The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 16, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for November 16-18, 2017

After a winning week with a modest 35% return on our investment, the PiRate Rating Money Line Parlays are just a fraction below break even for the season.  We are submitting three selections this week, with the odds being a tad lower in hopes that at least two of these three will win and put us back in the black for the season.  There are numerous trap games this week, so we chose to lay off about 35 of these games that could have been used to produce parlays in the +180 to +235 range.  The problem is that in just about every case, we were split on one of the games in the possible parlay.  For instance, the Western Kentucky-Middle Tennessee game found us divided at 3 to 3.  Either way, we could have used this parlay to produce a nice fat odds in our favor, but none of us are steadfast in our belief in the team we believe will win.  You can put a ditto on Wake Forest and North Carolina St.  We were 3-3 on that game too.

What you do receive this week are three parlays in which we were 6-0 on all but one game, and 5-1 on the other (NW-Duke).

Here are our 3 selections for the week.  REMEMBER: we issue these selections only for entertainment purposes and NEVER wager real currency on these picks.  We advise you follow our lead.  If you are a professional “player” and will play regardless, please use these selections as only one source for your investing ideas.

#1 @ +136  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia Tech Duke
West Virginia Texas
******************** ********************
#2 @ +165  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Minnesota
South Alabama Georgia Southern
Missouri Vanderbilt
********************  ********************
#3 @ +122  
Must Win Must Lose
Utah St. Hawaii
Old Dominion Rice
Idaho Coastal Carolina
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November 9, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for November 9-11, 2017

The Captain has regained control of the helm, and he is steering the PiRate ship once again.  Actually, the lasses suffered a loss last week, and they were too shy to come up with any parlays this week.  The Captain on short notice was only able to create two parlays, as he believes this may be a week to look at other wagering philosophies with several key games being played.

If you are new to this site, this weekly feature picks money line parlays that go off at better than +120 odds.  As a general rule, we look for 3-game parlays, but in some cases (like today), we will combine four or more games, and in fact, we once issued a 7-game parlay at +225 odds and won the wager.

Here are this week’s two parlay selections.  As always, consider this when deciding how you will make use of this publication: No PiRate booty has been jeopardized in the making of this feature.  We only play with pretend currency when selecting our parlays.

#1 @ +170  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Purdue
South Carolina Florida
Southern Miss. Rice
#2 @ +157  
Must Win Must Lose
Pittsburgh North Carolina
Florida Int’l. Old Dominion
Missouri Tennessee
Middle Tenn. Charlotte

 

 

November 2, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for November 2-6, 2017

The PiRate Captain had to send up the white flag after his lasses staged a successful mutiny two weeks ago. Much to his chagrin and ego, the ladies proceeded to come up with back-to-back weeks of pillaging of the Vegas vessels.

Last week, they brought in enough booty to send the SS Fortune into the black for the season. They proceeded to return a profit on the investment of a whopping 147%, missing out on going a perfect 4 for 4 by one play in overtime in the Appy State-U Mass game.  For the season, the PiRate Account is now in the black with a very modest 1% ROI.

The Captain will note that in the previous two seasons, the period from the last of October to the first of December followed the same MO–the selection results went from red numbers to black numbers and clinched a profit for the overall seasons.
Now, the lasses are lobbying to change the name of the PiRate ship to Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Captain is worried that five swollen heads on the lovely ladies could lead to a return of some booty to the Nevada books, but the ladies are overly confident that they have zeroed in using their superior female intuition.

Once again, the ladies picked the teams they thought had the best chance of winning outright but at the same time went off as small favorites, total tossups, or even slight underdogs. The Captain merely served as their accountant, putting together the best possible parlays as far as favorable odds go, thanks to his knowing which of the 2 dozen reputable books had the best overall odds.

 
The PiRate lasses selected four money line parlays, each going off at better than +120 odds, which is the unwritten rule for this weekly feature. Actually, there are just three parlays this week, as the fourth selection is a single game where the ladies believe the underdog should be favored by at least a touchdown.

Enjoy the picks, but remember, neither the ladies nor the Captain ever wager real money on the outcomes of these games. The goal here is to have fun with math.

#1 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
North Texas Louisiana Tech
#2 @ +144  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia St.
Georgia Southern
Kentucky Ole Miss
#3 @ +167  
Must Win Must Lose
Navy Temple
Northwestern Nebraska
#4 @ +204  
Must Win Must Lose
Missouri Florida
UAB Rice
Tulane Cincinnati

 

 

October 26, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for October 26-28, 2017

Oh brother!  I leave my ladies in charge of the website for a few days, and when I return from a nice long weekend, they have rearranged all the e-furniture.  Worse, they exchanged the Money Line picks I had left with their own, and they actually enjoyed a winning week.  They issued four selections (totally different than what I had left to be published), and they won two of the four for a return on investment of 28%.

