The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 15, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 7, October 18-22, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Arizona Denver 1.4 0.8 1.7 40
L.A. Chargers [London] Tennessee 5.5 6.3 6.6 42.5
Indianapolis Buffalo 4.3 2.9 4.3 40.5
Philadelphia Carolina 2.7 3.4 2.3 45.5
Kansas City Cincinnati 9.9 9.8 10.3 50
Tampa Bay Cleveland 2.8 2.4 2.8 47.5
Miami Detroit -1.0 -1.6 -1.1 48.5
Jacksonville Houston 5.2 5.2 5.7 44
N.Y. Jets Minnesota -0.4 -1.0 -0.2 45.5
Chicago New England 0.0 -1.0 0.3 44
Baltimore New Orleans -0.1 0.5 0.0 47.5
Washington Dallas 1.3 0.6 2.2 42.5
San Francisco L.A. Rams -10.4 -10.8 -10.7 50.5
Atlanta N.Y. Giants 8.3 8.2 8.1 47


This Week’s PiRate Ratings

East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.0 105.4 105.1 105.2 22.5 4-2
N. Y. Jets 98.5 98.2 98.7 98.5 24 3-3
Miami 97.2 96.8 97.3 97.1 22 4-2
Buffalo 93.8 93.8 93.5 93.7 15.5 2-4
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 105.6 105.7 105.3 105.5 23 3-2-1
Baltimore 104.7 105.3 105.0 105.0 21 4-2
Cincinnati 99.9 100.3 99.9 100.0 23 4-2
Cleveland 95.0 95.3 95.7 95.3 23 2-3-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 101.1 101.0 101.3 101.1 20 3-3
Houston 98.4 98.3 98.1 98.2 24 3-3
Tennessee 96.9 96.9 96.2 96.7 19 3-3
Indianapolis 95.6 94.2 95.3 95.0 25 1-5
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 106.8 107.2 107.2 107.1 27 5-1
LA Chargers 102.4 103.2 102.8 102.8 23.5 4-2
Denver 97.4 97.1 96.8 97.1 21.5 2-4
Oakland 93.1 93.3 92.9 93.1 21 1-5
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.0 102.1 101.7 101.9 22.5 3-3
Dallas 100.5 100.4 99.9 100.3 20 3-3
Washington 99.3 98.5 99.6 99.1 22.5 3-2
N.Y. Giants 95.5 95.3 95.4 95.4 21.5 1-5
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 102.4 102.0 102.9 102.4 21.5 3-2
Minnesota 102.0 102.2 101.9 102.0 21.5 3-2-1
Detroit 100.7 100.9 100.9 100.8 26.5 2-3
Green Bay 99.4 100.1 99.0 99.5 24.5 3-2-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.8 107.8 108.0 107.9 26.5 4-1
Carolina 101.9 101.2 101.8 101.6 23 3-2
Atlanta 101.3 101.1 101.0 101.1 25.5 2-4
Tampa Bay 95.3 95.2 96.0 95.5 24.5 2-3
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 108.1 108.9 108.4 108.5 26.5 6-0
Seattle 102.1 102.0 102.4 102.2 22.5 3-3
Arizona 95.8 95.0 95.5 95.4 18.5 1-5
San Francisco 94.7 95.1 94.7 94.8 24 1-5


This Week’s PiRate Ratings Playoff Projections

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


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


Wildcard Round
Baltimore over Pittsburgh
L.A. Chargers over Houston
Philadelphia over Minnesota
Carolina over Chicago


Divisional Round
L.A. Chargers over Kansas City
Baltimore over New England
L.A. Rams over Carolina
Philadelphia over New Orleans


Conference Championship
Baltimore over L.A. Chargers
L.A. Rams over Philadelphia


Super Bowl 53
L.A. Rams over Baltimore





August 15, 2018

2018 American Athletic Conference Preview

Note: The preseason ratings you see in the previews may not be the same as the ratings you see for the first game. We update every team’s rating based on player injuries, changes to the depth charts, and other factors that may change during preseason practice.

Some of our Group of 5 Conference won-loss predictions were figured before the beginning of August preseason practices. Thus, it could be that a player or players on some teams have already suffered season-ending or multiple game injuries or have left their teams, and these won-loss predictions no longer accurately reflect our ratings. We hope that by the time we preview the Power 5 conferences, we will know who is not going to be available (players and head coaches).

This American Athletic Conference believes the number one team in the nation played within its jurisdiction last year. No, Alabama did not have some type of adjunct relationship with the league. Central Florida was the lone unbeaten team in the nation in 2017. In addition, the Knights did something Alabama was unable to do–beat Auburn.
The PiRate Ratings not only said that UCF was not the top team in the nation, we believed there were four better teams last year. UCF’s running the table reminded us a lot of Penn State in 1968, when the Nittany Lions went 11-0 and beat Kansas in the Orange Bowl. So what did that Penn State team do for an encore in 1969? They merely went 11-0 again with one of the most aggressive defenses and special teams in college football history.
UCF just might run the table again this year, just like that great Penn State team.

