The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 24, 2019

A Great Compromise For The NFL

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:47 am

As Week Three of the NFL Preseason continues today, the hot topic among the NFL teams, media, and fans is the preseason itself.  Four preseason games are definitely too many in the 21st Century.  With mini-camps and organized team activities, NFL football does not need more than a month of preseason preparing for the regular season.

At one time, NFL teams played six preseason games and then played a 12-game regular season.  It expanded to six preseason and 14 regular season games in 1961 (1960 in the American Football League).  When the NFL schedule expanded to 16 games in 1979, the preseason shortened to the four games we have now.  So, this current formula has been in place for 40 years.

The owners believe that any reduction in preseason games should be accompanied by an increase in regular season games.  The players don’t believe an 18-game regular season schedule is such a good idea, as injuries are considerably more prevalent the more games they play.  With an 18-game regular season, some players will play 22 regular season games if they make the Super Bowl as a Wildcard.

Obviously, the NFL owners will not agree to removing two preseason games with no extra regular season games.  The players may not agree on the 18-game schedule either.

Here’s our compromise proposal.  Remove two preseason games, which means just one home game per team, and replace it with just one extra regular season games.  That means the regular season would be 17 games.  How could we favor an odd number of games, since that would mean half the league would play nine home games and the other half eight.  Wouldn’t that give the half with nine home games a big advantage?

That’s not what we are proposing.  What we propose is that this 17th game would be played at a neutral site.  There are many excellent college football venues and bowl sites that do not host NFL football.  How would a Dallas-Houston game at the University of Texas play in Austin?  What about the Steelers and Eagles playing at Penn State in Happy Valley?  Or, consider the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals playing at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium?

Opening pro football to all these other markets would grow the brand nationally like playing in London has internationally.  Games in London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, and Munich could be schedules as neutral site games rather than home games.  The NFL could add Mexico City, Honolulu, Tokyo, and Melbourne to its regular season schedule.

What would be done with the extra week of the season when the schedule reduced from 20 different weeks to 19?  Throw in a second bye week for every team and construct schedules that give teams an off week following their neutral site game.

If this plan were put in place, the NFL season would begin tomorrow, Sunday, August 25.


September 26, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 4: September 28-October 2, 2017

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:20 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Green Bay Chicago 10.8 11.4 10.6 46
Miami (London) New Orleans -3.0 -1.8 -3.6 52
New England Carolina 9.5 10.8 9.1 49
Dallas LA Rams 15.7 14.6 15.8 44
Minnesota Detroit 1.1 0.4 1.4 43
Houston Tennessee -0.1 0.1 -0.1 41
N. Y. Jets Jacksonville -2.5 -3.2 -2.5 43
Cleveland Cincinnati -1.2 -1.3 -1.0 37
Baltimore Pittsburgh -1.5 -1.7 -0.8 41
Atlanta Buffalo 10.3 9.5 10.4 53
Tampa Bay N. Y. Giants 3.7 2.8 4.5 38
LA Chargers Philadelphia 1.8 2.5 0.9 48
Arizona San Francisco 10.1 10.6 10.0 49
Denver Oakland 2.2 1.1 2.7 46
Seattle Indianapolis 9.1 8.9 8.7 44
Kansas City Washington 8.1 8.5 8.2 47

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
New England 105.7 106.4 105.5 105.8 24
Buffalo 98.6 99.0 99.0 98.9 22
Miami 97.6 97.7 97.1 97.5 21
N. Y. Jets 92.9 92.5 92.9 92.8 19
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Pittsburgh 104.6 105.0 104.3 104.7 22
Baltimore 101.2 101.3 101.5 101.3 19
Cincinnati 97.6 98.0 97.6 97.8 16
Cleveland 94.4 94.8 94.7 94.6 21
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Tennessee 101.2 101.3 100.7 101.1 25
Houston 98.1 98.4 97.7 98.1 16
Jacksonville 98.0 98.2 97.9 98.0 24
Indianapolis 95.4 95.7 95.1 95.4 25
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Kansas City 105.5 105.6 106.0 105.7 21
Oakland 104.3 104.8 104.0 104.4 26
Denver 103.5 102.8 103.8 103.4 20
LA Chargers 99.5 99.1 99.4 99.3 25
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Dallas 104.2 103.3 104.3 104.0 24
Philadelphia 101.2 100.1 102.0 101.1 23
Washington 100.4 100.1 100.8 100.4 26
N.Y. Giants 99.4 99.6 99.1 99.4 15
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Detroit 102.4 103.2 102.4 102.7 24
Green Bay 102.6 103.3 102.1 102.7 26
Minnesota 100.5 100.6 100.8 100.6 19
Chicago 94.2 94.5 94.0 94.2 20
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Atlanta 105.9 105.5 106.4 105.9 31
New Orleans 100.6 99.5 100.8 100.3 31
Tampa Bay 100.2 99.4 100.6 100.1 23
Carolina 99.2 98.5 99.3 99.0 25
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals
Seattle 101.0 101.1 100.3 100.8 19
Arizona 99.4 99.6 99.1 99.4 24
San Francisco 92.2 92.1 92.1 92.1 25
LA Rams 91.5 91.7 91.5 91.6 20

Our Official Statement on the Current Situation in the NFL

Neither side is right and neither side is wrong.  There is too much black and white in this world, and this is no different.  Life should not be an either or situation on everything that exists, but the human race has not evolved enough to get past this fact.