Believe me, I have not heard the end of this.  Mrs. Captain, of course, sided with her gender, and so this week, I must defer to the ladies to pick the parlays yet again.  All I have done is to organize their picks into the best possible parlay odds by sourcing the best odds from the available books.  What you have as a result are four more parlays, each returning greater than +120 odds (actually this week better than +150) while playing no more than three games per parlay.

Because the ladies selected to teams to win outright as underdogs, and to minimize risk, I have combined these two underdogs in one parlay that, if it wins, it would return an incredible payoff at +375 (a $100 investment would return $475).

One preface to this before you look at the parlays.  Two of the ladies here bleed scarlet and gray and believe that the Giant Horseshoe is a basilica, tabernacle, shrine, and temple.  They believe that script Ohio is akin to the holy scriptures.  Their key pick this week is Ohio State over Penn State, and to add to their partiality, they refer to the opponent at State Pen, and they believe James Franklin was set on Earth by Lucifer.

Personally, I see the Buckeyes ready to get their revenge, but I know Coach Franklin and have seen him work miracles at Vanderbilt.  If he could win at Georgia and Florida as a bigger underdog than his Nittany Lions will be tomorrow, then he can certainly channel his inner Tom Lasorda and get his team ready to run through the walls at said horseshoe.  I would not have selected this game as part of a parlay, but then I have ceded control of this submission to the lasses.

#1 @ +152  
Must Win Must Lose
Northern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Appalachian St. Marshall
Georgia Florida
#2 @ +162  
Must Win Must Lose
South Carolina Vanderbilt
Notre Dame NC State
Texas Baylor
#3 @ +152  
Must Win Must Lose
SMU Tulsa
Iowa Minnesota
Ohio St. Penn St.
#4 @ +375  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Michigan St.
Wyoming New Mexico

Money Line Parlay Tutorial for newcomers to this site

If you are new to Money Lines and Parlays, hopefully this will explain it well enough for you to understand what is going on above.

When two sports teams play, the more familiar way to provide options for wagering is a pointspread.  For instance, say that Notre Dame is playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  Alabama might be favored to win by 6 1/2 points.  In order for Alabama to win the game for those that bet on the Crimson Tide, they would have to win by 7 or more points.  If Notre Dame won or lost by 6 points or less, then those that wagered on Notre Dame would win their bets.

There is another way to bet on this game.  It is called the “Money Line.”  Pointspreads are not used.  Instead, you simply pick either Alabama or Notre Dame to win the game.  If you can bet on Alabama to win this game, even by one point, it sounds too good to be true.  Yes, there is a catch here.  In order to bet on Alabama, you must put up more money than the sports book, but if you bet on the underdog Irish to win the game, the book puts up more money than you.  This is why the wager is called a “money line.”

When you look at money line odds, the favorite will have a minus number, and the underdog will have a plus number, although there are times when a tossup game will have two minus numbers.  The reason for this is that the sports books must get their cut or vigorish.

Let’s look at a couple games to be played tonight.  Northern Illinois hosts Eastern Michigan, and NIU is a modest favorite.  The Money Line is available at about 15 sports books where one could make a wager in one’s home via the Internet.  The line may vary from site to sire, so it is best to shop around to find the best odds.

For our purposes in this tutorial, we will use one famous online sports book, Five Dimes.  At the present time, the Money Line odds at 5D for the NIU-EMU game is listed at:   Northern Illinois -275, Eastern Michigan +235.

If you want to wager on NIU, you must put up $275 for every $100 5 Dimes puts up.  If you wager $100 on NIU to win, you will $36.36 profit and receive back $136.36 if NIU wins, and you will be out $100 if they lose.  If you wager $100 on EMU to win, you will receive $275 profit and receive back $375 if EMU wins, and you will be out $100 if they lose.

When you combine two or more games into one money line wager, your odds improve, but your chances of winning all the games in the one wager go down.  Let’s say you want to combine three favorites into one betting wager.  Let’s say you are going to play a parlay that includes Favorite #1 at -250, Favorite #2 at -225, and Favorite #3 at -180.

