The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 30, 2021

PiRate Picks–September 30-October 4, 2021

This edition will be short this week due to time constraints, but it is chock full of college money line parlays, as we perceive some excellent value on the college side and not on the NFL side. We even include a rare, 4-team parlay at +372.50. Remember, we never wager real money on our selections and recommend you do the same. Use this feature only for entertainment purposes or supplemental research.


September 30-October 4

1. Odds:+173.19
Must WinOpponent
Notre DameCincinnati
Michigan St.Western Kentucky

2. Odds:+219.78
Must WinOpponent
ArmyBall St.

3. Odds:+220.45
Must WinOpponent
West VirginiaTexas Tech

4. Odds:+372.50
Must WinOpponent
Wake ForestLouisville
South CarolinaTroy
Oklahoma St.Baylor

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

March 29, 2021

PiRate Ratings Elite 8 Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:38 am
HoustonOregon St.9.0

PiRate Ratings Bracketnomics Update

Houston, Baylor, Gonzaga, and Michigan are the four remaining teams that possess the analytics criteria that 93% of the last 30 national champions possessed. Gonzaga and Michigan have the overall best criteria, but most of Michigan’s statistical outcomes includes injured star Isaiah Livers. Houston lacks overall schedule strength, but a win tonight over Oregon State and then a Final Four win over Baylor would give the Cougars the last needed piece of the puzzle in a national title game. Baylor misses on only one main criteria point as well as a couple minor points.

Obviously, the Pac-12 strength of schedules needed to be tweeked upward by a few points, and the Covid issues probably disguised the league’s resurrection. The Big Ten and Big 12 were overrated this year, while the SEC and ACC were somewhat overrated. The fact that the Elite 8 has three Pac-12 teams, and one team each from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, West Coast, and American Athletic speaks a lot about the balance in basketball this year. The Western half of the country was the better half this year for the first time in more than a decade, maybe in the 21st Century.

March 18, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

NCAA First Four

Team 1Team 2Spread
Mount St. Mary’sTexas Southern1.3
DrakeWichita St.2.0
Norfolk St.Appalachian St.0.3
UCLAMichigan St.0.7

March 14, 2021

PiRate Ratings Final Bracketology Prediction

2Ohio St.AlabamaIowaHouston
3Oklahoma St.ArkansasKansasTexas
4West VirginiaPurdueVirginiaFlorida St.
5TennesseeVillanovaCreightonTexas Tech
8ConnecticutSan Diego St.WisconsinFlorida
9Virginia TechLoyola (Chi.)Georgia TechNorth Carolina
10RutgersSt. BonaventureMarylandVCU
11LouisvilleMichigan St.UCLASyracuseUtah St.Drake
12Oregon St.GeorgetownNorth TexasWinthrop
13Ohio ULibertyUNCGUCSB
14ColgateMorehead St.Abilene ChristianE. Washington
15Cleveland St.DrexelGrand CanyonIona
16Oral RobertsHartfordNorfolk St.Mount St. Mary’sTexas SouthernAppalachian St.

1st Four Out

69Wichita St.
70Colorado St.
71Saint Louis
72Boise St.

1st 4 Games

11 UCLA vs. 11 Drake

11 Syracuse vs. 11 Utah St.

16 Norfolk St. vs. 16 Mount St. Mary’s

16 Texas Southern vs. 16 Appalachian St.

March 11, 2021

A Quick Look At The Bubble

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:39 am

Thursday, March 11 Prior To Start of Today’s Games

It’s just a little more than 80 hours until the Selection Sunday bids are announced. We will have our final bracketology Sunday around 4 PM EST, unless there is a final tournament game that would affect the seeding.

As of this morning, here is our look at the teams in the gray area, on the bubble.

Let’s start with the teams that we believe are currently in the field if the bids were awarded today, but that are vulnerable to being bumped if other teams play their way into the field.

Louisville: The Cardinals lost in their first ACC Tournament game to fellow bubbler Duke. The Cardinals took a 6-spot dive in the Net Ratings after the loss, and they are in jeopardy of falling out of the tournament if a host of teams play their way in. At 13-7, they finished the season 4-6. UL won just one Quad 1 game, but they were 6-1 in Quad 2 games. Their chances of making the field are still about 85-90%, but they could find themselves playing that extra at-large play-in game.

Xavier: The Musketeers are in a much more precarious position following their immediate Big East Tournament ouster. Xavier fell to 62 in the Net, and they too finished 4-6 after starting 9-2. If a couple of teams still playing advance a couple rounds in their tournaments, it could be lights out for the Musketeers. Their chances of making the field are close to 50-50 today.

Drake: The Bulldogs lost to Loyola in the Arch Madness Championship Game to finish 23-4 with two losses to the Ramblers. A #45 Net with a 6-2 record against Quad 1 and Quad 2 opponents, including one win over Loyola should be enough to keep Drake in a safe spot in this field. Their chances of making the field are about 95%.