The problem is that neither side understands tactfulness, maturity, diplomacy, and statesmanship.  Maybe, consultants have advised the two factions to reduce the problem to childlike fighting, and that is sad if the populace can only understand issues when reduced to a childlike mentality.

Nevertheless, the problem is that an entertaining three-hour escape from the stress of the real world has now been altered into just another stressful afternoon.  The 6 members of the PiRate Ratings have decided that the situation has eliminated the needed escape that  NFL Football provided us–up to 56 years for our oldest contributor.  Thus, on Sunday, none of us attended or viewed a game.  Tickets went unused at Lambeau Field, LP Field, and U.S. Bank Stadium.  A fouth stadium, Firstenergy in Cleveland, will join this list this week.  As best as we can estimate, this is the first time since sometime in 1963 that at least once of us has failed to watch an NFL game.

We have received more emails than we can respond to this week, and we will refrain from giving out the email address for now, because it will take a couple weeks to reply to all of them.  But, it is obvious that you our reader are more than likely to stop watching and attending than to watch or attend.  Actually, we have yet to receive an email in support of the players, and we can only surmise that some of you that did not send us a message are still watching.

Feel free to comment in the comment section of this entry.  If you refrain from profanity and comment in a civil and intelligent manner, your comment will be accepted.  We will censor any profanity or below-the-belt comments.  We are a scientific/mathematic website more interested in the numbers than the individuals on either side of this issue.

For those that have not seen this unaltered, here are the exact words of the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Why The Ratings Drop Does Matter

We have heard  many apologists proclaim that the drastic TV ratings drop had little or nothing to do with the current situation between the two opposing sides.  We have seen excuses such as “The Emmy Awards aired opposite SNF,” and “It was Oprah’s Debut on 60 Minutes.”

There is one telltale sign that tends to make us believe these apologies are off the mark.  While the ratings for the football games have dropped off the table, the ratings for the pre-game shows are actually up.  People are tuning in to the pre-game in greater numbers and then switching channels or turning the TV off before the kickoff.  This is a definite sign that the league has alienated a large number of fans, or maybe we should say former fans.  Turning the channel or turning off the TV in the middle of a time slot is considered a bigger deal than doing so at the top or bottom of the hour when programs change.  As a former journalist in radio and television, our founder understands the implications in local news when the ratings change during the weather segment or sports segment.


June 20, 2017

The PiRate Ratings Are Hard At Work

Welcome back gridiron fans.  The PiRates are back at sea working hard on getting their treasure for the 2017-18 season.

There will be a few tweaks to the formulas this season as we refine our ratings to make them as accurate as possible, and we are excited about it.

Tweak #1: Our first tweak involves increasing the alteration of each college football teams’ rate of adjustment as it applies to depth concerns.  If a team is stacked two-deep with talent, they should be able to endure a long, hard season.  But, if the team is only good in their starting lineup, and they lack the depth, they will weaken as the season goes on.  Consider two teams, State and Tech.  State and Tech are about equal in talent in their starting lineups, and on August 25, they are exactly the same in power rating.  For the sake of argument, let’s say they both look like 9-3 teams in a power 5 conference and have identical ratings of 118.0.

In the month of September, State and Tech both go 4-0 over similar competition, and their statistics show that they are still basically the same in talent and results.  Both teams ratings go up, but State’s go up a tad more than Tech’s, due to the depth issue.  Through four games, it won’t be all that much, and now on the First Monday in October, State is now 122.5, and Tech is 121.8.

In October, State and Tech both go 3-1 to sit at 7-1 with four games to go.  Both teams have lost some key players by now, but State has plugged in able second-teamers to fill the spots, while Tech has been forced to go with talent not up to Power 5 conference standards.  State’s wins have been a little easier, and their loss was much closer than Tech’s wins and loss.  Now, State has a rating of 123.1, while Tech has fallen a bit to 119.5.

In November, State finishes strong, going 3-1 to finish the regular season at 10-2.  Tech falters going 1-3 to finish 8-4.

