The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 4, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Monday, March 4, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:32 am

March 4, 2019

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Duke

Gonzaga

Virginia

Kentucky

2

Tennessee

Michigan

North Carolina

Michigan St.

3

Houston

LSU

Purdue

Texas Tech

4

Kansas

Marquette

Wisconsin

Florida St.

5

Kansas St.

Virginia Tech

Nevada

Iowa St.

6

Maryland

Mississippi St.

Cincinnati

Villanova

7

Buffalo

Louisville

Baylor

Iowa

8

Auburn

Wofford

Syracuse

Washington

9

Ole Miss

Virginia Commonwealth

Florida

St. John’s

10

TCU

Texas

Central Florida

Ohio St.

11

Oklahoma

Alabama

Minnesota

Seton Hall

12

North Carolina St./Temple

Arizona St./Utah St.

Belmont

Lipscomb

13

New Mexico St.

Old Dominion

Vermont

Hofstra

14

UC-irvine

Yale

South Dakota St.

Texas St.

15

Montana

Colgate

Drake

Wright St.

16

Campbell

Sam Houston St.

Norfolk St./St. Francis (PA)

Siena/Texas Southern

 

 

Last 4 In

North Carolina St.

Arizona St.

Utah St.

Temple

Last 4 Bye

Oklahoma

Alabama

Minnesota

Seton Hall

First 4 Out

Clemson

Indiana

Georgetown

Furman

Next 4 Out

Murray St.

Nebraska

Xavier

Saint Mary’s

 

Bids By Conference

Bids

ACC

8

Big Ten

8

Big 12

8

SEC

8

AAC

4

Big East

4

MWC

2

Pac-12

2

One-Bid Leagues

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 1, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Friday, March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

Seed Team Team Team Team
1 Gonzaga Virginia Kentucky Duke
2 Michigan St. North Carolina Tennessee Michigan
3 Houston Purdue LSU Texas Tech
4 Kansas Virginia Tech Marquette Nevada
5 Kansas St. Iowa St. Florida St. Mississippi St.
6 Maryland Wisconsin Baylor Villanova
7 Wofford Cincinnati Louisville Buffalo
8 Ohio St. Florida Syracuse Iowa
9 St. John’s Washington Auburn Oklahoma
10 Ole Miss TCU North Carolina St. Virginia Commonwealth
11 Central Florida Texas Utah St. Temple
12 Alabama/Seton Hall Clemson/Minnesota Belmont Lipscomb
13 New Mexico St. Hofstra Yale Vermont
14 Old Dominion South Dakota St. UC-Irvine Montana
15 Texas St. Radford Drake Wright St.
16 Colgate Sam Houston Texas Sou./St. Francis (PA) Siena/Norfolk St.

 

Last 4 In Alabama Clemson Minnesota Seton Hall
Last 4 Bye Central Florida Texas Utah St. Temple
First 4 Out Arizona St. Butler Georgetown Furman
Next 4 Out UNC Greensboro Dayton Murray St. Memphis

 

Bids By Conference Bids
ACC 9
Big Ten 8
Big 12 8
SEC 8
AAC 4
Big East 4
MWC 2
One-Bid Leagues 25

 

Note: We expect a school other than Washington will win the Pac-12 Conference Tournament and thus allow two Pac-12 teams to go to the NCAA Tournament.  For now, Arizona State has played itself outside the at-large pool after a short stay in the last four in.

We also believe there is a decent chance that a school other than Buffalo might win the MAC Championship.  If this happens, then the MAC will get two teams in the field.

Wofford is most likely going to get in the field whether or not they earn the automatic bid from the Southern Conference.  Should UNC-Greensboro, Furman, or East Tennessee State win the SoCon Tournament over Wofford, then we believe the Terriers will get an at-large bid, giving this league its first ever multi-bid season.

The Ohio Valley Conference could get consideration for two teams if Belmont and Murray State keep winning and meet in the Championship Game of the OVC Tournament.

Should the nearly impossible happen, and Gonzaga loses in the West Coast Conference Tournament, then the WCC will get two bids.  Saint Mary’s could strengthen its at-large hopes if they upset Gonzaga Saturday night.

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Monday, February 18, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:11 pm

February 18, 2019

Seed

School

Conf.

1

Gonzaga

West Coast

1

Duke

ACC

1

Virginia

ACC

1

Tennessee

SEC

2

Kentucky

SEC

2

Michigan St.

Big Ten

2

Michigan

Big Ten

2

North Carolina

ACC

3

Purdue

Big Ten

3

Houston

American Athletic

3

Kansas

Big 12

3

Nevada

Mountain West

4

LSU

SEC

4

Marquette

Big East

4

Iowa St.

Big 12

4

Virginia Tech

ACC

5

Louisville

ACC

5

Iowa

Big Ten

5

Texas Tech

Big 12

5

Wisconsin

Big Ten

6

Villanova

Big East

6

Maryland

Big Ten

6

Florida St.

ACC

6

Kansas St.

Big 12

7

Cincinnati

American Athletic

7

Buffalo

Mid-American

7

Auburn

SEC

7

Mississippi St.

SEC

8

Wofford

Southern

8

Washington

Pac-12

8

Baylor

Big 12

8

Ole Miss

SEC

9

TCU

Big 12

9

Texas

Big 12

9

North Carolina St.

ACC

9

Utah St.

Mountain West

10

St. John’s 

Big East

10

Syracuse

ACC

10

Minnesota

Big Ten

10

Central Florida

American Athletic

11

Temple

American Athletic

11

Oklahoma

Big 12

11

Clemson

ACC

11

Ohio St.

Big Ten

11

Seton Hall

Big East

12

Alabama

SEC

12

Butler

Big East

12

Hofstra

Colonial

12

Lipscomb

Atlantic Sun

12

Virginia Commonwealth

Atlantic 10

13

New Mexico St.

WAC

13

Belmont

Ohio Valley

13

Vermont

America East

13

Yale

Ivy League

14

Old Dominion

CUSA

14

South Dakota St.

Summit

14

UC Irvine

Big West

14

Northern Kentucky

Horizon

15

Texas St.

Sun Belt

15

Montana

Big Sky

15

Missouri St.

Missouri Valley

15

Radford

Big South

16

Bucknell

Patriot

16

Sam Houston St.

Southland

16

Rider

Metro Atlantic

16

Texas Southern

SWAC

16

St. Francis (PA)

Northeast

16

Norfolk St.

MEAC

 

First Four OUT

Indiana

Florida

Arizona St.

Furman

 

Next Four Out

Nebraska

Creighton

Davidson

Murray St.

 

Last Four IN

Ohio St.

Seton Hall

Alabama

Butler

 

Last Four BYES

Central Florida

Temple

Oklahoma

Clemson

 

First Four

For the first time this year, we have staggered the seed lines for the First Four games involving the final four at-large bids.  We have one game pitting 11-seeds and another game pitting 12-seeds.  This could change before Selection Sunday.

For your information, the First Four games have mostly  been with 11-seeds, but there have been 12-seeds, and even 13-seeds and 14-seeds earlier in this decade.

Because of the rule that no teams from the same conference can face off in the First Four games, we had to move two teams in the seed line to prevent a conference matchup in Dayton.

11-Seed Line: Ohio State vs. Seton Hall

12-Seed Line: Alabama vs. Butler

16-Seed Line: Rider vs. Norfolk St.

16-Seed Line: Texas Southern vs. Fairleigh Dickinson

 

There are four teams that if they lose in their conference tournament, they will still be an at-large entry, and their conference will improve from one to two bids.

Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference

Washington in the Pac-12 Conference

Wofford in the Southern Conference

Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference

 

There are four other Mid-Major teams that need to be in the discussion by the Selection Committee (in addition to the Mid-Majors already on our Bubble above).

Murray State (or Belmont) in the Ohio Valley Conference

Liberty (or Lipscomb) in the Atlantic Sun Conference

Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference

Toledo in the Mid-American Conference

 

 

 

February 15, 2019

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For Friday, February 15, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:28 pm

February 15, 2019

Seed

SCHOOL

Conf.

1

Duke

ACC

1

Virginia

ACC

1

Tennessee

SEC

1

Gonzaga

WCC

2

Kentucky

SEC

2

Michigan St.

Big Ten

2

Michigan

Big Ten

2

North Carolina

ACC

3

Houston

AAC

3

Texas Tech

Big 12

3

Purdue

Big Ten

3

Nevada

MWC

4

Kansas

Big 12

4

LSU

SEC

4

Marquette

Big East

4

Louisville

ACC

5

Iowa St.

