The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 16, 2022

PiRate Picks for November 17-19, 2022

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:10 pm

What a unique season it has been for this weekly feature. A blistering hot start followed by a long slump and then a rebound last week basically brought the imaginary bank account almost back to where it was before the season began.

Last week, we went heavy into teasers, playing 10 of them plus a Money Line Parlay. Our 10 teaser selections went 7-3, while the lost the big odds parlay. For the year, we are now back on the positive side with two full weeks remaining in the regular season. Can we hold onto this profit to make it our 17th imaginary winning season in 22 years? We’ll have to have another successful week with 7 and 10-point teasers with one big odds Money Line Parlay. Once again, it is more important what numbers we tease to and through than it is the teams involved.

Selection #1: 10-point Teaser at -120

Duke + 17 1/2 vs. Pittsburgh

Michigan St. -1/2 vs. Indiana

TCU +7 1/2 vs. Baylor

Selection #2: 10-point Teaser at -120

Georgia -12 1/2 vs. Kentucky

Stanford + 14 1/2 vs. California

Oklahoma St. +17 1/2 vs. Oklahoma

Selection #3: 7-point Teaser at -130

Connecticut +17 1/2 vs. Army

James Madison -1 1/2 vs. Georgia St.

Selection #4: 7-point Teaser at -130

Buffalo -6 1/2 vs. Akron

Texas -2 1/2 vs. Kansas

Selection #5: Money Line Parlay at +248.51

Florida Atlantic over Middle Tennessee State

Auburn over Western Kentucky


September 22, 2022

PiRate Picks: September 22-24, 2022

After losing most of our imaginary profit made in the first two weeks last week, we happened to be gifted with a week where the numbers seemed to be in our favor. We issued seven selections, including a Money Line Parlay that had eye-popping +204.42 odds. The Wyoming-Air Force rivlary game immediately drew our attention, as the 14 1/2 points were not just a gift, but an outright mistake. It won to start the weekend out on a great note.

We played two short favorites at home, something we rarely like to play. One of them, Maryland over SMU, won. The other was winning until a true freshman quarterback acted like Peyton Manning in the second half of his game, and our own local Vanderbilt Commodores won as a road ‘dog.

We played three totals, and all three won, but two of those were by the skin of our teeth. Oklahoma blew Nebraska off their home field. Thankfully, they ate the last 6 minutes off the clock when any score would have done us in. Notre Dame and Cal covered the 40 1/2 point total by a half point. Once again, we felt the AFA-Wyoming game was a gift with its high total, because the Cowboys historically have slowed down the option and kept this game close and low scoring.

Now to the Money Line Parlay at better than 2-1 odds. Penn State easily clobbered Auburn, as we thought would happen. Texas A&M was in a must-win situation to save Jimbo Fisher’s smoldering seat from becoming inflamed. North Carolina State proved their ranking is valid by topping Texas Tech with little trouble, and voila, we had an outstanding week cashing in six imaginary tickets in seven wagers. The imaginary $700 investment returned $1,294.42 for a fake profit of 85%. For the season to date, our beginning imaginary balance of $1,000 is now worth $1,906.19 a profit gain of 90.6% in four weeks.

That is now in the past. What have we done for you lately? We are about to do a lot by telling you that as wonderful as the numbers looked to us last week, they look that terrible this week. So many spreads are one point away from being plays for us. That one point is where we live. 20-something games were wiped out just because the number needed to be 7 1/2 instead of 6 1/2, 3 1/2 instead of 2 1/2, and 10 1/2 instead of 9 1/2. Buying points or playing teasers are two things we don’t like to do, unless we can play a 3-game, 10-point teaser where we can move spreads from 4 1/2 to 14 1/2, 7 1/2 to 17 1/2, 11 1/2 to 21 1/2 and similar.

Additionally, the totals seem to be a lot more accurate this week. Maybe on Monday, there were some playable totals, but by Wednesday night (when our picks are made), they had moved to unplayable numbers. We found just one game where we live the total this week.

