The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 8, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–December 9-12, 2016

This week, there is only one college game with Army and Navy facing off in Baltimore.  Thus, we must make our selections only from the NFL schedule.  We are throwing caution to the wind, as even though we have a small 6% profit for the season entering this week, we are not going to a stall to guarantee a winning season.  We want to make that Return on Investment top 10%, and thus we are going with three parlays this week.  Each parlay goes off at odds higher than +200, so winning just one of the three would add profit to our imaginary bankroll for the season.

1. NFL Parlay at +220
Indianapolis over Houston
Detroit over Chicago
Tampa Bay over New Orleans

Let us make sure you understand that we are aware of the Colts’ having to make major defensive changes after losing star D’Qwell Jackson for four games due to a suspension for Performance Enhancing substances.  Jackson was the key to the Indy defense, but his loss has made this parlay a better play for us.

The way we see the Colts-Texans game is that Indy will outscore Houston and not have to worry about Jackson missing on the stop side.  Houston has scored just 99 points in their last six games, while Indianapolis with Andrew Luck is a team capable of scoring 35 points in this game.


Detroit is ready to wrap up the NFC North Division, and this is a game the Lions should win handily.  The Bears are limping home and might decide to pull a NY Jets this weekend, or at least we hope they might.


Tampa Bay is now a slight favorite to win the NFC South with second year quarterback Jameis Winston maturing into a potential star.  The Bucs’ defense is not to be confused with Carolina’s, but TB should be able to match Drew Brees point for point and come up with one or two big plays to win.


2. NFL Parlay at +248
Carolina over San Diego
Miami over Arizona

The Panthers and Chargers are now out of the playoff race, and the only reason we believe Carolina will win this game is that San Diego has been forced to do a lot of travelling this season and must go 2,500 miles and three time zones this week.  The game should be a fascinating close match.


Miami has a slim chance to earn a wildcard bid, but the Dolphins must win out and then get some help.  Arizona is going nowhere, and they too must travel across the country.


3. NFL Parlay at +211
N. Y. Jets over San Francisco
New England over Baltimore

The key to this parlay is whether the Jets will show that Monday night was a fluke.  Will the team show up for Todd Bowles and give him a chance to keep his job?  Just a normal effort would be enough to lead NY to victory over a 49ers team that may be weaker than Cleveland at the present time.


We are throwing the Patriots into this parlay to bring the odds up over +200.  Baltimore will not lay down in this game and allow New England to win going away, and the Pats will have to bring their A-game without Gronk.  However, we believe (hope) the Pats realize they are now in a dogfight for the #1 seed and understand that this is a must-win game.






October 27, 2015

NFL Preview For Week 8: October 29 – November 2, 2015

34% Is Not Good For The Game
34% may be a great figure for the percentage of at bats that result in a base hit for a batter. It can be a great percentage for number of times you win the Daily Double at Keeneland on the race card. But, 34% is an awful number when it applies to the number of NFL teams with winning records through seven weeks.

Only 11 out of the 32 NFL have a winning record at this point in the season. Because 12 teams make the playoffs, if the playoffs began today, there would be one lousy team with a losing record in the playoffs. To make matters worse, that team would be the 3-4 Indianapolis Colts which could easily make the playoffs at 6-10. Worse, they would host a playoff game. It just as easily could be Houston or even Jacksonville, where 6-10 might win the AFC South.

The NFC East is not much better off. The New York Giants might win the division at 8-8. Never have two teams at .500 or below made the playoffs in the same year. If a 9-7 team fails to qualify for the playoffs, while a 6-10 team not only makes the playoffs but hosts a first round game, something is seriously wrong.

Improving The Playoffs

The NFL would be better served by switching to four, eight-team divisions, with two divisions in both conferences. Let the champions of the four divisions earn byes in the first round, with the four best remaining teams in both conferences earning the wildcard spots. Then, the 3rd and 4th seeded teams in both conferences would host the 5th and 6th seeded teams.

For easy argument’s sake, let’s just combine the East and North Divisions and the South and West Divisions. We’ll call the four divisions the AFC Northeast, the AFC Southwest, the NFC Northeast, and the NFC Southwest.

That would change things a lot and make the playoffs much better than it will be. If the season ended today, New England would edge Cincinnati for one bye; Denver would get the Southwest bye; and the two NFC byes would go to Green Bay and Carolina. Not much would change in this regard, although Cincinnati would replace Denver under the old format.

The big change would come in the other playoff spots. Now, the 3-4 Colts would not be in line to host or even make the playoffs. The remaining four AFC playoff bids would go like this:

3rd Seed–Cincinnati
4th Seed–New York Jets
5th Seed–Pittsburgh
6th Seed–Oakland

There would be different home teams in the other conference too. The NFC would go like this:
3rd Seed–Atlanta
4th Seed–Arizona
5th Seed–Minnesota
6th Seed–New York Giants

There still might be an 8-8 or even a 7-9 team in the playoffs, but now they would be the #6 seed playing on the road against a much better team.

Which do you think is a better option?

A. 6-10 Indianapolis hosting 11-5 New York Jets, while the Oakland Raiders stay home at 8-8
B. 13-3 Cincinnati Bengals hosting 8-8 Oakland Raiders, while the Indianapolis Colts stay home at 6-10

Which one of these looks like the better way to choose an NFC champion?

