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Vegas likes Alabama a lot more than it likes LSU

Vegas likes Alabama a lot more than it likes LSU.

The Simple Rating System is a set of computer rankings focused on only two variables: strength of schedule and margin of victory. I published weekly college football SRS ratings each week last season, and you can read more about the SRS there. Last month, Jason Lisk of the Big Lead took the Las Vegas point spread for each NFL game to come up with a set of power rankings; I stole Lisk’s idea and used the same point spreads to create implied SRS ratings for every NFL team. The idea is that if the 49ers are a 10.5-point neutral site favorite over the Jaguars, that’s one data point that implies that Las Vegas views San Francisco as 10.5 points better than Jacksonville. By taking every data point, and using Excel to iterate the ratings hundreds of times, you can create a set of implied team ratings.

Last week, the Golden Nugget released the point spreads for 248 college football games. By using the same process, those point spreads can help us determine the implied ratings that Las Vegas has assigned to each team.

We don’t have a full slate of games, but we do have at least 1 game for 83 different teams. Theoretically, this is different than using actual game results: one game can be enough to come up with Vegas’ implied rating for the team. That’s because once we’re confident in Oklahoma’s rating, Tulsa being 18-point underdogs in Norman gives us a good estimate for how Vegas views Tulsa. I assigned 3 points to the road team in each game in coming up with the implied SRS ratings. For example, Arizona is an 11-point favorite on the road against California. So for that game, we assume Vegas believes the Wildcats are 14 points better than the Golden Bears; if we do this for each of the other 247 games, and then iterate the results hundreds of times, we can come up with a set of power ratings.

Unsurprisingly, Alabama comes out as the highest-rated team. The Crimson Tide are being rated as 19.6 points better than “average,” although average isn’t really a concept with much meaning here. The SRS rating has little meaning in the abstract, but is useful to get a sense of the Crimson Tide’s rating relative to the rest of the teams. If Alabama is 10 points better in the SRS than a team, that means Alabama would be projected as a 10-point favorite on a neutral site. In the table below, I’ve included the number of games for which we have point spreads for each team on the far left. The “MOV” column shows the home field-adjusted average point spread for that team, the “SOS” column shows the average rating of each team’s opponent (for only the number of games for which we have lines), and the “SRS” column shows the school’s SRS rating.

1Alabama 1022.3-2.619.6
2Oregon 1122.2-5.716.5
3Texas A&M 7102.112.1
4Ohio State 1017.2-5.611.5
5Georgia 1011.3-0.211
6Texas 1110.3-0.99.4
8Oklahoma State 99.8-1.58.4
10South Carolina 109.4-1.57.9
11Florida State913-5.27.8
12Stanford 108.1-0.77.4
14Notre Dame 128.7-2.85.8
15Clemson 98.4-2.75.7
16Mississippi 6-
17USC 119.7-4.94.8
19Michigan 93.9-0.83.1
20Kansas State 83.2-0.42.8
23Virginia Tech
24Northwestern 95.8-3.62.2
25Louisville 913.6-11.52.1
26Miami 84-1.92.1
27Arizona State 103.1-1.21.8
28Michigan State 74.3-2.51.7
29Oregon State 105-3.51.5
30Arizona 106-5.50.5
31Boise State37.2-6.90.2
33Penn State82.1-2.3-0.2
36Georgia Tech6-4.12.9-1.1
38North Carolina 5-2.30.6-1.7
39BYU 8-0.5-1.6-2.1
42Texas Tech3-10.36.9-3.4
44West Virginia8-6.21.8-4.4
45Mississippi State6-11.67-4.6
50Central Florida2-12.55-7.5
51San Diego State2-146.5-7.5
54North Carolina State3-12.23.9-8.2
55Iowa State7-10.82.5-8.3
66South Florida3-142-12
67Wake Forest2-19.56.7-12.8
68Boston College3-19.26.1-13.1
73Washington State8-17.73.1-14.6
74Air Force1-215.8-15.2
76Colorado State2-17.3-0.9-18.1
78Southern Mississippi1-18.50.2-18.3
82Central Michigan1-1-19.5-20.5

These ratings are not meant to surprise you: if they did, that would probably be a sign that I did something wrong. But it is interesting to take a look at the results.

