The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 7, 2023

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Saturday, January 7, 2023

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 4:00 am
Abilene ChristianSouthern Utah0.3
Alcorn St.Alabama A&M5.6
ArizonaWashington St.13.1
Arkansas Pine BluffTexas Southern-5.3
Austin PeayCentral Arkansas8.6
BaylorKansas St.5.0
BelmontMissouri St.0.6
Boise St.Utah St.-0.4
Boston CollegeDuke-10.3
Bowling GreenOhio-3.4
BuffaloNorthern Illinois9.7
Cal PolyUC Santa Barbara-7.1
Cal St. FullertonHawaii-2.0
Cleveland St.Green Bay15.1
ColoradoOregon St.16.0
Colorado St.Fresno St.4.6
Coppin St.South Carolina St.6.5
DrakeMurray St.7.3
East Tennessee St.Furman-5.9
Eastern MichiganCentral Michigan-1.2
Eastern WashingtonSacramento St.5.5
EvansvilleIllinois St.-2.8
Fairleigh DickinsonLong Island11.4
Florida AtlanticCharlotte9.1
Florida Gulf CoastNorth Florida8.8
Florida Int’l.UAB-13.8
Florida St.Georgia Tech0.6
FordhamSaint Joseph’s4.2
Gardner WebbRadford4.6
George MasonLoyola (Chi.)7.1
George WashingtonMassachusetts-1.6
Georgia SouthernOld Dominion0.3
GramblingBethune Cookman12.7
HowardDelaware St.11.6
IdahoPortland St.-1.3
Incarnate WordTexas A&M CC-8.9
Indiana St.Illinois Chicago12.5
Jackson St.Alabama St.5.7
Jacksonville St.Bellarmine0.9
James MadisonAppalachian St.12.7
La SalleRhode Island0.5
LindenwoodTennessee St.-1.0
Little RockSoutheast Missouri St.-2.7
LouisianaGeorgia St.8.5
Louisiana MonroeSouthern Miss.-7.1
Louisiana TechUTEP6.6
LouisvilleWake Forest-8.8
Loyola MarymountSan Francisco2.1
MarshallCoastal Carolina11.7
McNeese St.Texas A&M-Commerce0.2
MemphisEast Carolina15.2
MerrimackSt. Francis NY3.4
Miami (O)Kent St.-13.2
Michigan St.Michigan3.6
Middle TennesseeNorth Texas-3.6
Mississippi St.Mississippi4.9
Mississippi Valley St.Prairie View-7.9
Morehead St.Eastern Illinois8.2
Morgan St.North Carolina Central-0.9
New MexicoUNLV4.9
New Mexico St.Cal Baptist4.5
New OrleansHouston Christian4.2
Norfolk St.Maryland Eastern Shore7.5
Norhtern IowaSouthern Illinois-1.9
North AlabamaStetson-2.2
North CarolinaNotre Dame13.5
North Carolina A&TUNC Wilmington-7.0
North DakotaSouth Dakota St.-5.4
North Dakota St.South Dakota2.5
Northern ArizonaMontana St.-5.9
Northern ColoradoMontana-1.4
Northwestern St.Nicholls St.-0.7
Oklahoma St.Texas-0.6
Oral RobertsUMKC14.2
PresbyterianCharleston Southern1.5
ProvidenceSt. John’s7.0
Purdue Ft. WayneMilwaukee7.6
QueensKennesaw St.3.5
Sacred HeartHartford11.5
Saint LouisSt. Bonaventure8.1
Saint Mary’sPortland15.3
Sam Houston St.Tarleton St.10.2
San DiegoBYU-4.7
San Jose St.Nevada-2.2
Santa ClaraGonzaga-8.0
Seton HallButler3.8
South AlabamaTexas St.4.7
South CarolinaTennessee-20.4
Southeastern LouisianaLamar13.6
SouthernFlorida A&M14.4
Southern IndianaSIU Edwardsville-1.2
St. ThomasOmaha8.2
Stephen F. AustinGrand Canyon-1.4
StonehillCentral Connecticut St.3.2
Stony BrookTowson-6.7
TCUIowa St.3.9
Texas A&MLSU3.4
Texas TechOklahoma-16.8
TroyArkansas St.12.4
UC DavisCal St. Bakersfield7.4
UC IrvineLong Beach St.8.3
UC RiversideCal St. Northridge10.4
UNC AshevilleCampbell5.7
UNC GreensboroSamford4.9
USC UpstateHigh Point-0.9
UT ArlingtonSeattle-3.7
UT MartinTennessee Tech5.6
UT Rio Grande ValleyUtah Valley-10.2
UTSAWestern Kentucky-7.0
Virginia TechNorth Carolina St.3.1
WagnerSt. Francis PA6.0
Weber St.Idaho St.6.0
West VirginiaKansas-1.4
Western CarolinaMercer-0.6
Western IllinoisDenver1.6
William & MaryHofstra-6.5
WoffordThe Citadel9.0
WyomingSan Diego St-7.7
Youngstown St.IUPUI23.0

