The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 4, 2019

PiRate Ratings Selections for The College Football National Championship Game & The NFL Wildcard Playoff Round

Final Land Sharp Selections

The Land Sharps are limping home to the finish, as the Bowl season did not go so well for our five friends.  Let’s give them all some props for faring so well during the regular season.  It isn’t easy to stay above the magic 52.4% success rate that a sports investor needs to return a profit, and all five did so throughout the regular season.

Now, here’s something else you should know.  If you are a regular reader here, you may recall just after the bowls and playoffs were announced, that we told you about our experiment in playing the Money Line on every bowl game and by investing the identical amount on the underdog to win outright.  We tested this out last year with a healthy profit.

If last year was a healthy profit, this year was a giant windfall!  Friends, this method drained the imaginary money from the imaginary sports book like it was Jesse and Frank James robbing it.  The return on investment was over 61%, as 16 of the 38 underdogs won outright, returning an average of $289 per upset.  If you had the funds and could afford to put down $10,000 on the Underdog on the 39 games (which became 38 after the postponement of the former Heart of Dallas Bowl), these money line wagers would have returned just under a quarter million dollars.  WOW!

Now, to make it even better.  Had you only played the 36 bowl games and not the two playoff games, you would have gone 16-20 and your return on investment would have been 76.5%!  Where else can you get a 76.5% return on your investment in 17 days?

Here are the final Land Sharp Picks for the National Championship Game.  Our Land Sharps made these selections earlier in the week when the going odds were:

Alabama – 5.5

Clemson +7

Over 59.5

Under 60 

 

Three of the Land Sharps selected Clemson and took the points

Cal Gal Tiffany, Dean615, and Stewed Meat

Two of the Land Sharps selected Alabama and gave the points

Buckeye Michelle and Friday Dog 13

 

Four of the Land Sharps took the OVER

Cal Gal Tiffany, Dean615, Buckeye Michelle, and Friday Dog 13

One Land Sharp took the UNDER

Stewed Meat

 

As for the PiRates, we issued our ratings earlier this week, and they showed that Alabama is favored by 1 to 2 points, so if you go by our ratings, the play would be Clemson but without a lot of confidence.  As for the Total, our estimate is basically right on the line, so we would lay off the total unless you tease it.

 

The PiRate Ratings NFL Wildcard Playoff Teasers

Once playoff season begins, there are fewer and fewer chances to play our successful teasers, but 2018 was a very good one for us, as our NFL Teasers returned a neat little imaginary profit.  We hope you understand that our wagering is only hypothetical, as no real currency ever changes hands, and we highly encourage you not to lose your mortgage payment by relying on our selections.

We have two 13-point teaser selections for this week’s Wildcard Round.  One is a four-team parlay on sides, and one is a four-team parlay on totals.  These parlays both have 12-10 odds.

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Indianapolis Houston 12 Houston
Dallas Seattle 15 Seattle
Baltimore L.A. Chargers 16 L.A. Chargers
Chicago Philadelphia 19.5 Philadelphia

 

Team Team Total Pick
Houston Indianapolis 61.5 UNDER
Dallas Seattle 30 OVER
Baltimore L.A. Chargers 28.5 OVER
Chicago Philadelphia 28 OVER

 

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December 31, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for The Wildcard Playoff Round: January 5-6, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Houston Indianapolis 2.0 2.7 2.1 49.5
Dallas Seattle -1.6 -1.9 -2.8 44.5
Baltimore L.A. Chargers 2.6 2.4 2.4 43
Chicago Philadelphia 5.5 5.5 6.4 44.5

The Wildcard Playoff Schedule

Saturday,  January 5, 2019

4:35 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: ESPN

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

 

8:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: Fox Network

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

 

Sunday, January 6, 2109

1:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

 

4:40 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: NBC

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

 

For the Divisional Playoff Round

The lower remaining seed in the AFC will play at Kansas City on Saturday, January 12, on NBC at 4:35 PM EST

 

The higher remaining seed in the NFC will play at the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, January 12, on Fox Network at 8:15 PM EST

 

The higher remaining seed in the AFC will play at New England on Sunday, January 13, on CBS at 1:05 PM EST

 

The lower remaining seed in the NFC will play at New Orleans on Sunday, January 13, on Fox Network at 4:40 PM EST

