The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 3, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for October 4-8, 2018

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:44 am

Another mediocre week by the PiRate Rating selections was offset by another spectacular week by three of our five Land Sharps.

Last week, our official picks went 4-7, to bring the total to date to 22-23-1.  This took our minor profit for the season to a minor loss of 5.7% Return on Investment.  We will include some Money Line parlays that give us better than +150 odds this week in an attempt to get back into the black.  In the past, we have done well when playing 4-game parlays that give us better than +150 odds, but we tend to cash in big on these parlays in November.  Hopefully, October will be nice to us.

As for the Land Sharps, Buckeye Michelle, Friday Dog 13, and Cal Gal Tiffany continue to draw the ire of the kind people in the State of Nevada.  If they keep up this streak, they will not be allowed to patronize the books (Note–every pick on this site is done strictly for entertainment purposes only, so they really have no connection with any books).

Dean615 and Stewed Meat have treaded water so far, as both as exactly .500 in their picks.  In Stewed’s defense, these are this Land Sharp’s “B” picks.  Stewed is a real professional, and Stewed A’s picks last week (college and NFL) went 8-3 including a Parlay win that returned 6 to 1 odds for a big profit.

This week, our Land Sharps have picked between 5 and 9 games.  Because we try not to do the same thing, and we include the NFL in our official picks, we are going with 9 selections–3 vs. spreads, 4, 10-point teasers, and 2 Money Line Parlays.

PiRate Ratings Official Picks 

Margins

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Akron Miami (O) 3 Akron
Baltimore Cleveland 3 Baltimore
San Francisco Arizona 3.5 San Francisco

10-Point Teasers (3-team parlays)

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Louisville Georgia Tech 6.5 Georgia Tech
Boston College North Carolina St. 5.5 North Carolina St.
LSU Florida 13 Florida

 

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Alabama Arkansas 24 Alabama
Clemson Wake Forest 7.5 Clemson
Miami (Fla.) Florida St. 2.5 Miami (Fla.)

 

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
South Florida Massachusetts 4 South Florida
Georgia Southern South Alabama 3.5 Georgia Southern
Ole Miss Louisiana-Monroe 2.5 Ole Miss

 

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Central Florida SMU 14 Central Florida
Washington St. Oregon St. 6.5 Washington St.
Fresno St. Nevada 2 Fresno St.

 

Money Line Parlays

4 Teams at +168

Winner Loser
North Carolina St. Boston College
Troy Georgia St.
UNLV New Mexico
Miami (Fla.) Florida St.

 

4 Teams at +174

Winner Loser
Liberty New Mexico St.
South Florida Massachusetts
Buffalo Central Michigan
Georgia Southern South Alabama

 

The Land Sharps

Buckeye Michelle

Year to Date: 14-6  70.0%, 37.0% Return on Investment

Connecticut +36 vs. Memphis

Kentucky +6 vs. Texas A&M

Minnesota +7.5 vs. Iowa

Air Force +3.5 vs. Navy

UAB +9.5 vs. Louisiana Tech

 

Friday Dog 13

Year to Date: 11-5 68.8%, 34.4% Return on Investment

Marshall -6 vs. Middle Tennessee

Akron -3 vs. Miami (O)

Ole Miss -22 vs. Louisiana-Monroe

West Virginia -28.5 vs. Kansas

Central Florida -24 vs. SMU

North Carolina St. -4 vs. Boston College

South Florida -4 vs. Massachusetts

Syracuse -3.5 vs. Pittsburgh

Kentucky +6 vs. Texas A&M

 

Cal Gal Tiffany

Year to Date: 17-9  65.4%, 27.3% Return on Investment

Utah St. +3 vs. BYU

North Carolina St. -4 vs. Boston College

LSU -2.5 vs. Florida

Florida St. +13 vs. Miami (Fla.)

Georgia Southern -13.5 vs. South Alabama

Auburn -3 vs. Mississippi St.

Georgia -26.5 vs. Vanderbilt

 

Stewed Meat

Year to Date: 11-11  50.0%, -5% Return on Investment

Georgia Tech -3.5 vs. Louisville

North Carolina St. -4 vs. Boston College

Florida +3 vs. LSU

Akron -3 vs. Miami (O)

Colorado -2.5 vs. Arizona St.

