How to Win Your College Football Bowl Pool

You want to win your college football bowl pool. There’s no better way to kick off the New Year than collecting the winner’s money and bragging to your friends.

However, it seems so difficult to win your pool. You don’t have time to study up on Middle Tennessee versus Arkansas State to assign the proper confidence points.

I have a better way for you: The Power Rank 2017 Guide to Bowl Season. It has predictions for the point spread and total points in each game as well as strategy advice for bowl pools.

The predictions combine data from a number of sources such as game results and the markets. In 2017, they have predicted the winner in 74.8% (550-185) of games straight up. This record only contains games between two FBS teams and doesn’t include games against FCS cupcakes.

Won a couple bowl pick’em tourneys this year with help from your predictions. The pools I entered were confidence point based and were also against the spread picks. TCU sealed the deal for me in both pools .. I’m a happy member!

Anthony, 2015 season, current member of The Power Rank.

The cheat sheet also ranks games by win probability for people who need to assign confidence points to the winner of games in their pool. It also gives advice on using contrarian strategies to win larger pools.

To get The Power Rank 2017 Guide to Bowl Season, click here.

From Academia to Football Analytics

Ed_Feng_headshotHi, my name is Ed Feng. I’m the founder of The Power Rank, a company devoted better sports predictions through analytics.

While I’ve been a crazy fan my entire life, I never expected to work in the sports world. After getting my Ph.D. from Stanford in chemical engineering, I was one of many in search of an academic job.

That changed in 2008. I was reading the paper on Google’s PageRank algorithm and realized all of its similarities with my research. This inspired me to develop a new method for ranking teams.

I worked out some NFL rankings and sent an email to my friends. Enough of them were intrigued for me to explore other sports. It became an obsession, and I found a way to quit my day job to devote all my time to The Power Rank.

In March of 2012, SB Nation made a video of my March Madness analytics. In January of 2013, I predicted Alabama would beat Notre Dame on the cover of Sports Illustrated. They called me their analytics expert.

Since then, my numbers and content have appeared in a wide range of media outlets.

Much better than the average sports analytics – maybe even 2 standard deviations better.

— Dr. Daniel Heller, Marin, CA.

How to rank sports teams

I want to tell you about the membership product that gives you access to my best football predictions and team pages.

But first, let’s take a look under the hood at the engine that drives these analytics.

The foundation of my football analytics is the ranking algorithm. I developed this method from my Ph.D. research at Stanford on the physics of molecules and the math of randomness.

Let’s look at how it ranks college football teams on offense and defense based on yards per play, a powerful efficiency metric.

  • It gets the box score of every football game. For college football, this includes over 1400 games on the FBS and FCS level.
  • The algorithm creates a network in which the offense and defense of each team are nodes and games are edges that connect the nodes. This was inspired by Google’s PageRank method, which brought order and insight to the complex world of web search.
  • From this network, the method develops a set of equations to be solved. For college football in 2016, there are 506 equations (two for each of 253 teams) with 506 unknown variables.

The algorithm solves for the 506 variables simultaneously in college football. This is the key to accurately accounting for strength of schedule. Many other ranking systems do not do this.

  • Finally, the variable for each team is transformed into a rating that gives an expected yards per play against an average team.

On every morning after a college or NFL game, my MacBook Air crunches the numbers. The resulting rankings allow me to make predictions for point spreads and totals.

Become a Member of The Power Rank

Members of The Power Rank get the 2017 Guide to Bowl Season, which has spread and total predictions for all 39 bowl games as well as the two additional games required in the ESPN pool. These are how the predictions have performed this season.

  • Straight up, predicting winner of the game: 74.8% (550-185)
  • Against the closing market spread: 50.0% (355-354 with 18 pushes)
  • Against the closing market totals since week 7: 51.3% (270-256 with 6 pushes)

The guide also has games ranked by win probability for those in pools with confidence points.

I first heard about the The Power Rank on one of Gill Alexander’s podcasts. Gill said Ed was one of the few people he trusted that made money in the analytics business besides Rufus Peabody.

I joined in November 2014 for the college basketball predictions, and I’ve done very well combining my own numbers with his.

However, that’s not even the best thing about my membership. Ed releases great member numbers for college football and the NFL. I particularly like the college football totals, which predict line movement more than 90% of time.

For under $100 annually this is the best bargain in the industry in my opinion.

— Member of The Power Rank from Georgia.

Members also have access to my NFL predictions for spreads. These predictions have won against the closing market value at 50.5% (98-96 with 7 pushes) through week 13 of 2017 and 52.3% (134-122 with 11 pushes) in 2016.

Members also get a pdf copy of my book How to win your NCAA tournament pool as well as my full bracket advice in March.

To become a member of The Power Rank for $84 per year and get instant access to the premium content, click on the orange “Add To Cart” button.
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You can also pay with PayPal, JCB and Diner’s Club.

Please take up to 30 days to evaluate your membership. If you’re not satisfied for any reason, I will refund your money.

Get the Guide to Bowl Season

The Power Rank 2017 Guide to Bowl Season is also available as a pdf for $39. To get the pdf, click on “I want this!”

Questions? You can email here.