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College Football: Team Power Ratings for Bowl Games 2014 Season

Power Ratings and NCAAF Philosophy

There are at least a half-dozen factors that separate college football handicapping from NFL handicapping. For starters, action on college football is much more likely to come from sophisticated bettors, known as "sharps" or "wiseguys," who often possess some insight or kernel of information that may provide them with an edge against the house. Experienced handicappers know not to treat heavy activity on an obscure game, as casually as they might deal with increased wagering interest on a marquee NFL game. For that reason, bookmakers usually move college football lines quickly, often one full point at a time. In general, it takes more money to move an NFL betting line, and when it is moved, usually it is by only half a point.

While number crunching via power ratings are a must, detailed analysis is always an essential tool for college football handicapping. There is a certain degree of "art" which compliments the "science". The successful handicapper understands that subjective analysis of a number of other factors which follows should also be considered before making a play.

Key Numbers: Largely because of a lack of proficiency in the kicking game, key numbers such as 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13 and 14 are not nearly as sacrosanct in college football betting as they are in the NFL. College football games just do not fall on those numbers as often as they do in NFL games.

Blowouts: We may never again see a three-touchdown favorite in the NFL but lines of -30, -40, or even -50 are not that uncommon in the college gridiron game. Oddsmakers and bookmakers also find college totals more difficult to gauge because some coaches try to impress those who have a vote in the polls by running up the score. Other coaches feel that a third-string player's reward for practicing all week is to get to play in a blowout. It's just these types of unique uncertainties that compel bookmakers to shift college "O/U" numbers more quickly than they move NFL totals.

Personnel: It's also the nature of college football that personnel change every year. This makes early season evaluation more difficult and leads bet takers to move lines and totals more quickly, especially in September and early October when the season is still young. There is personnel movement in the NFL too, of course, but mostly it involves players of established ability moving from team to team. In college football, you're always dealing with fresh faces.

Injuries: By collective bargaining agreement, each week, the NFL publishes a comprehensive list of injured players and their status. Sure, there are mistakes and abuses and players who have been listed as "doubtful" have played while those regarded as "probable" have not but overall, the list is accurate. On the other hand, colleges are under no obligation to announce the status of injured or disciplined football players. This vagueness over availability sometimes can create opportunities in college football handicapping.

The key element is that bookmakers can more accurately predict the public inclination for an NFL game than they can for a college football game. Clearly, understanding the differences between college football handicapping and NFL handicapping is essential to winning.

Power Ratings: True Power Ratings are purely objective and a deadly weapon in any handicapper's arsenal. They are the key to every aspect of statistical analysis. No emotion or bias is involved. PR calculations must be very responsive or they become old news before you get a chance to use them. Our PR method allows us to judge, with pin point accuracy the relative strengths of teams in any given sports event. PR's are an exceptional handicapping tool and should be utilized with many other handicapping tools such as trend, statistical and fundamental analysis. Our first step is to obtain a total Offensive/Defensive index along with each teams strength of opposition (SOS). We then logarithmically increment or front-load our PR's to reflect each teams recent performance. We use linear regression analysis to calculate and integrate all this information into an overall power rating. Our aim is to obtain winners via Power Ratings and using other tools contained in our Prophet Zone software package to confirm, rather than just rely on teams via an RPI or BCS rating system. If you like our approach but don't have the time or energy, you can always purchase our sports handicapping software or you can subscribe to our premium sports advisory service and get that winning edge over the uninformed handicapper.

To make predictions for scheduled upcoming games, simply compare the Home Team's Power Rating to that of the Away Team's Power Rating and add 3 points for the home team advantage. Thus, for example, a HOME team with a rating of 110.7 would be favored by 17.2 points, 110.7 + 3 = 113.7 over a VISITING team having a rating of 96.5. Or a VISITING team with a rating of 91.0 would be favored by 5 points over a HOME team having a rating of 83.0, 83.0 + 3 = 86.0. Our preference is the Overall Power Rating + 3 for HFA. Use the Home/Away Power Ratings to confirm the Overall PR. Make sure there is at least a 2 point overlay.