December 1, 2022

PiRate Picks For December 2-3, 2022

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:00 am

We here at the PiRate Ratings believe like Ted Williams that you don’t sit out the final day of the season to protect a .400 average. We could sit out this final weekend of the regular season, not including Army-Navy next week, and be guaranteed our 18th winning season in the last 23 years, albeit imaginary revenue. We are showing a small 3.5% profit for the season, and we could have sat this week out to guarantee the winning year. We could have merely played one or two games, for going 0-2 would still mean we would have a winning season.

Just like The Splendid Splinter, we are in the lineup and taking our cuts this week with five selections. If we can’t go at least 2-3, we don’t deserve to consider it 18 out of 23. We’re attacking this Championship Week like it’s an opportunity to go from .400 to .406.

Our selections this week include three games straight up against the spread and two Money Line Parlays. We are almost always looking for underdogs that we find undervalued to win and like to go with short underdogs. We tend to never play underdogs of more than two touchdowns. Yet, this week, we are going against our grain. We’re taking two short favorites and one heavy underdog to cover. As for the Money Line Parlays, there were limited choices, and it took a little extra work to come up with two parlays that paid out more than +120. Enjoy, but remember the most important advice you will ever read here–do not wager real money on these selections. We wager $0 in real money, and we know best the value of these selections.

Selection #1: USC -2 1/2 vs. Utah

A two-point conversion in Salt Lake City in October is all that separates USC and a 12-0 regular season. Utah’s home field advantage is worth a good 3 points or more, and this game is being played in Las Vegas. With a College Football Playoff berth on the line, we believe the Trojans could win this game by more than a touchdown.

Selection #2: TCU -2 1/2 vs. Kansas St.

Kansas State’s defense couldn’t stop TCU’s offense in October once the Horned Frogs trailed 28-10. TCU stormed back in the final two plus quarters, outscoring KSU 28-0. With a College Football Playoff on the line, we believe the Horned Frogs are peaking at the right time and sitting on a double-digit win. If so, Kansas State might be the weakest Sugar Bowl team in decades.

Selection #3: LSU +18 1/2 vs. Georgia

We don’t see LSU pulling off an incredible upset to clinch a Sugar Bowl bid, and the defending national champions still look like the prohibitive favorite to win back-to-back titles. However, we have this suspicion that LSU is going to make this game a lot closer than people expect. When a 38-21 game wins this wager (or 45-28 or 28-10), we’ll take a Brian Kelly team to cover.

Selection #4: Money Line Parlay 3 games @ +153.47

Buffalo over Akron

UTSA over North Texas

Boise St. over Fresno St.

Selection #5: Money Line Parlay 3 games @ +121.02

Troy over Coastal Carolina

Tulane over Central Florida

Michigan over Purdue

September 8, 2022

PiRate Picks For September 9-10, 2022

Last week, the most important part of our PiRate Picks publication was telling you that a broken clock is still correct twice a day. Please remember this, because we have experienced our broken clock accuracy up front this year. For the second week in a row, our selections went 3-0 to give us a 6-0 record to start the season. We know there are about 150-200 new visitors to this site since the 2021-22 College Football National Championship. Get this and get it good–we are not svengali’s. We are not Billy Walters. We aren’t even Brent Musberger and his incredible cast of handicappers. What are we? Really lucky and not much more than that.