Ratings of the Playoff Teams

Playoff Team PiRate Mean Bias Avg. Total W-L
New Orleans 112.3 112.3 112.3 112.3 27 13-3
Kansas City 106.8 107.0 106.6 106.8 30.5 12-4
LA Rams 106.5 106.7 106.3 106.5 29 13-3
Chicago 104.9 105.1 105.8 105.3 21.5 12-4
New England 105.0 105.1 104.9 105.0 22.5 11-5
Seattle 104.6 104.7 105.2 104.8 24 10-6
LA Chargers 104.3 105.0 104.8 104.7 23 12-4
Baltimore 104.5 104.9 104.7 104.7 20 10-6
Indianapolis 102.9 102.3 103.3 102.8 25.5 10-6
Houston 102.4 102.5 103.0 102.6 24 11-5
Philadelphia 102.4 102.6 102.5 102.5 23 9-7
Dallas 100.5 100.3 99.9 100.2 20.5 10-6

 

Note: The College Basketball Bracket Gurus will debut next week.  Most of the gurus are enjoying vacations this week and did not submit their data to us.

December 18, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 16: December 20-24, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Tennessee Washington 6.9 7.5 6.8 41.5
L.A. Chargers Baltimore 4.8 5.2 5.4 44.5
Dallas Tampa Bay 7.2 6.8 5.7 44.5
Indianapolis N.Y. Giants 9.0 8.5 9.4 47.5
Philadelphia Houston 3.2 3.4 2.7 46.5
Miami Jacksonville -0.2 0.1 0.3 42
N.Y. Jets Green Bay -2.4 -3.3 -2.7 48
Cleveland Cincinnati 4.8 4.8 5.6 47.5
Detroit Minnesota -1.2 -1.5 -1.6 44.5
New England Buffalo 15.5 15.8 15.6 39.5
Carolina Atlanta 3.5 3.5 4.0 50
San Francisco Chicago -6.7 -6.7 -7.7 45
Arizona L.A. Rams -10.5 -11.4 -10.9 47
New Orleans Pittsburgh 8.0 7.8 8.0 50.5
Seattle Kansas City -0.2 -0.3 0.5 52.5
Oakland Denver -6.2 -6.0 -6.2 41

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.2 105.4 105.2 105.3 22.5 9-5
N. Y. Jets 94.9 94.4 94.5 94.6 24 4-10
Miami 94.6 94.3 94.4 94.4 23.5 7-7
Buffalo 92.7 92.7 92.6 92.6 17 5-9
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 107.0 107.2 107.1 107.1 24 8-5-1
Baltimore 103.3 103.6 103.3 103.4 20.5 8-6
Cleveland 97.5 97.8 98.3 97.9 24 6-7-1
Cincinnati 95.3 95.5 95.1 95.3 23.5 6-8
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Indianapolis 103.1 102.5 103.5 103.0 25 8-6
Houston 102.3 102.4 102.9 102.5 24 10-4
Tennessee 98.7 98.8 98.6 98.7 19.5 8-6
Jacksonville 96.7 96.2 96.1 96.3 18.5 4-10
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 107.3 107.5 107.1 107.3 30 11-3
LA Chargers 105.0 105.8 105.7 105.5 24 11-3
Denver 99.8 99.7 99.7 99.7 19.5 6-8
Oakland 91.1 91.2 91.0 91.1 21.5 3-11
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.5 102.7 102.6 102.6 22.5 7-7
Dallas 100.6 100.4 100.0 100.3 19.5 8-6
N.Y. Giants 97.0 97.0 97.2 97.1 22.5 5-9
Washington 94.4 93.8 94.3 94.2 22 7-7
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 105.0 105.2 105.9 105.4 23 10-4
Minnesota 102.5 102.5 102.3 102.4 21 7-6-1
Green Bay 99.8 100.2 99.7 99.9 24 5-8-1
Detroit 98.8 98.6 98.2 98.5 23.5 5-9
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 112.5 112.5 112.6 112.5 26.5 12-2
Carolina 100.7 100.3 100.6 100.5 24 6-8
Atlanta 99.6 99.4 99.2 99.4 26 5-9
Tampa Bay 95.9 96.1 96.8 96.3 25 5-9
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 105.7 105.9 105.5 105.7 28.5 11-3
Seattle 104.1 104.2 104.7 104.3 22.5 8-6
San Francisco 95.4 95.4 95.2 95.3 22 4-10
Arizona 92.7 92.1 92.0 92.3 18.5 3-11

 

This Week’s Playoff Projections

These projections are not to be confused with how the seedings would be if the playoffs started today.  They forecast the final two weeks of games.