Big 12

5

Wisconsin

Big Ten

5

Villanova

Big East

5

Virginia Tech

ACC

6

Maryland

Big Ten

6

Cincinnati

AAC

6

Buffalo

MAC

6

Iowa

Big Ten

7

Florida St.

ACC

7

Kansas St.

Big 12

7

Mississippi St.

SEC

7

Auburn

SEC

8

Washington

Pac-12

8

Ole Miss

SEC

8

Baylor

Big 12

8

TCU

Big 12

9

Texas

Big 12

9

North Carolina St.

ACC

9

Utah St.

MWC

9

Central Florida

AAC

10

Florida

SEC

10

Oklahoma

Big 12

10

Clemson

ACC

10

Alabama

SEC

11

St. John’s

Big East

11

Ohio St.

Big Ten

11

Syracuse

ACC

11

Butler

Big East

11

Seton Hall

Big East

11

Minnesota

Big Ten

12

Wofford

SoCon

12

Lipscomb

ASUN

12

VCU

Atlantic 10

12

Hofstra

CAA

13

New Mexico St.

WAC

13

Yale

Ivy League

13

Belmont

OVC

13

Vermont

America East

14

Old Dominion

C-USA

14

South Dakota St.

Summit League

14

Northern Kentucky

Horizon

14

UC Irvine

Big West

15

Texas St.

Sun Belt

15

Montana

Big Sky

15

Loyola (Chi)

MVC

15

Radford

Big South

16

Bucknell

Patriot

16

Abilene Christian

Southland

16

Quinnipiac

MAAC

16

Texas Southern

SWAC

16

St. Francis (PA)

NEC

16

Norfolk St.

MEAC

Last 4 Byes

Clemson

Alabama

St. John’s (NY)

Ohio St.

Last 4 In

Syracuse

Butler

Seton Hall

Minnesota

First 4 Out

Indiana

Temple

Seton Hall

UNC Greensboro

Next 4 Out

Florida

Nebraska

Creighton

Davidson

First Four Pairings

Syracuse vs. Seton Hall

Butler vs. Minnesota

Quinnipiac vs. Norfolk St.

Texas Southern vs. St. Francis (PA)

Beginning today, we are using all the same criteria being used by the Selection Committee to pick the bracket the way we believe the Committee will select.  Based on the Committee’s 16-team preview last weekend, we adjusted our bracket to try to mimic their actions.  The major adjustment was increasing the clout of strength of schedules.  Thus, we greatly downgraded all the Mid-Major and Low-Major contenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 13, 2019

Bubbles Are Boiling

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:16 pm

Five Sundays from today, the NCAA Selection Committee will choose and seed the 68-team field for the NCAA Tournament.  At the present time, the Bubble list has begun to emerge with greater clarity.  There are about three dozen teams still competing for at-large bids, and more than half will not get into the Dance.

Some of the teams under consideration will eventually receive automatic bids when they win their conference tournaments.  On the other hand, there could be a few major upsets in the power conference tournaments forcing a bubble to pierce for one of these teams.

Let’s look at the principle boiling bubbles today.  We will let you decide if their resumes warrant bids or warrant bans to the NIT.

Team

Net

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Alabama

44

2-6

6-1

4-2

3-0

Arizona State

72

3-1

4-3

3-1

6-2

Baylor

32

3-5

7-1

1-0

5-2

Belmont

60

3-1

2-1

2-2

11-0

Butler

53

1-7

6-3

4-1

3-0

Central Florida

45

0-2

4-2

7-0

6-1

Clemson

39

2-6

2-2

5-0

6-0

Creighton

57

2-9

3-2

4-0

3-0

Davidson

68

0-2

3-1

6-3

8-0

Florida

42

1-9

3-1

3-1

5-0

Hofstra

51

0-2

0-1

4-1

16-0

Indiana

49

4-8

2-3

1-0

6-0

Lipscomb

30

2-3

2-1

2-0

12-0

Minnesota

58

3-6

4-2

4-0

5-0

New Mexico St.

59

0-1

2-1

8-2

9-0

North Carolina St

37

1-6

5-0

2-1

9-0

Ohio St.

36

4-5

3-2

4-0

5-0

Oklahoma

41

3-8

5-2

7-0

0-0

Ole Miss

35

3-7

3-0

4-0

6-0

Saint Mary’s

50

1-5

1-2

6-3

7-0

San Francisco

52

0-4

1-1

5-1

11-0

Seton Hall

69

2-6

7-1

2-2

3-0

St. John’s

48

4-4

4-1

2-2

8-0

TCU

33

1-7

5-0

7-0

4-0

Temple

55

1-5

5-1

4-1

7-0

Texas

34

4-6

4-4

3-1

3-0

Toledo

54

0-1

2-0

8-3

9-0

UNC Greensboro

46

1-3

1-0

5-0

13-0

Utah State

38

1-2

2-2

4-2

10-0

VCU

43

1-3

2-2

7-1

7-0

Wofford

28

2-4

3-0

4-0

9-0

Yale

62

0-3

1-0

5-1

8-0

 

Team

EFF.

SOS

Rd/Neut

Con

Ovr

Alabama

48

17

6-7

6-5

15-9

Arizona State

63

66

5-4

7-4

16-7

Baylor

34

50

5-4

7-4

16-8

Belmont

64

160

8-3

10-2

19-4

Butler

53

25

4-8

5-7

14-11

Central Florida

50

89

6-3

7-3

17-5

Clemson

31

36

4-6

5-5

15-8

Creighton

49

12

5-6

4-7

13-11

Davidson

75

106

7-6

9-2

18-6

Florida

38

29

5-7

4-6

12-11

Hofstra

67

225

7-4

11-1

21-4

Indiana

45

37

3-7

4-9

13-11

Lipscomb

33

204

9-3

11-0

20-4

Minnesota

56

51

5-6

6-7

16-8

New Mexico St.

54

134

9-3

9-1

20-4

North Carolina St

40

194

5-4

5-6

17-7

Ohio St.

32

49

6-3

6-6

16-7

Oklahoma

42

7

7-6

3-9

15-10

Ole Miss

39

63

7-4

6-4

16-7

Saint Mary’s

44

47

3-8

6-4

15-10

San Francisco

47

121

5-5

6-4

18-6

Seton Hall

66

40

6-6

5-6

14-9

St. John’s

52

57

7-4

6-6

18-7

TCU

37

20

6-5

5-6

17-7

Temple

76

56

8-5

7-4

17-7

Texas

28

3

4-6

6-6

14-11

Toledo

51

126

9-3

8-3

20-4

UNC Greensboro

80

188

10-2

11-1

22-3

Utah State

43

115

8-5

8-3

18-6

VCU

46

54

6-5

8-2

17-6

Wofford

30

133

8-3

13-0

21-4

Yale

72

123

7-4

5-1

15-4

 

Here’s an explanation of each column

Net: This is their official NCAA NET rating, the new and improved formula that supersedes all other, like the RPI.

Q1-Q4: These are the won-loss records for each quadrant.  The Quadrants are broken up into these groups.

Quadrant #

Home

Neutral

Road

Quadrant 1

1-30

1-50

1-75

Quadrant 2

31-75

51-100

76-135

Quadrant 3

76-160

101-200

136-240

Quadrant 4

161-353

201-353

241-353

If you play the #101 team at home, this is a Quadrant 3 opponent.  If you play the #101 team on their floor, this is a Quadrant 2 opponent.  If you host the #50 team, it counts as Quadrant 2, but if you play that team on a neutral floor or on the road, it is a Quadrant 1 game.

EFF.: This is the ranking in total efficiency, which is offensive efficiency combined with defensive efficiency and adjusted for strength of schedule.

SOS: This is the ranking of strengths of schedule for each team.  Keep in mind that the difference between #1 and #50 may be minimal, while the difference between #51 and #100 may be considerably more.

Rd/Neut: This is the combined road and neutral court won-loss records

Con and Ovr: Although not used by the Committee, this is the conference and overall won-loss records for each team for you to look at and decide for yourself if a certain team belongs in the Dance.  We are not 100% convinced that committee members don’t subconsciously let this stat creep into their decision-making process.  If a team finishes four games under .500 in their league while another finishes four game over .500, that four game swing is going to count for something, even if it isn’t supposed to count.

Trying To Think Like A Committee Member

Let’s look at each school on this list.