Alabama lost Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack, Eddie Lacy, Nico Johnson, Barrett Jones, Jesse Williams, Quinton Dial, and Michael Williams to the NFL Draft, but Nick Saban’s squad still has a large lead on every other team in the country. Alabama is even a six-point favorite when they travel to College Station to face Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M.

Then again, it’s easy to see why Vegas loves the Crimson Tide. If you recall, Alabama entered 2012 as a (generally) young team just off a national championship, and the expectation was 2013 would be the year that the newest crop of talent would begin to shine. Of course, things tend to work themselves out pretty quickly in Tuscaloosa: Alabama finished first in the recruiting rankings in four of the last five years before signing another #1 class for 2013.

Ty Duffy puts Alabama, Stanford, Oregon, Texas A&M, and Ohio State in his top five; that’s pretty similar to these implied ratings, although Vegas doesn’t appear to be as high on the Cardinal. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that rankings and ratings are meant to answer two different questions: for rankings, it’s worth pointing out that Oregon has to travel to Palo Alto to play Stanford, which might bump Stanford up in your rankings, but not these ratings.

Another team Vegas is pretty high on is Georgia. The Bulldogs return Aaron Murray, the quarterback who finished atop my 2012 passer rankings. Last December, I argued against Georgia on the basis of a (for the SEC) creampuff schedule; this year, it makes sense to assign Georgia a high rating but a low ranking. In addition to division games against Florida and South Carolina, the Bulldogs get LSU from the West and face Clemson out of conference. And then in Atlanta, they’d still need to beat the West champion (presumably Alabama, A&M, or LSU). Georgia may be good, but they have a tough road to get to the BCS title game.

Let me close with a look at all 248 games, sorted from most impressive line to least impressive. What does most impressive mean? Take the top game on the list: Alabama is listed as a 23-point road favorite against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are 4.6 points below average, so that would imply that Alabama is 21.4 points better than average. That’s the top implied game rating of the 248 games listed. Of course, each team’s rating in the table above is simply the average of their implied ratings for each game.

