2020 College Football Rankings: AP Top 25 Poll vs. Our Betting Power Ratings For Week 11
Piper Hansen/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Eric Stokes.
Few things in the world are better than a full slate of college football. That’s a fact of life.
Gone are the days of wishing the Big Ten would come back and hoping we would see Pac-12 After Dark. Both of those items sat on the docket this past weekend, and every second was as glorious as we imagined.
But weirdly enough, these aren’t the conferences that are being overrated by the betting market. Instead, it’s the teams from conferences that we have an ample sample size for.
Ultimately, the AP Poll will focus on past performances in past weeks, but bettors should be focused on how teams will perform in the future. That’s where Collin Wilson comes in.
Collin’s college football betting power ratings use analysis from the past to home in on what teams will do in the future. Using those power ratings, we’ve identified some teams that could be overvalued by the public at some point in the coming weeks. Buckle up.
The Action Network’s College Football Betting Power Ratings
Our power ratings are fueled by Collin’s projections, which aim to judge the true quality of a team based on advanced metrics, coaching changes, year-over-year roster continuity, and a host of other underlying components.
You can use his ratings to create a point spread between any two teams in the country on a neutral field — just subtract the higher team’s rating from the lower-ranked one.
Collin also publishes projected point spreads for each week’s slate of games every Sunday. You can use those projections to target early betting value even before sportsbooks release official lines for the week’s action.
College Football Rankings: AP Poll Top 25 vs. Our Power Ratings
After Week 10
Notable Team Differences Between the AP Poll and Our Power Ratings
▲ Georgia Bulldogs (+6)
- AP Poll: 12
- Power Rating: 6
To put it simply, the AP Poll has overreacted to Georgia’s loss to Florida.
Looking back on the Bulldogs’ season, they have lost two games — one to the Gators and one to top-ranked Alabama.
Their first loss to the Crimson Tide came against the best offense in college football, complete with Mac Jones, DeVonta Smith, Najee Harris and pre-injury Jaylen Waddle. All three skill players had over 150 yards each and at least one touchdown, while Jones threw for over 400 yards and four scores.
Try to find any defense in the country that can keep up with that level of play. I don’t think it’s possible.
Now, fast forward to the Florida game.
For starters, safety Richard LeCount missed the game because of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Then, Lewis Cine got ejected for a targeting hit on Florida star tight end Kyle Pitts.
On the other side of the ball, wide receiver George Pickens didn’t play and fellow wideout Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint suffered an ankle injury early in the game. To make matters worse, quarterback Stetson Bennett appeared to be shaken up throughout.
Now, I’m not suggesting Georgia is a better team than Florida. I’m just saying its loss is certainly more understandable when looking at the injury report.
If the Bulldogs get back to full strength, I’ll be searching for places to back an underrated Georgia squad.
▲ North Carolina Tar Heels (+16)
- AP Poll: 10
- Power Rating: 26
Much like Georgia, North Carolina has suffered two losses on the season. However, the teams that toppled the Tar Heels aren’t nearly as good. There are certainly fewer moral victories that come with losing to Florida State and Virginia rather than Alabama and Florida.
What’s important to note, though, is that both losses came by a combined six points.
At this point in the season, it’s never clear which North Carolina team we’re going to see. It could be the one that dominates a solid NC State squad in a rivalry game. Or it could be the one that needs to mount a fourth-quarter comeback to make the score against Virginia look more respectable.
Either way, this much is clear: The line for the North Carolina vs. Duke game was way too low. The Tar Heels never should have been as low as 11.5-point favorites against a Blue Devil squad that has been less-than-stellar all season.
That’s especially true considering the Tar Heels boast one of the best offenses in the ACC. Led by Sam Howell and a dynamic duo in the backfield, North Carolina leads the conference in total offense by a significant margin and ranks second in scoring offense only to Clemson.
Furthermore, the Tar Heels rank seventh nationally in Offensive Efficiency, seventh in gaining available yards, eighth in Offensive Touchdown Rate, and 10th in Offensive Points per Drive.
The Tar Heels can score at will. I’ll be trying to find another line that’s wildly off in the coming weeks while keeping an eye on the total.
▼ Liberty Flames (-40)
- AP Poll: 22
- Power Rating: 62
Anyone who missed the ending of the Liberty vs. Virginia Tech game on Saturday missed out.
The Hokies scored on what would have been a game-winning blocked field goal returned for a touchdown only to have it be called back because Justin Fuente called a timeout just before the snap.
A couple of plays later, the Flames nailed the game-winning kick to pull off the 38-35 victory. (I have to give a shoutout to our very own Mike Calabrese for calling out the moneyline value on the Flames.)
But where would Liberty be in the AP Poll if Fuente didn’t call that timeout? It almost certainly wouldn’t be ranked.
I have enjoyed watching Hugh Freeze’s squad put up points in its undefeated season, but the Flames have a couple of games coming up that should sound the alarms.
After taking on Western Carolina this week, Liberty will close out its regular season against NC State and Coastal Carolina in two of its final three games.
A 7-0 record is a 7-0 record. There’s no debating that. But I’m hoping to find that Liberty will be overvalued by the public soon for the perfect sell-high opportunity.