The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 8, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Divisional Playoff Round: January 13-14, 2018

All times given are Eastern Standard

Saturday, January 13, 2018

4:35 PM on NBC

Atlanta Falcons (11-6-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (13-3-0)

PiRate: Philadelphia by 5.2

Mean: Philadelphia by 5.6

Bias: Philadelphia by 5.1

Total: 46

Estimated Realistic Score: Philadelphia 26  Atlanta 20

 

8:15 PM on CBS

Tennessee Titans (10-7-0) at New England Patriots (13-3-0)

PiRate: New England by 11.5

Mean: New England by  11.5

Bias: New England by 11.7

Total: 44

Estimated Realistic Score: New England 28  Tennessee 16

 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1:05 PM on CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3-0)

PiRate: Pittsburgh by 6.1

Mean: Pittsburgh by 6.4

Bias: Pittsburgh by 5.9

Total: 43

Estimated Realistic Score: Pittsburgh 24 Jacksonville 17

 

4:40 PM on Fox Sports

New Orleans Saints (12-5-0) at Minnesota Vikings (13-3-0)

PiRate: Minnesota by 4.7

Mean: Minnesota by 4.8

Bias: Minnesota by 4.8

Total: 46

Estimated Realistic Score: Minnesota 24  New Orleans 20

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January 2, 2018

PiRate Ratings 2017-18 College Football National Championship Game Preview

2017-18 College Football National Championship Game

#3 Georgia Bulldogs (13-1) vs. #4 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)

Date: Monday, January 8, 2018

Time: 8:00 PM Eastern Standard

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

TV: ESPN

Announcers: Chris Fowler–Play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreit–Color commentary, Maria Taylor–Sideline, Tom Rinaldi–Sideline

Radio: ESPN

Announcers: Sean McDonough–Play-by-play, Todd Blackledge–Color commentary, Holly Rowe–Sideline, Ian Fitzsimmons–Sideline

Officiating: Big Ten Staff

Las Vegas Line (as of Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 4:00 PM EST

Spread: Alabama by 4 1/2

Money line: Alabama -200,  Georgia +170

Total: 45 1/2

PiRate Ratings

PiRate: Alabama by 6.5

Mean: Alabama by 3.7

Bias: Alabama by 4.8

Reasonable Expected Score: Alabama 31  Georgia 26

100 Computer Simulations

Wins: Alabama 68  Georgia 32

Average Score: Alabama 33  Georgia 27

Outlier ALA: Alabama 38  Georgia 9

Outlier GA: Georgia 27  Alabama 16 

 

 

January 1, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Wildcard Playoff Round: January 6-7, 2018

All times given are Eastern Standard Time

Saturday, January 6, 2018

4:20 PM on ESPN

Tennessee Titans (9-7-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-6-0)

PiRate: Kansas City by 8.1

Mean: Kansas City by 8.0

Bias: Kansas City by 8.7

Total: 45

Estimated Realistic Score: Kansas City 27  Tennessee 17

 

8:15 PM on NBC

Atlanta Falcons (10-6-0) at Los Angeles Rams (11-5-0)

PiRate: Los Angeles by 5.4

Mean: Los Angeles by 5.0

Bias: Los Angeles by 5.7

Total: 48

Estimated Realistic Score: Los Angeles 27  Atlanta 21

 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

1:05 PM on CBS

Buffalo Bills (9-7-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6-0)

PiRate: Jacksonville by 9.4

Mean: Jacksonville by 8.9

Bias: Jacksonville by 9.5

Total: 42

Estimated Realistic Score: Jacksonville 26  Buffalo 16

 

4:40 PM on Fox

Carolina Panthers (11-5-0) at New Orleans Saints (11-5-0)

PiRate: New Orleans by 5.8

Mean: New Orleans by 5.9

Bias: New Orleans by 6.0

Total: 53

Estimated Realistic Score: New Orleans 28  Carolina 24

 

 

December 26, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 17: December 31, 2017

Week 17 PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Baltimore Cincinnati 13.1 12.6 13.6 38
Detroit Green Bay 3.2 3.0 3.7 46
Miami Buffalo 1.8 1.6 1.3 41
Atlanta Carolina 3.3 3.8 3.0 50
Tampa Bay New Orleans -7.9 -7.3 -8.0 49
Tennessee Jacksonville -2.4 -2.2 -2.8 45
New England N.Y. Jets 16.4 16.9 16.5 39
Indianapolis Houston 3.3 3.4 3.5 44
Pittsburgh Cleveland 18.8 18.3 21.8 39
N.Y. Giants Washington -4.9 -4.6 -5.0 42
Minnesota Chicago 12.7 12.3 13.4 34
Philadelphia Dallas 6.9 6.0 8.0 46
LA Chargers Oakland 9.3 8.4 10.2 44
Seattle Arizona 8.7 8.9 8.3 41
Denver Kansas City -6.0 -6.1 -6.4 42
LA Rams San Francisco 13.7 13.3 14.1 50