How do yo determine what the odds would be on this parlay of three favorites, all of whom would have to win their games for you to win your wager?  I won’t bore you with the mathematical formula.  There is an easy way to figure the odds, and it is called a parlay calculator.  You don’t have to buy this from a Las Vegas book store.  They are available for free in many places online.  In our opinion, the parlay calculator at Vegasinsider.com is the easiest one to use.  You can find this calculator at: http://www.vegasinsider.com/parlay-calculator/

First, we select $100 for the bet amount (you can put any other amount in this spot, but all of the PiRate Rating parlays are played at $100 per wager.  We simply input -250, -225-, and -180 adjacent to Team #1 Money Line, Team #2 Money Line, and Team #3 Money Line.  Then we click on “Calculate”, and we see the number $214.57 returned.  This means that if these three favorites we have selected all win their games, we will make a $214.57 profit and receive $314.57 in our account (The profit plus what we wagered).  If the three teams do not all win their games, we will be out the $100 we invested on this game.  It can be a headache to see two teams win their games, and then your final favored team loses in an upset due to a fourth quarter field goal, but it happens, and you have to live with it.

Our goal at the PiRate Ratings is to select parlays that return better than +120 odds, while betting mostly on favored teams.  We prefer to play no more than three games in a parlay, but there are times when we might play 6 or 7 prohibitive favorites when the odds look preferable.  We won a 7-team parlay once that returned +200 odds, and all 7 teams won by double-digits.  Of course, this is a rare event.  Every week, some big underdog will upset a favorite.  In recent weeks, we had some considerable underdogs pulling off big upsets.  Syracuse surprised Clemson.  Arizona State beat up on Washington, Arizona took out Washington State, Tulsa whipped Houston, Iowa State beat Oklahoma, and Troy beat LSU.  These sure things that could have been included on parlays destroyed the selections.

As usual, read this and understand it: The PiRates never wager real currency on our selections.  We enjoy the fun that mathematics married to athletics brings a group of math geeks.  We only wager imaginary money on these games, and thus we have no worries about issuing these picks.  They are strictly for the fun of it, and enjoying a winning week is a win for mathematics and not our bank accounts.

Enjoy the games, but be just as wealthy on Sunday morning as you are on Saturday morning.

 

October 19, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for October 19-21, 2017

The Captain has been shanghaied by the lasses.  After a couple weeks of total failure, the Captain handed over the controls of the PiRate Ship to us ladies, because, as he said, “Hey, you cannot do any worse than me.”

Actually, the Captain is enjoying the fruits of his labors as a baseball analytics specialist, and the thoughts of having the first Yankees-Dodgers World Series in 36 years (and as he stated, first legit season in 39 years) has sent him ahoy to dry land for the weekend.

Every week, the Captain prefaces this edition with the warning that you should not actually wager real money, or what goes for real money, on our parlay selections.  Readers, today, this edition of picks comes 100% from five women.

What can women know about football?  As the Captain says, if playing or coaching football made the men involved total experts, they would have all retired a long time ago and made even more money draining the sports books.  It just doesn’t happen.  Actually, the top experts are usually some professor at Cal Tech or MIT with a long computer program that spits out teams that when wagered on, return profits about 5 out of 8 times.

I am here to tell you that the 5 women contributing to this submission today probably have more actual football experience than the Cal Tech and MIT professors.  It may have been from Powder Puff College Football playing with Tri-Delt or Delta Gamma, but we know the game.

That doesn’t mean we know anything about picking winners, so be forewarned.  We went on intuition and other feminine instincts, and we came up with four parlays.  The only advice we received from the Captain was that we should limit our parlays to a max of 4 games, and the parlay calculator had to return a value better than +120.  We did both.

As for last week, need you ask?  The Captain issued just two parlays, and both lost.  For the season his return is -30%.  If we win this week, we just might mutiny and take over control of our vessel.

#1 @ +142  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Iowa
Minnesota Illinois
#2 @ +169  
Must Win Must Lose
Arkansas St. UL-Lafayette
Notre Dame USC
LSU Ole Miss
#3 @ +127  
Must Win Must Lose
Houston Memphis
Penn St. Michigan
#4 @ +132  
Must Win Must Lose
UAB Charlotte
Purdue Rutgers
Duke Pittsburgh

Good luck.  You’ll need it if you play our parlays.  Shame on you if you wager the paper that they say is real money on these selections.  If you want to gift away $400, you can send it to my Patreon page.

October 12, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for October 12-14, 2017

Ouch!  We took it on the chin and everywhere else last week, as all four of our parlays went down in flames.  It wasn’t even close, as we were 0-4 quite quickly.