We see this every year.  We believe we can factor in this depth issue into our ratings before the season begins, and we can adjust the rate of adjustment during the season as a team sees key players leave the lineup.  It also works in reverse; a team may have a blessing of several new underclassmen beginning to contribute.

Look at Georgia in 1980.  Hershel Walker was a true freshman.  In the second half of the season opener against Tennessee, Coach Vince Dooley inserted Walker into the game with the Bulldogs trailing by double-digits, and Walker turned the game around in his first 10 carries.  Georgia won the game, and Walker led the Bulldogs to an undefeated National Championship.  Had this new twist of our ratings been in effect then, The Bulldogs might have improved by an unprecedented 10 points between game one and game two.  As it was then, it took several weeks until Georgia’s rating really reflected their power, all because of one freshman.

This can just as easily happen to an average team that loses a couple of key players.  There have been instances when a team has lost a dozen key players by the end of October.  If it is Alabama, the Crimson Tide might be five points weaker than they would have been with the dozen players still healthy.  But, if it is Iowa State, the Cyclones might be 15 points weaker with the loss of these dozen players.

Going back to the unexpected bonanza, what if a team has five or six redshirt freshmen that have displaced upperclassmen in the starting lineup?  Obviously, this team must now be better talent-wise if starters have been replaced  (unless the coach has thrown in the towel on the season and is looking to the future).  What started as a so-so season may continue as a better season because the surprising advancement of the freshmen has made this team a touchdown better than it was earlier in the season.

The PiRate Ratings will adjust for this during the season by increasing or decreasing the adjustment rate of the teams after each Saturday.  Because the PiRate Ratings always show a total average of 100.0, that means teams might lose ground in the ratings after a good game, because other teams now earn more bonus for their play on the field.  It will be a work in progress, but in the end, we believe it will lead to more accurate ratings.


Tweak #2: Our basketball ratings have always been Four Factors-based.  We have three different algorithms using the Four Factors Data.  Football also has its factors.  In fact, in football, there are five factors.  They are, in order of importance: Explosiveness, Efficiency, Field Position, Finishing Drives, and Turnovers.   You can find excellent content online about these factors–some explain in detail like a thesis, while others give you a quick outline.

For our purposes, we have changed how we use the box scores of the games in our updating formula.  We will look more at Explosiveness and Efficiency when we update the teams’ ratings every week.  Additionally, we will keep an unpublished running score on how consistent teams are in being able to move the ball and stop the movement of the other team.  Which leads us to our big breakthrough for 2017-18.

Big Breakthrough

Have you ever noticed that over the course of an era, a team may celebrate a national championship or conference championship when they appear to not be as good as prior teams or soon see future teams that look better but do not win the championship?  You have probably seen that a really good team goes 10-2 or 11-1 and demolishes most of their opponents but suffered a terrible upset.  Then, that team runs the table but wins most of their games by nice amounts but by no means blowouts.

Think of a team that wins 55-17 and 38-10 or something similar for most of the season and then falls 31-27 to a mediocre team.  This team leads the nation in total offense or scoring defense, but they always fall a game short of the accomplishment.  But, then along comes a season where this school wins 31-20, 27-14 or something similar and runs the table.  They finish well down in total offense and near the top in scoring defense, but they go undefeated.

We have seen this happen multiple times in the last 30 years.  The dominating team is not as consistent as the team that went undefeated, and in three out of 10 games, the less consistent power may be two touchdowns better than the undefeated champion.  However, 70% of the time, the undefeated champion will be better than the dominating team.

The PiRates have tried to assign value or lack of value to the consistency of a team, but this is something that takes a good sampling of games.  This adjustment will be used in November after all teams have played 2/3 of their regular season schedule.  By then, we should have a grasp of what teams are staying consistent, and what teams are all over the map.  We will not adjust their ratings, because you never know if your inconsistent team will deviate 14 points above their rating or 14 points below.  What we will do is search for consistency when we select our Money Line plays.  We might be crazy, because we are coming off two consecutive profitable Money Line seasons (just for fun and not real wagering), so we might be cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

Enjoy your summer.  Football season will be here before you know it.  The PiRates are actually ahead of schedule this year with their college football updates, and we should have enough time to expand our preseason coverage this year.

December 28, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–January 1, 2017

Due to the debut of our college basketball coverage on Thursday, we are issuing our parlay selections a day early this week.

After losing both long shot parlays last week, our profit for the season has fallen to just 9% for the season, but unless we go crazy and take too many illogical selections in the playoffs, the PiRates are guaranteed of having a second consecutive profitable year.

Once again, we are shunning the college bowl games, as there are too many intangibles in these games.  However, in Week 17 of the NFL season, you have a host of teams with nothing to gain or lose, and some teams can actually lose by winning–as their draft status could be damaged.

