The opening weekend of college football betting was another strong start for the Ferringo 15. Our teams went 8-4 against the spread to get us off to a profitable start.
The Ferringo 15 college football power rankings are my profit/power rankings. They are a ratings list of the 15 teams I feel currently have the most value in college football betting. It is a culmination of past, present, and future projected achievement against the spread.
Like any market, “value” changes based on the general consensus of the betting public. One of the core tenants of value is a team being underrated or under-the-radar. But when a team has too much success then gamblers, handicappers and the general public start to pound their lines, the oddsmakers start to adjust and, voila, the value is gone.
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It’s a fine line to walk. But every year there are several teams that manage exceptional ATS success. For example, Oklahoma State, Houston, Michigan State, Rutgers and Louisiana Tech combined to go 50-17 ATS last year. Even if bettors missed some of the early success these teams were virtual ATM machines throughout the season. Pinpointing those clubs is a key to turning a long-term college football profit.
For the most part we are sticking with our original teams again this week. I don’t want to be reactionary to one game and it makes sense to give these “investments” a few weeks to see if our initial read on them was worth anything.
Here is this week’s Ferringo 15 college football rankings (all records are ATS against the closing line):
1. Illinois (1-0) –The Illini got off to a brilliant start last week with a long touchdown on their first possession. The defense looked in midseason form and they stifled a very good Western Michigan attack. But the news wasn’t all rosy. Junior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase left with an ankle injury and the offense, which had gained 240 yards with him at the trigger, mustered just eight yards after he exited. He is questionable this week for Illinois’ marquee nonconference trip to Arizona State. He has practiced this week, but I don’t expect him to play as effectively. The guys behind Scheelhaase are pretty weak, and his uncertain situation will help freeze the line on this game. But regardless, my feelings on the long-term potential of this team isn’t wavering.
2. Boston College (0-1) –When is a loss a win? When it means that even more people will be sleeping on you in a potential bounce-back season. The Eagles lost a tough one to Miami last week. Boston College actually led 14-0 and got an awesome game from Chase Retting (32-for-51, 441 yards). But turnovers and a Miami goal-line stand kept them out of the win column. I imagine this team will take out its frustrations on Maine this week. But I think there were enough positive things to take away from this game that BC is going to be a tough team this year.
3. Utah (0-1) –The Utes weren’t able to cover the 42.5-point spread last week in their 41-0 win over Northern Colorado. Part of that was due to a slow start (it was 0-0 after a quarter), and part of it was Kyle Whittingham calling off the dogs late. Utah has somewhat of an in-state rivalry game with Utah State this week. Utah has dominated this series, winning nine straight by an average of 29 points per game. However, these two haven’t locked up in the last two seasons, and there is no doubt that USU has greatly improved. This game is on the road and it is in a potentially dangerous look-ahead situation (Utah has The Holy War on deck). Utah better take this week’s game seriously.
4. Army (0-0) –The Black Knights are at a disadvantage this week out in San Diego State since the Aztecs have already been able to get some of the kinks out in their first game. SDSU played Washington tough on the road last week. But they will face a completely opposite style of offense from Army this week. This is Army’s first trip to the West Coast since 1995 and their first game in California since 1983. Army is just 2-5 ATS on the road and 2-6 ATS against the Mountain West. Over 80 percent of the public is backing the Aztecs, so clearly most people don’t share my belief in Army. We will see.
5. Purdue (1-0) –The Boilermakers looked sharp last week in their domination of Eastern Kentucky. But now they are facing a Notre Dame team that played as well as anyone in the nation last week. Purdue has the advantage of catching Notre Dame in a clear letdown spot after their trip to Ireland. However, Notre Dame absolutely dominated Purdue on the road last season, outgaining them 551-276 en route to a 35-3 lead. Has Purdue done enough to close the gap?
6. Texas Tech (1-0) –The Red Raiders won 44-6 last week over lowly Northwestern State. Now they have another game against a cupcake, Texas State, to pad their stats before the conference season starts. But Tech was only a 14-point favorite last week (where the game was lined) and are just an 18-point chalk this week, so they clearly aren’t garnering a lot of love from the oddsmakers. They are on the road this week. And Texas State is coming off a stunning 30-13 upset of Houston as a 34-point underdog, so maybe Tech has a reason to worry. But if they are as good as I think they are the Red Raiders will roll again this Saturday.