That brings us to the Money Line parlay possibilities. Our philosophy with Money Line parlays is to take no more than three games on a parlay and to get at least +130 odds. Very rarely, we will add a fourth game that we believe has a better than 98% chance that the favorite will win. We could have added fourth games to the two parlays we chose, but that would have only raised the odds from the +130s to the +160s, and we don’t have the 98% confidence rating on either game. So, we are going with just three selections this week, hoping that next week will bring us more selection opportunities.

Selection #1: Southern California and Oregon State Under 70 1/2

It is our belief that this number had to be a little inflated to make it closer to a 50-50 wagering proposition. Still, the public is tending to the Over here. Both teams’ defenses and special teams have contributed to their scoring so far this year. This game figures to have better special teams defense, and both teams’ coaches might be preparing a little more than normal conservative game plans. We think the score could be in the neighborhood of 35-27, 35-31, or 34-28. Even a 38-28 game wins for us. So does a 35-34. It has to get to 38-35, 42-31, and 45-28 before this one loses.

Selection #2: Money Line Parlay at +135.77

Syracuse over Virginia

Georgia Southern over Ball St.

Old Dominion over Arkansas St.

Selection #3: Money Line Parlay at +134.52

Kansas over Duke

Clemson over Wake Forest

Temple over U Mass.

There is nothing special in our parlay picks this week. We simply believe that the chances of winning either one top the odds. We believe each one has a better than 50% chance of winning, and the chance of winning at least one of the two are 90%. Since going 1-1 in these two parlays is a guaranteed profit, we chose to pick these two with very similar odds, even if they are near our minimum odds we like to play.

Remember This: The PiRates never wager real money on these selections. We hope you don’t either. If you do wager real money, please do not use our selections as the main reference for your wagering.

We are not naive. We know there are more than a dozen of you that play our selections. Just because we have begun the 2022 football season with incredible results, there is no guarantee that this will continue. We have enjoyed 17 winning seasons in 22 years with this feature, but a couple of those 5 losing seasons were big losers. Many of our winning seasons returned 8-15% profit, some of those coming in years when the overall stock market returns were better than 15%. You don’t have to deal with the vig when you invest in corporations.

November 23, 2021

PiRate Picks–Thanksgiving Week

A Windfall!

It wasn’t the best ever for the PiRate Ratings, as we’ve had greater than 200% returns on investment in a handful of weeks in the last 17 years, but last week’s 171.2% ROI was our best in the last three years. We played six wagers last week, ranging from +159.65 to +360. We lost the +360, but we won the other five selections for an imaginary gain of $1,027.74 on an imaginary investment of $600.

Coming this late in the year, if we play a bit conservatively the rest of the year, we will be guaranteed of having our 5th winning season in the last 6 years and our 14th winning season in the 17 years we have been pretending to wager. For the season, our imaginary 54 wagers at $100 per game for $5,400 in imaginary currency has returned an imaginary $6,337.83, for a profit of $937.83, and a ROI of 17.4%. Hopefully, you have seen the word “imaginary” a few times to this point. We hope you get what we’re saying; we do not wager real money on these parlays.

We are issuing just two parlays this week. The odds were not what we hoped for, as too many games have very large Money Lines. Additionally, our plan is to play one, two, or three games in each parlay while receiving odds better than +120 and preferably better than +150. Having to ask four teams to win for us is basically one too many. Alas, we had to issue a 4-game parlay this week to bring the odds up above +150.

Here are the two parlays we have selected this week. If either one wins, we are guaranteed to have another winning week. If both win, we may retire for the season and enjoy our imaginary winnings. If neither win, we will have given back a little of our profits.

