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College Football Schedule, Week 2: Best Games to Watch Based on Vegas Data

Sep 08, 2018 7:23 AM EDT
  • A Saturday college football schedule can be tough to navigate with so many games on.
  • That's why we created the Watchability Ratings, which combines Vegas data and our power ratings to tell you the most watchable games.
  • Games with high over/unders, good teams and tight spreads will most likely appear at the top.

We get it. You’re an avid college football fan, and you like spreading bets across a variety of games. But then you plop down on your couch with a beer at noon to start your all-day binge, and you have remote anxiety. Should you watch Clemson-Texas A&M or Penn State-Pitt? Or will the best game actually be between Navy and Memphis?

Thankfully, here at The Action Network, we have a solution to your conundrum. We have a wealth of Vegas data on our site, as well as proprietary metrics to measure how good teams are, and thus we can put some data behind which games should capture your attention. Remote anxiety, be gone.

Using four factors, we’ll rank each game on a watchability scale each week:

  1. The spread: A closer spread is better. Who cares about that 40-point blowout?
  2. The total: Maybe you’re a maniac and like watching 3-0 SEC slugfests, but let’s assume that high-scoring games are preferred.
  3. How good the teams are: Using our proprietary metric, we’ll give more weight to, ya know, the good teams.
  4. Public betting data: We have a ton of data on which teams the public is backing, so we’ll factor that in, too.

And there you have it. The Action Network weekly Watchability Ratings.

Let’s run through some of the top games and then I’ll post a table at the bottom with all of the games and where they rank:

1. Arizona at Houston

  • Houston -3.5
  • Over/under: 71
  • 12 p.m. ET | ABC/ESPN2

You might be surprised to see this game atop the rankings, but trust us. It features two solid teams, a tight spread of just 3.5 points and a huge over/under of 71.5 points. Plus, it boasts a stud player in Heisman hopeful Arizona QB Khalil Tate, who had a poor performance last week against BYU in a loss. He’ll be looking for revenge against a suspect Houston defense.


>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and track your bets


2. Georgia at South Carolina

  • Georgia -10
  • Over/under: 56
  • 3:30 p.m. ET | CBS

This is the most-bet game of the weekend so far, and boasts perhaps the most talent on the field outside of the Clemson-Texas A&M affair.

Per The Action Network’s John Ewing, South Carolina has been the most profitable team in the SEC as a home underdog of 10 or more points, going 13-4-1 ATS. Georgia is the better team, but this should be a close one on the road.

3. Clemson at Texas A&M

  • Clemson -12
  • Over/under: 52.5
  • 7 p.m. ET | ESPN

These two teams boast the highest collective power rating, and this is the third-most bet game of the weekend. It has a fairly low under/over of 52.5, but we’re currently tracking sharp money on the over.

There’s also an interesting storyline to watch on the Clemson side: Will the Tigers continue to roll with two QBs in Kelly Bryant and freshman Trevor Lawrence, or will one of them emerge to win the job outright for the title contender?

4. USC at Stanford

  • Stanford -6
  • Over/under: 55.5
  • 8:30 p.m. ET | FOX

Stanford is somewhat of a public darling currently, attracting a whopping 76% of the bets as of Friday. The Cardinal struggled last week, and particularly on the offensive line, which was predicted to be a strength.

Preseason Heisman frontrunner Bryce Love couldn’t get anything going, finishing for just 29 yards on 18 attempts. He’ll be looking to put up a big game in the prime time slot.

5. Memphis at Navy

  • Tennessee -7
  • Over/under: 68
  • 3:30 p.m. ET | CBSSN

This is perhaps another surprising one, but it features a tight one-touchdown spread and a high over/under of 68. Further, the public is actually pretty interested in the game: It’s the fifth-most bet game of the weekend, ahead of affairs like USC-Stanford and UCLA-Oklahoma. Georgia-South Carolina is the most exciting game of the afternoon, but keep this on your second screen.


The Perfect Saturday

12 p.m. ET: Arizona at Houston (ABC/ESPN2), Mississippi St. at Kansas St. (ESPN)

3:30 p.m. ET: Georgia at South Carolina (CBS), Colorado at Nebraska (ABC)

Evening: Clemson at Texas A&M (ESPN), USC at Stanford (FOX)

Late night: Michigan St. at Arizona St. (ESPN), California at BYU (ESPN2)


All Games

Credit:

Sep 1, 2018; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate (14) runs the ball against the Brigham Young Cougars during the first quarter at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Follow Bryan Mears on Twitter
@bryan_mears

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