The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 21, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 21-25, 2017

This Week’s Money Line Parlay Selections
We are going with four different selections, all combining two favorites at better than +130 odds.

#1 @ +161  
Must Win Must Lose
Boise St. Virginia
North Carolina Duke

#2 @ +145  
Must Win Must Lose
Wake Forest Appalachian St.
San Diego St. Air Force

#3 @ +133  
Must Win Must Lose
Miami NY Jets
Atlanta Detroit

#4 @ +164  
Must Win Must Lose
Kansas City LA Chargers
Denver Buffalo

 

Winner Winner but Not Enough Chicken to Call It Dinner
We prefaced last weeks two choices by telling you we were not all that confident with either one, because they both required five teams to win in order to win the two Money Line Parlay selections. As it turned out, we won one of the two, which guaranteed a winning week, but we were not all that happy with the outcome. You see, the other 5-game parlay quickly went 4-0 during Saturday afternoon. The final game of the parlay took place Saturday night in Columbia, South Carolina, where the Gamecocks hosted Kentucky. USC’s offense failed to show up, and Kentucky’s defense played exceptionally well, and poof went our hopes and dreams for a big payday.

With the exception of Kansas City having to hold on to beat Philadelphia, the five NFL games on our parlay were nondescript. All five teams won, and in most cases, their games were never in doubt.

So, for the week with our imaginary bankroll, we invested $200 and received back $376 for a return on investment of 88%. For the year, we are still in the hole, as we have invested $800 and received back $654 for a return on investment of -18%.

This week we double our selections to four, but the four games only require us to play two teams each. That’s the way we usually prefer to go–play two game parlays that return better than +120 odds. We have received multiple inquiries from you concerning how we figure our payout odds. We get this every year, and we realize that some of you are new to this site, so we apologize for not remembering this at the beginning of each season.

Here is the explanation in full so that even the first-time reader can understand.
The Money Line is different from wagering against the spread. In the normal spread wagering, if Team A is favored by 4 1/2 points over Team B, you can take one side over the other. If Team A wins by 5 or more points, that side wins the wager. If Team B wins or loses by less than 5 points, that side wins the wager.

In the Money Line, you only need to select the team that you believe will win the game, be it by 1 or 100 points. The difference here is that if you wager on the favorite, you must give the sports book better odds than you get. If you wager on the underdog, the sports book must give you better odds than they will get. Of course, the odds you get either way will be 10% shy of what the true odds would be, as the book must make its profit.

Let’s say that the Money Line for Team C vs. Team D is: Team C -200 and Team D +170. What this means is that if you wager on Team C, for every $2 you invest, you have the opportunity to win $1 in profit. In easier parlance, you must invest $200 to win $100 in profit. If you place a $100 bet on Team C to win, and they win, you receive back $150 (The $100 you invested + the $50 profit). If you wager on Team D, then for every $1 you invest, if Team D wins in an upset, you would receive $1.70 in profits. Thus, if you wagered $100 on Team D, and they pulled off the upset, you would receive $270 back from the book (The $100 you invested + $170 profit).

The PiRates have had some modicum of success wagering on multiple game Money Line parlays. Rather than wager on favorites and risk losing a lot more than winning when the upset occurs, we like to parlay (combine) games between favorites until the total odds exceed +120. That means that for every parlay we play, our reward for a win would exceed 20% profit. We believe we can find multiple favorites every week that when combined in a parlay, give us these wonderful odds as well as an excellent opportunity to win.

Let’s take a look at how a parlay works. We won’t bore you with the math, because we explained it one year, and it was a snooze fest. You don’t need to know how to calculate the payoff odds, as there are numerous Parlay Calculators available online. We like the one at vegasinsider.com. It is easy to use, and you can reset it and quickly do another game.

There is another key in getting the best odds–shop around. Besides the odds at Vegas Insider, we search Madduxsports.com, Oddsshark.com, and Covers.com among others.

Let’s take a look at how the parlay calculator works and how it applies to what we do. Let’s look at the Vegasinsider.com parlay calculator which you can find at: http://www.vegasinsider.com/parlay-calculator/.

Look at the money line odds for the teams you want to combine into a parlay. Let’s say that you know with close to 100% certainty that Ohio State will beat UNLV and Clemson will beat Boston College this week. Okay, so just about anybody could select this and believe they had it made. Okay, let’s now look at the Money Lines for these two games. As this is written early Thursday morning on the East Coast, we can find a Money Line for Ohio State at -54,000 and for Clemson at -20,825. Plug those two numbers into the calculator, and the result is: 0.67. This means if you wager $100 on this parlay, you stand a chance to win 67 cents back in profit. That’s why you would not play this parlay–it is ridiculous to risk $100 for receiving 67 cents change.

Now, let’s look at something more realistic. Let’s look at a couple of NFL games. Tonight, the LA Rams play at San Francisco. We can find current money line odds of -140 on LA. Now, look at Baltimore at Jacksonville. The Ravens’ money line odds from the identical book (each parlay must be played with just one book obviously), is -190. We plug in -140 and -190 in the calculator, and the result is: 161.65. Now, this is a number we like. We can put down $100 on this parlay, and if both the Rams and Ravens win, we would receive $261.65 back from the book ($100 invested + $161.65 profit). The catch is that both Baltimore and LA must win their games. If one doesn’t, then we are out that $100.

Let’s do just a little math now, because we are numbers’ nerds here on the SS Euclide PiRate Ship. Let’s say the average payout odds of all the games we select for an entire season are +167. What percentage of games must we win to break even for the year? Look at this the easy way. If we lose 5 games, we are out $500. If we win 3 games we make $501 in profit. So, we must win 3 out of every 8 games we select to break even, and that comes to 37.5% accuracy.

The last three seasons, we have exceeded this 37.5% success rate, two of the three years by quite a lot. It is our niche. We believe that we can successfully stay above 40%. At just 42.9%, we can return 14.4% on what we invest. At 44.4%, we can return 18.7% on what we invest. At 50%, we can return 33.5% on what we invest. Last year, we won more than we lost and took an 11% profit for the season. Two years ago was a windfall, as we topped 40%.

You might say that it is unwise to wager this amount for 11% profit, because you can return 11% in an average year by purchasing an S&P 500 ETF through a discount broker. That’s quite true, and we heartily endorse this over wagering on our recommendations. There are a couple of catches. First, the 11% return on your ETF requires 365 days. The 11% through the sports books only takes 5 months. That equates to an annual return of 26.4%, and you don’t have to worry about selling your stock all at once. You get weekly dividends when you win. Then, in January, you can take your winnings and invest them in that ETF, or Dogs of the Dow, or with Warren Buffett or Seth Klarman if you can.

OF COURSE, AND MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS–We do this just for fun and never wager real currency on our selections provided herein.  We suggest you do the same.

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