Alabama

With wins over Kentucky and Mississippi State, the Committee might overlook losses to Northeastern and Georgia State.  Two of the Tide’s non-conference losses are to probable NCAA Tournament teams Central Florida and Baylor.  The Tide sits at 6-5 in the SEC and projects to a 10-8 or 11-7 final mark.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation with possibility of starting in Dayton.

Arizona St.

The Pac-12 surely cannot be limited to just one bid, can it?  The Committee is not supposed to look at this metric, but this is no different than when the judge tells the jury to disregard a remark from a sustained objection in a court room.  Of course, it is remembered.

Arizona State beat Kansas and Mississippi State.  This past weekend, they handed Washington their first Pac-12 loss.  The Sun Devils lost a close game to Nevada.  They also lost at home to Princeton and recently were blown out at home by Pac-12 cellar dweller Washington State by 21 points.  They also lost at SEC last place Vanderbilt by 16, and they barely beat SEC #13 Georgia.

Does the Kansas win and close loss to Nevada do enough for the Sun Devils?  Their NET rating is 72, and their strength of schedule is 66.  In their favor, Arizona State has a winning record away from Tempe.

Verdict: Sorry, nothing in the inbox but some ads for hotels near Madison Square Garden in late March that you probably won’t need.

Baylor

The Bears lost early in the season to some really weak teams in Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin, but the TSU loss may turn out to be to a future NCAA Tournament team.  At 7-4 in the Big 12 with wins over Texas Tech, Iowa State, and TCU, plus a sweep of Oklahoma, Baylor is on the inside as of now.  We project Baylor to finish 10-8 in the league, and with this league’s strength, Coach Scott Drew can sleep peacefully when his team is eventually ousted in the Big 12 Tournament.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation and does not have to make travel arrangements to Dayton.

 

Belmont

Every year, Coach Rick Byrd has his Bruins among consideration for an NCAA Tournament bid, and this year is no different.  Belmont won at UCLA and Murray State, and they swept rival Lipscomb, who is in the top 30 and also in discussion for a potential at-large bid.  Among their losses is to Purdue in West Lafayette, but also among the losses are two to Jacksonville State.

We project Belmont to win out in the regular season to enter the OVC Tournament at 16-2 in the conference and 24-4 overall.  The Bruins will be the mild favorite to win the automatic bid, but Murray State, Austin Peay, and Jacksonville State will have shots as well.  If Belmont lost to Murray in the Championship Game and finished 26-5, the Bruins would have to be part of the at-large discussion.

Verdict: The Bruins need to win the automatic bid and then become a very game 12-seed.  Too many Bubble teams have to fold for Belmont to rise up and secure an at-large bid.  We believe as an automatic bid-winner and #12 seed, the Bruins are equipped with the talent and coaching to win their first tournament game after some near misses.

 

Butler

This Bulldogs team is not in the class with some of their recent NCAA Tournament teams.  A lone Quadrant 1 win came in a neutral contest with Florida, a team which they played a second time a month later and lost by close to 40 points.

The next most impressive victory is a home win over Ole Miss.  Butler’s NET rating of 53 is on the in-out line, but in their favor is a #25 strength of schedule

Verdict: We hear Dayton is lovely in March.  Even if it snows several inches, you will be very happy you got to visit Southwestern Ohio.  It’s an easy 2 hour drive.

 

Central Florida

The Golden Knights beat Alabama and Temple, and they lost to Houston.  UCF should get to 10 wins in the American Athletic Conference, but the Knights need to pull off one big win to solidify their at-large standing against their peers.  UCF will get that chance with games remaining with Cincinnati and Houston.  A sweep of South Florida might also be impressive enough to push them over the top.

Verdict: Hanging on to a First Four bid for now

 

Clemson

The Tigers don’t have many great wins on their schedule.  Their recent upset of Virginia Tech and an earlier win over Lipscomb are the only Quadrant 1 victories.  In their favor, they are 11-0 against Q3 and Q4 combined, so their losses have been to good or great teams.

We project CU to go 8-10 in ACC play, which in most years gets an ACC team into the field, whether it is deserved or not.  Clemson might need one more upset to complete their resume-building.  They certainly need to hold serve against the teams beneath them in the league.  A win tonight at Miami would be mighty.  We think that a win at home over Florida State, North Carolina, or Syracuse would give them all the juice they need.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation and probably not one to Dayton

 

Creighton

The Big East is top heavy with two superior teams and a half dozen good but not great teams.  At 4-7 in league play, the Blue Jays have a lot of work left to do to get onto the upper half of the Bubble.

The one thing keeping Creighton in the discussion currently is the fact that they have played 12 Quadrant 1 games so far and have a top 15 strength of schedule.  However, they are only 2-10 in those games.

Creighton’s next four games are must-win games.  The Blue Jays have to take care of Xavier tonight in Cincinnati and then beat Seton Hall, DePaul, and Georgetown to improve to 8-7 when they travel to Marquette in March.  A 6-1 finish from here would put CU at 10-8 in the league and 19-12 overall, where an opening round win in the Big East Tournament would give the Blue Jays a strong chance to get in.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only if they meet the parameters set above.  As of today, we’d say their invitation would be to host a game in the NIT.

 

Davidson

Bob McKillop is one of the most underrated coaches in college basketball.  While Davidson has an exceptional history of greatness thanks to what legendary coach Lefty Driesell did 50 years ago, those were different times.  Driesell recruited four or five players as good as Stephen Curry, and he brought Davidson to the top five of the rankings in 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969.  McKillop inherited a mess when he took over this program that was coming off a 24-loss season plus the transfer of their one good player.  He’s now led the Wildcats for 30 seasons!

Of course, none of this means anything to the Selection Committee.  Davidson’s resume is iffy at this point, and without an automatic bid, it looks like a slim possibility.  Their only quality win to date is a home game victory over conference co-contender Virginia Commonwealth.  This is their only win against a top 100 team, and it came at home.  Unless they face VCU in the Conference Tournament, they will face just one other top 100 team the rest of the way.  The stars just don’t align for the Wildcats this year.

Verdict: They better win the automatic bid or plan on playing in the NIT, CBI, or CIT

 

Florida

Coach Michael White is underachieving in Gainesville, and, following in the footsteps of Billy Donovan, could find his seat heating up quickly if the Gators miss out on this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Florida’s schedule is the only reason why at 4-6 in the SEC and 12-11 overall that they are still in consideration as an at-large team.  The Gators are looking at 8-10 in the league and 16-15 overall.  With that record, they will have to win at least three SEC Tournament games to even be in the final discussion.

Verdict: One of the biggest disappointments of the season does not receive an NCAA bid and may not receive an NIT bid either

 

Hofstra

Make no bones about it, Hofstra is not a real at-large candidate.  However, we wanted to list the Pride here to show you their resume.  At 21-4, the Pride has no Q1 or Q2 wins.  They are 16-0 against Q4, and their strength of schedule ranks 225.  We wanted to show them to you so you can compare them with the other Mid-major teams on this list.  We could have also shown you UC-Irvine, a team in a similar boat with Hofstra, while Wofford, UNC Greensboro, Belmont, and Lipscomb have some tiny at-large hopes.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only if it is automatic

 

Indiana

This was supposed to be a much better year in Hoosierland, and like his brother Sean, Archie Miller has come under fire.  IU was supposed to contend with the Michigan schools and Purdue for the Big Ten title.  Instead, the Hoosiers find themselves mired in a tenth place tie in the Big Ten at 4-9/13-11.

Indiana has the bare minimum criteria to squeak in as a fortunate bubble team.  Their NET rating is just under 50, and most power league teams in the top 50 get into the field.  Their strength of schedule is 37, and this is okay for any major conference team on the bubble.  Their efficiency rating is also okay at 45, not great but adequate enough for a Big Ten team.

With 12 Quadrant 1 games and wins in four of those contests, the Hoosiers have proven they can compete at the top of the game.  Of their seven remaining games, five are against tough opponents, and Indiana needs to win two of those five games and four overall to enter the Big Ten Tournament not needing to win three games to feel comfortable about getting an at-large bid.

Verdict: At the present time, we have them as the #68 team in the field, and they would be slotted to go to Dayton, where they might have to play Butler. What a rivalry game played close enough for the fans to make the commute by car!

 

Lipscomb

The Atlantic Sun Conference is mid-major at best and borders on low-major status, but Florida Gulf Coast proved this league has the ability to send teams to the Sweet 16.