Current PiRate Ratings–12/26/2017

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 108.3 108.4 108.4 108.3 23 12-3
Buffalo 96.0 96.3 96.1 96.1 20 8-7
Miami 95.8 95.9 95.3 95.7 21 6-9
N. Y. Jets 94.3 94.0 94.4 94.3 16 5-10
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 107.0 107.1 107.2 107.1 23 12-3
Baltimore 105.5 105.7 105.6 105.6 22 9-6
Cincinnati 95.3 96.1 94.9 95.5 16 6-9
Cleveland 90.7 91.4 87.9 90.0 16 0-15
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 103.3 103.2 103.4 103.3 23 10-5
Tennessee 97.8 98.0 97.6 97.8 22 8-7
Indianapolis 92.3 92.7 91.8 92.3 22 4-11
Houston 91.0 91.2 90.4 90.9 22 3-12
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Chargers 104.5 104.1 104.7 104.4 23 8-7
Kansas City 103.1 103.2 103.5 103.3 23 9-6
Oakland 97.7 98.3 97.0 97.7 21 6-9
Denver 95.2 95.0 95.1 95.1 19 5-10
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 106.7 105.4 107.7 106.6 23 13-2
Dallas 101.8 101.4 101.7 101.7 23 8-7
Washington 98.4 98.6 98.2 98.4 24 7-8
N.Y. Giants 91.5 92.0 91.2 91.6 18 2-13
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Minnesota 107.4 107.0 108.1 107.5 18 12-3
Detroit 99.4 99.7 99.2 99.5 27 8-7
Green Bay 98.2 98.7 97.5 98.1 19 7-8
Chicago 96.7 96.8 96.7 96.7 16 5-10
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.4 106.8 107.9 107.4 28 11-4
Atlanta 103.9 103.7 104.1 103.9 24 9-6
Carolina 103.2 102.4 103.5 103.0 26 11-4
Tampa Bay 97.5 97.5 97.9 97.6 21 4-11
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 107.3 106.6 107.9 107.3 25 11-4
Seattle 102.9 103.0 102.3 102.7 20 9-6
Arizona 97.2 97.1 97.0 97.1 21 7-8
San Francisco 96.1 95.8 96.3 96.1 25 5-10

Playoff Scenarios

You can go to any sports site online to see the generic playoff scenarios, where you can see what must happen for each potential playoff team to earn their spot.  Let’s take a look at the logical scenarios in the order that they are most likely to occur.

AFC

Baltimore

The Ravens have the overwhelming advantage among the teams vying for the two wildcard spots.  The 4 division championships have been clinched.  Baltimore is the number 5 seed if they win at home over Cincinnati Sunday.  The Ravens have about a 75% chance of winning this game and getting in at #5.  Even if the Ravens lose to the Bengals, if Either Buffalo or Tennessee lose but not both, the Ravens still get in as the number 6 seed.  If Baltimore loses, and both Buffalo and Tennessee lose, then Baltimore stays at number 5.

Baltimore falls out of the playoffs only if they lose to Cincinnati, and both Buffalo and Tennessee win.  The Ravens have about a 95% chance of making the playoffs.

Tennessee

The Titans have the best chance of making the playoffs as the 6-seed (or even 5-seed) of the remaining contenders.  If Tennessee beats Jacksonville on Sunday, the Titans are in as the 6-seed if Baltimore wins, and the 5-seed if Baltimore loses.  What Buffalo does in this instance does not affect the Titans moving up to number 5; only what Baltimore does affects the Titans seeding if they beat a Jacksonville team that has nothing to play for (3-seed win or lose) and will most likely rest their key players.

Tennessee can still make the playoffs at 8-8 if Buffalo and the LA Chargers lose.  They hold all tiebreakers over the Bills and Chargers.

Tennessee misses out on the playoffs if the Titans lose to the Jaguars and either Buffalo or the Chargers win.  The Titans chances for making the playoffs are about 55%.

Los Angeles Chargers

This is where the scenarios get a little tricky.  First, the Chargers can only get in the playoffs if they win and Tennessee loses.  However, they still need some help.  Either Baltimore must also win or Buffalo must lose, or else the Chargers will be eliminated.  If Buffalo and Baltimore win, then the Chargers get in over the Bills, but if Buffalo wins and Baltimore loses, then the Bills take the 6-seed.  Of course, if Tennessee and Buffalo lose, and the Chargers win, then the Chargers make it over both the Titans and Bills.  The Chargers have about a 37.5% chance of making the playoffs under these scenarios.