However, they will have an extra impediment that Penn State did not have in 1969. Coach Scott Frost took his marbles and went home to alma mater Nebraska. The Knights will try to become the first team since Toledo in 1970 and 1971 to go undefeated in back-to-back seasons with different head coaches. That Toledo team actually ran the table for three consecutive years.
UCF returns a talented quarterback in McKenzie Milton, two talented running backs in Adrian Killins and Otis Anderson, and two highly-skilled receivers Dredrick Snelson and Gabriel Davis that helped team up for 530+ yards and 48+ points per game. The Knights should continue to pile up yards and points again this year, and if the defense can hold serve and put up similar numbers to last year, UCF has a chance to repeat at 13-0. The toughest roadblocks will be road games with North Carolina and Memphis and a home game with Pittsburgh. The regular season finale at South Florida could be a trap game.

Speaking of South Florida, the Bulls are not quite up to UCF’s talent level, and they undergo a slight rebuilding project this year. A splendid offensive team in 2017, USF must break in a new quarterback, a new running back or backs to replace two highly talented backs, and their leading receiver. Things are not all that rosy on the defensive side of the ball, but the Bulls had a lot of talented depth and should be okay on this side of the ball, especially with a defensive mastermind like Charlie Strong as head coach.

Temple continued to win with new coach Geoff Collins taking over for Matt Rhule last year. Collins might have a hard time topping last year’s seven wins, but the rest of the division is not ready to move up, so the Owls might have a shot at another bowl-eligible season. Temple has some stars on both sides of the ball, foremost being rush end Quincy Roche, who recorded seven sacks as a freshman. He’ll join the finest trio of linebackers in the league, and Temple should hold opponents to 21 to 24 points per game this year. If the offense can take a small move forward, Temple can contend with South Florida for second in the division.

The bottom three teams in the East Division fall far short of the top three. Cincinnati appears to be nearing the end of the Luke Fickell era. After a 4-8 season in 2017, the Bearcats look like a team that will find it hard to even equal that mark this year. Pass defense will be a major issue, and even if the pass rush improves this year, UC may take a backward turn against the run. The result should be another year where opponents average north of 30 points per game.

East Carolina and Connecticut face major rebuilding projects and should both win fewer games than a year ago. That’s not an easy task, as they both won just three times in 2017.

Memphis lost just twice in the regular season last year, but both times, it was to Central Florida. The Tigers host UCF in the middle of the season, and the game could match a pair of ranked and undefeated teams. The only reason why Memphis may not top the Knights is the breaking in of a new quarterback. David Moore can run and pass with talent, but he lacks the experience that Milton has at UCF. The Tigers should have a better defense this year with most of the key players back, but the offense is going to backtrack, and with it will go the Tigers’ conference championship hopes in 2018.

When Major Applewhite became Houston’s head coach last year, he heard an edict from the school’s president that 8-4 will get a coach fired there. Applewhite only mustered seven wins in his first year, and 8-4 may be about what to expect in year two. The question is: will 8-4 be good enough in year two? The Cougars lost too much talent on both sides of the ball to make a legitimate move forward. Every full-time starting skill position player at one set position on offense must be replaced. The one exception is D’Eriq King, who began the season as one of the leading receivers on the team and then moved to quarterback in the second half.

Navy has been to 14 bowls in the last 15 years, and with an experienced quarterback returning to run the double slot option offense, the Midshipmen will make it 15 in 16 years. Coach Ken Niumatalolo’s teams usually improve by a couple of games when his quarterback returns, so look for Navy to challenge for double-digit wins this year.

Unlike the East, the bottom three teams in the West could all contend for bowl eligibility this year. Tulane and SMU played a bowl-qualifier in the regular season’s final week last year. Tulane appeared to have the game won at the end, but an incorrect referee’s call gave the game and the Frisco Bowl bid to the Mustangs. The PiRate Ratings don’t call for it, but we believe Coach Willie Fritz will build on this near-miss and push Tulane to bowl eligibility. Expect quarterback Jonathan Banks to increase the Green Wave’s passing efficiency, especially since his starting receiving corps returns in full. While at Georgia Southern, Fritz’s offenses averaged better than 425 yards and 35 points per game, and if TU can match that amount this year, Fritz will be coaching in December.

SMU must start all over with a new coach and new offensive system. The Mustangs should be okay on offense, but their defense is still a mess, and the new offense may force it to stay on the field a tad more this year. It may take 40 points per game for the Mustangs to win six games and make a bowl game again.