Must WinOpponent
Ball St.Buffalo
Georgia St.Troy

Must WinOpponent
Central MichiganEastern Michigan
Old DominionCharlotte

November 17, 2021

PiRate Picks–November 17-20

Last week, we had a lot of difficulty isolating potential Money Line parlays where the numbers and our method meshed. In the end, we could only issue three selection parlays. So, guess what happened? We won big! How big? How about a Return on Investment of 96.8%? Yes, we almost doubled our imaginary weekly investment, and that ballooned our imaginary profit for the year to 10.63%. With more than $500 in imaginary profit to play with, we are loosening the reins a bit this week, because the third week in November historically has been the week with major upsets of teams thinking they have sure wins in the bag prior to playing their penultimate rival the following week. It isn’t exact as much as it used to be; USC and UCLA are playing this week, and both rivals have additional games. Some of the games we are choosing as big upsets do not necessarily fit this category, but in this case, Game 12 for these teams may be even more important than playing an arch-rival. We will explain each pick separately this week to show you why.

One of the weekly questions we receive at our email is “where do you get those payout odds?” First of all, it’s amazing how many of you email us when we don’t give out the email address. Sure, it can be found elsewhere, but to go to that much trouble to find it actually means a lot to us, and because of that, we try to answer every one of them without using a form response.

Here’s how we do it. We bookmark almost 2 dozen sports books, which include Las Vegas, Off shore, and those now legal in the various states that legalized sports betting and forced every radio and TV station to carry 30-40 ads per day, making it like it is election season 24/7/365. From these 2 dozen books, we then note which specific book has the best odds on each college football game. Contrary to what most people might do, where they look for the game and then wager due to their thought on the outcome, we look at the number and then wager based on the advantage we believe we gain by the number being off by a 5% or more. For example, if State U is listed at -225 vs. Tech, and we believe the Money Line should be -240, and there are 15 other books with the game between -240 and -250, we consider that a 6.25% advantage for us. Anything over 5% presents a possible choice.

Next, we then begin to combine these games into parlays that return a minimum of +120 odds. We rarely play a parlay at +120. We are usually more interested in parlays of +150 or better, where winning the parlay 30-40% of the time will produce a net profit. Of course, the key is that our own inside data must present the 5% or better advantage, not just one book over the other books.

Another question we receive often is, “which book has the best money line odds?” We cannot answer that question, because it changes from week to week. Just about every parlay we select in a given week comes from a different book than every other parlay for that week. This week, we are going with six different selections, using four different books. If you want to know which single book would be the best one and only book where you choose to open an account, we are not qualified to give you that answer, because the answer would change from week to week.

Let’s get started with this week’s selections.

Must WinOpponent

Dan Mullen has lost the locker room. After firing multiple coaches, the Gators’s defense quit on their coach, while at the same time, the new defensive coordinator was not ready against weak FCS Samford. Missouri has an offense capable of scoring 50 points against this Gator defense. The Tigers and Gators have some bad blood, and the head coaches even displayed animous last year. Both teams are now playing for a minor bowl game. Florida’s players could care less about a possible Birmingham or Gasparilla Bowl bid. Missouri’s players realize this is a good step forward for the future. At +270 and playing at home in a cold Columbia, Missouri, climate, where the temperature will be in the low 50’s with a wind chill in the 40’s, everything is in Missouri’s favor to pull off the upset and becoming bowl eligible.

Must WinOpponent
Old DominionMiddle Tennessee

This one does not fit the upset pattern listed above. It is a different theory entirely. Old Dominion head coach Ricky Rahne is accomplishing incredible things in 2021. ODU was one of the teams that did not play football in 2020. Their roster was decimated with just 7 of their starting 22 players from 2019 suiting up this year. The Monarchs looked more like Connecticut and Massachusetts when the season commenced in September. After a 1-6 start with the win over FCS Hampton, ODU looked like a potential 1-11 team. However, Rahne and his staff kept the team’s confidence level high and made adjustments on both sides of the ball, and the Monarchs have won three consecutive C-USA games to put themselves into contention to win out and become bowl eligible. Looking at just the last three weeks, ODU clearly looks superior to Middle Tennessee, and at +160, we’re willing to risk $100 in imaginary bucks that they will win their fourth game in a row and then beat Charlotte next week to become a bowl team.