Wichita St.: The Selection Committee does not compare teams within the same conference in theory, but when looking at each team’s resumes, they are basically forced to look at who they beat and didn’t beat, and obviously more games are played in-conference, especially this season. Wichita St. is rated behind Memphis in the Net, and their 13-4 record includes a 9-0 mark against Quad 3 & 4 teams. On the plus side, the Shockers finished 9-1 with a win over Houston. The Shockers need to make it to at least the semifinals of the AAC Tournament; a loss to the USF-Temple winner would really jeopardize their tournament hopes. On the good side, Wichita looks to have an express seeding to the AAC Championship Game, so we give them a better than 50-50 chance to Dance.

Syracuse: Yesterday’s pasting of potential Bubble team North Carolina St. has given the Orangemen a legitimate shot to make the field with an upset of Virginia today. SU is now at 39 in the Net. A 1-6 Quad 1 record is poor, but the 5-1 Quad 2 has the Orangemen in position to move into the at-large positive category with a win today. A loss to the Cavs would not totally eliminate SU, depending on what happens in other tournaments. We give SU a 55% chance of making the field. If they stay in the top 40 of the Net, they should get in.

Boise St.: The Mountain West Conference has four teams competing for bids. There might be three awarded. Boise State has 2 Quad 1 wins, and their Net is currently 43. A win over Nevada today is mandatory. If they get that win, then a decent showing against San Diego State tomorrow should be satisfactory. We give BSU a 55-60% chance of making the field.

Colorado St.: Wins at San Diego St. and at Utah St. had the Rams at the top of the MWC in January, but CSU has swooned since and is in danger of playing themselves out of the field. With a Net of 50, a quarterfinal round loss to Fresno St. today would be a dagger in their hearts or dancing shoes. The Rams must win today, and then they might have to beat the Utah St.-UNLV winner tomorrow. If they play USU, it could be an eliminator game.

UCLA: The Bruins are March Madness royalty. The humans on the Selection Committee will find a way to justify placing them in the Dance. A quarterfinal win in the Pac-12 Tournament would more than suffice along with their moving into the top 40 in the Net. UCLA has a 75-80% chance to make the field.

Michigan St.: The Spartans will be hurt if the Net Ratings prove to be as important as the first 16-team pre-selection made by the Committee a month ago. MSU is a low 67 in the Net, but they are coming off a win over 1-seed line Michigan and have 5 Quad 1 wins. The Big Ten schedule, along with a win at Duke, should be enough for Sparty to celebrate with a Dance ticket on Sunday. A win over Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament sets it in stone.

Ole Miss: The Rebels have work to do. They would not be in the field if the Selections were made today, but Ole Miss has a path to get in. They absolutely must defeat South Carolina today and then will have to upset LSU tomorrow to raise their Net of 53 up to the low 40’s at worst. Two wins over Missouri and one over Tennessee are not enough to warrant their selection. Their chances of making the Dance are around 30%.

Utah St.: The Aggies are just outside the Field today, but they swept San Diego State and have a resume ready to move them into the field with a win over UNLV today and then a win over Colorado State in a knockout game tomorrow. If they don’t win two games, they lose out.

SMU: The Mustangs need a lot of help to get in. Teams above them on this list have to play their way out of the field, and SMU needs to do damage in the AAC Tournament, maybe make it to the Championship Game against Houston (not Memphis). A 55 Net is too low to warrant a bid. Their chance to get in is about 20%.

Memphis: It’s awful that the only a desperation heave at the basket by an out of control Houston player could keep the Tigers out of the field. Memphis had a chance to move up into the 40’s in the Net and now sits at 52, which is not good enough. Memphis will have to make it to the Championship Game of the AAC Tournament and face Wichita State in that game to still have an at-large shot. More realistically, the Tigers may need to qualify automatically at this point.

Seton Hall & St. John’s: These two teams face off today in the Big East Tournament. The winner stays alive, while the loser can only think about NIT Selection. The winner still has work to do, maybe needing another tournament win, especially over top-seed Villanova. If Georgetown beats the Hoyas today, then the winner of the SH-SJ game must beat GU tomorrow. St. John’s might still need one more win after that.

Duke: The Eastern equivalent of UCLA, the Blue Devils are March Madness royalty. Like a heavyweight champion in a boxing match, if it goes 15 rounds, the champion will at the least win on a split decision. Duke will qualify for that split decision today if they beat Florida St. The Committee will invent the reason to leapfrog the Blue Devils over eight teams to get them in the Field. A loss today would make them 13-12 with a Net in the 50’s, so they need that win today.

Saint Louis: The Billikens were greatly harmed by a multiple-game cancellation in the regular season. Wins over LSU and St. Bonaventure in the regular season are not going to be enough, and SLU lost to the Bonnies in the A-10 Tournament. It’s not going to be a happy Sunday in the Gateway to the West.