AFC Seeding
1 L.A. Chargers
2 New England
3 Houston
4 Pittsburgh
5 Kansas City
6 Tennessee

 

NFC Seeding
1 New Orleans
2 L.A. Rams
3 Chicago
4 Dallas
5 Seattle
6 Minnesota

 

Playoff Projections

Wildcard Round
Houston over Tennessee
Pittsburgh over Kansas City
Chicago over Minnesota
Seattle over Dallas

 

Divisional Round
L.A. Chargers over Houston
New England over Pittsburgh
New Orleans over Seattle
Chicago over L.A. Rams

 

Conference Championships
L.A. Chargers over New England
New Orleans over Chicago

 

Super Bowl LIII
L.A. Chargers over New Orleans

 

What Would Happen If…

There is a chance that both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers could host their conference championship games.  There has always been a chance that the New York Jets and New York Giants could one year host their conference championship games.  In the future, once they occupy the same new colossus mega stadium, the Rams and Chargers could host their conference championship games in the same year.

Conference Championship Games are always on Sundays.  What that means, is there is maybe a 5% chance that the Rams and Chargers could end up hosting on this day.  While it would be okay having both networks in the City of Angels on the same day for separate games, once these teams share a home field (and if the world ever comes to an end and the Jets and Giants host conference championship games), it will not be possible to have doubleheaders on the same field on the same day.

Can you imagine the logistical nightmare it would cause to have the AFC Championship Game at 10 AM Pacific Time, followed by the NFC Championship at 1:30 PM Pacific Time on the same field?  First of all, it would be impossible.  Everybody in the stands would have to be escorted out of the stadium, before ticket holders for the second game could enter.  There would be about 15 to 20 minutes max for this to happen.  Like I said, this is impossible.

Next, the field itself would have to be transformed with new logos, as well as having any field damage repaired.  In the case of a game in East Rutherford, NJ, what if the weather conditions were 35 degrees with rain?  After 60 minutes of action, the next game would inherit very sloppy field conditions.  I did say impossible.

Now, what if the first game ended regulation with the game tied, and this game became a repeat of the 1971 Miami-Kansas City game at the old Municipal Stadium up on the hill in Kansas City.   What if the first game didn’t end until 2:30 PM Pacific Time?  The second game network would have to fill over an hour of time waiting for a game to end, when 99.9% of the football watching public would be tuned to the other game.  Once again, it is impossible.

I haven’t even mentioned that the teams in the second game need time to warm up on the field.  15 to 20 minutes is not enough.  They need at least an hour.  If you have to make a decision a week before to change the start times of the games, the network brass at CBS and Fox get very upset.  They cannot just make impromptu changes to their schedule a week in advance.  Only very important breaking news makes it okay to alter a TV schedule one week in advance.  The networks would say “impossible.”

However impossible it is, there is a chance that it could happen.  So what would happen if it did?  Yes, there is a contingency plan in place to cover this possibility.  If the same stadium is to host both conference championship games, one will be moved to Monday Night.  Yep, there could be a conference championship on Monday Night Football, but it would not be the regular MNF crew or network.  If it was the AFC game, it would be on CBS, and if it was the NFC game, it would be on Fox.

You might ask, has a network other than ABC or ESPN ever televised a Monday Night game?  The answer is “yes.”

It is a misnomer to believe that Monday Night Football on ABC in 1970 was the first time that NFL games were played and televised on Monday night.  Before there was MNF featuring Howard Cosell, CBS televised a handful of NFL games on Monday night during the 1960’s.  The games started at 9:30 PM Eastern Time, but because games concluded in 2 1/2 hours in those days, they were finished at Midnight.  One of the best games in this group was a 1968 game between an unbeaten Dallas team and a Green Bay Packer team coached by Phil Bengston, who was not having a rough time replacing Vince Lombardi, as the Packers were 2-3-1, but still in the race in the weak NFL Central Division.

Dallas led 10-0, and Green Bay looked more like an expansion team in the opening quarter plus.   Then, the great Bart Starr took the aging Packers on his shoulder and guided them back like it was 1966 again.  Starr threw three touchdown passes in the next quarter plus, and Green Bay took a 21-10 lead.  Starr threw another TD pass in the fourth quarter, and the Packers once again owned the Cowboys with a 28-17 win.

