The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 25, 2022

PiRate Picks for August 27, 2022

It’s football time in America! Yes, as of this writing on Thursday morning, August 25, football that actually counts in the standings is just 48 hours away.

Every year on Thursdays, the PiRate Ratings submit our selections in a just for fun environment. We never wager real money on our selections, and we encourage you not to do so either. That said, from past experience, we know that at least three dozen of you do monitor our selections and unfortunately risk your mortgage money on what you see here. In the case of two syndicates, there are systems where our weekly ratings are used to help figure which games to play. Last year, we discovered that one of these syndicates includes a very famous person. We don’t have permission to divulge this person’s name, and we are not even 100% sure this person knows that we now know, but a mutual friend in Nevada let the news slip.

It was our hope to feature some guest handicappers this year, but apparently that isn’t working out. When we last tried this feature, a smart and successful female handicapper totally dusted everybody else with a big profit, and we believe she chased away a lot of the guys that didn’t want to be shown up by “a girl.”

The opening week of the college football season only gives us seven games between two FBS teams. There are additional games between FBS and FCS teams, but unless something totally jumps out at us, we will not include FCS teams in this weekly feature.

Something else is new here this year. In the past two years, we have received a lot of comments from you stating that it was impossible for an average Joe to replicate our selections, because we searched all the sports books for the best odds. Most of you that do wager have accounts with one or at most two books. So, we are only going to use one book this year. Because it is the largest and legal in the most states, we will use the odds from Fanduel. Let us make this clear: we have zero relationship with Fanduel and do not receive any financial benefit from them. We only chose to use them because they are now legal in 17 states with another soon to join.

This year, we also plan to deviate from our normal plan of attack that we have used in year’s past. In recent years, we almost exclusively played Money Line parlays where the odds were +120 or more. With an average odds of about +145 odds, winning just three parlays out of seven returned a profit, albeit a small one of 3.5%.

This season, we plan to issue more straight sides and totals selections. We will most likely play no teasers, even though in the past, we did quite well with them. But, that required playing multiple books. One other thing we will not do this year, even though it has probably been our most reliable method in the 20+ year history of this site, is to play both sides or middling. This is an arbitrage gamble that requires playing one side immediately upon the publication of the opening line with belief that the line will move enough to allow you to take the exact opposite side with another selection. Say that the line between State and Tech opens at State by 9.5. Then, by Thursday morning the line has moved to State by 11.5. If you wagered on Sunday night taking State and giving the 9.5 points and then on Thursday, you took Tech and the 11.5 points, you would be guaranteed to win at least one of those selections. But if the final outcome of the game found State winning by 10 or 11 points, something that happens in about 1/6 of all college football games, you win both wagers. Winning both wagers just 1 out of every 19 attempts returns a profit. Doing so requires us to release two of these features a week–one late Sunday night, and then another on Thursday. We did this when we charged a nominal fee for the picks, but this is 100% free and open to the public, and please believe us, it is worth exactly what you are paying for it.

That said, let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the opening selections for the 2022-23 College Football Season. As we mentioned, there are only seven games on the slate, and our belief in college football odds is that the margins are really accurate to start the season. The line originators and Sharp bettors have months to study the opening week, and they receive beneficial information to alter the spreads. We believe the value to start the season is on the totals, namely because the non-sharps bet a lot of money and frequently alter the number just enough to make it in the favor of the contrarian view.

Thus, we have isolated on three games where we believe we have the advantage playing the totals, and here they are:

#1: Connecticut and Utah State — UNDER 59 1/2

Jim Mora, Jr., takes over at UConn in what is a total rebuild from scratch. The Huskies were once strong enough to make the Fiesta Bowl, but now they have fallen to the point where they had to rally to beat Yale last year. We expect Mora to play a more conservative style of ball this year, trying to shorten games to hide the Huskies’ severe lack of depth. We also believe UConn’s defense will benefit from having to defend more plays, and there will be improvement in the defensive numbers.

Utah State is coming off a stellar year, but we expect the Aggies to be a tad weaker in 2022, at least at the beginning of the season until some young but talented players get some seasoning. The Aggies are favored by 28 1/2 points, and that almost entices one to risk it just on the number alone, but we don’t like playing either side on a spread this large. What we expects is that the game will be lower scoring than expected, something like 38-10 in favor of Utah State. That’s more than 10 points lower than the total for this game.

#2 New Mexico State and Nevada UNDER 49.5

What do you get when a team loses its head coach, its superstar quarterback, and a boatload of players in the Transfer Portal? Obviously, you get a much weaker team. What do you get when a program that has struggled to remain in FBS football brings in a quality head coach with an excellent staff? Well, in year one, it could be even worse than before for a month or two, but what happens when the new coach still believes you succeed in football by running the ball over and over until you can surprise the defense with a pass?

