The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 21, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 22-26, 2016

After improving a bit last week and losing only $23 of our imaginary bank roll, we have decided to expand our plays to include a couple of underdogs we believe can win outright. Thus, two of our four chosen plays this week will return big payoffs of imaginary cash should they come through with winners.
First, we must take care of official business. Last week, we played five parlays, winning $277 and losing $300. For the year, we have now wagered $1,200 in imaginary money, and have a loss of $442 to date, meaning still no return on our unreal investment. We warned you that Money Line Parlays can be really tough, but we love to play them, especially since it costs us nothing.
Here are our picks for this week. Remember, don’t actually wager on these. This is just for fun, and we would never put a dime of real money on these plays, even if it returned over 40% on investment last year. It’s doing squat so far this year.

1. College Parlay at +450
Army over Buffalo
Tulane over Louisiana-Lafayette
Arkansas over Texas A&M

Arkansas is the underdog in this parlay and the reason it offers a return of 4.5 times the amount invested. The Razorbacks have been slowly developing a balanced offense with an improving defense. Winning at TCU is enough to show us that the Hogs are on the way back to great things. Texas A&M has struggled in their two wins over quality opposition, and we believe the Aggies are due for continued struggles.

Army is off to a great start, and the Black Knights now face a Buffalo team that has already lost to a FCS opponent. This could be the type of game that allows the Cadets to play their plebes. Coach Jeff Monken learned well from his mentor Paul Johnson, and the Army rushing attack looks like it could move the ball on most FBS teams this year. They should light up the scoreboard against Buffalo.

Tulane is also running the option under first year coach Willie Fritz. Fritz does not have all the pieces in place yet in New Orleans, but with his Texas ties, it is only a matter of time until the Green Wave are winning once again. For now, TU has an exceptional defense with a clock-consuming offense that allows that defense to stay fresh and strong enough to hold ULL to 10 points, which is few enough that we see the olive green and blue winning this week.

2. College Parlay at +126
Arizona St. over California
Cincinnati over Miami (O)
Minnesota over Colorado St.
Memphis over Bowling Green

Arizona State had to rally in the fourth quarter to win at UTSA, while Cal pulled off a nice home upset of Texas. With the Golden Bears playing in the heat in Tempe, and with ASU’s players more focused, we believe Todd Graham’s Sun Devils will play their best game of the season to date, while Cal has trouble with the heat and the speed of the ASU receivers.

Cincinnati should beat Miami of Ohio by 3 touchdowns, but even if the in-state rival underdogs play their best possible and the Bearcats stink up the joint, Cinti should win by at least 10.

Minnesota is a team flying under the radar. They win, but they don’t win convincingly and don’t win with flashy play. The offense is better than most think, and the defense is not shabby. This Gophers team is not yet the equivalent of the Sandy Stephens’ teams of the early 1960’s, but it could be as good as any in Minneapolis since Laurence Maroney and Bryan Capito were moving the pigskin.

This year’s Memphis team has not really been challenged yet, and Bowling Green is not the team to bring that challenge. The Tigers should have little problem disposing of the Falcons, as this is a different BGU team without Dino Babers at the controls.

3. NFL Parlay at +373
Indianapolis over San Diego
Oakland over Tennessee
Dallas over Chicago

Oakland is the second underdog we will use in our parlays this week. The Raiders’ starting offensive and defensive lines manhandled the Titans starting offensive and defensive lines in the preseason game. Preseason games don’t reveal a lot, but when you see one front consistently moving the opposing front in the same direction, it is a good bet that they will do so no matter the importance of the game. We believe the Raiders will score more points than the Titans are capable of scoring, and thus we go with the underdog.

Indianapolis faces a must-win scenario at home. Even with a sore Andrew Luck, we believe the Colts will find a way to eke out a small win. If not, then the AFC West is going to be one incredible 4-team race.

Dallas should handle the Bears with relative ease. Without Jay Cutler, Chicago will have to play conservatively and hope they can rattle Dak Prescott. We believe that the nifty rookie will continue to play brilliantly week after week and could be the odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

4. NFL Parlay at +143
Miami over Cleveland
New York Giants over Washington
Carolina over Minnesota

If Cleveland couldn’t win with RGIII and John McCown at quarterback, then how can they win with Cody Kessler, who wasn’t good enough to make the active roster when all the QBs were healthy. Miami is not playoff worthy at this point, but Adam Gase can design a game plan that will make Kessler’s debut a nightmare.

The Giants look like the Giants of old when Eli Manning had multiple quality receivers to throw to, and the defense came up with big stops. Well, Manning has multiple quality receivers again, and the defense is coming up with big stops. NY could be looking at a season where they are playing at home in January.

The Carolina-Minnesota match worried us for hours today. The Vikings will have to go without Adrian Peterson, but their defense looks as strong as it has looked since the days of Eller, Page, and company. Meanwhile, there is unrest in Charlotte, and it could carry over to the team. We decided that in the end, we would go with the home team to capitalize on the weakened running game and thus to slow down Sam Bradford.

September 20, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 3: September 22-26,2016

Quarterback Issues Abound

It is almost inevitable that in today’s philosophy of passing the ball more than running, and with a 16- game schedule, that quarterback injuries would increase from the prior generation of NFL Football.

Certain teams lack pass blockers sufficient to deter the superior pass rushers of today’s game, and all sorts of inventive disguising of pass rush have contributed as much if not more to the troubles.

Just two weeks into the 2016 NFL season, two teams are already on quarterback number three, and others have gone to quarterback number two.

In Cleveland, where the Browns were weak enough before losing Robert Griffin, III and Josh McCown, rookie Cody Kessler will get the start this week at Miami.  Adam Gase’s defense is not the issue in Dolphinland.  Expect Kessler to be running for his life early and often.

New England is down to quarterback number three only due to Tom Brady’d suspension.  If the Pats can sneak through two weeks with Jacoby Brissett, then the king can return.  And, if something should happen to Brissett Thursday night against Houston, we may see wide receiver Julian Edelman move to quarterback.  Edelman has beaten Buffalo and Miami while playing quarterback, but that was when he was at Kent State, and the two teams were the Buffalo Bulls and Miami of Ohio Redhawks.

Jay Cutler’s thumb injury could be reason for John Fox to go with Brian Hoyer.  The Bears, already struggling on offense, may have a difficult time matching the Rams for points in the near future.

Then there is the case of a possible Wally Pipp injury.  When Tony Romo went down in Dallas, rookie Dak Prescott entered and drew comparisons to Roger Staubach.  Staubach once came in as a replacement to Craig Morton.  It took a little shuffling, but Morton soon became a bench-warmer before becoming a New York Giant and Denver Bronco.  Staubach led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl Championships and two others, where Dallas came very close to winning.

And, there is Sam Bradford in Minnesota.  This Vikings team may have to totally change the way it plays now with Adrian Peterson out for a lengthy time and maybe the season.  Bradford showed signs of returning to form in the Sunday night win over Green Bay.  The Vikings have been down this road before.  After the Joe Kapp, Dave Osborn, Bill Brown days of plodding offense, and the two-year babysitting of the job by Gary Cuozzo, Fran Tarkenton came back to Bloomington after a five-year sojourn in the Big Apple, and he teamed up with John Gilliam and Jim Lash, while the Purple People Eaters’ defense continued to dominate, leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl three times in four seasons.  Might this be the year the Vikings make it back?  The NFC looks like a wide-open race this year.

 

Two Weeks Are Not A Trend, But

Through two weeks of the season, the average score of an NFL game comes to less than 42 points per game, or less than 21 points per team.  The Los Angeles Rams have three field goals in two games.  The Seattle Seahawks have three field goals and a touchdown in two games, and that one TD came with 30 seconds remaining at home against Miami.  Is it because the Dolphins and Rams have great defenses that Seattle is averaging just 7.5 points per game?  Are the 49ers and Seahawks so strong defensively that LA averages just 4.5 points per game?

San Francisco gave up close to 50 to Carolina last week.  The problem at the L.A. Coliseum is an archaic offense that Jeff Fisher refuses to alter.  He is a Mike Ditka disciple, but he needs to realize that the 1985 Bears are not coming through the Coliseum locker room doors.  He does not have Eddie George in his backfield, even though Todd Gurley is talented.

Sports metric experts have shown that the key to winning in the NFL is being able to pass the ball and being able to stop the pass.  Running stats are padded by winning teams because they usually run the ball to eat the clock when they lead in the last 20 minutes of games, and the losing team abandons the run to try to catch up.  Fisher is basically the Gene Mauch of football.  Mauch took a lot of excellent baseball teams and guided them to respectable 90-win seasons, while the talent on hand was good enough to win 100 games.

Fisher isn’t alone.  Mike Mularkey and Rex Ryan think you can be the 1985 Bears or even 1963 Bears and win the Super Bowl.  It is true that Denver won last year without a dominating passing game, but they did not have a dominating running game.  They dominated by stopping the pass and by getting just enough passing yards to win.  Even a damaged Peyton Manning was good enough to accumulate necessary passing yards.  The Broncos did not run early and often.  They did not run on first down, run on second down and then pass conservatively on third down.  The metrics actually show that passing on first and second down and on third and less than five is the better percentage play, while running becomes the better option only on third and six to 12 yards.  And, for that matter, going for it on fourth down and less than 4 when outside your own 30 yard line is the  better statistical move (as is going for it on 4th and less than 4 when in field goal range).

Certainly, going against the traditional methods will occasionally cost a team a win, but in rebuttal, going against tradition will allow teams to win games they would have lost by using the old playbook tendencies.  And, the ignorant media will run a coach out of town on a rail for going against tradition and losing while never complimenting the coach that bucks the system and wins.  Hey, they are in the business, because they didn’t do so well in math class.

This Week’s Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
N. Y. Jets 103.9 101.6 105.1 103.5 62 42
New England 101.4 99.3 101.8 100.8 60 41
Buffalo 98.6 99.5 98.7 98.9 59 40
Miami 96.1 96.9 96.1 96.3 58 38
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Cincinnati 106.9 106.3 107.8 107.0 64 43
Pittsburgh 105.9 105.5 107.2 106.2 65 41
Baltimore 98.7 100.9 98.4 99.3 61 38
Cleveland 89.9 90.9 89.3 90.0 57 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 101.8 103.0 102.1 102.3 64 38
Indianapolis 97.1 98.9 96.0 97.3 61 36
Jacksonville 95.1 96.9 94.4 95.5 58 38
Tennessee 93.9 95.9 93.4 94.4 54 40
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 106.4 103.1 106.5 105.3 62 43
Kansas City 101.8 101.5 102.5 101.9 63 39
San Diego 99.9 100.9 99.7 100.2 64 36
Oakland 97.7 98.4 97.6 97.9 63 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Philadelphia 101.0 98.0 100.4 99.8 62 38
N.Y. Giants 99.0 98.3 98.7 98.7 62 37
Washington 97.3 98.1 97.0 97.5 61 37
Dallas 94.6 94.9 94.1 94.5 56 39
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Green Bay 104.4 103.7 104.4 104.2 64 40
Minnesota 102.9 101.9 103.4 102.7 60 43
Detroit 99.2 99.0 98.8 99.0 62 37
Chicago 95.4 93.3 95.1 94.6 56 39
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 109.4 108.2 110.3 109.3 65 44
New Orleans 99.1 101.5 98.4 99.7 64 36
Atlanta 96.9 99.8 96.8 97.8 62 36
Tampa Bay 95.9 96.8 95.1 95.9 59 37
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Arizona 110.0 107.5 110.9 109.5 69 41
Seattle 106.4 103.3 107.1 105.6 63 43
Los Angeles 97.9 99.4 97.4 98.3 56 42
San Francisco 95.6 96.8 95.7 96.0 56 40

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Score
New England Houston 2.6 -0.7 2.7 23-21
Buffalo Arizona -7.9 -4.5 -8.7 20-27
Carolina Minnesota 9.5 9.3 9.9 24-14
Cincinnati Denver 3.5 6.2 4.3 21-16
Green Bay Detroit 7.7 7.2 8.1 28-20
Jacksonville Baltimore -0.6 -1.0 -1.0 20-21
Miami Cleveland 9.2 9.0 9.8 26-17
New York Giants Washington 4.2 2.7 4.5 27-23
Tennessee Oakland -0.8 0.5 -1.2 20-21
Seattle San Francisco 13.8 9.5 14.4 23-10
Tampa Bay Los Angeles 1.5 0.9 1.2 17-16
Indianapolis San Diego 0.2 1.0 -0.7 28-27
Kansas City New York Jets 0.9 2.9 0.4 24-23
Philadelphia Pittsburgh -2.9 -5.5 -4.8 23-27
Dallas Chicago 2.2 4.6 2.0 20-17
New Orleans Atlanta 5.2 4.7 4.6 31-26

 

September 19, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For September 22-24, 2016

What an incredible college football week has just passed!  We told you last week that it could be the best September slate of college football games in years, and it lived up to the hype.

Guess what?  This weekend won’t exactly be chopped liver.  There are some excellent games on tap, and more conference games will be played this week.

First, some information about you guys and dolls.  We asked you to go to our sister site at http://www.piratings.webs.com and tell us who your favorite college and NFL teams happened to be.  We have received dozens of replies so far, and a pattern has developed.

Among the colleges mentioned, a large majority of you are Big Ten fans.  The number one school mentioned so far, and by quite a large margin, is Ohio State.  Number two surprised us, as we expected that an SEC school or six would be among the top ones you fine folks follow.  No SEC team received more than three votes, and that three belongs to Florida.  Number two behind the Buckeyes was their arch-rival Michigan, and in distant third place was the other Big Ten East biggie, Michigan State.

The NFL followed suit with upper Midwest fan support.  In a close race so far, Cleveland, Green Bay, and Chicago rank one-two-three.

It could be that the PiRate Ratings have a lot of upper Midwest support.  There are ties to Ohio State in a minor way, much less than the ties to Wisconsin, but it is there.  However, we expected a lot more SEC support, and it just didn’t come.  Wherefore art thou Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, and Aggie fans?

Okay, now to get down to business.  We will obviously comment on the 3 Big Ten schools first today, and then include other games of interest that you might want to follow this week.

Ohio St.

The Buckeyes get a well-timed week off after picking up the biggest win of the NCAA season against the Sooners in Norman.  Their next two games are home contests against Rutgers and Indiana, so Urban Meyer’s team will be 5-0 when they head up to Camp Randall Stadium on October 15.

The stats are intimidating to any future opponent: 56.7 points per game to 12.3 points allowed per game; 306 yards per game rushing to just 103 allowed per game; a total yards per game average of 545 to 279; the defense has intercepted nine passes in three games; and if that isn’t enough riches, the Buckeyes have the best kicking game in the nation so far with a 50+ yard punt average and a 47+ yard net punt average to go with perfect 100% accuracy on PATs and field goals.

Michigan

The Wolverines spotted improved Colorado a quick two touchdown lead before getting down to business and posting an impressive 17-point win at the Big House.  Penn State comes to Ann Arbor this week, after the Nittany Lions held off a pesky Temple team.  The Maize and Blue defense and special teams have scored or set up more points than they have allowed with interception returns, punt returns, and three blocked kicks so far.  At one time, in 1969, Penn State’s defense and special teams scored or set up more points than the defense allowed for the entire season.  That Penn State team finished undefeated, and if this Michigan team can continue to replicate that great 1969 Penn State team, there is no reason to think the Wolverines cannot run the table–at least head to the Giant Horseshoe at 11-0.  How much would another 11-0 vs. 11-0 matchup cost to purchase a ticket on the street this time?  Prices were highly inflated in 2006, when these two teams were undefeated and ranked 1-2.

As for this week, We don’t think James Franklin’s Nittany Lions will roar much.  They might hold Michigan under 40 points, but can they score more than 17?

 

Michigan St.

The Spartans looked like a different team between game one against Furman and game two against Notre Dame.  Now MSU hosts a Wisconsin team that must have overlooked Georgia State last week, but even overlooking the Panthers, UW should have won by 30.  Sparty’s defense held Notre Dame’s rushing game at bay all night, and a repeat performance against the Badgers will mean a double-digit win.  For the record, we do not believe they will stop the UW rush like they stopped the Notre Dame running game.

Tyler O’Connor looked like a pro prospect at times against the Irish secondary.  His one interception came on a deflection, and if you remove that deflection, he had a night Connor Cook would have been proud of.  Look for MSU to win another tight game by less than a touchdown.  The last three times these schools have played, the margins were all under a TD.

Other Games of Interest

Thursday Night:

Clemson at Georgia Tech

The CU win at Auburn does not look all that impressive after Texas A&M looked better in their win at Jordan-Hare.  The narrow win over Troy could not be erased by the slaughter over the FCS school that was so unprepared to play a Power 5 team, that their kick returner handed the Tigers a touchdown by tossing it to the back judge without downing the ball.  This Clemson team has started to resemble the Florida State team of 2014.  That FSU team was considerably weaker than the 2013 champion, but they still made it to the playoffs.  We are not sure this CU team is playoff worthy, but they have time to right the ship.

Georgia Tech is 3-0 and looks like a defensive juggernaut in the process.  However, a closer look shows their defensive performance has come against three teams that would have trouble scoring in 11 on 0 practice drills.  Tech’s next three games could see a reverse in defensive performance.  Still, the Yellow Jackets are mighty tough to prepare for, and when you take away two days of preparation, it could make this a rather interesting game to watch.