Buffalo

The Bills are on life support with only a 1 in 10 chance of making the playoffs.  There are at least two different sets of scenarios that will get the Bills in.  If they win at Miami in what will most likely be Jay Cutler’s real swan song, then they can get in if Baltimore loses, which will then eliminate the Chargers.  They would move up to a 5-seed in this scenario if Tennessee loses or gets the 6-seed if Tennessee wins.

The Bills will also make it as the 6-seed if they win and both Tennessee and the LA Chargers lose.  They can then earn the 5-seed if Baltimore also loses.

Top Seed

New England holds the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, so the only way the Steelers can get the top seed is for the Jets to beat the Pats, while the Steelers send Cleveland to 0-16.

 

NFC

Philadelphia has clinched the top seed.  If Minnesota beats Chicago in Minneapolis, the Vikings get the 2-seed.  Minnesota can still get the 2-seed, if they lose to the Bears, and they will still get the 2-seed unless Carolina wins, New Orleans, loses, and the Rams lose. Then, Carolina would get this seed.  Chances are better than 95% that Minnesota gets the 2-seed.

For the 3-seed, the LA Rams hold the tiebreaker over New Orleans and Carolina, while New Orleans holds the tiebreaker over Carolina.

The 5-seed will go to either Carolina or New Orleans, whichever does not win the NFC South (New Orleans has about a 60% chance and Carolina a 40% chance).

The 6-seed is what is up for grabs

Atlanta

The Falcons earn this spot with a win over Carolina or a Seattle loss to Arizona.

Seattle

The Seahawks must win and Atlanta must lose.

Here are our Playoff Projections for this week.

AFC Seeding
1 New England
2 Pittsburgh
3 Jacksonville
4 Kansas City
5 Baltimore
6 Tennessee
NFC Seeding
1 Philadelphia
2 Minnesota
3 LA Rams
4 New Orleans
5 Carolina
6 Atlanta
Wildcard Round
Kansas City over Baltimore
Jacksonville over Tennessee
Carolina over New Orleans
LA Rams over Atlanta
 
Divisional Round
New England over Kansas City
Jacksonville over Pittsburgh
Carolina over Philadelphia
LA Rams over Minnesota
 
Conference Championship
New England over Jacksonville
LA Rams over Carolina
 
Super Bowl 52
LA Rams over New England

 

 

 

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 19, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 3: September 21-25, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Score
San Francisco LA Rams 3.8 3.3 3.9 41
Jacksonville (London) Baltimore -7.9 -7.8 -8.2 41
Indianapolis Cleveland 3.0 2.9 2.3 46
Chicago Pittsburgh -10.5 -10.3 -10.8 43
N. Y. Jets Miami -5.4 -6.1 -5.3 44
Buffalo Denver -4.1 -2.4 -4.4 41
New England Houston 12.0 12.1 12.4 38
Carolina New Orleans 6.0 6.0 6.4 58
Minnesota Tampa Bay -0.5 0.7 -1.1 41
Detroit Atlanta -0.7 0.5 -1.1 56
Philadelphia N. Y. Giants 4.0 2.5 5.3 36
Tennessee Seattle 2.9 2.8 3.0 43
LA Chargers Kansas City -3.5 -4.0 -3.8 48
Green Bay Cincinnati 9.1 9.5 8.7 44
Washington Oakland -2.5 -3.6 -1.9 53
Arizona Dallas -0.2 1.1 -0.2 48

 

The AFC West Could Have The Three Best Teams In The NFL
How could it be that the three best teams in the NFL might all play in the same division? Is it possible that Oakland, Kansas City, and Denver are the top three teams? You’d get a good argument from fans in New England, Atlanta, and maybe Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but through two weeks of the season, it is hard to say that any of the other teams outside of the AFC West are better than the top three.

Oakland owns a win at Tennessee, the team picked to win the AFC South by a majority of prognosticators. Kansas City won at New England, a team that many thought could go 16-0 this year. Denver blew Dallas off the field Sunday. All three teams are 2-0, and it is possible that all three teams will win double digit games this year.