Every week, we preface our selections by urging (begging) you not to wager real currency on the selections you read on this site. We know that there are a considerable number of professional speculators in the Nevada gold mines. We don’t have to tell you what to do with your occupation. It’s Joe Tackletrap in Wichita Falls, Texas, who makes $40,000 a year working himself silly that can ill afford to lose $500 that we have concerns about losing $500 because he wagered $100 each on five selections and lost them all, as he saw his mortgage payment money taken away.

Last week, we casually mentioned that there were some people in Nevada that we had information that they were following this site. Wow! We heard from six different people, two of whom represent a consortium of others, telling us they follow this site. And, they were not all from Las Vegas. We have to give some love to the biggest little city in America–Reno. There’s somebody there that sent us a little note.

For one paragraph, let’s pretend that we really did speculate these first two weeks of the football season, wagering $100 ($110) on margins and totals and $100 on the money line parlay. With the 6-0 record, including a parlay that paid back $241.77, our pretend starting bank account of $1,000 would now be worth $1,641.77. Making a 64% profit in two weeks in real life would quickly lead us to cash out and play no more games. That would be our Holiday Fund for this year.

What are the chances that our picks will be perfect again this week? The prior best first three week start we have ever had was a 9-3-1 start to the 2008 season. In most years, September is our worst month, with a big turnaround in October. Thus, we still do not have much confidence in our September picks. It’s merely the law of averages giving us a positive outlier.

Now that we have adequately warned you, we present our picks for this week. We are going with five selections.

Selection #1: Missouri and Kansas State UNDER 56 1/2

Our belief here is that the Wildcats will play a bit conservatively in the first half trying to keep the ball away from the Tiger offense, as Coach Chris Kleiman is a defense first leader. Missouri scored 52 points against a weak Louisiana Tech defense, and our belief is that the totals line might be a tad too high due to this. KSU’s defense pitched a shutout over FCS South Dakota. The Coyotes are not the top team in the Mount Rushmore state, but their offense is consistent. We see this game as a 28-20 win for the Wildcats. That gives us an extra touchdown to be wrong and still be right.

Selection #2: Iowa and Iowa State OVER 39 1/2

Iowa failed to reach the end zone against South Dakota State, winning 7-3 on a field goal and two safeties. The public looked at a Big Ten team’s offense failing to score on an FCS opponent and didn’t realize two important factors. First, South Dakota State is probably better than 60-75 FBS teams. Second, a college football team improves the most during a season in the practices between game one and game two. You can bet that this week in Iowa City, the offensive units in Hawkeye Land have had just about enough of hearing how lame they were in the opener. Over in Ames, Iowa State’s offense is far superior to its defense. Giving up 10 points to SEMO is nothing like Iowa’s holding SDSU to 3. SEMO is a mediocre Ohio Valley Conference team. Iowa will unleash its offense this week and top 20 points. Our hope is that Iowa State will respond in kind and make this a 24-21 game, topping 39 1/2 points.

Selection #3: Florida and Kentucky OVER 52 1/2

Florida came through for us last week, winning as an underdog when we believed the wrong team was favored. Kentucky overcame a slow start and eventually slaughtered a decent but not spectacular Miami of Ohio team. We believe that the Florida team that almost beat Alabama in 2021 before the team quit on former coach Dan Mullen has returned. If they could score 29 on Alabama last year and 29 on a tough Utah defense in week one, the Gators should put the chomp on Kentucky’s defense for more than 35 points. Can Kentucky’s offense produce 17 points or more? We think they Wildcats will top 20 points, and thus we believe the total in this game will top 56.

