College Football Vegas Power Rating Picks – Week 8

Date | AuthorAdam Burke

Last Updated: 2019-10-14

Power ratings can be a slippery slope at this time of the year. With most teams, you are no longer asking, “How good is this team?”, you are asking, “How bad is this team?” And even the good teams slip up in college football from time to time (hi, UGA!).

In working on my power ratings for Week 8, what I primarily found is that a lot of bad teams are really being dismissed. There are more overlays of several points than I have seen in past years at this time of the season. It would take a lot of maneuvering in my numbers to reflect just how bad some of these teams are and just how good the elite teams are.

The hardest part comes with bottom-tier teams in the Power Five conferences. They still have Power Five talent. They still have, in most cases, competent head coaches. The line was certainly justified for Florida State vs. Clemson, but I couldn’t get it to +27 in my mind. The line surely seems justified for Ohio State vs. Northwestern, but, again, I can’t get it to +27 in my mind.

As always, power ratings are a guide. A way to get out in front of numbers. Each week poses a different challenge with that because lines can and will move against my numbers and they’ll move against your numbers, too. Last week, I had San Diego State -7 and bet them at -5.5, assuming the line would go to 6 and then on to 7. The bottom fell out and the number actually went into the 3 and 4 range. I bet it again at -3.5. The -3.5 won and the -5.5 did not. And the -3.5 may have been lucky.

In crowdsourcing throughout last week, the people I trust within my sports betting network had the line -6 to -7. None of us could understand the move. It turned out to be right for the most part. The same with North Texas vs. Southern Miss, a line that came crashing down, even though those same resources had the line closer to a touchdown. Southern Miss was the right side all game.

Then there are others that move the way we expect them to and they don’t win. Maybe they don’t even come close. Or maybe a line moves against you and you were right anyway. It happens and it happens a lot.

A tweet I saw last week really stood out from Dave Sharapan, better known as Sportsbook Consigliere (@SportsbkConsig) on Twitter. He’s an oddsmaker in Vegas and one of my favorite follows.

He’s 100% right. Last week, a close friend told me that you can’t be afraid to lose when betting. Here’s more sage advice. “If you don’t trust your numbers, who will?” (FWIW, Miami did cover)

If you’re putting in the work and the research, if you’re studying the box scores, following the injury reports, and sacrificing time to get better at this, shouldn’t you trust yourself? Shouldn’t you bet your numbers? If you’re wrong, you’re wrong. It can be an expensive lesson, but a mistake you won’t make again with an adjustment next week. If you’re right, you’re cashing a winner.

I’ve talked countless times about the crisis of confidence that exists for most bettors. As a whole, I think it’s safe to say that gamblers are a pessimistic lot. We’re purposefully betting on outcomes that we have no control over. We have control over the lines we bet and the research we do, but once that ticket is submitted, we have no control. Yeah, fine, you can live bet and hedge and middle and scalp and attempt to grind out profit or minimize losses that way. There are very few people that do that consistently.

We’re diving headfirst into the unknown and, more often than not, wondering how it won’t work out in our favor. We’re all guilty of it, me especially. “How will this lose?” “How are they going to turn it over on this possession?” “What kind of sick backdoor will I have to endure?” There aren’t a lot of unicorns and rainbows in this business.

Perseverance is important. Sticking with it. Believing in your numbers. Having a short memory so you can put together your numbers and grab some openers. Getting into the market at the right time because you aren’t sulking over the previous results.

With that, we move on to Week 8 and my 1 through 130:

Rank Team Conference PR HFA
1 Alabama SEC 100 4.5
2 Clemson ACC 96 4
3 Ohio State Big Ten 95 4
4 LSU SEC 95 3.5
5 Oklahoma Big 12 92.5 4
6 Georgia SEC 90 4
7 Wisconsin Big Ten 87 3.5
8 Oregon Pac-12 87  
9 Auburn SEC 85  
10 Penn State Big Ten 85 4
11 Notre Dame Independent 85 3.5
12 Florida SEC 83 3.5
13 Utah Pac-12 83 3.5
14 Michigan Big Ten 82 4
15 Texas Big 12 80.5  
16 Missouri SEC 80 3.5
17 Washington Pac-12 80 4
18 Oklahoma State Big 12 80 3.5
19 UCF AAC 79.5 4
20 Iowa State Big 12 79.5  
21 Iowa Big Ten 79.5 3.5
22 Boise State Mountain West 78  
23 Michigan State Big Ten 77  
24 Texas A&M SEC 77 3.5
25 Cincinnati AAC 76 2.5
26 Minnesota Big Ten 76  
27 USC Pac-12 76 3.5
28 Baylor Big 12 75.5  
29 Memphis AAC 75 4
30 Washington State Pac-12 75 4
31 Miami FL ACC 75  
32 Virginia ACC 74.5  
33 South Carolina SEC 74  
34 Mississippi State SEC 74 3.5
35 Utah State Mountain West 73.5 3.5
36 Arizona State Pac-12 73.5 4
37 Wake Forest ACC 73.5 2.5
38 Florida State ACC 73.5  
39 Duke ACC 73  
40 TCU Big 12 72.5 2.5
41 Tulane AAC 72.5  
42 California Pac-12 72  
43 UNC ACC 72 2.5
44 SMU AAC 72  
45 Pitt ACC 72 3.5
46 Texas Tech Big 12 72  
47 Louisville ACC 72  
48 Appalachian State Sun Belt 71.5 3.5
49 Indiana Big Ten 71 2.5
50 Kansas State Big 12 71  
51 Nebraska Big Ten 70 2.5
52 Ole Miss SEC 70 2.5
53 Temple AAC 69.5 3.5
54 Louisiana Sun Belt 69.5  
55 Air Force Mountain West 69  
56 Northwestern Big Ten 69  
57 Navy AAC 69 3.5
58 Stanford Pac-12 69 3.5
59 FAU Conference USA 68.5  
60 Arizona Pac-12 68  
61 NC State ACC 68  
62 Tennessee SEC 68 2.5
63 BYU Independent 67  
64 Hawaii Mountain West 66.5 2.5
65 Southern Miss Conference USA 66.5  
66 Oregon State Pac-12 66.5 2
67 Virginia Tech ACC 66.5 3.5
68 Syracuse ACC 66.5  
69 Army Independent 66 4
70 Kentucky SEC 66 2.5
71 UCLA Pac-12 66 2.5
72 Maryland Big Ten 66  
73 Fresno State Mountain West 65.5 4
74 West Virginia Big 12 65 3.5
75 Marshall Conference USA 65 2.5
76 Colorado Pac-12 64.5  
77 Tulsa AAC 64.5  
78 San Diego State Mountain West 63  
79 Arkansas SEC 63  
80 FIU Conference USA 63  
81 Western Michigan MAC 62.5 3.5
82 Boston College ACC 62.5  
83 Ball State MAC 62.5 2
84 UAB Conference USA 62.5 3.5
85 Toledo MAC 62 3.5
86 Ohio MAC 62 3.5
87 Houston AAC 62 3.5
88 Illinois Big Ten 62 2
89 Northern Illinois MAC 62  
90 Arkansas State Sun Belt 61.5 3.5
91 Georgia Southern Sun Belt 61.5  
92 Purdue Big Ten 61.5 2.5
93 North Texas Conference USA 61 3.5
94 Louisiana Tech Conference USA 61  
95 Wyoming Mountain West 61 4
96 Middle Tenn Conference USA 61 3.5
97 Western Kentucky Conference USA 60.5  
98 Troy Sun Belt 60 3.5
99 Kansas Big 12 60 2.5
100 Louisiana Monroe Sun Belt 60 2.5
101 Vanderbilt SEC 59  
102 Charlotte Conference USA 59 2.5
103 Georgia Tech ACC 59 3.5
104 Georgia State Sun Belt 59 2
105 USF AAC 58.5  
106 Buffalo MAC 58.5 3.5
107 Coastal Carolina Sun Belt 58 2.5
108 Nevada Mountain West 57  
109 Central Michigan MAC 56.5 2.5
110 San Jose State Mountain West 56 2.5
111 Colorado State Mountain West 55.5  
112 Kent State MAC 55.5 2
113 East Carolina AAC 55 2.5
114 Texas State Sun Belt 55 2
115 Eastern Michigan MAC 54  
116 Miami OH MAC 54  
117 Rice Conference USA 54 2
118 UNLV Mountain West 53 2.5
119 Liberty Independent 52.5  
120 Old Dominion Conference USA 51 3.5
121 South Alabama Sun Belt 49.5  
122 UTSA Conference USA 49.5 2.5
123 Rutgers Big Ten 48 2.5
124 New Mexico Mountain West 47.5 2
125 New Mexico State Independent 47  
126 Bowling Green MAC 45 2
127 UTEP Conference USA 44.5 2
128 UConn AAC 42 2
129 Akron MAC 40 2
130 UMass Independent 33 2.5

Here are this week’s PR adjustments:

Up: Texas State +2, Syracuse +1, Oregon +2.5, Bowling Green +2, Louisville +3, Navy +3, Georgia State +3, Purdue +1.5, Iowa State +2.5, Boise State +1.5, Ball State +1.5, Utah +2, Ole Miss +2, Tennessee +2, Arkansas +1.5, USF +2, UNLV +1, Florida +1, San Jose State +2, Alabama +1, FAU +2, UAB +2, Western Kentucky +3, FIU +3.5, Notre Dame +2.5, Clemson +2, Penn State +2, Wyoming +2, LSU +1, Arizona State +1.5, MTSU +2, Louisiana +1.5

