The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 18, 2020

PiRate Picks for December 18-21, 2020

A General Malaise

December in the sports wagering world has been about as sickly as the nation and world as a whole, but unfortunately, Pfizer and Moderna are not going to issue sports wagering vaccines to turn losers into winners.

How crazy have things been lately? Look at the most incredible Monday Night Football game in the 51 year history of the event. Baltimore was a 3 1/2 point favorite over Cleveland, and the Ravens led the Browns by three points after a brilliant drive that led to a long field goal. The Browns had one final play to hope for a miracle touchdown or to hope Baltimore committed a defensive 15-yard penalty that would lead to an untimed down and possible field goal to force overtime.

You’ve no doubt seen the dozen lateral play. Unless a large marching band is on the field, the play doesn’t work, because the offense needs a giant tuba player to set an important screen. The 99% of the other times, there are a dozen or so laterals that are fun to watch for 20-30 seconds. The play ends, and the game is over.

Well, this time it was different for the first time in another way. Cleveland ran out of real estate, and the last lateral led to a safety, making the final score a five-point spread. Unlike when a game outcome changes at the end when a team chooses to run the clock play one foot from scoring a touchdown that would change the margin winner or the total, this was totally different. 9,999 times out of 10,000, that part of the wagering public that was already counting their winnings with Cleveland covering, would have actually got those winnings. This was that one other time. Millions and millions of dollars changed on that one crazy play. Local sports talk radio in a state with legalized wagering took time out from coaching search speculation to talk with representatives of MGM and Fan Duel to get the juicy details.

As you know, we at the PiRate Ratings never wager real money on our selections and always recommend that you do the same if you are relying on our selections as real advice. We do this just for the fun of it. In past years, we have enjoyed some spectacular imaginary seasons. We’ve had a couple clinkers as well. This year, we had an imaginary profit entering Thanksgiving, but the last three weeks have seen just enough losses turn the profit to a minor loss for the season. And, unlike the one time Cleveland-Baltimore deal, we have seen our last selection of the week lose after two-thirds of the parlay had won. That last third has done us in. This past week, it was the Giants-Cardinals game. The Giants did us in the week before with the upset win at Seattle. On Thanksgiving, Dallas and Washington couldn’t get their offenses rolling enough.

This week, we joked among ourselves (only crazies like us would laugh at this), wondering if we should change the order of our selections, so that the final NFL game wouldn’t spoil the final third of a parlay. But, then we figured it would only infect the entire card. So, we continue to disbelieve the voodoo that somebody has been doing so well. We’ll call that nemesis, “The Wizard of Laterals.” The talisman that keeps him at bay is “The Gold Tuba.”

Here are this week’s selections. Remember, these are for entertainment purposes only, and we urge you not to wager real money on what you read, even if it’s your Christmas bonus. Save that money to pay for the expensive food on that diet you will begin in two weeks.

Dec 18-21
1. College 6 1/2 point Teaser-120
OklahomaIowa St.+1
Ohio St.Northwestern-13 1/2

2. College 10-point Teaser-110
UtahWashington St.– 1/2
Air ForceArmy+7 1/2
Ole MissLSU+7 1/2

3. College 10-point Teaser-110
MissouriMississippi St.+8 1/2
ClemsonNotre Dame– 1/2
MinnesotaWisconsin+22 1/2

4. College 10-point Teaser
Penn St.Illinois-5 1/2
CincinnatiTulsa-4 1/2

5. College Money Line Parlay+138.40
Must WinOpponentSpread
BuffaloBall St.
Texas A&MTennessee

6. College Money Line Parlay+187.04
Must WinOpponentSpread
OklahomaIowa St.+187.04
ClemsonNotre Dame

7. NFL 6-point Teaser-110
Green BayCarolina-2
IndianapolisHouston-1 1/2

8. NFL 6-point Teaser-110
New EnglandMiami+7 1/2

9. NFL 6 1/2-point Teaser-120
Kansas CityNew Orleans+3 1/2
PittsburghCincinnati-6 1/2

10. NFL Money Line Parlay+134.81
Must WinOpponentSpread
Green BayCarolina
Kansas CityNew Orleans

11. NFL Money Line Parlay+148.28
Must WinOpponentSpread

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