Houston & Tulsa UNDER 70.5

Michigan & Maryland UNDER 49

 

Dean615

Year to Date: 7-7  50.0%, -5.0% Return on Investment

Notre Dame -6 vs. Virginia Tech

Wisconsin -17.5 vs. Nebraska

Texas A&M -5.5 vs. Kentucky

Florida & LSU UNDER 44.5

Notre Dame & Virginia Tech OVER 56.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 28, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 28-October 2, 2017

After four weeks of the football season, our readers might just want to take a knee; then again, they might want to place that knee firmly in some PiRate groin!  Ouch!  1,000 apologies if you took our ill-adivsed advice!

Another losing week, and we are now in the hole to the tune of -25% return on our investment for the season.  We won only one of last week’s four selections, returning $245 on $400 invested.  The -25% return for the season comes from $899 returned on $1,200 invested, quite a hole to try to emerge from before the season runs out of dates.

Our one solace, and we hope this is yours as well, is that these are imaginary dollars.  We can continue to select a liberal amount of games and be a bit wild with our selections, because we are only out the time it takes to pick these games.

This week, you will notice that all of our selections are college football games.  There are no NFL picks.  Make of this what you want, and you will be partially correct.  For one, we just didn’t feel like looking at the NFL Money Lines.  None of us will attend any games this week, and as far as we know, none of us will be watching on TV or listening on the radio.  Another reason why we didn’t select any NFL games is that the league is extremely erratic this year.  The supposed sure-thing 0-16 Jets won big over a playoff contender, and the Texans with a rookie QB almost beat New England, so let’s just walk away from the NFL for now.  The politics can only make the outcomes more unpredictable.

That leaves us with college football, and there are a lot of good games this week.  By good, we mean games in which the favorite is in the 5 to 10 point range, which presents us excellent Money Line potentials.  We actually like one underdog winning outright on the road, and we are going to put that one out as a single entry.

Here are our 5 parlay selections for this week.  Remember this: The members of the PiRate Ratings are not foolish enough to wager real currency on these selections.  We are nervous enough with our value stock selections, which are real, so we don’t need the added stress.  You to should avoid the stress of worrying about losing $500 real dollars on these selections, so only wager imaginary money if you must.

#1 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia Tech North Carolina
Georgia Tennessee
Nebraska Illinois
#2 @ +150  
Must Win Must Lose
Iowa Michigan St.
#3 @ +146  
Must Win Must Lose
Central Florida Memphis
Cincinnati Marshall
#4 @ +128  
Must Win Must Lose
Kentucky Eastern Mich.
Western Mich. Ball St.
La. Tech South Alabama
Boston College Central Mich.
#5 @ +135  
Must Win Must Lose
UNLV San Jose St.
Florida Intl. Charlotte
San Diego St. N. Illinois
Florida Vanderbilt

 

 

 

 

September 14, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 14-18, 2017

Yuck!  You could say that about the weather in recent weeks.  You could say that about there not being enough “United” in the United States in recent months.  You could say that about being a Dodgers’ fan during the last fortnight or being a fan of a team that has a 4-game set with the Cleveland Indians.  You could say that about prime-time TV for the last 40+ years.  But, most of all, you can sum up our money line parlay selections through two weeks of the football season with that one word.

We usually start each season off a bit weak and then begin to succeed around the first week of October, culminating in a big couple of weeks in the second half that brings us a positive return on investment for the season.  We have to admit that so far this year, there seems to be just enough added parity in college football along with the usual uncertainty at the start of the NFL season to make this downright difficult to find parlays that return the type of odds we look for.  Sure, we could take Alabama at minus one zillion and win a dollar, and we could even put together a parlay of 10 favorites like Penn State over Georgia State and maybe get a parlay at -500, where for every 500 we put up we can win another 100.  But, that isn’t our style.  We are on the lookout only for parlays that give us +120 or higher odds.

We selected 5 parlays last week.  Each had excellent payout odds, and we were still alive in some of the really good ones with just one game left.  We selected Oklahoma to win at Ohio State and could have returned a nice chunk of cash playing that game as a singleton.  No, we had to add Stanford to that game to get +1010 odds, and when Stanford began the game looking like they could possibly win, we were pumped with the possibility that we could get far ahead on the plus side for the season.  Alas, USC started to look like the prognosticators believed they would look, and the Cardinal went back to Palo Alto with a huge loss on their slate.

So, for the week, we invested $500 of imaginary bankroll and received back $278 for a loss of $222 or -44% Return on Investment.  For the season, the numbers worsen to $600 invested and $278 returned for a -55.6% ROI.

