The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 30, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 30, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:40 am

Thursday’s Games

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Arkansas St.

Appalachian St.

1.2

Austin Peay

SIU-Edwardsville

16.4

BYU

Pepperdine

15.3

Cal Poly

Cal St. Fullerton

-1.5

Cal St. Northridge

UC Santa Barbara

-2.2

California

Oregon

-10.9

Campbell

High Point

11.7

Charleston Southern

Winthrop

-7.4

Cleveland St.

IUPUI

4.5

Denver

South Dakota

-6.0

Eastern Kentucky

UT Martin

2.9

Elon

Hofstra

-7.2

Florida Atlantic

Western Kentucky

-3.8

Florida International

Marshall

2.1

Georgia Southern

Troy

10.5

Georgia St.

South Alabama

9.0

Illinois

Minnesota

5.2

Jacksonville

Florida Gulf Coast

8.2

Jacksonville St.

Tennessee St.

4.1

James Madison

Charleston

-5.2

Liberty

Kennesaw St.

27.3

Little Rock

Coastal Carolina

5.9

Longwood

Radford

-6.7

Louisiana Tech

Charlotte

10.2

Maryland

Iowa

4.9

Merrimack

St. Francis (NY)

6.1

Morehead St.

Southeast Missouri

5.7

Murray St.

Eastern Illinois

9.8

New Mexico St.

Cal St. Bakersfield

12.3

NJIT

North Alabama

3.4

North Florida

Stetson

10.6

Northern Colorado

Idaho St.

15.2

Pacific

Loyola Marymount

6.4

Portland St.

Montana

0.8

Presbyterian

South Carolina Upstate

1.9

Purdue Fort Wayne

North Dakota

0.9

Robert Morris

Bryant

2.6

Sacred Heart

Mount St. Mary’s

6.3

Saint Mary’s

Portland

20.3

San Diego

San Francisco

-5.2

Santa Clara

Gonzaga

-15.2

Southern Miss

Old Dominion

-2.1

Southern Utah

Weber St.

11.1

St. Francis (PA)

Central Connecticut

19.8

Stanford

Oregon St.

8.1

Tennessee Tech

Belmont

-15.6

Texas St.

Louisiana Monroe

12.5

Towson

UNC Wilmington

12.4

UC Davis

UC Irvine

-3.9

UC Riverside

Long Beach St.

8.2

UCLA

Colorado

-6.5

UNC Asheville

Gardner-Webb

2.4

USC

Utah

8.9

UT Arlington

Louisiana

12.2

UT Rio Grande Valley

Grand Canyon

2.3

UTEP

Middle Tennessee

11.3

UTSA

UAB

3.6

Wagner

Fairleigh Dickinson

1.6

Washington

Arizona

-3.0

Western Illinois

North Dakota St.

-8.7

William & Mary

Northeastern

0.9

Youngstown St

Illinois Chicago

2.8

 

The 10 Best Games On TV Tonight

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

7:00 PM

ESPN+

North Florida

Stetson

7:30 PM

FS1

Illinois

Minnesota

7:30 PM

ESPN+

Louisiana Tech

Charlotte

7:30 PM

ESPN+

Charleston Southern

Winthrop

8:30 PM

BTN

Maryland

Iowa

8:30 PM

CBSSN

BYU

Pepperdine

9:00 PM

Pac-12

California

Oregon

9:00 PM

ESPN2

Washington

Arizona

10:30 PM

CBSSN

Santa Clara

Gonzaga

11:00 PM

ESPN2

UCLA

Colorado

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For January 26, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:49 am

Date

1/26/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

Kansas

San Diego St.

2

Florida St.

Duke

Seton Hall

West Virginia

3

Louisville

Michigan St.

Dayton

Butler

4

Villanova

Oregon

Maryland

Iowa

5

Kentucky

Auburn

Colorado

LSU

6

Creighton

Penn St.

Arizona

Rutgers

7

Marquette

Illinois

Wichita St.

Arkansas

8

Ohio St.

Stanford

Indiana

Wisconsin

9

Houston

Florida

Saint Mary’s

Oklahoma

10

Memphis

Texas Tech

BYU

USC

11

Michigan

North Carolina St.

East Tennessee St.

Virginia Tech

VCU

12

Akron

North Texas

Liberty

Minnesota

Xavier

13

Stephen F. Austin

New Mexico St.

Vermont

Harvard

14

Loyola (Chi.)