Alabama Mississippi Stateroad-23-4.621.4
Alabama Texas A&Mroad-612.121.1
Alabama Tennesseehome-27-3.520.5
Alabama Colorado Statehome-41-18.119.9
Alabama Virginia Tech neut-172.519.5
Alabama Mississippi home-175.519.5
Alabama Arkansashome-29-6.519.5
Alabama Auburnroad-24-7.519.5
Alabama Kentuckyroad-30-14.318.7
Oregon Coloradoroad-37-21.318.7
Oregon Tennesseehome-25-3.518.5
Oregon Washington Statehome-35.5-14.617.9
Oregon Californiahome-34-13.517.5
Oregon Utahhome-28.5-8.417.1
Oregon UCLAhome-20-0.416.6
Alabama LSUhome-
Oregon Washingtonroad-14-0.516.5
Oregon Arizona road-120.515.5
Oregon Virginiaroad-21-9.414.6
Oregon Oregon State home-161.514.5
Oregon Stanford road-47.414.4
Texas A&MArkansasroad-17-6.513.5
Texas A&MAuburnhome-24-7.513.5
Ohio State Northwestern road-82.213.2
Texas A&MMissouriroad-13-313
Ohio State Penn Statehome-16-0.212.8
Texas A&MMississippi road-45.512.5
Ohio State Wisconsin home-114.312.3
Georgia Clemson road-3.55.712.2
Ohio State Michigan road-63.112.1
Ohio State Illinoisroad-23-1412
Georgia Missourihome-18-312
Texas Oklahoma State home-6.58.411.9
Georgia Vanderbiltroad-10-1.211.8
Texas A&MVanderbilthome-16-1.211.8
Georgia Kentuckyhome-29-14.311.7
Ohio State Indianahome-25-10.511.5
LSUAlabama road11.519.611.1
Georgia LSUhome-68.111.1
Ohio State San Diego Statehome-21.5-7.511
Texas Baylorroad-8-0.110.9
Georgia Florida neut-46.910.9
Georgia Georgia Techroad-9-1.110.9
Texas A&MAlabama home619.610.6
Texas West Virginiaroad-12-4.410.6
Ohio State Californiaroad-21-13.510.5
Georgia Tennesseeroad-11-3.510.5
Texas Mississippi home-85.510.5
Georgia Auburnroad-15-7.510.5
LSUTexas A&Mhome-112.110.1
Texas A&MLSUroad18.110.1
Ohio State Iowahome-23-9.910.1
South Carolina Georgia road41110
Ohio State Purdueroad-17-10.19.9
Oklahoma Kansas State road-42.89.8
Oklahoma State TCUhome-102.89.8
Florida StateNevadahome-26-13.49.6
Texas Texas Techhome-16-3.49.6
Oklahoma State West Virginiaroad-11-4.49.6
Stanford Oregon home416.59.5
South Carolina Central Floridaroad-14-7.59.5
Oklahoma Texas neut09.49.4
Oklahoma State Mississippi Stateneut-14-4.69.4
Texas Kansashome-31.5-19.59
Oklahoma Baylorroad-6-0.18.9
South Carolina Florida home-56.98.9
Georgia South Carolina home-47.98.9
Stanford Arizona State home-101.88.8
Oklahoma State Kansas State home-92.88.8
Texas Kansas State home-92.88.8
Texas TCUroad-32.88.8
Oklahoma TCUhome-92.88.8
Florida StateNorth Carolina Statehome-20-8.28.8
Oklahoma State Iowa Stateroad-14-8.38.7
Oklahoma Iowa Statehome-20-8.38.7
Florida Kentuckyroad-20-14.38.7
Oklahoma West Virginiahome-16-4.48.6
Oklahoma State Oklahoma home-38.68.6
Texas Oklahoma neut08.68.6
Oklahoma Tulsahome-18-6.48.6
South Carolina Arkansasroad-12-6.58.5
Texas BYU road-7.5-2.18.4
Oklahoma Oklahoma State road38.48.4
Stanford Notre Dame home-
Florida StateWake Forestroad-18-12.88.2
Florida StatePittsburghroad-13-7.98.1
LSUGeorgia road6118
Oklahoma State Baylorhome-11-0.17.9
Florida StateFlorida road26.97.9
LSUFlorida home-46.97.9
Florida Miami road-
Stanford Utahroad-13-8.47.6
Oklahoma Texas Techhome-14-3.47.6