Tulsa has the least chance of the three bottom-half teams to make a bowl this year, and a reduction in their athletic budget could signal some lean times in the near future. Last year, the Golden Hurricane could not move the football through the air, and it led to a sub 30 points per game output, and a year after winning 10 games, Tulsa lost 10 games.

Here is how the American Athletic Conference Media voted in the preseason poll.

American Athletic
East 1st Place Points
1. Central Florida 25 175
2. South Florida 5 140
3. Temple 0 132
4. Cincinnati 0 91
5. Connecticut 0 51
6. East Carolina 0 41
West 1st Place Points
1. Memphis 23 171
2. Houston 4 146
3. Navy 3 129
4. SMU 0 72
5. Tulane 0 68
6. Tulsa 0 44
Championship Game Winner Points
Central Florida 19
Memphis 7
South Florida 3
Houston 1

The PiRate Ratings agree almost completely with the media experts with the exception of flip-flopping Tulane and SMU

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 0-0 0-0 110.8 110.4 110.7 110.6
South Florida 0-0 0-0 96.0 99.3 96.9 97.4
Temple 0-0 0-0 95.8 95.8 96.2 95.9
Cincinnati 0-0 0-0 87.1 88.5 86.5 87.3
Connecticut 0-0 0-0 84.1 84.4 82.8 83.8
East Carolina 0-0 0-0 83.1 82.2 82.0 82.4
West Division
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 0-0 0-0 104.2 106.3 105.7 105.4
Houston 0-0 0-0 99.9 101.4 101.0 100.8
Navy 0-0 0-0 98.7 101.7 98.5 99.7
Tulane 0-0 0-0 94.4 94.6 94.0 94.3
SMU 0-0 0-0 95.1 93.8 94.0 94.3
Tulsa 0-0 0-0 91.8 90.3 92.3 91.5
AAC Averages 95.1 95.7 95.1 95.3

New Coaches
The biggest coaching change in all of Group of 5 football is at Central Florida, where former Oklahoma passing phenom Josh Heupel takes over for former Nebraska star Scott Frost. Heupel comes from the spread passing philosophy of Bob Stoops and Mike Leach. Heupel most recently served as offensive coordinator at Missouri, where Drew Lock routinely topped 300 yards passing. What a lot of fans might not know is that Heupel’s Missouri offense also finished in the top half of the SEC’s rushing statistics. UCF will most likely continue to average more than 40 points and 500 yards per game.

SMU welcomes former Louisiana Tech and California head coach Sonny Dykes, as he too brings the same offense to Dallas that Heupel will bring to Orlando. Dykes was a special offensive assistant at TCU last year, and the Horned Frogs averaged 33.6 points and 419 yards per game.

Predicted Won-Loss Records
Note: These predicted won-loss records are strictly mechanical based on the initial PiRate Ratings. No upsets are factored in these predictions. Additionally, our PiRate Ratings are only useful for the next week of games and cannot really be used to forecast past that point. Part of our weekly adjustment to our ratings includes a factor where depth issues or non-issues have been pre-set. In other words, a team without talented second stringers may lose ratings points as the season progresses even if they win games by the predicted margin, whereas a team with exceptional depth (like Alabama) will improve during the season and see its rating rise even if they win games by a little less than the predicted margin. What we’re saying is: don’t take these numbers with anything more than a grain of salt.

Team Conference Overall
Central Florida 8-0 13-0 *
South Florida 5-3 8-4
Temple 5-3 7-5
Cincinnati 2-6 3-9
East Carolina 1-7 2-10
Connecticut 0-8 1-11
West Conference Overall
Memphis 7-1 10-3
Navy 6-2 10-3
Houston 6-2 8-4
Tulsa 3-5 5-7
Tulane 3-5 4-8
SMU 2-6 3-9
* Central Florida picked to win AAC Champ. Game

Bowl Tie-ins
The American Athletic Conference has contracts to fill seven bowls with no set pecking order.

Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, TX
Bahamas Bowl in Nassau, Bahamas
Birmingham Bowl in Birmingham, AL
Cure Bowl in Orlando, FL
Frisco Bowl in Frisco, TX (The Home Soccer Stadium for FC Dallas of the MLS).
Gasparilla Bowl in St. Petersburg, FL
Military Bowl in Annapolis, MD

Coming Tomorrow–We begin previewing the Power 5 Conferences. First up is the Big 12.

March 11, 2018

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Update–March 11 , 2018

Sunday’s PiRate Ratings Spreads for Conference Tournament Championships

Higher Seed Lower Seed Spread
Harvard Penn -1.4
Rhode Island Davidson 2.8
Tennessee Kentucky 1.1
Georgia St. Texas-Arlington 0.9
Cincinnati Houston 4.8


Sunday’s Conference Championship Schedule

All Times EDT

Time Conference Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM Ivy League Harvard Penn ESPN2
1:00 PM Atlantic 10 Rhode Island Davidson CBS
1:00 PM Southeastern Tennessee Kentucky ESPN
2:00 PM Sun Belt Georgia St. Texas-Arlington ESPN2
3:30 PM American Cincinnati Houston CBS

Note:  Our Final Bracket Gurus Bracketology prediction will appear on this site roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Atlantic 10 Championship Game.  Davidson is a potential bid-stealer, and until our gurus know whether they have earned an automatic bid or have been eliminated, they cannot fix the Bubble.  There are about a half-dozen teams that will sweat it out during today’s Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Championship.