One team that will most likely end up with one of the worst five records, the Los Angeles Rams, actually cannot help their draft status by losing to Arizona.  The Rams gave up their first pick to the Tennessee Titans in order to move up to the top of the last draft and take Jared Goff.

Cleveland can upset Pittsburgh and then lose the top pick in the draft if Seattle beats San Francisco.  It is our opinion that Browns Analytics’ gurus, Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta, will invest the top pick in a package to another team to receive multiple picks, as no one superstar is going to turn Cleveland around in 2017.  Cleveland needs a franchise quarterback, but there really is no clear cut prospect out there that is a sure future star.  The Browns could increase their picks to double digits like last year, and they could still pick up a potentially good Mason Rudolph or even possibly DeShaun Watson or Brad Kaaya in the last part of the first round.

There are a handful of games this week where one team has everything to play for while the other team has nothing to play for.  The Money Lines reflect that in their odds, so we won’t actually receive added benefits by selecting these games.  However, it figures that these teams will be trying harder to win, while the oppositions’ players may be trying to avoid injury in meaningless games.

Therefore, we go with just one parlay this week, using three teams that have everything to gain by winning playing against teams that have nothing to play for hurting their draft order.

1. NFL Parlay at +159
Atlanta over New Orleans
Washington over N. Y. Giants
Kansas City over San Diego

Atlanta will be playing for a first round bye in this early game.  The Saints have nothing to play for, and Drew Brees may see limited action in this game.

The New York Giants cannot afford to risk injuries to key players in a game in which they will be the number five seed no matter what happens.  However, the Redskins must win to get into the playoffs.

Kansas City needs to win and then root for Denver to beat Oakland in order for the Chiefs to win the AFC West and wrap up a bye.  Because Oakland plays Denver at the same time that KC will play SD, the Chiefs will begin this game knowing they have a chance.  Hopefully, if Oakland does beat Denver, it will be a game in which the outcome is not decided until long after the Chiefs have dominated the Chargers.

We are not issuing a choice in the Detroit-Green Bay game.  The winner of this game will take the NFC North and get a wildcard round game at home.  The loser will either be out of the playoffs (if Washington wins earlier in the day) or in the playoffs as the #6 seed (if Washington loses.)  Because we will not know until the conclusion of the Giants-Redskins game what impact it will have on this game, we will not use it in our selection.   Some of you that like to go for broke and make a major payday on one long shot might consider adding the red hot Packers into the selection and raising the Parlay Payout to better than +200.

Some of you also might like looking at a single play in the Houston-Tennessee game.  There is nothing on the line here, but Tennessee will be too one dimensional with its running game, as Matt Cassel cannot run like the injured Marcus Mariota.  Cassel is not the best at using the play-action pass, so the Texans’ defense will most likely limit the Titans’ running game and then win in an ugly, low-scoring game.



September 14, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 15-19, 2016

Our second week of parlay picks performed little better than the first week.  We chose five parlays at better than even money odds, and we only hit on one of them at +131.  It was the Baltimore over Buffalo and Green Bay over Jacksonville parlay that won.

For the season, we have put $700 in imaginary bankroll up for money line parlay investment, and we have won just $131 while losing $600 for a net of $-469.  Ugh, but at least we still have the same amount of real $$$, since this is just for fun.

Because, it is just for fun, we have another $500 in imaginary dough ready to put on the non-existent line this week.  Once again, as we like to always play parlays with better than even money odds, all five picks will pay back more than the $100 investment if they win.

Before we get to this week’s picks, we have been asked by a handful of you where we get our odds.  This is a  multiple part response.  First, we do not use just one sports book to find our odds.  We shop for the best odds we can get on each parlay, so one parlay might be with one book, while another parlay might be with another one.  All of our fake selections come from easily playable online sports books, plus Las Vegas.  It appears that some of you from Vegas read our parlay selections every week, and we can only imagine how peeved you must be, even though we begged many times for readers here not to use these selections.

As for the actual odds, you can figure these out yourselves with an easy but time-consuming process, but why do this, when you can find parlay calculators online?

For those math geeks like us that must know how to do it, here goes:

Let’s look at a 3-team parlay of favorites at -150, -180, and -200.  First we find the decimal divider for figuring the multiplier.  So, we take each number (150, 180, and 200).  You divide your total payout of winning by the amount risked.  We are always risking $100 on every parlay, so this becomes easier.  at -150, we win 100 for every 150 or 1 for every .667.  The decimal multiplier would then be the reward (.667) + the risk (1), or 1.667

For -180, we win 100 for every 180 invested or one for every .556.  The decimal multiplier would then be (.556 + 1) 1.556

For -200, we win 100 for every 200 invested or one for every .5.  The decimal multiplier would then be (.5 + 1) 1.5

Now, multiply the three decimal multipliers (1.667, 1.556, and 1.5).  The answer to this is 3.89.