A. 8-8 New York Giants hosting 12-4 Atlanta Falcons
B. 12-4 Atlanta Falcons hosting 8-8 New York Giants

Now for this week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Philadelphia 103.9 103.2 104.3 103.8 3-4-0 160 137
Dallas 102.8 101.3 102.4 102.2 2-4-0 121 158
N.Y. Giants 99.9 99.8 100.1 99.9 4-3-0 166 156
Washington 94.8 94.6 94.6 94.7 3-4-0 148 168
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.6 107.9 108.3 108.3 6-0-0 164 101
Minnesota 102.5 100.7 103.8 102.3 4-2-0 124 102
Detroit 98.0 96.2 96.8 97.0 1-6-0 139 200
Chicago 94.4 94.3 94.6 94.4 2-4-0 120 179
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 103.8 104.1 104.9 104.3 6-0-0 162 110
Atlanta 99.7 99.8 100.2 99.9 6-1-0 193 150
New Orleans 98.0 95.4 98.2 97.2 3-4-0 161 185
Tampa Bay 91.7 92.8 91.5 92.0 2-4-0 140 179
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Arizona 107.0 106.4 107.6 107.0 5-2-0 229 133
Seattle 106.5 105.7 106.1 106.1 3-4-0 154 128
St. Louis 97.5 98.8 97.6 98.0 3-3-0 108 119
San Francisco 96.3 94.4 96.2 95.6 2-5-0 103 180
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 111.4 111.6 111.8 111.6 6-0-0 213 126
N. Y. Jets 102.3 103.0 103.4 102.9 4-2-0 152 105
Miami 99.4 100.8 98.9 99.7 3-3-0 147 137
Buffalo 99.5 99.8 98.8 99.4 3-4-0 176 173
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Cincinnati 105.9 107.0 106.7 106.5 6-0-0 182 122
Pittsburgh 104.1 104.2 104.3 104.2 4-3-0 158 131
Baltimore 102.2 101.1 102.1 101.8 1-6-0 161 188
Cleveland 94.4 93.7 94.4 94.2 2-5-0 147 182
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 99.9 100.1 99.5 99.8 3-4-0 147 174
Houston 94.7 96.1 94.1 95.0 2-5-0 154 199
Tennessee 92.7 92.5 92.7 92.6 1-5-0 119 139
Jacksonville 90.2 93.1 89.3 90.9 2-5-0 147 207
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 106.2 105.4 105.7 105.8 6-0-0 139 102
Kansas City 99.2 100.1 99.3 99.5 2-5-0 150 172
San Diego 98.1 98.2 97.8 98.0 2-5-0 165 198
Oakland 94.3 97.8 93.9 95.3 3-3-0 144 153
This Week’s Games
Week Number: 8      
Date of Games: October 29-November 2      
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New England Miami 15.0 13.8 15.9
Kansas City (London) Detroit 1.2 3.9 2.5
Atlanta Tampa Bay 10.5 9.5 11.2
Cleveland Arizona -9.1 -9.2 -9.7
St. Louis San Francisco 4.2 7.4 4.4
New Orleans NY Giants 1.1 -1.4 1.1
Chicago Minnesota -5.6 -3.9 -6.7
Baltimore San Diego 7.1 5.9 7.3
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 0.7 -0.3 0.1
Houston Tennessee 5.0 6.6 4.4
Oakland NY Jets -5.0 -2.2 -6.5
Dallas Seattle -0.7 -1.4 -0.7
Denver Green Bay 0.6 0.5 0.4
Carolina Indianapolis 6.9 7.0 8.4

October 13, 2015

NFL Preview For Week 6: October 15-19, 2015

Playoff Teams Almost Determined After Five Weeks!

In this day of parity, it is not supposed to be this way.  20-24 teams are supposed to contend for the 12 playoff spots into Week 15 and on.  However, after just five weeks this year, the NFL has become a league of haves and have-nots.

It has been a long time since there were this many undefeated teams after five weeks of the season.  Additionally, you have divisions with one decent to very good team and three mediocre to plain awful teams.  Let’s take a look at the eight divisions.

AFC East: Many so-called experts believe the Patriots will run the table and could join the Miami Dolphins as one of two undefeated, untied teams to win the Super Bowl.  We are not ready to agree yet, but New England should win at least 13 games and easily claim this division, even with two fairly good teams trying to contend for Wildcard spots.

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills could both finish above .500, and you have to consider these Empire State rivals as two of just three teams contending for the final two spots in the AFC Playoffs.


AFC North: Cincinnati solidified their dominance in the division with an impressive victory over Seattle.  The Bengals are now prohibitive favorites to win the division title, especially if Ben Roethlisberger cannot return soon and return to his pre-injury form.

As for the Steelers, they are the third team (along with the Jets and Bills) fighting for the two Wildcard spots.


AFC South: A mediocre Indianapolis Colts team could be an 8-8 division winner, but they might still win this division with a record as pitiful as 6-10.  The other three teams combined may not reach 10 wins this year.  The Colts are 3-2 with their three wins coming against each of the three other South teams.


AFC West: Denver is somehow 5-0 with Peyton Manning looking pedestrian at best.  The Broncos are once again showing that the first year of having Wade Phillips as your defensive coordinator is always an improved defensive result.  The Broncos already have two games of light in front of their division rivals, and they could clinch a playoff spot by their 11th or 12th  game.


NFC East: This is the one division with a lot of uncertainty.  Dallas might be so far behind in the standings by the time Tony Romo returns, while Washington lacks the talent to win consistently.  The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles should go down to the last couple of weeks to decide the single playoff team from this division.  The two rivals square off on Monday Night Football this week in what should be an exciting and high-scoring game.


NFC North: It will be another division flag in Titletown USA, as the Green Bay Packers have only modest competition from their rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.  Minnesota could contend for a Wildcard spot, but we don’t believe they are ready to challenge the Packers.


NFC South: There are two playoff teams here, and the only decision is which will be the division winner and which will be the top Wildcard.  Atlanta and Carolina don’t face off until Weeks 14 and 16, and by then we expect the eventual division winner to be 10-3, and it would not surprise us if both teams are 10-3 by then.


NFC West: Seattle is lucky, lucky, lucky to be 3-2 instead of 2-3.  The Seahawks are going to struggle to make it to 9-7 this year and will have to contend with Minnesota for the number six seed.  Arizona could finish as strong as 14-2 if Carson Palmer stays healthy.