Colgate

William & Mary

Wright St.

15

Little Rock

UC-Irvine

Murray St.

South Dakota St.

16

Montana

Winthrop

Monmouth

Norfolk St.

Robert Morris

Prairie View

First Four Out

Georgetown

Purdue

Alabama

Tennessee

Next Four Out

Richmond

Rhode Island

DePaul

Northern Iowa

Another Bracketology Will Publish Tomorrow Afternoon.  Many NCAA Tournament Team Contenders Are Playing Sunday.

 

January 24, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For January 24 , 2020

Date

1/24/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

San Diego St.

Kansas

2

Florida St.

Duke

Michigan St.

Seton Hall

3

West Virginia

Louisville

Oregon

Dayton

4

Villanova

Butler

Maryland

Iowa

5

Kentucky

Arizona

Auburn

Colorado

6

Creighton

Penn St.

Wisconsin

Marquette

7

LSU

Rutgers

Illinois

Wichita St.

8

Ohio St.

Stanford

Indiana

Arkansas

9

Houston

Michigan

USC

Florida

10

Memphis

Texas Tech

BYU

Saint Mary’s

11

Oklahoma

North Carolina St.

East Tennessee St.

Virginia Tech

VCU

12

Liberty

Akron

North Texas

Minnesota

DePaul

13

Stephen F. Austin

New Mexico St.

Vermont

Harvard

14

Loyola (Chi.)

Colgate

William & Mary

Wright St.

15

Little Rock

UC-Irvine

Murray St.

South Dakota St.

16

Montana

Winthrop

Monmouth

Norfolk St.

Long Island

Prairie View

 

First Four Out

Georgetown

Richmond

Purdue

Xavier

 

Next Four Out

Tennessee

Alabama

Rhode Island

Northern Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 23, 2020

Games Being Played Thursday

Home

Visitor

Spread

UNC Asheville

Radford

-4.4

Ohio St.

Minnesota

7.7

Hofstra

Delaware

6.7

Stetson

NJIT

-0.1

Kennesaw St.

North Alabama

-6.1

William & Mary

James Madison

10.2

Cleveland St.

Green Bay

-3.1

Detroit

IUPUI

7.0

Winthrop

USC Upstate

16.3

Northeastern

Drexel

7.4

Oakland

Illinois Chicago

5.7

Youngstown St

Milwaukee

3.6

Murray St.

Belmont

-1.1

High Point

Gardner-Webb

-6.5

Old Dominion

Florida Intl.

3.0

Central Connecticut

Sacred Heart

-13.4

Merrimack

Fairleigh Dickinson

7.4

Long Island

St. Francis (PA)

0.6

St. Francis (NY)

Robert Morris

-3.2

North Florida

Liberty

-4.9

Charlotte

Florida Atlantic

4.9

Bryant

Wagner

8.7

Hampton

Campbell

-2.3

Elon

Towson

-5.8

Lipscomb

Jacksonville

2.2

Charleston Southern

Presbyterian

5.9

Middle Tennessee

Louisiana Tech

-12.0

North Texas

UTSA

10.1

Rice

UTEP

-2.0

Arkansas St.

South Alabama

0.2

Omaha

Western Illinois

11.6

South Dakota

Purdue Fort Wayne

7.1

Utah

Washington

-3.4

North Dakota

Denver

9.3

UAB

Southern Miss

8.7

Indiana

Michigan St.

-3.4

Austin Peay

Tennessee St.

7.5

Missouri St.

Valparaiso

3.4

SIU-Edwardsville

SEMO

0.8

Tennessee Tech

Morehead St.

-3.2

Eastern Illinois

UT-Martin

8.9

Jacksonville St.

Eastern Kentucky

8.8

Grand Canyon

Seattle

1.6

Idaho St.

Montana

-1.8

Weber St.

Montana St.

0.2

Houston

UConn

9.1

Colorado

Washington St.

12.8

Loyola Marymount

Portland

5.6

Santa Clara

Pepperdine

3.8

Cal St. Bakersfield

Utah Valley

6.2

 

Interesting Analytics

Every year at this time, the PiRates begin looking at some of the advanced analytics that we have used to gauge potential NCAA Tournament success.

Our R+T Rating ™, is our personal creation that attempts to predict how many more opportunities to score a team might have in a game as compared to an average team.  It relies on rebounding margin and turnover margin with an added emphasis on steals and protecting the ball from being stolen by the other team.  It attempts to estimate the potential extra points available to the team due to the “hustle stats.”

