CFB Power Ratings: Week 6

The updated rankings for week 6 of the season. I can’t believe we’re already on to the halfway point of the regular season! We’re about to have 6 games down for most teams in college football–in fact, some teams have already played 6 games.

I know there’s a game tomorrow night–UCF vs. SMU–which is a treat for us CFB fans (it was re-scheduled due to Hurricane Ian) but I’m just not going to update the ratings for those two teams. I don’t feel like waiting.

A new thing I will do with my ratings is put out projected lines for the top-25 teams compared to what Vegas actually has as a line for the game. That’ll be at the bottom.

Here’s my top-75:

Alabama and Ohio State are starting to separate themselves from the rest–even from Georgia. Alabama is now a projected 8-point favorite over Georgia at a neutral site, and Ohio State is about a 6.5 point favorite. Georgia and Michigan are about dead even in a tier below Bama and Ohio State.

I tried to tell you all about TCU–they’re a damn good team and they are probably the favorites to win the Big 12 conference.

The ratings still really like Florida State even though they lost pretty handily to Wake Forest.

And look at Illinois all the way up there at 13 in the ratings. 13! They’re ahead of Texas, Clemson and USC! Do I buy it? No, but Illinois has really improved a lot under Bret Bielema. In fact, they went into Wisconsin and ended Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin career with a dominant 34-10 win over the reeling Badgers. Bielema had to feel good about that.

The one team my ratings really aren’t buying: Oklahoma State. They’re all the way down at 32 even though they’re #8 in the AP Poll.

Okay, so those are the most up-to-date ratings.

Now here is what I have for the betting lines:

The way it works is simple: I take the power rating of one team, subtract the power rating of the other team, and that’s my implied line. That’s what I think the line should be on a neutral site.

Then I add or subtract 7 points for home field advantage, and that’s it.

I then compare it to what Vegas has the line at, and if there’s a significant discrepancy, it becomes a high-confidence bet. Like, for instance, my power ratings have Alabama as a whopping 49 points better than Texas A&M if the game is played in Tuscaloosa. Vegas only has Bama as a 24 point favorite, so I would say hammer Bama -24 as they should easily cover.

I don’t think Bama is going to win by 49, but I think they’ll cover 24.

A medium confidence bet would be Georgia -30: my ratings think they’re 32 points better than Auburn on a neutral field, and 39 points better in Athens, GA. But that 9 point discrepancy between my implied line and the spread isn’t big enough to where I’d want to hammer it. Plus, Georgia has been playing horrible as of late, so I’m not confident in them covering, although I would bet on them to do so if I had to place a bet on this game.

My ratings improve as the season goes on. The more data we have on these teams, the more confident we are that we know how good or bad they are. But right now, it’s an incomplete picture. We don’t yet have a full body of work for these teams, so the ratings are inherently less reliable.

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