Nevada is basically starting over from scratch after former head coach Jay Norvell made what looks like a lateral move from Reno to Fort Collins. Superstar QB Carson Strong now plays (or sits) for the Philadelphia Eagles, and a lot of key players left Nevada when Norvell left. New coach Ken Wilson has never been a head coach before, and he brings in a staff that have more of a conservative, defense-first pedigree. The Air Raid offense gives way to a more pro-style with an emphasis on using tight ends rather than going 4 wide.

Former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill might still be in The Cities directing a Gophers’ program that might be the equal of rival Wisconsin in the West Division of the Big Ten. Epilepsy caused him to eventually give up the job, and after a couple years as an assistant, Kill resumes head coaching duties in Las Cruces. Kill hired longtime Division 2 head coach Tim Beck as his offensive coordinator. Beck’s offensive philosophy includes some of the “let your offense be your best defense” tendencies. He used to be a defensive assistant. Add to this that Kill likes to control the clock and keep defenses off the field, and the Aggies figure to give up less points in 2022 than they did in 2021.

There is a lot of smart money on New Mexico State’s side, and the margin has come down to 8 1/2 points. If it was 10 1/2, we might have wagered on the Aggies, but we believe that the inexperience on Nevada’s side in game one combined with the concentration on New Mexico State’s playing a more ball-controlled game, will lead to a final score in the neighborhood of Nevada 24 New Mexico State 16.

#3 Hawaii and Vanderbilt OVER 53 1/2

Here we go the other way with a total, and 53 1/2 is a high total to wager on the Over. Hawaii suffered more personnel losses by defections than Nevada, as former coach Todd Graham was accused of abusing his players. Graham was fired, and former superstar and local hero quarterback Timmy Chang was hired without any past head coaching experience. To make matters worse, Hawaii is having to play in a makeshift stadium for the second consecutive season after Aloha Stadium was condemned and deemed not repairable. The Rainbows are playing on their campus soccer stadium with temporary bleachers, and no more than 9,300 fans can attend games. There is minimal home field advantage, even though opponents have to make two, three, four, and even five-hour time zone changes to play in Manoa.

This year’s Hawaii team will most likely return to the Run and Shoot offense used by the school when Chang played and used by new offensive coordinator Ian Shoemaker at Eastern Washington. Hawaii will have very little running success against even the weakest SEC defense, so expect the home team to pass the ball more than 50 times in this game. What it means is that total scrimmage plays might exceed 160 in this game.

Second year Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea is a defensive-minded coach after being the DC at Notre Dame, but he quickly discovered last year that Vanderbilt plays Matador Defense. Except, when the Commodores saw red, it was the opponent that charged through the 11 black and gold capes. Georgia scored 35 first quarter points in Nashville. By the end of the season, Lea had changed quarterbacks from strict and immobile dropback passer Ken Seals to dual threat Mike Wright. Wright was able to dodge a lot of the pass rush from the worst offensive line in the SEC in the last 10 seasons, and Vandy actually had some decent offensive games in November. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if true freshman A.J. Swann doesn’t see action in this game as well, and although Swann is a pro-style QB, he is much more mobile than former starter Seals.

The Commodores have no big stars in their receiver corps, but they have eight or nine decent receivers, including two tight ends that can force safeties to stay between the hashes, leaving cornerbacks on an island against the wideouts. Because the linebackers will have to prevent Wright from running on the numerous RPOs. Even though the VU offensive line is still the worst in the SEC, against the weak UH defensive line, Wright should have a field day, and Vandy should easily top 35 points in this game, possibly 40.

As weak as the Vandy offensive line is, the entire defense is not much better. The Commodores gave up 36 points per game last year, including giving up 21 to a Colorado State team that averaged just 23.7 points per game and 28 points to a 1-11 UConn team that averaged just 12 points per game against the rest of their FBS schedule and only scored 21 against Yale.

Combine a game that is likely to have 160 scrimmage plays with two weak defenses, and two underrated offenses, and the final score starts to look like 42-38 with either team capable of winning. Vanderbilt is favored by 8 1/2 points, and almost all of the notable computer ratings favor Hawaii by 3-10 points (our PiRate Ratings favor Vandy by about the same as the spread). Thus, we think 53 1/2 points could be passed in the 3rd quarter of this game.