The American Football League also played a couple of Monday Night games in the 1960s, televised on NBC.  One notable game involved Broadway Joe Namath and the New York Jets playing host to the Houston Oilers in a game that would put the winner in first place in the AFL East at the midway point of the season.  Namath was victimized with a pick six by Zeke Moore early in the game, and he was somewhat of a disappointment that night with additional interceptions, but he also completed multiple long bomb passes to speedster Don Maynard, and the Jets pulled out the victory thanks to Jim Turner kicking four field goals, a couple from near midfield (goalposts were on the goalline then and not on the end line like today).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 5: October 4-8, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
New England Indianapolis 12.0 14.1 11.9 43.5
Buffalo Tennessee -2.8 -2.9 -2.8 37
Pittsburgh Atlanta 2.9 2.9 2.0 46.5
N.Y. Jets Denver 2.4 2.2 2.7 44.5
Kansas City Jacksonville 4.6 5.2 4.7 47.5
Detroit Green Bay 2.7 1.8 3.2 49.5
Cleveland Baltimore -5.0 -5.7 -4.5 47
Carolina N.Y. Giants 9.1 8.8 9.7 41.5
Cincinnati Miami 5.5 6.6 5.6 44.5
L.A. Chargers Oakland 8.7 9.0 8.5 45.5
San Francisco Arizona 3.7 5.4 4.4 42
Philadelphia Minnesota 2.9 2.6 2.5 44
Seattle L.A. Rams -4.4 -5.9 -5.2 47.5
Houston Dallas 1.7 1.5 1.7 44
New Orleans Washington 6.6 7.6 6.8 47

Chicago and Tampa Bay have Byes

This Week’s PiRate Ratings 

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 104.8 105.3 104.7 104.9 20.5 2-2
Miami 97.4 96.9 97.5 97.2 21.5 3-1
N. Y. Jets 97.3 96.9 97.1 97.1 23 1-3
Buffalo 93.4 93.4 93.0 93.2 16.5 1-3
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Baltimore 103.8 104.5 104.0 104.1 23 3-1
Pittsburgh 103.4 103.3 102.6 103.1 22.5 1-2-1
Cincinnati 99.9 100.4 100.0 100.1 23 3-1
Cleveland 96.2 96.3 97.0 96.5 24 1-2-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 104.0 103.9 104.4 104.1 21 3-1
Tennessee 98.6 98.8 98.3 98.6 20.5 3-1
Houston 98.4 98.2 97.9 98.1 24.5 1-3
Indianapolis 95.8 94.3 95.8 95.3 23 1-3
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 105.7 106.1 106.0 105.9 26.5 4-0
LA Chargers 100.4 101.1 100.4 100.7 23.5 2-2
Denver 98.0 97.7 97.4 97.7 21.5 2-2
Oakland 94.7 95.1 94.9 94.9 22 1-3
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 101.5 101.5 101.0 101.3 22.5 2-2
Washington 101.4 100.4 101.4 101.1 21.5 2-1
Dallas 99.2 99.1 98.7 99.0 19.5 2-2
N.Y. Giants 96.5 96.4 96.5 96.5 19.5 1-3
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 102.2 101.9 102.9 102.3 20.5 3-1
Minnesota 101.7 101.9 101.5 101.7 21.5 1-2-1
Detroit 100.1 100.1 100.2 100.1 26 1-3
Green Bay 99.9 100.8 99.6 100.1 23.5 2-1-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 105.0 105.0 105.2 105.1 25.5 3-1
Atlanta 103.5 103.5 103.6 103.5 24 1-3
Carolina 102.7 102.2 103.1 102.7 22 2-1
Tampa Bay 94.9 94.7 95.4 95.0 24 2-2
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 108.3 109.4 109.0 108.9 25.5 4-0
Seattle 100.9 100.5 100.8 100.7 22 2-2
San Francisco 95.9 96.5 96.1 96.2 23.5 1-3
Arizona 94.7 93.7 94.2 94.2 18.5 0-4

 

Playoff Projections

AFC Seeding
1 Kansas City
2 New England
3 Cincinnati
4 Tennessee
5 Baltimore
6 Jacksonville

 

