The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 28, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 28-October 2, 2017

After four weeks of the football season, our readers might just want to take a knee; then again, they might want to place that knee firmly in some PiRate groin!  Ouch!  1,000 apologies if you took our ill-adivsed advice!

Another losing week, and we are now in the hole to the tune of -25% return on our investment for the season.  We won only one of last week’s four selections, returning $245 on $400 invested.  The -25% return for the season comes from $899 returned on $1,200 invested, quite a hole to try to emerge from before the season runs out of dates.

Our one solace, and we hope this is yours as well, is that these are imaginary dollars.  We can continue to select a liberal amount of games and be a bit wild with our selections, because we are only out the time it takes to pick these games.

This week, you will notice that all of our selections are college football games.  There are no NFL picks.  Make of this what you want, and you will be partially correct.  For one, we just didn’t feel like looking at the NFL Money Lines.  None of us will attend any games this week, and as far as we know, none of us will be watching on TV or listening on the radio.  Another reason why we didn’t select any NFL games is that the league is extremely erratic this year.  The supposed sure-thing 0-16 Jets won big over a playoff contender, and the Texans with a rookie QB almost beat New England, so let’s just walk away from the NFL for now.  The politics can only make the outcomes more unpredictable.

That leaves us with college football, and there are a lot of good games this week.  By good, we mean games in which the favorite is in the 5 to 10 point range, which presents us excellent Money Line potentials.  We actually like one underdog winning outright on the road, and we are going to put that one out as a single entry.

Here are our 5 parlay selections for this week.  Remember this: The members of the PiRate Ratings are not foolish enough to wager real currency on these selections.  We are nervous enough with our value stock selections, which are real, so we don’t need the added stress.  You to should avoid the stress of worrying about losing $500 real dollars on these selections, so only wager imaginary money if you must.

#1 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia Tech North Carolina
Georgia Tennessee
Nebraska Illinois
#2 @ +150  
Must Win Must Lose
Iowa Michigan St.
#3 @ +146  
Must Win Must Lose
Central Florida Memphis
Cincinnati Marshall
#4 @ +128  
Must Win Must Lose
Kentucky Eastern Mich.
Western Mich. Ball St.
La. Tech South Alabama
Boston College Central Mich.
#5 @ +135  
Must Win Must Lose
UNLV San Jose St.
Florida Intl. Charlotte
San Diego St. N. Illinois
Florida Vanderbilt






  1. Hi! Am reading with interest your pretend bets based on the moneyline.
    Your range from 5 to 10 odds will give good payouts but the odds may cause
    you problems. I took the 2016 season file from Todd Beck’s website – and resorted the spreadsheet data lumping
    the games by updated line. That’s 750 games for the season.

    Here is a simplified breakout of what popped out.

    Updated lines:
    1 to 4 = 55% winners ( 86 of 157 games )
    4.5 to 14.5 = 71% ( 253 of 357 games )
    15 and up = 89% ( 211 of 236 games )

    abnormalities in 2016 data
    7.5 and 8 combined = 48% ( 15 of 21 games )
    11.5 = 50% ( 3 of 6 games )
    14.5 = 33% ( 3 of 9 games )
    The abnormals are too small a sample size but did look strange bracketed
    by percentages of 70 to 90%.

    Basically, it looks like your 4 game parlays will be tough – even if round-robined,
    since you stand to lose 1 of 4 games in that odds range.

    What I am trying this season is RIF bets (rolling IF bets).
    I am more of a grinder than shoot-the-moon type player.
    Playing Yahoo pickem with confidence points I often win
    a season trophy, but rarely ‘win’ any particular week.

    Each week I rank all the FBS games and can pick a selection to play.
    So I am ordering a set of 12-16 games and grouping them in sets of 4 games,
    with odds from 15 to ~7. Each 4-game set is spread out over the range of odds.