March 5, 2021

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

2Ohio St.AlabamaIowaWest Virginia
4PurdueFlorida St.TexasOklahoma St.
5Texas TechCreightonVirginiaUSC
8OregonVirginia TechSan Diego St.LSU
9MarylandLoyola (Chi.)RutgersUCLA
10ConnecticutNorth CarolinaLouisvilleSt. Bonaventure
11Georgia TechVCUColorado St.Boise St.
12Western Ky.ToledoDrakeMichigan St.XavierWichita St.
14LibertyUNCGAbilene ChristianS. Dakota St.
15E. WashingtonSienaVermontCleveland St.
16Grand CanyonJames MadisonTexas St.WagnerPrairie ViewNorfolk St.

The Outside Looking In

69Saint Louis
70Seton Hall
74Utah State
78Louisiana Tech
80St. John’s

March 2, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Central FloridaTulsa3.4
South FloridaMemphis-8.4
PittsburghWake Forest8.6
Georgia TechDuke2.4
West VirginiaBaylor-4.2
Iowa St.Texas-11.4
Texas TechTCU12.3
Michigan St.Indiana-0.1
Cleveland St.Purdue Fort Wayne10.0
Northern KentuckyDetroit-0.9
Wright St.Milwaukee15.8
OaklandYoungstown St.3.0
Central MichiganToledo-15.6
Kent St.Ohio3.4
Eastern MichiganBall St.-4.7
Northern IllinoisWestern Michigan-2.5
Bowling GreenMiami (O)5.6
Boise St.Fresno St.14.8
South CarolinaArkansas-7.5
Ole MissKentucky1.0
New Mexico St.UT Rio Grande Valley6.2

Tuesday Night Must Watch TV

If you were going to choose a weeknight to stay home and watch basketball, this is the penultimate Tuesday night of the regular season. You have multiple excellent games today and tonight.

It all starts with an afternoon game at 2 PM Eastern Time on ESPN3 when Akron visits Buffalo in a key MAC game that will directly affect MAC Tournament seedings.

At 5 PM, West Virginia hosts Baylor on ESPN. After losing at Kansas, the Bears could begin to face a little jeopardy on the 1-seed line with a loss to the Mountaineers, who could move up to a 1-seed if they win out.

The regular season game of the year should have been Gonzaga and Baylor back in December, but that game became a Covid casualty. Tonight’s Michigan-Illinois game in Ann Arbor, at 7 PM on ESPN, could easily be a Final Four preview, as the two Big Ten powers both have the talent and cohesiveness to win four games in March Madness. This game should be as exciting as some of the Duke-North Carolina March games in the past, maybe even more exciting.

The Big Ten festivities don’t end with the biggie in A2. At 8PM on the Big Ten Network, Michigan State hosts Indiana in a must-win game for the Spartans. The Hoosiers have played themselves out of at-large status with too many losses.

At the same time on the ACC Network, Georgia Tech hosts Duke in what in effect is an at-large qualifying game. This is the best Yellow Jacket team in a decade or more, while Duke cannot afford another conference loss and still harbor at-large hopes.

There’s one more really Big game from the Big Ten. At 9PM, Wisconsin visits Purdue in a crucial game for Big Ten Tournament seeding. This game will air on ESPN2.

Finally at 9PM, on ESPN, Ole Miss hosts Kentucky in a must-win game. The Rebels must win tonight, beat Vanderbilt on Saturday, and then advance to the SEC Tournament Championship Game to have an at-large bid possibility.

March 1, 2021

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:10 pm
2IowaOhio St.AlabamaWest Virginia
3KansasHoustonVillanovaFlorida St.
5USCOklahomaTexas TechTennessee
6PurdueOklahoma St.WisconsinClemson
8Virginia TechRutgersSan Diego St.LSU
9UCLAOregonMarylandLoyola (Chi.)
10North CarolinaLouisvilleConnecticutBoise St.
11VCUSt. BonaventureGeorgia TechColorado St.Xavier
12Western Ky.ColgateDrakeSeton HallWichita St.
14Wright St.LibertyUNCGAbilene Christian
15Grand CanyonE. WashingtonSienaVermont
16S. Dakota St.James MadisonTexas St.WagnerPrairie ViewNorfolk St.

Play-In Games: 11-Seed: Colorado St. vs. Xavier / 12-Seed: Seton Hall vs. Wichita St.

16-Seed: Texas St. vs. Norfolk St. / 16-Seed: Wagner vs. Prairie View

First 8 Out

69Michigan St.
72Saint Louis
75Utah St.

February 28, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:58 am

Sunday, February 28, 2021

HoustonSouth Florida18.8
NC StatePittsburgh3.3
New HampshireUMass Lowell0.8
IdahoMontana St.-13.0
MarylandMichigan St.4.4
Ohio St.Iowa0.1
Western KentuckyFlorida Intl.16.3
Delaware St.Coppin St.-5.8
South Carolina St.Florida A&M-10.4
Utah St.Nevada6.8
ArmyBoston University7.0
NavyLoyola (MD)6.4
Oral RobertsWestern Illinois10.3
South DakotaNorth Dakota St.0.9

Coming Monday–Updated ratings and Bracketology plus a first look at early conference tournament action, including some preliminary “Bracketnomics” data.

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