About all we accomplished in the last two weeks is that we now have two of our followers experimenting with their own formulas.  One is using IF bets, while the other is going with single games.  Neither of them accomplished what they hoped so far, but both are mathematically sound.  The issue is that there is a bit more parity in football this season, and the teams that you and we just know will win for sure go off at Money Line odds of -1000 or worse.  If you are totally sure that Ohio State will beat Nebraska, Mississippi State will beat BYU, Alabama will beat Arkansas, Oklahoma State will beat Baylor, Georgia will beat Missouri, South Florida will beat Cincinnati, Clemson will beat Syracuse, and Iowa State will beat Kansas, you can put down a wager on this parlay and feel about 85% confident you will win this wager.  And guess what you will receive for every $1 you wager on this “sure thing”?  If you bet $1 and win, you will receive $1.35 in winnings, which includes your original buck invested.  Yes, it would be a 35% return on your investment, and even Warren Buffett and Seth Klarman would accept a 35% ROI over 3 days in the investment.  But, they would still hold off on this one, because the Margin of Safety would not be there, and the chances of losing all of the investment would outweigh the chance to make a 35% profit in 3 days.

This week our little ship of buccaneers and queens of the sea were not in agreement on many supposed sure-thing winners that would allow us to construct parlays with odds of +120 or better.  We only came up with two parlays, one of which forced us to go four-deep in games.  We are in the hole a bit too much to risk additional funds on games we do not all believe can win.

We almost made a decision to double our investment on this week’s games, but the Captain warned us that doubling down almost always ballooned into something out of control.  If you lose $100 this week, bet $200 next week; if you lose again, then bet $400 the next week; then $800, $1,600, $3,200, etc.  If you get on a really cold streak, soon you are betting your house and car, and your family, and your kidney, etc.  So, we stick with equal unit wagers on all games.

REMEMBER THIS: We are playing with imaginary currency.  So, we actually could double down, because $200 of fake dough is equal to $100 of fake dough.  We do know that a large number of you reading this use the real stuff, so we are going to approach this weekly feature as if it was real.  Also, there are more than one of you that have told us that you modify our selections and our Ratings’ Spreads and actually do quite well with the data.  One of you has even told us about how you have been ultra successful, but we did not press this issue in order for you to keep your method private.  Any method that really works quickly doesn’t work once the world discovers the secret, because the odds then change, making the system worthless.

Here are our picks for this week.  We hope they are a tad better than worthless, but we have our doubts.

#1@ +170  
Must Win Must Lose
UL-Lafayette Texas St.
South Carolina Tennessee
San Diego St. Boise St.

 

#2 @ +137  
Must Win Must Lose
Miami (O) Kent St.
Temple Connecticut
Tulane Florida Int’l.
Houston Tulsa

 

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

 

 

 

 

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.

September 14, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 14-18, 2017

Yuck!  You could say that about the weather in recent weeks.  You could say that about there not being enough “United” in the United States in recent months.  You could say that about being a Dodgers’ fan during the last fortnight or being a fan of a team that has a 4-game set with the Cleveland Indians.  You could say that about prime-time TV for the last 40+ years.  But, most of all, you can sum up our money line parlay selections through two weeks of the football season with that one word.

We usually start each season off a bit weak and then begin to succeed around the first week of October, culminating in a big couple of weeks in the second half that brings us a positive return on investment for the season.  We have to admit that so far this year, there seems to be just enough added parity in college football along with the usual uncertainty at the start of the NFL season to make this downright difficult to find parlays that return the type of odds we look for.  Sure, we could take Alabama at minus one zillion and win a dollar, and we could even put together a parlay of 10 favorites like Penn State over Georgia State and maybe get a parlay at -500, where for every 500 we put up we can win another 100.  But, that isn’t our style.  We are on the lookout only for parlays that give us +120 or higher odds.

We selected 5 parlays last week.  Each had excellent payout odds, and we were still alive in some of the really good ones with just one game left.  We selected Oklahoma to win at Ohio State and could have returned a nice chunk of cash playing that game as a singleton.  No, we had to add Stanford to that game to get +1010 odds, and when Stanford began the game looking like they could possibly win, we were pumped with the possibility that we could get far ahead on the plus side for the season.  Alas, USC started to look like the prognosticators believed they would look, and the Cardinal went back to Palo Alto with a huge loss on their slate.