NFC Seeding
1 L.A. Rams
2 New Orleans
3 Chicago
4 Philadelphia
5 Carolina
6 Green Bay

 

Wildcard Round
Jacksonville over Cincinnati
Baltimore over Tennessee
Green Bay over Chicago
Philadelphia over Carolina

 

Divisional Round
Kansas City over Jacksonville
Baltimore over New England
Los Angeles over Green Bay
Philadelphia over New Orleans

 

Conference Championship
Kansas City over Baltimore
Los Angeles over Philadelphia

 

Super Bowl 53
Los Angeles over Kansas City

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

December 12, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 15: December 14-18, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Indianapolis Denver 0.5 0.8 0.3 41
Detroit Chicago 6.2 6.5 5.7 45
Kansas City LA Chargers -1.7 -0.8 -2.0 46
N. Y. Giants Philadelphia -12.6 -10.6 -14.6 43
Carolina Green Bay 7.1 5.8 8.3 48
Minnesota Cincinnati 12.9 11.7 14.0 35
Buffalo Miami 2.4 2.8 2.7 41
Jacksonville Houston 11.1 10.8 11.8 44
New Orleans N. Y. Jets 16.2 16.0 16.6 47
Washington Arizona 5.4 5.5 5.3 47
Cleveland Baltimore -12.0 -11.7 -12.2 39
Seattle LA Rams 2.4 3.0 1.4 46
Pittsburgh New England 1.1 1.0 1.1 45
San Francisco Tennessee 0.2 0.0 0.7 45
Oakland Dallas -1.9 -0.9 -2.7 47
Tampa Bay Atlanta -4.5 -4.2 -4.4 48

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 107.8 107.9 107.9 107.8 22 10-3
Miami 96.5 96.5 96.1 96.4 21 6-7
Buffalo 95.9 96.3 95.9 96.0 20 7-6
N. Y. Jets 94.1 93.8 94.2 94.1 18 5-8
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 105.8 105.9 106.0 105.9 23 11-2
Baltimore 105.7 106.0 105.8 105.8 22 7-6
Cincinnati 95.6 96.4 95.2 95.8 17 5-8
Cleveland 91.2 91.8 91.1 91.3 17 0-13
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 102.7 102.6 102.8 102.7 22 9-4
Tennessee 97.7 97.8 97.3 97.6 22 8-5
Houston 94.6 94.7 94.1 94.5 22 4-9
Indianapolis 93.0 93.3 92.5 92.9 22 3-10
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Chargers 105.8 105.1 106.2 105.7 23 7-6
Kansas City 101.0 101.4 101.2 101.2 23 7-6
Oakland 97.5 98.1 96.7 97.4 23 6-7
Denver 95.0 94.9 94.8 94.9 19 4-9
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 107.4 106.0 108.8 107.4 25 11-2
Dallas 102.4 101.9 102.4 102.3 24 7-6
Washington 97.5 97.7 97.3 97.5 25 5-8
N.Y. Giants 92.8 93.4 92.2 92.8 18 2-11
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Minnesota 105.5 105.1 106.2 105.6 18 10-3
Detroit 100.3 100.6 100.0 100.3 27 7-6
Green Bay 99.4 99.9 98.7 99.3 21 7-6
Chicago 96.6 96.7 96.8 96.7 18 4-9
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.4 106.8 107.9 107.4 29 9-4
Atlanta 104.1 103.9 104.3 104.1 26 8-5
Carolina 103.5 102.7 104.0 103.4 27 9-4
Tampa Bay 97.2 97.2 97.4 97.3 22 4-9
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 104.9 104.4 105.5 104.9 25 9-4
Seattle 104.4 104.4 103.9 104.2 21 8-5
Arizona 95.7 95.6 95.5 95.6 22 6-7
San Francisco 94.4 94.3 94.5 94.4 23 3-10

NFL Playoff Projections

Beginning this week, we look forward predicting the outcomes of every game and then use the NFL tiebreaker system to forecast seeds.  Prior to week 15, we use only the PiRate Ratings themselves to estimate won-loss record.

This week, we have Seattle winning a tiebreaker over the Rams for the NFC West, with the Rams getting a wildcard, and we have the Saints winning a tiebreaker over the Panthers in the NFC South, with the Panthers getting the other wildcard.