Saturday

Florida at Tennessee

Butch Jones’ legacy in Knoxville is like an almost finished book.  The one major chapter of his mystery novel is the one where you find out who did it.  If Florida did it, ole Butch may not get a chance to write the sequel.

Florida has won 11 straight games in this series.  The average score in this streak has been 29-16, although the last two have both been decided by a single point.  The Gators are going to have to make due with Austin Appleby at quarterback after starter Luke Del Rio injured his knee on a cheap shot tackle by North Texas.  Appleby would become the second former Purdue quarterback to start a game for an SEC team in the last two weeks (Danny Etling @ LSU).  After replacing Del Rio, Appleby completed passes of 11 and 19 yards against the Mean Green in his four attempts.  At Purdue, Appleby had a tendency to force throws where he should not have passed, and his interception rate was  4%, about 45% higher than the QB that sent him packing from West Lafayette.

Josh Dobbs has not been what he was expected to be this year.  It looks like the coaching staff has put a governor on his scrambling and is not calling for Dobbs to keep the ball on many designed running plays.  That might change this week, as the Vols need to pull out all the stops to move the ball against Geoff Collins’ defense.

Tennessee is not without major losses due to injury, and it affects a trio of excellent starting defensive players.  All-American punt returner and very good cornerback Cameron Sutton will be out for several weeks. All-SEC weakside linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin should be able to play, but he will be far from 100%, and the Vols are hurting depthwise here, as middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland and backup hybrid linebacker/safety Quarte Sapp will miss the game.

Expect a low-scoring, hard-fought game that comes down to the final few minutes.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Arlington, TX (Dallas Cowboys Stadium)–The Southwest Classic

What can these two former Southwest Conference rivals do for a second encore after the last two games in Jerryworld went to overtime?  The Aggies won both games, and it would not surprise us again if the game was still to be decided late in the fourth quarter.  Arkansas has not beaten A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC.

Both teams have big wins already this year.  Arkansas won at TCU, while A&M topped UCLA, so they have been tested, and we expect a quality game from both sides.  It was hoped that Austin Allen would be able to approach his graduated brother Brandon’s stats at quarterback, but through three games, little brother has greatly surpassed expectations.  Add to this fact that running back Rawleigh Williams has done an admirable job replacing Alex Collins.  It has been the Razorback defense that has not quite lived up to expectations.

As for the Aggies, Kevin Sumlin has dealth with his critics in recent years since Johnny Manziel left College Station, and most of that criticism has come from subsequently weaker offenses year over year.  We may ask these critics why a 44-31 win is better than a 29-16 win?  This Aggie team can play defense, as most defenses led by legendary guru John Chavis tend to do.  Against Josh Rosen and UCLA, the Aggie defense produced five sacks and three interceptions.  Auburn tried to throw short, and A&M didn’t give up yards after the catch.

Arkansas will try to combine pounding the ball up the gut with vertical passes to Keon Hatcher combined with spreading the field and finding Drew Morgan, tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, and Dominique Reed.

Stanford at UCLA

The must-win games continue to allow Stanford a chance to stay in the playoff hunt.  A win over USC at home was just fine.  A win at UCLA and by a larger margin than the Bruins fell at Texas A&M, gives the Cardinal the much-needed ammunition to fight against the Clemson’s, Louisville’s, and Houston’s.  SU must run the table against a weaker Pac-12 slate, and a win at the Rose Bowl Saturday night pumps up their resume.  A loss, and it’s all up to Washington and Arizona State to carry the Pac-12 banner.

Boise St. at Oregon St.

The Broncos are now in a multi-team battle with South Florida, Houston, Memphis, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Toledo, and San Diego State for the NY6 Bowl Bid.  For that matter, throw in a surprising Army team into this mix and don’t eliminate the other two service academies just yet.

This game is Boise’s best resume builder for the rest of the season, even though the Beavers are at the bottom of the Pac-12.  It is almost required that BSU wins this game by at least 17 points, or they might have to be the last remaining undefeated team in December.

 

Here are this week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings–Predictive
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 131.1 123.6 130.9 128.5
2 Louisville 127.9 121.7 128.1 125.9
3 Ohio St. 122.9 122.2 124.4 123.2
4 LSU 124.0 118.3 123.0 121.8
5 Michigan 121.9 119.8 122.5 121.4
6 Tennessee 121.8 117.1 121.8 120.2
7 Oklahoma 120.0 117.3 119.9 119.1
8 Clemson 122.2 113.9 120.7 118.9
9 Stanford 121.4 114.2 120.3 118.6
10 Washington 121.0 113.2 121.1 118.4
11 Miami 120.1 112.8 120.0 117.6
12 Houston 115.5 113.6 117.7 115.6
13 Oklahoma St. 115.3 116.3 115.1 115.6
14 Florida St. 117.9 110.6 116.8 115.1
15 North Carolina 117.2 110.5 116.9 114.9
16 Virginia Tech 114.5 114.1 114.8 114.5
17 Texas A&M 114.8 113.8 114.8 114.5
18 Pittsburgh 115.9 111.4 115.0 114.1
19 Iowa 115.1 112.0 114.8 114.0
20 Auburn 113.9 112.4 113.8 113.4
21 Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.7 113.3
22 Notre Dame 114.9 111.2 113.6 113.2
23 Florida 112.6 116.3 110.8 113.2
24 Michigan St. 113.5 112.5 111.7 112.6
25 Texas 112.1 113.6 111.2 112.3
26 TCU 111.9 113.5 111.5 112.3
27 USC 114.3 109.9 111.6 111.9
28 Oregon 112.3 111.0 111.5 111.6
29 Arkansas 113.7 108.8 111.0 111.2
30 South Florida 111.6 109.0 112.8 111.1
31 Ole Miss 113.6 107.1 112.4 111.0
32 Georgia 111.0 111.1 110.9 111.0
33 UCLA 111.4 110.4 111.0 110.9
34 Baylor 110.4 110.5 111.5 110.8
35 Nebraska 111.8 108.4 111.9 110.7
36 Wisconsin 111.1 109.0 111.7 110.6
37 Georgia Tech 111.0 107.2 110.4 109.5
38 Boise St. 108.0 109.4 110.3 109.2
39 Colorado 110.1 105.6 110.6 108.8
40 Utah 110.8 105.1 108.7 108.2
41 Kansas St. 107.2 110.2 107.1 108.2
42 BYU 110.3 103.6 109.7 107.9
43 Penn St. 107.2 109.0 105.9 107.4
44 Arizona St. 107.5 108.1 106.3 107.3
45 West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
46 Western Michigan 106.8 104.8 108.6 106.7
47 Washington St. 107.6 104.8 107.5 106.7
48 North Carolina St. 106.9 104.7 106.3 106.0
49 San Diego St. 105.8 102.9 108.2 105.7
50 Minnesota 105.1 103.1 104.8 104.3
51 Central Michigan 103.0 105.7 104.2 104.3
52 Northwestern 106.4 101.2 104.8 104.1
53 Texas Tech 105.5 103.3 103.4 104.1
54 Toledo 104.2 102.8 105.2 104.1
55 Missouri 104.1 103.3 103.9 103.8
56 Indiana 101.8 106.3 101.4 103.2
57 Arizona 104.3 102.0 103.1 103.1
58 Cincinnati 101.9 102.5 102.6 102.4
59 Maryland 101.4 105.0 99.2 101.9
60 Memphis 103.7 99.6 102.0 101.8
61 California 105.0 96.6 102.7 101.4
62 Air Force 100.9 101.3 101.4 101.2
63 Wake Forest 101.8 99.5 100.9 100.8
64 Tulsa 99.7 102.0 100.4 100.7
65 Vanderbilt 102.5 98.3 101.0 100.6
66 South Carolina 100.9 99.9 100.4 100.4
67 Boston College 100.5 99.5 100.0 100.0
68 Temple 99.9 99.6 100.3 100.0
69 Western Kentucky 100.8 96.4 102.0 99.7
70 Syracuse 101.4 97.6 99.2 99.4
71 Virginia 100.4 97.4 99.7 99.2
72 Duke 99.0 99.8 97.3 98.7
73 Navy 98.8 98.7 98.3 98.6
74 Appalachian St. 97.7 96.4 99.8 98.0
75 Army 93.8 102.0 97.1 97.6
76 Connecticut 97.5 95.3 97.7 96.9
77 Rutgers 98.0 95.5 96.4 96.7
78 Purdue 97.6 95.2 96.6 96.5
79 Illinois 97.6 94.3 96.6 96.2
80 East Carolina 95.1 97.2 95.5 95.9
81 Oregon St. 98.4 93.6 95.8 95.9
82 Kentucky 94.9 97.5 93.6 95.3
83 Ohio 91.5 100.1 92.5 94.7
84 Utah St. 93.9 96.7 93.5 94.7
85 Middle Tennessee 94.0 95.3 94.5 94.6
86 Iowa St. 95.0 94.7 93.8 94.5
87 Northern Illinois 93.7 94.9 94.4 94.3
88 Southern Mississippi 93.8 93.7 94.8 94.1
89 New Mexico 92.2 95.2 93.0 93.5
90 Nevada 91.6 95.1 92.8 93.2
91 SMU 92.6 91.8 91.9 92.1
92 Georgia Southern 91.3 91.3 93.6 92.1
93 UNLV 89.8 94.2 89.9 91.3
94 Troy 88.6 93.6 90.5 90.9
95 Louisiana Tech 89.8 92.0 90.9 90.9
96 Marshall 88.7 93.1 90.5 90.8
97 Arkansas St. 88.7 90.7 90.2 89.9
98 San Jose St. 89.8 89.8 90.0 89.9
99 Akron 86.7 93.1 88.1 89.3
100 Bowling Green 89.7 88.5 89.1 89.1
101 Central Florida 88.2 90.6 88.2 89.0
102 Colorado St. 86.0 88.7 86.5 87.1
103 Ball St. 85.9 87.9 86.8 86.9
104 Kansas 85.0 92.5 82.3 86.6
105 Tulane 85.5 88.6 85.7 86.6
106 Old Dominion 85.4 88.3 85.7 86.5
107 Kent St. 84.1 85.8 84.3 84.8
108 Rice 81.8 89.6 81.8 84.4
109 Miami (O) 83.6 84.4 84.7 84.2
110 Wyoming 83.9 83.6 84.1 83.9
111 Georgia St. 81.5 86.6 83.2 83.8
112 Florida Atlantic 81.7 85.1 83.3 83.4
113 UTSA 79.6 87.5 82.1 83.1
114 South Alabama 80.0 87.6 81.4 83.0
115 Florida International 80.2 87.1 80.9 82.7
116 Massachusetts 79.5 87.5 81.0 82.7
117 Eastern Michigan 79.9 85.1 80.8 81.9
118 Fresno St. 80.5 84.6 80.1 81.7
119 Buffalo 77.8 86.6 79.0 81.2
120 UL-Lafayette 75.8 84.4 77.7 79.3
121 Idaho 76.0 81.8 77.3 78.4
122 New Mexico St. 75.4 78.0 76.2 76.5
123 Hawaii 77.1 75.8 76.2 76.4
124 North Texas 74.6 77.0 74.6 75.4
125 UTEP 72.3 76.7 73.8 74.3
126 Charlotte 70.5 77.7 71.6 73.3
127 Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
128 UL-Monroe 70.1 75.2 70.7 72.0

 

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Ohio St.
3 Clemson
4 Houston
5 Michigan
6 Tennessee
7 Stanford
8 Washington
9 Louisville
10 Arkansas
11 Texas A&M
12 Wisconsin
13 Baylor
14 LSU
15 Florida St.
16 Georgia
17 Michigan St.
18 Utah
19 Florida
20 Oklahoma
21 Nebraska
22 Miami (Fla)
23 San Diego St.
24 Ole Miss
25 South Florida
26 Toledo
27 Western Michigan
28 North Carolina
29 Iowa
30 Oregon
31 Boise St.
32 West Virginia
33 TCU
34 Navy
35 UCLA
36 Central Michigan
37 Notre Dame
38 Arizona St.
39 Oklahoma St.
40 Virginia Tech
41 Memphis
42 California
43 USC
44 Georgia Tech
45 Western Kentucky
46 Auburn
47 Pittsburgh
48 Georgia Southern
49 Texas
50 Minnesota
51 Texas Tech
52 Colorado
53 Penn St.
54 BYU
55 Kansas St.
56 Air Force
57 Indiana
58 Washington St.
59 Mississippi St.
60 Maryland
61 Wake Forest
62 North Carolina St.
63 Cincinnati
64 Army
65 South Carolina
66 Arizona
67 Tulsa
68 Akron
69 Missouri
70 Utah St.
71 Appalachian St.
72 Northwestern
73 East Carolina
74 Troy
75 Southern Miss.
76 Temple
77 Marshall
78 Louisiana Tech
79 Nevada
80 Colorado St.
81 Vanderbilt
82 Middle Tennessee
83 Rutgers
84 Connecticut
85 Ohio
86 Duke
87 Bowling Green
88 Ball St.
89 SMU
90 Kentucky
91 Arkansas St.
92 Boston College
93 Syracuse
94 Illinois
95 Texas St.
96 Purdue
97 Oregon St.
98 San Jose St.
99 Wyoming
100 UL-Lafayette
101 Virginia
102 UTEP
103 Idaho
104 South Alabama
105 Northern Illinois
106 Tulane
107 New Mexico
108 Central Florida
109 Fresno St.
110 Iowa St.
111 UNLV
112 Old Dominion
113 Florida Atlantic
114 Rice
115 New Mexico St.
116 Kansas
117 Georgia St.
118 Massachusetts
119 UTSA
120 Eastern Michigan
121 Kent St.
122 Hawaii
123 UL-Monroe
124 Miami (O)
125 Buffalo
126 Florida Int’l.
127 Charlotte
128 North Texas

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 111.6 109.0 112.8 111.1
Cincinnati 101.9 102.5 102.6 102.4
Temple 99.9 99.6 100.3 100.0
Connecticut 97.5 95.3 97.7 96.9
East Carolina 95.1 97.2 95.5 95.9
Central Florida 88.2 90.6 88.2 89.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 115.5 113.6 117.7 115.6
Memphis 103.7 99.6 102.0 101.8
Tulsa 99.7 102.0 100.4 100.7
Navy 98.8 98.7 98.3 98.6
SMU 92.6 91.8 91.9 92.1
Tulane 85.5 88.6 85.7 86.6
         
AAC Averages 99.2 99.1 99.4 99.2
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 127.9 121.7 128.1 125.9
Clemson 122.2 113.9 120.7 118.9
Florida St. 117.9 110.6 116.8 115.1
North Carolina St. 106.9 104.7 106.3 106.0
Wake Forest 101.8 99.5 100.9 100.8
Boston College 100.5 99.5 100.0 100.0
Syracuse 101.4 97.6 99.2 99.4
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 120.1 112.8 120.0 117.6
North Carolina 117.2 110.5 116.9 114.9
Virginia Tech 114.5 114.1 114.8 114.5
Pittsburgh 115.9 111.4 115.0 114.1
Georgia Tech 111.0 107.2 110.4 109.5
Virginia 100.4 97.4 99.7 99.2
Duke 99.0 99.8 97.3 98.7
         
ACC Averages 111.2 107.2 110.4 109.6
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 120.0 117.3 119.9 119.1
Oklahoma St. 115.3 116.3 115.1 115.6
Texas 112.1 113.6 111.2 112.3
TCU 111.9 113.5 111.5 112.3
Baylor 110.4 110.5 111.5 110.8
Kansas St. 107.2 110.2 107.1 108.2
West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
Texas Tech 105.5 103.3 103.4 104.1
Iowa St. 95.0 94.7 93.8 94.5
Kansas 85.0 92.5 82.3 86.6
         
Big 12 Averages 107.0 107.9 106.3 107.0
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 122.9 122.2 124.4 123.2
Michigan 121.9 119.8 122.5 121.4
Michigan St. 113.5 112.5 111.7 112.6
Penn St. 107.2 109.0 105.9 107.4
Indiana 101.8 106.3 101.4 103.2
Maryland 101.4 105.0 99.2 101.9
Rutgers 98.0 95.5 96.4 96.7
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 115.1 112.0 114.8 114.0
Nebraska 111.8 108.4 111.9 110.7
Wisconsin 111.1 109.0 111.7 110.6
Minnesota 105.1 103.1 104.8 104.3
Northwestern 106.4 101.2 104.8 104.1
Purdue 97.6 95.2 96.6 96.5
Illinois 97.6 94.3 96.6 96.2
         
Big Ten Averages 108.0 106.7 107.3 107.3
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 100.8 96.4 102.0 99.7
Middle Tennessee 94.0 95.3 94.5 94.6
Marshall 88.7 93.1 90.5 90.8
Old Dominion 85.4 88.3 85.7 86.5
Florida Atlantic 81.7 85.1 83.3 83.4
Florida International 80.2 87.1 80.9 82.7
Charlotte 70.5 77.7 71.6 73.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Southern Mississippi 93.8 93.7 94.8 94.1
Louisiana Tech 89.8 92.0 90.9 90.9
Rice 81.8 89.6 81.8 84.4
UTSA 79.6 87.5 82.1 83.1
North Texas 74.6 77.0 74.6 75.4
UTEP 72.3 76.7 73.8 74.3
         