In the past, when a team has an R+T of 15.0 or better, that team has the ability to score on enough extra opportunities to go on a big spurt and put another team away.  When UCLA was the dominant basketball team during John Wooden’s runs, their R+T stats were always at the top of the nation.  When they had the 1964 small lineup that went 30-0, the 2-2-1 zone press created turnover after turnover by the opponent with a lot of steals.  These extra opportunities prevented the other team from scoring, but they also led to easy fast break points, and the Bruins had incredible scoring spurts in every game, the most famous being the incredible 16-0 run in just over two minutes before halftime that put NCAA Championship Game with Duke out of reach.

The Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton years saw the Bruins totally dominating on the glass while still getting a nice number of steals and forcing turnovers.  These UCLA teams frequently had 20 extra scoring opportunities a game, and with Jabbar and Walton both hitting better than 60% from the field, the Bruins were unstoppable.

Long after UCLA won those 10 titles, the ability to get extra scoring opportunities has remained consistently and vitally important in NCAA Tournament games.  To get to the Big Dance, teams must display an ability to play very tough defense, and teams with good offenses and little else become pretenders when every opponent they face will play much better defense than the average opponent in the regular season.  Thus, the ability to create extra scoring opportunities and the ability to prevent extra scoring opportunities take precedence over just being able to shoot the ball more accurately than the opponent.

Obviously, we do not throw the baby out with the bath water.  Shooting is still quite important.  After all, the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket more than the other team.  If a team gets 10 more chances to put the ball in the basket, but they shoot like our Captain trying to putt at Pebble Beach, 30 more chances might not be enough to overcome the inaccurate marksmanship.  Obviously, shooting ability and ability to prevent made shots remain important.

Then, there is the third key factor.  If State only plays Southeast Northwest Community College and similar teams, they will inevitably end up with impressive stats.  If Tech plays Kansas, Duke, Maryland, Oregon, and Kentucky out of conference, it is going to be difficult, make that impossible, to end up with stats as impressive at State.  Thus strength of schedule must play as important a roll as the other two stats.  Think of schedule strength in the same vein as class in thoroughbred horse racing, where a winner of a claiming race is not going to compete well against the fifth place winner from a Grade 1 Classic race, even if in the last two races, their times for 1 1/8 miles were about the same.

Let’s put all three key stats together and look at a sampling of teams that are producing quality numbers across the board.

 

Team

R+T

TS%

SOS

Baylor

19.1

5.8

55.1

Butler

15.2

8.8

57.2

UC-Irvine

20.2

5.6

50.4

Duke

21.5

8.4

55.7

Gonzaga

27.7

10.1

49.0

Houston

25.5

4.2

54.4

Illinois

22.2

6.2

55.4

Indiana

20.6

3.2

54.7

Kansas

18.5

10.9

62.7

Kentucky

16.2

8.3

52.2

Liberty

15.9

12.6

43.4

Louisiana State

16.9

6.6

54.4

Maryland

16.7

5.2

58.4

Michigan State

21.6

10.2

57.7

New Mexico State

18.3

4.3

49.3

Oral Roberts

16.3

2.1

53.6

Rutgers

19.7

6.2

55.7

San Diego State

18.4

9.9

49.6

Southern Utah

15.7

8

48.2

Stephen F. Austin

22.5

2.9

42.7

Utah State

20.8

6.5

52.3

West Virginia

21.7

5.9

58.8

What you see above are the R+T ratings for 22 teams in column 1.  The formula for R+T is:  (R * 2) + (S * .5) + (6 – Opp S) + T, where R is rebounding margin per game, S is steals per game, Opp S is opponents’ steals per game, and T is turnover margin (Opponents Turnovers minus Teams’  Turnovers divided by games played).