Selection #4: Arizona +11 1/2 vs. Mississippi State

This game is a tad different from how we normally play home underdogs. We tend to like our home dogs to get 1 to 7 points. We are making an exception here because it is our belief that few too people saw how the Wildcats went to San Diego State on the Christening of their new stadium and spoiled the party for the home team. We have been keeping our eyes on Coach Jedd Fisch since his arrival in Tucson. It is our beliefe that ‘Zona may have found their football equivalent of Lute Olson. His pedigree is about as incredible as a long-time assistant coach can own. Going up against a Mike Leach-coached team, this late night desert dogfight is going to give us reason to brew an evening pot of coffee. This could be the most entertaining game of Week Two, and we expect the home team to be in it for the entire 60 minutes. What’s great about this selection is that the superior SEC is having to play at the Pac-12 opponent’s home field rather than watch the Pac-12 team make the 2,000+ mile trip to the Southeast. Mississippi State could win this game 31-21, 34-24, 38-28, 35-24, 38-27 and still not cover. We tend to believe that this game will be a 3 to 7 point game in either direction.

Selection #5: Money Line Parlay at +172.97

Central Florida over Louisville

Arkansas over South Carolina

Florida over Kentucky

Louisville looked terrible in a blowout loss at Syracuse and did not look ready to play. Coach Scott Satterfield is sitting on a scorching hot seat, as he has had UL detractors since his hiring. At the same time, Gus Malzahn has quickly become a favored coach in Orlando, and Central Florida looks like a real contender for the American Athletic Conference Championship. In addition, UCF has had this game circled on their schedule and calendar. UL won this game on a pick six last year. The Cardinals are headed to an ambush in Orlando.

The Arkansas-South Carolina game should be quite interesting as two very good SEC teams face off in Fayetteville. We were a bit concerned with Spencer Rattler’s performance against Georgia State, as it was a little too similar to the performances he turned in at Oklahoma, which cost him his starting spot. Arkansas has a much better pass rush and secondary than Georgia State, and their offense at times pushed Cincinnati’s defense around. We see Pig Sooey winning by 10-14 points if not more.

Kentucky has defeated Florida twice in four years, after going mutiple decades without a win over the Gators. Billy Napier has quickly become a favorite in the Swamp almost on par with Steve Spurrier. He probably is the most like former Gator coaches Ray Graves and Doug Dickey than Spurrier or any coaches since. The Gators will be prepared and ready to play every week. Napier is part of both the Nick Saben and Dabo Swinney coaching trees. He knows how to run a program, and his year at Louisiana proved it. Kentucky and coach Mark Stoops are not exactly chopped liver. The Wildcats have a potent team with an NFL prospect under center. Will Levis could be a top three pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Kentucky could be the second best team in the SEC East, but they could be the third or fourth best too. We believe that the Gators will come into this game not resting on their laurels after pulling off the biggest win of Week One. Napier won’t let them get swollen heads. We’re going with Florida in a thriller, and we see the Gators winning 38-28.

August 17, 2022

Big 12 Preview

This will be the final year that the Big 12 will have 10 teams. Next year, Central Florida, Houston, Cincinnati, and BYU will join the league, and for one to two years, the league will have 14 teams. Texas and Oklahoma are committed for now to remain in the Big 12 through the 2024 season. Things could change, as new league Commissioner Brett Yormark has indicated that he would be fine finding a win-win situation that would allow the Sooners and Longhorns to leave for the SEC before their scheduled July 1, 2025 date.

2022 expects to be an interesting year in the Big 12. Oklahoma welcomes a new head coach in Brent Venables, the former defensive coordinator at Clemson. There was a lot of player movement in Norman when former coach Lincoln Riley bolted for USC, but Venables has a lot of depth and talent remaining. Oklahoma is still the team to beat.

Rival Oklahoma State should see marked improvement on the defensive side, and the Cowboys must be considered the leading contender to earn the second spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Baylor, Texas, Iowa State, and Kansas State figure to fight it out in the next tier with TCU just behind. These seven teams should all make bowl games. The bottom three could potentially tie for last at 1-8. Texas Tech has a lot of talent but a lot of holes. West Virginia is at a crossroads. Kansas is still the least talented team in the league, but second year coach Lance Leipold has the Jayhawks trending upward.