CUSA Averages 84.1 87.7 85.1 85.6
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 114.9 111.2 113.6 113.2
BYU 110.3 103.6 109.7 107.9
Army 93.8 102.0 97.1 97.6
Massachusetts 79.5 87.5 81.0 82.7
         
Independents Averages 99.6 101.1 100.4 100.4
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 91.5 100.1 92.5 94.7
Akron 86.7 93.1 88.1 89.3
Bowling Green 89.7 88.5 89.1 89.1
Kent St. 84.1 85.8 84.3 84.8
Miami (O) 83.6 84.4 84.7 84.2
Buffalo 77.8 86.6 79.0 81.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 106.8 104.8 108.6 106.7
Central Michigan 103.0 105.7 104.2 104.3
Toledo 104.2 102.8 105.2 104.1
Northern Illinois 93.7 94.9 94.4 94.3
Ball St. 85.9 87.9 86.8 86.9
Eastern Michigan 79.9 85.1 80.8 81.9
         
MAC Averages 90.6 93.3 91.5 91.8
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 108.0 109.4 110.3 109.2
Air Force 100.9 101.3 101.4 101.2
Utah St. 93.9 96.7 93.5 94.7
New Mexico 92.2 95.2 93.0 93.5
Colorado St. 86.0 88.7 86.5 87.1
Wyoming 83.9 83.6 84.1 83.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 105.8 102.9 108.2 105.7
Nevada 91.6 95.1 92.8 93.2
UNLV 89.8 94.2 89.9 91.3
San Jose St. 89.8 89.8 90.0 89.9
Fresno St. 80.5 84.6 80.1 81.7
Hawaii 77.1 75.8 76.2 76.4
         
MWC Averages 91.6 93.2 92.2 92.3
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 121.4 114.2 120.3 118.6
Washington 121.0 113.2 121.1 118.4
Oregon 112.3 111.0 111.5 111.6
Washington St. 107.6 104.8 107.5 106.7
California 105.0 96.6 102.7 101.4
Oregon St. 98.4 93.6 95.8 95.9
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 114.3 109.9 111.6 111.9
UCLA 111.4 110.4 111.0 110.9
Colorado 110.1 105.6 110.6 108.8
Utah 110.8 105.1 108.7 108.2
Arizona St. 107.5 108.1 106.3 107.3
Arizona 104.3 102.0 103.1 103.1
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.3 106.2 109.2 108.6
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 121.8 117.1 121.8 120.2
Florida 112.6 116.3 110.8 113.2
Georgia 111.0 111.1 110.9 111.0
Missouri 104.1 103.3 103.9 103.8
Vanderbilt 102.5 98.3 101.0 100.6
South Carolina 100.9 99.9 100.4 100.4
Kentucky 94.9 97.5 93.6 95.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 131.1 123.6 130.9 128.5
LSU 124.0 118.3 123.0 121.8
Texas A&M 114.8 113.8 114.8 114.5
Auburn 113.9 112.4 113.8 113.4
Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.7 113.3
Arkansas 113.7 108.8 111.0 111.2
Ole Miss 113.6 107.1 112.4 111.0
         
SEC Averages 112.4 110.0 111.6 111.3
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 97.7 96.4 99.8 98.0
Georgia Southern 91.3 91.3 93.6 92.1
Troy 88.6 93.6 90.5 90.9
Arkansas St. 88.7 90.7 90.2 89.9
Georgia St. 81.5 86.6 83.2 83.8
South Alabama 80.0 87.6 81.4 83.0
UL-Lafayette 75.8 84.4 77.7 79.3
Idaho 76.0 81.8 77.3 78.4
New Mexico St. 75.4 78.0 76.2 76.5
Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
UL-Monroe 70.1 75.2 70.7 72.0
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.5 85.3 83.0 83.3

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.4 110.0 111.6 111.3
2 ACC 111.2 107.2 110.4 109.6
3 Pac-12 110.3 106.2 109.2 108.6
4 Big Ten 108.0 106.7 107.3 107.3
5 Big 12 107.0 107.9 106.3 107.0
6 Independents 99.6 101.1 100.4 100.4
7 AAC 99.2 99.1 99.4 99.2
8 MWC 91.6 93.2 92.2 92.3
9 MAC 90.6 93.3 91.5 91.8
10 CUSA 84.1 87.7 85.1 85.6
11 Sun Belt 81.5 85.3 83.0 83.3

This Week’s Spreads

Thursday, September 22  PiRate Mean  Bias 
Georgia Tech Clemson -8.2 -3.7 -7.3
         
Friday, September 23  PiRate  Mean  Bias 
Eastern Michigan Wyoming -1.0 4.5 -0.3
Utah USC -0.5 -1.8 0.1
         
         
Saturday, September 24  PiRate  Mean  Bias 
Akron Appalachian St. -8.0 -0.3 -8.7
Buffalo Army -14.0 -13.4 -16.1
Cincinnati Miami (O) 20.8 20.6 20.4
Connecticut Syracuse -1.9 -0.3 0.5
Indiana Wake Forest 3.0 9.8 3.5
Kentucky South Carolina -3.0 0.6 -3.8
Michigan Penn St. 17.7 13.8 19.6
Michigan St. Wisconsin 5.4 6.5 3.0
North Carolina Pittsburgh 4.3 2.1 4.9
Purdue Nevada 9.0 3.1 6.8
South Florida Florida St. -3.8 0.9 -1.5
Temple Charlotte 31.9 24.4 31.2
Tennessee Florida 12.2 3.8 14.0
Virginia Central Michigan 0.4 -5.3 -1.5
Virginia Tech East Carolina 22.4 19.9 22.3
West Virginia (N) BYU -0.1 6.0 0.1
Western Michigan Georgia Southern 18.5 16.5 18.0
Iowa St. San Jose St. 8.2 7.9 6.8
Old Dominion UTSA 8.3 3.3 6.1
Rutgers Iowa -14.1 -13.5 -15.4
Alabama Kent St. 50.0 40.8 49.6
Auburn LSU -7.1 -2.9 -6.2
Baylor Oklahoma St. -1.9 -2.8 -0.6
Minnesota Colorado St. 22.1 17.4 21.3
Ole Miss Georgia 5.6 -1.0 4.5
Texas A&M (N) Arkansas 1.1 5.0 3.8
Tulane UL-Lafayette 11.7 6.2 10.0
Memphis Bowling Green 17.0 14.1 15.9
Troy New Mexico St. 16.2 18.6 17.3
Utah St. Air Force -4.0 -1.6 -4.9
Arizona Washington -13.7 -8.2 -15.0
Arizona St. California 5.5 14.5 6.6
Oregon Colorado 5.2 8.4 3.9
Oregon St. Boise St. -6.6 -12.8 -11.5
UCLA Stanford -7.0 -0.8 -6.3
Massachusetts Mississippi St. -32.4 -21.7 -30.2
Notre Dame Duke 18.9 14.4 19.3
Western Kentucky Vanderbilt 1.3 1.1 4.0
Fresno St. Tulsa -16.2 -14.4 -17.3
Florida Atlantic Ball St. -1.2 0.2 -0.5
Rice North Texas 9.7 15.1 9.7
Texas St. Houston -41.9 -38.9 -42.9
Florida Int’l. Central Florida -6.0 -1.5 -5.3
Middle Tennessee Louisiana Tech 6.7 5.8 6.1
Northwestern Nebraska -2.4 -4.2 -4.1
Marshall Louisville -36.4 -26.1 -35.1
SMU TCU -17.3 -19.7 -17.6
UTEP Southern Miss. -18.5 -14.0 -18.0
UNLV Idaho 16.8 15.4 15.6
FBS vs. FCS Week 4  
Home Visitor PiRate
Boston College Wagner 36
Ohio Gardner-Webb 30
Missouri Delaware St. 45
South Alabama Nicholls St. 19
Arkansas St. Central Arkansas 21
Northern Illinois Western Illinois 13
Kansas St. Missouri St. 42

 

 

 

September 14, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 15-19, 2016

Our second week of parlay picks performed little better than the first week.  We chose five parlays at better than even money odds, and we only hit on one of them at +131.  It was the Baltimore over Buffalo and Green Bay over Jacksonville parlay that won.

For the season, we have put $700 in imaginary bankroll up for money line parlay investment, and we have won just $131 while losing $600 for a net of $-469.  Ugh, but at least we still have the same amount of real $$$, since this is just for fun.

Because, it is just for fun, we have another $500 in imaginary dough ready to put on the non-existent line this week.  Once again, as we like to always play parlays with better than even money odds, all five picks will pay back more than the $100 investment if they win.

Before we get to this week’s picks, we have been asked by a handful of you where we get our odds.  This is a  multiple part response.  First, we do not use just one sports book to find our odds.  We shop for the best odds we can get on each parlay, so one parlay might be with one book, while another parlay might be with another one.  All of our fake selections come from easily playable online sports books, plus Las Vegas.  It appears that some of you from Vegas read our parlay selections every week, and we can only imagine how peeved you must be, even though we begged many times for readers here not to use these selections.

As for the actual odds, you can figure these out yourselves with an easy but time-consuming process, but why do this, when you can find parlay calculators online?

For those math geeks like us that must know how to do it, here goes:

Let’s look at a 3-team parlay of favorites at -150, -180, and -200.  First we find the decimal divider for figuring the multiplier.  So, we take each number (150, 180, and 200).  You divide your total payout of winning by the amount risked.  We are always risking $100 on every parlay, so this becomes easier.  at -150, we win 100 for every 150 or 1 for every .667.  The decimal multiplier would then be the reward (.667) + the risk (1), or 1.667

For -180, we win 100 for every 180 invested or one for every .556.  The decimal multiplier would then be (.556 + 1) 1.556

For -200, we win 100 for every 200 invested or one for every .5.  The decimal multiplier would then be (.5 + 1) 1.5

Now, multiply the three decimal multipliers (1.667, 1.556, and 1.5).  The answer to this is 3.89.

Now, we subtract 1 for the risk invested and we get 2.89.  If we wager $100 on this parlay, and it wins, we will be paid $289.

 

Let’s say you are feeling strong about two underdogs winning outright.  The Money Lines are listed at +120 and +150.  This is easier to calculate.  If you play at +120 you are putting up 100 to win 120, and the multiplier decimal is 2.2 (1+1.2).  The +150 multiplier decimal is 2.5 (1+1.5), and when you multiply 2.2 by 2.5, you get 5.5.  Subtract the 1 for the risk, and you get 4.5.  For every $100 you wager on this parlay, you would win $450 if the two underdogs won outright.

Once again, you can find a parlay calculator online that will do this for you.

Here are our parlays for this week

Parlay #1: +142

Rutgers over New Mexico

Texas over California

Nevada over Buffalo

We are playing some angles here.  New Mexico lost to rival New Mexico State and now must go on the road to a so-so Big Ten team that lost at a ranked Washington team and won a cakewalk game last week.

We feel that Texas can play smash mouth football against Cal and wear their weak defense down.  Even though the game is in Berkeley, Texas has more muscle and speed than San Diego State who beat the Golden Bears last week.

Buffalo has to travel over 2,00o miles to Reno after beginning the season with a loss to an FCS opponent.  Nevada fared okay at Notre Dame last week, and the Wolfpack will have a bit of added confidence.  Going up against a slower offense and defense will do for the Nevada what two bats being swung does for a batter in the on-deck circle.

 

Parlay #2 +130

Virginia Tech over Boston College

Western Kentucky over Miami (O)

Oklahoma St. over Pittsburgh

Boston College really struggles to score points.  The Eagles’ defense is really good, but it will be on the field too much in Blacksburg.  The Hokies may be a little hungover this week following the big game, but their defense is almost as good as BC’s, and almost as good facing BC’s offense and playing on home turf is enough for VT to win.

Western Kentucky did a better job against Alabama at Bryant Denny Stadium than USC did against the Tide at AT&T Stadium.  Miami of Ohio is still a couple years of improvement away before the Red Hawks can think there is a chance to go to a bowl.  The Hilltoppers should win this game by at least 17 points.

I would not want to be the Alabama or Ohio State and have to play Oklahoma State in Stillwater this week.  The players are mad as hatters.  The coach is madder.  Add the obvious letdown by the Panthers after beating Penn State at home, and we would not be surprised if OSU wins by 20 or more points.

 

Parlay #3 +147

Utah St. over Arkansas St.

Central Michigan over UNLV

Texas Tech over Louisiana Tech

Alabama over Ole Miss

Arkansas State appears to be weaker than thought in the preseason, when the Sun Belt media gurus thought they would contend with Appy State for the conference crown.  They are 0-2, but it is a sneaky 0-2.  Losses to Auburn and Toledo doesn’t make ASU bad.  Playing at Utah St. gives the Aggies a greater than normal home field advantage.  USU never challenged USC last week, so this is a chance for the Aggies to rebound and bounce back.

Central Michigan must now be considered a contender for the NY6 Bowl bid.  A road win over a top 20 team, even if mistakes were made by the referees, is worth more than Houston’s win at hometown NRG Stadium over Oklahoma.  The Chippewas know they must win every week, and they have a tough conference schedule ahead with Western Michigan, Toledo, and Northern Illinois, plus the must-win game at Virginia next week.  CMU might be looking ahead to the Cavaliers next week, and that worries us a bit, because UNLV is not chopped liver like they have been in recent seasons.  The Rebels could end CMU’s quest for the Fiesta.  Still, we are going with CMU to win, maybe just by not as comfortable a margin as we would hope.

How many points will be scored in Lubbock this week?  How about 90 or more?  Texas Tech and Arizona State played to a basketball score last week, and the Red Raiders return home to face a somewhat weaker opponent.  It might be a nervous Nellie game, but we believe TTU wins 52-38.

Would you like to have a chance to beat Alabama three years in a row when the Tide was undefeated and ranked in the top 5?  Alabama has been ranked #2 and #3 the last two years when Ole Miss defeated the Tide.  The Tide will turn this week, and Alabama will get two years worth of revenge.  Nick Saban and staff has parsed every play of Florida State’e second half against the Rebels, and it would shock us less if ‘Bama wins by 35 or more than Ole Miss winning a third time in a row.

 

Parlay #4 +132

Penn St. over Temple

Marshall over Akron

Stanford over USC

Utah over San Jose St.

Must we say what happens if Temple goes into Happy Valley and tops Penn State after the Nittany Lions lost to Pitt last week?  The seat of James Franklin would become hot enough to make fried rice.  Temple is weaker than last year, but apparently so is Penn State, or at best they are on par with last year.  We believe the game could be ugly, but the big guys have to win, and they will.

Marshall looked fantastic as the Thundering Herd was the only FBS team to debut their season last week.  Akron had a tough week at Wisconsin, and the Badgers’ muscle guys probably left the Zips bumped and bruised.  We believe they won’t feel better after visiting Doc Holliday, as the Herd runs over the Zips.

Stanford had an extra week to prepare for USC, and teams tend to improve the most between game one and game two.  The Cardinal offense should put up about 25-30 points while holding the Trojans under 20.

Utah visits San Jose a little later in the evening than the Stanford game up the road, but you cannot go to both games and see them in full.  You might be able to see half of each one if you speed on down 280 or the Central Expressway.  The Spartans are one of those teams you worry about, but Utah is a solid team that plays well every week–never spectacular, but much like Wisconsin.  We’ll take the Utes.

 

Parlay #5 +120

Detroit Lions over Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots over Miami Dolphin

Carolina over San Francisco

Until Tennessee actually wins a game this year, we will select their opponents most weeks.  The Titans look to us to be even weaker than Cleveland without RG3.  Truth be told, if Josh McCown has anything left in his old legs, Cleveland may be a tad better.  The Titans have great difficulty spreading the field vertically with a bunch of distance horses and no speed horses.  Marcus Mariota is not good enough to make average receivers look like Peyton Manning made Dallas Clark.  The running game would be terrific if the passing game was even average, and the defense does not scare many people.  Matthew Stafford and company should have a fun Sunday.

New England is at home facing Miami.  Jimmy Garappolo wasn’t Tom Brady the Second, but he was at least as good as Matt Cassel 2008.  Miami’s defense may be considerably better than last year’s version, but can their offense keep up with the Patriots’ offense?  We say no way.

Carolina has everything in their favor for the last game in this parlay.  The Panthers played Thursday night, while the 49ers played four days later in a rivalry game that had been waiting for 22 years.  San Francisco must travel from one coast to another across three time zones, and they will face hot and humid conditions on Sunday with a chance of storms.  Unless Cam Newton suffers some ill effects from the illegal hits in the opener, we believe Carolina wins by double digits.

 

***** Warning *****

Remember, do not use these just for fun picks as real investment advice.  We are out nothing for the unsatisfactory results so far.  Don’t be a fool who is soon parted from his/her money.

Past results do not necessarily reflect future success.  Even if we finished 2015 with a 40% ROI, there is no legitimate reason to expect we will ever get on the plus side of 0 this year.

September 13, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 2: September 15-19,2016

Few Surprises In Week One

As NFL seasons go, week one was a rather tame beginning to the new season.  Because nothing is ever certain, there were a couple of eye-openers, but overall when compared to years past, this was a so-so beginning to the year.