As bad as the above sounds, it will sound even worse when we tell you that we didn’t really like 90% of the possible money lines this week.  We couldn’t find much value in this week’s college schedule, and the NFL still looks mysterious.  At this point of the season, and with two teams not even playing a game in week one, the NFL wars leave us trapped in a giant minefield.  Is there a new Dallas Cowboys team out there destined to go from last place in 2016 to the best record in the league?  What do we make of the LA Rams looking like the New England Patriots in week one, or the Patriots’ defense looking more like the 49ers defense?  What about the anemic offenses in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Houston, and New York (pick your poison with the Giants or Jets)?  What about the AFC West?  Could it be that four of the top 10 teams or at least three of the top five teams in the AFC come from that division?  The Chiefs and Raiders dominated in week one like it was 1966 through 1969 in the old AFL.

What we are trying to say is that we are only risking $200 of imaginary bankroll this week.  We are selecting one college and one NFL parlay, and we admit up front, we do not particularly like either selection, because they both required too many games to get the odds we like.  If we win one of the two, it will be a profitable week, but we are telling you before you see the two picks that we have little faith in either one this week.  As we said before, if you want a guaranteed winner to about 96% possibility, then you can come up with a parlay of about 10 sure things and still have to play them at ridiculous odds so that one upset would empty your account.

For instance, you could make a parlay of Penn State over Georgia State, Virginia Tech over East Carolina, Oklahoma over Tulane, Ohio State over Army, Alabama over Colorado State, Utah over San Jose State, Washington over Fresno State, and Michigan over Air Force.  All eight teams are prohibitive favorites, and it is an almost certain possibility that all eight favorites will win, making this almost a sure thing.  The problem is that for every $100 you put into a parlay like this, you can win a whopping $18.37 profit on your investment.  It is actually a sucker bet, because out of those eight sure things, at this point in the season, one of those games is not the sure thing it looks to be, and we don’t really know which one it is, but rest assured one of these sure thing games will turn out not to be that way.

With that in mind, here are our two official selections for the week.

#1 @ +179  
Must Win Must Lose
Temple U Mass
South Carolina Kentucky
Duke Baylor
Wake Forest Utah St.
Oregon Wyoming

Having to go five games deep to get a decent potential ROI, we would expect to get better favorites than this quintet.  We went with Temple mainly because this is a selection against U Mass.  South Carolina and Kentucky look like it should be close to a tossup, but in Columbia, we believe the Gamecocks are a touchdown better, and they are coming off a semi-impressive win over Missouri, while the Wildcats have been close to clawless through two lackluster wins.  We are taking Duke over Baylor for the same reason we took Temple; Baylor has looked anemic in two games under Matt Rhule, and the transition to his style of play could be really tough.  Wake Forest looks to have something going this year under Dave Clawson,  The Demon Deacons took Boston College to the woodshed last week, and at home against a so-so Utah State team, they “appear” to be ready to start the season at 3-0.  Oregon looks like one of those sure things against Wyoming, but you never know what might happen in Laramie.  That is a subtle home field advantage for the Cowboys, and an improving Duck team may be walking into an ambush.

 

#2 @ +276  
Must Win Must Lose
Baltimore Cleveland
Carolina Buffalo
New England New Orleans
Kansas City Philadelphia
Oakland NY Jets

The Ravens looked more like the Baltimore teams of 4 to 5 years ago last week when they punished Andy Dalton and Cincinnati.  The Bengals score after 60 minutes was the same as their score before the game kicked off.  The Ravens now get Cleveland for their home-opener, but the Browns looked like they were a force to be reckoned with against Pittsburgh in week one.  It could be that “Money Ball” is about to start paying off near Lake Erie.  But, we believe the Ravens will be up to the task this Sunday.  Is Carolina going to look more like the 2015 team than the 2016 team?  Did Buffalo really look that bad against the 32nd best team in the NFL and really have to worry about beating the Jets?  If so, then the Panthers should win by double digits this week.  New England playing New Orleans should never be allowed to happen again.  No, we don’t mean the two teams should never be scheduled, but how do you give one team and extra three days off while making the other team have to play on the road on Monday Night?  4 extra days to prepare for a game, coming off the debacle in Foxboro on opening night against the Chiefs?  We’ll take the road team in this one.  In taking Kansas City and Oakland at home against the Eagles and Jets, we are going under the assumption that the two bitter rivals are possibly the two best teams in the NFL.