Notre Dame Oklahoma home-28.67.6
Florida Arkansashome-17-6.57.5
Stanford Oregon State road-31.57.5
LSUMississippi Stateroad-9-4.67.4
South Carolina Mississippi Statehome-15-4.67.4
South Carolina North Carolina home-12-1.77.3
South Carolina Clemson home-
Florida StateMiami home-82.17.1
Florida LSUroad48.17.1
Mississippi LSUhome-28.17.1
Clemson Virginiaroad-13.5-9.47.1
Florida Georgia neut4117
South Carolina Missouriroad-7-37
Florida StateBoston Collegeroad-17-13.16.9
Stanford Washington Stateroad-18.5-14.66.9
Notre Dame Purdueroad-14-10.16.9
Oklahoma Notre Dame road25.86.8
South Carolina Vanderbilthome-11-1.26.8
Stanford USC road14.86.8
Notre Dame USC home-54.86.8
Clemson Florida Statehome-27.86.8
Florida Florida Statehome-27.86.8
Florida StateSyracusehome-16-6.36.7
Texas Iowa Stateroad-12-8.36.7
Florida StateClemson road25.76.7
Stanford UCLAhome-10-0.46.6
USC Utahhome-18-8.46.6
Stanford Washingtonhome-10-0.56.5
Oklahoma State Kansashome-29-19.56.5
USC Californiaroad-17-13.56.5
LSUMississippi road25.56.5
Clemson South Carolina road4.57.96.4
South Carolina Kentuckyhome-23.5-14.36.2
USC Coloradoroad-24.5-21.36.2
Notre Dame Michigan road03.16.1
Florida Missouriroad-6-36
Oklahoma State Texas road6.59.45.9
Notre Dame BYU home-11-2.15.9
Clemson Boston Collegehome-22-13.15.9
Florida South Carolina road57.95.9
Notre Dame Navyhome-18-9.25.8
Notre Dame Air Forceroad-18-15.25.8
Mississippi Vanderbiltroad-4-1.25.8
Notre Dame Arizona State neut-41.85.8
Clemson North Carolina Stateroad-11-8.25.8
Wisconsin Penn Statehome-9-0.25.8
Mississippi Alabama road1719.65.6
Notre Dame Pittsburghroad-10.5-7.95.6
Stanford Californiahome-22-13.55.5
Florida Tennesseehome-12-3.55.5
USC Boston Collegehome-21.5-13.15.4
USC Stanford home-17.45.4
Michigan Penn Stateroad-2.5-0.25.3
Clemson Wake Foresthome-21-12.85.2
Wisconsin Northwestern home-62.25.2
Mississippi Texas A&Mhome412.15.1
Northwestern Iowaroad-12-9.95.1
Kansas State Kansasroad-21.5-19.55
Notre Dame Stanford road5.57.44.9
Mississippi Mississippi Stateroad-6.5-4.64.9
Clemson Georgia Techhome-9-1.14.9
Wisconsin Arizona State road01.84.8
USC Arizona State road01.84.8
NebraskaMichigan State home-61.74.7
Notre Dame Michigan State home-61.74.7
Clemson Syracuseroad-8-6.34.7
Clemson Georgia home3.5114.5
USC Arizona home-70.54.5
Mississippi Texas road89.44.4
Kansas State TCUhome-
TCUIowa Stateroad-9.5-8.34.2
Notre Dame Templehome-24-174
Louisville South Floridaroad-13-124
USC Notre Dame road55.83.8
Oregon State USC home-24.83.8
Northwestern Syracusehome-13-6.33.7
Michigan Nebraskahome-42.73.7
USC UCLAhome-7-0.43.6
TCUTexas Techroad-4-3.43.6
Michigan Iowaroad-10.5-9.93.6
Virginia Tech Virginiaroad-10-9.43.6
Wisconsin Ohio State road1111.53.5
Oregon State Oregon road1616.53.5
Kansas State Texas road99.43.4
TCUTexas home39.43.4
Wisconsin Minnesotaroad-10-9.63.4
Arizona State Washington Stateroad-15-14.63.4
USC Washington Statehome-21-14.63.4
Michigan Connecticutroad-12-11.73.3
Louisville Cincinnatiroad-3-2.93.1
Michigan State Michigan home-33.13.1
Northwestern Michigan home-33.13.1
Louisville Templeroad-17-173