The biggest news to come out of Week One was the across the board drop in TV ratings.  According to reports in Forbes Magazine, Thursday night’s Broncos-Panthers game on NBC was off 8%.  The Sunday afternoon games saw a ratings drop of 13%, and the Sunday night game was off 18% in the most important age group of 18-49 year olds.  We won’t pretend to have the answers, but we have heard many opinions about this today including:

  1. Protests of the National Anthem
  2. Americans have given up cable and satellite dish subscriptions in record numbers
  3. The 2016 Presidential Election is more entertaining to follow
  4. Americans are souring on the concussion issue
  5. The game has become a one-dimensional game where all 32 teams play the same way

Or, it could just be that this past weekend was a really nice one to be outside enjoying nature, shopping malls, visiting relatives, or anything else.  Maybe, the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers are contending for the Major League Playoffs in September, and more sports fans in the three largest markets were watching baseball.  The Cubs and Jake Arrieta were on ESPN Sunday night.

We’ll see if the ratings return to normalcy in Week Two.  There are some really interesting contests this week, so let’s take a look at a reason to watch if you can get these games.

Jets at Bills

One of these teams is going to be 0-2, facing a mountain to conquer to get into the playoffs.  The odds for finishing 9-7 or better after an 0-2 start since 2000 is something like 5-7%, and when you consider that the Patriots are going to win double digit games, we are talking about a Wildcard prospect.  The loser of this game can almost count itself out in the 2016 playoff race rather quickly, as both teams must still play New England twice.  If Buffalo loses, the Ryan brothers may wish to try going over Niagara Falls in a barrel made for two.

 

49ers at Panthers

The odds are overwhelmingly stacked against San Francisco this week.  They played a late Monday night game, while Carolina played last Thursday night.  They must travel all the way across the country to face a mad Panthers’ team that felt like they blew their opener on the road.  Carolina is a good touchdown better at home than they are on the road, while San Francisco is young and still learning Chip Kelly’s philosophy on the fly.  If the 49ers can pull off a monumental upset, or even if they continue to play top notch defense and lose a close game, the folks in Phoenix and Seattle will certainly take notice, and the folks in the Bay Area will become fanatical once again.  If Carolina loses, then the South race becomes wide open.

 

Titans at Lions

The way the Lions came back in the closing seconds to top the Colts further reinforces our preseason beliefs that this team is capable of challenging for a playoff spot.  Detroit has the easiest path to a 2-0 record as the Titans continue to bring up the rear in the NFL.  Their archaic offensive playing style does not win in the NFL in the 21st Century, as football metrics show the teams that pass the ball and defend the pass the best are the teams that win big.  Running games may look like the way to go, but in most instances, rushing statistics are inflated by teams running the ball to eat the clock once their passing game and pass defense has secured a winnable lead.  The Titans have issues against the pass as well, while Detroit can put up 300 passing yards against almost any team. Expect a lopsided win for the home team in Motown.

 

Chiefs at Texans

One of these two teams will be 2-0 on Sunday, but 2-0 teams are not as sure of a lock at making the playoffs than 0-2 teams are at not making it.  Still, 2-0 teams make the playoffs more than 60% of the time.  Houston might have closer to an 80% chance of making the playoffs if the Texans win this game and the Colts lose.  They could conceivably start the year with a two-game cushion on the entire division.  Kansas City eeked out an overtime comeback win in week one, and the Chiefs have been a slow-starter in recent years.  Should KC win this game, then watch out AFC fans–if the road to the Super Bowl runs through Arrowhead Stadium, the home field advantage in Kansas City in January is about as strong as the home field advantage at Bryant Denny Stadium in November.

 

Saints at Giants

Sean Payton’s magic may be going the way of former Giants head man Tom Coughlin.  The Saints can still move the ball and score points, but their defense has never been the same since Bountygate.  As long as Eli Manning has Odell Beckham, and now he has Victor Cruz, the Giants can put points on the board with anybody.  Because the Giants also have a halfway decent defense, a win this week makes the NFC East look very winnable.  The Saints need to win to keep even with Carolina and to possibly stay within a game of the surprising Bucs.

 

Bengals at Steelers

This may be the most important rivalry game between these teams since Terry Bradshaw and Ken Anderson faced off against each other back in the 1970’s, and Paul Brown played human chess against Chuck Noll.  Quite frankly, these two teams could be contending for the top won-loss record in the AFC, and the fans of both teams understand how a rivalry should be played.

 

Buccaneers at Cardinals

Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim was fully in his rights to lash out against the poor performance of his team Sunday night, but doing it in such a public manner might prove to be counterproductive in the 21st Century.  This isn’t 1978 when George Steinbrenner’s media monologues could light a fire under his team.  What’s Keim going to do next–fire Bruce Arians?  Who would be his Bob Lemon?  Tampa Bay meanwhile looked like a solid team in an opener against Atlanta.  The game should be interesting even if the extracurricular activities have no effect at all.

 

Seahawks at Rams

Los Angeles is not that inept; last night’s debacle cannot be the norm for the Rams.  Or could it?  We’re talking about a team of nomads with no real home just yet.  They have had to sojourn all over the LA area this summer, and they looked like a team that had been wandering in the desert for 40 years with no help from the Great Master.  Jeff Fisher is not Moses.  Pete Carroll was once treated like Moses in this town, and he will return to play a game in the great coliseum where he led the USC Trojans to victory almost every time in that venue.  This will be the first NFL regular season game in the LA Coliseum since December of 1979.  There’s even been a Dodgers game in this facility since the Rams last played here.

 

Falcons at Raiders

When is the last time Oakland began the year 2-0?  It was 2002, when the Raiders last played in the Super Bowl.  This is a team that is riding sky high after coming from behind to win in New Orleans Sunday afternoon.  Coach Jack Del Rio showed confidence in his team by going for two to either win or lose the game rather than take the almost automatic tie and go to overtime.  When Oakland converted, it boosted the morale and confidence in the Silver and Black.  It was probably worth an extra 3 to 5 points to their team for the near future.  Meanwhile, the Falcons began the season with the same belief, but that enthusiasm and confidence crash and burned after losing to Tampa Bay.  This could be another 0-2 team already looking at 2017 rather than 2016 if Atlanta loses this week.

 

Packers at Vikings

What better way to end Sunday night than to watch the great white north rivalry?  Unless your name is Ole, Lena, or Sven, you may not realize how great a rivalry this is.  Even when one team is down and the other is strong, this game tends to be quite worthwhile to view.  Because both teams currently are rather strong, this becomes the top game of the night, or maybe the co-top game with the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game.  This year, this game takes on more importance, because most likely the Lions will already be 2-0 when the rivals kick off.

 

Here are this week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
N. Y. Jets 103.5 101.1 104.7 103.1 61 42
New England 102.0 99.4 102.5 101.3 61 40
Buffalo 98.9 99.9 99.0 99.3 58 41
Miami 95.9 97.2 95.8 96.3 58 38
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Cincinnati 107.5 106.8 108.4 107.6 65 43
Pittsburgh 105.2 104.9 106.5 105.5 65 41
Baltimore 98.9 101.1 98.6 99.5 62 38
Cleveland 90.7 91.7 90.1 90.8 58 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 101.1 102.6 101.1 101.6 64 38
Indianapolis 97.3 99.4 96.1 97.6 62 36
Jacksonville 97.2 98.9 96.5 97.5 59 39
Tennessee 92.2 94.4 91.6 92.7 54 39
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 105.9 102.3 106.1 104.7 62 43
Kansas City 102.2 101.6 103.2 102.3 63 39
Oakland 98.9 99.5 99.0 99.1 63 36
San Diego 97.8 98.9 97.6 98.1 63 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Washington 98.5 99.3 98.3 98.7 61 38
N.Y. Giants 98.6 97.7 98.3 98.2 62 36
Philadelphia 99.4 96.3 98.7 98.1 61 37
Dallas 93.1 93.4 92.5 93.0 54 39
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Green Bay 104.7 104.0 104.7 104.5 65 40
Minnesota 102.6 101.6 103.1 102.4 60 42
Detroit 100.9 100.5 100.6 100.7 64 37
Chicago 97.0 95.0 96.8 96.3 56 40
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 109.2 107.9 110.2 109.1 65 44
New Orleans 99.2 101.8 98.5 99.8 64 36
Tampa Bay 97.5 98.7 96.6 97.6 60 38
Atlanta 95.4 98.4 95.1 96.3 61 35
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Arizona 108.4 105.6 109.4 107.8 68 40
Seattle 108.1 104.7 109.1 107.3 64 43
Los Angeles 96.5 98.3 95.7 96.9 56 41
San Francisco 95.8 97.1 95.8 96.2 56 40

Here are this week’s spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Score
Buffalo New York Jets -2.6 0.8 -3.7 17-19
Carolina San Francisco 17.4 14.8 18.4 27-10
Cleveland Baltimore -5.7 -6.9 -6.0 21-27
Detroit Tennessee 11.7 9.1 12.0 28-17
Houston Kansas City 1.9 4.0 0.9 27-24
New England Miami 9.1 5.2 9.7 24-16
New York Giants New Orleans 2.4 -1.1 2.8 28-27
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 0.2 0.6 0.6 24-23
Washington Dallas 8.4 8.9 8.8 23-14
Arizona Tampa Bay 13.9 9.9 15.8 33-20
Los Angeles Seattle -8.1 -2.9 -9.9 13-20
Denver Indianapolis 11.6 5.9 13.0 27-17
Oakland Atlanta 6.5 4.1 6.9 30-24
San Diego Jacksonville 3.6 3.0 4.1 27-24
Minnesota Green Bay -0.1 -0.4 0.4 22-23
Chicago Philadelphia 0.1 1.2 0.6 21-20

 

 

 

 

September 12, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For September 15-17, 2016

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:03 pm

The Best Schedule in a September Saturday in Years

This will be a week for college football fanatics to arrange their schedules to be glued to your viewing devices.  Forget mowing that lawn; the groceries can be shopped for Friday after work.  Tell your spouses that their honey-do list for this Saturday must be postponed, and let them know that the buckaroos at the PiRate Ratings have ordered you to do research this week.

This week’s schedule of games might even be better on the whole than rivalry weeks at the end of the season.  Let’s look at some of the great offerings, and by great, we don’t necessarily mean top 10 teams facing off against each other.  There are even great games among the bottom 30 teams.

Actually, the festivities commence Thursday night, when Houston visits Cincinnati.  This is somewhat of a trap game for the Cougars.  It is their first road game, and it comes against a solid but not spectacular conference foe.  Cincinnati began the season with a lackluster victory over a cream puff, and then won at Purdue last week.  The Bearcats are just talented enough to play their best game of the season and upset Houston.  It should be a great game with a good deal of scoring.

 

On Friday night, in what looks like a possible blowout, Rice hosts Baylor.  At one time, when both teams were Southwest Conference members, this was a huge rivalry game, not unlike Texas and Arkansas.  Baylor has won the last seven times these teams have faced off, with the last Owl win coming in the old SWC days in 1992.  Baylor put up 70 points on Rice last year in Waco, and even thought the Bears are several touchdowns stronger, this game might be interesting for awhile.

 

Now to Saturday, when the fun continues in bunches.

12 Noon Eastern Time

ABC: Florida State at Louisville

Don’t be surprised if the home team Cardinals pull the upset here.  Coach Bobby Petrino has built an offense at UL that could end the season averaging north of 50 points per game.  The defense is not Top 5 tough like other teams, but we are not sure that Florida State’s defense is ready to win it a championship either.  In a shootout, the better gunman usually wins, and Louisville has the better sharpshooter.  This one could be a 45-41 affair, and it is a 50-50 game in our opinion.  The PiRate Ratings are 100% in agreement with the winner.  See below.

Big Ten Network: Temple at Penn State

Coach James Franklin has felt that seat start to warm up in not so Happy Valley.  Losing to rival Pitt is not great, but losing for a second season to Temple could add some gas to that flame under the seat.  Temple imploded against Army, and then the Owls could not stop the option.  They righted the ship last week, and Penn State better play mistake-free ball and not give TU any gift points.

12:30 PM

ACC Network: Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech

Why is this game so important?  Both teams need this game to stay in the bowl chase this early in the season.  Georgia Tech pulled out a last-second win against Boston College in Dublin, Ireland, in week one.  The Yellow Jackets looked much better this past weekend, but they only played FCS Mercer.  This week, they face a coach that earned his job by stopping the read option, and Coach Derek Mason of Vanderbilt probably knows how to stop the spread option like his Stanford defenses did against Marcus Mariota’s Oregon offense.

The problem is that Vanderbilt’s offense is as weak as Boston College’s offense, and the Commodores may have trouble reaching 14 points in this game.  A 17-14 game would not be a shocker, although we believe that both teams will improve on the attack side after two so-so performances.  We believe the game could be won by less than a touchdown, with Tech having a 60% chance and Vanderbilt a 40% chance of winning.

3:30 PM

Big  Ten Network: Colorado at Michigan

Could it be that Coach Mike MacIntyre has turned the Buffalo program around?  After blowing out rival Colorado State at Invesco Field in week one, CU toyed with Idaho State in week two.  Sure, these are not quality opponents, but in recent years, CU might have gone 1-1 against these teams.

Playing at the Big House against a tough group of Wolverines is probably too much for the Buffs to take on, but it could be a very interesting game if CU does not turn the ball over.

 

WatchESPN App: South Florida at Syracuse

This will be an interesting contest with a team in Syracuse that might throw 50-60 passes and run off 100 scrimmage plays in a game before the season ends, and a South Florida team that plays the Stanford-Michigan smashmouth offense.  USF might be the one team that can derail Houston if the two meet in the AAC Championship Game, and the Bulls just might be a dark horse contender for the New Year’s 6 Bowl.  However, Coach Dino Babers has the ‘Cuse playing well above their level of 2015, and The Orangemen could just as easily end USF’s hopes for playing on January 2.

 

ABC: Oregon at Nebraska

Call this game a playoff eliminator.  The loser can win out and still miss the playoffs, while the winner stays alive with the hope that a 13-0 season will get them to Atlanta or Glendale, AZ.  Coach Mike Riley certainly knows Oregon well, having coached at Oregon State so long, but then Mark Helfrich knows a lot about what Riley’s teams do.  So, it should come down to which team executes its game plan better.  The Huskers can be an extra touchdown better in Lincoln than on a neutral field, and Oregon has not been a giant killer on the road in recent years.

 

CBS Sports Network: San Diego State at Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois is off to its worst start in years at 0-2, while SDSU is 2-0.  Why would we call this a game worth watching?  First, NIU’s first two games were road games, and the Huskies have a 31-2 home record in the last six years.  They won’t bend or break at Huskie Stadium.

Rocky Long may have the best team he’s ever coached in his career this season.  San Diego State has a decent chance of running the table in the regular season for the first time since 1969, when Dennis Shaw ran the Air Coryell offense to perfection.  The Aztecs have a couple of roadblock road games with trips to Dekalb this week and then to South Alabama in two weeks.  If they can get through these games unscathed, then you can add another prime contender with Houston, South Florida, Boise State, and maybe another MAC team for the NY6 Bowl bid.

 

CBS: Alabama at Ole Miss

Ole Miss is the one team that doesn’t back down to the Crimson Tide.  The Rebels have beaten ‘Bama in back-to-back years.  When has a team beaten Alabama three years in a row, when the Tide was not going through a rough patch where they did not stay in the Top 10?  It’s never been done when Alabama finished in the Top 10 all three seasons.  The closest was the 1967-68-69 seasons when Tennessee beat the Tide, but in 1969, Alabama had declined and would finish 6-5.

Ole Miss blew an excellent opportunity to make this a game between two Top 10 teams, when turnovers cost them a big lead against Florida State.  We believe the Rebels can play a mistake-free game this week and still lose by up to three touchdowns.  If a rebuilding reloading Tide team can go into Oxford and win big, we could be looking at another dynasty in Tuscaloosa like the Crimson fans saw in the early 1960’s and most of the 1970’s.

7:00 PM

ESPN: Texas A&M at Auburn

This one can be called the hot seat avoidance game.  The losing coach is going to begin to be in a bit of trouble.  How do we rate Auburn’s close loss to Clemson at Jordan-Hare Stadium, after Troy went to CU and lost by the same amount of points?  Auburn handled Arkansas State with ease, but ASU lost at home to Toledo in week one.  This becomes a put up or shut up game for War Eagle Nation.

Texas A&M has a quality win over UCLA, plus a no extra knowledge learned win over a very weak Prairie View team.  This is the Aggies’ first road game, and it comes in a tough place to win, but they won by a field goal the last time they came here.  We expect a hard-fought, close game.

 

ESPN2: Mississippi State at LSU

The loser will be 0-1 in the SEC and 1-2 overall, and they can look forward to hoping for an Outback Bowl bid at the max.  If the winner has maroon jerseys, then there will be less smiles in the LSU coaching office come Sunday Morning.  Les Miles is on the hottest of hot seats at the present time, and a home loss to a team that lost to South Alabama might be enough to make his dismissal inevitable.

Then, there is the health of star back Leonard Fournette, who missed the Jacksonville State game Saturday night.  Fournette is expected back in practice tomorrow, but he still suffers from the effects of the ankle injury.  And, there is the little matter of who will start at quarterback for the Tigers.  Former Purdue starter Danny Etling started 6 of 8 for 100 yards after replacing ineffective Brandon Harris in the second quarter.  However, he was 0 of 6 in the second half.

 

ESPN3: Navy at Tulane

How in the world could we select this game as one that could be a must watch affair?  Okay, first we did say this was a week for football fanatics, so give us a tad bit of slack here.  This actually should be a very interesting and fun game to watch, so consider giving it a few minutes time early in the evening.