Playoff Seed Projections


1. New England

2. Cincinnati

3. Denver

4. Indianapolis

5. Buffalo

6. Pittsburgh



1. Arizona

2. Green Bay

3. Atlanta

4. Philadelphia

5. Carolina

6. Minnesota


Current NFL PiRate Ratings
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Philadelphia 103.9 103.1 104.2 103.7 2-3-0 117 103
Dallas 103.4 101.9 103.2 102.8 2-3-0 101 131
N.Y. Giants 100.8 100.7 101.0 100.8 3-2-0 132 109
Washington 95.5 95.4 95.7 95.5 2-3-0 97 104
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.8 108.2 109.0 108.7 5-0-0 137 81
Minnesota 101.4 99.2 102.8 101.1 2-2-0 80 73
Detroit 98.8 97.4 97.9 98.0 0-5-0 83 138
Chicago 94.1 93.9 94.1 94.0 2-3-0 86 142
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 101.4 101.5 101.7 101.5 4-0-0 108 71
Atlanta 100.5 101.1 101.2 100.9 5-0-0 162 112
New Orleans 96.3 92.7 96.0 95.0 1-4-0 103 143
Tampa Bay 91.4 92.5 91.0 91.6 2-3-0 110 148
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Arizona 108.0 107.5 109.0 108.2 4-1-0 190 90
Seattle 106.9 106.3 106.9 106.7 2-3-0 111 98
St. Louis 96.8 98.1 96.4 97.1 2-3-0 84 113
San Francisco 96.8 94.8 96.8 96.1 1-4-0 75 140
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 111.7 112.0 112.3 112.0 4-0-0 149 76
Buffalo 102.0 102.6 102.1 102.2 3-2-0 124 105
N. Y. Jets 101.4 101.9 102.1 101.8 3-1-0 95 55
Miami 94.8 96.2 93.5 94.8 1-3-0 65 101
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Cincinnati 104.7 105.6 105.2 105.2 5-0-0 148 101
Pittsburgh 104.2 104.3 104.3 104.3 3-2-0 120 95
Baltimore 102.6 101.7 102.7 102.3 1-4-0 123 137
Cleveland 95.0 94.1 95.3 94.8 2-3-0 118 132
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 101.2 101.8 100.9 101.3 3-2-0 99 113
Tennessee 96.1 95.8 96.8 96.2 1-3-0 102 91
Houston 95.1 95.9 94.6 95.2 1-4-0 97 135
Jacksonville 89.4 93.0 88.2 90.2 1-4-0 93 145
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 106.6 106.0 106.3 106.3 5-0-0 113 79
San Diego 99.4 99.3 98.8 99.2 2-3-0 116 134
Kansas City 98.1 99.0 97.7 98.3 2-3-0 117 143
Oakland 92.8 96.4 92.2 93.8 2-3-0 107 124


This Week’s Games
Week Number: 6      
Date of Games: October 15-19      
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New Orleans Atlanta -1.2 -5.4 -2.2
NY Jets Washington 8.4 9.0 8.9
Pittsburgh Arizona -0.3 0.3 -1.2
Minnesota Kansas City 6.3 3.2 8.1
Buffalo Cincinnati 0.3 0.0 -0.1
Detroit Chicago 7.2 6.0 6.3
Cleveland Denver -8.6 -8.9 -8.0
Jacksonville Houston -3.2 -0.4 -3.9
Tennessee Miami 3.8 2.1 5.8
Seattle Carolina 9.0 8.3 8.7
Green Bay San Diego 12.4 11.9 13.2
San Francisco Baltimore -2.3 -3.4 -2.4
Indianapolis New England -7.5 -7.2 -8.4
Philadelphia NY Giants 5.1 4.4 5.2


September 22, 2015

NFL Preview For Week 3: September 24-28, 2015

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:58 am
Current NFL PiRate Ratings
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 107.5 106.4 108.2 107.4 2-0-0 47 36
Philadelphia 102.8 101.9 102.8 102.5 0-2-0 34 46
N.Y. Giants 99.3 99.1 99.6 99.3 0-2-0 46 51
Washington 94.4 94.0 93.9 94.1 1-1-0 34 27
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.7 107.8 109.2 108.6 2-0-0 58 40
Detroit 101.8 100.4 101.6 101.3 0-2-0 44 59
Minnesota 100.1 97.3 101.3 99.6 1-1-0 29 36
Chicago 93.8 93.0 94.0 93.6 0-2-0 46 79
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 101.1 101.0 101.2 101.1 2-0-0 44 26
Atlanta 97.6 97.9 98.4 98.0 2-0-0 50 44
New Orleans 97.2 93.1 97.3 95.9 0-2-0 38 57
Tampa Bay 91.6 92.4 91.3 91.8 1-1-0 40 61
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 106.3 105.6 106.0 106.0 0-2-0 48 61
Arizona 104.1 103.2 104.8 104.0 2-0-0 79 42
San Francisco 99.4 97.0 99.1 98.5 1-1-0 38 46
St. Louis 95.6 97.3 94.6 95.8 1-1-0 44 55
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 108.0 108.1 108.0 108.0 2-0-0 68 53
N. Y. Jets 101.0 101.4 101.4 101.3 2-0-0 51 17
Buffalo 101.0 101.9 101.1 101.3 1-1-0 59 54
Miami 98.1 99.9 97.3 98.4 1-1-0 37 33
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 104.6 103.7 105.2 104.5 0-2-0 46 56
Pittsburgh 104.1 104.2 104.4 104.2 1-1-0 64 46
Cincinnati 103.5 104.3 103.5 103.8 2-0-0 57 32
Cleveland 94.6 92.7 94.7 94.0 1-1-0 38 45
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 101.2 101.7 100.7 101.2 0-2-0 21 47
Houston 97.1 98.5 96.8 97.5 0-2-0 37 51
Tennessee 96.3 95.9 97.1 96.4 1-1-0 56 42
Jacksonville 90.5 95.0 89.5 91.7 1-1-0 32 40
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 106.2 105.8 105.9 106.0 2-0-0 50 37
San Diego 101.1 101.9 101.0 101.3 1-1-0 52 52
Kansas City 100.2 101.8 100.4 100.8 1-1-0 51 51
Oakland 91.2 95.8 89.7 92.2 1-1-0 50 66