Miami Virginia Tech home-3.52.53
Arizona State Oregon State home-4.51.53
Wisconsin BYU home-8-2.12.9
Virginia Tech Georgia Techroad-1-1.12.9
Miami Georgia Techhome-7-1.12.9
Michigan State Notre Dame road65.82.8
Michigan Notre Dame home05.82.8
Miami Florida Stateroad87.82.8
NebraskaPenn Stateroad0-0.22.8
Louisville Kentuckyroad-14-14.32.7
Arizona State Coloradohome-27-21.32.7
Virginia Tech Alabama neut1719.62.6
TCUWest Virginiahome-10-4.42.6
TCUOklahoma road98.62.6
Virginia Tech Pittsburghhome-13.5-7.92.6
Miami Virginiahome-15-9.42.6
Michigan Ohio State home611.52.5
Oregon State Californiaroad-13-13.52.5
WashingtonArizona home-50.52.5
Arizona State Arizona home-50.52.5
USC Oregon State road21.52.5
Northwestern Minnesotahome-15-9.62.4
Michigan Minnesotahome-15-9.62.4
Kansas State Oklahoma State road98.42.4
Kansas State Iowa Statehome-13.5-8.32.2
Michigan State Northwestern road32.22.2
Michigan Northwestern road32.22.2
Louisville Memphishome-24-18.92.1
Louisville Houstonhome-17-11.92.1
Michigan State Iowaroad-9-9.92.1
NebraskaMichigan road43.12.1
Miami Pittsburghroad-7-7.92.1
Northwestern Illinoisroad-13-142
Penn StateIllinoishome-19-142
Oregon State San Diego Stateroad-6.5-7.52
Kansas State Baylorhome-5-0.11.9
Louisville Connecticutroad-10.5-11.71.8
Virginia Tech North Carolina home-6.5-1.71.8
Arizona State Notre Dame neut45.81.8
UCLAArizona State home-31.81.8
Arizona State USC home04.81.8
Michigan Michigan State road31.71.7
Northwestern Michigan State home-31.71.7
Arizona Coloradoroad-20-21.31.7
Virginia Tech Miami road3.52.11.6
Kansas State West Virginiahome-9-4.41.6
Kansas State Oklahoma home48.61.6
Oregon State Washingtonhome-5-0.51.5
Arizona State Washingtonhome-5-0.51.5
Arizona Oregon home1216.51.5
Penn StateMinnesotaroad-8-9.61.4
Michigan State Minnesotahome-14-9.61.4
Oregon State Stanford home37.41.4
Miami Florida home2.56.91.4
Oregon State Washington Stateroad-13-14.61.4
Arizona Washington Statehome-19-14.61.4
TCUOklahoma State road108.41.4
Miami North Carolina road0-1.71.3
TCUKansas State road4.52.81.3
Northwestern Wisconsin road64.31.3
Arizona State Wisconsin home04.31.3
Miami South Floridaroad-10-121
Michigan State South Floridahome-16-121
BaylorKansas State road52.80.8
UCLAUSC road74.80.8
Arizona USC road74.80.8
Arizona UCLAhome-4-0.40.6
Oregon State Utahroad-6-8.40.6
Arizona Utahhome-12-8.40.6
Boise StateWashingtonroad2-0.50.5
Northwestern Ohio State home811.50.5
Arizona Californiaroad-11-13.50.5
Louisville Central Floridahome-11-7.50.5
Arizona UNLVroad-17-19.50.5
WashingtonStanford road107.40.4
UCLAStanford road107.40.4
Arizona State Stanford road107.40.4
Penn StatePurduehome-13.5-10.10.4
BaylorOklahoma State road118.40.4
Oregon State Arizona State road4.51.80.3
Boise StateSouthern Mississippihome-21.5-18.30.2
Penn StateSyracuseneut-6.5-6.30.2
Northwestern Californiaroad-10.5-13.50
Boise StateBYU road1-2.1-0.1
VanderbiltSouth Carolina road117.9-0.1
Georgia TechNorth Carolina home-4.5-1.7-0.2
Louisville Rutgershome-10-7.2-0.2
WashingtonArizona State road51.8-0.2
Arizona Arizona State road51.8-0.2