August 21, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Football for August 27, 2022

This Week’s Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Florida AtlanticCharlotte4.95.85.9
HawaiiVanderbilt-9.1-8.8-6.4
IllinoisWyoming22.020.019.1
Nebraska (n)Northwestern10.49.311.3
New Mexico St.Nevada-9.7-9.5-10.3
Utah St.Connecticut20.919.825.1
UTEPNorth Texas0.81.2-0.3

FBS vs. FCS Games

FBSFCSPiRate
Western KentuckyAustin Peay24.6
UNLVIdaho St.18.5
Florida St.Duquesne34.2
North CarolinaFlorida A&M29.8

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia130.5
2Alabama129.1
3Ohio St.128.3
4Michigan123.0
5Clemson120.0
6Oklahoma119.1
7NC State118.1
8Michigan St.117.7
9Wisconsin117.6
10Oklahoma St.117.5
11Notre Dame116.8
12Utah116.6
13Purdue115.9
14Arkansas115.3
15Tennessee115.1
16Pittsburgh115.0
17Iowa114.7
18Miami (Fla.)114.7
19Penn St.114.6
20Texas A&M114.3
21Mississippi St.113.9
22Minnesota113.6
23Baylor113.5
24Kentucky112.7
25L S U112.5
26Ole Miss112.2
27BYU111.5
28Cincinnati111.5
29Oregon111.3
30Florida St.111.3
31Auburn111.2
32Louisville111.0
33Kansas St.110.3
34Texas110.2
35Maryland110.0
36Nebraska109.8
37U C L A109.1
38South Carolina109.1
39Iowa St.108.7
40North Carolina108.0
41T C U107.8
42Oregon St.107.2
43Texas Tech106.7
44Florida106.7
45Boise St.106.0
46U S C105.9
47Houston105.5
48Wake Forest105.4
49Washington104.9
50Syracuse104.8
51Arizona St.104.5
52UCF104.4
53Missouri103.7
54Virginia103.6
55Fresno St.103.5
56West Virginia103.3
57Illinois102.6
58Stanford102.2
59SMU102.0
60Washington St.101.5
61Air Force101.4
62Boston College101.2
63Indiana100.9
64Georgia St.100.1
65Rutgers100.1
66East Carolina99.8
67Virginia Tech99.7
68Northwestern99.5
69Army99.0
70California98.3
71N. Illinois98.2
72Tulane98.2
73U A B98.1
74Appal. St.97.8
75San Diego St.97.7
76Colorado97.6
77Kansas97.3
78W. Kentucky97.2
79Memphis97.2
80Liberty97.0
81Louisiana96.9
82U T S A96.5
83Utah St.96.0
84Tulsa95.5
85USF95.4
86Georgia Tech95.0
87Central Mich.95.0
88Toledo94.5
89Arizona94.1
90Coastal Car.94.0
91Miami (Ohio)93.5
92Western Mich.93.1
93Navy92.2
94Marshall92.1
95Troy91.2
96Vanderbilt90.9
97J. Madison89.5
98Old Dominion89.4
99Colorado St.89.2
100North Texas88.9
101Eastern Mich.88.5
102Kent St.88.4
103Nevada87.7
104U N L V87.6
105San Jose St.87.4
106Bowling Green87.1
107U T E P86.9
108Ga. Southern86.6
109Middle Tennessee86.5
110Florida Atlantic86.1
111Ohio85.9
112South Alabama85.8
113Southern Miss.85.3
114Wyoming85.3
115Ball St.85.1
116Buffalo84.5
117Duke84.1
118Charlotte83.1
119UL-Monroe82.1
120Temple81.1
121Texas St.81.0
122Arkansas St.80.8
123Rice80.7
124Louisiana Tech80.4
125New Mexico80.2
126Hawaii79.3
127Akron78.5
128Connecticut77.1
129New Mexico St.75.4
130Massachusetts74.7
131Florida Int’l.67.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati111.3110.4112.9111.5
Houston105.1104.8106.6105.5
UCF103.9104.6104.7104.4
SMU102.3101.4102.4102.0
East Carolina99.699.2100.599.8
Tulane98.797.898.098.2
Memphis97.197.697.097.2
Tulsa95.994.995.895.5
USF96.394.895.295.4
Navy93.092.291.492.2
Temple81.083.578.781.1

AAC98.698.398.598.4

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson119.8119.6120.6120.0
NC State118.4117.4118.6118.1
Florida St.111.8111.1111.0111.3
Louisville111.8110.6110.8111.0
Wake Forest105.9105.2105.2105.4
Syracuse105.9104.3104.2104.8
Boston College100.6102.6100.3101.2