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
NY Giants Washington 7.4 7.6 7.9
Arizona San Francisco 7.7 9.2 8.7
Baltimore Cincinnati 4.1 2.4 4.7
Carolina New Orleans 5.9 9.9 5.9
Cleveland Oakland 6.9 0.4 8.5
Dallas Atlanta 12.4 11.0 12.7
Detroit Denver -1.4 -2.4 -1.3
Houston Tampa Bay 8.5 9.1 8.5
Miami Buffalo 0.1 1.0 -0.8
Minnesota San Diego 2.0 -1.6 3.3
New England Jacksonville 20.5 16.1 21.5
NY Jets Philadelphia -0.8 0.5 -0.1
Seattle Chicago 15.5 15.6 15.0
St. Louis Pittsburgh -5.5 -3.9 -6.8
Tennessee Indianapolis -1.9 -2.8 -0.6
Green Bay Kansas City 11.5 9.0 11.8


August 28, 2015

2015 AFC South Preview

Indianapolis and the Three Dwarfs:  Since the AFC South was formed, all four member teams have had their turn as the top banana, but there has been one consistent theme.  When Tennessee was dominant in the early 2000’s, the Colts were the chief competitor usually finishing a game behind or ahead of the Titans.

When Jacksonville was tough with their stable of tough running backs, it was Indianapolis that was 14-2 when the Jags were 12-4.

When Houston began to shine a few years ago, once again, their competition was the Colts.

Now, the Colts have no competition in the South.  Houston lacks a quarterback that can get them to the playoffs, and J. J. Watt cannot make 30 sacks to level the playing field.  Jacksonville has more rebuilding to do before they can even challenge for an 8-8 record.  Tennessee has been down for six years, and the Titans have as many holes in their roster as a piece of Swiss cheese.  The Colts could go 6-0 in divisional play, while the other three teams all finish 2-4.


Houston surprised the football world by rebounding from 2-14 to go 9-7 and almost make the playoffs.  The Texans’ schedule goes from one of the easiest with all the last place teams to one of the more difficult with two extra second place teams (Kansas City and Cincinnati instead of Oakland and Cleveland).  The Texans lose their star receiver in Andre Johnson, and Brian Hoyer passing to Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington as options to DeAndre Hopkins does not have the look of a playoff contender.

Andrew Luck compares with Peyton Manning in that he has taken over this team and led them to divisional dominance.  He also compares a little to Andy Dalton in that the Colts keep coming up short in the playoffs.  However, as we stated about Dalton, it is not his fault when the Colts’ defense gives up 45 points to the Patriots.  This year, Indianapolis’s offense is set to take a step up to the very top of the AFC.  The Colts add Andre Johnson to a roster already stocked with offensive stars.  An improved defense should give Indy a strong chance at competing for the best overall record in the AFC and a good shot at playing in February.

Jacksonville has been number 31 or 32 in the league for multiple seasons.  At one time, the Jaguars were the leading team to relocate to Los Angeles.  At one time, they were more than 21-point underdogs in a game.  Jacksonville might have been picked to contend for an 8-8 record this year had bad luck not hit this team in the Spring.  Top draft choice Dante Fowler was lost for the season with an ACL injury.  Fowler could have been the Jags’ Watt and improve the defense by a touchdown per game.  Now, they have little pass rush, and enemy quarterbacks will be a lot more comfortable on Sunday.

Tennessee puts all their eggs in the Marcus Mariota basket.  Eventually, we believe Mariota will prove to be the right choice for the Titans, but as a rookie with a vulnerable offensive line, we expect backup Zach Mettenberger to be the starter by midseason and possibly Clay Whitehurst by December.  The Titans defense made a couple of key additions by signing Brian Orakpo and adding legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau as assistant head coach.  LeBeau might wish he had retired with the liabilities in the line and in the secondary.



Texans Starting Lineup
WR DeAndre Hopkins
WR Cecil Shorts
WR Nate Washington
TE Garrett Graham
LT Duane Brown
LG Xavier Su’a-Filo
C Ben Jones
RG Brandon Brooks
RT Derek Newton
QB Brian Hoyer
HB Alfred Blue
FB Jay Prosch
DE Jared Crick
DT Vince Wilfork
DE J. J. Watt
LB John Simon
LB Brian Cushing
LB Mike Mohamed
LB Jadeveon Clowney
CB Kareem Jackson
S Rahim Moore
S Stevie Brown
CB Johnathan Joseph
N5 A. J. Bouye
Kicker Randy Bullock
Punter Shane Lechler
KR Chandler Worthy
PR Chandler Worthy
Houston Texans
Head Coach Bill O’Brien
Off. Coordinator George Godsey
Def. Coordinator Romeo Crennel
2014 W-L-T 9-7-0
Pts 23.3
Opp 19.2
PiRate 97.6
Mean 99.1
Bias 97.5
Average 98.1
Running B+
Passing D
Vs. Run A
Vs. Pass C+
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 11
Overall Rank 22
Postseason No



Colts Starting Lineup
WR Andre Johnson
WR T. Y. Hilton
TE Dwayne Allen
TE Coby Fleener
LT Anthony Costanzo
LG Lance Louis
C Khaled Holmes
RG Todd Herremans
RT Jack Mewhort
QB Andrew Luck
HB Frank Gore
DE Kendall Langford
DT Josh Champan
DT Arthur Jones
LB Trent Cole
LB Jerrell Freeman
LB D’Qwell Jackson
LB Erik Walden
CB Greg Toler
S Mike Adams
S Dwight Lowery
CB Vontae Davis
N5 Darius Butler
Kicker Adam Vinatiari
Punter Pat McAfee
KR Dan Herron
PR Phillip Dorsett
Indianapolis Colts
Head Coach Chuck Pagano
Off. Coordinator Pep Hamilton
Def. Coordinator Greg Manusky
2014 W-L-T 11-5-0
Pts 28.6
Opp 23.1
PiRate 104.7
Mean 105.8
Bias 104.9
Average 105.1
Running B
Passing A+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass C
Special Teams A
Coaching + Intangibles B-
Predicted W-L 10-6-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 4
Overall Rank 7
Postseason Yes