Another excellent formula that estimates extra scoring chances per game is the formula by the brilliant Jordan Sperber, creator of Hoop Vision.  Jordan’s formula is: (Team’s OEff)-((100.9/49.0)*(Team’s eFG%)),  where OEff is offensive efficiency, the number 100.9 represents the average Division 1 team’s offensive efficiency, the number 49.0 represents the average Division 1 team’s effective FG%, and eFG% is effective FG%.  The result represents the extra chances to utilize effective FG%, and like everything else Jordan does, it is a great tool.  By the way, Jordan has worked for my number one rated Mid-Major coach of last year (Eric Musselman), and my number one rated Mid-Major coach of this year (Chris Jans).  His analytics have helped both coaches strategize the way they coach.  Check out Jordan’s website at: https://hoopvision.substack.com

In column 2 above, you see TS%.  This stands for true shooting percentage, which in this case actually stands for the difference in the team’s offensive TS% and the defensive TS%.  To calculate TS%, the formula is: (100 * points scored) /  (2 * [FG Attempts + {.475 * FT Attempts}]) 

The final column represents strength of schedule.  50 is considered an average schedule strength.  55 is considered a strong schedule strength.  60 is considered a tough schedule strength.  Below 45 is considered too weak to consider a team a legitimate contender in the Big Dance.

Gonzaga has the top R+T rating in the nation at the present time.  Their TS% difference is in the top 10, so the Bulldogs should be considered a key contender to run the table in the NCAA Tournament this year, correct?  No, that is not correct.  Gonzaga’s strength of schedule (SOS) is too low.  At 49.0, the other two stats must be discounted.  Gonzaga’s remaining schedule will not give the Bulldogs enough increase in SOS to take their R+T and TS% stats seriously.  This does not mean they will lose to a 16-seed in the first game.  What it means is that when they get to the Sweet 16 and face an opponent with a better SOS and strong R+T and TS%, they will be ripe for the upset.

Baylor, Butler, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers, and West Virginia have the best resumes today.  They have excellent R+T, TS%, and SOS numbers.  It should be no surprise that the Big 12 and Big Ten are the two best conferences so far this season.  

Kentucky and LSU fall just short of the elites in this test.  Neither team has the important 55 or better SOS mark, although both teams could eventually get over that key number.

Among the mid-major teams to keep an eye on, there are four teams in the West that could be sleepers for the Sweet 16 if they make the dance.  UC-Irvine, New Mexico State, Southern Utah, and Utah State all have strong R+T and TS% numbers with SOS that isn’t totally weak.  Contrast that to Liberty and Stephen F. Austin, two teams where the schedule strength doesn’t cut it.

Then, there are two teams high in the rankings from the lower tier of major conferences.  Houston and San Diego State have excellent numbers, but their schedule strengths make them both on the outside looking in when compared to the power conference teams.  Frequently, teams like these two can make a run to the second weekend of the tournament, and once or twice a decade, they will sneak into the Final Four.  However, when it comes to cut the nets and hear “One Shining Moment,” the happy team is one that comes from one of the top 5 power conferences.

As of today, the top 5 power conferences are: The Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Atlantic Coast, and Southeastern Conferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 19, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 19, 2020

Division 1 Basketball Games on Sunday

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Canisius

Rider

-0.8

Chicago State

Cal St. Bakersfield

-15.8

Cincinnati

East Carolina

16.9

Fordham

Davidson

-7.4

Illinois State

Loyola (Chi.)

-4.9

Maine

Binghamton

1.8

Marist

Iona

-4.5

Niagara

Siena

-2.2

North Dakota State

North Dakota

7.4

Rutgers

Minnesota

3.9

South Dakota

South Dakota State

-1.3

Southern Illinois

Drake

0.1

UCLA

California

6.5

UMKC

Grand Canyon

3.3

Wake Forest

Boston College

6.7

January 9, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 9, 2020

Power Conference Games & Top 25 Teams Playing Thursday

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Michigan

Purdue

5.1

Wichita St.

Memphis

2.5

Michigan St.

Minnesota

12.1

Oregon

Arizona

1.2

Stanford

Washington

1.7

California

Washington St.

-0.1

Oregon St.

Arizona St.

4.7

Saint Mary’s

BYU

2.3

 

Coming Tomorrow–Updated Ratings and Bracketology

January 2, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 2, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:45 am

Power Conference & Top 25 Teams Playing Thursday

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Purdue

Minnesota

5.7

Michigan St.

Illinois

11.2

La Salle

Dayton

-11.3

Utah

Oregon St.

-0.1

Colorado

Oregon

-0.7

Portland

Gonzaga

-22.3

Washington

UCLA

10.3

Washington St.

USC

-2.8

Stanford

California

11.2

San Francisco

Saint Mary’s

-3.5

 

Note 1–We have been asked to explain the spread and when it is positive or negative.  When the spread is positive, the home team is favored by the amount shown.  When the spread is negative, the visiting team is favored by the amount shown.