Guess what? This isn’t the first time this division has been so strong. Let’s return to the golden age of yesteryear. Set the time travel clock back to 1967 and 1968. The old American Football League’s West Division had the same four teams as today’s AFC West–Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders (The Cincinnati Bengals would join in 1968).
Oakland had the incredible mad bomber Daryle Lamonica throwing lasers to Warren Wells and Fred Biletnikoff with bruising running backs Hewritt Dixon, Clem Daniels, and Pete Banaszak, and the Raiders’ offense was maybe one of the best of all time during that era. The Silver and Black attack topped 32 points per game in consecutive seasons. The Raider defense featured stars in all three units. Tom Keating and the inimitable Ben Davidson kept the FTD Florist company in business, as relatives of injured NFL quarterbacks frequently ordered get-well bouquets for their injured heroes. Dan Conners was one of the top middle linebackers in the game in an era where this position usually was the most important of all. The secondary was tough with stars Willie Brown and Kent McCloughan at the corners.

Kansas City played a more ball-controlled offense than Oakland, but their defense was just as dominating as the Raiders, and it made for the best rivalry in the history of organized football. The Chiefs offense was led by Len Dawson, the most accurate passer in the AFL. Dawson did not throw as many deep balls, but he had the arm and accuracy. With incredible run support from Mike Garrett, Robert Holmes, and Wendell Hayes, the Chiefs ran the ball more than the rest of the AFL during this time, and it allowed their great defense to stay on the sidelines for longer stretches. When KC’s defense took the field, it was a red storm. Tackle Buck Buchanan was the biggest defender in the league. Teams usually ran away from him, which funneled the ball carrier toward another star, end Jerry Mays.

The linebacker corps may have been the best trio of all time. Willie Lanier was the cream of the crop of middle linebackers. Bobby Bell and Jim Lynch manned the outside spots, and this group was responsible for stopping opponents from converting first downs on third and short. On the back line, Johnny Robinson was one of the top two or three safeties in the 10-year history of the AFL, if not the best. Emmitt Thomas was the equal of Oakland’s Brown on the outside.

San Diego had been the dominant AFL West team during the first half of the decade. The Chargers won the AFL West Five of the first six years. Beginning with the Chiefs-Raiders dominance in 1966 and carrying through the 1970’s, the Chargers continued to be a very good team, just not quite up to the standards of the big two. San Diego was known to get off to great starts and then fade in the last four weeks of the season. In 1966, San Diego was just a half-game behind Kansas City after eight weeks, but they finished 7-6-1 losing four of their last six. In 1967, the Chargers were 8-1-1 through 10 games, just a half-game behind Oakland at 9-1. The two teams squared off in the AFL Game of the Year in San Diego. The Chargers briefly looked like they had what it took to win that day, before Oakland wore them down and Lamonica tore the Chargers’ secondary to shreds. Oakland finished 13-1, while the Chargers lost all the rest of their games to fall to 8-5-1, good for third place. In 1968, through 10 games, the Chargers stood at 8-2, tied with Oakland and a half-game behind Kansas City, who had played 11 games and was 9-2. Once again, the Chargers crashed in December, falling to 9-5, while Oakland and Kansas City won out to finish tied at 12-2 (Oakland won in a playoff).

If we look at history in this division, two of the three current dominating teams should continue to dominate week after week, while the third team will eventually fall back. Having to play four games against the other two powers will take its toll on all three teams, and it figures that one team will have a tough time recovering from the beatings. Statistically, we could be looking at one team finishing 12-4, one team finishing 11-5, and the third team falling to 9-7. Of course, this could be totally off base, and all three teams could be on their way to finishing between 12-4 and 10-6. All three teams could easily make the playoffs, as it looks unlikely that the AFC East or AFC South will produce a wild card team this year.

Only Thrice in 62 Years!
Can you name the NFL team that has won its division only three times in the last 62 years? Obviously, 62 years back means this team has to be an original NFL team. That should make it easy for you. In the last 62 seasons, The Detroit Lions won their three Black and Blue Division titles in 1983, 1991, and 1993. They have been the bridesmaid more times than any other team during that period, finishing second 16 times through the years.

With Minnesota and Green Bay showing numerous liabilities through two weeks of the season, could this finally be the year that Matthew Stafford guides the Lions to the top of the NFC North? Might there be a playoff victory coming to Ford Field? The last time the Lions won a playoff game, it happened at the old Pontiac Silverdome. Detroit slaughtered Dallas that day in 1991 by a score of 38-6. It wasn’t the great Barry Sanders that did all the damage. Quarterback Erik Kramer had a career day against the Cowboys, throwing for 341 yards and three touchdowns, while the Lions’ defense picked off two passes and sacked Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman three times.