In the AFC, we still show New England getting the top seed by virtue of a road win against the Steelers.  We have the Chargers edging the Chiefs in the AFC West, but we show KC getting the last playoff spot due to a possible 4-game collapse by Tennessee.

This is rather sketchy and only one possible outcome for the season.  Obviously, by this time next week, the probabilities will be drastically reduced with many key games.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 5, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 14: December 7-11, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Atlanta New Orleans -1.0 -0.5 -1.4 57
Buffalo Indianapolis 6.3 6.5 6.7 42
Carolina Minnesota 0.1 0.0 -0.2 43
Cincinnati Chicago 7.5 7.9 7.3 35
Cleveland Green Bay -4.4 -4.3 -4.0 38
Houston San Francisco 6.9 7.2 6.7 45
Kansas City Oakland 5.6 5.5 6.3 46
Tampa Bay Detroit 0.4 -0.3 0.8 49
N. Y. Giants Dallas -3.5 -2.8 -3.7 42
Arizona Tennessee -0.1 0.2 0.0 46
Denver N. Y. Jets 0.0 0.4 -0.6 40
LA Chargers Washington 9.7 9.2 10.2 50
Jacksonville Seattle 0.9 1.0 1.3 41
LA Rams Philadelphia -1.1 -0.4 -1.7 47
Pittsburgh Baltimore 2.4 2.1 2.4 43
Miami New England -11.9 -11.6 -12.7 43

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 109.6 109.5 109.9 109.6 22 10-2
Buffalo 96.1 96.5 96.1 96.2 20 6-6
N. Y. Jets 96.2 95.8 96.4 96.2 20 5-7
Miami 94.7 94.9 94.1 94.6 21 5-7
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Baltimore 105.7 106.0 105.8 105.8 21 7-5
Pittsburgh 105.5 105.6 105.7 105.6 22 10-2
Cincinnati 98.8 99.4 98.6 99.0 17 5-7
Cleveland 91.0 91.7 90.9 91.2 17 0-12
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 102.1 102.1 102.1 102.1 21 8-4
Tennessee 98.1 98.0 97.8 98.0 23 8-4
Houston 96.6 96.7 96.3 96.5 22 4-8
Indianapolis 92.8 93.1 92.3 92.7 22 3-9
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Chargers 104.8 104.2 105.1 104.7 23 6-6
Kansas City 100.5 101.0 100.6 100.7 23 6-6
Oakland 98.0 98.5 97.3 97.9 23 6-6
Denver 93.2 93.2 92.9 93.1 20 3-9
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 109.2 107.9 110.5 109.2 24 10-2
Dallas 100.6 100.3 100.4 100.5 24 6-6
Washington 98.0 98.1 97.9 98.0 27 5-7
N.Y. Giants 94.6 95.0 94.2 94.6 18 2-10
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Minnesota 105.8 105.3 106.6 105.9 17 10-2
Detroit 100.2 100.7 99.9 100.3 27 6-6
Green Bay 98.0 98.4 97.3 97.9 21 6-6
Chicago 93.8 94.1 93.8 93.9 18 3-9
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.7 107.0 108.2 107.6 30 9-3
Atlanta 103.6 103.5 103.8 103.6 27 7-5
Carolina 103.0 102.3 103.4 102.9 26 8-4
Tampa Bay 97.6 97.4 97.8 97.6 22 4-8
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 105.1 104.5 105.8 105.1 23 9-3
Seattle 104.7 104.6 104.3 104.5 20 8-4
Arizona 95.1 95.2 94.8 95.0 23 5-7
San Francisco 92.7 92.6 92.6 92.6 23 2-10

This Week’s Playoff Projections

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

 

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.

 

 

 

December 20, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 16: December 22-26, 2016

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:30 am

This Week’s Playoff Scenarios

There are still more than four billion playoff scenarios with just two weeks left in the season, so it is impossible to list every scenario left.  However, for most teams still in the race, their paths are for the most part clear.

AFC East

New England has clinched the division title and a bye to the Divisional Round.  The Patriots would clinch home field advantage and the top seed by winning out (vs. NYJ, @Mia) or by winning one game while Oakland loses one game or if Oakland loses both games.

 

Miami clinches a wildcard berth by winning one of its remaining two games (@Buf, vs. NE).  The Dolphins cannot make the playoffs at 9-7.

