College Football Power Ratings Plays of Week 9


It is indeed a commonly held truth in the world of sports betting that Power Ratings gradually lose value as the year progresses and the market tightens to achieve greater efficiency. Numerical edges predicted by the overlay between our number and the markets are gradually shrinking, and in theory, those edges should nearly be none existent by the end of the year.

Ironically, with another 3-0 week with our Power Rating Plays of the Week, our record has only gotten better as the year has progressed; going 8-1 over the last three weeks and bringing our season long record to 10-14. This swing in fortune could’ve been predicted over the long term, and thankfully we were able to dig ourselves out of the massive hole that was dug early in the season, with such a short period of time in which to do it.

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While predicted point of line value will harder to come by as Adam’s Power Ratings evolve along with the ever-tightening market, we’ve shown that there is some value to be salvaged; especially, in combination with market analytics. And even though Power Ratings should become a progressively less dominant tool in one’s handicapping arsenal, it’s interesting to see what we can do with Power Ratings and Market Analysis alone, while also providing a few games to consider for your card.

But before we take our weekly dive into the off-shore market with our Power Ratings Plays, let’s quickly recap last week’s slate and see if we can take anything away to consider for future angles.

Our first play of last weekend was with Virginia, who opened as an eight-point underdog, at Duke. We recommended the Cavaliers at 7, and eventually closing as a consensus 6.5-point underdog, you could’ve gotten a half-point of value on a key number if you bet early enough. Virginia would go on to win outright, 28-14, with a 56 edge in yardage, controlling time of possession by over 13 minutes, and gaining nearly 2 more yards per rush than did Duke. Duke’s two turnovers really were the dagger, and made the score a bit misrepresentative of what took place on the field, but these weren’t fumbles and Virginia was definitely the right side.

The victory of the day came by way of Michigan, who also was bet all the way through a key number (7) by close, and if bet at 7 as recommended, you could’ve had another half-point of line value off a key number with the Wolverines. Winning 21-7, this one was a little too close for comfort when you consider how dominant of a performance this really was for Michigan. Holding Sparty to only 94 total yards of offense, while putting up 395 yards of their own, Michigan dominated time of possession (41:03 to 18:57) and held Michigan state to zero 3rd down conversions. Michigan was definitely the right side here and is a team that you’d look to play on, when you dig into the box score and see what this score really could’ve been.

The final win of the weekend was with Nevada, which featured our largest overlay of the weekend, and while closing as a three-point dog, Adam’s numbers had them a favorite. With Nevada winning 40-22, outgaining Hawaii by 90 yards, and gaining 9 more first downs, all despite committing two turnovers to none, perhaps Nevada should’ve been the favorite here. Another cover deserved, and a wonderful way to close out another successful week with our Power Ratings Plays.

All I can say is that it’s a lot more fun winning than losing, and these past few weeks have been fun to say the least. Knowing how quickly tides can change when you’re talking about a three-game sample size each week, however, we remain humble, yet hopeful that we can keep this momentum rolling. Therefore, with Power Ratings as our guide for this off-shore market ride, let’s get to the Plays of the Week.

Penn State vs. Iowa

Off shore Consensus Open: PSU -5.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: PSU -6 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: PSU – 8

You could tell that oddsmakers weren’t quite sure what to do with this spread, with Bookmaker opening with a hook on a dead number. Essentially this is a case in which they say, “we’ll let the market decide,” and while public money has flooded the market on Iowa at a near 70% rate, this number has trended upward; a telltale sign of some professional interest on the Nittany Lions.

Our number is in-agreement with this interest, and with 2-points of predicted line value through a very key number, Penn State is a position worth considering.

The market has settled at a consensus of 6 across the board; but consider that this line made it all the way up to a soft seven at sharper books, while the more recreational ones, never saw anything higher than 6.5 -110 on either side.
Given the consensus on Iowa, and what we might expect from recreational bettors as the weekend approaches, I don’t think we’re in any hurry to lay it here with Penn State, as we may see the most value closer to kick, when the public gets fully involved.

Texas A&M @ Mississippi State

Off shore Consensus Opener: Tex A&M 2.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Tex A&M 1.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Tex A&M – 4

While Texas A&M may be one of the most heavily bet of all teams this week, and that usually being a circumstance that is cause for concern, there is simply too much overlay to ignore, with it being through the most significant of all key numbers.
The market has moved a bit in favor of our position, responding appropriately to 85% of the spread bets being on A&M, and with some books even opening as high as 3, 2.5 -110 is the best number you’ll find currently on the Aggies, available at The Greek. A mixture of 1.5’s and 2’s is what you’ll find available at most shops, however, with standard juice, save for BetOnline, who has remained at 2, and is charging -120 on the Aggie bet.

As far as market entry is concerned, I don’t believe it’s going to matter much here. Earlier may be better, in case the combination of higher limits and late recreational action flips favorites, but this approaching a key number on either side seems unlikely.

Texas @ Oklahoma State

Off shore Consensus Open: Texas -1.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Texas – 3.5 +100
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Texas – 5

There isn’t a substantial amount of overlay between our number and the market’s here, but in a week where the overlay between our number and the market’s is hard to come by, there is some value worth mentioning through a secondary key number. Especially when you consider where this number opened, and the unlikelihood that recreational money is solely responsible for driving this number all the way through the primary 3.

Where the market is currently in consensus, you can lay 3.5 at even money, meaning you have the cheap buy available onto 3, or you place that tax-free bet at 3.5, knowing that it only got to 3.5 as a result of some influential action in support of the Longhorns.

At one point, even some of the sharpest books were cheaper with the juice at 3.5 on Oklahoma State than they were on Texas, so 3.5 is certainly a possibility as a consensus again. That rogue 4 at MyBookie also points to this truth. I can’t offer a mathematical argument suggesting whether or not it’s profitable long-term to buy onto 3 in this position, but I can say that there is a very good chance that professionals have shown interest in three at some point for a hook to appear on it.

Either way, when it’s all said and done, there’s a better chance this number closes 3.5 than 3 considering the consensus Longhorn love, and you’ll probably get the best number sooner, as opposed to at close.