The Offense Continues to Rest
Through two weeks of play, the median NFL score is just 19 points, down four points from last year’s total. You have to go back to 1993 to find less scoring for an entire season. The NFL total TV ratings are down by a huge amount this year through the first two weeks of the season. While many in the political world believe it has to do with players refusing to stand for the National Anthem, we tend to believe that the average fan doesn’t really pay attention to that factor. The game has become boring. Teams no longer pass the ball down the field vertically. Quarterbacks rarely throw the ball more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. When it’s 3rd and 12, they throw a five-yard pass, hoping the receiver can run for another seven. Running games have come down to three basic types–a line plunge, a stretch, and a draw. All 32 teams look identical, like they must share one playbook.

Why do we believe that the ratings are down simply due to boring games and not due to political issues? There is a very simple explanation for our beliefs. Throughout the nation, there is unrest on the university campuses from coast to coast. Riots, vandalism, assaults, and the like are on the rise, and civil unrest is more the norm than the deviant behavior. Some colleges are redefining what is free speech. The same people that would theoretically have issues with this change of sociology and would be likely to turn off college football games just like they would turn off NFL games due to similar unrest have yet to turn away. In fact, college football ratings are on the rise, gaining about as much as the NFL is losing.

Therefore, it is our belief that total football TV ratings are about on par with their historical averages. The change is that more people are now watching on Saturday than ever before, while Sunday viewing is sinking. It is obvious why this is so. College football is quite a bit more entertaining.

In the college game, you have multiple offensive philosophies. Even when multiple teams run the identical spread offense, there are many variations. Arizona’s and New Mexico’s spread offenses are basically 21st Century wishbone offenses that have evolved. Ohio State’s and Auburn’s spread offenses resemble the old single wing offenses of way back. Oklahoma’s and Clemson’s spread offenses look more like the old NFL Shotgun offenses and the really old TCU Spread of the 1950s. You also have smash-mouth T offenses with Michigan and others. You still have standard triple option offenses at Army, Navy, Air Force, Tulane, and Georgia Tech. There is variety, and on top of the varying offenses, there are numerous philosophies on how to implement these offenses.

It also doesn’t hurt the college game that the average fan can choose between four or five games at 12 PM, 3:30 PM, and 7 PM Eastern time, while the NFL does not give that option to the fans. If you live in an NFL city, you get your team’s game, and if they are at home, you get only your team’s game. CBS and Fox have to take turns getting double header games, so if your team is at home when its regular network (CBS for AFC and Fox for NFC) doesn’t have a double header, you get just one Sunday afternoon game.

The NFL has to understand that just because somebody lives in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, or Jacksonville, it does not mean they have lived there their entire lives. Actually, in the rapidly expanding metropolis cities of the Sunny South, more fans have moved into this area from colder and less financially lucrative cities. Take Nashville for instance. The city gains 100 new residents every day. In the last three football seasons, 109,500 new residents have added to the Music City’s metro population. Of that 100K plus, a large number moved from New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Tampa-St. Pete, Detroit, Cincinnati, Washington DC, and Dallas. Of the football fans, many remain fans of their former city and have no ties with the Titans. Go to a local sports-themed eatery on Sunday afternoon, and you will find as many fans of other teams watching their former city’s team play than there are fans at LP Field watching the Titans.

If the NFL was smart, it would drop their holier than thou elite beliefs and realize that it might be today’s Walmart having to face the new reality that there is now a better option called Amazon, and the fans have discovered this option.

 

This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
New England 106.4 107.0 106.3 106.5 24
Miami 99.6 99.8 99.3 99.6 23
Buffalo 97.5 98.2 97.7 97.8 22
N. Y. Jets 91.2 90.7 91.0 91.0 21
           
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Pittsburgh 105.9 106.1 105.8 106.0 22
Baltimore 103.4 103.5 103.7 103.5 18
Cincinnati 97.0 97.4 97.0 97.2 16
Cleveland 94.4 94.8 94.8 94.6 21
           
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Tennessee 101.0 101.1 100.5 100.9 25
Houston 97.4 97.8 96.9 97.4 14
Jacksonville 95.5 95.7 95.4 95.5 23
Indianapolis 95.4 95.7 95.0 95.4 25
           
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Oakland 105.4 106.0 105.1 105.5 28
Kansas City 105.2 105.4 105.6 105.4 22
Denver 104.6 103.6 105.1 104.4 19
LA Chargers 99.8 99.3 99.8 99.6 26
           
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Dallas 103.4 102.4 103.3 103.1 23
Philadelphia 101.3 100.1 102.2 101.2 22
Washington 99.3 98.9 99.7 99.3 25
N.Y. Giants 99.3 99.6 98.9 99.3 14
           