Must WinOpponent

We couldn’t resist this one. Cincinnati has been sneaking by with 20 minutes of good football per game since winning at Notre Dame. That sufficed in narrow wins over weak Navy, Tulane, Tulsa, and South Florida teams. SMU can stake themselves to a three touchdown lead if the Bearcats don’t play a first 30 minutes like they did against the Irish. It is our belief that Cincinnati will lose a game before the end of the regular season, and they will have to beat SMU, East Carolina, and most likely Houston to get to 13-0. Playing like they have since Mid-October, we don’t see a path to 13-0. With the odds this high and with SMU capable of outscoring the Bearcats, we are willing to take a little more risk calling for an outright upset.

Must WinOpponent
Northern IllinoisBuffalo

Normally, we release this feature late on Wednesday or on Thursday morning. We had to move the release up to Wednesday at Midday because of the Northern Illinois-Buffalo game that plays tonight. The Huskies generated a big difference in the money line in our belief. We believe NIU should be in excess of -250 against the Bulls, so this became an automatic play. Combining NIU with Houston was done because this game had the best odds with the same book that had the best odds for NIU, and it moved the parlay to greater than +150. We think Houston might actually be the best G5 team at this point.

Must WinOpponent
East CarolinaNavy
ClemsonWake Forest
West VirginiaTexas

The +303.09 payout odds on this game is the perfect example of finding better numbers. If we played this same parlay at the same book from the previous parlay, the odds would have been around +275. That’s a difference of more than 9%, and that’s where winning edges come from.

All three of these games feature small favorites playing teams with specific liabilities that can be exploited by the favorite. East Carolina can exploit Navy’s weak pass defense while hiding a vulnerable pass defense that Navy cannot exploit. Clemson’s defense is strong enough to limit Wake Forest to 24-28 points, and the Demon Deacon defense gives up 30 points to opponents before kickoff. Even the mediocre CU offense will score 31 points against WFU. West Virginia playing at home in November is a tough out. Texas is a dying rose and without Bijan Robinson, we are not sure that the Longhorns could win on the road against Marshall at this point.

Must WinOpponent

Washington fired coach Jimmy Lake this week after losing to Arizona State. They play rival Washington State next week. The Huskies are just not talented overall, and their 4-6 record is well-deserved. Having to play on the road with little to no depth and at high altitude, we don’t expect UW to have their A-game this week. Colorado is 3-7 with a road game against Utah next week. This is senior day, and CU’s players know in the back of their heads that this is their chance for one more victory. This has the look of a 20-17 game either way, and at +235, we will take the home underdog to come out on top.

Remember that the PiRates never wager real money on these games, and we highly suggest you do not either. At this time of year, you need all the extra cash you can get, and losing a couple hundred of those greenbacks because of what you have read here is so not in the holiday spirit.

November 3, 2021

PiRate Picks–November 4-6, 2021

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , — piratings @ 4:45 pm

Are we maybe on to something? Well, maybe, we are on to a minor something. Three straight winning weeks but just minor victories are maybe the equivalent of winning three straight football games by less than a touchdown; we’re 3-0, but the pollsters aren’t going to award us for the wins. We’re the Oklahoma of the current Playoff Rankings.

For the year, our imaginary bank account is in positive territory by 5.607%. On $4,000 in imaginary funds, we have had a return of $4,224.28.

Our big wins last week included picking Michigan State to win outright over Michigan, and then hitting on a nice parlay at +250 with Utah State beating Hawaii and San Jose St. topping Wyoming. The Group of 5 conferences have returned slightly better on our investment than the Power 5 conferences, and we chalk that up to the numbers not being as perfect on these games due to lack of action by the masses. Now that wagering is legal for several million people, it’s like 50 more Las Vegas’s were created overnight, and these millions want to wager on the Alabama’s, the Georgia’s, the Ohio State’s, and the Oregon’s. The Mid-American Conference, and The Mountain West Conference–Not so much. While we cannot wager on MAC games now that they are playing their midweek November schedules, and this feature comes out very late on Wednesday, we have other G5 games to consider.

Before getting to the five selections we have made this week, let us answer a couple of questions we have received this year concerning this feature.