Teams That Have Earned Automatic Bids Through Sunday, 6:00 AM EDT

Team Bid Conf. W-L Avg Score
Arizona AUTO P12 27-7 81-71
Bucknell AUTO Patriot 25-9 81-73
Buffalo AUTO MAC 26-8 85-77
Cal St. Fullerton AUTO BWest 20-11 73-72
Charleston AUTO CAA 26-7 75-69
Gonzaga AUTO WCC 30-4 85-67
Iona AUTO MAAC 20-13 80-76
Kansas AUTO B12 27-7 82-71
Lipscomb AUTO A-SUN 23-9 83-78
Long Island AUTO NEC 18-16 78-77
Loyola (Chi.) AUTO MVC 28-5 72-62
Marshall AUTO CUSA 24-10 84-79
MD-Baltimore Co. AUTO AE 24-10 73-71
Michigan AUTO BTen 28-7 75-64
Montana AUTO BSky 26-7 78-69
Murray St. AUTO OVC 26-5 77-66
New Mexico St. AUTO WAC 28-5 76-65
Radford AUTO B-South 22-12 67-64
San Diego St. AUTO MWC 22-10 77-68
South Dakota St. AUTO Summit 28-6 85-74
Stephen F. Austin AUTO SLC 28-6 78-68
Texas Southern AUTO SWAC 15-19 78-80
UNC-Central AUTO MEAC 19-15 70-71
UNC-Greensboro AUTO SoCon 27-7 74-62
Villanova AUTO BE 30-4 87-71
Virginia AUTO ACC 31-2 68-53
Wright St. AUTO Horizon 25-9 72-66








November 20, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 12: November 23-27, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Detroit Minnesota 2.1 2.6 1.5 44
Dallas LA Chargers 1.1 1.2 0.8 47
Washington N. Y. Giants 6.9 6.7 7.3 45
Cincinnati Cleveland 9.5 9.5 9.5 36
Philadelphia Chicago 17.3 15.5 18.5 44
New England Miami 19.5 19.3 20.2 44
Kansas City Buffalo 12.1 12.1 12.0 45
Atlanta Tampa Bay 9.5 9.4 9.6 51
N. Y. Jets Carolina -4.0 -3.9 -4.4 44
Indianapolis Tennessee -0.5 -0.4 -0.1 46
San Francisco Seattle -7.5 -8.0 -7.2 45
LA Rams New Orleans -1.1 -0.8 -1.3 53
Arizona Jacksonville -3.7 -3.5 -4.1 42
Oakland Denver 4.8 5.3 4.4 45
Pittsburgh Green Bay 11.8 11.4 12.5 41
Baltimore Houston 10.4 10.8 10.5 41

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 108.8 108.8 109.0 108.8 23 8-2
N. Y. Jets 95.8 95.3 96.0 95.7 19 4-6
Buffalo 94.9 95.2 95.0 95.0 23 5-5
Miami 92.3 92.5 91.7 92.2 21 4-6
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 106.3 106.4 106.5 106.4 21 8-2
Baltimore 104.3 104.8 104.2 104.4 19 5-5
Cincinnati 98.3 98.9 98.1 98.5 17 4-6
Cleveland 90.8 91.5 90.7 91.0 19 0-10
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 101.9 101.9 101.9 101.9 20 7-3
Tennessee 97.4 97.5 96.9 97.3 23 6-4
Houston 96.9 96.9 96.7 96.8 22 4-6
Indianapolis 94.0 94.1 93.7 93.9 23 3-7
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 103.9 104.4 104.0 104.1 22 6-4
LA Chargers 103.2 102.8 103.3 103.1 23 4-6
Oakland 97.9 98.5 97.1 97.8 23 4-6
Denver 96.1 96.1 95.8 96.0 22 3-7
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 109.7 108.1 111.0 109.6 25 9-1
Dallas 101.3 101.0 101.1 101.2 24 5-5
Washington 99.3 99.3 99.4 99.3 27 4-6
N.Y. Giants 94.9 95.1 94.6 94.9 18 2-8
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Minnesota 103.5 103.2 104.1 103.6 18 8-2
Detroit 102.6 102.8 102.6 102.7 26 6-4
Green Bay 97.6 98.0 97.0 97.5 20 5-5
Chicago 95.4 95.6 95.5 95.5 19 3-7
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.9 107.1 108.5 107.8 30 8-2
Atlanta 104.1 103.9 104.4 104.1 29 6-4
Carolina 102.9 102.2 103.4 102.8 25 7-3
Tampa Bay 97.7 97.5 97.8 97.7 22 4-6
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 103.7 103.3 104.2 103.7 23 7-3
Seattle 102.7 103.0 102.2 102.6 21 6-4
Arizona 95.2 95.4 94.8 95.1 22 4-6
San Francisco 92.1 92.0 92.0 92.0 24 1-9