Now, we subtract 1 for the risk invested and we get 2.89.  If we wager $100 on this parlay, and it wins, we will be paid $289.


Let’s say you are feeling strong about two underdogs winning outright.  The Money Lines are listed at +120 and +150.  This is easier to calculate.  If you play at +120 you are putting up 100 to win 120, and the multiplier decimal is 2.2 (1+1.2).  The +150 multiplier decimal is 2.5 (1+1.5), and when you multiply 2.2 by 2.5, you get 5.5.  Subtract the 1 for the risk, and you get 4.5.  For every $100 you wager on this parlay, you would win $450 if the two underdogs won outright.

Once again, you can find a parlay calculator online that will do this for you.

Here are our parlays for this week

Parlay #1: +142

Rutgers over New Mexico

Texas over California

Nevada over Buffalo

We are playing some angles here.  New Mexico lost to rival New Mexico State and now must go on the road to a so-so Big Ten team that lost at a ranked Washington team and won a cakewalk game last week.

We feel that Texas can play smash mouth football against Cal and wear their weak defense down.  Even though the game is in Berkeley, Texas has more muscle and speed than San Diego State who beat the Golden Bears last week.

Buffalo has to travel over 2,00o miles to Reno after beginning the season with a loss to an FCS opponent.  Nevada fared okay at Notre Dame last week, and the Wolfpack will have a bit of added confidence.  Going up against a slower offense and defense will do for the Nevada what two bats being swung does for a batter in the on-deck circle.


Parlay #2 +130

Virginia Tech over Boston College

Western Kentucky over Miami (O)

Oklahoma St. over Pittsburgh

Boston College really struggles to score points.  The Eagles’ defense is really good, but it will be on the field too much in Blacksburg.  The Hokies may be a little hungover this week following the big game, but their defense is almost as good as BC’s, and almost as good facing BC’s offense and playing on home turf is enough for VT to win.

Western Kentucky did a better job against Alabama at Bryant Denny Stadium than USC did against the Tide at AT&T Stadium.  Miami of Ohio is still a couple years of improvement away before the Red Hawks can think there is a chance to go to a bowl.  The Hilltoppers should win this game by at least 17 points.

I would not want to be the Alabama or Ohio State and have to play Oklahoma State in Stillwater this week.  The players are mad as hatters.  The coach is madder.  Add the obvious letdown by the Panthers after beating Penn State at home, and we would not be surprised if OSU wins by 20 or more points.


Parlay #3 +147

Utah St. over Arkansas St.

Central Michigan over UNLV

Texas Tech over Louisiana Tech

Alabama over Ole Miss

Arkansas State appears to be weaker than thought in the preseason, when the Sun Belt media gurus thought they would contend with Appy State for the conference crown.  They are 0-2, but it is a sneaky 0-2.  Losses to Auburn and Toledo doesn’t make ASU bad.  Playing at Utah St. gives the Aggies a greater than normal home field advantage.  USU never challenged USC last week, so this is a chance for the Aggies to rebound and bounce back.

Central Michigan must now be considered a contender for the NY6 Bowl bid.  A road win over a top 20 team, even if mistakes were made by the referees, is worth more than Houston’s win at hometown NRG Stadium over Oklahoma.  The Chippewas know they must win every week, and they have a tough conference schedule ahead with Western Michigan, Toledo, and Northern Illinois, plus the must-win game at Virginia next week.  CMU might be looking ahead to the Cavaliers next week, and that worries us a bit, because UNLV is not chopped liver like they have been in recent seasons.  The Rebels could end CMU’s quest for the Fiesta.  Still, we are going with CMU to win, maybe just by not as comfortable a margin as we would hope.

How many points will be scored in Lubbock this week?  How about 90 or more?  Texas Tech and Arizona State played to a basketball score last week, and the Red Raiders return home to face a somewhat weaker opponent.  It might be a nervous Nellie game, but we believe TTU wins 52-38.

Would you like to have a chance to beat Alabama three years in a row when the Tide was undefeated and ranked in the top 5?  Alabama has been ranked #2 and #3 the last two years when Ole Miss defeated the Tide.  The Tide will turn this week, and Alabama will get two years worth of revenge.  Nick Saban and staff has parsed every play of Florida State’e second half against the Rebels, and it would shock us less if ‘Bama wins by 35 or more than Ole Miss winning a third time in a row.


Parlay #4 +132

Penn St. over Temple

Marshall over Akron

Stanford over USC

Utah over San Jose St.

Must we say what happens if Temple goes into Happy Valley and tops Penn State after the Nittany Lions lost to Pitt last week?  The seat of James Franklin would become hot enough to make fried rice.  Temple is weaker than last year, but apparently so is Penn State, or at best they are on par with last year.  We believe the game could be ugly, but the big guys have to win, and they will.