Tulane’s first-year coach Willie Fritz came from Georgia Southern.  This Green Wave squad was not expected to do much in year one, as Fritz began the process of turning a former Pro-style offense into his unique form of multiple option offense, similar but different from the Navy/Georgia Tech style of spread option or inverted wishbone.  In week one, TU went to Wake Forest and held their own in a defensive struggle.  The Green Wave almost pulled off the upset, and after Wake knocked off Duke last week, this loss in Winston-Salem looks better than it did on opening night.  TU then handled Southern with ease, this time doing it with a breakout true freshman quarterback in Johnathan Brantley, who ran the option like a seasoned veteran.

Besides having two option teams going at each other, this is an American Athletic Conference game and an intra-division one to boot.  It should be a fun retro match that resembles the Oklahoma-Texas games of the early 1970s.

 

7:30 PM

NBC: Michigan State at Notre Dame

Neither team has looked as good as expected to this point, although Michigan State has only played one game, and the Spartans have had an extra week to prepare.  You know the old adage, that a team improves the most between its first and second game, and having two weeks to improve should make Sparty a live road ‘dog.

If you are around 60 years of age or older, you know how great this rivalry has been.  You saw the 1966 game that ended in a 10-10 tie, where both teams finished the season at 9-0-1.  Expect the score to pass 20 total points sometime in the second quarter.

Fox Sports: Ohio State at Oklahoma

Now this is how top teams should schedule!  If there were automatic NCAA Playoff bids to each of the Power 5 Conference Champions with three at-large bids to be awarded, then you would see more games like this instead of Big U vs. Northwest Southeastern Tech.

An Oklahoma loss means the Sooners can only expect a Sugar Bowl bid if they win the Big 12 Conference.  An Ohio State win in Norman could be enough to move the Buckeyes up to Number One in the nation, even if Alabama wins at Ole Miss.  Ohio State has started its first two games slowly, and a repeat at Memorial Stadium could be impossible to rally to victory if they get down by double-digits.

The key in this one is how much Oklahoma’s pass defense has improved since week one.  If J. T. Barrett can exploit the OU secondary for a deep pass for a touchdown, the Buckeyes’ running game might be able to get untracked and put up 250 yards on the Sooners.

We expect a game with more than 70 points scored, and wouldn’t this be an excellent night for a handful of overtimes?

8:00 PM

ABC: USC at Stanford

USC faces two separate extra troubles this week.  First, the home Cardinal had an extra week to prepare after besting a decent Kansas State team in week one.  Second, Stanford knows what Alabama did to the Trojans on a neutral field.  They know that to be given serious credibility, they cannot beat USC by a field goal or touchdown and get it.  They have to win this one by double digits to get any respect.

USC is not chopped liver.  The Trojans have played in the Rose Bowl in a season in which the national champ embarrassed them.  Look back at 1966, when USC lost to Notre Dame 51-0, yet made it to the Rose Bowl.

If truth be told, the Trojans are not 46 points weaker than Alabama.  If they played again, they might only lose by 24-28 points.  Stanford better be on guard, because the Trojans seek the same respect that Stanford believes they must earn.  Expect a good game on the Farm Saturday night.

10:30 PM

ESPN: Texas at California

This one is all about the Longhorns venturing out of the Lone Star State.  Cal is rebuilding and will be lucky to win five games this year, while Texas is trying to return to greatness.  The Longhorns have holes in their defense, and Cal has an offense capable of scoring a lot of points.  The key is how well the Texas offense will fare on foreign soil, even against a very porous defense.  If you wake up Sunday morning and see that Coach Charlie Strong’s team hung half a hundred on the Bears, then UT could easily be 4-0 when the Red River Shootout takes place in Dallas.  A win there, and it would be quite possible to see a path to 12-0 for the ‘Horns.

 

Here are this week’s PiRate Ratings

 

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 131.9 124.3 131.9 129.4
2 Tennessee 124.8 120.1 124.8 123.2
3 LSU 124.6 118.7 123.7 122.3
4 Oklahoma 122.7 119.5 122.5 121.6
5 Louisville 123.4 117.2 123.6 121.4
6 Michigan 121.6 119.7 122.2 121.2
7 Ohio St. 120.1 119.9 121.7 120.6
8 Florida St. 122.9 115.6 121.8 120.1
9 Clemson 121.9 113.6 120.4 118.6
10 Washington 121.1 113.3 121.2 118.5
11 Stanford 120.5 113.1 119.4 117.7
12 Oklahoma St. 114.9 116.4 114.7 115.3
13 Auburn 115.7 113.9 115.8 115.1
14 North Carolina 117.1 110.4 116.8 114.8
15 Iowa 115.9 112.8 115.6 114.8
16 Notre Dame 116.4 112.4 115.3 114.7
17 Texas 113.7 116.7 113.7 114.7
18 Miami 117.5 109.5 116.8 114.6
19 Pittsburgh 116.3 111.3 115.4 114.3
20 Houston 113.9 111.8 115.9 113.9
21 Florida 112.9 116.6 111.1 113.5
22 Wisconsin 113.9 111.5 114.7 113.4
23 Mississippi St. 114.1 111.6 113.3 113.0
24 USC 115.2 111.0 112.5 112.9
25 TCU 111.7 113.6 111.5 112.3
26 Oregon 112.8 111.7 111.8 112.1
27 Texas A&M 112.4 111.7 112.2 112.1
28 Georgia 111.3 111.4 111.2 111.3
29 Michigan St. 111.9 111.2 109.9 111.0
30 Virginia Tech 111.0 110.6 111.3 111.0
31 Arkansas 113.1 108.2 110.4 110.6
32 UCLA 110.9 110.5 110.4 110.6
33 Baylor 110.3 110.0 111.4 110.6
34 Ole Miss 113.1 106.7 111.7 110.5
35 Nebraska 111.5 107.9 111.8 110.4
36 South Florida 110.1 107.6 111.5 109.7
37 Arizona St. 109.3 109.6 108.3 109.1
38 Boise St. 107.7 109.1 110.0 108.9
39 Colorado 110.3 105.6 110.8 108.9
40 BYU 110.8 103.5 110.3 108.2
41 Utah 111.0 104.9 108.6 108.2
42 Penn St. 107.6 109.5 106.0 107.7
43 Georgia Tech 108.2 104.5 107.6 106.8
44 West Virginia 107.0 106.4 106.6 106.7
45 North Carolina St. 106.7 104.2 106.0 105.6
46 Washington St. 106.5 103.4 106.3 105.4
47 San Diego St. 105.2 101.9 107.6 104.9
48 Kansas St. 103.9 107.2 103.5 104.9
49 Texas Tech 105.8 103.4 103.6 104.3
50 Western Michigan 104.2 102.4 106.1 104.2
51 Minnesota 104.9 102.9 104.6 104.1
52 Vanderbilt 105.8 101.5 104.3 103.9
53 Northwestern 106.2 100.7 104.6 103.8
54 Boston College 104.3 103.3 103.8 103.8
55 Cincinnati 103.1 103.9 104.0 103.7
56 Central Michigan 102.2 105.0 103.4 103.5
57 Missouri 103.8 103.0 103.6 103.5
58 Arizona 104.6 102.2 103.6 103.5
59 Indiana 101.6 106.1 101.2 103.0
60 Maryland 102.4 106.0 100.2 102.9
61 Toledo 103.0 101.4 103.9 102.8
62 Air Force 100.6 101.0 101.1 100.9
63 Syracuse 102.9 99.0 100.5 100.8
64 Wake Forest 101.7 99.4 100.8 100.7
65 South Carolina 101.1 100.0 100.6 100.6
66 Tulsa 99.5 101.8 100.2 100.5
67 Appalachian St. 99.8 99.2 102.5 100.5
68 Western Kentucky 101.4 96.6 102.8 100.3
69 Memphis 102.3 97.4 100.4 100.1
70 Temple 99.5 99.1 100.2 99.6
71 Virginia 100.7 97.6 100.0 99.4
72 California 103.8 93.9 100.6 99.4
73 Duke 99.2 100.3 97.5 99.0
74 Navy 99.0 98.7 98.5 98.8
75 Illinois 99.8 96.3 98.7 98.3
76 Rutgers 98.2 95.2 96.3 96.6
77 Connecticut 97.2 95.1 97.4 96.6
78 Purdue 97.6 95.2 96.6 96.5
79 Oregon St. 98.3 93.5 95.7 95.8
80 East Carolina 94.9 97.1 95.3 95.8
81 Kentucky 95.4 97.7 93.7 95.6
82 Southern Mississippi 95.2 94.5 96.2 95.3
83 Marshall 93.2 97.6 95.0 95.3
84 Northern Illinois 94.0 95.6 94.7 94.8
85 Georgia Southern 93.8 93.5 96.3 94.6
86 Iowa St. 95.2 94.6 93.8 94.5
87 Utah St. 93.3 96.3 92.6 94.1
88 New Mexico 92.0 95.5 93.1 93.6
89 Middle Tennessee 92.2 94.1 92.5 92.9
90 Army 88.7 96.9 92.0 92.5
91 Nevada 91.1 94.1 92.1 92.5
92 Ohio 89.2 97.8 90.2 92.4
93 SMU 92.5 91.7 91.8 92.0
94 UNLV 90.5 94.8 90.6 92.0
95 Bowling Green 92.0 90.2 91.6 91.3
96 Arkansas St. 89.6 91.4 91.4 90.8
97 Louisiana Tech 89.5 91.9 90.7 90.7
98 San Jose St. 89.6 90.0 90.1 89.9
99 Troy 86.9 92.5 88.8 89.4
100 Kansas 86.4 94.7 83.9 88.4
101 Central Florida 87.2 89.6 87.2 88.0
102 Old Dominion 85.6 88.8 86.0 86.8
103 Colorado St. 85.7 88.4 86.2 86.8
104 Florida Atlantic 85.0 88.1 86.9 86.7
105 Tulane 85.3 88.6 85.5 86.5
106 Ball St. 85.5 87.5 86.4 86.5
107 Akron 83.2 89.6 84.6 85.8
108 Rice 81.9 90.1 81.9 84.6
109 Kent St. 83.9 85.6 84.1 84.6
110 Wyoming 83.7 83.4 83.9 83.7
111 Miami (O) 83.0 84.2 83.9 83.7
112 South Alabama 80.5 87.9 81.9 83.4
113 Florida International 80.6 87.4 81.4 83.1
114 Fresno St. 81.6 85.9 81.3 82.9
115 Massachusetts 79.1 87.2 80.5 82.3
116 Buffalo 78.3 87.6 79.7 81.9
117 UTSA 78.3 86.5 80.6 81.8
118 Georgia St. 78.7 84.1 80.2 81.0
119 Eastern Michigan 78.2 83.4 79.1 80.2
120 Idaho 77.6 83.7 79.0 80.1
121 UL-Lafayette 75.3 84.1 77.2 78.9
122 UTEP 76.3 80.7 77.8 78.3
123 New Mexico St. 74.9 77.8 76.1 76.3
124 Hawaii 76.8 75.6 75.7 76.0
125 North Texas 74.8 77.2 74.8 75.6
126 Charlotte 72.2 79.4 73.3 75.0
127 Texas St. 72.1 73.2 73.3 72.9
128 UL-Monroe 67.6 73.0 68.0 69.5

Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 110.1 107.6 111.5 109.7
Cincinnati 103.1 103.9 104.0 103.7
Temple 99.5 99.1 100.2 99.6
Connecticut 97.2 95.1 97.4 96.6
East Carolina 94.9 97.1 95.3 95.8
Central Florida 87.2 89.6 87.2 88.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 113.9 111.8 115.9 113.9
Tulsa 99.5 101.8 100.2 100.5
Memphis 102.3 97.4 100.4 100.1
Navy 99.0 98.7 98.5 98.8
SMU 92.5 91.7 91.8 92.0
Tulane 85.3 88.6 85.5 86.5
         
AAC Averages 98.7 98.6 99.0 98.8
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 123.4 117.2 123.6 121.4
Florida St. 122.9 115.6 121.8 120.1
Clemson 121.9 113.6 120.4 118.6
North Carolina St. 106.7 104.2 106.0 105.6
Boston College 104.3 103.3 103.8 103.8
Syracuse 102.9 99.0 100.5 100.8
Wake Forest 101.7 99.4 100.8 100.7
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
North Carolina 117.1 110.4 116.8 114.8
Miami 117.5 109.5 116.8 114.6
Pittsburgh 116.3 111.3 115.4 114.3
Virginia Tech 111.0 110.6 111.3 111.0
Georgia Tech 108.2 104.5 107.6 106.8
Virginia 100.7 97.6 100.0 99.4
Duke 99.2 100.3 97.5 99.0
         
ACC Averages 111.0 106.9 110.2 109.4
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 122.7 119.5 122.5 121.6
Oklahoma St. 114.9 116.4 114.7 115.3
Texas 113.7 116.7 113.7 114.7
TCU 111.7 113.6 111.5 112.3
Baylor 110.3 110.0 111.4 110.6
West Virginia 107.0 106.4 106.6 106.7
Kansas St. 103.9 107.2 103.5 104.9
Texas Tech 105.8 103.4 103.6 104.3
Iowa St. 95.2 94.6 93.8 94.5
Kansas 86.4 94.7 83.9 88.4
         
Big 12 Averages 107.2 108.3 106.5 107.3
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 121.6 119.7 122.2 121.2
Ohio St. 120.1 119.9 121.7 120.6
Michigan St. 111.9 111.2 109.9 111.0
Penn St. 107.6 109.5 106.0 107.7
Indiana 101.6 106.1 101.2 103.0
Maryland 102.4 106.0 100.2 102.9
Rutgers 98.2 95.2 96.3 96.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 115.9 112.8 115.6 114.8
Wisconsin 113.9 111.5 114.7 113.4
Nebraska 111.5 107.9 111.8 110.4
Minnesota 104.9 102.9 104.6 104.1
Northwestern 106.2 100.7 104.6 103.8
Illinois 99.8 96.3 98.7 98.3
Purdue 97.6 95.2 96.6 96.5
         
Big Ten Averages 108.1 106.8 107.4 107.4
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 101.4 96.6 102.8 100.3
Marshall 93.2 97.6 95.0 95.3
Middle Tennessee 92.2 94.1 92.5 92.9
Old Dominion 85.6 88.8 86.0 86.8
Florida Atlantic 85.0 88.1 86.9 86.7
Florida International 80.6 87.4 81.4 83.1
Charlotte 72.2 79.4 73.3 75.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Southern Mississippi 95.2 94.5 96.2 95.3
Louisiana Tech 89.5 91.9 90.7 90.7
Rice 81.9 90.1 81.9 84.6
UTSA 78.3 86.5 80.6 81.8
UTEP 76.3 80.7 77.8 78.3
North Texas 74.8 77.2 74.8 75.6
         
CUSA Averages 85.1 88.7 86.2 86.7
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 116.4 112.4 115.3 114.7
BYU 110.8 103.5 110.3 108.2
Army 88.7 96.9 92.0 92.5
Massachusetts 79.1 87.2 80.5 82.3
         
Independents Averages 98.8 100.0 99.5 99.4
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 89.2 97.8 90.2 92.4
Bowling Green 92.0 90.2 91.6 91.3
Akron 83.2 89.6 84.6 85.8
Kent St. 83.9 85.6 84.1 84.6
Miami (O) 83.0 84.2 83.9 83.7
Buffalo 78.3 87.6 79.7 81.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 104.2 102.4 106.1 104.2
Central Michigan 102.2 105.0 103.4 103.5
Toledo 103.0 101.4 103.9 102.8
Northern Illinois 94.0 95.6 94.7 94.8
Ball St. 85.5 87.5 86.4 86.5
Eastern Michigan 78.2 83.4 79.1 80.2
         
MAC Averages 89.7 92.5 90.6 91.0
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 107.7 109.1 110.0 108.9
Air Force 100.6 101.0 101.1 100.9
Utah St. 93.3 96.3 92.6 94.1
New Mexico 92.0 95.5 93.1 93.6
Colorado St. 85.7 88.4 86.2 86.8
Wyoming 83.7 83.4 83.9 83.7
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 105.2 101.9 107.6 104.9
Nevada 91.1 94.1 92.1 92.5
UNLV 90.5 94.8 90.6 92.0
San Jose St. 89.6 90.0 90.1 89.9
Fresno St. 81.6 85.9 81.3 82.9
Hawaii 76.8 75.6 75.7 76.0
         
MWC Averages 91.5 93.0 92.0 92.2
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 121.1 113.3 121.2 118.5
Stanford 120.5 113.1 119.4 117.7
Oregon 112.8 111.7 111.8 112.1
Washington St. 106.5 103.4 106.3 105.4
California 103.8 93.9 100.6 99.4
Oregon St. 98.3 93.5 95.7 95.8
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 115.2 111.0 112.5 112.9
UCLA 110.9 110.5 110.4 110.6
Arizona St. 109.3 109.6 108.3 109.1
Colorado 110.3 105.6 110.8 108.9
Utah 111.0 104.9 108.6 108.2
Arizona 104.6 102.2 103.6 103.5
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.4 106.1 109.1 108.5
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 124.8 120.1 124.8 123.2
Florida 112.9 116.6 111.1 113.5
Georgia 111.3 111.4 111.2 111.3
Vanderbilt 105.8 101.5 104.3 103.9
Missouri 103.8 103.0 103.6 103.5
South Carolina 101.1 100.0 100.6 100.6
Kentucky 95.4 97.7 93.7 95.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 131.9 124.3 131.9 129.4
LSU 124.6 118.7 123.7 122.3
Auburn 115.7 113.9 115.8 115.1
Mississippi St. 114.1 111.6 113.3 113.0
Texas A&M 112.4 111.7 112.2 112.1
Arkansas 113.1 108.2 110.4 110.6
Ole Miss 113.1 106.7 111.7 110.5
         