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Playoff Projections

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







October 24, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 8: October 25-29, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Baltimore Miami 5.5 6.1 5.7 39
Cleveland (London) Minnesota -9.2 -9.0 -9.2 35
New Orleans Chicago 11.6 10.9 12.2 50
N. Y. Jets Atlanta -6.4 -6.9 -6.1 47
Tampa Bay Carolina 2.7 2.6 2.5 50
Philadelphia San Francisco 16.9 15.9 17.9 49
Buffalo Oakland 3.3 3.0 4.2 45
Cincinnati Indianapolis 11.4 11.4 12.0 39
New England LA Chargers 6.7 7.5 6.5 45
Seattle Houston 6.3 5.9 6.5 44
Washington Dallas -1.1 -0.8 -0.9 53
Detroit Philadelphia -0.4 1.4 -1.5 49
Kansas City Denver 7.7 8.3 7.8 40

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.1 105.6 104.9 105.2 22 5-2-0
Buffalo 100.5 100.6 100.9 100.7 22 4-2-0
Miami 97.1 97.0 96.7 96.9 20 4-2-0
N. Y. Jets 93.6 93.2 93.8 93.6 19 3-4-0
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 105.3 105.4 105.4 105.4 20 5-2-0
Baltimore 100.1 100.6 100.0 100.2 19 3-4-0
Cincinnati 99.7 100.2 99.7 99.9 16 2-4-0
Cleveland 91.2 91.7 91.3 91.4 18 0-7-0
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Houston 101.3 101.5 101.0 101.3 25 3-3-0
Jacksonville 100.4 100.6 100.2 100.4 22 4-3-0
Tennessee 98.2 98.2 97.8 98.1 23 4-3-0
Indianapolis 90.9 91.3 90.2 90.8 23 2-5-0
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 104.8 105.2 105.1 105.0 22 5-2-0
LA Chargers 101.9 101.5 101.9 101.8 23 3-4-0
Oakland 100.7 101.2 100.1 100.7 23 3-4-0
Denver 100.2 99.8 100.3 100.1 18 3-3-0
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 105.0 103.8 106.0 104.9 24 6-1-0
Dallas 104.0 103.4 103.9 103.8 26 3-3-0
Washington 99.8 99.7 100.0 99.8 27 3-3-0
N.Y. Giants 99.2 99.3 98.9 99.2 15 1-6-0
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Detroit 101.6 102.1 101.5 101.8 25 3-3-0
Minnesota 100.4 100.6 100.5 100.5 17 5-2-0
Green Bay 100.5 100.8 100.1 100.5 22 4-3-0
Chicago 95.6 95.7 95.7 95.7 19 3-4-0
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 104.3 103.5 105.0 104.3 31 4-2-0
Atlanta 102.5 102.6 102.5 102.5 28 3-3-0
Carolina 99.9 99.5 100.1 99.8 25 4-3-0
Tampa Bay 99.6 99.1 99.7 99.5 25 2-4-0
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Seattle 104.6 104.5 104.4 104.5 19 4-2-0
LA Rams 98.7 98.3 99.2 98.7 22 5-2-0
Arizona 94.7 94.8 94.4 94.6 23 3-4-0
San Francisco 91.6 91.4 91.6 91.5 25 0-7-0

This Week’s NFL Playoff Projections

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

The big news in the NFL continues to hover around the fans boycotting the games, be it in person or on TV.  The protests are just one of multiple reasons for this, but the result is that the NFL has taken a huge financial hit, and the networks have been forced to award free advertising to sponsors in which they could not deliver to them certain minimum ratings.

We at the PiRate Ratings have never published a guest’s email, but because said guest gave us his permission, and because this particular guest is a verified football fanatic, this email, if ever read by NFL officials, should have them quaking in their boots.

We have slightly edited the email, only to remove proper names that could identify certain people.

The email follows in blue:

Hello PiRate Captain and Lasses.
Some of you know me. I went to high school and college with [PiRate Lass Name Deleted]. I have owned a personal seat license and season tickets to [Team deleted] since they have existed in their current city of residence. Until this season, I missed only two home games between 1998 and 2016, and I have seen them on the road eight times.
I took my vacation days at work to go on road trips, and to go to the NFL Draft multiple times. I paid over Two Grand to get a couple of Super Bowl Tickets to see [Teams deleted]. I foolishly purchased every new jersey every time the [Team deleted] .