Lipscomb made its first NCAA Tournament appearance last year and scared North Carolina for a half.  This Bisons team is better than last year, and the former NAIA superpower might be talented enough to replicate what FGCU did earlier in the decade.

Lipscomb has played five Q1 games, all on the road and won twice, once against TCU.  They have no bad losses, going 14-0 against Q3 & Q4.  Among their losses is a four-pointer at Louisville.

If Lipscomb beats Liberty tonight in Nashville to complete the season sweep, they will almost assuredly win out to finish 16-0/25-4 before hosting all their conference tournament games.  It would take a lot to not be the automatic qualifier, but in the event they lost to Liberty in the finals, they would be 27-5 with a lot of positives on their resume.

Verdict: The Bisons are a very likely automatic qualifier, but if they were 27-5, it would take a lot of statistics-bending to exclude them from the at-large pool.  However, we have faith that the Selection Committee would find ways to ship Lipscomb to the NIT in favor of the ninth place team in the ACC or 10th place team in the Big Ten or even the fifth best Big East team, or even TCU who lost at home to this Lipscomb team.

 

Minnesota

Richard Pitino, Saul Phillips, Murray Bartow, and Bryce Drew know what it is like to have fathers that enjoyed long, successful careers in college basketball.  They also know what it is like to have their team’s fanatics wishing that those great coaches had created daughters rather than sons.  Pitino is on very thin ice in Minneapolis, and the Gophers must make the Big Dance if Pitino is to stay employed in the Cities in 2020.

The Gophers are in 8th place in the Big Ten with a 16-8 record overall.  This is just enough to meet the minimum for a Big Ten team.  Their NET rating is 59, which is right on the line for average lowest rating that gets in.  Three Quad 1 wins and a 5-6 record away from home gives the Gophers a decent shot at making the field.

Minnesota’s closing schedule could cinch their bid or kill their chances.  Their more winnable games are on the road, and the tougher opponents must come to Minneapolis.  Tonight’s game at Nebraska could be a bell-weather contest.  A loss might open the door for another bubble team to step up and pass the Gophers.

Verdict: For now, we believe the Selection Committee would send the Gophers an Invitation and even allow them to avoid the First Four.  However, a 3-4 finish to give UM a 9-11 mark in the league and 19-12 overall might put Minny on the wrong side of the Bubble if they lost their first Big Ten Tournament game.  Pitino loses his job if UM misses the Dance.

 

New Mexico St.

New Mexico State is not getting an at-large bid, even if the Aggies win out until the WAC Championship Game and then lose to Grand Canyon or Cal St. Bakersfield by one point in overtime.

Let’s look at their resume.  They lost at Kansas by three points, and that was their only Q1 game.  Even had they beaten Kansas by three, their resume is too thin with just one Q1 game.

NMSU is just one spot behind Minnesota in the NET Ratings, and the Aggies are 9-3 away from Las Cruces.  However, their strength of schedule rates at number 134, and we learned from the top-16 seed reveal last week just how much this year’s Committee valued strength of schedule.

Verdict: No At-large chance, but we believe this team could be 30-4 when they win the WAC’s automatic bid.  Coach Chris Jans has overcome a lot of adversity to resurrect his career.  NMSU will be a dangerous 12 or 13 seed.

 

North Carolina St.

Kevin Keatts is one of our favorite basketball coaches.  We are in high regard of his ability to evaluate talent and alter his schemes to best exploit opponent weaknesses and utilize his talent.  Even that embarrassing oops loss to Virginia Tech does not alter our opinion.  Keatts is a Final Four coach of the future, be it here or some place else.

This Wolf Pack team is not going to advance very far in the NCAA Tournament, but they will almost definitely receive a bid based on their results so far.

When an ACC team has a top 40 NET rating, they are going dancing.  NCSU is presently #39.  The Wolf Pack currently has a winning record away from Raleigh.

All is not peachy though with their resume.  Their Strength of Schedule is an unheard of for an ACC team #194, because they played six of the bottom 34 teams in Division 1, including the two weakest of all.  State only has one Q1 win all year, a home victory over Auburn which looks less impressive now than it did then.

The Pack can easily finish the regular season on a 5-2 sprint to a 10-8 regular season conference record, which gets an ACC team an at-large bid better than 95% of the time.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation as one of the last teams in that do not play in the First Four

 

Ohio St.

The Buckeyes really should not be in this discussion.  The only reason why we include them here is that they still need to avoid a total collapse.  At 6-6/16-7, if OSU goes 3-5 down the stretch, they will get into the field.

Road wins over Cincinnati, Indiana, and Creighton are impressive enough already, but we see the Buckeyes finishing no worse than 4-4 and possibly 5-3 to make their selection quite easy.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Oklahoma

Can a team that is 3-9 in their conference really be in the hunt for an at-large bid?  Oklahoma certainly hopes so, and thanks to the Big 12’s overall concentration of power, the Sooners do have a legitimate chance to get into the Field of 68 with a conference mark no better than 7-11.

In OU’s favor is a schedule that faced no Q4 teams and just seven Q3 teams.  Oklahoma went 7-0 in those games.  Their overall strength of schedule is #7, which means that a winning overall record is going to be enough to give them a chance.

Oklahoma has six games remaining prior to the league tourney, and if they go 3-3 with one of those wins coming against Kansas, and then they win their first Big 12 Tournament game, the Sooners will be in good enough shape to expect great things on March 17.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation if they go 3-3 plus one Big 12 Tournament win

 

Ole Miss

Ole Miss is 16-7, and all seven of their losses came to Q1 teams!  They have three Q1 wins, including one on the road against Mississippi State.

A 35 NET rating and 39 Efficiency rating makes their resume complete.  At this point, Ole Miss is competing for a 7 or 8 seed and not needing to worry about missing out on the Dance, unless they totally collapse.  Coach Kermit Davis has done an incredible job in his first year in Oxford.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels have received an at-large bid in the past, but they also beat Gonzaga in the past.  This year, it appears out of reach, and a 11-5/22-12 final record (the best possible without beating Gonzaga, is most likely to fall short of the minimum needed criteria.

Verdict: SMC is going to have to beat Gonzaga to have any chance, and most likely, that win will have to come in the finals of the WCC Tournament, which would then give the Gaels the automatic bid and Gonzaga an at-large bid at the expense of another team on this list.

 

San Francisco

At one time earlier this year, USF looked like a potential at-large team.  A 13-point loss at home to Gonzaga followed by losses at Saint Mary’s and San Diego, basically necessitated winning at Gonzaga to have a real chance.  The Zags ran the Dons off the floor, ending USF’s at-large possibilities.

Verdict: No bid unless USF pulls off the upset and wins the West Coast Tournament Championship.  We cannot see USF beating Gonzaga, but if the Dons earn the #2 or #3 seed in the conference tournament, while BYU earns the #4 seed, then the Dons could hope that the Cougars upset Gonzaga, giving them a chance to knock off BYU for the automatic bid.

 

Seton Hall

Seton Hall is in a similar boat to Butler and Creighton in the up and down Big East race.  The Pirates have some pluses and some minuses in their quest to get a bid.

On the plus side are wins over Kentucky and Maryland, but countering those two great Q1 victories are losses at home to St. Louis and DePaul.  Three of their Q1 losses were by five points or less, and they have only played seven games against Q3 & Q4 teams.

With a 69 NET Rating, the Pirates need to improve their standing in the last five weeks.  The schedule is quite tough with the top two Big East teams (Villanova and Marquette) still on the schedule, and the Hall has road games with Creighton, St. John’s, and Georgetown.  We expect SHU to enter the Big East Tournament at 7-11/16-14, and the Big East is not strong enough for a team with fewer than 10 conference wins or nine with a couple of conference tournament wins to get in.

Verdict: Looks like they will be disappointed on Selection Sunday without an upset of Marquette or Villanova and a 9-9 Big East record

 

St. John’s

St. John’s is only a half-game in front of Seton Hall, but their resume might as well be 20 games ahead.  The Red Storm have played a much tougher schedule this year, and schedule strength appears to be very important, just behind NET Ratings, with the Committee.  Sweeps of Marquette and Creighton with their worst loss coming against DePaul gives SJU a strong shot at making the field.  Add a 7-4 record away from home, and the Red Storm would have to collapse to miss out this year.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation, probably an 8 or 9 seed

 

TCU

Like Ole Miss, all of TCU’s losses have come to Quadrant 1 teams.  They are 16-0 against all others.  A 33 NET rating and 20 Strength of Schedule Rating puts the Horned Frogs well up into the good graces of the Selection Committee.