Preseason PiRate Ratings

Oklahoma St.118.2116.3117.6117.4
Kansas St.111.1109.7109.9110.2
Iowa St.108.6108.5108.8108.6
T C U108.8107.2107.2107.7
Texas Tech107.0105.5107.4106.6
West Virginia103.7103.5102.4103.2

Big 12110.1108.9109.2109.4

Preseason Big 12 Official Media Poll

#Team1st PlaceOverall
3Oklahoma St.9342
5Kansas St.0261
6Iowa St.1180
8West Virginia0147
9Texas Tech0119

The PiRate Ratings are designed to look at just the next week’s schedule of games and not to use to look forward. Nevertheless, here are the predicted won-loss records for the league.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

Oklahoma St.8-111-2
Kansas St.4-57-5
Iowa St.4-56-6
Texas Tech2-74-8
West Virginia1-82-10

November 11, 2021

PiRate Picks–November 11-13, 2021

We almost made it, but a small miss is as good as a long mile. Last week, with a fourth consecutive winning week looking promising, a couple of fourth quarters went against us, and alas we suffered a tiny loss of 0.9%, or less than $5 on $500 invested in imaginary currency.

For the year, our net profit is now 4.88%, so we are still in the black, just barely. This week, we delayed by a day putting this feature online. The reason is that we did not like the overall numbers and wanted the betting public to help us out by moving the money lines just enough for our program to show the parlays to have an edge by finding the best lines. After looking at 11 different books, we still could only find three wagers to play. Four more were monitored closely and might have eventually moved to make them playable, but we like to publish this before Noon on Thursday, and the movements aren’t moving this morning (Thursday at 9:30 AM EST).

These next two weeks historically have seen monumental upsets in college football when teams that appear to be superior to the opponents they are playing have hidden depth issues. It’s not just players that don’t dress out. By this point in the schedule most college teams have 10-20 players that are playing with minor injuries and are not the same as they were four weeks ago. We look for teams that win consistently through the first week in November but tend to lose power ratings while winning, because instead of producing a statistics box that looks like a 20-point win, they produce a statistics box of 15-17 points, and then 10-14 points. We do not update our ratings by final score. We look at the statistics and make a score adjustment based on the domination or lack thereof and then update. A team that wins by 28 points and is out-gained by 50 yards where the opponent lost fumbles in the Red Zone may actually receive credit for a 14-point “effective win.” A team that wins by 11 points but ends the game at the opponent’s five yard line and chooses to take a knee may receive credit for an 18-point effective win.

You will also notice that since early in the season, we have stopped playing NFL parlays in this feature. The variance in the games is making it impossible for our method to isolate on enough games to make a favorable parlay. We think there are two reasons for this. First, even though there are lousy teams like Detroit, there are no dominant teams that can be counted on to win when they are favored by less than a touchdown. Second, now that many millions more people can legally wager, the odds no longer move by large enough amounts to create favorable odds. There are 60+ college games to find favorable numbers, and the public may not find a Mountain West Conference game worth much, while we do. There are 13-16 NFL games per week, and even Detroit, San Francisco, and Miami get heavy action. We’d like to play three underdogs this week, but the numbers are not favorable according to our program.

Here are our three selections for this week. Remember, we never wager real money on these picks. If we don’t, do you think you should?

Must WinOpponent
East CarolinaMemphis

Must WinOpponent
Kansas St.West Virginia
Air ForceColorado St.
Oklahoma St.TCU

Must WinOpponent
OregonWashington St.

October 27, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 28-30, 2021

Back To Back Winning Weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date:October 28-30


Must WinOpponent
UTEPFlorida Atlantic

Must WinOpponent
Michigan St.Michigan

Must WinOpponent
Notre DameNorth Carolina

Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaTemple
Kansas St.TCU
RiceNorth Texas

Must WinOpponent
Utah St.Hawaii
San Jose St.Wyoming

September 22, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 23-27, 2021

A Weekend of Despair

We hope you have read numerous times on this site that we do not wager real money on the selections you see here in this weekly feature. We always encourage you to do the same. It is for this reason that we were able to sleep peacefully this week after the incredibly unlucky fortunes that destroyed what could have been a second incredibly successful weekend.