As [PiRate Lass Name Deleted] probably knows, I have always opposed both the Democrats and Republicans. I worked for the Perot campaign in 1992, and I supported Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader at different times. I saw my managerial position with [Company Deleted] leave when the company moved overseas to [Country Deleted] to receive cheap foreign labor.

I did not support President Trump when he ran in the primaries, namely because I am not registered to vote in my state’s primary, as I am independent. I thought he was a joke running for a publicity stunt so that he could return to TV with a bigger audience.
However, once he was elected, and I began witnessing the incredibly negative bias, it became obvious that the elite in our media were looking out only for their own financial gain and their retaining of power as the fifth estate.

When the NFL protesting of the flag and national anthem began, I didn’t really think much of it. But then, when I began reading blogs of people I respect and hearing my local radio host talking about the incorrect information being put out, followed by evidence that totally contradicted what the elite mainstream media put out, I did the following things.

1. I cut the cord in my house. We dropped our cable television service and turned in the equipment to [Company deleted].

2. Rather than sell or give away the tickets to the remaining [Team deleted] games, I tore them up and threw them in the garbage. I additionally informed the [Team Deleted] that I would not renew my tickets next year and forfeit my PSL. They did nothing, because until I fail to renew my tickets, the PSL stays in place. I can say with 100% certainty that I will not renew next year.

3. I donated all my [Team Deleted] apparel to the Goodwill drop-off near where I live.

4. I planned with my wife alternate activities for Sundays.

5. We ultimately stopped watching all regular network TV, and with our regular antenna, we now only watch ME TV, Antenna TV, Cozi, Comet, Buzzr, and Get TV. Most of what we watch is in black and white and was produced before 1965.

Even if the NFL bends over backward to make things right again, they have lost me as a patron. I never realized how much better a Sunday can be when I didn’t sit on a couch from 11 AM until 11 PM watching NFL Pre-game shows and three games. First of all, the games had become quite boring. There is no imagination. The [Team Deleted] seems to have 4 basic plays–run the ball between the tackles on a dive, throw short, throw medium-short, and throw medium.
It’s not like the 1960’s AFL when you had the most fun football ever. It isn’t even like the 1990’s when you had some gunslingers, some finesse running, and multiple different types of offenses and defenses.
What have I been doing this year on Sundays rather than sit on a couch with my lunch spread and casual supper? On most weeks, I have discovered the joy of hiking on trails in wooded areas, either with my wife or with my wife and a group of new friends I found through the Meetup Group we discovered online. We even joined a local hiking club that goes on out of town hikes and has monthly meetings at one of our local parks.
On one weekend, we visited the botanical garden we had never been to, even though it is just 2 miles from our home. We loved it so much, we purchased a membership. We have also been to the zoo twice, and like the garden, we just purchased a membership there as well.

On four Sunday nights, we have joined friends for group dinners, and we talked about almost anything but football. We came to a group conclusion that sums up our new paradigm shift: It is much more entertaining and enriching to be a participant in something than to be part of the audience while others do something.

Last weekend, I didn’t even watch college football. The weather was just perfect to take a canoe trip on the river, and we joined friends canoeing 14 miles down the [River Deleted]. It took all day, and we stopped a few times, enjoying a picnic lunch at one of the pullout spots. We arrived at the end point just as the sun was setting behind the hills, and then we stopped at a family-owned restaurant off the beaten path for some of the finest comfort food I have ever eaten that wasn’t prepared by my wife, mother, or mother-in-law.

I don’t know how many others have done the same as me, but according to [Radio Host Name Deleted], the NFL Stadiums look almost half-empty these days. The TV ratings are so down that the networks are having to award free ads to some of the sponsors.
I think the actual number one change that has come this year is that most of the educated nation now realizes that our elitist media is a complete joke not to be trusted as a legitimate news source. Once you break free from their propaganda, you realize so many truths that you didn’t know before.

I am sure that my life has been enhanced. I want to thank those football players for protesting and driving me away from watching them play at the expense of my having real recreational fun. I have lost 12 pounds since Labor Day, and I feel really healthy for the first time in 20 years. Best of all, my Mondays are no longer the terrible return to the working world like they once were. I am alive, fresh, peppy, and ready to do my work on Mondays, because I have had my fill of exercise and fresh air for 48 hours. I have new friends, and I have a happier outlook.
I hope this has not bored you. I also hope that you and all the PiRates will consider joining me in my newfound experiences and get out and enjoy nature. A couple of deep breaths atop a mountain overlooking a lake and valley is worth more than 50-yard line seats at every Super Bowl ever played or to be played.