TCU should be no worse than 9-9 in the Big 12, and when a league is as strong up and down as this one, the 9-9 team always gets into the field.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Temple

When a top 10 team has just one loss all year, the team that beat them gets added oomph in their resume.  Temple gave Houston their only loss so far this year.  The Owls lost their other five Q1 games to date.

Temple’s NET Rating is 55, which puts them on the Bubble for sure.  Their Strength of Schedule is 56, which is at the bottom of the allowed SOS for an at-large team.  An 8-5 record away from home (7-4 away from the City of Brotherly Love) makes their criteria smack dab in the hunt as one of the final teams in our highest teams out.

Temple can go 5-2 the rest of the regular season to finish at 12-6 in the league.  With a win in the AAC Tournament, that would give the Owls at least 23 wins, and that would leave them exactly where they are now–in the middle of the discussion between teams number 67 and 70.  A win at South Florida this weekend would really help.

 

Texas

The Longhorns have the worst record of teams that appear to be in good shape with the Selection Committee.  At 6-6/14-11, UT still has work to do just to guarantee a plus .500 record.  They have played the third toughest schedule in the nation, and they own wins over North Carolina, Purdue, Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor.

Add a 34 NET Rating and 28 Efficiency Rating, and Texas only needs to get enough wins down the stretch to guarantee an at-large bid.  A 9-9 Big 12 record does the trick.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Toledo

The PiRate Ratings are big fans of the Mid-Major conferences that have been around for decades, and the MAC is one of those leagues.  Toledo was really good back in the late 1960’s when Steve Mix played for the Rockets prior to starting in the NBA.  Success has been limited for Toledo on the hardwoods since then.

This Toledo team has no chance of securing an at-large bid, and with a 30-point loss to Buffalo, it is hard to see them getting revenge in the championship game of the MAC Tournament.  Still, we include them in this write-up, because the MAC Tournament is always competitive, and the top-seeded team loses in it more than the average conference.

Toledo is one of three or four teams that could upset Buffalo, although this year’s Buffalo team has all the tools to sweep the regular season and conference tournament.  However, if Buffalo loses, then obviously another team must win the automatic bid, while Buffalo bursts a Bubble for another team as a certain at-large team.

A 9-3 record away from home makes this a dangerous team in Cleveland.  Toledo will waltz into Cleveland as the number one seed from the West Division, so Buffalo will have to beat two others before the Rockets will have to glare at the Bulls in a possible title game.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only bid winning automatic bid, but Buffalo still gets in if they lose the MAC Tournament

 

UNC Greensboro

This is a team no favorite from a power conference will want to see in a potential Round of 64 NCAA Tournament game.  UNCG is a tough matchup, and the Spartans have a unique style that is hard to prepare for on a couple day’s notice.

With a 46 NET Rating, UNCG is worthy of an at-large bid if they were to win out all the way to the Socon Championship Game and lose a close one to Wofford.  The Spartans are 10-2 away from Greensboro, but their issue is a schedule that is rated 188 (which is still ahead of North Carolina State).

If UNCG is to earn enough respect to be in the at-large pool, the Spartans must win their two big games this week.  They play at Furman tonight, and then meet Wofford in Spartanburg Saturday.  If UNCG wins out but loses in the SoCon Championship Game, they will be 30-4 and in the mix for one of the last four bids.

 

Utah St.

With a 38 NET Rating and 43 Efficiency Rating, Utah State should be in the almost safe range for an at-large bid, but the Aggies are still on the outside looking in thanks to a strength of schedule rated 115.  Utah State has seven regular season games left, and if they win out, they will enter the MWC Tournament at 15-3/25-6.  Most importantly, if they win out, it will mean the Aggies beat Nevada.  The boys from Reno come to Logan on March 2.  USU almost has to win that game to have any serious at-large chances, but they also have a chance to win the automatic bid in the tough Mountain West.  Nevada won the MWC last year and failed to make the tournament title game as the number one seed, so history could repeat.

Verdict: We believe the Aggies deserve an at-large bid as of today, and for now we will give the Selection Committee the benefit of the doubt in realizing that they deserve to be in

 

Virginia Commonwealth

At the current time, we actually have VCU as the likely automatic bid winner from the Atlantic 10, ahead of Davidson, but we included the Rams here to show you how close they are to qualifying as an at-large team.

VCU has a 43 NET Rating, 54 Strength of Schedule, and 46 Efficiency Rating.  This is already better than some of the other teams thought to be among the last four in and first four out.  They have a 6-5 record away from home and won at Texas.  They suffered narrow losses to Virginia and St. John’s.

We project VCU to finish 15-3 in the A-10 and 24-7 overall in the regular season.  If they lose in the conference tournament and finish 26-8, the Rams will be in the mix for an at-large bid.

Verdict: We believe VCU has the best chance of winning the A-10 Tournament and the automatic bid, but if they lose in the Championship Game, the Rams still have a chance depending on how many Power Conferences have major upsets or if teams like Buffalo and Nevada lose in their conference tournaments

Wofford

If we told you that an anonymous team was ranked 28 in the NET Ratings with the number 30 Efficiency Rating, and with a 20-point road win at the number four team in the SEC, and with four losses all year to North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma, you might reply that Auburn or Texas Tech will obviously make the NCAA Tournament, guessing from the information given that one of these two teams must be that anonymous team.

Mention Wofford to 99% of the general college basketball fandom public, and you are very likely to hear such fanatic tell you that they will be another one of those first round 25-point losers to some Big Ten team.

Wofford and UNC Greensboro both probably belong in the NCAA Tourmament.  Unfortunately, one of these two are likely to be team number 69, 70, 71, or 72.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation if they earn the automatic bid

 

Yale

There has never been an at-large Ivy League team, and there isn’t going to be one this year, even if Yale is probably better than a couple of teams seriously on the Bubble.

The Bulldogs’ best win is a neutral court victory over Miami of Florida.  Their resume won’t get them an at-large bid.  We project the Bulldogs to go 12-2 in the Ivy League to earn the top seed in the four-team tournament.  We also project Yale to win the Tournament to finish 24-5, where they will earn no better than a 13 seed and possible a 14 seed.  At 13, there are multiple potential 4 seeds that could be uspet by this Yale team.

 

December 28, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for December 29- January 1 Bowls and NFL Week 17

This is a very busy day here on the PiRate ship, as we will debut our 2018-19 version of PiRate Ratings Basketball later today.

The Land Sharps have been coming down to Earth since their blistering hot November, as December has not been kind to our five friends.  At the same time, the PiRate Ratings picks have continued to win in December, especially the Bowl game Money Lines, where we have experimented with playing the underdog in every game and finding the most favorable underdog Money Line odds.  With underdogs winning all three games on Thursday, the Return on Investment for this system to date is now 64.16%!  This includes a push in the Boston College and Boise State game that was cancelled due to severe lightning.

This Week’s Land Sharp Picks

Cal Gal Tiffany

Nevada -1 vs. Arkansas St.

Central Florida +8 vs. LSU

Texas +14 vs. Georgia

 

Stewed Meat

Mississippi St. -7 vs. Auburn

Penn St. -6 vs. Kentucky

Texas +14 vs. Georgia

 

Dean 615

Florida +6 vs. Michigan

Notre Dame +12.5 vs. Clemson

Oklahoma +15 vs. Alabama

 

Buckeye Michelle

Oklahoma St. +9 vs. Missouri

Ohio State – 6.5 vs. Washington

Texas +14 vs. Georgia

 

Friday Dog 13

Auburn -3 vs. Purdue

Michigan -5.5 vs. Florida

Clemson -12 vs. Notre Dame

 