Down: NC State -1, Rutgers -4, Toledo -2, Nebraska -2, Maryland -2, West Virginia -2.5, Eastern Michigan -5, Washington State -1.5, Missouri -2, Georgia -2, Mississippi State -1.5, Akron -1, Ohio -1.5, Kentucky -4, Miami OH -2, BYU -2.5, Houston -2, Vanderbilt -3, Michigan State -2.5, Texas A&M -2, Fresno State -2.5, Texas -1, Florida State -2, Arkansas State -2

Mostly small upgrades and downgrades here and there. It turns out that Rutgers and Eastern Michigan are far worse than we thought. Unlike last week, there aren’t any huge upgrades. I think it’s easier at this point in the season to lower teams than bump them up. The bad teams know the season is a waste and will start playing underclassmen or postulate who the new head coach will be. The upgraded teams may not be as consistent, because it’s hard to play at your best or close to your best week in and week out. We have a pretty good idea that the bad teams are quite bad.

Once again, injuries are all over the place. A few games are off the board because of QB question marks. As we get some more clarity, we’ll have a better idea of who will take snaps for a lot of teams. As always, though, once my PRs are up, they are up and that’s that.

Here are my Week 8 numbers:

Date Away Home My Line
10/16 South Alabama Troy -14
       
10/17 Louisiana Arkansas State +4.5
  UCLA Stanford -6.5
       
10/18 Marshall FAU -6.5
  Pitt Syracuse +2.5
  Ohio State Northwestern +23
  UNLV Fresno State -16.5
       
10/19 Duke Virginia -4.5
  Georgia Tech Miami FL -19
  Clemson Louisville +21
  Army Georgia State +5
  Buffalo Akron +16.5
  Indiana Maryland +2
  Houston UConn +18
  Florida State Wake Forest -2.5
  Coastal Carolina Georgia Southern -6.5
  Central Michigan Bowling Green +9.5
  East Carolina UCF -28.5
  Tulsa Cincinnati -14
  NC State Boston College +2.5
  Purdue Iowa -20.5
  Kent State Ohio -10
  Western Michigan Eastern Michigan +5.5
  Kansas Texas -23.5
  Wisconsin Illinois +23
  Nevada Utah State -20
  Boise State BYU +8
  New Mexico Wyoming -17.5
  Arizona State Utah -13
  Toledo Ball State -2.5
  Northern Illinois Miami OH +5
  Oregon State Cal -8.5
  Oregon Washington +3
  Arizona USC -11.5
  Colorado Washington State -14.5
  Florida South Carolina +6
  Kentucky Georgia -28
  TCU Kansas State -1.5
  LSU Mississippi State +17.5
  Tennessee Alabama -36.5
  Southern Miss LA Tech +2.5
  Old Dominion UAB -15
  West Virginia Oklahoma -31.5
  Baylor Oklahoma State -8
  Auburn Arkansas +19
  Texas A&M Ole Miss +4.5
  Tulane Memphis -6.5
  North Carolina Virginia Tech +2
  Minnesota Rutgers +25.5
  Iowa State Texas Tech +4.5
  USF Navy -14
  UL Monroe App State -15
  Missouri Vanderbilt +18
  San Diego State San Jose State +4.5
  Charlotte Western Kentucky -4.5
  MTSU North Texas -3.5
  Rice UTSA +2
  Temple SMU -5.5
  UTEP FIU -21.5
  Michigan Penn State -7
  Air Force Hawaii PK

Games to consider based solely on my raw power rating + HFA:

Eastern Michigan +9.5 (+5.5) vs. Western Michigan

Northern Illinois -1 (-5) at Miami OH

Oklahoma State -3.5 (-8) vs. Baylor

Charlotte +10.5 (+4.5) at Western Kentucky

Not a whole lot of games around key numbers. Remember, you need a bigger overlay at higher numbers, like how I have Northwestern +23 and the market is +27.5 against Ohio State. It’s a 4.5-point overlay, but there are no key numbers in the 20s. With a low total, I’d need a much bigger gap. Single-digit overlays of multiple points stand out a lot more.

Good luck this week!

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Power LinesView all

(387) W VIRGINIA @ (388) OKLAHOMA | 12:00 pm 10/19/2019

Play Line: W VIRGINIA 32
BTB PowerLine: W VIRGINIA +23

Edge On: W VIRGINIA 9Bet Now
(345) KENT ST @ (346) OHIO U | 12:00 pm 10/19/2019

Play Line: OHIO U -9
BTB PowerLine: OHIO U -19

Edge On: OHIO U 10Bet Now
(321) CLEMSON @ (322) LOUISVILLE | 12:00 pm 10/19/2019

Play Line: CLEMSON -24.5
BTB PowerLine: CLEMSON -34

Edge On: CLEMSON 9.5Bet Now