SEC Averages 112.9 110.4 112.0 111.8
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 99.8 99.2 102.5 100.5
Georgia Southern 93.8 93.5 96.3 94.6
Arkansas St. 89.6 91.4 91.4 90.8
Troy 86.9 92.5 88.8 89.4
South Alabama 80.5 87.9 81.9 83.4
Georgia St. 78.7 84.1 80.2 81.0
Idaho 77.6 83.7 79.0 80.1
UL-Lafayette 75.3 84.1 77.2 78.9
New Mexico St. 74.9 77.8 76.1 76.3
Texas St. 72.1 73.2 73.3 72.9
UL-Monroe 67.6 73.0 68.0 69.5
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.5 85.5 83.2 83.4

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.9 110.4 112.0 111.8
2 ACC 111.0 106.9 110.2 109.4
3 Pac-12 110.4 106.1 109.1 108.5
4 Big Ten 108.1 106.8 107.4 107.4
5 Big 12 107.2 108.3 106.5 107.3
6 Independents 98.8 100.0 99.5 99.4
7 AAC 98.7 98.6 99.0 98.8
8 MWC 91.5 93.0 92.0 92.2
9 MAC 89.7 92.5 90.6 91.0
10 CUSA 85.1 88.7 86.2 86.7
11 Sun Belt 81.5 85.5 83.2 83.4

 

 

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Ohio St.
3 Florida St.
4 Clemson
5 Tennessee
6 Michigan
7 Wisconsin
8 Washington
9 Houston
10 Stanford
11 Arkansas
12 Louisville
13 Texas A&M
14 Oklahoma
15 Iowa
16 Texas
17 Baylor
18 LSU
19 Utah
20 Georgia
21 Florida
22 Michigan St.
23 Ole Miss
24 Oregon
25 Nebraska
26 Notre Dame
27 Pittsburgh
28 Miami (Fla.)
29 Arizona St.
30 North Carolina
31 USC
32 Boise St.
33 West Virginia
34 TCU
35 Auburn
36 San Diego St.
37 UCLA
38 Toledo
39 Western Michigan
40 Navy
41 BYU
42 South Florida
43 Colorado
44 Georgia Tech
45 Western Kentucky
46 Oklahoma St.
47 Appalachian St.
48 Georgia Southern
49 Minnesota
50 Cincinnati
51 Mississippi St.
52 Virginia Tech
53 California
54 Penn St.
55 Texas Tech
56 Central Michigan
57 Indiana
58 East Carolina
59 Southern Miss.
60 Memphis
61 Wake Forest
62 Marshall
63 Air Force
64 North Carolina St.
65 Maryland
66 Army
67 Missouri
68 Kansas St.
69 South Carolina
70 Tulsa
71 Washington St.
72 Arizona
73 Louisiana Tech
74 Temple
75 Duke
76 Northwestern
77 Vanderbilt
78 Boston College
79 Illinois
80 South Alabama
81 Bowling Green
82 Syracuse
83 Utah St.
84 Akron
85 Ohio
86 Rutgers
87 Colorado St.
88 Arkansas St.
89 Troy
90 Connecticut
91 MTSU
92 Kentucky
93 Texas St.
94 Purdue
95 SMU
96 Nevada
97 San Jose St.
98 UTEP
99 Oregon St.
100 Wyoming
101 Idaho
102 Virginia
103 Ball St.
104 Iowa St.
105 Central Florida
106 Northern Illinois
107 Fresno St.
108 New Mexico
109 Florida Atlantic
110 UNLV
111 UL-Lafayette
112 Tulane
113 New Mexico St.
114 Kansas
115 Old Dominion
116 Rice
117 Georgia St.
118 Massachusetts
119 UTSA
120 Charlotte
121 Hawaii
122 UL-Monroe
123 Florida Int’l.
124 North Texas
125 Buffalo
126 Eastern Michigan
127 Miami (O)
128 Kent St.

 

This Week’s Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Thursday, September 15      
Cincinnati Houston -7.8 -4.9 -8.9
         
Friday, September 16      
Rice Baylor -26.4 -17.9 -27.5
Utah St. Arkansas St. 7.2 8.4 4.7
UTSA Arizona St. -28.5 -20.6 -25.2
         
Saturday, September 17      
Appalachian St. Miami (Fla.) -14.7 -7.3 -11.3
Louisville Florida St. 3.5 4.6 4.8
Penn St. Temple 10.1 12.4 7.8
Rutgers New Mexico 9.2 2.7 5.2
Tennessee Ohio 38.6 25.3 37.6
Memphis Kansas 18.9 5.7 19.5
TCU Iowa St. 19.5 22.0 20.7
Wisconsin Georgia St. 38.2 30.4 37.5
Bowling Green Middle Tennessee 2.3 -1.4 1.6
Marshall Akron 13.0 11.0 13.4
Georgia Tech Vanderbilt 5.4 6.0 6.3
Connecticut Virginia -0.5 0.5 0.4
Washington St. Idaho 31.4 22.2 29.8
Kansas St. Florida Atlantic 21.9 22.1 19.6
Central Michigan UNLV 14.7 13.2 15.8
Toledo Fresno St. 24.4 18.5 25.6
Massachusetts Florida Int’l. 1.0 2.3 1.6
Miami (O) Western Kentucky -16.4 -10.4 -16.9
Michigan Colorado 14.3 17.1 14.4
Syracuse South Florida -4.2 -5.6 -8.0
Virginia Tech Boston College 9.7 10.3 10.5
Nebraska Oregon 1.7 -0.8 3.0
Northern Illinois San Diego St. -8.2 -3.0 -9.9
Oklahoma St. Pittsburgh 1.6 8.1 2.3
Ole Miss Alabama -15.8 -14.6 -17.2
Kentucky New Mexico St. 23.5 22.9 20.6
South Carolina East Carolina 8.7 5.4 7.8
Illinois Western Michigan -1.4 -3.1 -4.4
Charlotte Eastern Michigan -4.0 -2.0 -3.8
North Carolina St. Old Dominion 23.6 17.9 22.5
Georgia Southern UL-Monroe 28.7 23.0 30.8
Auburn Texas A&M 6.3 5.2 6.6
LSU Mississippi St. 13.5 10.1 13.4
Southern Miss. Troy 10.8 4.5 9.9
Texas Tech Louisiana Tech 19.3 14.5 15.9
UTEP Army -9.4 -13.2 -11.2
Central Florida Maryland -12.2 -13.4 -10.0
Tulane Navy -11.2 -7.6 -10.5
UL-Lafayette South Alabama -3.2 -1.8 -2.7
Florida North Texas 41.1 42.4 39.3
Notre Dame Michigan St. 7.5 4.2 8.4
Arkansas Texas St. 44.0 38.0 40.1
Missouri Georgia -4.5 -5.4 -4.6
Oklahoma Ohio St. 5.6 2.6 3.8
Northwestern Duke 9.5 2.9 9.6
Stanford USC 8.3 5.1 9.9
Nevada Buffalo 16.3 10.0 15.9
BYU UCLA 2.9 -4.0 2.9
California Texas -6.9 -19.8 -10.1
San Jose St. Utah -18.9 -12.4 -16.0
Arizona Hawaii 31.3 30.1 31.4

 

FBS versus FCS Teams–PiRate Estimated Spread

FBS vs. FCS Week 3  
Home Visitor PiRate
Clemson South Carolina St. 47
Iowa North Dakota St. 19
Tulsa N. C. A&T 25
Ball St. Eastern Kentucky 15
Kent St. Monmouth 11
North Carolina James Madison 26
Colorado St. Northern Colorado 21
Wyoming UC-Davis 11
Oregon St. Idaho St. 25
Wake Forest Delaware 23
SMU Liberty 11
Washington Portland St. 42

 

 

 

 

 

September 8, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 8-12, 2016

Did you heed our biggest piece of advice given here last week? If so, then you were smart and lost none of your hard-earned money by following our selections. Our two picks both lost in the opening week. Army did not upset Temple. The Black Knights won impressively enough to prove that their win was no fluke. It wasn’t Davis and Blanchard running over opponents, but this has the look of a bowl-bound team. The Cadets entertain Rice at Michie Stadium this week, and chances for a 2-0 start are strong.

The other loss came about when LSU got Lambeau Leapt by Wisconsin. One late fumble sent our mythological winning week down the tubes.

We start out the season down 200 imaginary dollars in our fake bankroll.

Oh well, a new week brings new fun only picks, and with the NFL season beginning in a matter of hours from the time this is written, we have more opportunities to wager our fake bankroll. These days, a fake bankroll is what so many of us tend to have.

We are going with five parlay picks this week, two with college games, and three with NFL games. Usually, we like to be overly conservative at the start of the NFL season, because there is enough parity that a 4-12 team from the year before could become a playoff team this year, while a playoff team last year could swoon to 4-12 this year. However, we are going with three NFL parlays because we were able to get better than even money odds by parlaying just two teams in each selection.

Our two college parlays both contain rivalry games within each selection. It is not the norm for rivals to play so soon in the season, but it happens when said rivals are not members of the same conference. Thus, in week two, New Mexico plays New Mexico State, and Iowa plays Iowa State. We believe these are almost free games, as the favorites are overwhelmingly superior to their rival. Of course, this can bite us on the fanny, because weaker rivals can play well over their heads, especially early in the year before injury and other attrition has decimated their already thin-talented rosters.

There is also an issue with taking a slow-starting team against a quick-starting team, because sometimes, the quick-starting underdog might score so many points early that the slow-starting favorite cannot come back from the deficit. However, we are still going with two slow-starting Sunshine State schools. South Florida, and their smashmouth style of play, hosts Northern Illinois, and the Bulls were a bit sluggish on the defensive side in their season opening win over FCS member Towson State. However, NIU lost at Wyoming last week, and USF is considerably more talented than the Cowboys. Also, playing in muggy Tampa might give the Bulls an extra couple points of home field advantage.

Florida has not been the offensive juggernaut under Coach Jim McElwain that they were under Steve Spurrier or Urban Meyer, but the Gators won the SEC East Division by taking care of business with strong defense. The Gators gave up just 73 points in their seven SEC wins last year. Meanwhile, Kentucky scored 35 points quickly against Southern Miss last week, before watching like a deer in the headlights as the Eagles stormed back and scored on the porous Wildcat defense like it was just a skeleton unit. We believe the Gators will win this game by 7-17 points, as McElwain knows that he only needs his offense to play it safe and avoid turnovers, while the defense and special teams sets up the offense for low-risk scoring drives.

Now to the NFL. We begin tonight by taking the Super Bowl loser from last year. You no doubt are familiar with the recent trend of Super Bowl losers performing considerably worse the following year. However, this on the surface looks like a gift tonight. Both teams lost some key talent since the last time they played, but Denver clearly lost more. Even though Peyton Manning was like Babe Ruth with the Boston Braves in 1935, the Broncos will have a totally untested quarterback and rookie backup trying to face the NFC’s best defense. Peyton might have guided Denver to 17 points. Trevor and/or Paxton will be lucky to score 17 and might give the Panthers a score with costly mistakes. Also, we have seen Wade Phillips’ defenses regress the year after they dominate, and we feel that Cam Newton is going to play this game like it is the Super Bowl again. We believe Carolina wins an ugly game tonight.

Miami could be a surprise team this year, but they still have a lot to prove. New Coach Adam Gase is already considered to be the top new coach in the league, and he has been tagged as a potential superstar in the business. However, even superstar coaches must have decent talent to succeed, and the Dolphins still have a lot of questions. Having to travel as far away as they can without playing at a neutral site, and having that game come against the team with the best home field advantage in the NFL makes us believe that Seattle is a gift choice. Of course, we could be wrong, but when there are just 16 NFL games, you have to isolate the couple that look the most promising and offer a good rate of return on your investment, even if said investment is as real as the Man in the Moon.

The second game of the Monday Night doubleheader looks to us to be a gift as well, but what do we know? The Los Angeles Rams (doesn’t that sound so wonderful again) go up the coast to take on their former and future arch-rival San Francisco 49ers, and the 49ers look like a train wreck. However, Chip Kelly can coach offense, and Jeff Fisher-coached teams have a history of starting out slow. In this game featuring recycled quarterbacks, we believe that Case Keenum has more weapons at his disposal than Blaine Gabbert, and the Rams’ defense is worth an extra touchdown saved over the 49ers’ defense, so in our possibly deluded mind, we think the Rams at low odds offer us an excellent base for a parlay.

Now to the turnaround game in our minds. We think that Baltimore is ready to rebound to at least a better than mediocre season, while Buffalo takes a small step backward this year. The Ravens have enough offense to score on Rob Ryan’s defense, while brother Rex’s offense does not offer very much.

Once again, when you see the odds, you will notice that all 5 games present better than even money.

When you see that money line at +X, add $100 to the X, and this would show you how much money you would receive if the parlay wins, and you invested $100, because when you win, you get back your initial investment plus your winnings, just like with paramutuel wagering at the horse track.

For instance, if you play a money line game or money line parlay at +120, and you invest $100 in this selection, if you win, you will receive $220 ($120 profit plus your $100 investment). If you lose, you are out your $100 investment.

Here are our parlays for the week.

#1–College Parlay at +118
Navy over Connecticut
New Mexico over New Mexico State
Florida over Kentucky

#2–College Parlay at +134
Duke over Wake Forest
Louisville over Syracuse
South Florida over Northern Illinois
Iowa over Iowa State

#3–NFL Parlay at +106
Los Angeles Rams over San Francisco
Seattle over Miami

#4–NFL Parlay at +121
Carolina over Denver
Kansas City over San Diego

#5–NFL Parlay at +131
Baltimore over Buffalo
Green Bay over Jacksonville

September 6, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For September 9-10, 2016

What an incredible opening week to the college football season!  When was the last time seven SEC schools were 0-1?  It would take a lot of research, but we’re guessing if it happened, it happened back when Sewanee was a member of the league in the 1930’s.

 

How do you imagine Les Miles has slept since Saturday night?  He is going to need a lot of ice to keep cool in that boiling hot seat in Baton Rouge.  What about Mark Stoops, Gus Malzahn, and Derek Mason?  At least Malzahn lost at home by less than a touchdown to the defending national runner-up, but the questionable decisions in the final minutes left many War Eagle fans perplexed.

 

It wasn’t a great week for the Pac-12 Conference either.  USC and UCLA used to play doubleheaders early in the season at the L.A. Coliseum.  Often, it was actually a Friday night, Saturday night deal.  These days, that no longer happens, and this year, both teams ventured to the Lone Star State and left with 0-1 records.  Arizona lost to BYU.  Oregon State lost at Minnesota, and then Washington State lost to Eastern Washington.

 

The Big Ten had a decent first week.  Ohio State and Michigan began the year like the good ole days when the two teams might both still be unbeaten by the time they faced off in late November.  Michigan State, Penn State, and Minnesota won but didn’t look great doing so.  Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Iowa, and Nebraska looked great doing so.  Purdue’s win over an FCS school looked neutral, while Northwestern and Rutgers lost.  And, then there was Wisconsin.  They Lambeau leapt over LSU, making for Coach Miles’ recent insomnia.

 

The ACC picked up two wins over the SEC in three attempts, and the Big 12 picked up a couple of big wins, led by Texas edging Notre Dame.

 

The big winner of the day was the AAC, where Houston immediately jumped to the top of the Group of Five and even placed themselves into contention for a playoff spot if the Cougars can run the table impressively.  However, they will have to get past a couple of tough conference opponents.

 

Out West, San Diego State and Boise State believe they have what it takes to run the table and challenge Houston for that one guaranteed New Year’s 6 Bowl.

 

Week two does not offer as much as week one of the college season, and there isn’t a Thursday night game, as the NFL gets center stage.  Next week, we actually believe the college schedule has more to offer than week one.  For now, the big game this week is the one taking place at Bristol Motor Speedway just south of Bristol, Tennessee.  The Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies have not played in decades, even though the two semi-powers are within an easy drive of each other.  They hope to place 150,000 fans in the speedway for the ball game.  It will be the ABC Primetime Game at 8 PM Eastern Time.

 

Usually, after the first week, some new readers to this site will see our ratings and think we are nuts that a team that lost in week one might still be rated higher than the team that beat them.  There are two basic types of ratings’ metrics.  The Predictive Ratings try to predict the outcome of the next game, so what the team has done to this point of the season is not as important as how they might do in the future.

 

You will see that LSU did not fall below Wisconsin in our Predictive Ratings.  Think of it this way.  If the 1927 New York Yankees dropped their season opener to the Boston Red Sox, would that make the Red Sox a better team?  The Yankees would eventually finish 59 games ahead of Boston that year, and no, they did not actually begin the season by losing to Boston.  They defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, the team that would finish number two in the American League.

 

Retrodictive Ratings are more like what you are probably accustomed to seeing.  They rank teams based on what they have done so far and cannot be used to predict the outcome of future games.  If Team A beat Teams B & C, and Team B beat Team C, then they should be ranked A, B, C in that order.  It isn’t that easy because with 128 FBS teams, there are dozens of exceptions where Team A might beat Team B and lose to Team C, while Team B beats Team C.  It gets a little easier as the season continues, because eventually, there will be teams that have done better than other teams in a more organized manner.