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Pittsburgh116.0114.7114.3115.0
Miami (Fla.)115.2113.8115.0114.7
North Carolina108.1108.3107.6108.0
Virginia104.1104.3102.4103.6
Virginia Tech100.4100.897.999.7
Georgia Tech95.795.693.795.0
Duke84.386.881.284.1

ACC107.0106.8105.9106.6

Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma119.4118.2119.8119.1
Oklahoma St.118.3116.4117.7117.5
Baylor114.2112.9113.4113.5
Kansas St.111.2109.8110.0110.3
Texas111.2110.0109.5110.2
Iowa St.108.7108.6108.9108.7
T C U108.9107.3107.3107.8
Texas Tech107.1105.6107.5106.7
West Virginia103.8103.6102.5103.3
Kansas99.296.995.897.3

Big 12110.2108.9109.2109.5

Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.128.7126.7129.6128.3
Michigan123.7121.9123.5123.0
Michigan St.119.0117.4116.8117.7
Penn St.115.1114.6114.1114.6
Maryland110.3110.1109.8110.0
Indiana102.1101.599.1100.9
Rutgers101.4100.598.3100.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Wisconsin118.1117.4117.1117.6
Purdue116.8115.7115.0115.9
Iowa115.9114.4113.9114.7
Minnesota113.7113.1114.1113.6
Nebraska110.2110.2109.1109.8
Illinois103.1103.7101.2102.6
Northwestern99.8100.997.899.5

Big Ten112.7112.0111.4112.0

Conference USA
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U A B97.497.699.298.1
W. Kentucky96.596.199.197.2
U T S A97.295.496.796.5
North Texas88.787.990.088.9
U T E P87.086.587.286.9
Middle Tennessee85.786.886.986.5
Florida Atlantic85.487.385.786.1
Charlotte83.084.082.483.1
Rice81.380.780.280.7
Louisiana Tech80.382.078.880.4
Florida Int’l.67.170.265.467.6

CUSA86.386.886.586.5

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame117.5115.5117.4116.8
BYU112.2110.2112.2111.5
Army98.699.399.299.0
Liberty95.497.598.097.0
Connecticut77.679.174.677.1
New Mexico St.74.977.274.175.4
Massachusetts75.376.072.774.7

Independents93.193.592.693.1

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)91.694.694.493.5
Kent St.87.490.287.788.4
Bowling Green87.886.586.987.1
Ohio84.387.086.585.9
Buffalo83.185.884.884.5
Akron78.379.377.978.5

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
N. Illinois97.998.398.498.2
Central Mich.93.195.496.495.0
Toledo93.594.795.494.5
Western Mich.92.293.593.693.1
Eastern Mich.88.489.088.188.5
Ball St.84.786.084.885.1

MAC88.590.089.689.4

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.106.1105.0107.0106.0
Air Force101.0100.9102.4101.4
Utah St.95.595.996.796.0
Colorado St.88.689.989.189.2
Wyoming84.086.785.185.3
New Mexico80.481.179.180.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Fresno St.103.3102.6104.6103.5
San Diego St.97.597.597.997.7
Nevada87.189.286.987.7
U N L V88.586.088.187.6
San Jose St.86.987.388.087.4
Hawaii78.680.179.479.3

MWC91.591.892.091.8

Pac-12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Utah116.5115.0118.4116.6
Oregon111.7111.4110.9111.3
U C L A108.6108.5110.2109.1
Oregon St.107.2106.6107.8107.2
U S C105.4106.2106.2105.9
Washington104.2105.0105.5104.9
Arizona St.104.1104.1105.4104.5
Stanford103.8101.0101.8102.2
Washington St.101.0101.6101.8101.5
California97.798.199.198.3
Colorado98.596.797.797.6
Arizona94.194.194.094.1

Pac-12104.4104.0104.9104.4

Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia130.6128.7132.2130.5
Tennessee115.2114.9115.3115.1
Kentucky112.1112.8113.3112.7
South Carolina109.5108.8108.9109.1
Florida105.9108.0106.3106.7
Missouri104.0104.1103.0103.7
Vanderbilt91.192.389.390.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama129.0127.7130.6129.1
Arkansas115.9113.9116.1115.3
Texas A&M113.4114.8114.8114.3
Mississippi St.115.2113.1113.5113.9
L S U113.0112.2112.2112.5
Ole Miss113.4111.4111.8112.2
Auburn112.1110.6110.9111.2

