The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 1, 2022

PiRate Picks–September 1-5, 2022

You know what they say about a broken clock being accurate twice a day? The PiRate Ratings happened to hit the right time on our broken clock in week one. We began the season with three totals’ plays in Week 0, and by luck, all three won. So, we start the season 3-0 against the spread, but are our picks a broken clock that happened to get lucky and be broken on the right time, or did we legitimately begin the season on a winning note?

In most years, our picks begin seasons on a somewhat mediocre beginning and then hit a hot spot in October and early November. What are we to make of a 3-0 start, where if we had begun with an imaginary bank account of $1,000 and wagered $100 on each of the three picks, we would have $1,300 in our account today? Maybe, if we were smart enough, we’d cash in our winning 30% profit and go away for the season. Not many people can make a 30% profit on an investment in one year.

Ah, but here’s the rub. In actuality a 30% profit on $0 is still $0. We could lose every pick we make the rest of the season, and we will have the same amount of real money we would have if we won every wager the rest of the year, because out real investment in this is $0. We never wager real money on these picks, and please don’t do so either.

Some of you do wager for real. We hope this site is merely an addendum to your process.

We have chosen three more selections in Week 1 of the College Football Season, and the three selections involve three different types of wagers. We are going with one side, one total, and one Money Line Parlay with a potential payoff of 141.77%.

Selection #1: Florida + 2 1/2 vs. Utah

Utah probably has three key games this year, where if the Utes go 3-0, they might be 13-0 when the College Football Playoff Committee chooses the four big teams. This is one of those three. I’d really like to see this game move to 3 1/2 points, because about 1 of every 11 college football games end with a 3-point spread. However, this one is a game where we believe the wrong team might be favored. Florida was much better than their record last year. The Gators basically mailed it in the second half of the year, and Dan Mullen was shown the door. New coach Billy Napier has restored the faith at the Swamp. While this Gator team has some vulnerable areas, maybe on the offensive side of the ball, the thought here is that the defense will be fired up and play above their heads in Napier’s first game. While the average of the three PiRate Ratings show Utah to be more than a 6-point favorite in this game, the thought here is that the Gators will be a touchdown better than their real worth, and that makes Florida a slight favorite. Getting 2 1/2 points when the underdog looks like a 55% outright winner is enough to work and make this a pick.

Selection #2: Michigan and Colorado St. UNDER 61 1/2

The question here to us is, “Can Michigan score over 50 points in this game?” The reason we ask this is that Colorado State is likely to score 10 points or less trying to break in a new offense with a new coach and without the necessary players to make it work? Michigan figures to win this game by more than 4 touchdowns, more likely 5 touchdowns. A score of 45-10 looks about right here, and that’s 6 1/2 points less than the total for this game.

Selection #3: Money Line Parlay–3 games at +141.77

Pittsburgh over West Virginia

TCU over Colorado

Houston over UTSA

The Backyard Brawl to start the season is an incredible first game rivalry. Pittsburgh lost a lot of talent off last year’s team, but the Panthers had a good bit of depth. Meanwhile, West Virginia is slowly building up their talent level, but the Mountaineers have a long way to go. In fact, this could be the year where the game with Kansas determines which team finishes last in the Big 12. Pittsburgh looks 10-13 points better to start the season.

TCU starts a new era in Fort Worth for the first time since 2000. Sonny Dykes tries to give the Horned Frogs a little more offense and brings more of a passing game, air-raid style. After surprising some people in the 2020 Covid year and guiding the Buffs to four consecutive wins to start his tenure in Boulder, Colorado has since gone 4-10. This game looks like a 10-14 point win for TCU.

Houston figures to contend along with Central Florida as Cincinnati’s top competitors in the American Athletic Conference. While UTSA is a top of the food chain team in CUSA, they are not ready to stake a claim to second best team in the Lonestar State after Texas A&M. Even playing in San Antonio, the Cougars are at least a touchdown better than the Roadrunners.