Marshall looked fantastic as the Thundering Herd was the only FBS team to debut their season last week.  Akron had a tough week at Wisconsin, and the Badgers’ muscle guys probably left the Zips bumped and bruised.  We believe they won’t feel better after visiting Doc Holliday, as the Herd runs over the Zips.

Stanford had an extra week to prepare for USC, and teams tend to improve the most between game one and game two.  The Cardinal offense should put up about 25-30 points while holding the Trojans under 20.

Utah visits San Jose a little later in the evening than the Stanford game up the road, but you cannot go to both games and see them in full.  You might be able to see half of each one if you speed on down 280 or the Central Expressway.  The Spartans are one of those teams you worry about, but Utah is a solid team that plays well every week–never spectacular, but much like Wisconsin.  We’ll take the Utes.


Parlay #5 +120

Detroit Lions over Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots over Miami Dolphin

Carolina over San Francisco

Until Tennessee actually wins a game this year, we will select their opponents most weeks.  The Titans look to us to be even weaker than Cleveland without RG3.  Truth be told, if Josh McCown has anything left in his old legs, Cleveland may be a tad better.  The Titans have great difficulty spreading the field vertically with a bunch of distance horses and no speed horses.  Marcus Mariota is not good enough to make average receivers look like Peyton Manning made Dallas Clark.  The running game would be terrific if the passing game was even average, and the defense does not scare many people.  Matthew Stafford and company should have a fun Sunday.

New England is at home facing Miami.  Jimmy Garappolo wasn’t Tom Brady the Second, but he was at least as good as Matt Cassel 2008.  Miami’s defense may be considerably better than last year’s version, but can their offense keep up with the Patriots’ offense?  We say no way.

Carolina has everything in their favor for the last game in this parlay.  The Panthers played Thursday night, while the 49ers played four days later in a rivalry game that had been waiting for 22 years.  San Francisco must travel from one coast to another across three time zones, and they will face hot and humid conditions on Sunday with a chance of storms.  Unless Cam Newton suffers some ill effects from the illegal hits in the opener, we believe Carolina wins by double digits.


***** Warning *****

Remember, do not use these just for fun picks as real investment advice.  We are out nothing for the unsatisfactory results so far.  Don’t be a fool who is soon parted from his/her money.

Past results do not necessarily reflect future success.  Even if we finished 2015 with a 40% ROI, there is no legitimate reason to expect we will ever get on the plus side of 0 this year.

May 11, 2016

2016 NFL Draft Grades

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 8:24 am

We here at the PiRate Ratings are already hard at work updating our college and pro football ratings for the start of the 2016 season.

One of our most time-taking tasks is to grade the NFL Draft every May.  Unlike the mass media, where they aspire to come up with draft grades on the spot, we believe that there is only one way to possibly grade the draft before any players ever suit up on an NFL field.

For our purposes, the NFL Draft is no different than recruiting is for college football.  We can grade each player as a 1 to 5-star player.  Then, we can look at each team and speculate whether each player will contribute to each team in week 1 of the 2016 season.  That is all that matters for our purposes, because we are attempting to begin the season with the most accurate point rating for each of the 32 NFL teams.

Therefore, when you see the mass media claim that one team aced the draft because they picked up some great players, but none of these players are expected to be major contributors in Week 1, we may not have that team’s draft rated the same way.  Also, if a weak 2015 team now has 2 or 3 new starters thanks to the draft, then it reasons that this team has satisfied needs in a better way than most other teams.

Also, it goes without saying that just about all 32 teams make themselves more talented each year after drafting players, as they plug in better players for what they have released.  Sometimes, a team can be weaker, like when they lose great talent for a variety of reasons, and the new talent is not as talented or experienced.  However, in most years at least 30 teams improve their overall talent from the draft (and from free agency).  Therefore, a team may be rated dead last in draft grades yet still be improved from the year before.  Thus, draft grading is more of a task where we grade the level of improvement in power rating.

It also should be understood that from a draft standpoint, the actual point improvement between the most improved team and team number 32 is minimal, maybe as little as three points.

Here are our 32 numerical grades for the 2016 NFL Draft.