SEC112.9112.4112.7112.7

Sunbelt Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia St.99.398.5102.6100.1
Appal. St.96.298.199.097.8
Coastal Car.92.894.295.094.0
Marshall91.492.892.192.1
J. Madison87.289.192.189.5
Old Dominion89.489.489.589.4
Ga. Southern86.686.087.186.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana95.996.398.596.9
Troy90.790.992.091.2
South Alabama85.385.686.585.8
Southern Miss.85.185.685.285.3
UL-Monroe82.282.781.582.1
Texas St.80.481.381.481.0
Arkansas St.80.181.780.680.8

Sun Belt88.889.490.289.5

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern112.7
2Big Ten112.0
3Big 12109.5
4Atlantic Coast106.6
5Pac-12104.4
6American Athletic98.4
7Independents93.1
8Mountain West91.8
9Sun Belt89.5
10Mid-American89.4
11Conference USA86.5

August 20, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Football–Prologue

Welcome to the start of the college football season. It’s officially called “Week 0,” as there are just a handful of games to kickoff the season, but we’ll take real football, even if no marquee teams are playing this week.

Our standard format here is to post the college picks the day after the last game played of each week. Most of the year, that will be Sunday afternoon. Because Week 1 will have a Labor Day game, that week will be Tuesday afternoon.

Then, on Thursdays, we will issue our just for fun picks against the spread. In recent years, almost all of the picks we published were money line parlays going off at better than +120 odds and using every available sportsbook to try to find value. So many of you attempted to play these picks even though we tried 50 ways to encourage you not to do so. We never wager a penny on these picks, because there is no margin of safety involved.

This year, we are going to use just one sportsbook each week, so it would theoretically be possible for many of you to do the wrong thing and give money to these wealthy corporations. Additionally, we are going to emphasize straight picks against the spread and less parlays.

For what it’s worth, in the 22 years that the PiRate Ratings have issued just for fun selections, we had theoretically winning seasons in 16 of those years, 5 losing seasons, and one break-even season.

The PiRate Ratings are part of two large conglomerates of multiple power ratings, basically the NFL of computer ratings.

The Massey Composite Rankings, run by Ken Massey in East Tennessee, combines all the computer rankings into one composite. The website is: https://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm

The Prediction Tracker, run by Todd Beck in Illinois, combines all the computer power ratings into a mean spread, median spread, and standard deviation. There are additional stats to predict the chance that the home team wins and the chance that the home team covers. The website is: https://www.thepredictiontracker.com/predncaa.html.

The first regular season PiRate Ratings for the 2022 college season will post here on Sunday afternoon, August 21.

The weekly ratings will include the spreads for all games involving an FBS team, divided into FBS vs. FBS games and FBS vs. FCS games. We have three different but similar ratings for games between two FBS teams, while we have just one rating for games between FBS versus FCS teams, because we have to rate the FCS teams differently, and two of our ratings cannot be calculated based on the FCS data.

After the spreads for the week, the next portion of our weekly release is the FBS rankings from 1 to 131, followed by the ratings broken down by conference, and a rating of the conferences.

The final part of the weekly release will include different things depending on the week. In the second half of the season, this will become our bowl and playoff projections.

May 29, 2022

It Starts Again in Two Days

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , — piratings @ 7:23 pm

The end of May means that college football practices begin in 10 weeks, less for the handful of teams playing in Week 0.

The end of May also means the beginning of the updating process of the PiRate Ratings. With a little bit of conference realignment plus the addition of a new team from FCS to FBS (James Madison), it means a little extra work, but this is the 54th season that the PiRate Ratings have been in existence, and it is really more a way of life than a difficult task.

Beginning Tuesday, May 31, the updating begins with two teams from Conference USA, and two teams will be worked on 7 days a week for close to 10 weeks until all 131 teams have been rated for 2022.

In other news, The PiRate Ratings have a tabletop football game available called PiRate Pro Football. There are currently two sets available: A 1960’s & 70’s salute to the American Football League, and a corresponding 1960’s and 70’s National Football League set. The next set will be a 1970’s and 80’s National Football League set, with preliminary plans to issue our first college football game after the NFL game. To see what the two games in existence look like, visit the site linked below.

January 3, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Football Championship Game Spreads

Team 1Team 2PiRateMeanBias
AlabamaGeorgia-1.5-2.3-2.1

November 23, 2021

PiRate Picks–Thanksgiving Week

A Windfall!

It wasn’t the best ever for the PiRate Ratings, as we’ve had greater than 200% returns on investment in a handful of weeks in the last 17 years, but last week’s 171.2% ROI was our best in the last three years. We played six wagers last week, ranging from +159.65 to +360. We lost the +360, but we won the other five selections for an imaginary gain of $1,027.74 on an imaginary investment of $600.