Season to Date

Beginning Bankroll (not real): $1,000

Imaginary Investment Last Week: $300

Outcome 3-0

Imaginary return $600

New Bank Account: $1,300


  1. So in the case outlined, if others were using your numbers to bet, they’d actually like Utah but you guys are in reality liking Florida?

    That does not make sense, shouldn’t you adjust your rating on Florida if that’s how you really feel since you’re numbers say they have an human element?

    Comment by Jay — September 1, 2022 @ 4:44 pm

  2. Only the weekly updating process has a human element in it. The preseason ratings are 100% mechanical, so other than creating the algorithms, everything else is inputting data and getting three ratings. Additionally, the weekly picks against the Spread, Total, or Money Line are totally separate from the ratings. Originally, these picks involved four others in addition to myself pouring over data and trying to come up with playable games. There are actually some rules that are followed in picking games, and none of them involve the computer ratings. Games are picked not as much by looking at the teams as by looking at the numbers. Most of the successful Sharps go by the number and not solely by the game. They will play a favorite of 4 1/2 points because the chances of a 3 or 4 point outcome are more more than 12.3%. They might play the underdog if the spread is 7 1/2 points because the chances of a 1, 3, 4, or 7 points are 23.37%.

    Comment by piratings — September 1, 2022 @ 5:54 pm

    • No that makes sense, but I think what the guy is trying to say is, your numbers like Utah but you are choosing Florida.

      Comment by Trent — September 1, 2022 @ 10:22 pm

      • Yes, that was what I was explaining. They are two different things. The ratings are a computer rating that attempts only to pick the margin of the game to the closest number. It doesn’t matter whether it is on the right betting side. The accuracy is judged on lowest mean square error. The betting world doesn’t care how close a game is to its margin. If you bet on the favorite to win in a 5-point spread, and they win by 40, that is a good thing for you. If the computer rating shows a team to be 5 points better than their opponent, and they win by 40, and the choice is on the winning side of the wager, that is still very poor for the rating. But, if the computer says the spread should be 4.7 points, and the real margins was 5 points, even if it lost against the spread, that is a major success.

        The weekly picks only attempt to pick winners against the spread, total, or money line. It is independent of the computer ratings. Sort of unfortunately, our weekly picks have dwarfed our ratings and spreads in number or visitors to the site. It stands to reason that millions more people are now trying to get rich quick now that giving their mortgage payments away is legal. When this site went live in the early 2000’s, 5% of the visitors chose the weekly picks. Now, it’s more like 2/3 of all visitors that come to this site to see the Thursday morning feature.

        Every year, I receive messages from people saying they replicated the picks here and either won a bundle or lost a bundle. When they win, they thank us over and over, and when they lose, they curse us over and over. Not one of them ever mentions that we urged them not to use these picks in real betting. We consider it an ongoing experiment to see if a consistent profit can be made based on our own in-house formulas for wagering. These formulas have 0% in common with the PiRate Ratings.

        Comment by piratings — September 2, 2022 @ 5:24 am

    • This makes perfect sense

      Thank you for clarifying

      I was blindly using the ratings to see discrepancies between them and lines to circle games to look into further.

      Now that you clarified that the ratings aren’t correlated directly to your weekly picks it helps me understand it better as well.

      I was under the impression they were tied to one another. But I will focus more on the picks instead of only the ratings.

      Comment by Jay — September 3, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

      • Now, that said, I know there is a group of very intelligent people in the State of Nevada that do take these ratings and use them in some manner that I know nothing about and win big. I had a chance once to find out, but I was worried that it would be too tempting to actually try, and it would have been the kiss of death for that group.

        There is also a somewhat famous female handicapper that monitors the ratings too. If she’s wondering how I know this and is reading this message, I have friends at Westgate too.

        Comment by piratings — September 3, 2022 @ 5:19 pm

      • Kelly? Lolls

        Jay Kornegay is the man.
        Westgate and Circa, amazing

        Comment by Jay — September 3, 2022 @ 9:27 pm

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