The PiRate Ratings Picks

10-point Teasers
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Houston Jacksonville 17 Jacksonville
Green Bay Detroit 19 Detroit
New England N.Y. Jets 24.5 N.Y. Jets
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Minnesota Chicago 14.5 Chicago
Kansas City Oakland 24.5 Oakland
Philadelphia Washington 17.5 Washington
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
L.A. Rams San Francisco 0.5 L.A.Rams
L.A. Chargers Denver 17 Denver
Tennessee Indianapolis 7 Indianapolis
Team Team Total Pick
Houston Jacksonville 50 UNDER
Green Bay Detroit 34.5 OVER
Atlanta Tampa Bay 61.5 UNDER
Team Team Total Pick
New England N.Y. Jets 35 OVER
Chicago Minnesota 30 OVER
Oakland Kansas City 42.5 OVER
Team Team Total Pick
Philadelphia Washington 32 OVER
L.A.Rams San Francisco 38.5 OVER
L.A. Chargers Denver 31.5 OVER
13-point Teasers
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
New Orleans Carolina 21.5 Carolina
Miami Buffalo 8 Buffalo
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 3 Pittsburgh
Baltimore Cleveland 18.5 Cleveland
Team Team Total Pick
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 58.5 UNDER
Cleveland Baltimore 27.5 OVER
Arizona Seattle 25.5 OVER
Indianapolis Tennessee 30.5 OVER
Favorite Underdog Moneyline Pick
Michigan Florida +210 Florida
South Carolina Virginia +185 Virginia
Nevada Arkansas St. +105 Arkansas St.
Clemson Notre Dame +380 Notre Dame
Alabama Oklahoma +490 Oklahoma
Cincinnati Virginia Tech +195 Virginia Tech
Stanford Pittsburgh +195 Pittsburgh
Oregon Michigan St. +120 Michigan St.
Missouri Oklahoma St. +315 Oklahoma St.
Utah Northwestern +255 Northwestern
Texas A&M North Carolina St. +248 North Carolina St.
Mississippi St. Iowa +245 Iowa
LSU Central Florida +260 Central Florida
Penn St. Kentucky +220 Kentucky
Ohio St. Washington +220 Washington
Georgia Texas +410 Texas

 

Remember: Neither the Land Sharps or the PiRates wager real money on the selections presented here at this site.  We recommend you do the same.  This is for entertainment purposes only.

Check back at this site Friday afternoon for our first college basketball report of the season, featuring our top 25, picks of games involving teams in power conferences, and a little something else.

 

December 25, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 17: December 30, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
New Orleans Carolina 10.5 11.0 10.7 50
Houston Jacksonville 7.6 8.1 8.6 42
Green Bay Detroit 5.2 5.9 5.8 48
Tampa Bay Atlanta -2.1 -1.8 -1.0 50.5
N.Y. Giants Dallas 0.5 0.7 1.3 42.5
New England N.Y. Jets 12.4 13.0 12.7 47.5
Buffalo Miami 1.4 1.9 1.8 40
Minnesota Chicago 0.8 0.9 0.0 42.5
Kansas City Oakland 17.0 17.1 16.9 52.5
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 15.1 15.2 15.5 48
Baltimore Cleveland 9.7 9.8 9.2 44
Washington Philadelphia -8.2 -8.9 -8.4 45.5
Seattle Arizona 15.2 15.9 16.4 41
L.A. Rams San Francisco 13.5 13.7 13.5 49
Denver L.A. Chargers -4.7 -5.5 -5.4 43
Tennessee Indianapolis -2.0 -1.4 -2.6 45

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.0 105.1 104.9 105.0 22.5 10-5
N. Y. Jets 95.1 94.6 94.7 94.8 25 4-11
Miami 94.0 93.6 93.6 93.7 23 7-8
Buffalo 92.9 93.0 92.9 92.9 17 5-10
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 107.2 107.4 107.4 107.3 24.5 8-6-1
Baltimore 104.5 104.9 104.7 104.7 20 9-6
Cleveland 97.7 98.1 98.5 98.1 24 7-7-1
Cincinnati 95.1 95.2 94.9 95.1 23.5 6-9
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Indianapolis 102.9 102.3 103.3 102.8 25.5 9-6
Houston 102.4 102.5 103.0 102.6 24.5 10-5
Tennessee 98.8 98.9 98.8 98.8 19.5 9-6
Jacksonville 97.3 96.9 96.9 97.0 17.5 5-10
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 106.8 107.0 106.6 106.8 31 11-4
LA Chargers 104.3 105.0 104.8 104.7 23.5 11-4
Denver 98.7 98.5 98.4 98.5 19.5 6-9
Oakland 92.2 92.4 92.3 92.3 21.5 4-11
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.4 102.6 102.5 102.5 23.5 8-7
Dallas 100.5 100.3 99.9 100.2 19.5 9-6
N.Y. Giants 97.5 97.5 97.7 97.6 23 5-10
Washington 94.3 93.7 94.1 94.0 22 7-8
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 104.9 105.1 105.8 105.3 22 11-4
Minnesota 103.3 103.4 103.3 103.3 20.5 8-6-1
Green Bay 99.8 100.2 99.7 99.9 25 6-8-1
Detroit 97.6 97.3 96.8 97.2 23 5-10
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 112.3 112.3 112.3 112.3 27 13-2
Atlanta 100.0 99.9 99.8 99.9 25.5 6-9
Carolina 99.8 99.3 99.5 99.5 23 6-9
Tampa Bay 95.9 96.1 96.8 96.3 25 5-10
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 106.5 106.7 106.3 106.5 28 12-3
Seattle 104.6 104.7 105.2 104.8 23.5 9-6
San Francisco 95.5 95.5 95.3 95.4 21 4-11
Arizona 91.9 91.3 91.2 91.5 17.5 3-12

 

The Playoff Scenarios

AFC

1.) Kansas City Chiefs

If the Chiefs beat Oakland, they win the #1 seed in the AFC and will have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs to the Super Bowl.

If the Chiefs lose to Oakland, then they can fall to the #5 seed if the Chargers beat Denver.  If the Chargers also lose, then the Chiefs will still win the AFC West, but they could fall to the #2 seed if New England or Houston wins, and the #3 seed if both New England and Houston win.

 

2.) New England Patriots

If the Patriots beat the New York Jets, they can be no worse than the #2 seed no matter what Houston does.  If the Pats beat the Jets and Kansas City loses to Oakland, New England will grab the #1 seed and get homefield advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs.

If the Patriots lose to the Jets, and Baltimore beats Cleveland, then the Patriots lose a first round bye and will be the #3 seed if Indianapolis beats Tennessee and the #4 seed if Tennessee beats Indianapolis.

If the Patriots lose and Baltimore also loses, New England retains the #2 seed if Indianapolis beats Tennessee, but they fall to the #3 seed if Baltimore loses but Tennessee beats Indianapolis.

 

3.) Houston Texas

Houston can still earn the #1 seed, if the Texans beat Jacksonville, while Kansas City and New England both lose.  If Houston wins but either Kansas City or New England win their games, the Texans would be the #2 seed.  If Houston wins but Kansas City and New England both win, then Houston gets the #3 seed.

If Houston loses to Jacksonville, then the Texans fall into a wildcard spot, as the winner of the Tennessee-Indianapolis game would win the AFC South.  Houston would fall to a #6 seed with a loss.

 

4. ) Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers

If the Ravens beat Cleveland, they are the AFC North Champion.  They can earn the #2 seed if Houston and New England both lose.  They will earn the #3 seed if they win and either New England or Houston loses.  They will earn the #4 seed if both New England and Houston win.

If the Ravens lose, but Pittsburgh also loses, they will be the #4 seed, but if the Ravens lose and Pittsburgh wins, the Steelers will win the AFC North, and the Ravens will be eliminated.  In the rare event that Pittsburgh wins and Baltimore ties Cleveland, then Pittsburgh will win the tiebreaker and become the AFC North champions and #4 Seed.

If Pittsburgh and Baltimore both win, then the Steelers could only squeak in as a Wildcard team if Indianapolis and Tennessee were to tie.

 

5.) Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers can still win the AFC West and wrap up the top seed in the AFC if they beat Denver and Oakland beats Kansas City.  If Kansas City and the Chargers both win, then the Chargers are the #5 seed.

If the Chargers lose to Denver, then they are the #5 seed regardless of the outcomes of any other games.

 

6.) Tennessee Titans or Indianapolis Colts

Since this is the Sunday Night Game, both teams will know their fate when this game kicks off.

First, the winner of this game will be in the playoffs, while the loser will not be in the playoffs.  If the game ties, then either Indianapolis will be in the playoffs and Tennessee will be out, or both teams will be eliminated if Pittsburgh and Baltimore both win.

If Houston loses earlier in the day, then the winner of this game will win the AFC South.

If Tennessee beats Indianapolis:

The Titans can move up as high as the #2 seed if they beat the Colts, while New England, Houston, and Baltimore all lose.  The Titans can earn the #3 seed, if they beat the Colts, while New England and Houston lose but Baltimore wins or While Houston loses and Baltimore loses.  The Titans can earn the #4 seed if they beat the Colts, while Houston loses, and New England and Baltimore win.

If Tennessee beats Indianapolis, while Baltimore, New England, and Houston win, the Titans are the #6 seed.