Georgia TechClemson road95.7-0.3
Michigan State Nebraskaroad62.7-0.3
Penn StateNebraskahome02.7-0.3
Arizona State UCLAroad3-0.4-0.4
BaylorWest Virginiahome-7-4.4-0.4
BaylorOklahoma home68.6-0.4
UCLAOregon road2016.5-0.5
WashingtonOregon home1416.5-0.5
UCLAArizona road40.5-0.5
WashingtonOregon State road51.5-0.5
BYU Wisconsin road84.3-0.7
WashingtonBoise Statehome-20.2-0.8
VanderbiltTexas A&Mroad1612.1-0.9
North Carolina Miami home02.1-0.9
Georgia TechGeorgia home911-1
North Carolina Virginia Tech road6.52.5-1
BYU Texas home7.59.4-1.1
North Carolina South Carolina road127.9-1.1
BYU Georgia Techhome-3-1.1-1.1
Penn StateOhio State road1611.5-1.5
Georgia TechVirginia Tech home12.5-1.5
VanderbiltMississippi home45.5-1.5
BaylorTexas home89.4-1.6
Penn StateWisconsin road94.3-1.7
BYU Boise Statehome-10.2-1.8
Georgia TechMiami road72.1-1.9
VanderbiltGeorgia home1011-2
Georgia TechBYU road3-2.1-2.1
TennesseeFlorida road126.9-2.1
MissouriFlorida home66.9-2.1
MissouriSouth Carolina home77.9-2.1
BYU Notre Dame road115.8-2.2
Oregon State Coloradohome-22-21.3-2.3
Penn StateMichigan home2.53.1-2.4
Texas TechOklahoma road148.6-2.4
Arizona Washingtonroad5-0.5-2.5
North Carolina Georgia Techroad4.5-1.1-2.6
North Carolina North Carolina Stateroad-2.5-8.2-2.7
BYU Nevadaroad-7.5-13.4-2.9
BYU Virginiaroad-3.5-9.4-2.9
TennesseeGeorgia home1111-3
West VirginiaKansas State road92.8-3.2
Mississippi StateAuburnroad-1-7.5-3.5
Texas TechTexas road169.4-3.6
WashingtonWashington Statehome-14-14.6-3.6
West VirginiaIowa Statehome-7.5-8.3-3.8
MissouriTexas A&Mhome1312.1-3.9
CincinnatiLouisville home32.1-3.9
BYU Utahhome-7.5-8.4-3.9
Mississippi StateLSUhome98.1-3.9
MissouriGeorgia road1811-4
Mississippi StateMississippi home6.55.5-4
West VirginiaBaylorroad7-0.1-4.1
Mississippi StateSouth Carolina road157.9-4.1
West VirginiaTCUroad102.8-4.2
Texas TechTCUhome42.8-4.2
TennesseeAlabama road2719.6-4.4
West VirginiaMarylandroad-2-9.4-4.4
West VirginiaOklahoma road168.6-4.4
RutgersLouisville road102.1-4.9
SyracuseFlorida Stateroad167.8-5.2
SyracuseClemson home85.7-5.3
TennesseeOregon road2516.5-5.5
Iowa StateTexas home129.4-5.6
West VirginiaTexas home129.4-5.6
Mississippi StateOklahoma State neut148.4-5.6
West VirginiaOklahoma State home118.4-5.6
Central FloridaLouisville road112.1-5.9
AuburnWashington Statehome-11.5-14.6-6.1
ArkansasAlabama road2919.6-6.4
Mississippi StateAlabama home2319.6-6.4
TulsaOklahoma road188.6-6.4
UtahBYU road7.5-2.1-6.6
SyracusePenn Stateneut6.5-0.2-6.7
AuburnGeorgia home1511-7
San Diego StateOhio State road21.511.5-7
ArkansasFlorida road176.9-7.1
ArkansasSouth Carolina home127.9-7.1
North Carolina StateNorth Carolina home2.5-1.7-7.2
AuburnAlabama home2419.6-7.4
VirginiaOregon home2116.5-7.5
UtahOregon State home61.5-7.5
PittsburghNotre Dame home10.55.8-7.7
Iowa StateKansas State road13.52.8-7.7
SyracuseNorthwestern road132.2-7.8
ArkansasTexas A&Mhome1712.1-7.9
PittsburghMiami home72.1-7.9
PittsburghVirginia Tech road13.52.5-8
San Diego StateOregon State home6.51.5-8
PittsburghFlorida Statehome137.8-8.2
North Carolina StateClemson home115.7-8.3
