When I worked for ESPN full time, I put out a weekly article entitled the Vegas Power Ratings. I still have all the sources that I used to produce that article as it featured my plus/minus ratings which closely resemble Vegas’s numbers as well as three different casinos including the fine folks over at the Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook @SuperBookSports. We are now eleven full weeks into the season and I will continue to post these numbers weekly.
This is NOT the AP poll but gives you an idea of how much teams would be favored over another team if they met on a neutral field. I use these to get an idea of lines on upcoming games and it is very accurate in that respect.
Let me give you some clear examples of how these ratings differ from any poll you will see.
Let’s take a look at some teams that beat other teams this year. This is not who has played the toughest schedule, who passes the eye test or who deserves to be rated higher than another team based on play on the field. Two weeks ago Michigan St was ranked #7 and Ohio State is #5 so you figure with those rankings Ohio St would only be a TD favorite in that game. The Vegas Power Ratings had Ohio St rated 15.8 pts higher and I have a home edge in the magazine of 5.5 so Ohio St should have been favored by around 3 TD and they were. By the way for all of the national media that was screaming about Michigan being ranked ahead of Michigan St in the rankings. The committee uses head-to-head when teams are close and determined they were not. The Vegas power ratings would have favored Michigan by 11.2 on a neutral field if they played this week so the committee and the Vegas Power Ratings were absolutely correct and all those people complaining about the head-to-head where Michigan had a 552-395 yard edge and blew a 16 point lead were wrong. Last week Ohio St lost at Michigan 42-27. Interestingly of those two played at a neutral site this week, Ohio St would be favored by 5!. These power ratings are which teams would be favored over other teams and by how much and the folks in Vegas are pretty-smart as they have some pretty impressive casinos out there and it is not from losing money.
Here is this year’s 12th edition of my Vegas Power Ranking for the 2021 season!