 

Okay, if you are still awake, here are our Predictive Ratings this week.

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 132.2 124.4 132.2 129.6
2 Clemson 126.4 117.1 125.2 122.9
3 LSU 124.8 118.9 123.9 122.5
4 Tennessee 124.0 119.1 123.8 122.3
5 Oklahoma 122.4 119.2 122.2 121.3
6 Michigan 121.5 119.3 122.1 121.0
7 Florida St. 122.7 115.4 121.6 119.9
8 Oklahoma St. 118.5 119.8 118.5 118.9
9 Louisville 119.9 114.0 119.8 117.9
10 Stanford 120.5 113.1 119.4 117.7
11 Washington 120.5 111.7 120.4 117.5
12 Ohio St. 117.1 117.1 118.3 117.5
13 Texas 114.2 116.9 114.2 115.1
14 Miami 117.9 109.3 117.2 114.8
15 Pittsburgh 116.8 111.4 116.1 114.8
16 Notre Dame 116.4 112.1 115.0 114.5
17 Georgia 114.3 114.4 114.2 114.3
18 Auburn 114.9 113.1 114.4 114.1
19 Houston 113.6 111.5 115.6 113.6
20 North Carolina 115.8 109.0 115.2 113.3
21 Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.5 113.2
22 TCU 112.1 114.4 112.0 112.8
23 Oregon 112.3 111.3 111.2 111.6
24 Texas A&M 111.9 111.2 111.7 111.6
25 Iowa 112.8 109.7 112.2 111.6
26 USC 114.0 108.9 110.8 111.2
27 Ole Miss 113.8 107.4 112.4 111.2
28 Virginia Tech 111.0 110.8 111.5 111.1
29 Wisconsin 112.2 108.4 112.7 111.1
30 Michigan St. 111.9 111.2 109.9 111.0
31 UCLA 111.1 110.4 110.6 110.7
32 Florida 110.0 114.0 107.6 110.5
33 Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
34 Nebraska 111.1 107.3 111.3 109.9
35 Arkansas 112.4 107.1 109.6 109.7
36 Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
37 Utah 111.1 105.0 108.6 108.2
38 Colorado 109.6 104.9 110.1 108.2
39 BYU 110.7 103.4 110.3 108.1
40 South Florida 108.5 105.9 109.7 108.0
41 Penn St. 107.4 109.7 105.6 107.6
42 Boise St. 105.7 108.7 108.1 107.5
43 Washington St. 108.8 104.1 108.5 107.2
44 North Carolina St. 108.3 105.0 107.9 107.1
45 West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
46 Georgia Tech 108.3 104.6 107.7 106.9
47 Arizona 107.1 104.7 106.1 106.0
48 Northwestern 108.2 102.7 106.6 105.8
49 San Diego St. 105.1 102.4 108.4 105.3
50 Kansas St. 103.9 107.2 103.5 104.9
51 Texas Tech 106.4 103.8 104.2 104.8
52 Boston College 104.9 103.2 104.6 104.2
53 Minnesota 104.6 102.6 104.3 103.8
54 Western Michigan 103.7 101.9 105.6 103.7
55 Indiana 102.1 106.7 102.0 103.6
56 Tulsa 102.3 104.4 103.4 103.4
57 Syracuse 105.2 101.0 103.1 103.1
58 Vanderbilt 105.1 100.1 102.8 102.7
59 Toledo 102.7 101.1 103.6 102.5
60 Cincinnati 101.3 102.5 102.3 102.1
61 Missouri 102.4 101.3 101.7 101.8
62 Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
63 Central Michigan 99.1 102.1 100.1 100.4
64 South Carolina 100.8 99.9 100.4 100.4
65 Duke 100.4 101.7 99.0 100.4
66 Western Kentucky 101.1 96.5 102.5 100.0
67 Appalachian St. 99.2 98.4 101.7 99.8
68 Memphis 102.0 97.1 100.1 99.8
69 Illinois 101.1 97.7 100.3 99.7
70 Virginia 100.9 97.7 100.3 99.6
71 Air Force 99.3 99.6 99.5 99.5
72 Temple 99.2 98.8 99.9 99.3
73 California 103.9 93.4 99.8 99.0
74 Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
75 Wake Forest 100.0 97.5 98.8 98.8
76 Kentucky 98.3 100.3 97.2 98.6
77 Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1
78 Iowa St. 98.3 97.7 97.2 97.7
79 Northern Illinois 95.9 97.6 96.8 96.8
80 New Mexico 95.0 98.3 96.3 96.6
81 Connecticut 97.0 94.8 97.3 96.4
82 Rutgers 97.9 94.9 96.0 96.3
83 Utah St. 94.5 98.4 94.3 95.7
84 Oregon St. 98.0 93.2 95.4 95.5
85 Southern Miss. 94.8 94.1 95.8 94.9
86 Marshall 92.5 96.9 94.3 94.6
87 East Carolina 93.1 96.1 93.2 94.1
88 Middle Tennessee 92.7 95.3 93.8 93.9
89 Georgia Southern 93.0 91.7 95.5 93.4
90 SMU 93.4 92.0 92.6 92.7
91 Nevada 91.1 94.4 92.4 92.7
92 Bowling Green 93.2 91.4 92.8 92.5
93 UNLV 90.3 94.9 90.4 91.9
94 Arkansas St. 90.2 92.0 92.6 91.6
95 Army 87.5 95.9 91.1 91.5
96 Kansas 89.5 97.3 87.1 91.3
97 Louisiana Tech 89.4 91.8 90.6 90.6
98 Ohio 85.9 95.0 86.8 89.3
99 San Jose St. 88.4 88.8 88.9 88.7
100 Central Florida 87.3 90.0 87.3 88.2
101 Akron 84.6 92.4 86.3 87.8
102 Old Dominion 86.2 89.6 86.8 87.5
103 Colorado St. 85.9 88.1 86.2 86.7
104 Troy 83.9 90.5 85.5 86.7
105 Florida Atlantic 84.6 88.3 86.5 86.5
106 Ball St. 85.0 86.9 85.6 85.8
107 Tulane 84.5 87.8 84.7 85.7
108 Rice 82.9 90.9 82.6 85.5
109 Kent St. 84.4 86.1 84.6 85.1
110 Miami (O) 84.0 85.2 84.9 84.7
111 Florida Int’l 81.8 88.9 83.2 84.6
112 South Alabama 80.8 89.2 82.2 84.1
113 Wyoming 83.9 83.8 84.2 84.0
114 Georgia St. 80.3 85.8 82.1 82.7
115 Fresno St. 81.4 85.7 81.1 82.7
116 Eastern Michigan 79.6 85.1 81.0 81.9
117 Buffalo 78.3 87.6 79.7 81.9
118 UTSA 78.1 86.8 80.6 81.9
119 Massachusetts 78.5 87.3 79.7 81.8
120 Idaho 77.9 85.0 79.5 80.8
121 UL-Lafayette 75.2 84.0 77.1 78.8
122 UTEP 75.8 80.5 77.3 77.9
123 Hawaii 76.6 75.4 75.5 75.8
124 North Texas 74.3 76.7 74.3 75.1
125 Charlotte 71.7 78.9 72.8 74.5
126 New Mexico St. 72.4 75.5 73.4 73.8
127 Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
128 UL-Monroe 67.9 73.3 68.3 69.8

 

And, here are our Retrodictive Ratings for this week.

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Clemson
3 Florida St.
4 Ohio St.
5 Michigan
6 Stanford
7 Louisville
8 Washington
9 TCU
10 Houston
11 Oklahoma
12 Tennessee
13 Oklahoma St.
14 Georgia
15 Wisconsin
16 Oregon
17 Iowa
18 LSU
19 Ole Miss
20 Texas
21 Notre Dame
22 Arkansas
23 North Carolina
24 Miami (Fla)
25 Texas A&M
26 Michigan St.
27 Florida
28 Baylor
29 Pittsburgh
30 West Virginia
31 Auburn
32 Utah
33 Nebraska
34 USC
35 UCLA
36 BYU
37 San Diego St.
38 Western Michigan
39 Toledo
40 Western Kentucky
41 Boise St.
42 Arizona St.
43 Penn St.
44 North Carolina St.
45 Georgia Tech
46 South Florida
47 Mississippi St.
48 Virginia Tech
49 Navy
50 Texas Tech
51 Appalachian St.
52 Northwestern
53 California
54 Indiana
55 Minnesota
56 Washington St.
57 Memphis
58 Colorado
59 Duke
60 Arizona
61 Georgia Southern
62 Southern Miss.
63 Syracuse
64 Kansas St.
65 Cincinnati
66 Illinois
67 Air Force
68 Central Michigan
69 East Carolina
70 South Carolina
71 Tulsa
72 Utah St.
73 Louisiana Tech
74 Wake Forest
75 Temple
76 Missouri
77 MTSU
78 Arkansas St.
79 Maryland
80 Marshall
81 Purdue
82 Akron
83 Vanderbilt
84 Northern Illinois
85 Connecticut
86 Boston College
87 South Alabama
88 Bowling Green
89 Kentucky
90 Nevada
91 New Mexico
92 Army
93 Oregon St.
94 SMU
95 Virginia
96 Iowa St.
97 Rutgers
98 Ohio
99 Kansas
100 San Jose St.
101 Colorado St.
102 UNLV
103 Central Florida
104 Troy
105 Florida Atlantic
106 Ball St.
107 Wyoming
108 Old Dominion
109 Rice
110 UTEP
111 Texas St.
112 Idaho
113 Florida Int’l.
114 Massachusetts
115 Georgia St.
116 Eastern Michigan
117 UTSA
118 UL-Lafayette
119 Tulane
120 Fresno St.
121 Buffalo
122 Kent St.
123 Miami (O)
124 UL-Monroe
125 Hawaii
126 North Texas
127 New Mexico St.
128 Charlotte

Here are the Predictive Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 108.5 105.9 109.7 108.0
Cincinnati 101.3 102.5 102.3 102.1
Temple 99.2 98.8 99.9 99.3
Connecticut 97.0 94.8 97.3 96.4
East Carolina 93.1 96.1 93.2 94.1
Central Florida 87.3 90.0 87.3 88.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 113.6 111.5 115.6 113.6
Tulsa 102.3 104.4 103.4 103.4
Memphis 102.0 97.1 100.1 99.8
Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
SMU 93.4 92.0 92.6 92.7
Tulane 84.5 87.8 84.7 85.7
         
AAC Averages 98.5 98.4 98.7 98.5
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 126.4 117.1 125.2 122.9
Florida St. 122.7 115.4 121.6 119.9
Louisville 119.9 114.0 119.8 117.9
North Carolina St. 108.3 105.0 107.9 107.1
Boston College 104.9 103.2 104.6 104.2
Syracuse 105.2 101.0 103.1 103.1
Wake Forest 100.0 97.5 98.8 98.8
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 117.9 109.3 117.2 114.8
Pittsburgh 116.8 111.4 116.1 114.8
North Carolina 115.8 109.0 115.2 113.3
Virginia Tech 111.0 110.8 111.5 111.1
Georgia Tech 108.3 104.6 107.7 106.9
Duke 100.4 101.7 99.0 100.4
Virginia 100.9 97.7 100.3 99.6
         
ACC Averages 111.3 107.0 110.6 109.6
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 122.4 119.2 122.2 121.3
Oklahoma St. 118.5 119.8 118.5 118.9
Texas 114.2 116.9 114.2 115.1
TCU 112.1 114.4 112.0 112.8
Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
Kansas St. 103.9 107.2 103.5 104.9
Texas Tech 106.4 103.8 104.2 104.8
Iowa St. 98.3 97.7 97.2 97.7
Kansas 89.5 97.3 87.1 91.3
         
Big 12 Averages 108.2 109.3 107.6 108.4
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 121.5 119.3 122.1 121.0
Ohio St. 117.1 117.1 118.3 117.5
Michigan St. 111.9 111.2 109.9 111.0
Penn St. 107.4 109.7 105.6 107.6
Indiana 102.1 106.7 102.0 103.6
Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
Rutgers 97.9 94.9 96.0 96.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 112.8 109.7 112.2 111.6
Wisconsin 112.2 108.4 112.7 111.1
Nebraska 111.1 107.3 111.3 109.9
Northwestern 108.2 102.7 106.6 105.8
Minnesota 104.6 102.6 104.3 103.8
Illinois 101.1 97.7 100.3 99.7
Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1
         
Big Ten Averages 107.7 106.3 107.0 107.0
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 101.1 96.5 102.5 100.0
Marshall 92.5 96.9 94.3 94.6
Middle Tennessee 92.7 95.3 93.8 93.9
Old Dominion 86.2 89.6 86.8 87.5
Florida Atlantic 84.6 88.3 86.5 86.5
Florida International 81.8 88.9 83.2 84.6
Charlotte 71.7 78.9 72.8 74.5
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Southern Mississippi 94.8 94.1 95.8 94.9
Louisiana Tech 89.4 91.8 90.6 90.6
Rice 82.9 90.9 82.6 85.5
UTSA 78.1 86.8 80.6 81.9
UTEP 75.8 80.5 77.3 77.9
North Texas 74.3 76.7 74.3 75.1
         
CUSA Averages 85.1 88.9 86.2 86.7
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 116.4 112.1 115.0 114.5
BYU 110.7 103.4 110.3 108.1
Army 87.5 95.9 91.1 91.5
Massachusetts 78.5 87.3 79.7 81.8
         
Independents Averages 98.3 99.7 99.0 99.0
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Bowling Green 93.2 91.4 92.8 92.5
Ohio 85.9 95.0 86.8 89.3
Akron 84.6 92.4 86.3 87.8
Kent St. 84.4 86.1 84.6 85.1
Miami (O) 84.0 85.2 84.9 84.7
Buffalo 78.3 87.6 79.7 81.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 103.7 101.9 105.6 103.7
Toledo 102.7 101.1 103.6 102.5
Central Michigan 99.1 102.1 100.1 100.4
Northern Illinois 95.9 97.6 96.8 96.8
Ball St. 85.0 86.9 85.6 85.8
Eastern Michigan 79.6 85.1 81.0 81.9
         
MAC Averages 89.7 92.7 90.6 91.0
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 105.7 108.7 108.1 107.5
Air Force 99.3 99.6 99.5 99.5
New Mexico 95.0 98.3 96.3 96.6
Utah St. 94.5 98.4 94.3 95.7
Colorado St. 85.9 88.1 86.2 86.7
Wyoming 83.9 83.8 84.2 84.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 105.1 102.4 108.4 105.3
Nevada 91.1 94.4 92.4 92.7
UNLV 90.3 94.9 90.4 91.9
San Jose St. 88.4 88.8 88.9 88.7
Fresno St. 81.4 85.7 81.1 82.7
Hawaii 76.6 75.4 75.5 75.8
         
MWC Averages 91.4 93.3 92.1 92.3
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 120.5 113.1 119.4 117.7
Washington 120.5 111.7 120.4 117.5
Oregon 112.3 111.3 111.2 111.6
Washington St. 108.8 104.1 108.5 107.2
California 103.9 93.4 99.8 99.0
Oregon St. 98.0 93.2 95.4 95.5
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 114.0 108.9 110.8 111.2
UCLA 111.1 110.4 110.6 110.7
Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
Utah 111.1 105.0 108.6 108.2
Colorado 109.6 104.9 110.1 108.2
Arizona 107.1 104.7 106.1 106.0
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.5 105.9 109.0 108.5
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 124.0 119.1 123.8 122.3
Georgia 114.3 114.4 114.2 114.3
Florida 110.0 114.0 107.6 110.5
Vanderbilt 105.1 100.1 102.8 102.7
Missouri 102.4 101.3 101.7 101.8
South Carolina 100.8 99.9 100.4 100.4
Kentucky 98.3 100.3 97.2 98.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 132.2 124.4 132.2 129.6
LSU 124.8 118.9 123.9 122.5
Auburn 114.9 113.1 114.4 114.1
Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.5 113.2
Texas A&M 111.9 111.2 111.7 111.6
Ole Miss 113.8 107.4 112.4 111.2
Arkansas 112.4 107.1 109.6 109.7
         
SEC Averages 112.8 110.2 111.8 111.6
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 99.2 98.4 101.7 99.8
Georgia Southern 93.0 91.7 95.5 93.4
Arkansas St. 90.2 92.0 92.6 91.6
Troy 83.9 90.5 85.5 86.7
South Alabama 80.8 89.2 82.2 84.1
Georgia St. 80.3 85.8 82.1 82.7
Idaho 77.9 85.0 79.5 80.8
UL-Lafayette 75.2 84.0 77.1 78.8
New Mexico St. 72.4 75.5 73.4 73.8
Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
UL-Monroe 67.9 73.3 68.3 69.8
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.1 85.3 82.8 83.1

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.8 110.2 111.8 111.6
2 ACC 111.3 107.0 110.6 109.6
3 Pac-12 110.5 105.9 109.0 108.5
4 Big 12 108.2 109.3 107.6 108.4
5 Big Ten 107.7 106.3 107.0 107.0
6 Independents 98.3 99.7 99.0 99.0
7 AAC 98.5 98.4 98.7 98.5
8 MWC 91.4 93.3 92.1 92.3
9 MAC 89.7 92.7 90.6 91.0
10 CUSA 85.1 88.9 86.2 86.7
11 Sun Belt 81.1 85.3 82.8 83.1

And, here are our spreads for this week.