So, for the week, we invested $500 of imaginary bankroll and received back $278 for a loss of $222 or -44% Return on Investment.  For the season, the numbers worsen to $600 invested and $278 returned for a -55.6% ROI.

As bad as the above sounds, it will sound even worse when we tell you that we didn’t really like 90% of the possible money lines this week.  We couldn’t find much value in this week’s college schedule, and the NFL still looks mysterious.  At this point of the season, and with two teams not even playing a game in week one, the NFL wars leave us trapped in a giant minefield.  Is there a new Dallas Cowboys team out there destined to go from last place in 2016 to the best record in the league?  What do we make of the LA Rams looking like the New England Patriots in week one, or the Patriots’ defense looking more like the 49ers defense?  What about the anemic offenses in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Houston, and New York (pick your poison with the Giants or Jets)?  What about the AFC West?  Could it be that four of the top 10 teams or at least three of the top five teams in the AFC come from that division?  The Chiefs and Raiders dominated in week one like it was 1966 through 1969 in the old AFL.

What we are trying to say is that we are only risking $200 of imaginary bankroll this week.  We are selecting one college and one NFL parlay, and we admit up front, we do not particularly like either selection, because they both required too many games to get the odds we like.  If we win one of the two, it will be a profitable week, but we are telling you before you see the two picks that we have little faith in either one this week.  As we said before, if you want a guaranteed winner to about 96% possibility, then you can come up with a parlay of about 10 sure things and still have to play them at ridiculous odds so that one upset would empty your account.

For instance, you could make a parlay of Penn State over Georgia State, Virginia Tech over East Carolina, Oklahoma over Tulane, Ohio State over Army, Alabama over Colorado State, Utah over San Jose State, Washington over Fresno State, and Michigan over Air Force.  All eight teams are prohibitive favorites, and it is an almost certain possibility that all eight favorites will win, making this almost a sure thing.  The problem is that for every $100 you put into a parlay like this, you can win a whopping $18.37 profit on your investment.  It is actually a sucker bet, because out of those eight sure things, at this point in the season, one of those games is not the sure thing it looks to be, and we don’t really know which one it is, but rest assured one of these sure thing games will turn out not to be that way.

With that in mind, here are our two official selections for the week.

#1 @ +179  
Must Win Must Lose
Temple U Mass
South Carolina Kentucky
Duke Baylor
Wake Forest Utah St.
Oregon Wyoming

Having to go five games deep to get a decent potential ROI, we would expect to get better favorites than this quintet.  We went with Temple mainly because this is a selection against U Mass.  South Carolina and Kentucky look like it should be close to a tossup, but in Columbia, we believe the Gamecocks are a touchdown better, and they are coming off a semi-impressive win over Missouri, while the Wildcats have been close to clawless through two lackluster wins.  We are taking Duke over Baylor for the same reason we took Temple; Baylor has looked anemic in two games under Matt Rhule, and the transition to his style of play could be really tough.  Wake Forest looks to have something going this year under Dave Clawson,  The Demon Deacons took Boston College to the woodshed last week, and at home against a so-so Utah State team, they “appear” to be ready to start the season at 3-0.  Oregon looks like one of those sure things against Wyoming, but you never know what might happen in Laramie.  That is a subtle home field advantage for the Cowboys, and an improving Duck team may be walking into an ambush.

 

#2 @ +276  
Must Win Must Lose
Baltimore Cleveland
Carolina Buffalo
New England New Orleans
Kansas City Philadelphia
Oakland NY Jets

The Ravens looked more like the Baltimore teams of 4 to 5 years ago last week when they punished Andy Dalton and Cincinnati.  The Bengals score after 60 minutes was the same as their score before the game kicked off.  The Ravens now get Cleveland for their home-opener, but the Browns looked like they were a force to be reckoned with against Pittsburgh in week one.  It could be that “Money Ball” is about to start paying off near Lake Erie.  But, we believe the Ravens will be up to the task this Sunday.  Is Carolina going to look more like the 2015 team than the 2016 team?  Did Buffalo really look that bad against the 32nd best team in the NFL and really have to worry about beating the Jets?  If so, then the Panthers should win by double digits this week.  New England playing New Orleans should never be allowed to happen again.  No, we don’t mean the two teams should never be scheduled, but how do you give one team and extra three days off while making the other team have to play on the road on Monday Night?  4 extra days to prepare for a game, coming off the debacle in Foxboro on opening night against the Chiefs?  We’ll take the road team in this one.  In taking Kansas City and Oakland at home against the Eagles and Jets, we are going under the assumption that the two bitter rivals are possibly the two best teams in the NFL.