Thank You
[Name Deleted & City Deleted]




October 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


October 3, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 4: October 4-8, 2017

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:48 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Tampa Bay New England -1.1 -2.5 -0.3 47
N. Y. Giants LA Chargers 3.6 4.1 3.3 40
Cincinnati Buffalo 2.5 2.7 1.9 37
Cleveland N. Y. Jets 1.7 2.4 1.8 40
Pittsburgh Jacksonville 11.6 11.5 11.7 45
Miami Tennessee 1.1 1.0 1.1 44
Indianapolis San Francisco 4.4 5.0 3.9 51
Philadelphia Arizona 6.5 5.1 7.7 46
Detroit Carolina 5.0 6.3 4.9 50
LA Rams Seattle -7.2 -7.5 -6.7 42
Oakland Baltimore 6.8 7.0 6.4 41
Dallas Green Bay 1.8 0.7 2.0 51
Houston Kansas City -1.7 -1.3 -2.5 42
Chicago Minnesota -3.9 -3.8 -4.4 37

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
New England 104.5 105.2 104.1 104.6 24
Buffalo 100.4 100.5 101.0 100.6 21
Miami 96.3 96.3 95.7 96.1 19
N. Y. Jets 93.2 92.8 93.3 93.1 19
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Pittsburgh 106.2 106.4 106.2 106.3 21
Cincinnati 99.8 100.2 99.8 100.0 16
Baltimore 99.7 100.0 99.7 99.8 18
Cleveland 91.9 92.3 92.2 92.1 21
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Houston 101.1 101.4 100.7 101.1 21
Tennessee 98.2 98.3 97.7 98.1 25
Jacksonville 97.7 97.9 97.5 97.7 24
Indianapolis 93.7 94.0 93.1 93.6 26
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Kansas City 105.7 105.8 106.2 105.9 21
Denver 103.8 103.1 104.2 103.7 19
Oakland 103.5 104.0 103.1 103.5 23
LA Chargers 99.2 98.8 99.1 99.0 25
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Dallas 102.4 101.8 102.3 102.2 25
Philadelphia 101.9 100.8 102.7 101.8 23
Washington 100.3 100.0 100.7 100.3 26
N.Y. Giants 99.2 99.4 98.9 99.2 15
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Green Bay 103.6 104.1 103.3 103.7 26
Detroit 102.9 103.5 103.1 103.2 24
Minnesota 99.7 100.0 99.8 99.8 17
Chicago 93.3 93.8 92.9 93.3 20
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Atlanta 104.2 104.1 104.5 104.3 31
New Orleans 101.6 100.6 101.9 101.4 30
Carolina 100.9 100.2 101.2 100.8 26
Tampa Bay 100.4 99.6 100.8 100.3 23
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Seattle 102.7 102.8 102.3 102.6 20
Arizona 98.9 99.2 98.5 98.9 23
LA Rams 93.4 93.3 93.6 93.4 22
San Francisco 92.7 92.5 92.7 92.6 25

PiRate Ratings Projected Playoffs


  1. Kansas City
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. New England
  4. Houston
  5. Denver
  6. Buffalo


  1. Atlanta
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Green Bay
  4. Seattle
  5. Carolina
  6. Los Angeles

Wildcard Round

New England over Buffalo

Houston over Denver

Green Bay over Los Angeles

Carolina over Seattle


Divisional Round

Kansas City over Houston

Pittsburgh over New England

Carolina over Atlanta

Philadelphia over Green Bay


Conference Championships

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Philadelphia over Carolina


Super Bowl

Kansas City over Philadelphia

August 19, 2017

2017 American Athletic Conference Preview

As it did the previous two years, The American Athletic Conference once again heads the Group of 5 leagues as the top overall to begin the 2017 college football season. However, that does not mean that you can automatically place the league’s champion in a New Year’s 6 Bowl game. Last year, Houston was the favorite to win the league and certainly receive a bid to the Cotton Bowl, and after the Cougars tore Oklahoma’s defense apart, it looked like they could even get into the Playoff picture.

Alas, the league proved to be just balanced enough that UH could not run the table, and the Cougars actually finished in a third place tie in the West, after Navy, SMU, and Memphis beat them in the second half of the season. The race in the East was quite interesting, as South Florida looked to be the early equal of Houston. The Bulls gave Florida State all they could handle, and it looked like USF would go 11-1 from that point on. However, Temple played a brilliant defensive game, and the Owls pulled off the mild upset, leading the men from Philly to the Eastern Crown.
Instead of USF and UH, it was Temple and Navy in the AAC Championship Game, with the Owls solving the Midshipmen multiple option offense.


This year brings a lot of change to the league. The AAC Champion Owls, as well as USF and Houston break in new coaches. Former Temple coach Matt Rhule went to Baylor. Former USF coach Willie Taggart took the big pay day to go to Oregon, while Houston’s ex-coach Tom Herman took over the job he supposedly has coveted for years–at Texas.