Coming this late in the year, if we play a bit conservatively the rest of the year, we will be guaranteed of having our 5th winning season in the last 6 years and our 14th winning season in the 17 years we have been pretending to wager. For the season, our imaginary 54 wagers at $100 per game for $5,400 in imaginary currency has returned an imaginary $6,337.83, for a profit of $937.83, and a ROI of 17.4%. Hopefully, you have seen the word “imaginary” a few times to this point. We hope you get what we’re saying; we do not wager real money on these parlays.

We are issuing just two parlays this week. The odds were not what we hoped for, as too many games have very large Money Lines. Additionally, our plan is to play one, two, or three games in each parlay while receiving odds better than +120 and preferably better than +150. Having to ask four teams to win for us is basically one too many. Alas, we had to issue a 4-game parlay this week to bring the odds up above +150.

Here are the two parlays we have selected this week. If either one wins, we are guaranteed to have another winning week. If both win, we may retire for the season and enjoy our imaginary winnings. If neither win, we will have given back a little of our profits.

Odds:+201.37
Must WinOpponent
Ball St.Buffalo
Georgia St.Troy
MemphisTulane

Odds:+150.77
Must WinOpponent
Central MichiganEastern Michigan
Old DominionCharlotte
UCLACalifornia
AlabamaAuburn

October 27, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 28-30, 2021

Back To Back Winning Weeks

Usually, the middle of October to the middle of November has been the period where our college football parlay picks have made their move into positive territory, and this year has been another example of that. After going north and south of the break-even line, in the last two weeks, a couple of big wins with fat payouts has taken our imaginary bankroll and turned it from red to black numbers.

We won two of the four parlays, one paying out at +187 and the other at +147.40. That comes to a 33.6% return on investment for the weekend. For the year, $3,500 in imaginary funds have been wagered with the sports books, and $3,704.28 in imaginary funds have been returned for an ROI of 5.84%.

Last week, we did not particularly like the games overall. It was difficult finding suitable parlays with payouts better than +120 that our “system” said had a better chance than the minimum needed to show a profit. The week before, too many games presented themselves as playable, and we had to limit the ones we wanted.

This week, it is somewhere in between. We selected to underdogs to win outright with rather fat payout odds. Our methods say these two games are virtual tossup games, so if we can get better than +120 on these games, we feel compelled to take the ‘dogs.

However, after the two straight up upset selections, we spent an extra hour plus trying to combine games into suitable odds while remaining confident that the teams would win.

So, without further adieu, here are our five selections for this week.

Note: Corrected Parlay after astute football guru Dustdog spotted an error.

Date:October 28-30


Odds:


+360
Must WinOpponent
UTEPFlorida Atlantic


Odds:+170
Must WinOpponent
Michigan St.Michigan


Odds:+225.59
Must WinOpponent
IllinoisRutgers
Notre DameNorth Carolina


Odds:+269.54
Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaTemple
Kansas St.TCU
RiceNorth Texas


Odds:+150
Must WinOpponent
Utah St.Hawaii
San Jose St.Wyoming

September 15, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 16-20, 2021

After a swing and a miss on opening week of the football season, last week we went two for two with big wins. Not only did we win both of our Money Line Parlays, we mentioned a first week NFL system that has worked well over the course of a couple of decades. We told you that even though we are only issuing Money Line Parlays this year, that playing the NFL underdogs of 1/2 to 3 points in Week 1 was a winning proposition. There were seven such underdogs last week, and playing them and the points went 5-2.

For the year, our pretend bank account has wagered pretend money on four games, $400 at $100 per wager, and we have received $604.56 in return from the pretend book. That’s a return on investment of 51.14%.

Now, the pressure is on to keep that profit and not give it back to the imaginary book. We begin including NFL games this week, and we have chosen four different parlays, each with more than +120 odds. Additionally, we are doing something we have only done three or four times in the last decade–combine a college game and NFL game into a parlay. We are number’s enthusiasts here on the PiRate ship, so sometimes we are left with orphan numbers needing to go to a matchmaking service. Combining college and pro football games into a hopeful match is rare for us, but there is no real reason not to do it. We just like to know at 1 AM on Sundays whether we won or not.

Enjoy these four parlays, but remember that these are for entertainment purposes only. We strongly urge you not to wager real money on these picks unless you have done your own research, and this feature merely verifies your own findings.

This Week’s Money Line Parlays

Date:
Sept 16-20

Odds:

+182
Must WinOpponent
Kansas St.Nevada
TroySouthern Miss.