Note 2–While we basically just issue spreads for games involving opponents from the power conferences or teams in the top 25 of the rankings, our ratings are easily usable for all Division 1 teams and all Division 1 games.  Simply subtract the visiting team power rating from the home team, and add 2 to 6 points for home court advantage.  For a typical mid-major or low-major team, the home court advantage will be 2.5 to 3.5 points. 

For a typical power conference team, the home court advantage will be 3 to 5 points.  For a team with an incredible home court advantage like Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Kansas, use 5 to 6 points.  These numbers can fluctuate based on the opponent.  For instance, if Kansas State visits Kansas, the home court advantage is reduced, because the trip is not taxing to the Wildcats.  To the contrary, if a school like Vermont hosts a team from the West Coast, their regular 3.5 point advantage might be moved to 4.5 or even 5 points.

Updated Ratings will be published Friday around Noon in the Eastern Time Zone.

Also, a new Bracketology list will be published Friday afternoon.

December 9, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 15: December 12-16, 2019

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Margins

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Baltimore

N. Y. Jets

19.3

18.9

20.6

Detroit

Tampa Bay

1.2

-1.8

-2.0

Washington

Philadelphia

-6.6

-4.1

-4.0

Green Bay

Chicago

1.0

3.5

3.6

Cincinnati

New England

-12.2

-12.8

-11.9

Tennessee

Houston

4.0

4.3

4.7

Carolina

Seattle

-5.0

-5.0

-5.0

Kansas City

Denver

7.8

8.0

8.0

N. Y. Giants

Miami

5.7

5.5

5.8

Buffalo

Pittsburgh

5.3

5.7

5.2

Oakland

Jacksonville

4.1

4.0

4.3

Arizona

Cleveland

-3.9

-4.1

-3.6

San Francisco

Atlanta

13.7

14.5

15.3

Dallas

LA Rams

-1.5

-0.2

-1.2

LA Chargers

Minnesota

0.1

1.3

0.4

New Orleans

Indianapolis

11.2

8.3

9.2

 

Totals

Home

Visitor

Total

Baltimore

N. Y. Jets

45.5

Detroit

Tampa Bay

53.5

Washington

Philadelphia

42

Green Bay

Chicago

42.5

Cincinnati

New England

42

Tennessee

Houston

44.5

Carolina

Seattle

50

Kansas City

Denver

50

N. Y. Giants

Miami

52

Buffalo

Pittsburgh

37.5

Oakland

Jacksonville

43.5

Arizona

Cleveland

47

San Francisco

Atlanta

51.5

Dallas

LA Rams

47

LA Chargers

Minnesota

44

New Orleans

Indianapolis

50

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New England

107.8

108.4

107.8

108.0

19.5

10-3

Buffalo

101.8

102.8

102.8

102.5

17.5

9-4

N. Y. Jets

94.5

95.1

94.1

94.6

21

5-8

Miami

89.7

90.0

89.9

89.9

27.5

3-10

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Baltimore

111.3

111.4

112.2

111.7

24.5

11-2

Pittsburgh

99.5

100.1

100.6

100.0

20

8-5

Cleveland

99.2

99.5

99.5

99.4

23

6-7

Cincinnati

93.2

93.1

93.4

93.2

22.5

1-12

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Tennessee

102.5

103.0

103.1

102.9

20.5

8-5

Houston

101.5

101.7

101.4

101.6

24

8-5

Indianapolis

99.1

100.1

99.6

99.6

23.5

6-7

Jacksonville

90.7

90.7

90.5

90.6

18

4-9

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Kansas City

104.4

105.1

104.9

104.8

30.5

9-4

LA Chargers

104.1

104.0

103.4

103.8

22

5-8

Denver

99.7

100.1

99.9

99.9

19.5

5-8

Oakland

91.8

91.7

91.8

91.8

25.5

6-7

 

 