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Friday, September 9      
Florida Int’l. Maryland -16.1 -12.3 -11.9
Syracuse Louisville -11.7 -10.0 -13.7
         
Saturday, September 10      
Army Rice 7.6 8.0 11.5
East Carolina North Carolina St. -12.7 -6.4 -12.2
U Mass (N) Boston College -27.9 -17.4 -26.4
Michigan Central Florida 37.7 32.8 38.3
Pittsburgh Penn St. 11.9 4.2 13.0
Purdue Cincinnati 0.6 -3.4 -1.5
Nebraska Wyoming 30.2 26.5 30.1
Oklahoma St. Central Michigan 22.4 20.7 21.4
Clemson Troy 45.5 29.6 42.7
USC Utah St. 22.5 13.5 19.5
Air Force Georgia St. 22.0 16.8 20.4
Kansas Ohio 6.6 5.3 3.3
Appalachian St. Old Dominion 15.5 11.3 17.4
Duke Wake Forest 2.9 6.7 2.7
Florida Kentucky 14.7 16.7 13.4
Notre Dame Nevada 28.8 21.2 26.1
Ohio St. Tulsa 18.3 16.2 18.4
Alabama Western Kentucky 34.1 30.9 32.7
Baylor SMU 18.5 20.2 20.5
Wisconsin Akron 30.6 19.0 29.4
Navy Connecticut 5.2 7.2 4.3
Indiana Ball St. 19.6 22.3 18.9
Vanderbilt Middle Tennessee 14.4 6.8 11.0
Colorado St. UTSA 10.8 4.3 8.6
Washington Idaho 45.6 29.7 43.9
Miami (Fla) Florida Atlantic 35.8 23.5 33.2
South Florida Northern Illinois 15.6 11.3 15.9
Mississippi St. South Carolina 16.6 14.8 16.1
Oklahoma UL-Monroe 57.5 48.9 56.9
TCU Arkansas 2.7 10.3 5.4
Texas UTEP 41.4 39.4 39.9
South Alabama Georgia Southern -9.7 0.1 -10.8
Auburn Arkansas St. 27.7 24.1 24.8
Illinois North Carolina -11.7 -8.3 -11.9
Iowa Iowa St. 16.5 14.0 17.0
Missouri Eastern Michigan 25.8 19.2 23.7
Utah BYU 2.4 3.6 0.3
Tennessee (N) Virginia Tech 13.0 8.3 12.3
UCLA UNLV 23.8 18.5 23.2
New Mexico St. New Mexico -20.6 -20.8 -20.9
Arizona St. Texas Tech 5.3 8.4 6.5
Boise St. Washington St. -12.3 -0.5 -9.8
Oregon Virginia 14.9 17.1 14.4
San Diego St. California 4.2 12.0 11.6

Here are the PiRate Ratings For FBS vs. FCS games this week.

FBS FCS PiRate
Georgia Nicholls St. 55.6
Rutgers Howard 34.9
Houston Lamar 48.9
Minnesota Indiana St. 25.7
Texas A&M Prairie View 43.6
Florida St. Charleston Sou. 38.4
Temple Stony Brook 23.9
West Virginia Youngstown St. 27.2
Georgia Tech Mercer 31.3
Bowling Green North Dakota 24.0
Miami (O) Eastern Illinois 11.0
Northwestern Illinois St. 21.0
Ole Miss Wofford 41.9
San Jose St. Portland St. 11.2
Colorado Idaho St. 39.4
Charlotte Elon 10.1
Kent St. N. C. A&T 11.0
Marshall Morgan St. 40.9
Toledo Maine 34.5
Louisiana Tech S. Carolina St. 35.5
UL-Lafayette McNeese St. 4.6
Western Michigan UNC Central 37.1
North Texas Bethune Cookman 5.2
Southern Miss. Savannah St. 49.4
LSU Jacksonville St. 31.5
Tulane Southern 21.5
Fresno St. Cal St. Sacramento 21.7
Arizona Grambling 40.3
Hawaii UT-Martin 6.1

Our Bowl Projections will commence in October.

 

Check back Thursday for our Just for Fun Money Line Parlay  selections.  Week one was a dud, as two upsets did us in.

September 5, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 1: September 8-12,2016

The 2016-17 NFL season kicks off with a lot of changes from last year.  Some were expected in advance, while some were not expected until the last fortnight.  Take a look at some of the key changes.

Peyton Manning retired, and Brock Osweiler left Super Bowl Champion Denver.  The Broncos added Mark Sanchez and then released him, leaving Trevor Siemian as the opening night starter. Siemian suffered a torn ACL in 2015.  He comes from the Spread Formation at Northwestern, and he has never taken a snap in a regular season NFL game.  Normally, when a team goes with a raw talent, they have a graybeard in reserve, but the number two man will be rookie Paxton Lynch from the University of Memphis.

Tom Brady will be a spectator for four weeks, leaving the New England Patriots about a touchdown to 10 points weaker for their first four games.  Our ratings reflect this deduction, and in week five, New England’s rating will rise by several points.

Philadelphia begins anew with a new coach in Doug Pederson, and a new quarterback.  Carson Wentz, a rookie from FCS North Dakota State, will eventually become the starter when he is healthy, so for now the Eagles must get by with Chase Daniel.

The Rams have returned to Los Angeles, and until their new palace is constructed, they will be playing once again at the venerable, archaic Los Angeles Coliseum, where they once ruled the West Coast with stars like Roman Gabriel, Dick Bass, Jack Snow, and the renowned Fearsome Foursome defensive line that led the universe in quarterback sacks.  When the Rams last played a real game at the Coliseum, they won the NFC Championship and lost the Super Bowl to Pittsburgh.  That was the 1979 season, 37 years ago.  According to Pro Football Reference, The Rams are 143-77-8 in the old stadium, one of the best home field advantages in NFL history.

There are four new head coaches in the league this year.  Besides the previously mentioned Pederson with Philadelphia, Dirk Koetter takes over at Tampa Bay, Adam Gase assumed command in Miami, and Ben McAdoo inherits the perpetual hot seat with the New York Giants.  Koetter has a nice track record as a college head coach and long time offensive coordinator at both the collegiate and professional levels.  Gase brings the utmost endorsement of Peyton Manning, after his offense led the Broncos to all sorts of records in 2013.  McAdoo is another offensive guru and has the endorsement of Eli Manning.  Pederson also comes from the attack side of the ball, where he was Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator at Kansas City.

Now for the two major late developments.  Injuries to Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota and Tony Romo in Dallas, have led to us adjusting our ratings at the 11th hour.  The Vikings plucked Sam Bradford from Philly, and thus their rating does not suffer much.  However, combining Romo’s injury with numerous other injuries and suspensions, the Cowboys saw their rating drop by almost as many points as the Pats without Brady.  The late signing of Sanchez does not swing the pendulum much, since rookie Dak Prescott will be the starter.

The opening ratings for this season indicate to us that this will be a season with a lot more parity than in recent years.  We could foresee many teams still in the playoff hunt in Mid-December with a lengthy list of playoff possibilities heading into the final week.  In seasons like this, a last place or third place team from the previous year could take advantage of the weak schedule and sneak into the playoffs as a wild card team with an 8-8 or 9-7 record.

The sexy pick this year is Oakland, where the Raiders have a powerful offense and improving defense, but the AFC West is really competitive this year.  Denver’s offense will backslide, and we see a pattern in the defenses led by Wade Phillips, where the teams he has led in the past do not sustain the same defensive strength the year after they dominated.  San Diego is capable of challenging in this division, so all four teams could be in a two or three win window at the end.

The Giants went 6-10 last year, and in a weaker division, it is not impossible for Eli and Company to go 9-7 this year and make the playoffs.  Tampa Bay and New Orleans both have just enough talent to eke out a possible 9-7 season, but Atlanta is also capable of going 10-6 or better and even challenge Carolina for the NFC South.

There are a couple of teams that appear to have all the pieces in place to go far this year.  In the AFC, after Brady’s return, the Patriots could go 10-2 or better and enter the playoffs as the team to beat in the conference.  Cincinnati is looking at a do or die season to make hay.  A team cannot stay consistently good for that many years without a Manning or Brady.  The Bengals were much closer to winning a playoff game last year than they have since they played in the Super Bowl in 1989.  This should be the year where Cinti finally advances to the next round of the playoffs, if the Bengals stay healthy.

The AFC South appears to be the weakest division in the NFL.  Houston will be a bit weaker this year, even if Osweiler puts up good numbers.  The Texans have a lot of issues on the defensive side, especially if J.J. Watt cannot play at full speed.  Indianapolis has a lot of holes, but the Colts have the return of Andrew Luck.  Jacksonville is all enthused over a great draft class and an improved roster, but the Jaguars are still at least a year away.  As for Tennessee, the Titans could possibly be looking at the top pick in the draft for the second year in a row.

The NFC’s stength lies in the West, where Arizona and Seattle both have Super Bowl caliber squads, and Los Angeles has the material to challenge for an 8-8 or 9-7 record.  San Francisco should challenge Tennessee and Cleveland for the worst overall record.

In the North, the Vikings still have a lot of talent, but we doubt Adrian Peterson will have the same or even similar season on the ground as he did last year.  The mobile Bridgewater had to be accounted for as a possible bootleg runner when Peterson was the lone back in the backfield.  Bradford is not a threat to run a counter away from the expected flow.  We expect the Vikings to settle around the .500 mark.  Green Bay should waltz to the division title, but keep an eye on Detroit.  The Lions were 6-2 in the second half of the season after a horrendous 1-7 start, and we believe they are closer to a 10-6 team than a 6-10 team.  As for the Bears, if things don’t go well in September, then the Midway Monsters may be more like mice and fall into the 10-12 loss area, where the next coach will choose a new quarterback.

We will debut our playoff projections in October.  Here are our beginning PiRate Ratings for 2016. Remember, these ratings reflect Brady, Romo, and Bridgewater not playing.  They also reflect Watt playing at about 70% effectiveness, as our ratings have algorithms for starting players not playing or playing at less than full strength.

You will also notice that we have added an offense and defense rating this year, and we will issue both predicted spreads and predicted totals.  And, unlike many other ratings, our home field advantages vary by the game.  Seattle’s advantage can be a couple points different when they host Miami as opposed to San Francisco.  Distance, weather, and playing field play an important part, as well as things like consecutive road games and playing on a Thursday or Saturday as opposed to Sunday or Monday.

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
N. Y. Jets 103.5 101.0 104.7 103.1 61 42
New England 100.5 98.1 100.8 99.8 61 39
Buffalo 99.2 100.1 99.4 99.6 59 41
Miami 94.7 96.3 94.3 95.1 59 36
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Cincinnati 107.5 106.9 108.4 107.6 65 43
Pittsburgh 103.7 103.2 104.8 103.9 64 40
Baltimore 98.6 100.9 98.2 99.2 62 37
Cleveland 91.3 92.9 90.8 91.7 58 34
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 101.0 102.7 101.0 101.6 64 38
Indianapolis 97.5 100.0 96.4 98.0 61 37
Jacksonville 97.2 99.1 96.4 97.6 58 40
Tennessee 92.4 94.9 91.7 93.0 54 39
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 105.8 102.0 105.9 104.5 62 43
Kansas City 102.8 102.1 104.1 103.0 63 40
Oakland 98.6 98.8 98.6 98.7 62 37
San Diego 97.2 98.4 96.7 97.4 62 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Washington 100.0 101.0 100.0 100.3 61 39
N.Y. Giants 98.7 97.7 98.4 98.3 62 36
Philadelphia 98.8 95.1 98.0 97.3 60 37
Dallas 93.0 93.4 92.4 92.9 54 39
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Green Bay 104.7 103.8 104.8 104.4 65 39
Minnesota 102.4 101.1 103.0 102.2 60 42
Detroit 100.7 99.9 100.3 100.3 63 37
Chicago 97.1 94.9 96.9 96.3 56 40
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 109.3 108.2 110.4 109.3 65 44
New Orleans 99.5 102.5 98.9 100.3 63 37
Atlanta 96.7 99.8 96.6 97.7 61 37
Tampa Bay 96.2 97.3 95.1 96.2 59 37
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Arizona 109.9 106.9 111.1 109.3 68 41
Seattle 109.3 105.6 110.6 108.5 66 43
Los Angeles 99.0 100.6 98.9 99.5 59 41
San Francisco 93.3 94.8 92.6 93.6 56 38

Spreads for Week 1

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Score
Denver Carolina -0.1 -2.7 -1.0 20-21
Atlanta Tampa Bay 2.5 4.5 3.5 24-20
Baltimore Buffalo 1.9 3.3 1.3 23-21
Houston Chicago 6.9 10.8 7.1 24-16
Jacksonville Green Bay -4.5 -1.7 -5.4 20-24
Kansas City San Diego 8.6 6.7 10.4 30-21
New Orleans Oakland 3.9 6.7 3.3 28-23
N. Y. Jets Cincinnati -1.0 -2.9 -0.7 19-22
Philadelphia Cleveland 10.5 5.2 10.2 30-21
Tennessee Minnesota -7.5 -3.7 -8.8 14-21
Seattle Miami 18.6 13.3 20.3 31-14
Dallas N. Y. Giants -2.7 -1.3 -3.0 19-21
Indianapolis Detroit -0.7 2.6 -1.4 24-23
Arizona New England 12.4 11.8 13.3 30-17
Washington Pittsburgh -1.2 0.3 -2.3 23-24
San Francisco Los Angeles -2.7 -2.8 -3.3 17-20

 

 

 

 

August 31, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 1-5, 2016

This just for fun weekly feature turned out to be our most widely read part of the PiRate Ratings last year, because just like a broken clock is correct twice a day, somehow our money line parlays returned 40% on investment last year. People began leaving comments at our sister site, http://www.piratings.webs.com , telling us they were using these picks to wager their hard-earned money. That disappointed us a lot, since we begged them not to do this.

This is a just for fun mathematical experiment. We have no inside information; we have no specialist in Vegas placing wagers anonymously for us like other heavy hitters. In fact, if we were to announce to any book that we would like to play our picks for real, they would bend over backwards to help us do just that. So, that should tell you not to use these picks. Just read what we have to offer. If there is some way to wager just for fun with your friends, by picking X number of teams to win outright, then maybe you can use our selections.

For those not aware of the Money Line, it is a line established to wager on who you think will win the game without having to cover a pointspread. Obviously, if Michigan plays Hawaii, you would take Michigan to win. As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend.” In order to take Michigan to win the game outright over Hawaii, you have to give ridiculous odds to the book. To win just $100 on this proposal, you must put up $75,000! If you want to wager just $100 on Hawaii to win the game in the biggest upset in years, you would win $25,000 if it happened!

Obviously, this is an extreme outlier. Let’s look at a closer game this week. Vanderbilt hosts South Carolina tomorrow night. The current Money Line odds are listed as Vanderbilt -185 and South Carolina +165. This means that if you believe the Commodores will win, you must put up $185 to win $100 ($285, because you get your investment money back as well). If you believe South Carolina will win this game, then by wagering $100, you stand to win $165 ($265 as you will get your $100 back as well if you win) if the Gamecocks win.

A Money Line parlay allows you to combine multiple games in order to raise your total odds. The catch is that if you bet X amount of games as one parlay wager, all X teams must win. It is considered a sucker bet to play this type of exotic wager, but we are not suckers, because we bet $0 every week. We can choose and choose parlays every week, and we will not lose a penny. We hope you will not either.

Here is our plan of attack that worked rather well last year for us. We will select a host of favorites and bunch them into parlays where the odds are better than even money for us should we win the wager. For example, let’s say that you combine three favorites into one parlay wager. Team A is listed at -250. Team B is listed at -235. Team C is listed at -225. The parlay on this three-team wager would be +188, or you would put up $100 to win $188 ($288 because as you know by now, when you win, you get back your investment money as well.)

It is not easy for three teams at -250, -235, and -225 to all win in a given week. That’s the catch. It looks so easy, and there are some nice hotels in Vegas that have been built from funds donated to them by suckers that thought it looked so easy.

Okay, now that you have been warned, let’s get started with our first Money Line Parlays of the 2016 season. We are playing just two parlays this week, and by playing, we mean like it is Monopoly–it is just a fun game.

Parlay #1

This one gives us +167 odds on our $100 fantasy investment. Yep, if we win, we receive $267 from the fake book in fake Vegas.

Tulsa over San Jose St.
Wake Forest over Tulane
LSU over Wisconsin
West Virginia over Missouri

Parlay #2

This one gives us +127 odds on our $100 fantasy investment. So, if we win just one of these two parlays, it will be a profitable week.

Colorado over Colorado St.
Temple over Army
UTEP over New Mexico St.
Minnesota over Oregon St.

Okay, that’s $200 fake invested funds into two parlays. If we lose both, we are out our imaginary $200. If we win #1 and lose #2, we will have a nice profit in week one returning $267 on the $200 wagered (33.5% ROI). If we lose #1 and win #2, we will have a so-so profit in week one returning $227 on the $200 wagered (13.5% ROI). If somehow both parlays win, we will be taking a fake vacation to an imaginary mountain lodge after pulling off a return of $494 on the $200 wagered (147% ROI).

One final warning and plea–please do not wager real money on these picks. Use them for fun only. See if you can come up with your own and see for yourself how easy hard it is.

Happy football holiday weekend.

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