The weekend started out with a nice parlay win as Kansas State beat Nevada and Troy beat Southern Miss. to return a nice $282 on our imaginary $100 wager. The combo parlay with one college game and one pro game was next. Mississippi State had to beat Memphis, and they should have done so. The officials in the game admitted to making a major mistake in the game, and there was a blatant oversight on the same play. Memphis scored the decisive touchdown returning a punt that had already been signaled as dead by the back judge. At the same time, the punt returner wore number four. Nothing wrong with that, but he was not the only number four in the game for the Tigers. Had the mistake not been made, Mississippi State wins the game, and when Denver won the next day, that parlay would have been a winner of $226.42 on the imaginary $100 wagered to guarantee a winning weekend.

On Sunday, Seattle led Tennessee by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and Kansas City led Baltimore by 11 in the fourth quarter. The other parts of the final two parlays had already won. Tennessee scored twice to tie the Seahawks where they went on to win in overtime to kill one parlay, and Baltimore pulled off a minor miracle to beat Kansas City by a point to kill the other one.

Even with the three heartbreakers losing, we are out nothing. No stress means we can return to picking games this week with the same imaginary bank account that never runs out of $100 investment opportunities.

When the opening lines came out, we immediately spotted a huge mistake in one college game. It was the spread in the Georgia-Vanderbilt game, as it opened at 30 1/2 or 31 depending on the books in question. The bookmakers made a big mistake, and within five minutes, that spread had moved to 35. The mistake they made was assuming that Vanderbilt would get about three points for home field advantage. SEC fans and bettors know that Georgia fans will make Vanderbilt Stadium a sea of red. Somewhere either side of 90% will be rooting for the Bulldogs, making this a home game on their opponent’s field. Vanderbilt’s quarterbacks will have to use hand signals on their home field. Georgia is really the home team, and poof, the line may still be low at 35. We don’t issue straight wagers against the line these days. But, we came oh so close to issuing a special bulletin Sunday night when we saw that incredibly low number.

We spent a couple hours looking over the money lines this week looking for certain in-house data to come up with the games we wanted to play. This was a difficult week, because we didn’t particularly like the schedule in either college or pro football. In the end, in order to get our parlays up above +120, we had to go with multiple very long shot combinations at very large odds.

We are going with five selections this week, one of which is not a parlay, but just one single upset pick. Three of our parlays include three games each; we prefer to play two-game parlays, especially when using NFL teams, where it is hard to pick the winners of three games all that often. So, when you look at these picks below, realize they are long shots. Please don’t wager real money on these games unless you have other research data that our selections merely verify.

This Week’s Parlays

Date:Sept 23-27
Must WinOpponent
Kansas St.Oklahoma St.

Must WinOpponent
Eastern MichiganTexas St.
Michigan St.Nebraska

Must WinOpponent
Michigan St.Nebraska
Boston CollegeMissouri

Must WinOpponent
Kansas CityLA Chargers
Las VegasMiami

Must WinOpponent

September 15, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 16-20, 2021

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

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

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

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

This Week’s Money Line Parlays

Sept 16-20


Must WinOpponent
Kansas St.Nevada
TroySouthern Miss.

Must WinOpponent
Mississippi St.Memphis

Must WinOpponent
LA RamsIndianapolis
Kansas CityBaltimore

Must WinOpponent

September 1, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 1-6, 2021

Last week, we explained what our PiRate Picks are all about. We even gave you a sample Money Line Parlay that included Illinois beating Nebraska, UTEP beating New Mexico St., and UCLA beating Hawaii. This parlay had payout odds of +341, which meant if you wagered $100, and the teams all won, you would receive $441 in return. But, we made sure you understood that this was a sample and not official.

As of Monday afternoon, three people had notified us that they had played a little real currency on this parlay and were quite happy with their return.

How many times can we state this? Please do not bet real money on our just for fun selections! Okay, so one of you wagered $20, one of you wagered $50, and one of you wagered $100 on this parlay and won money. These same people could just as easily have lost this wager, and there is no guarantee that this week’s two selections have a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning.

We strongly urge you to look at these selections as mathematical entertainment and nothing else. If you are going to wager real money on sports, please do your research. Don’t rely on this site as your substitute for research. We use mathematical factors and not actual research to make these selections.