Jaguars Starting Lineup
WR Allen Robinson
WR Allen Hurns
TE Julius Thomas
TE Marcedes Lewis
LT Luke Joeckel
LG Zane Beadles
C Stefen Wisniewski
RG Brandon Linder
RT Jermey Parnell
QB Blake Bortles
HB T. J. Yeldon
DE Andre Branch
DT Ziggy Hood
DT Tyson Alualu
DE Jared Odrick
LB Telvin Smith
LB Paul Posluszny
LB Dan Skuta
CB Davon House
S Craig Loston
S Sergio Brown
CB Aaron Colvin
N5 Josh Evans
Kicker Josh Scobee
Punter Bryan Anger
KR Denard Robinson
PR Rashad Greene
Jacksonville Jaguars
Head Coach Gus Bradley
Off. Coordinator Greg Olson
Def. Coordinator Bob Babich
2014 W-L-T 3-13-0
Pts 15.6
Opp 25.8
PiRate 89.8
Mean 95.2
Bias 88.5
Average 91.2
Running C-
Passing D
Vs. Run C-
Vs. Pass C-
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C-
Predicted W-L 5-11-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 16
Overall Rank 32
Postseason No



Titans Starting Lineup
WR Kendall Wright
WR Harry Douglas
TE Delanie Walker
TE Anthony Fasano
LT Taylor Lewan
LG Byron Bell
C Brian Schwenke
RG Chance Warmack
RT Jeremiah Poutasi
QB Marcus Mariota
HB Bishop Sankey
FB Jalston Fowler
DE DaQuan Jones
DT Sammie Hill
DT Jurrell Casey
LB Derrick Morgan
LB Zach Brown
LB Avery Williamson
LB Brian Orakpo
CB Perrish Cox
S Da’Norris Searcy
S Michael Griffin
CB Jason McCourty
N5 Coty Sensabaugh
Kicker Ryan Succop
Punter Brett Kern
KR Dexter McCluster
PR Dexter McCluster
Tennessee Titans
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
Off. Coordinator Jason Michael
Def. Coordinator Ray Horton
2014 W-L-T 2-14-0
Pts 15.9
Opp 27.4
PiRate 93.9
Mean 93.7
Bias 94.5
Average 94.0
Running C
Passing C+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass B-
Special Teams B
Coaching + Intangibles C
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 14
Overall Rank 28
Postseason No


March 13, 2015

NCAA Men’s Basketball Update–Friday, March 13, 2015

The PiRates have been attacked by enemy vessels, so we are operating on auxiliary buccaneer power this week.  We are sorry for any inconveniences, and we hope to be back to normal in time for Monday’s big reveal of bracketnomics.

Until then, here are the updated ratings of the Major Conference Teams still alive in their respective tournaments.

Team           Red      White      Blue
Arizona        118        120        119
Arkansas     109        110        110
Auburn          91        101          94
Baylor          110       113         114
Duke           117        118         118
Florida        106        108         107
G’town        110        112         111
Georgia      108        109         108
Indiana       105        108         104
Iowa St.      111        116         111
Kansas       114        114         112
Kentucky    123        121         125
LSU            105        109         106
Maryland    110        109         111
Michigan    100        105         101
Mich. St.     112        111         114
N.Carolina  112        114         114
N. Dame     111        113         110
Ohio St.      113        112         113
Oklahoma  112         115         113
Oregon      107         109         109
Penn St.      98         104           99
Providence 106        110         105
Purdue       106        107         107
S. Carolina 102        106         103
Tennessee  98         104           99
UCLA         106        108         107
Utah          114         114         113
Villanova   118         119         116
Virginia     119         116          117
Wisconsin 119         117         118
Xavier       108         111         107

Bracketology Update

Yesterday, the bubble was re-arranged with Texas, Texas A&M, Old Dominion, Miami, Ole Miss, Illinois, and Stanford winning.  Luckily, for these teams making quick exits from their conference tournaments, very few surprise teams have emerged to possibly steal bids away from the bubblers.

Of the remaining teams in the Power conferences, only four teams really pose a threat to the bubble  In the Big Ten, Penn State is in the quarterfinals after posting an upset over Iowa.  In the SEC, Auburn, Tennessee, and South Carolina are still alive.  Realistically, we see no chance that any of these four will pull off major surprises with Wisconsin and Kentucky in their way.

Let’s take a look at how our two dozen plus experts see the bubble teams.

Last 4 In with Byes

Boise St. Purdue, Davidson, and Indiana

Last 4 In and must play in Dayton

Colorado St., Ole Miss, BYU, and Tulsa

First 4 Out looking at #1 Seeds in the NIT

Temple, UCLA, Miami, and Illinois

NIT for sure

Richmond, Texas A&M, Old Dominion, and Stanford

Note–Temple, Tulsa, Richmond, Boise St., Colorado St., Purdue, Davidson, UCLA, and Temple are still alive in their conference tournaments, so this bubble will change shape again in the next few days.  Due to computer issues, we will not be able to update again until Monday after the field is announced.

For the NCAA Tournament, we will have the Red, White, and Blue Ratings in addition to the tried and true PiRate Bracketnomics Report with the exclusive R+T ratings that have weeded out pretenders and isolated dark horses in the past 12 seasons.

Can anybody upend Kentucky?  If so, we will tell you which teams have the resume to do it.