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Dallas

102.6

102.9

102.4

102.6

22

6-7

Philadelphia

101.0

99.4

99.0

99.8

24

6-7

N.Y. Giants

92.9

93.0

93.2

93.0

24.5

2-11

Washington

91.9

92.8

92.5

92.4

18

3-10

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Minnesota

106.5

105.2

105.4

105.7

22

9-4

Green Bay

101.7

101.8

102.0

101.8

24.5

10-3

Chicago

103.2

100.8

100.9

101.6

18

7-6

Detroit

97.3

95.8

95.9

96.4

23.5

3-9-1

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New Orleans

107.3

105.4

105.8

106.2

26.5

10-3

Tampa Bay

99.1

100.6

101.0

100.2

30

6-7

Atlanta

98.6

98.7

98.4

98.5

26

4-9

Carolina

95.2

95.0

95.2

95.1

26

5-8

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

San Francisco

109.3

110.2

110.7

110.1

25.5

11-2

LA Rams

106.6

105.6

106.1

106.1

25

8-5

Seattle

103.2

103.0

103.2

103.1

24

10-3

Arizona

92.8

92.9

93.4

93.0

24

3-9-1

 

The NFL Playoff Scenarios

There are numerous Playoff scenarios that can still greatly affect the remaining teams in the Playoff hunt.  After the end of Week 15, the scenarios will be easier to describe, and of course after Week 16, it will be cut and dry.  For now, here are the basics–just who wins in each scenario without going into explanations about which tiebreaker causes it.

 

Division Championships

 

AFC

If Buffalo wins at New England, and the teams finish tied for first, New England is AFC East Champs.

If Pittsburgh wins out and Baltimore loses out to finish tied at 11-5, Pittsburgh wins the AFC North Division.

If Houston and Tennessee finished tied at 10-6 or 9-7, Houston wins the AFC South Division.

Should Houston and Tennessee both finish 9-7, and Indianapolis wins their remaining three games to finish 9-7, Indianapolis would win the AFC South in a three-way tie.  Houston and Tennessee must split their two games and then lose the other game to both finish 9-7.

Kansas City has already clinched the AFC West Division.

 

NFC

If Dallas and Philadelphia finished tied at 8-8 or 7-9, Dallas wins the NFC East.

If Green Bay and Minnesota finish tied at 12-4 with Minnesota winning versus the Packers in Week 16, Green Bay wins the NFC North Division. If they both finish tied at 11-5, with Green Bay losing to either Chicago or Detroit plus Minnesota, then Minnesota wins the division.

If Chicago, Minnesota, and Green Bay finish in a three-way tie at 10-6, then Chicago wins the NFC North.

New Orleans has already clinched the NFC South.

If Seattle beats San Francisco in Week 17, and the two teams finish in a tie for first at 12-4, Seattle wins the NFC West Division. Seattle also wins a three-way tie with the 49ers and LA Rams for first at 11-5.

There is no scenario where the LA Rams can win the division, because if they win out to finish 11-5, then if San Francisco loses out to finish 11-5, that means Seattle will have had to win their Week 17 game with San Francisco to make then also 11-5, where they hold the tiebreaker.

Wildcards

 

AFC

The Wildcard tiebreaker would come into play with three non-division winners ending with 10-6 or 9-7 records.

At 10-6, Pittsburgh and Buffalo would earn the Wildcards, while Tennessee would be eliminated at 10-6. If the three teams were 9-7, then Pittsburgh and Tennessee would earn the Wildcards, while Buffalo would be eliminated.

If New England were to lose out finishing tied at 10-6 with Tennessee and Pittsburgh,  while Buffalo wins the AFC East, then The Patriots miss the Playoffs while the Titans and Steelers are the Wildcards.

NFC

There is only a minor chance that the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks would miss the Playoffs altogether. The 49ers would have to lose all three remaining games to have a very remote chance of missing the Playoffs, and the Seahawks would have to finish behind the Rams in the standings while finishing tied with the Bears at 10-6 to miss the Playoffs. For the 49ers to miss the Playoffs at 10-6, Minnesota and Los Angeles would have to finish 11-5 and Green Bay would have to finish 12-4 or 13-3. For the sake of making this a lot easier, let’s put both Seattle and San Francisco in the Playoffs, one as division champion and one as a wildcard, since the chance for both teams making the Playoffs is better than 97%.

The final wildcard spot would be up for grabs between Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Since the Bears can only improve to 10-6 by winning out, let’s show the tiebreakers at 10-6. If Minnesota, Chicago, and Los Angeles all finish 10-6, then the Rams make it a trio from the NFC West in the Playoffs. Los Angeles also wins a tiebreaker at 11-5 with Minnesota.

The Rams also win the tiebreaker with Green Bay if Minnesota wins the North, and the Packers and Rams both finish 10-6.