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Green Bay 103.2 103.9 102.7 103.3 28
Detroit 102.4 103.2 102.4 102.7 23
Minnesota 98.7 99.0 98.8 98.8 18
Chicago 92.9 93.4 92.5 92.9 21
           
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Atlanta 105.6 105.2 106.1 105.6 33
Tampa Bay 102.3 101.3 102.9 102.2 23
Carolina 101.4 100.5 101.7 101.2 25
New Orleans 98.4 97.5 98.4 98.1 33
           
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Seattle 101.2 101.3 100.5 101.0 18
Arizona 100.2 100.5 100.1 100.3 25
San Francisco 92.5 92.3 92.5 92.4 23
LA Rams 91.2 91.5 91.1 91.3 18

To estimate a game’s total points scored, add both teams’ totals.

 

 

September 6, 2017

PiRate Ratings–NFL For Week 1

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:18 am

Week 1 NFL Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New England Kansas City 7.4 7.7 6.9
Buffalo N. Y. Jets 7.7 9.6 7.9
Chicago Atlanta -7.7 -6.4 -8.5
Cincinnati Baltimore 2.6 2.0 2.9
Cleveland Pittsburgh -7.9 -8.0 -7.3
Dallas N. Y. Giants 5.0 3.2 4.9
Detroit Arizona 1.1 2.3 0.8
Green Bay Seattle 3.8 5.1 3.6
Houston Jacksonville 7.7 8.4 7.2
LA Rams Indianapolis -1.1 -1.1 -0.9
Miami (Postponed) Tampa Bay x x x
San Francisco Carolina -3.7 -3.4 -3.9
Tennessee Oakland -1.3 -2.2 -1.2
Washington Philadelphia 2.5 3.5 1.9
Denver LA Chargers 4.5 5.0 4.7
Minnesota New Orleans 1.9 4.2 1.7

Week 1 NFL Totals

Home Visitor Total
New England Kansas City 41
Buffalo N. Y. Jets 46
Chicago Atlanta 56
Cincinnati Baltimore 36
Cleveland Pittsburgh 45
Dallas N. Y. Giants 37
Detroit Arizona 47
Green Bay Seattle 47
Houston Jacksonville 37
LA Rams Indianapolis 43
Miami (postponed) Tampa Bay x
San Francisco Carolina 52
Tennessee Oakland 52
Washington Philadelphia 47
Denver LA Chargers 46
Minnesota New Orleans 52

The PiRate Ratings were ready for publication Monday, but our captain, with loads of “oceanic” experience in search of robbing Las Vegans of their gold, gave the orders to hold off a couple days.  Our captain knew that the schedule for week 1 would more than likely change due to Ms. Irma of the Atlantic.

How ironic that this hurricane be named Irma.  Irma is an old name seldom seen these days and maybe after next week, joining Jedidiah, Japath, and other names not used any more.

The NFL schedule makers used to consider weather possibilities when creating the annual slate of games.  Not that Vince Lombardi ever needed the help, but Green Bay frequently began seasons with multiple home games early in the season, while Los Angeles played on the road more early in the season.  Then, when the weather turned raw, the Packers had more road games, while the Rams closed the season with more home games.  By this time, Green Bay had a gaudy won-loss record, while the already eliminated Rams played home games in a rather empty Los Angeles Coliseum, and coaches like Harland Svare suffered the consequences.

The Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now face the task of having to play 16 games in 16 weeks, as Hurricane Irma has forced this Sunday’s opener to be postponed to Week 11.  Because the Dolphins already have one home game in London, it was not feasible that the team would move a second home game away from home.  The right thing for the players would have been to move the game to a location as close as possible without putting it in the path of the hurricane.  A large stadium like Legion Field in Birmingham might have been able to host this game, but this is not an NFL venue, and the NFL usually only relocates games to other NFL stadiums, because there are certain quality standards that must be set.

Moving the game to week 11, when by happenstance both teams have their regularly scheduled bye, is means the Dolphins will not play a real home game until October, and having to play 16 games in 16 weeks will most likely hurt both teams’ chances to make the playoffs this season.  With the concussion protocol rules, the chances of having a full roster of skill position players for 16 consecutive weeks is close to nil.  Players need an extra week off at some point in the meat of the schedule just to nurse the bumps and bruises that make every day life uncomfortable.  This is likely to cost both teams a win or two, as they will not be able to field a healthy roster when they most need a week off.

What you will see in our projected standings reflects what we think will happen.  Both teams were originally selected to become Wildcard Playoff participants before this happened.  Now, both teams are moved out of the playoffs.  The Dolphins are sacrificing the possibility of playoffs for the guarantee of a seventh home game.