Q. How do you determine your odds when you bet on these games, or pretend to?

A. Good question. We have seven different online sites that list multiple sports books’ odds. All told, we monitor 23 different sports books looking for the best odds. We isolate on those games where we believe the Money Line odds are slightly off just enough to add 5% or more of the total potential payout if we win. So, if most of the books show State at -150, but Big Boy Bets has it at -145, we take advantage of the benefit. Combine two or more of these, and instead of a payout of +130, we might get +150. That’s a big difference and can lead to a profit instead of a loss.

Once we have chosen the games we want, we then try to arrange them in parlays where the odds are much better than Even Money. Let’s say we have State at -200 and Tech at -150 and wish to combine them into a parlay. Now, there is an easy way if you don’t want to do the math. Simply go online to a handicapping site that offers free parlay calculators. But, being math nerds here on the PiRate ship, we like to show you how to do it yourself. It isn’t that hard; a calculator is all you need. There are three easy steps.

Step 1: Take the odds of the two games and divide 100 by each and then add one. (100/200) + 1 = 1.5. (100/150)+1 = 1.667.

Step 2: Multiply the two results. 1.5*1.667 = 2.50.

Step 3: Subtract 1 from step 2 and multiply by 100. (2.50-1)*100 = 150

The parlay odd on this 2-game combo is +150. If we wager $100 and win the parlay, we will receive $250 back (The $150 + our $100 investment).

Q. Last week, you had a parlay that I could not replicate in any way, involving Central Florida over Temple and Kansas State over TCU. You showed +348.93. How did you get that number?

A. We received nine notifications about this. If you looked back later that day, you discovered what we did wrong. We chopped off one part of the parlay. Rice was the third game in that parlay. Nevertheless, it lost. That was a typing error on our part, and we are sorry.

Q. Why do you always mention that we should not take your parlay choices as advice and not to wager on them unless we already have prior research that your picks justify? How could we possibly know in advance which games you will pick? The chances of picking the same parlay are about like hitting the lottery.

A. Here’s where we are coming from. We are old PiRates. We don’t have a ton of disposable income to throw away and give to billionaires. We already do that when we buy a bar of soap, toothpaste, or gasoline for the car. Why give up any more? Additionally, if we actually had real money involved in this procedure, we would be too hesitant to ever make even one pick. We’d find something wrong with every potential selection. So, we’d never release even one parlay to you. By making sure you know that we wager $0 on our selections, you know that we have no worries about the games. We hope you join us in having no worries.

If you can take our picks and do something with them, then it is up to you to determine how you will use this information. We know there are two different groups that monitor our ratings and make selections based on how the three ratings differ.

Without further adieu, here are this week’s picks.

November 4-6
Must WinOpponent
LouisianaGeorgia St.
Penn St.Maryland
New MexicoUNLV

Must WinOpponent
NevadaSan Jose St.
Iowa St.Texas
Fresno St.Boise St.

Must WinOpponent
WyomingColorado St.

Must WinOpponent
North TexasSouthern Miss.
Michigan St.Purdue

Must WinOpponent
Miami (Fla.)Georgia Tech

October 27, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 28-30, 2021

Back To Back Winning Weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date:October 28-30


Must WinOpponent
UTEPFlorida Atlantic

Must WinOpponent
Michigan St.Michigan

Must WinOpponent
Notre DameNorth Carolina

Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaTemple
Kansas St.TCU
RiceNorth Texas

Must WinOpponent
Utah St.Hawaii
San Jose St.Wyoming

October 20, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 21-23, 2021

What a minor difference a week made! After just missing on three big-payout parlays two weeks ago, we played the same strategy last week and made a minor splash thanks to the help of one long shot parlay that won and returned better than 3 to 1 odds. With another win at +187, we made a small profit last week, but large enough to turn our minor net loss for the season into a net gain of 2.3%.

Of course, as we say every week, our financial loss or gain is merely imaginary, as we are playing with imaginary funds that never run out but never accrue. This feature is presented just for fun, and we strongly urge you not to wager real money on what you read here, unless it merely validates your research.