The Bears can earn the Wildcard if they win out to finish 10-6 and LA finishes 9-7 or 8-8, while either Minnesota or Green Bay also finishes 10-6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 14, 2019

PiRate Ratings Picks For November 14-18, 2019

Your 1962 New York Mets of Selections

The lovable 1962 New York Mets won 40 games in their initial season in Major League Baseball.  There were a couple of star players, and the rest of the roster belonged in the International League.  

That’s how our selections have fared this year.  A couple of times, we came up with some incredible wins on some long shot picks, but the rest of the time, our picks belonged in the bush leagues.

The good thing about the Mets was that eventually 1969 came, and they performed miracles in winning the World Series.  Of course, having player development that brought them Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Cleon Jones, Jerry Grote, and Bud Harrelson, as well as some nice acquisitions in Tommie Agee and Donn Clendenon, made their roster quite strong.  The PiRate Ratings have not developed any young talent in the last few weeks with hopes that a wagering week like 1969 will create a second miracle.

On the other hand, this has historically been the week that our ratings have enjoyed the most over the last 10 years.  The third week of November has brought us our highest return on imaginary investment (our picks are for entertainment purposes and never actually wagered on by us) of the season.

Three years ago, we hit on some outrageous parlays and outright picks against the spread, making a slight ROI on the year into a windfall profit margin.  Two years ago, we turned a slight deficit on the year into a nice profit that when combined with the bowl season gave us another year in the black.  Last year, we went from large deficit to almost break even after this week.

You can see the trend.  Every year, this week turned the momentum in our direction, but each year, this week reversed more malaise than the previous season.  In 2019, we find ourselves so deep in the whole that even the best ever finish on this week will still leave us well in the red.

So, remember, even though  this week has been rather successful for us in the past, please DO NOT WAGER your money on what you will read below.  If we have not faith in these picks, why should you?

Disclaimer: This does not apply to those handful of Smarts that somehow take our spreads and other data and make money off them somehow in Nevada and in the Caribbean.  How you do it, we do not know.  But, we do know that a group of Smarts uses our ratings and consistently beats the books.  

This week, we are going to issue a few less choices overall, but this is because we feel the heat on us.  This has been a winning week so many times for us that we spent an extra 10 minutes or so per selection looking them over.  We found a couple of special teasers that cross over the important spread numbers.  We isolated on some money line parlays that we feel strong about.

As for our experimental Davey19 system, the biggest difference in the line and its predicted score just so happened to pop up this week.  There is a reason for this.  The oddsmakers definitely consider psychological factors when making the line.  Davey19 has no personality.  Davey is a computer program with no emotion.  

What game are we talking about?  The Iowa-Minnesota game in Iowa City has the Gophers playing on the road in a tough environment coming off their monumental home win over Penn State.  The oddsmakers have Iowa favored in this game as a trap for Minnesota.  Davey19 strictly picks games when its experimental spread differs from the line by more than 3.5 points.  Davey19 says Minnesota is a touchdown better than Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.  That’s a full 10 points different.  Minnesota might indeed suffer a letdown, but 10 points of letdown is a lot.  And, the Gophers aren’t just playing a game following an upset win.  They have a lot more to play for now.  They have the Playoffs in their sites, and for now, every game is the biggest game in school history since Sandy Stephens, Roger Hagberg, and Bobby Bell played for the #3 Gophers against #1 Iowa in 1960.  Yes, this is the biggest game in Minnesota history since they played Iowas 59 years ago and basically secured the national championship with a convincing win over the #1 team.

Without further adieu, here are our picks for the week.

 

PiRate Picks

College Money Line Parlays

 

#1–3 Games at +142

Winner

Loser

Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech

Georgia Southern

UL-Monroe

Middle Tennessee

Rice

 

#2–3 Games at +148

Winner

Loser

Marshall

Louisiana Tech

Florida

Missouri

Kansas St.

West Virginia

 

#3–4 Games at +133

Winner

Loser

Michigan

Michigan St.

Kentucky

Vanderbilt

Duke

Syracuse

Texas A&M

South Carolina

 

#4–2 Games at +134

Winner

Loser

Notre Dame

Navy

Georgia

Auburn

 

#5–3 Games at +151

Winner

Loser

Memphis

Houston

Air Force

Colorado St.

Louisville

N. Carolina St.

 

NFL 10-Point Teaser

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Minnesota

Denver

0.5

Minnesota

Oakland

Cincinnati

0.5

Oakland

Chicago

LA Rams

3.5

LA Rams

 

NFL 13-Point Teaser

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Cleveland

Pittsburgh

16

Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay

New Orleans

7.5

New Orleans

Atlanta

Carolina

7.5

Carolina

Washington

N.Y. Jets

14.5

N.Y. Jets

 

Davey19

An Experimental College Football Selection System

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Fresno St.