That said, we have two actual Money Line parlays this week, involving five games. If you did not read last week’s tutorial, or if you are a long-time follower of this site and need a refresher course, our expertise is the Money Line Parlay. The Money Line is a number, plus or minus. If the number is a minus, then you must wager this number of dollars against the book’s offering $100. So, a -145 means you the bettor must put up $145 to win $100 from the book. If you bet $145 on this game and won, you would receive $245 from the book ($100 + your investment money). If the number is positive, for every $100 you wager, the book offers the amount of the the positive numbers in dollars. So, a +170 means that if you wager $100 and win, the book will give you $270 ($170 + your investment).

When you wager on the money line, all that matters is that your selection wins. They can win by one point or 100 points; it doesn’t make a difference.

Obviously, if you want to wager on Alabama against Louisiana-Monroe, expect the Money Line to be about -100,000. You would have to wager $100,000 to win $100. If you wagered $100 on this parlay, when Alabama wins, you would receive one dime in profit, and the book would possibly not accept this one wager.

Obviously, it is much easier to bet a favorite to win, but you will receive less than even money odds. A -240 favorite equates to the team having a 70% chance of winning the game. If you believe that team has a better than 70% chance of winning, it might be worth your while to wager on it. If you win 75% of the time you wager on a -240 money line, you will turn a small profit.

The problem with wagering on favorites is that it is quite difficult to maintain the percentage needed to make a profit. Betting on 20 different teams at -240 and winning 13 of 20 means a loss of $380.

If you wager on a bunch of underdogs, there is also little chance that in the long run you will come out ahead. The answer to this is to bundle a group of favorites into a parlay that returns better than even money odds. For our purposes, we look for parlays of +120 and higher. At +150, we break even if the teams we wager on to win all win more than 40% of the time. At +200, if the parlay has a better than 33.3% chance on winning, we turn a profit.

It looks easy. Try it yourself without wagering. Look at the Money Line odds and make a parlay. There are free parlay calculators online to show you your odds. Try it with 10 parlays and see if you can win enough to make it work. You will find that the books know what they are doing. They build billion dollar mega-structures in the desert, because they know how to vacuum your money into their accounts.

Here are our two selections for Week 1 of the College Football Season. Remember, these are just for fun. We have a bottomless pretend bank account to repeatedly wager $100 on every selection.

Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaBoise St.

Must WinOpponent
North CarolinaVirginia Tech
Kansas St.Stanford
PurdueOregon St.

September 27, 2019

PiRate Ratings Special Money Line Play(s)

Last Friday, we issued a special Money Line Parlay play that went off at +250, and it won.  We had help getting the five winning teams at relatively low odds together.  But, it was up to us to put the parlay together, as none of the “Sharps” that tutored us on how to play smarter actually ended up with this parlay (until one person saw it on this site and did play a small wager on it.

This week, we are swimming in the deep end without the swim instructors.  Can we find another rare gem with a big payout?  We doubt it, but here goes any way.

Remember, the members of the PiRate Ratings NEVER wager money on the picks we issue; actually, we just don’t wager at all, and if you are planning to wager real money, please do not do so based on what you read here.

Even the top Sharps that are now teaching us more about what we have been doing wrong in recent years only win about 62 to 65% of their wagers, and they wager 10-20 games a week.  If you took their advice but only chose a couple of their wagers, the chances that you’d win big would be minimal, because they have to play double digit games a week to avoid risk and let the law of averages tilt to their side.

Since only about 1% of those that wager regularly are profitable, and since 99% of these winners wouldn’t think of giving you advice, realize that practically every service out there that is marketing their talents to you are profiting off your money and not their wagers.  If they were really successful players, they would never offer their advice to the public.  They’d keep it to themselves and selfishly continue to win.

Now that you know that we are giving you these picks, you should understand these two things.

  1. We are not part of the 1% of Sharps that enjoy 6-figure and 7-figure annual careers, as we do not wager one cent.

  2. Our selections provided to you for free are worth exactly what you paid for it.  If we really knew what we were doing, then we might be in Las Vegas with some of our friends placing wagers and never telling anybody else what we selected.


This week’s theme is trying to find incredible value betting a parlay of underdogs.  We looked at all the college games this week and isolated on five teams we believe stand decent chances to win outright as underdogs.  