Iowa StateOklahoma road208.6-8.4
IowaOhio State road2311.5-8.5
PurdueOhio State home1711.5-8.5
UtahArizona road120.5-8.5
VirginiaBYU home3.5-2.1-8.6
UtahStanford home137.4-8.6
AuburnMississippi Statehome1-4.6-8.6
Iowa StateOklahoma State home148.4-8.6
MinnesotaWisconsin home104.3-8.7
AuburnTexas A&Mroad2412.1-8.9
Iowa StateWest Virginiaroad7.5-4.4-8.9
Iowa StateIowahome-4-9.9-8.9
MinnesotaMichigan road153.1-8.9
UtahOregon road28.516.5-9
Central FloridaSouth Carolina home147.9-9.1
NavyNotre Dame road185.8-9.2
North Carolina StateFlorida Stateroad207.8-9.2
MinnesotaMichigan State road141.7-9.3
IowaIowa Stateroad4-8.3-9.3
MarylandWest Virginiahome2-4.4-9.4
Iowa StateTCUhome9.52.8-9.7
MinnesotaNorthwestern road152.2-9.8
VirginiaMiami road152.1-9.9
UtahUSC road184.8-10.2
IowaMichigan State home91.7-10.3
IowaMichigan home10.53.1-10.4
IndianaOhio State road2511.5-10.5
VirginiaVirginia Tech home102.5-10.5
PurduePenn Stateroad13.5-0.2-10.7
VirginiaClemson home13.55.7-10.8
South FloridaMiami home102.1-10.9
PurdueNotre Dame home145.8-11.2
MinnesotaPenn Statehome8-0.2-11.2
South FloridaMichigan State road161.7-11.3
CaliforniaNorthwestern home10.52.2-11.3
ConnecticutLouisville home10.52.1-11.4
Washington StateWashingtonroad14-0.5-11.5
CaliforniaStanford road227.4-11.6
HoustonLouisville road172.1-11.9
ConnecticutMichigan home123.1-11.9
Boston CollegeFlorida Statehome177.8-12.2
Wake ForestClemson road215.7-12.3
CaliforniaOhio State home2111.5-12.5
NevadaBYU home7.5-2.1-12.6
KentuckySouth Carolina road23.57.9-12.6
IowaNorthwestern home122.2-12.8
Washington StateUSC road214.8-13.2
Wake ForestFlorida Statehome187.8-13.2
Boston CollegeClemson road225.7-13.3
KentuckyAlabama home3019.6-13.4
CaliforniaArizona home110.5-13.5
Boston CollegeUSC road21.54.8-13.7
IllinoisNorthwestern home132.2-13.8
South FloridaLouisville home132.1-13.9
Washington StateStanford home18.57.4-14.1
IllinoisOhio State home2311.5-14.5
CaliforniaOregon road3416.5-14.5
Washington StateOregon State home131.5-14.5
CaliforniaOregon State home131.5-14.5
KentuckyLouisville home142.1-14.9
KentuckyGeorgia road2911-15
TempleNotre Dame road245.8-15.2
Air ForceNotre Dame home185.8-15.2
CaliforniaUSC home174.8-15.2
NevadaFlorida Stateroad267.8-15.2
Washington StateArizona road190.5-15.5
Washington StateOregon road35.516.5-16
Washington StateAuburnroad11.5-7.5-16
KentuckyFlorida home206.9-16.1
Washington StateArizona State home151.8-16.2
IllinoisPenn Stateroad19-0.2-16.2
ColoradoOregon State road221.5-17.5
KansasOklahoma State road298.4-17.6
Colorado StateColoradoneut-3.5-21.3-17.8
TempleLouisville home172.1-17.9
Southern MississippiBoise Stateroad21.50.2-18.3
Colorado StateAlabama road4119.6-18.4
MemphisLouisville road242.1-18.9
KansasTexas road31.59.4-19.1
UNLVArizona home170.5-19.5
UNLVCentral Michiganhome-4-20.5-19.5
Central MichiganUNLVroad4-19.5-20.5
ColoradoColorado Stateneut3.5-18.1-21.6
KansasKansas State home21.52.8-21.7
ColoradoArizona State road271.8-22.2
ColoradoArizona home200.5-22.5
ColoradoUSC home24.54.8-22.7
ColoradoOregon home3716.5-23.5