2016 NFL Draft Score Sheet
# Team Grade
1 Jacksonville 4.8
2 Cincinnati 4.2
3 Chicago 4.2
4 Baltimore 4.2
5 Buffalo 4.0
6 Washington 4.0
7 Indianapolis 3.9
8 San Diego 3.8
9 Tennessee 3.8
10 Seattle 3.7
11 Oakland 3.6
12 N. Y. Giants 3.6
13 New Orleans 3.6
14 Miami 3.5
15 Denver 3.5
16 Green Bay 3.5
17 Los Angeles 3.5
18 Houston 3.3
19 San Francisco 3.3
20 Kansas City 3.2
21 Philadelphia 3.2
22 Arizona 3.2
23 Pittsburgh 3.1
24 Minnesota 3.1
25 N. Y. Jets 3.0
26 Cleveland 2.9
27 Dallas 2.9
28 Tampa Bay 2.9
29 Detroit 2.8
30 New England 2.7
31 Atlanta 2.6
32 Carolina 2.0

The difference in actual pointspread value between #1 Jacksonville and #32 Carolina is a mere 2.8 points.  That will affect the game outcomes very negligibly this year.  Of course, there are many other factors used in determining our initial ratings for the teams.  The draft score is just one tiny variable, but it is also one of the most entertaining parts of our rating compilation.  We doubt you would care about reading a post dealing with how age affects pass blocking abilities of offensive lines, or how a new defensive line coach might affect how efficient a pass rush might be compared to the year before.

Most importantly, remember that all of the stuff we do is useful to us only for the next week of scheduled games.  After every team plays game 1, all this work we compile quickly becomes obsolete, replaced by actual game results.

We look forward to your continued support.  Our initial 2016 college ratings should debut around August 10-15, with one conference per day.  Our NFL ratings will follow the release of our college ratings.


January 18, 2016

PiRate Ratings NFL Conference Championship Preview

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:07 pm

Note: We will have computer simulations for the two Conference Championship games on Friday.

This Week’s Games
Week Number: Conference Championships      
Date of Games: 24-Jan    
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Denver New England -0.1 0.1 1.2
Carolina Arizona 2.5 3.3 3.8

January 2, 2016

PiRate Ratings Selections For NFL Week 17–January 3, 2016

Week 17 often can be a tough puzzle to solve in the NFL.  Which teams that have clinched a playoff spot might fail to show up?  Which teams that have clinched a losing season have already mentally begun their off-season?  How important is getting the #5 seed or #3 seed compared to the #6 seed of #4 seed if a team has already clinched a playoff spot?  Will a certain team already know their fate when they kick off in the 4:25 PM game due to what happened in a 1:00 PM game?


This and many other variables come into play when looking at the last game of the year.  added to the difficulty this year is that multiple teams still playing for something do not have a legitimate NFL starting quarterback healthy enough to play.  They are going to play their most important game of the year with what could be called a replacement player.  Can these teams win by running the ball 70% of the time?


The other predicament we have is trying to play the money line parlays by avoiding any chance of going .500 and losing money.  That basically means picking three different parlays, and we have been making hay by choosing parlays with odds of better than even money.  There are 15 games with money lines this week, so in order to pick three parlays with better than even money odds, we had to dig deep and make selections in 2/3 of the games in order to get those parlays.


Since there will be little chance to find value in the playoff games, this will be our final week of parlays.  They have done rather well with a return on investment of 50.82% through today.  We are hoping to close out on a high note and keep that ROI over 50%.

Straight Selection

Favorite Underdog Line Our Pick
New York Jets Buffalo 2 New York Jets

Money Line Parlays

Money Line Parlay 3 Teams at 1.74 to 1   $274 Payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
New York Jets Buffalo   New York Jets
Pittsburgh Cleveland   Pittsburgh
Arizona Seattle   Arizona


Money Line Parlay 4 Teams at 1.77 to 1   $277 Payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
New England Miami   New England
Houston Jacksonville   Houston
Kansas City Oakland   Kansas City
Denver San Diego   Denver


Money Line Parlay 3 Teams at 1.91 to 1   $291 Payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
Carolina Tampa Bay   Carolina
New York Giants Philadelphia   New York Giants
Green Bay Minnesota   Green Bay




December 26, 2015

Selections Against The Spread–December 26, 2015

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , — piratings @ 6:58 am

Happy Boxing Day.  If you are not familiar with this other side of the pond holiday, it has absolutely nothing to do with a ring, two fighters, and a referee all responding to the sound of a bell every three minutes.


The PiRates are busy boxing up gifts to the butlers and chambermaids throughout the kingdom, but if you are of football royalty, then you should heed our warning and use this information for research and entertainment purposes only.