The three powers brought in masterminds to replace the departed successes. Temple hired Geoff Collins, who had been Florida’s defensive coordinator the last two years. The Gators won the SEC East with very little offensive contribution after injuries riddled the attack side.
USF hopes that Charlie Strong can do what he did at Louisville and not Texas. Strong has a successful history recruiting in the Sunshine State, and it should help USF stay atop or near the top of the AAC standings in the future.
Houston stayed in-house and hired offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to become its next head coach. Applewhite will be under the gun to produce immediate results, and his honeymoon will be short.


Here’s how the media predicted the AAC for 2017.

American Athletic Conference–East Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 South Florida 30 180 26
2 Central Florida 0 126 0
3 Temple 0 119 0
4 Cincinnati 0 100 0
5 East Carolina 0 63 0
6 Connecticut 0 42 0
American Athletic Conference–West Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Memphis 22 169 1
2 Houston 6 137 2
3 Navy 1 128 1
4 Tulsa 1 102 0
5 SMU 0 64 0
6 Tulane 0 30 0


The PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings are very similar, matching the East predictions exactly.

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 111.1 109.0 112.3 110.8
Central Florida 99.1 101.5 99.8 100.2
Temple 97.5 98.2 97.8 97.8
Cincinnati 90.2 93.0 91.7 91.6
East Carolina 88.3 89.6 88.3 88.7
Connecticut 87.4 90.6 88.0 88.7
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 107.4 106.1 108.1 107.2
Tulsa 105.3 104.1 105.3 104.9
Houston 104.1 102.9 104.0 103.7
Navy 98.0 98.9 97.7 98.2
SMU 96.3 96.6 96.7 96.5
Tulane 93.9 94.3 94.3 94.2
AAC Averages 98.2 98.7 98.7 98.5


And, here are our not-so-scientific predictions and bowl projections for this season.

American Athletic Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
East Division      
South Florida 7-1 12-1 Peach
Temple 5-3 7-5 Cure
Central Florida 4-4 6-6 St. Petersburg
Cincinnati 3-5 5-7  
East Carolina 1-7 2-10  
Connecticut 1-7 2-10  
Team Conference Overall Bowl
West Division      
Memphis 6-2 9-4 Hawaii
Houston 5-3 9-3 Boca Raton
Tulsa 5-3 7-5 Birmingham
SMU 4-4 7-5 Frisco
Navy 4-4 6-6 [Independence]
Tulane 3-5 5-7  
South Florida to win AAC Title and automatic NY 6 Bowl Bid

Navy’s Independence Bowl Bid is an at-large bid


Trivia: In 1918, Georgia Tech beat North Carolina State 118-0. For half a century no Division 1 team scored 100 points on another Division 1 team. In 1949 San Jose State beat New Mexico 103-0, but the Spartans would not become a major college participant until the following season, so this one doesn’t count. The last time a Division 1 team scored 100 points on another Division 1 team was in 1968, when current AAC West member Houston beat current AAC West member Tulsa 100-6.

Here are your three trivia questions today. A Houston wide receiver caught a 25-yard pass for a touchdown in that 100-6 game that made the score 93-6. He later went on to fame in the music business.

1. Name the Wide Receiver that would become a famous music celebrity.
2. Explain how this person once performed the National Anthem for a sporting event that was postponed soon after he performed, and there was no rain or lightning.
3. Name the Tulsa lineman that became a famous TV celebrity and has used this game as a means to help advance his career.

Coming Tomorrow–We are down to just Power 5 conferences remaining to be previewed. We start with the Big Ten. Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin have the look of potential playoff teams. Which one do we think might run the table in the regular season? Can Michigan continue to impress with the biggest rebuilding job in the nation (only one starter returns on defense)? Can Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, or Northwestern challenge the Badgers? How will new coach Jeff Brohm improve Purdue, and can he lead the Boilermakers back into contention for the first time since Drew Brees led the PU attack?

February 1, 2017

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

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

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

Let’s get on with the data.

Super Bowl LI

Date: Sunday, February 5, 2017

Time: 6:30 PM EST

Place: Houston, TX

TV: Fox Sports

Radio: Westwood One

Find Your Affiliate Here


AFC Champion: New England Patriots 16-2-0

NFC Champion: Atlanta Falcons 13-5-0


Las Vegas Info

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

Totals Line: 59

Money Line: New England -155, Atlanta +135


PiRate Ratings

PiRate: New England by 2.4

Mean: New England by 0.6

Bias: New England by 3.2

Average: New England by 2

Total: 60


10,000 Simulations

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

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

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


Wins: New England 53.9%  Atlanta 46.1%

Percentage going to overtime: 0.87%

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

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

Outlier A: New England 34  Atlanta 7

Outlier B: Atlanta 29  New England 10

Percentage of outcomes under 59 total points: 87.78%

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

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


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

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