yet. If the recreational money maintains this consensus, 14’s could be readily available by kickoff, and you may not even have to pay the extra tax that is currently charged on that 14 at Bovada.

Tennessee vs. Florida

Off shore Consensus Opener: Tenn 5.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Tenn 4.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Tenn 2

With the Volunteers opening as 5.5-point home underdog as a consensus off-shore, oddsmakers thought they’d leave this number in a dead-zone and let the money decide where the number went. Well, the money has spoken, and even with 58% of the spread bets coming in on the Gators, this number has come down to a consensus of 4.5 off-shore.

Our number of 2 on the Vols gives us some solid line value to work with, going through the primary 3 and the secondary 4. The Reverse Line movement toward our number should give us confidence in Adam’s number, knowing that there has been some professional support on our position.

Most of the market currently sits a 4.5 -110 on Tennessee, but with Pinnacle (-108) as one of the only major off-shores along with BetOnline (-118) to be juicing the 4.5, I still think some value is left at the current number. If wanting to fire on the home dog, you’re going to want the hook on 4, and with the number having to go all the way through a dead-zone above it to really take any of that remaining value away, we’re probably better to just take the hook on 4 now in case it’s no longer available when higher limits are available.

Marshall vs. NC State

Off shore Consensus Open: Marshall 6.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Marshall 4.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Marshall 2.5

Adam’s numbers see some value in another home underdog here, in Marshall, who opened as a consensus 6.5-point underdog, and has been bet down through a secondary key to get to current consensus. What makes the move even stronger is that 58% of the spread bets have been on NC State and once again the Reverse Line Move toward our number is a welcomed sight.

Sitting on the other side of three, this is very similar to the Tennessee position, but even stronger because we have come down through six to get to 4.5, where the market current is at consensus. What also makes this very similar, is the fact that Pinnacle (-112) and BetOnline (-118) are the only two major off-shores to be juicing the Marshall side at 4.5, while the rest of the market is at -110.

This is another case where I think if you can get a -110 on 4.5, you might as well just take the number now, because when you’re getting line value compared to some of the highest limit books, you’re usually going to be better off in the long run. Taking that value, the moment you have it, is generally a good idea, as far as timing for optimal market entry.