January 8, 2014

PiRate Ratings: NFL Divisional Playoff Round–January 11-12, 2014

Wildcard Playoff TV Schedule


Time (ET)




Saturday, January 11

4:35 PM

New Orleans @ Seattle


Westwood 1

Saturday, January 11

8:15 PM

Indianapolis @ New England


Westwood 1

Sunday, January 12

1:05 PM

San Francisco @ Carolina


Westwood 1

Sunday, January 12

4:40 PM

San Diego @ Denver


Westwood 1





To find a local Westwood 1 radio affiliate, check this link:


Weather Forecasts For Kickoff and Next 3-4 hours

Seattle—100% chance of rain, potentially heavy, and windy with a game time temperature in the mid to upper 40’s and falling slowly through the duration of the game


New England—60% chance of rain and gusty winds with temperatures holding steady near 50 throughout the game.


Carolina—Partly cloudy with a small rain chance and light winds with temperatures in the mid to upper 50’s during the course of the game.


Denver—Partly cloudy with a small rain chance and moderate wind gusts with temperatures at kickoff in the mid-40’s and falling into the 30’s during the game.



PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor




Seattle New Orleans




New England Indianapolis




Carolina San Francisco




Denver San Diego





Computer Simulations (100x)

New Orleans at Seattle

New Orleans wins: 14

Seattle wins: 86

Average Margin: Seattle 32.3  New Orleans 22.6

NO Outlier Win: 36-24

Sea Outlier Win: 44-13


Indianapolis at New England

Indianapolis Wins: 33

New England Wins: 67

Average Margin: New England 29.4  Indianapolis 23.1

Ind Outlier Win: 34-19

NE Outlier Win: 31-6


San Francisco at Carolina

San Francisco Wins: 64

Carolina Wins: 36

Average Margin: San Francisco 22.8  Carolina 18.6

SF Outlier Win: 30-10

Car Outlier Win: 21-6


San Diego at Denver

San Diego Wins: 49

Denver Wins: 51

Average Margin: San Diego 29.8  Denver 29.6

SD Outlier Win: 49-27

Den Outlier Win: 52-31

This one surprised us, but then again San Diego already won at Denver once before this season.

January 2, 2014

PiRate Ratings–NFL Wildcard Round Preview

Wildcard Playoff TV Schedule


Time (ET)




Saturday, January 4

4:35 PM

Kansas City @ Indianapolis


Westwood 1

Saturday, January 4

8:10 PM

New Orleans @ Philadelphia


Westwood 1

Sunday, January 5

1:05 PM

San Diego @ Cincinnati


Westwood 1

Sunday, January 5

4:40 PM

San Francisco @ Green Bay


Westwood 1


To find a local Westwood 1 radio affiliate, check this link:

Weather Forecasts For Kickoff and Next 3-4 hours

Indianapolis—Dome Stadium (no weather effect)

Philadelphia—Partly Cloudy / Temperatures remaining steady near 28 degrees and light winds

Cincinnati—90 % chance of rain/snow mix / Temperatures falling through the 30’s with moderate winds

Green Bay—Brutally cold with temperatures falling from about 5 at kickoff to -5 but dry.



PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor




Indianapolis Kansas City




Philadelphia New Orleans




Cincinnati San Diego




Green Bay San Francisco






Computer Simulations (100x)

Kansas City at Indianapolis

Kansas City Wins: 37

Indianapolis Wins: 63

Average Margin: Indianapolis 24.4  Kansas City 22.7

KC Outlier Win: 30-10

Ind Outlier Win: 27-7


New Orleans at Philadelphia

New Orleans Wins: 29

Philadelphia Wins: 71

Average Margin: Philadelphia 31.1  New Orleans 23.8

NO Outlier Win: 38-20

Phi Outlier Win: 34-13


San Diego at Cincinnati

San Diego Wins: 44

Cincinnati Wins: 56

Average Margin: Cincinnati 25.2  San Diego 24.5

SD Outlier Win: 28-12

Cin Outlier Win: 31-10

(8 simulations had an OT victory—5 for Cin and 3 for SD)

(Lowest Standard Deviation in this round of sims)


San Francisco at Green Bay

San Francisco Wins: 62

Green Bay Wins: 38

Average Margin: San Francisco 26.3  Green Bay 22.0

SF Outlier Win: 37-16

GB Outlier Win: 28-17

(GB’s 11-point outlier margin occurred 7 other times)


October 31, 2013

PiRate Picks For October 31 to November 4, 2013

Working On 3-Week Winning Streak

Things are looking a little brighter on the PiRate ship.


Our Thursday picks have been winners for three consecutive weeks, but we still warn you not to rely on these picks if you wager in Nevada at a sportsbook.  We wager the same amount that you pay to read this free weekly release.  We consider ourselves intelligent investors for doing such, and so should you.


Our official weekly picks at Todd Beck’s Prediction Tracker are faring wonderfully so far this season.  In fact, our record against the spread is currently ahead of the pace from 2011, when the PiRate Ratings finished number one in the nation in the NFL against the spread.  Picking all games against the spread, we stand at 60%, which is something we have not done in more years than we’d like to believe have past.


This week, we are breaking with our tradition a little bit.  Normally, we have a reputation for coming up with sweetheart teaser plays mixed with some money line parlays.  Over the past decade, our 4-team, 13-point teasers have enjoyed 59.4% wins (203-139), but we actually liked several of the straight side opportunities in college football this week.


So, we are going with nine straight college picks, two college money line parlays, and two NFL 13-point teasers.


Our headline game is an old trend that we relied on for years in a past generation, but it has not been in play for a couple of decades.  Pittsburgh played Navy last week, and they play Georgia Tech this week.  The Panthers have now had an extra week to prepare for Paul Johnson’s system, and it is not unorthodox to the Pitt defenders.  We look for a lower scoring game and could play the totals, but we will take a side instead.