Odds:+126.42
Must WinOpponent
Mississippi St.Memphis
DenverJacksonville

Odds:+140.08
Must WinOpponent
LA RamsIndianapolis
Kansas CityBaltimore

Odds:+127.91
Must WinOpponent
ArizonaMinnesota
SeattleTennessee

September 8, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 9-13, 2021

Last week’s opening picks missed, as Virginia Tech made Sam Howell look like Thurston Howell. Duke then failed to show up against Charlotte, and poof, our two picks were destroyed. Such is life when you wager on parlays that return the odds we look for when we place our imaginary wagers.

We have two more picks returning some fat odds this week, and maybe we’ll get lucky and hit on one. We will also tell you a week 1 tip for the NFL. Although we are here just for Money Line Parlays this year, it doesn’t mean we cannot give out a little interesting information.

Here are our two Money Line Parlays for Week two of the college season. We will eventually pick some NFL games, but Week one is not the time and place for that.

Parlay 1

Odds:+224
Must WinOpponent
VirginiaIllinois
RutgersSyracuse
MichiganWashington

Parlay 2

Odds:+180.56
Must WinOpponent
Mississippi St.North Carolina St.
TCUCalifornia

Here’s our tip for Week 1 of the NFL season. Underdogs of 1 to 3 points tend to win outright 50% of the time, but they also lose by less than 3 points another 8-10% of the time. That’s 58-60% success for wagering on 3-point Underdogs.

There are seven games as of this writing with a 3-point spread. The Dogs are:

Houston against Jacksonville

Arizona against Tennessee

Philadelphia against Atlanta

Indianapolis against Seattle

Cincinnati against Minnesota

Miami against New England

N.Y. Giants against Denver

August 26, 2021

PiRate Picks For August 28, 2021

Welcome to all the newcomers to the PiRate Ratings site for the 2021-2022 football season. Saturday, we have the fortune of having a dress rehearsal for the college football season. Nine FBS teams will be in action, as one FBS team plays an FCS opponent.

The PiRate Ratings enjoy issuing picks against the spread or money line on Thursdays each week until January. Because we are most concerned with Money Line Parlays, there are only five options to combine games this week, and many of the books do not issue a line for FBS vs. FCS games. So, in a quest to obtain the best odds, there really are just four games.

This presents multiple issues that basically make it close to impossible to issue a real wager, because the options don’t fit our paradigm. Let’s take a look.

First, before we get started, you must know and understand one thing. We offer these selections purely for the fun of it. It is math and not gambling to us. We NEVER bet on sports. We play with a pretend bankroll that never runs out. We wager the same amount of fake currency on every selection–$100. It could just as easily be $5, $10, $1000, $5000, whatever, but $100 is an easy number and typical of many wagers in real life.

Second, we urge you with everything we can say about it to NOT use this weekly feature as betting advice, unless you have legitimate advice or are a professional, and then this becomes a secondary reference.

Third, we hunt around for the best possible odds on our pretend wagers. You may or may not be able to find the same odds we do, because you would have to search at the exact same time we do. Because, we are not limited to just the legal books available to us in our state of Tennessee, where betting is legal, we might pick a parlay based on a sports book that is only for people in Nevada, or New Jersey, or even off shore.

Okay, now that you know the ground rules, here is our specialty–Money Line Parlays. The money line is different from the spread of a game, but the number is the equivalent of a spread. If a team is favored by 7 points, their money line is going to be roughly -330, and if a team is a 7-point underdog, their money line is going to be roughly +250.

How does a Money Line work? If the line is a negative number, if you wager the amount of the negative number and win, you will receive $100 plus the amount you wagered. So, if you wager on a team at -300, and you bet $300, if the bet wins, you will get back $400 (your investment money plus $100). If you lose, you are out the $300. On the other hand, if the line is a positive number, you can win that amount of money with a $100 wager. So, if the line on a team is +300, you can wager $100, and if the team wins, you receive $400 (your investment money plus $300).

In Money Line wagers, all that matters is that the team you picked wins the game, be it by 1 point or 63 points. Obviously, if Alabama is playing Mercer, the odds are going to be such that to win $100, you will have to put up maybe $100,000. So, if you bet $100 on Alabama at -100000, when Alabama wins, you receive $100.01. Would you risk $100,000 to win one penny?

When you wager on more than one money line to win as one bet, this is called a parlay. Let’s say that you like Mississippi State to beat Arkansas and Oklahoma State to beat Texas Tech. Mississippi State’s money line number is -275. Oklahoma State’s money line number is -250. By combining these two wagers into one bet, with $100 riding on the outcome, instead of attempting to win a little more than $36 on MSU and $40 on OSU, by combining the two games into a parlay, you stand to win almost $91 if both teams win. If you bet them individually, you would only win $76, so by combining the two, you win $15 more. Of course, if one team wins and the other loses, your losses would be less by playing the games separately.