If Indianapolis beats Tennessee:

The Colts can move no higher than a #3 seed if Houston loses to Jacksonville and Baltimore loses to Cleveland, no matter what happens in the other games.  If Indianapolis wins, Houston loses, and Baltimore wins, then the Colts are the #4 seed.

If Indianapolis wins and Houston wins, then the Colts are the #6 seed

 

NFC

1.) New Orleans Saints

The Saints have clinched the #1 overall seed in the NFC and have homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.  Thus, they can rest Drew Brees and other key players this week in a meaningless game against Carolina.

 

2.) Los Angeles Rams

If the Rams beat San Francisco or Chicago loses to Minnesota, the Rams are the #2 seed.

If the Rams lose to the 49ers, while Chicago beats Minnesota, the Rams fall to a #3 seed and lose a first round bye.

 

3.) Chicago Bears

If Chicago wins and the Rams lose, the Bears get a bye and the #2 seed.

If Chicago wins and the Rams win, or if the Bears lose, they will be the #3 seed.

 

4.) Dallas Cowboys

Dallas is the automatic #4 seed, win or lose against the Giants.  The Cowboys will rest their starters in a meaningless game that could be Eli Manning’s last in a Giants’ uniform.

 

5.) Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have clinched a Wildcard berth in the NFC Playoffs.  If Seattle wins, or Minnesota loses, then the Seahawks are the #5 seed.  If Seattle loses and Minnesota wins, the Seahawks fall to the #6 seed.

 

6.) Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles

If Minnesota beats Chicago, the Vikings earn a Wildcard Bid, and would be the #5 seed if Seattle loses and the #6 seed if Seattle wins.

If Minnesota loses, then if Philadelphia beats Washington, the Eagles will earn the Wildcard bid and #6 seed, and the Vikings would be eliminated.

If both Minnesota and Philadelphia lose, then the Vikings sneak in as the #6 seed.

In the rare event that Minnesota ties Chicago, the Vikings would still be the #6 seed at 8-6-2, even if Philadelphia wins to get to 9-7.

 

 

 

 

December 12, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for December 15-21 Bowls and NFL Week 15

The Return of the Land Sharps

After taking a week off to regroup, our five Land Sharps are ready to return to their hopefully winning ways after ending the season on a sour note.  As bowl season begins, Cal Gal Tiffany has opened a commanding lead in return on investment, maintaining a healthy double digit percentage profit that has been rather consistent for the last several weeks.  Tiffany admits that she knows more about numbers than football strategy, so maybe we can learn something from her.  She likes underdogs, and she likes numbers that are a half-point higher than typical game outcomes.  In other words, she has played a lot of 3 1/2, 7 1/2, 10 1/2, 14 1/2, and 17 1/2 point underdogs this year.  Tiffy believes the books know what they are doing in setting the lines, and there is no way she can outsmart them by trying to figure out which team is better or worse than the line.  She goes simply by the numbers, and it has helped her take a large lead in our little contest.

Stewed Meat is in second place, but Stewed has been playing the B-team of selections this year, because Stewed plays other picks for real and does well enough to make it a full-time profession in Nevada.

Buckeye Michelle is very unhappy.  She believes Ohio State is the only team that can beat Alabama, and her Buckeyes will not get that chance.  She also is unhappy, because she was in first place at the start of November and now has a record just above .500 with no profit.  Michelle and Tiffany are friendly rivals who have known each other for 10 years, and Tiffy has given Michie the business in recent weeks.  Now to make you more unhappy–these two ladies are what you would call “smokin’ hot” and unfortunately,  for all but two of the male gender, are taken.  The funny thing is their guys are not really into football, as they follow the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics and nothing else.  It’s the two ladies that occupy their woman caves to watch their games.

Dean615 was in the lead for a few weeks, but Dean says that a heavy November schedule made it hard to find time to study.  Dean says that he has had ample time to study the bowls.  Dean is the ex-football player who played in three bowl games and knows what it is like and believes he knows which teams are there to play and which just want to collect their bling packages and start their off seasons.

Friday Dog 13 is the renegade of our Land Sharps.  He has played a lot more favorites than underdogs, and it worked until No Fave November.  The Autumn winds raided his bank account, and sent him into the red at the wrong time of the year.  Friday Dog has had extracurricular issues this Autumn and also has not had a ton of time to devote to the lines as of late, but he should be able to study the bowls with more time.  You will see his theme in his first set of picks.  He is a fan of Mid-America.

And what about the PiRates themselves?  We have been contrarians to the Land Sharps.  When the Land Sharps began the season hot and profitable, the PiRates were sinking like rocks.  Then, after we noticed that our NFL teaser picks kept winning consistently, we began to add more teaser selections, and the last 5 weeks have been somewhat profitable.  Hopefully, this isn’t the kiss of death talking about it and including more of these selections.

Let’s start with the Land Sharps and their picks for the first week of bowl games.  All five made three selections.  Four of the five took the same team, and three of the five took another team, so take this for what you believe it is worth.  Also, a majority of the picks were on the underdogs.

#1) Cal Gal Tiffany

Season: 40-30-0 57.1%

Return on Investment: 10.0%

Georgia Southern -1 1/2 vs. Eastern Michigan

Western Michigan +12 1/2 vs. BYU

Tulane -3 1/2 vs. Louisiana

 

#2) Stewed Meat

Season: 38-32-3  54.3%

Return on Investment: 3.8%

North Texas +8 vs. Utah St.

Middle Tennessee +7 1/2 vs. Appalachian St.

Western Michigan +12 1/2 vs. BYU

 

#3) Buckeye Michelle

Season: 33-30-1  52.4%

Return on Investment: 0.0%

San Diego St. +3 vs. Ohio U

Tulane -3 1/2 vs. Louisiana

Western Michigan +12 1/2 vs. BYU

 

#4) Dean615

Season: 31-29-2  51.7%

Return on Investment: -1.5%

South Florida +2 1/2 vs. Marshall

Tulane -3 1/2 vs. Louisiana

Western Michigan +12 1/2 vs. BYU

 

#5) Friday Dog 13

Season: 36-35-1  50.7%

Return on Investment: -3.5%

Northern Illinois +2 1/2 vs. UAB

Toledo -5 1/2 vs. Florida International

Ohio U -2 1/2 vs. San Diego St.

 

The PiRate Rating Picks

For the bowl season, we have been experimenting with playing the underdogs with money line selections.  It is our hypothesis that if one plays the same amount on every bowl game by taking the underdog and the best money line odds you can get, that it could be very profitable.  Since we play with imaginary currency in an imaginary bank account, it does not hurt to play $100 on every bowl game by taking the underdog and finding the best odds.  If we lose every game, we are out $0, and if it wins, and returns a profit, then maybe the public will have knowledge for the future.  Therefore, you will see us picking the underdog to win every bowl game (not playoffs) this year and shopping for the best odds.

Here are the selections for the first week of games.

Favorite Underdog Moneyline Pick
Tulane Louisiana +155 Louisiana
Utah St. North Texas +275 North Texas
Fresno St. Arizona St. +167 Arizona St.
Georgia Southern Eastern Michigan +120 Eastern Michigan
Appalachian St. Middle Tennessee +235 Middle Tennessee
UAB Northern Illinois +125 Northern Illinois
Ohio U San Diego St. +135 San Diego St.
Marshall South Florida +125 South Florida
Toledo Florida Int’l. +195 Florida Int’l.
BYU Western Michigan +400 Western Michigan

NFL Teaser Picks to date:  26-12  68.4%

NFL 
10-point Teasers
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Chicago Green Bay 17 Green Bay
Minnesota Miami 17.5 Miami
Baltimore Tampa Bay 19.5 Tampa Bay
 

 

Team Team Total Pick
Kansas City L.A. Chargers 43 Over
Chicago Green Bay 35 Over
Minnesota Miami 34.5 Over

 

NFL 
13-point Teasers
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Detroit Buffalo 15.5 Buffalo
Tampa Bay Baltimore 5 Baltimore
Atlanta Arizona 23 Arizona
Cincinnati Oakland 16 Oakland
 

 

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
San Francisco Seattle 8.5 Seattle
New England Pittsburgh 14.5 Pittsburgh
Philadelphia L.A. Rams 4 L.A. Rams
Tennessee N.Y. Giants 15.5 N.Y. Giants
 

 

Team Team Total Pick
Houston N.Y. Jets 28 Over
Cleveland Denver 32.5 Over
Buffalo Detroit 25 Over
Baltimore Tampa Bay 60 Under
 

 

Team Team Total Pick
Oakland Cincinnati 33 Over
N.Y. Giants Tennessee 30.5 Over
Washington Jacksonville 49 Under
Indianapolis Dallas 34 Over
 

 

Team Team Total Pick
Seattle San Francisco 57.5 Under
L.A. Rams Philadelphia 40.5 Over
Arizona Atlanta 31 Over
New Orleans Carolina 65 Under

Remember that all of our selections on this site are strictly for entertainment purposes only.  We do not wager actual currency or coinage on these games.  We are purely a group of math statistics lovers that also love and played sports.  Please do not wager real money based only on what we publish here.