We actually issued individual Money Line selections on each of these five teams in individual plays, because we feel like three of these teams should pull the actual upset.

The five games where we have studied the personnel groupings and looked for extras like teams playing a sandwich game between two more important games involve these games.


Marshall over Cincinnati

Duke over Virginia Tech

Kansas State over Oklahoma State

Baylor over Iowa State

North Carolina State over Florida State.


You can play each of these game as singular money line plays and get better than +120 odds on each team.

At the time of this writing, you can get Duke at +125 at a couple of the big books in Nevada.  You can get North Carolina State at +210.  Both Marshall and Kansas State can be found at +165.  Baylor can be wagered at +130.

What if you began combining these teams into 2 or 3 game parlays?  The potential odds are incredible.  Yes, the potential for winning is minimal, but for a little pretend money, you could make a pretend killing if you pick the right 2 or 3 teams.

There’s the rub.  If you play all five teams as single money line upset choices, you stand a decent chance of making a minor imaginary profit.  But, if just one of the potential big payout parlays pays off, you could make five times what you put in.

Let’s look at some examples.  We can’t list them all, as there are too many combinations.



2-Game Parlays

Marshall over Cincinnati and Duke over Virginia Tech: +485

Marshall over Cincinnati and Kansas St. over Oklahoma St.: +496

Kansas St. over Oklahoma St. & North Carolina St. over Florida St.: +722



3-Game Parlays

Kansas St. over Oklahoma St., Baylor over Iowa St., & NC ST. over Florida St.: +1790

Marshall, Kansas St., and North Carolina St. all in upset wins: +2036

Have fun making combinations of these games.  Here’s the complete crazy parlay where you combine all five of these teams.

If you bet Marshall, Kansas St., North Carolina St., Baylor, and Duke all to win in upsets, the money line parlay payout would be:



Yes, if you were crazy enough to put $100 in Nevada on these five teams to win in upset games, and all five pulled off their upsets, you would cash a winning ticket of $11,053!

If you only put $10 on this parlay, you could cash $1,105.

If you just put that same dollar you use playing Mega Millions, and it won, you’d pocket more than $110, and your chances to win on this parlay are multitudes better than winning the lottery.


Did you hear about the guy that bet 89 cents on a ton of games last week on a parlay, and won every game heading into Monday Night Football.  Had the Washington Redskins won that final bet for him, he would have taken that 89 cents and cashed in a half million dollars!

When the Bears won the game, the naive media announced that the poor sap lost.  Without knowing for sure, we bet that this guy won big, maybe even 6-figures.

The media is never the best place to receive information on anything.  In this case, we are confident that the bettor hedged his wager on Monday morning.  Obviously, he probably didn’t have $100,000 to invest on the MNF game, but he probably found a willing money lender to purchase that ticket for 100 grand.

If you had $100,000, and you bought that ticket, then the guy that spent 89 cents just won $99,999.19 on his wager, and he leaves quite happy as a big winner, at least until he realizes his tax bracket just went way up.

The person that bought that potential half-million dollar ticket then played as many different tickets he needed on Monday afternoon until he had $200,000 in wagers on the Bears.  It would have taken him going to multiple books, but it is easily done.

Let’s look at the money lender on Monday afternoon.

  1. $100,000 spent buying the ticket

  2. $200,000 spent buying tickets on the Bears.

If the Redskins had won the last game on that parlay, the lender collects the half million dollar payout and profits by $200,000 since he invested $300,000.

If the Bears had won (which they did), then the half-million dollar parlay is trashed, but the lender cashes in a winning ticket on his Bears bet and receives $400,000.  The profit is only $100,000 in this case.

Technically, the lender could have places additional bets on the Redskins, which would have brought his guaranteed payout to around $135,000 no matter what the outcome, but we just wanted to show you an example in hedging to get a guaranteed win.

If you had a 50% chance of realizing a 33% of 67% return on your investment in 24 hours, you are guaranteeing yourself an average ROI of 50% in one day!  Now, how many of you with some seed money are planning to relocate to Nevada and do some hedge playing?  Alas, we here are more like the 89 cent investor.

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