1. Pittsburgh +10 ½ vs. Georgia Tech


2. North Texas -3 vs. Rice


3. Troy -3 vs. Louisiana-Monroe


4. Washington St. +11 vs. Arizona St.


5. Akron -1 vs. Kent St.


6. Army Pk. vs. Air Force


7. Miami +22 vs. Florida St.


8. Nebraska -6 vs. Northwestern


9. Iowa +9 ½ vs. Wisconsin


10. Money Line Parlay @ Even Money +100

Rutgers over Temple

Missouri over Tennessee

Notre Dame over Navy

South Carolina over Mississippi St.


11. Money Line Parlay @ -107

Clemson over Virginia

Kansas St. over Iowa St.

Arizona over California

Auburn over Arkansas


12. 13-point Teaser

Carolina +5 ½ vs. Atlanta

Dallas +3 vs. Minnesota

St. Louis +10 vs. Tennessee

Buffalo +16 vs. Kansas City


13. 13-point Teaser (our top technical teaser so far this year *)

Oakland +10 ½ vs. Philadelphia

Baltimore +10 ½ vs. Cleveland

Indianapolis +10 ½ vs. Houston

Seattle -3 vs. Tampa Bay


* Whenever a team is favored by 2 ½, 5 ½, or 9 ½ points, a 13-point teaser turns them into a 10 ½, 7 ½, and 3 ½ point underdog.  Since more NFL games end with 3, 7, and 10 point differences, these pointspreads buy us a little insurance with the tease.


Additionally a 13 ½ point favorite can be teased to a ½-point favorite, and that gives you a little insurance if you believe the team cannot lose.


The same thing works when teasing the underdog to 14 ½, 17 ½, and 21 ½ points from 1 ½, 4 ½, and 8 ½ points


Three of the four parts of the parlay in pick 13 fit this mold, while Seattle is another technical choice.  For this game, the Seahawks enjoy about 5 points homefield advantage, so we are stating that Tampa Bay must be at least 2 points better than Seattle to hurt this part of the parlay.

October 15, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL–Week 7, October 17-21, 2013

Implications Of This Week’s Games

Upon closer examination of this week’s NFL schedule, several interesting tidbits can be discussed.  Here is a sampling from the SS Buckaroo, o.k.a. PiRate Headquarters.


Seattle at Arizona

Arizona needs to come up with a Thursday night upset to stay in the NFC West and Wildcard races.  Where 7-9 won this division just a few years back, 8-8 could be the worst record in the division this year.


Seattle has a tricky two-game intradivisional road swing with games spaced 11 days apart.  They face the Rams in St. Louis on Monday night the following week.  Meanwhile, the rival 49ers have two very winnable games against AFC South opponents.


Tampa Bay at Atlanta

The Falcons still have a tiny bit of light left in their tunnel.  It is highly improbable that they can recover and make the playoffs, but it has happened before.  The 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers appeared dead in the water after five games into a then 14-game schedule.  At 1-4, the defending Super Bowl Champion appeared to be out of the playoff race.  They had just lost to the 1-3 Browns to slip into last place, three games behind two rivals.  Cincinnati and  Houston were both hot at 4-1, with the Oilers’ only loss coming by a point against Oakland (The Raiders would go 13-1 and win the Super Bowl).


Pittsburgh looked like the best NFL team ever in the final nine weeks of the season, winning all nine with a defense that looked like it had 15 men on the field.  They shut out five of the nine opponents and gave up a grand total of 28 points while scoring 234 (26-3 average).  Meanwhile, Houston folded losing seven games in a row, while Cincinnati lost twice to the Steelers and finished 10-4.  Pittsburgh won the division, while the Bengals missed out on the wildcard to New England by a game.


The Falcons have the talent to win nine games in a row, but we don’t really see history repeating itself.  9-2 is a bit more probable, and that is what Atlanta must do to get into the playoffs.  This game then becomes a definite must-win.


Cincinnati at Detroit

This can be called the Contender Bowl.  The winner will move to 5-2 and be in excellent shape to make the playoffs at the least as a wildcard.  The Bengals have a little more room for error, and a loss knocking them to 4-3 won’t hurt as much as it would for the Lions.  Detroit could become a Super Bowl Sleeper with an impressive showing.  The parts are there to excel on both sides of the ball.


Houston at Kansas City

The Texans can still turn their season around.  Nobody is going to run away and hide in this rather weak division.  A fifth consecutive loss could send fans to Gary Kubiak’s house, but this is a very tough time for the Texans to right their ship.  Kansas City’s defense is number one in the league, and their offense has done just enough to win games.  A Chief win would give the team close to a 90% chance of making the playoffs.  The second place teams in the other three divisions figure to struggle to finish better than 9-7, so at 7-0, the chances of finishing 3-6 would be quite high.  Of course, KC wants home field advantage, and a 13-3 or 14-2 record is possible.  We pity the poor team that has to come into the decibel domicile in January.


Buffalo at Miami

This game is more about proving the Dolphins belong in the playoff hunt, because Buffalo is a nice team going nowhere.  This is a game Miami should win by double digit points with an extra week to prepare while the Bills had to play a tough overtime game.


New England at N. Y. Jets

This game is the first repeat game of the year, as the Patriots bested the Jets on Thursday night in week two.  It was not pretty, and it took three Geno Smith interceptions to finally secure the game for the home-standing Pats.


This is a must-win game for New York if they are to have relevance this season.  At 4-3, they would be just a game behind New England.  At 3-4, the Rex Ryan watch can begin.  These are the games Ryan’s teams play their best.  This should be an interesting one to watch.


Dallas at Philadelphia

First place is up for grabs, and these are the two teams left in this race, as the Giants and Redskins have had forks stuck in them.  This game should be more like a Baylor-Oklahoma St. college game.  If you liked the Dallas-Denver game two weeks ago, this one should tickle your fancy.  On paper, Dallas appears to be the better team, but the Cowboys have to prove they can play with more consistency.  Don’t count out Chip Kelly to have some new wrinkle that Dallas is not expecting, even the great Monte Kiffin.


Chicago at Washington

They are the Deadskins once again in DC.  This team is headed nowhere fast, just hoping to finish ahead of the Giants.