San Diego St.

1

San Diego St.

Ball St.

Central Michigan

2.5

Ball St.

USC

California

6.5

USC

TCU

Texas Tech

3.5

Texas Tech

Southern Miss.

UTSA

17

UTSA

LSU

Ole Miss

21

Ole Miss

Iowa

Minnesota

3

Minnesota

 

 

 

November 7, 2019

PiRate Ratings Picks For November 7-11, 2019

Welcome to Thursday Comedy Relief.  It’s official now: this is the worst season in the 21st Century for PiRate Picks.  As we always tell you, these picks are free and maybe not worth what you pay for them.  In past years, we have had better access to information that has been unavailable to us, and so these picks are not going to be as reliable as when we were actually winning consistently.

We know that some of you reading this have discovered the little “secret” system in our regular weekly ratings that through super computer programming, you can come up with a half-dozen or so picks that are rewarding you with better than 62% wins.  It’s so secret, that we do not know the real particulars, and we unwisely recommended that you not tell us how you are doing it, because it might be too tempting to try it ourselves and then lose our mortgage payments (figuratively, since we burned our mortgage some time ago).

This is the absolute best week for college football to date.  This week’s games between Alabama and LSU, preceded by Minnesota and Penn State, and including Baylor-TCU, Iowa State-Oklahoma, and even including the best FCS game of the year and the celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football–undefeated Princeton versus undefeated Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium, we know that a lot of you love to add a little excitement when watching these top games.

Please, please, please, disregard our selections when considering whether or not you will wager on these games.  We are hitting 48% in our selections this year.  That’s total crappy status.  You cannot win at 48%, because even if you wager the exact opposite, at 52% you still lose.  None of your reading this feature are one of those folks with the supercomputer winning on 63+% of the wagers that our ratings somehow pop up 6-10 games per week, and our selections below are not part of that system.

 

This Week’s PiRate Picks

College Games

10-point Teasers

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Florida St.

Boston College

11

Boston College

Ohio St.

Maryland

32

Ohio St.

Michigan St.

Illinois

24.5

Illinois

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Florida

Vanderbilt

16.5

Florida

Ole Miss

N. Mexico St.

38.5

N. Mexico St.

Kentucky

Tennessee

11

Tennessee

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Georgia

Ole Miss

6.5

Georgia

Virginia

Georgia Tech

26

Georgia Tech

BYU

Liberty

27

Liberty

 

13-Point Teasers

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Texas Tech

West Virginia

15.5

West Virginia

Miami (Fla.)

Louisville

19.5

Louisville

Wake Forest

Virginia Tech

15.5

Virginia Tech

Penn St.

Minnesota

20

Minnesota

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Northwestern

Purdue

15.5

Purdue

Charlotte

UTEP

Pk

Charlotte

Baylor

TCU

10.5

TCU

Oklahoma

Iowa St.

1.5

Oklahoma

 

College Money Line Parlay –4 games at +268

 

Winner

Loser

Louisiana Tech

North Texas

Fresno St.

Utah St.

Notre Dame

Duke

Washington

Oregon St.

 

NFL Games

13-Point Teasers

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

LA Chargers

Oakland

14.5

Oakland

New Orleans

Atlanta

Pk

New Orleans

Cincinnati

Baltimore

3

Baltimore

Carolina

Green Bay

8

Green Bay

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Chicago

Detroit

15.5

Detroit

Miami

Indianapolis

2.5

Indianapolis

N.Y. Jets

N.Y. Giants

10.5

N.Y. Giants

Tampa Bay

Arizona

17.5

Arizona

 

Money Line Parlay –2 Games at +149

 

Winner

Loser

N.Y. Giants

N.Y. Jets

Green Bay

Carolina

 

 

Davey19 Experimental Picks

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Louisiana

Coastal Carolina

14.5

Coastal Carolina

Michigan St.

Illinois

15

Illinois

Boise St.

Wyoming

13.5

Wyoming

Alabama

LSU

5.5

Alabama

Troy

Georgia Southern

3

Georgia Southern

Kentucky

Tennessee

1

Tennessee

Louisiana Tech

North Texas

5

Louisiana Tech

 

 

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