    In theory ( lol ) I am setting up a primary bet of say, $10 on the highest
    odds of each 4-game set – all bets are moneyline bets on odds favorites.
    Then I do a RIF bet for the next lower odds, but for $8.( If any bet in the chain
    loses, then the following RIF bets drop off as if they were never made.)
    Then a second RIF for $6.
    Then a third RIF for $4 for the lowest odds game of the 4-game set.
    The maximum I can lose on each 4-game set is $10.

    Surprisingly, the payout win for each bet is about $1.5 to $2 for each bet.

    From a money management point of view, I like to limit the maximum theoretical loss,
    but this way I see a lot of action that makes for an entertaining Saturday!

    Week 5 is the first week I tried this system since the first 4 weeks have no
    worthwhile stats to trust with pretend money. Theoretically I played 16 games
    at a total risk of $40 and ended up with $55 winning 12 games.
    Fortunately for me two losses were both in one 4-game set and one winning RIF was
    dropped in that 4-game set. Two sets each won all 4 games.

    Now I am set up for week six for another $40 group of 16 games. Why $40?
    Money management so I can be sure to play all season on the original stake.
    I don’t ‘get behind’ and have a psychological push to overextend bets.
    Yes, I know you NEVER encourage anyone to gamble real money on anything!

    This is all just FYI for your amusement – I appreciate your posting so much
    info – I especially use your FBS-FCS info in my big league of all FBS games
    and you figure prominently on Todd Beck’s site. No response to this
    message is expected – hope you have fun in your predictions!
    Cheers, Dave in Oklahoma

    Comment by daveinokla — October 4, 2017 @ 7:04 pm

    • Dave, you are our type of mathelete. Your post is exceptional, and all of us here highly suggest (make that wish) you will start a blog or webpage and further publicize your theory. It definitely is on the mark as something to follow in a larger sampling size. Ironically, we had a private email this week from a head of a math department at a local university (just so happens to be a former professor of one of us PiRates), and he suggested we run a sample of how our selections would work as singletons. He theorizes that the amount of extra odds from combining games into parlays does not offset your same 1 in 4 games lost beliefs. If we broke up a 4-game parlay into 4, 1-game wagers at less than even odds, he believes we would have a greater chance at coming out in the black, albeit with less ROI–sort of the lower mean, lower stdev.

      Alas, we began this feature as a money line parlay experiment using only imaginary currency, so to be consistent, we feel compelled to continue playing games at odds above +120. Yes, we hate 4 and more games in a parlay, and we have stated so in past editions, but we also theorize that since we are picking and choosing games and not going with four random games, that we are believing, right or wrong, that we have extra statistical data that shows the money lines to be incorrect for the games, thus moving the percentage chances of winning up by some unscientifically-measurable amount.

      Dave, thanks once again for probably the best comment ever on this website, and please continue to contribute. But, please consider becoming a peer of ours in the mathletic arena.

      Comment by piratings — October 5, 2017 @ 5:18 am

      • Thanks for the kind comment – just for fun, here is my 5th week selections.
        Broken into 4 sets indicating the pretend bet size of 10,8,6,&4
        All would be moneyline odds favorites.
        Don’t think they are in actual odds line order – this is how I rate them
        in a spreadsheet from hell – all the 10s together, etc. Like you, I don’t always agree on how
        the bookmakers set odds. I rarely deviate from odds favorites above 4.
        410 Marshall
        408 Army
        406 Kentucky
        404 Navy
        310 Penn St.
        308 Louisiana Tech
        306 Utah St.
        304 Louisiana-Monroe
        210 Memphis
        208 Ohio
        206 Navy
        204 Utah St.
        110 Toledo
        108 Wisconsin
        106 Colorado
        104 Western Mich.
        I goofed up and made a 2nd Utah St choice when I meant Stanford – ahh well.
        If do overs were allowed, Stanford would be 204.
        Will be watching to see what parlays you set for week 5!
        If you click on my photo, then the website, you hit my FB page – I think… LOL
        cheers, dave

        Comment by daveinokla — October 5, 2017 @ 12:10 pm

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