Straight Selections

Favorite Underdog Line Our Pick
Philadelphia Washington 2.5 Philadelphia
Kansas City Cleveland 11 Cleveland
Houston Tennessee 4 Houston

Money Line Parlays

Money Line Parlay 3 Teams at 3-2   $246 payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
Minnesota N. Y. Giants   Minnesota
Tampa Bay Chicago   Tampa Bay
Seattle St. Louis   Seattle


Money Line Parlay 4 Teams at 8-5   $258 payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
Carolina Atlanta   Carolina
Buffalo Dallas   Buffalo
Detroit San Francisco   Detroit
Pittsburgh Baltimore   Pittsburgh


Money Line Parlay 3 Teams at 3-1   $385 payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
Kansas City Cleveland   Kansas City
Miami Indianapolis   INDIANAPOLIS
Arizona Green Bay   Arizona


December 16, 2015

NFL Preview For Week 15: December 17-21, 2015

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:32 pm

This week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
N.Y. Giants 101.2 101.3 101.7 101.4 6-7-0 338 320
Philadelphia 100.2 100.2 100.9 100.4 6-7-0 301 322
Dallas 99.5 98.1 98.3 98.6 4-9-0 230 305
Washington 96.3 96.3 96.8 96.5 6-7-0 281 307
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 106.4 105.8 106.3 106.2 9-4-0 317 245
Minnesota 100.6 100.0 102.2 100.9 8-5-0 258 255
Chicago 98.7 98.4 98.7 98.6 5-8-0 272 314
Detroit 99.0 97.7 97.5 98.1 4-9-0 267 336
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 109.3 109.6 110.9 109.9 13-0-0 411 243
Atlanta 95.3 94.5 93.9 94.6 6-7-0 279 295
Tampa Bay 94.8 94.8 94.1 94.6 6-7-0 288 322
New Orleans 94.8 93.5 95.2 94.5 5-8-0 323 397
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 111.0 110.8 111.6 111.1 8-5-0 340 235
Arizona 108.9 108.5 109.6 109.0 11-2-0 405 252
St. Louis 94.6 95.0 94.4 94.7 5-8-0 210 271
San Francisco 94.8 93.7 95.1 94.5 4-9-0 188 315
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 109.6 109.6 109.3 109.5 11-2-0 402 253
N. Y. Jets 101.7 102.5 102.1 102.1 8-5-0 325 256
Buffalo 101.7 102.5 102.1 102.1 6-7-0 316 301
Miami 96.8 96.7 95.8 96.4 5-8-0 264 331
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Pittsburgh 108.7 108.9 108.8 108.8 8-5-0 344 260
Cincinnati 106.9 107.7 107.7 107.4 10-3-0 354 229
Baltimore 98.1 97.1 96.6 97.3 4-9-0 278 326
Cleveland 91.5 90.8 90.9 91.1 3-10-0 240 357
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Houston 97.6 98.5 97.5 97.9 6-7-0 259 291
Indianapolis 95.7 96.1 95.9 95.9 6-7-0 275 356
Jacksonville 94.4 96.6 94.5 95.2 5-8-0 326 357
Tennessee 90.7 90.7 89.9 90.4 3-10-0 253 326
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Kansas City 105.4 106.4 106.0 105.9 8-5-0 331 243
Denver 104.0 103.7 103.9 103.9 10-3-0 281 225
Oakland 96.5 98.5 96.7 97.2 6-7-0 299 326
San Diego 95.3 95.5 95.1 95.3 3-10-0 250 334

This Week’s Spreads

This Week’s Games
Week Number: 15      
Date of Games: December 17-21      
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
St. Louis Tampa Bay 2.3 2.7 2.8
Dallas NY Jets 0.8 -1.4 -0.8
Baltimore Kansas City -4.8 -6.8 -6.9
Indianapolis Houston 0.6 0.1 0.9
Jacksonville Atlanta 1.6 4.6 3.1
Minnesota Chicago 4.4 4.1 6.0
New England Tennessee 21.9 21.9 22.4
NY Giants Carolina -5.6 -5.8 -6.7
Oakland Green Bay -6.9 -4.3 -6.6
Philadelphia Arizona -5.7 -5.3 -5.7
Pittsburgh Denver 7.7 8.2 7.9
San Diego Miami 1.5 1.8 2.3
San Francisco Cincinnati -9.1 -11.0 -9.6
Seattle Cleveland 23.0 23.5 24.2
Washington Buffalo -2.9 -3.7 -2.8
New Orleans Detroit -1.7 -1.7 0.2

NFL Playoffs Update

If Season Ended Today
1 New England
2 Cincinnati
3 Denver
4 Indianapolis
5 Kansas City
6 New York Jets
1 Carolina
2 Arizona
3 Green Bay
4 Washington
5 Seattle
6 Minnesota

PiRate Playoff Projections

NFL Playoff Projections
1 New England
2 Denver
3 Cincinnati
4 Indianapolis
5 Kansas City
6 Pittsburgh
1 Carolina
2 Arizona
3 Green Bay
4 Washington
5 Seattle
6 Minnesota
Wildcard Playoff Round
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Kansas City over Indianapolis
Green Bay over Minnesota
Seattle over Washington
Divisional Playoff Round
New England over Pittsburgh
Kansas City over Denver
Carolina over Seattle
Arizona over Green Bay
Conference Championship Round
Kansas City over New England
Arizona over Carolina
Super Bowl 50
Kansas City over Arizona
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