 

Buffalo’s slight chance of earning the #6 seed require the Bills to win twice (vs. Mia, @NYJ), a lot of other things to occur.  The computer lists Buffalo with about a 3% chance of making the playoffs.  Here is one scenario that works.

This Week: Jacksonville must beat Tennessee, Oakland must beat Indianapolis, Cincinnati must beat Houston, and Pittsburgh must beat Baltimore

Next Week: Cincinnati must beat Baltimore, New England must beat Miami, and Oakland must beat Denver

AFC North

Pittsburgh wins the division if they beat Baltimore this week at Heinz Field.  They can still win the division if they lose to Baltimore this week, and then Baltimore loses at Cincinnati while the Steelers defeat Cleveland in the final week.  The Steelers have numerous opportunities of earning a wildcard if they lose this week and win next week to finish 10-6 and very limited opportunities of earning a wildcard if they lose both remaining games.

 

Baltimore can win the division title by winning out or by beating Pittsburgh this week and then both the Steelers and Ravens lose their season finales.  The Ravens have limited possibilities of earning a wildcard if they lose to Pittsburgh and beat Cincinnati to finish 9-7.

 

AFC South

This is an interesting scenario.  As far as the division title goes, it does not matter what Houston does this week against Cincinnati.  In theory, they could rest their starters and lose to the Bengals and then would become division champs if they beat Tennessee in Week 17.  The Texans still have a very slim (less than 1 in 300 chance) of earning a wildcard if they win this week and lose next week, but it is so infinitesimally small, that Houston would be best served by concentrating all their efforts on the Titans.  Then, there is the opportunity to clinch the division this week should Jacksonville upset Tennessee.  The Texans will know the outcome of the Titans’ game before they play Cincinnati.

Tennessee must win out to win the division, or they must beat Houston next week if the Texans and Titans both lose this week.  However, under this scenario, the Titans can only win the division at 9-7 if Indianapolis loses one of its final two games.  The Titans have a slim wildcard chance, but it is a little better than the Texans’ wildcard chance.

 

Indianapolis can still win the division by winning out with Houston losing both of its final two games and Tennessee losing to Jacksonville.   The Colts still have a tiny wildcard shot if they win out.  That chance is smaller than Buffalo’s.

 

AFC West

Oakland must finish a game ahead of Kansas City to win the division.  Two Raider wins, and one Patriot loss would give the Raiders home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.  One Oakland win guarantees a first round bye, but the Raiders can still clinch a bye with two losses if Pittsburgh loses a game.

Kansas City wins the division in any tie with Oakland.  The Chiefs would receive a first round bye if they finish with two wins, and Pittsburgh loses one game.  KC wins the wildcard unless they lose their final two games (vs. Den, @SD) and Baltimore wins out, while Pittsburgh and Miami both finish 10-6.

Denver has numerous possibilities in their route to the #6 seed.  The Broncos must win out (@KC, vs. Oak), and then need help from losses by Miami and Baltimore, or a monumental Cleveland upset of Pittsburgh.

NFC East

Dallas needs one win or one New York Giant loss to clinch the top seed and earn home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs.  If the Cowboys lose twice (@Phi, @Was), and Dallas loses twice (vs. Det, @Phi), and the Giants win twice, the Giants earn home field advantage and the top seed.

New York can still be eliminated with two losses and multiple other scenarios including Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Atlanta, and Detroit finishing 10-6.

Washington is still alive and has a very good shot at a wildcard if they win out (@Chi, vs. NYG), and a very slim chance if they lose one of their last two.

 

NFC North

If Detroit beats Green Bay next week, the Lions win the division regardless of what happens in this weeks game at Dallas.  If Green Bay beats Detroit, then the Packers win the division if the two teams finished tied.  Both teams hold limited wildcard possibilities, with the Lions’ chances more than twice as strong.

 

Minnesota holds very slim wildcard hopes.  The Vikings must beat Green Bay and Chicago and then hope Tampa Bay loses out, Washington loses at least once, and Detroit beats Green Bay.

 

NFC South 

Atlanta and Tampa Bay are both looking good with the majority of scenarios placing both teams in the playoffs.  If Atlanta wins just one of its final two games, there are very few scenarios where the Falcons would be eliminated, and if Tampa Bay wins out, there are even fewer scenarios where they would be eliminated.  The Falcons can earn a bye by winning out to finish 11-5, if Seattle loses one of its final two games.