7. BYU (1-0) –BYU was clearly not impressed with Mike Leach’s attempt to rebuild Washington State. BYU physically dominated the visiting Cougars, 30-6, and that is now an 8-0 ATS run for the Boys of Brigham. Visiting Weber State lost by 27 at Fresno State last week so I would expect BYU to win by 35 or more. But I look for Bronco Mendenhall to pull his starters early here and make sure that everyone is rested and healthy for next week’s enormous revenge game against rival Utah.
8. Western Michigan (0-1) –The Broncos’ 24-7 loss and non-cover last week was almost a best-case scenario for this team. That drops them to just 3-6 ATS in their last nine games and I’m sure a lot of people are going to overlook them. But WMU actually outgained Illinois in that contest and Alex Carder is the real deal. The Broncos will try to avoid a letdown against Eastern Illinois this week – which is fine since it will likely be a non-lined game – and then they have to come back against another under-the-radar team that I really like this season, Minnesota.
9. Connecticut (1-0) –A lot of wise guys loaded up against Connecticut last week and were beaten down badly. But apparently they weren’t that impressed because a lot of people are going right back against the Huskies this week. North Carolina State looked sloppy and outclassed last Friday against Tennessee in Atlanta, losing 35-21. But the Huskies have been tough over the past several years against teams from the ACC (especially at home) and they are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a losing record. NC State might be a little on tilt after playing so poorly against the Vols last week. And Connecticut is 12-3 ATS as a home underdog. I think the Huskies are going to bury the “sharps” again here.
10. Troy (1-0) –Troy had won five straight in its series with Louisiana-Lafayette prior to last year’s 14-point road loss, and the Trojans haven’t lost two straight to the Cajuns since 1951-52. Adding to the historical context, Troy has won 24 straight home openers while Lafayette has lost 21 straight road openers. This is really a key game for Troy, and other than a brief period last week when they let UAB back into the game they looked sharp in their season starter. Troy is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and looking to bounce back from last year’s 3-9 season. Let’s see if they can build some momentum.
11. Ohio State (1-0) –The Buckeyes defense looked a little suspect and these guys got off to a slow start. But is there any doubt that Urban Meyer is going to get this program to revert back to its powerhouse status? The Buckeyes aren’t completely back. They are going to have some speed bumps because they rely on a young, inexperienced quarterback learning a new system. But Ohio State is still a dominating 56-27-1 ATS in its last 84 games overall and 19-7 ATS at home. Ohio State is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 nonconference games.
12. Central Michigan (0-1) –That is now a 1-12 ATS run for the Chippewas, and my patience with them is going to be very thin. But I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that their feeble showing against SE Missouri State last week was more a product of them looking forward to this game against Michigan State. This is a rare home game against an in-state rival. Central Michigan lost by 38 last year but did manage to pull a stunning 29-27 win in Lansing in 2009.
13. Central Florida (1-0) –Central Florida looked nasty last week in their dismantling of lowly Akron. They have also played very tough in their last three games against top-level talent, losing by just seven at BYU last year, by just one at Southern Miss last season, and beating Georgia in a bowl game at the end of the 2011 season. But heading to The Horseshoe to take on revitalized Ohio State this weekend is a whole other animal. UCF is more settled in its program and schemes than the Buckeyes. But they also have a quarterback making his first road start.
14. West Virginia (1-0) –I said last week that I liked the Mountaineers this season for two reasons: 1) they can score at will and 2) Dana Holgorsen is the type of coach who is comfortable running up the score. West Virginia did both last week against Marshall. It isn’t going to take long for WVU’s spreads to reach astronomical levels, which means we may just have to bite the bullet and play, but I still feel comfortable about this team’s potential. They are off this week.
15. Fresno State (1-0) –This week the Bulldogs head to Eugene to take on the high-flying Ducks. And I feel like the 35-point spread in this game is more a reflection of how the betting public feels about the Ducks after watching them hang 50 points on Arkansas State last week. But Fresno isn’t Arkansas State. The Bulldogs have lost by three, seven and three points in the last three meetings (from 2005-2007). The Bulldogs are just 0-5 ATS in their last five against the Pac-12, but I don’t think that this group is going to be scared of the Ducks.
Honorable Mention: North Carolina State, Ohio, Oregon State, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Florida, East Carolina, Mississippi, Kent State, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Navy
Robert Ferringo is a professional handicapper and has posted back-to-back profitable seasons (college and pro). Robert has turned a profit in three of four football seasons and over the last nine months his clients have earned nearly $10,000 in profit with his football selections. He is looking forward to building on his stellar football handicapping resume again this fall and you can check him out here. Also, you can also get $60 worth of free Robert Ferringo member picks (no salesman, no credit card, no obligation!) by clicking here for more info.