The question you most likely wanted to ask while reading the above paragraph is, “Why risk playing two separate games that both teams you selected must win and still not get even money?” Did you ask it? The answer to that question is, “You are correct; why wager $100 to just win $91 and then have to be right twice to cash it?” You can bet a regular game against the spread and get 11-10 odds, just a fraction better than the odds of the parlay above.

The ultimate answer is that we are only looking for parlays that pay better than even money. We really don’t want to play any parlays at less than +120 odds, where we would win $6 for every $5 wagered.

The next question you might have is, “Isn’t finding two teams to win and pay off at +120 going to require me to bet an underdog to win outright?”

Our answer to you is, “Yes, but we don’t look for many two-team money line parlays. Let’s take a look at another example with three teams.

Let’s say that we believe that Washington will beat Oregon State, and the money line is -260.

We also believe that Army will beat Temple, and the money line is -240.

And, we believe that Wisconsin will beat Purdue, and the money line is -250.

If you wager $100 on these three teams to win, and all three teams win, your payout is just under $175 plus the $100 you wagered for almost $275 ($274.62 to be exact.)

Let’s take a look at 5 wagers, where we win two and lose three at these odds

We bet $500 at $100 for 5 wagers.

On the two winning wagers, we receive $275 * 2 or $550.

Invest $500 and win $550 by being right 40% of the time. In one week, we have made a 10% return on an investment. What investment on the Stock Market makes a 10% gain in one week after you have paid the commissions on the trip?

Ah, but here’s the rub: how often can you wager on 5 money line parlays that average +175 and win 40% of the parlays? Most people fall into this trap and only win about one of five of these parlays. At 20% success, you lose $225 a week for a 45% loss. Now, where can you loses 45% in the stock market in one week? We put our real money in high-cap value stocks with durable competitive advantages, long histories of consistent increases in earnings, and long histories of consistent dividend payouts. The pretend money is just fine for football wagering.

By now, you want to know who we are picking in Week 0 of the college football season. Maybe, you have figured it out already. We don’t have any official picks this week, because there are not enough games to come up with a parlay better than +120.

Here is a practice parlay that is not an official pick, but shown here to show you what we mean.

The three games involved are: Nebraska versus Illinois, UCLA versus Hawaii, and UTEP versus New Mexico St.

Let’s say that we think Illinois will upset the Cornhuskers, UCLA will take care of Hawaii, and UTEP will win the big rivalry game.

Here are the three Money Lines for these three games.

Illinois +215 vs. Nebraska

UCLA -875 vs. Hawaii

UTEP -390 vs. New Mexico St.

This parlay calculates to +341. If we wager $100 on this game, and Illinois, UCLA, and UTEP all win, we receive $441 in our account (The $100 we wagered plus the $341 on the win).

Why isn’t this an official pick? We believe that Illinois might have been an excellent pick against the spread when the Illinois-Nebraska game spread opened at -9 1/2. But, it has come down to -6 1/2 as of this writing. Sharp money was wagers on Illinois +9 1/2, and also on Nebraska -6 1/2. A three-point middling is too good to be true. Playing both sides, the Sharps only need to have the game win both sides one out of every 19 times (5.26%) to make a profit. The spreads of 7, 8, and 9 account for 10.8% of all FBS college football games. That’s double the amount needed to make a profit. The key is the Sharps can find these spreads when they open. Also, playing the opening lines is the most effective way to win for a Sharp.

The UTEP-New Mexico State game is the biggest issue in this parlay. One axiom that older Sharps believe in is not to rely on a losing program to have to win for you to win. The Miners are probably a 3-9 team, which is almost a good year for this program. The Aggies are really weak and should be an underdog in every game, but this is their big rival, maybe bigger than playing New Mexico. The I-10 rivalry frequently is a tossup game.

Two out of three of these games are iffy. The chances that Illinois pulls off the upset of Nebraska are not good enough to have faith in this parlay winning. Scott Frost is in deep cow poo if the Cornhuskers don’t win at least six games and earn a bowl bid, and losing to the weakest Big Ten team will turn the heater on in his heated seat. This will be Bret Bielema’s first game as Illinois head coach, and he brought in an offensive coordinator that runs a system totally different from what the Illini ran under Lovie Smith. Expect growing pains.

We hope this gets you pumped for next week, when there will be more than enough games to play some parlays.

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