 

 

 

October 23, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 8: October 25-29, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Houston Miami 5.8 6.3 5.8 46
Jacksonville (n) Philadelphia -2.0 -2.4 -1.7 41
Pittsburgh Cleveland 12.8 12.7 11.8 46
Kansas City Denver 11.9 12.5 12.9 48.5
Chicago N.Y. Jets 7.8 7.8 8.3 47.5
N.Y. Giants Washington -1.2 -0.7 -1.7 44
Detroit Seattle 1.6 1.9 1.6 49.5
Cincinnati Tampa Bay 6.1 6.6 5.4 47.5
Carolina Baltimore -0.3 -1.6 -0.7 43.5
Oakland Indianapolis -0.6 0.9 -0.7 46
Arizona San Francisco 4.1 2.8 3.8 43.5
L.A. Rams Green Bay 11.7 11.8 12.4 51
Minnesota New Orleans -2.8 -2.6 -3.1 48.5
Buffalo New England -15.2 -15.7 -15.7 38.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.3 105.7 105.5 105.5 23 5-2
N. Y. Jets 97.6 97.2 97.6 97.5 24.5 3-4
Miami 96.7 96.2 96.6 96.5 22 4-3
Buffalo 92.1 92.1 91.8 92.0 15.5 2-5
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 105.9 106.0 105.6 105.8 23 3-2-1
Baltimore 104.7 105.3 105.0 105.0 21 4-3
Cincinnati 98.4 98.8 98.4 98.5 23 4-3
Cleveland 95.0 95.3 95.8 95.4 23 2-4-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 100.0 99.8 100.0 99.9 19 3-4
Houston 99.5 99.5 99.4 99.4 24 4-3
Tennessee 97.1 97.2 96.6 97.0 19 3-4
Indianapolis 97.1 95.7 96.8 96.5 25 2-5
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 107.8 108.2 108.2 108.1 27 6-1
LA Chargers 102.2 102.9 102.4 102.5 23.5 5-2
Denver 98.9 98.6 98.3 98.6 21.5 3-4
Oakland 93.4 93.6 93.2 93.4 21 1-5
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.0 102.1 101.7 101.9 22 3-4
Dallas 100.5 100.4 99.9 100.3 19.5 3-4
Washington 99.3 98.5 99.6 99.1 22.5 4-2
N.Y. Giants 95.5 95.3 95.4 95.4 21.5 1-6
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 102.4 102.0 102.9 102.4 23 3-3
Minnesota 102.0 102.2 101.9 102.0 22 4-2-1
Detroit 100.7 100.9 100.9 100.8 27 3-3
Green Bay 99.4 100.1 99.0 99.5 24.5 3-2-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.8 107.8 108.0 107.9 26.5 5-1
Carolina 101.9 101.2 101.8 101.6 22.5 4-2
Atlanta 101.3 101.1 101.0 101.1 25.5 3-4
Tampa Bay 95.3 95.2 96.0 95.5 24.5 3-3
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 108.1 108.9 108.4 108.5 26.5 7-0
Seattle 102.1 102.0 102.4 102.2 22.5 3-3
Arizona 95.8 95.0 95.5 95.4 19.5 1-6
San Francisco 94.7 95.1 94.7 94.8 24 1-6

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Playoff Projections

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

 

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

 

Wildcard Round
Pittsburgh over Baltimore
L.A. Chargers over Houston
Minnesota over Detroit
Carolina over Washington

 

Divisional Round
Kansas City over L.A. Chargers
Pittsburgh over New England
L.A. Rams over Carolina
New Orleans over Minnesota

 

Conference Championship
Kansas City over Pittsburgh
L.A. Rams over New Orleans

 

Super Bowl 53
L.A. Rams over Kansas City

 

 

 

September 18, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 3: September 20-24, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Cleveland N.Y. Jets 0.1 0.3 0.6 45
Philadelphia Indianapolis 12.3 14.4 11.9 45
Carolina Cincinnati 5.2 4.1 5.2 43
Jacksonville Tennessee 10.4 10.1 11.2 42.5
Atlanta New Orleans 3.5 3.5 3.7 45
Baltimore Denver 5.9 6.9 6.6 44.5
Houston N.Y. Giants 5.4 5.4 5.1 43
Miami Oakland 7.8 6.8 8.2 42.5
Washington Green Bay 2.1 -0.2 2.2 45
Minnesota Buffalo 16.0 16.3 16.2 38
Kansas City San Francisco 9.5 9.4 9.9 49
L.A. Rams L.A. Chargers 6.7 7.3 7.3 47
Arizona Chicago -1.6 -2.3 -2.8 37.5
Seattle Dallas 3.7 3.2 3.7 41.5
Detroit New England -3.3 -4.3 -3.2 47
Tampa Bay Pittsburgh -5.2 -5.3 -3.9 45.5

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 104.4 105.1 104.2 104.6 21 1-1
Miami 99.2 98.6 99.6 99.1 21.5 2-0
N. Y. Jets 98.7 98.5 98.9 98.7 23 1-1
Buffalo 91.4 91.3 91.0 91.2 18 0-2
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 105.1 105.0 104.3 104.8 22.5 0-1-1
Baltimore 101.2 101.9 101.3 101.5 23 1-1
Cincinnati 99.7 100.3 99.9 100.0 21.5 2-0
Cleveland 95.8 95.8 96.5 96.0 22 0-1-1
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 104.3 104.2 104.7 104.4 21.5 2-0
Houston 99.2 99.2 98.9 99.1 24 0-2
Tennessee 96.9 97.0 96.5 96.8 21 1-1
Indianapolis 95.0 93.1 94.8 94.3 22 1-1
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 105.3 105.7 105.7 105.6 25.5 2-0
LA Chargers 101.1 101.9 101.4 101.5 22 1-1
Denver 98.3 98.0 97.7 98.0 21.5 2-0
Oakland 94.8 95.3 94.9 95.0 21 0-2
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.2 102.5 101.8 102.2 23 1-1
Dallas 99.6 99.6 99.3 99.5 19.5 1-1
Washington 99.6 98.4 99.4 99.1 21.5 1-1
N.Y. Giants 96.8 96.7 96.8 96.8 19 0-2
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Minnesota 104.4 104.5 104.2 104.4 20 1-0-1
Green Bay 100.5 101.6 100.2 100.7 23.5 1-0-1
Chicago 99.3 99.0 100.0 99.4 18.5 1-1
Detroit 98.1 97.9 98.0 98.0 26 0-2
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Atlanta 104.4 104.3 104.6 104.4 21.5 1-1
New Orleans 103.4 103.3 103.4 103.4 23.5 1-1
Carolina 101.9 101.4 102.1 101.8 21.5 1-1
Tampa Bay 97.9 97.7 98.4 98.0 23 2-0
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 107.9 109.2 108.7 108.6 25 2-0
Seattle 100.3 99.8 100.0 100.0 22 0-2
San Francisco 98.8 99.3 98.8 99.0 23.5 1-1
Arizona 94.7 93.7 94.2 94.2 19 0-2

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Playoff Projections

AFC Seeding
1 Kansas City
2 Jacksonville
3 New England
4 Cincinnati
5 Miami
6 L.A. Chargers

 

NFC Seeding
1 L.A. Rams
2 Minnesota
3 Philadelphia
4 Tampa Bay
5 Green Bay
6 Atlanta

 

Wildcard Round
L.A. Chargers over New England
Miami over Cincinnati
Philadelphia over Atlanta
Green Bay over Tampa Bay

 

Divisional Round
L.A. Chargers over Kansas City
Jacksonville over Miami
L.A. Rams over Green Bay
Minnesota over Philadelphia

 

Conference Championship
Jacksonville over L.A. Chargers
L.A. Rams over Minnesota

 

Super Bowl 53
L.A. Rams over Jacksonville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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