It’s pretty clear that Vegas loves the Ducks, even with Chip Kelly now in Philadelphia. Oregon is a 4-point road favorite against Stanford on Thursday night matchup, and favored by at least 12 points in every other game. Even the 4-point spread is probably giving Stanford some extra credit for winning last year and not necessarily a reflection of the two teams (for example, Oregon is a 20-point home favorite against UCLA while Stanford is only a 10-point home favorite against the Bruins). The table above is fully searchable, so you can find the spread for any game you like by typing in any team’s name into the search box.

Chris Berman has already copyrighted Teddy "Bridge over troubled" Water.

Chris Berman has already copyrighted Teddy 'Bridge over troubled' Water.

One other interesting name to look at is Louisville, a team that wasn’t very good last year but still managed to land in (and win) a BCS Bowl. The Cardinals rank as just the 25th best team according to Las Vegas even though some have them in their preseason top five. A big year by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater — in the mix for #1 pick in the 2014 Draft — will only add to the hype. The Cardinals look to be 2013’s version of Boise State, hoping to ride an undefeated season to a BCS berth.

Home games against the Ohio Bobcats, Eastern Kentucky Colonels, and FIU Golden Panthers aren’t even given lines; in Louisville’s other nine games, only a trip to Cincinnati (-3) on December 5th carries a single-digit line. It’s not inconsistent to think Louisville isn’t that good and to think that they will start the season 11-0. Looking at the Kentucky line is particularly revealing: the Wildcats are 14-point home dogs to Louisville, 20-point home dogs to Florida, and 30-point underdogs to Alabama.

  • George

    Really good stuff as usual and an informative read. I think there are numerous teams that you could make arguments for to play for the Championship who probably aren’t necessarily the best teams on paper (which hopefully the playoff idea that will be coming in, in a couple of years should correct to prevent issues of mismatches in bowls like with Oregon and A&M last year who both had good SRS ratings).

    In terms of going undefeated, Alabama having the slightly softer schedule and more talent across the field than A&M or LSU I think you can make an argument for (even if they drop a game, as long as Florida, LSU and A&M also drop a game). In the other divisions, Florida State should have a claim (even with inconsistent play when it comes to it like last year – I think the loss of EJ Manuel as a starter isn’t that big) – their chances hinge on the Florida game and I don’t think they get there. The fact that the majority of their opposition is weak also counts against them (e.g. I don’t think they would have got their last year even going undefeated as the ACC was garbage). Oregon and Ohio State both have solid claims, but I can also see both dropping a game potentially (even with their relatively soft schedules – I see them being favourites by at least 6-7 points in all of their games this year). By the time Oregon plays Stanford assuming full health for both sides and no unexpected losses I see that line being 7.5 (totally agree with the comment above that 4 points is generous). I think Oregon drop a game in the first year without Chip (something like with what happened at Stanford last year), and Ohio State either drop a game through injury to a key position or running into someone like Cal and their new offence. Thinking it through, I’m seeing a mismatch like last year and you’ll possibly end up with something like an SEC team vs Louisville (who really should go undefeated but will probably lose out to a one loss team if that’s possible).

    • Chase Stuart

      Thanks George. Good stuff.

  • This is a topic which is clse to my heart… Cheers!

    Exactly where are your contact details though?