So, there you have it for this week.  Remember that the PiRates never wager real money on our selections.  It is just a mathematical exercise for fun.  Please do not wager real money on our just-for-fun selections.  That even goes for the five or six of you who are real professionals who claim that you have a unique way of playing our ratings that makes your weekends very profitable.  It reminds us of the football handicapper with a system that consistently won 26% of his single sides wagers and never realized that if he just took the other side every week, he’d be the most successful guy in Vegas.

September 7, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Selections For: September 7-11, 2017

Recent PiRate Ratings history has shown that our money line parlay selections have been rather mediocre in the month of September. It figures, since we only select parlays that produce returns of better than 100% if they win. It can be harder earlier in the season to get a solid grasp on teams that we feel are certain to win and not just should win.
Today, we are going to include two long shot parlays that we felt compelled to select, just for the fact that they offer crazy returns, while at the same time looking quite possible.
We hope you do not wager your hard-earned money based on our advice. We know there are many of you that do not heed that recommendation. If you want to lose, you should at least lose picking games from your heart and brain. We never lose, because all we wager is the little bit of time it takes to select our parlays. In our hearts and brains, this is always a lot of fun, so we are guaranteed winners every week.

As for the opening week of the pretend wagering season, we selected just one parlay. It was looking good for awhile, until the Cal Bears put a hurtin’ on North Carolina in Chapel Hill. We lost the 5-game parlay on that one game, as the other four went our way. Alas, as with parlays that return better than 100%, this happens.

This week, we are going with five different parlays. Two of these parlays are long shots, returning hefty profits if they should happen to miraculously win. One of these two could almost guarantee another winning season if it wins, and it incredibly allows us to go with two ranked teams, one in the top 5!

Looking at the official numbers, after one week, we are at $-100 on $100 invested. That is a 100% loss on investment to date.

Here are this week’s parlay selections

 

#1 @ +118  
Must Win Must Lose
Purdue Ohio
New Mexico New Mexico St.

Purdue’s new offense has not yet hit its stride, and it may not this season.  However, the Boilermakers have some athletes getting a chance to shine after being restrained prior to Jeff Brohm’s arrival.  After giving Louisville all it could handle last week, we believe the team believes in Brohm and will come out firing on all cylinders at Ross Ade Stadium.

As for the rivalry in the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico looks like the superior team on both sides of the ball, but the Aggies are not that far behind.  In most years, the Lobos would be stronger favorites.  We believe New Mexico’s running game will eventually control what happens on the scoreboard.

 

 

#2 @ +140  
Must Win Must Lose
UTEP Rice
Miss St. La. Tech

UTEP  looked a tad bit better against Oklahoma than Rice looked against Stanford, and this game is in El Paso.  Throw in the possibility that the Owls may be on the verge of quitting on David Bailiff, while the Miners still have faith in Sean Kugler.

Mississippi State does play Louisiana Tech in Rustin this week, but the Tech home field advantage should not affect the outcome of this game.  The Bulldogs never seem to get the respect they deserve under Dan Mullen.  They are better than any team in CUSA, and they should win this game by double digits.

 

#3 @ +1010  
Must Win Must Lose
Oklahoma Ohio St.
Stanford USC

This parlay intrigued us all week, so we just had to use it.  How frequently does one get a chance to return 10 times his investment while playing two ranked teams?  We are going with the Number 5 and Number 14 team to win, in other words, not really shocking upsets if they happen.  We know the chance that both underdogs win on the road is slim, but hey, this is for more than a thousand in winnings on just $100 invested.

 

 

#4 @ +178  
Must Win Must Lose
Atlanta Chicago
Pittsburgh Cleveland
Denver LA Chargers

This is more like our typical parlay plays.  We believe these three favorites have an excellent chance of starting the year 1-0, and at $178 profit for every $100 invested, it gives a generous reward if the three teams win.

 

 

#5 @ +478  
Must Win Must Lose
Baltimore Cincinnati
New Orleans Minnesota

Seldom is a +478 parlay our favorite selection of a week, but this one is.  It is our opinion that the wrong teams are favored in these two games.  The odds makers are giving the home teams much too much advantage for playing at home.  Cincinnati does not have the great home field advantage it had in the good ole days.  Minnesota’s advantage comes later in the season.  We will go with superior quarterbacks in these two games.

 

Once again, please do not wager your own money (or anybody else’s) on our recommendations.  We go a bit liberal with our selections, because we don’t have any financial stake at risk.

 

 

 

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