Team Name

Final H PR

Final A PR

Final Overall PR

AIR FORCE

110.0

102.5

106.5

AKRON

88.5

89.5

89.0

ALABAMA

126.5

118.5

122.5

ARIZONA

106.5

115.5

110.5

ARIZONA STATE

106.5

112.0

109.5

ARKANSAS

118.5

106.5

112.5

ARKANSAS STATE

104.5

93.5

99.0

ARMY

93.0

83.5

88.0

AUBURN

117.5

114.0

116.0

BALL STATE

91.5

96.5

94.0

BAYLOR

111.5

119.5

115.5

BOISE STATE

109.5

105.5

107.5

BOSTON COLLEGE

96.5

103.5

100.0

BOWLING GREEN

90.5

101.0

95.5

BUFFALO

99.5

87.5

93.5

BYU

97.5

110.5

104.0

CALIFORNIA

88.5

104.5

96.5

CENTRAL FLORIDA

107.5

87.0

97.5

CENTRAL MICHIGAN

90.5

103.5

97.0

CINCINNATI

103.5

106.0

104.5

CLEMSON

119.5

100.0

109.5

COLORADO

94.5

89.5

92.0

COLORADO STATE

111.5

102.5

107.0

CONNECTICUT

84.5

88.5

86.5

DUKE

98.0

108.0

103.0

EAST CAROLINA

105.5

95.5

100.5

EASTERN MICHIGAN

89.5

69.5

79.5

FLORIDA

95.5

115.0

105.0

FLORIDA ATLANTIC

96.5

86.0

91.5

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

90.0

112.5

101.5

FLORIDA STATE

106.5

109.5

108.0

FRESNO STATE

80.5

91.0

86.0

GEORGIA

110.0

123.5

116.5

GEORGIA TECH

108.0

108.5

108.5

HAWAII

88.5

99.5

94.0

HOUSTON

96.5

106.5

101.5

IDAHO

79.0

95.5

87.5

ILLINOIS

92.5

92.5

92.5

INDIANA

87.0

95.0

91.0

IOWA

108.5

93.5

101.0

IOWA STATE

90.5

92.0

91.5

KANSAS

100.0

77.5

89.0

KANSAS STATE

110.5

103.5

107.0

KENT STATE

89.5

81.0

85.5

KENTUCKY

98.5

87.5

93.0

LOUISIANA TECH

129.0

105.5

117.0

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE

90.5

96.5

93.5

LOUISIANA-MONROE

87.0

90.5

88.5

LOUISVILLE

102.5

112.5

107.5

LSU

112.0

107.0

109.5

MARSHALL

110.0

117.5

113.5

MARYLAND

96.0

99.0

97.5

MEMPHIS

102.5

108.5

105.5

MIAMI

117.5

102.5

110.5

MIAMI (OHIO)

89.5

88.5

89.5

MICHIGAN

99.5

94.5

96.5

MICHIGAN STATE

115.0

110.5

113.0

MIDDLE TENNESSEE

88.0

93.5

90.5

MINNESOTA

106.0

109.5

107.5

MISSISSIPPI

116.5

113.0

114.5

MISSISSIPPI STATE

113.5

123.5

118.5

MISSOURI

92.0

117.5

105.0

NAVY

88.5

104.5

96.5

NEBRASKA

107.0

113.5

110.5

NEVADA

97.5

105.5

101.5

NEW MEXICO

82.5

95.5

89.0

NEW MEXICO STATE

75.5

80.5

77.5

NORTH CAROLINA

103.5

105.5

104.5

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

94.5

95.5

94.5

NORTH TEXAS

92.5

79.5

86.0

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

92.0

101.5

96.5

NORTHWESTERN

95.5

104.5

100.0

NOTRE DAME

107.5

99.0

103.5

OHIO

95.5

93.0

94.5

OHIO STATE

117.5

118.5

118.0

OKLAHOMA

107.5

121.5

114.5

OKLAHOMA STATE

94.0

99.5

96.5

OREGON

120.5

109.0

115.0

OREGON STATE

100.5

93.0

97.0

PENN STATE

101.5

102.0

101.5

PITTSBURGH

100.5

102.5

101.5

PURDUE

93.0

102.5

97.5

RICE

97.5

95.5

96.5

RUTGERS

96.0

93.5

95.0

SAN DIEGO STATE

104.0

88.5

96.5

SAN JOSE STATE

91.5

84.5

88.0

SOUTH CAROLINA

100.5

102.5

101.5

SOUTH FLORIDA

84.5

92.5

88.5

SOUTHERN CAL

113.5

102.5

108.0

SOUTHERN METHODIST

69.5

81.0

75.5

SOUTHERN MISS

82.5

94.5

88.5

STANFORD

107.0

102.0

104.5

SYRACUSE

88.5

107.5

98.0

TCU

123.0

112.5

118.0

TEMPLE

100.0

96.0

98.0

TENNESSEE

108.5

98.5

103.5

TEXAS

100.5

111.5

105.5

TEXAS A&M

103.5

108.5

106.0

TEXAS EL PASO

90.5

96.0

93.5

TEXAS TECH

90.5

91.0

91.0

TOLEDO

104.5

98.5

101.5

TROY

90.5

83.5

87.0

TULANE

91.5

93.0

92.5

TULSA

82.5

92.5

87.5

UAB

104.5

101.0

103.0

UCLA

113.5

110.0

111.5

UNLV

86.5

85.5

85.5

UTAH

98.0

110.0

104.0

UTAH STATE

103.5

106.5

105.0

VANDERBILT

77.0

88.5

82.5

VIRGINIA

105.5

96.5

101.0

VIRGINIA TECH

100.0

110.5

105.5

WAKE FOREST

90.5

86.5

88.5

WASHINGTON

98.5

105.0

102.0

WASHINGTON STATE

90.5

94.5

92.5

WEST VIRGINIA

105.5

96.5

101.0

WESTERN MICHIGAN

100.5

100.5

100.5

WISCONSIN

118.0

111.0

114.5

WYOMING

81.5

97.0

89.0

 

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