2017 Opening NFL PiRate Ratings 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Buffalo 97.4 98.4 97.6 97.8 26
Miami 98.6 99.3 98.0 98.6 24
New England 107.1 107.8 106.9 107.2 20
N. Y. Jets 92.1 91.3 92.1 91.9 20
           
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Baltimore 100.7 101.1 100.8 100.8 19
Cincinnati 100.2 100.1 100.6 100.3 17
Cleveland 94.3 94.7 94.6 94.5 22
Pittsburgh 104.7 105.1 104.4 104.8 23
           
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Houston 99.9 100.4 99.4 99.9 15
Indianapolis 99.1 99.3 98.7 99.0 27
Jacksonville 95.2 95.1 95.1 95.1 22
Tennessee 99.4 99.7 98.9 99.3 25
           
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Denver 101.9 101.4 102.3 101.9 17
Kansas City 102.6 103.1 103.0 102.9 21
LA Chargers 100.4 99.4 100.6 100.1 29
Oakland 103.8 104.9 103.1 103.9 27
           
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Dallas 104.6 103.0 104.5 104.1 23
N.Y. Giants 102.6 102.8 102.6 102.7 14
Philadelphia 100.3 98.9 101.2 100.1 21
Washington 100.2 99.9 100.6 100.2 26
           
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Chicago 94.4 95.0 94.1 94.5 20
Detroit 99.3 100.6 99.0 99.7 21
Green Bay 103.5 104.7 102.9 103.7 29
Minnesota 99.3 99.9 99.5 99.6 17
           
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Atlanta 105.1 104.3 105.7 105.0 36
Carolina 100.2 99.3 100.3 99.9 26
New Orleans 100.5 98.7 100.8 100.0 35
Tampa Bay 100.9 99.9 101.3 100.7 22
           
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Arizona 101.2 101.3 101.2 101.2 26
LA Rams 94.9 95.2 94.8 95.0 16
San Francisco 92.9 92.5 92.9 92.8 26
Seattle 102.7 102.6 102.3 102.5 18

To estimate spreads, simply subtract the lower rated teams’ ratings from the higher rated teams’ rating.  Then, add your home field advantage of choice.  The PiRates use game specific advantages for each game.

To estimate the total points scored, simply add the two teams’ Totals numbers.

PiRate Ratings Preseason Playoff Projections 

AFC Seeding

1. New England

2. Oakland

3. Pittsburgh

4. Houston

5. Kansas City

6. Baltimore

 

NFC Seeding

1. Seattle

2. Green Bay

3. NY Giants

4. Atlanta

5. Arizona

6. Dallas

 

Wildcard Playoff Round

Pittsburgh over Baltimore

Kansas City over Houston

NY Giants over Dallas

Arizona over Atlanta

 

Divisional Playoff Round

New England over Kansas City

Oakland over Pittsburgh

Arizona over Seattle

Green Bay over NY Giants

 

Conference Championship Games

Oakland over New England

Green Bay over Arizona

 

Super Bowl 52

Oakland over Green Bay

February 1, 2017

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Super Bowl LI: February 1, 2017

We present our Super Bowl LI preview a few days later than originally planned, but we decided that 100 computer simulations were not enough.  Over the last several days, we have visited the big bits and bytes to run numerous simulations on the big game.  We stopped at 10,000, the going rate among other simulators out there.

After running the first 100, we recorded the results to see how much different the results from 10,000 simulations.  What we found was that one metric definitely and consistently came through in both 100 and 10,000 sims that could be used by somebody unconcerned with losing a lot of their investment.  See below for the shocking revelation concerning this game and the Las Vegas Books.

Let’s get on with the data.

Super Bowl LI

Date: Sunday, February 5, 2017

Time: 6:30 PM EST

Place: Houston, TX

TV: Fox Sports

Radio: Westwood One

Find Your Affiliate Here

Online: Foxsports.com

AFC Champion: New England Patriots 16-2-0

NFC Champion: Atlanta Falcons 13-5-0

 

Las Vegas Info

Current Line (2/1/17 @ 10AM EST): New England by 3

Totals Line: 59

Money Line: New England -155, Atlanta +135

 

PiRate Ratings

PiRate: New England by 2.4

Mean: New England by 0.6

Bias: New England by 3.2

Average: New England by 2

Total: 60

 

10,000 Simulations

The winner when we simulated 100 times was the same as the winner when we simulated 10,000 times.  The average margin minimally changed between 100 and 10,000 sims.

The standard deviation went down a little with 10,000 sims, but that was to be expected with so many more sims.