This week presents the fewest number of games that met our criteria this year in any week. We could only go with four parlays of two teams apiece. None are major long shots, but they all top +120, which is the minimum odds we will play. Enjoy!


October 21-25

Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaMemphis
Notre DameUSC

Must WinOpponent
Eastern MichiganBowling Green
Kent St.Ohio U

Must WinOpponent
San Jose St.UNLV
Ball St.Miami (O)

Must WinOpponent
TCUWest Virginia

October 13, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 16-17, 2021

If you are like us here on the aging PiRate ship, you probably grew up in the 1950’s, 1960’s, or 1970’s watching Wile E. Coyote chase the Roadrunner every Saturday morning. He always had a great plan, and of course, he was Acme Products’ best customer. Every plan came “this close” to working. But, in the end, he fell hundreds of feet to the canyon floor and made a splat.

That’s how last week’s episode of the PiRate Picks turned out to be. We chose the best games we saw at Acme Handicapping. We came “this close” to having an incredibly successful week. Two of the long shot parlays won and returned big payouts. With less than five minutes to go in three other selections, we were on the winning side. Alas, at the last second the Roadrunners of the gridiron made their Beep Beep sounds and ran off to safety, leaving our three selections to make a splat at the bottom of the canyon.

Ah, but here’s the rub. Just like Wile E. Coyote, who has endless funds to continue obtaining more great Acme products, our imaginary bank account is just as endless with funds. Just like Wile E., we can go splat on the canyon floor and get right back up and go at it again, because any financial losses are just as fake as the images drawn on a cartoon.

Thus, we have six more Money Line picks this week after suffering a minute net loss last week. For the year, our return on imaginary investment is -1%. It’s not a big negative, but comically, this feature usually returns a small profit every year. However, we would never play these picks, because we prefer to sleep at night. We encourage you to follow our lead. Read it for a laugh, just like you make when you see Wile E. falling off the cliff yet again.


October 14-18

Must WinOpponent
South AlabamaGeorgia Southern
Northern IllinoisBowling Green
UtahArizona St.

Must WinOpponent
Utah St.UNLV
Boston CollegeNorth Carolina St.

Must WinOpponent
Virginia TechPittsburgh

Must WinOpponent
Kent St.Western Michigan

Must WinOpponent
Central MichiganToledo

Must WinOpponent
DenverLas Vegas

October 6, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 9-10, 2021

Last week, time constraints limited this weekly feature to the bare minimum. We have plenty of time this week, so rather than just list the games we have chosen, there’s time to go a little more in-depth with our selections.

First, we made a minimal profit of imaginary revenue last week, as we hit on the long odds 4-game parlay at +372.50 with Texas beating TCU, Wake Forest beating Louisville, South Carolina beating Troy, and Oklahoma State holding on to edge Baylor.

This week presented us with numerous opportunities where certain factors triggered plays. We ended up trimming it to eight parlays, and all but one game coming on Saturday. We had one key Sunday game but could not find an NFL partner for the game, so it attached to other college games to give us the biggest odds of the week. Without further adieu, here are our picks for this week. Remember, this is for entertainment purposes only, and we highly encourage you not to wager real money on these selections, unless you have other research that the information herein merely endorses.

Must WinOpponent
Wake ForestSyracuse
BaylorWest Virginia

This first parlay is cut and dry. We believe that the public is not all that high on the two favorites. Wake Forest is supposed to be weak most years, but Dave Clawson has the Demon Deacons creeping up on Clemson for best in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Baylor came oh so close to knocking off Oklahoma State in Stillwater last week. Had they pulled that win off, the Bears might be approaching the Top 10. West Virginia has played a tough schedule in a short time, and we feel they might show some fatigue in this game.

Must WinOpponent
UTSAWestern Kentucky

Obviously, this is not a parlay. It is one of four games where we are picking an underdog to win straight up. Western Kentucky is due to bounce after getting up and playing a close game at Michigan State, while UTSA has quietly started 5-0 with a Power 5 win.