 

NFC West

Seattle has clinched the division and can clinch a first round bye if they win out.  They cannot clinch the number one seed, as only Dallas and the Giants are alive for the top spot.

 

If The Playoffs Began Today

AFC
1 New England
2 Oakland
3 Pittsburgh
4 Houston
5 Kansas City
6 Miami
   
NFC
1 Dallas
2 Seattle
3 Atlanta
4 Detroit
5 N.Y. Giants
6 Tampa Bay

PiRate Playoff Projections

AFC Seeding
1 Oakland
2 New England
3 Pittsburgh
4 Tennessee
5 Kansas City
6 Miami
   
NFC Seeding
1 Dallas
2 Seattle
3 Atlanta
4 Detroit
5 New York
6 Tampa Bay

PiRate Playoff Projections Played Out

Wildcard Round
Pittsburgh over Miami
Kansas City over Tennessee
Tampa Bay over Atlanta
N.Y. Giants over Detroit
 
Divisional Round
Oakland over Kansas City
New England over Pittsburgh
Dallas over Tampa Bay
N. Y. Giants over Seattle
 
Conference Championship
Oakland over New England
N. Y. Giants over Dallas
 
Super Bowl 51
N. Y. Giants over Oakland

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
New England 109.7 108.4 110.6 109.6 67 43
Buffalo 101.9 102.1 102.2 102.1 63 39
Miami 99.0 98.8 99.4 99.0 60 39
N. Y. Jets 93.9 93.2 94.1 93.7 57 37
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Pittsburgh 105.3 104.9 105.9 105.4 63 42
Cincinnati 101.4 101.1 101.5 101.4 59 42
Baltimore 100.9 101.8 100.7 101.1 61 40
Cleveland 87.5 88.4 87.3 87.7 55 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Indianapolis 100.2 101.5 99.9 100.5 64 37
Tennessee 98.8 99.4 98.8 99.0 61 38
Houston 97.3 98.0 96.7 97.3 60 37
Jacksonville 93.1 94.4 92.6 93.4 58 35
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Kansas City 103.8 103.8 104.2 103.9 64 40
Denver 104.3 103.6 103.7 103.8 62 42
Oakland 102.1 102.6 102.8 102.5 67 36
San Diego 98.9 99.8 98.6 99.1 63 36
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Dallas 104.5 103.9 104.9 104.4 62 42
Washington 100.8 100.5 100.7 100.7 62 39
N.Y. Giants 100.2 99.6 100.6 100.1 62 38
Philadelphia 99.7 98.7 99.2 99.2 60 39
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Green Bay 102.2 102.0 102.0 102.1 66 36
Detroit 100.5 100.3 100.3 100.4 61 39
Minnesota 100.3 100.0 100.0 100.1 57 43
Chicago 94.1 93.1 94.0 93.8 56 38
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Atlanta 107.5 108.2 107.5 107.7 71 37
Carolina 102.6 102.4 102.9 102.6 60 43
Tampa Bay 101.5 101.6 101.6 101.6 63 39
New Orleans 100.9 101.4 101.3 101.2 68 33
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Seattle 106.1 104.0 106.7 105.6 63 43
Arizona 101.5 100.9 101.2 101.2 62 39
Los Angeles 93.7 94.4 93.2 93.8 54 40
San Francisco 88.3 89.3 87.7 88.4 54 34

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Philadelphia New York Giants 1.5 1.1 0.6 47
Buffalo Miami 5.9 6.3 5.8 47
Carolina Atlanta -2.4 -3.3 -2.1 51
Chicago Washington -4.2 -4.9 -4.2 43
Cleveland San Diego -8.4 -8.4 -8.3 51
Green Bay Minnesota 4.4 4.5 4.5 45
Jacksonville Tennessee -2.7 -2.0 -3.2 47
New England New York Jets 18.8 18.2 19.5 45
New Orleans Tampa Bay 2.4 2.8 2.7 60
Oakland Indianapolis 4.9 4.1 5.9 60
Los Angeles San Francisco 7.9 7.6 8.0 33
Seattle Arizona 7.6 6.1 8.5 45
Houston Cincinnati -1.1 -0.1 -1.8 40
Pittsburgh Baltimore 6.9 5.6 7.7 43
Kansas City Denver 2.5 3.2 3.5 45
Dallas Detroit 7.0 6.6 7.6 43

 

 

 

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