What surprised us was the definite deviation between the Total Points and the Vegas Total, and it is so wide that we felt compelled to highlight this even though we BEG you not to bet on this game using our data and cannot stress enough that we bet $0 on sporting events.

 

Wins: New England 53.9%  Atlanta 46.1%

Percentage going to overtime: 0.87%

Average Score: New England 24.3  Atlanta 23.2  ***47.5 points***

St Deviation: 7.3 (almost 2 deviations difference in Vegas Total)

Outlier A: New England 34  Atlanta 7

Outlier B: Atlanta 29  New England 10

Percentage of outcomes under 59 total points: 87.78%

If you haven’t caught on, the computer simulator says that about 7 out of every 8 times these two teams would face off in Houston, the total score would be less than 59 points.

This disagrees with our own PiRate Rating expected total of 60, but our totals have been totally pitiful this year.  I would trust this simulator over our own ratings.

 

So, we would make the UNDER 59 our best advice for this game, but once again we beg, urge, and plead with you not to wager money using the information we supply to you.  We are in this just for fun.

January 17, 2017

NFL Ratings And Spreads For NFL Conference Championships: January 22, 2017

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2017

NFC Championship

Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers

Time: 3:05 PM EST

TV: Fox Sports Network

Radio: Westwood One  

Find Your Local Westwoon One Affiliate at: http://westwoodonesports.com/stations/

Line: Atlanta by 4 1/2 or 5 (changing rapidly)

Total: 61

PiRate Ratings Spreads

PiRate: Atlanta by 7.4

Mean: Atlanta by 8.2

Bias: Atlanta by 7.7

PiRate Total: 67

 

100 Simulations

Atlanta wins: 56

Green Bay wins: 44

Average Score: Atlanta 34  Green Bay 32

Outlier A: Atlanta 45  Green Bay 23

Outlier B: Green Bay 48  Atlanta 27

 

AFC Championship

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Time: 6:40 PM EST

TV: CBS

Radio: Westwood One  

Find Your Local Westwood One Affiliate at: http://westwoodonesports.com/stations/

 

Line: New England by 5 1/2 or 6 (changing rapidly)

Total: 51

 

PiRate Ratings Spreads

PiRate: New England by 9.4

Mean: New England by 8.4

Bias: New England by 9.6

Total: 47

 

100 Simulations

New England wins 48

Pittsburgh wins 52

Average Score: New England 26  Pittsburgh 26

Outlier A: New England 41  Pittsburgh 20

Outlier B: Pittsburgh 24  New England 7

January 9, 2017

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Divisional Playoff Round: January 14-15, 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Game 1: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Time: 4:35 PM EST

TV: Fox

Vegas Line: Atlanta by 4 1/2

Total Line: 51

 

PiRate Rating: Atlanta by 6.5

Mean Rating: Atlanta by 9.0

Bias Rating: Atlanta by 6.1

PiRate Total: 56

 

100 Simulations

Atlanta wins 63

Seattle wins 37

Average Score: Atlanta 29  Seattle 24

Outlier A: Atlanta 37  Seattle 16

Outlier B: Seattle 24  Atlanta 9

 

Game 2: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

Time: 8:15 PM EST

TV: CBS

Vegas Line: New England by 16

Total Line: 45

 

PiRate Rating: New England by 17.8

Mean Rating: New England by 15.5

Bias Rating: New England by 19.5

PiRate Total: 45

 

100 Simulations

New England wins 96

Houston wins 4

Average Score: New England 37  Houston 17

Outlier A: New England 56  Houston 7

Outlier B: Houston 24  New England 20

 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Game 1: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

Time: 1:05 PM EST

TV: NBC

Vegas Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2

Total Line: 45 1/2

 

PiRate Rating: Kansas City by 2.9 

Mean Rating: Kansas City by 3.1

Bias Rating: Kansas City by 3.0

Total Line: 46

 

100 Simulations

Kansas City wins 53

Pittsburgh wins 47

Average Score: Kansas City 23  Pittsburgh 23 (KC 23.3 Pit 22.9)

Outlier A: Kansas City 27  Pittsburgh 10

Outlier B: Pittsburgh 34  Kansas City 13

 

Game 2: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Time: 4:40 PM EST

TV: Fox

Vegas Line: Dallas by 4

Total Line: 52

 

PiRate Rating: Dallas by 2.7 

Mean Rating: Dallas by 3.5

Bias Rating: Dallas by 3.2

Total Line: 52

 

100 Simulations

Dallas wins 43

Green Bay wins 57

Average Score: Green Bay 33  Dallas 28

Outlier A: Dallas 34  Green Bay 20

Outlier B: Green Bay 38  Dallas 16

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