Must WinOpponent

It hasn’t been often in the last 15 years that we went into the second weekend in October believing that Texas would beat Oklahoma. Oklahoma has been narrowly escaping with wins over mediocre competition. After getting pasted at Arkansas, Texas has begun to look like a team ready to compete for the Big 12 Championship Game. We consider this a tossup game, so we go with the better odds and the underdog.

Must WinOpponent

This is more of a system play. Nebraska won by more than 38 points in a conference game and now plays a conference home game the next week. In a high percentage of cases like this, the home team continues to play at the same top level it played the previous week. Additionally, Michigan is on the road for the second consecutive week in a key conference game. This has the look of a traditional upset.

Must WinOpponent
San Jose St.Colorado St.
Bowling GreenAkron

The key game here is the San Jose State-Colorado State game. We feel like the wrong team is favored. However, playing SJSU in a single game does not supply us with the odds we look for when playing Money Lines. So, we added the Bowling Green game to it to make a parlay that has fat payout odds. The betting public may not see how much the Falcons have improved this year, while Akron remains one of the five worst teams in the FBS.

Must WinOpponent
IowaPenn St.
TennesseeSouth Carolina
Arizona St.Stanford

This is the first of three big-odds payouts we are playing this week. In the first game in this parlay, our ratings show Iowa at the present time to be good enough to run the table and make the Playoffs. Penn State looks like a 10-2 team destined to play on New Year’s Day in Florida. Kirk Ferentz may have his best team in Iowa City.

In the second leg of this parlay, Tennessee fits the same criteria that Nebraska faces. They won by 38 points against a conference opponent and play at home this week against another conference opponent. While South Carolina’s defense is considerably better than Missouri’s, their offense is not as sharp, and we believe Josh Heupel’s Vols are sitting on another great performance.

The third part of this parlay is simply a case where we believe Arizona State is clearly superior to Stanford on both sides of the ball and should win by double digits.

Must WinOpponent
South AlabamaTexas St.
Kent St.Buffalo

South Alabama looks to be 10-14 points better than Texas State, and when we saw the Money Line odds on this game, it was the first one that went into our play pool. Kent State has a score to settle with Buffalo. In the weird Covid year of 2020, The Golden Flashes only managed to get four games in the books. Buffalo was the last, and Kent State went into this game 3-0 and averaging 53 points per game. Buffalo was also 3-0. The Bulls hung 70 points on the Flashes. Kent State gets their revenge this week.

Wisconsin is the best 1-3 team in America. It is odd how many times unforced errors have hurt the Badgers in their three losses. The Badgers don’t particularly like their rival to the south, and we expect UW to win this game by a large margin.

Must WinOpponent
Central MichiganOhio U
BYUBoise St.

Finally, we come to our biggest odds play of the week. We only found one NFL game we wanted to play based on the Money Line odds, so we had to parlay the Carolina Panthers with a couple of college games.

While 2021 looks like a so-so year for Central Michigan, Ohio is in a state of flux after former coach Frank Solich retired during the Summer. The Bobcats are almost sleep-walking through games this year, which can be attributed to growing pains.

Boise State is a mere shell of its former self under Bryan Harsin. New coach Andy Avalos inherited 16 returning starters, but the Broncos never played up to their potential last year and appear to be repeating it this year. Maybe, they were just a bit overrated?

BYU has shown the world that they were more than just Zach Wilson last year. The Cougars’ defense is top notch, while the offense is a bit more deliberate this year, but it helps the defense perform even better. Other than the fact that the Cougars may be looking ahead a tad to next week’s game at Baylor, everything here looks like a BYU win.

Carolina should be a heavier favorite over Philadelphia. The loss to Dallas has been factored a bit too heavily. We like the Panthers solely because their Money Line odds are so favorable this week.

September 30, 2021

PiRate Picks–September 30-October 4, 2021

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


September 30-October 4

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

2. Odds:+219.78
Must WinOpponent
ArmyBall St.

3. Odds:+220.45
Must WinOpponent
West VirginiaTexas Tech

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