As for Chicago, in the black and blue division, every game is vital.  10-6 could send some team home in January one game shy of the playoffs.  In essence, Chicago must win this game; they will more than likely not recover from 4-3 and pass Green Bay or Detroit.  Since it is almost a metaphysical certitude that two NFC West teams will make the playoffs, it stands to reason that just two NFC North teams will make the playoffs.  Losers to the Deadskins are not likely to be one of those two teams.


St. Louis at Carolina

A couple weeks ago, this game figured to offer no real reason to follow if you were not a Rams’ or Panthers’ fan.  Now, it actually can be considered a playoff elimination game.  The winner will stay alive in the playoff race, while the loser has about a 2% chance of recovering to make the playoffs.  It should be an interesting game.  Can Carolina stop the Rams’ new-found running game?  Can St. Louis slow down Cam Newton?


San Diego at Jacksonville

It figures that at some point this year, the Jaguars will win one game.  The team they defeat will suffer more than just one loss; it could hit them like a torpedo.


San Diego picked up a big win on Monday night, but now they must travel 2,000 plus miles and three time zones to play an early Sunday game.  Jacksonville’s 19-point loss at Denver, including a pick six has the Jags’ players feeling like they can compete in this league.  This is a big trap game for the Chargers, but if they can prove their mettle and come away with a nice win, then at 4-3, they will definitely be alive in the playoff race.


San Francisco at Tennessee

The Titans were 3-1 two weeks ago, but the loss of Jake Locker hit this team hard.  In his stead, backup Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown four interceptions in two weeks.  No team, not even the Broncos, can defeat San Francisco and throw two interceptions.


The loser of this game will not be out of the playoff race.  It figures that 9-7 could win the AFC South, and it figures that the 49ers will win 11 or 12 games.  Rumor has it that Locker is trying to find a way to play in this game, but that is nonsense.  Remember what happened to RGIII last year?


Baltimore at Pittsburgh

What we said about Atlanta above is double true for the Steelers.  At 1-4, they are not out of this race, and a win over the Ravens Sunday could move them within two games of the lead.


As for Baltimore, the Ravens are missing several pieces to last year’s puzzle, but Joe Flacco is still the best vertical passer in the AFC.  Defenses have to play their secondary a little looser, and that gives the running game a chance to work.  Baltimore cannot be overlooked in this race, even with Cincinnati being the sexy pick in the AFC North and Cleveland being the darling pick.


Cleveland at Green Bay

The Browns have a little more reason to believe they can pull off an upset at Lambeau.  The Packers are ailing at the moment, and Aaron Rodgers does not have his usual cast of dangerous weapons.  Look for Green Bay to go to more double tight end sets and throw into the middle seams of opposing defenses.


Cleveland is strongest in their four-man linebacking crew.  The quartet of D’Qwell Jackson, Craig Robertson, Paul Kruger, and Jabaal Sheard can defend those middle seams, and the Browns cannot be counted out in this game.


The winner of this game will have four wins, which won’t mean anything yet, but the loser is going to be behind the eight ball.


Denver at Indianapolis

This Sunday night game speaks for itself.  Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis.  Nothing else can trump that.  When Brett Favre returned to Green Bay, it was a big game, but this one is bigger.


As far as actual implications, Denver will make the playoffs no matter what happens in this game, but Indianapolis has not secured anything yet.  The Colts are now the clear-cut favorite in the AFC South, but if they lose and the Titans upset the 49ers, the race will be tied.


Minnesota at N. Y. Giants

There is only one way to look at this Monday night stinker.  It could be the worst Monday Night Football game ever.  We can remember two other really awful encounters, both several years back.


The Jets and Chargers hooked up in the mid-1970’s late in the season when they were both in last place in their divisions.  From memory, we believe San Diego was 1-11 or 1-12 and the Jets were only a game or two better.


The Vikings must be considered a contender for Johnny Manziel.  It figures that Teddy Bridgewater will be the first QB picked in the 2014 NFL Draft.  Manziel will be there should Minnesota have one of the top five picks, and a loss here would place them just behind Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.


Current NFL PiRate Ratings






Dallas Cowboys




Philadelphia Eagles




Washington Redskins




New York Giants












Green Bay Packers




Chicago Bears




Detroit Lions




Minnesota Vikings








New Orleans Saints




Carolina Panthers




Atlanta Falcons




Tampa Bay Buccaneers












Seattle Seahawks




San Francisco 49ers




St. Louis Rams




Arizona Cardinals










New England Patriots




Miami Dolphins




Buffalo Bills




New York Jets








Baltimore Ravens




Cincinnati Bengals




Cleveland Browns




Pittsburgh Steelers








Indianapolis Colts




Tennessee Titans




Houston Texans




Jacksonville Jaguars








Denver Broncos




Kansas City Chiefs




San Diego Chargers




Oakland Raiders





This Week’s Games





Week Number:





Date of Games:

October 17-21













Home Visitor




Arizona Seattle




Atlanta Tampa Bay




Detroit Cincinnati




Kansas City Houston




Miami Buffalo




N Y Jets New England




Philadelphia Dallas




Washington Chicago




Carolina St. Louis




Jacksonville San Diego




Tennessee San Francisco




Pittsburgh Baltimore




Green Bay Cleveland




Indianapolis Denver




N Y Giants Minnesota








Byes: New Orleans, Oakland





Playoff Projections



1. Denver

2. New England

3. Cincinnati

4. Indianapolis

5. Kansas City

6. Miami



1. Seattle

2. New Orleans

3. Green Bay

4. Dallas

5. San Francisco

6. Detroit


Wildcard Round

Cincinnati over Miami

Kansas City over Indianapolis

Green Bay over Detroit

San Francisco over Dallas


Divisional Round

Denver over Kansas City

Cincinnati over New England

Seattle over San Francisco

New Orleans over Green Bay


Conference Championships

Denver over Cincinnati

Seattle over New Orleans


Super Bowl

Denver over Seattle

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