So, there you have it for this week.  Remember that the PiRates never wager real money on our selections.  It is just a mathematical exercise for fun.  Please do not wager real money on our just-for-fun selections.  That even goes for the five or six of you who are real professionals who claim that you have a unique way of playing our ratings that makes your weekends very profitable.  It reminds us of the football handicapper with a system that consistently won 26% of his single sides wagers and never realized that if he just took the other side every week, he’d be the most successful guy in Vegas.

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.

 

 

December 15, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–December 16-19, 2016

NFL Hot Streak Continues

It has come to our attention by more than one of our readers that as of late, we are on fire with our NFL Money Line Parlay selections.  Looking back over the last several weeks, we find that we have won eight of the last ten NFL parlays we selected.

 

For the year, we are now sporting a profitable return of 11% on our investment of all picks, and that damage to the bottom line of the book comes from the NFL side.  To date, we have selected 20 NFL Parlays, all at better than even money odds.  We have won exactly half of these wagers at an average of +187 odds, for a return on investment of 43.55%.

 

Needless to say, we took a quick look at the college bowls offered up this weekend and chose to pass on selecting a college parlay.  Why take a chance on games between teams that have few common opponents when there appears to be a nice assortment of NFL games that look favorable to us.

 

Thus, we are selecting two NFL Parlays this week, both at better than +180 odds.  We will have a winning week if one of the pair wins, and we will have an outstanding week if they both win.  Even if they both lose, our yearly profit will still be there.

 

Once again, remember this important fact: The PiRates only issue these picks for fun and entertainment.  We do not encourage you to take our picks and wager actual money on them, even if it is legal to do so in your jurisdiction.  We only do this for fun, and we never actually wager anything on the picks other than our credibility.  If we thought they had real merit, we would be in Las Vegas trying to get rich quick, and to thaw out from the deep freeze.

 

So, enjoy these picks, but enjoy them without risking any of your hard-earned money.

December 16-19, 2016
1. NFL Parlay at +181
Kansas City over Tennessee
Atlanta over San Francisco
Oakland over San Diego
 
2. NFL Parlay at +186
Baltimore over Philadelphia
Green Bay over Chicago
Houston over Jacksonville

 

 

 

December 8, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–December 9-12, 2016

This week, there is only one college game with Army and Navy facing off in Baltimore.  Thus, we must make our selections only from the NFL schedule.  We are throwing caution to the wind, as even though we have a small 6% profit for the season entering this week, we are not going to a stall to guarantee a winning season.  We want to make that Return on Investment top 10%, and thus we are going with three parlays this week.  Each parlay goes off at odds higher than +200, so winning just one of the three would add profit to our imaginary bankroll for the season.

1. NFL Parlay at +220
Indianapolis over Houston
Detroit over Chicago
Tampa Bay over New Orleans

Let us make sure you understand that we are aware of the Colts’ having to make major defensive changes after losing star D’Qwell Jackson for four games due to a suspension for Performance Enhancing substances.  Jackson was the key to the Indy defense, but his loss has made this parlay a better play for us.

The way we see the Colts-Texans game is that Indy will outscore Houston and not have to worry about Jackson missing on the stop side.  Houston has scored just 99 points in their last six games, while Indianapolis with Andrew Luck is a team capable of scoring 35 points in this game.

 

Detroit is ready to wrap up the NFC North Division, and this is a game the Lions should win handily.  The Bears are limping home and might decide to pull a NY Jets this weekend, or at least we hope they might.

 

Tampa Bay is now a slight favorite to win the NFC South with second year quarterback Jameis Winston maturing into a potential star.  The Bucs’ defense is not to be confused with Carolina’s, but TB should be able to match Drew Brees point for point and come up with one or two big plays to win.

 

2. NFL Parlay at +248
Carolina over San Diego
Miami over Arizona

The Panthers and Chargers are now out of the playoff race, and the only reason we believe Carolina will win this game is that San Diego has been forced to do a lot of travelling this season and must go 2,500 miles and three time zones this week.  The game should be a fascinating close match.

 

Miami has a slim chance to earn a wildcard bid, but the Dolphins must win out and then get some help.  Arizona is going nowhere, and they too must travel across the country.

 

3. NFL Parlay at +211
N. Y. Jets over San Francisco
New England over Baltimore

The key to this parlay is whether the Jets will show that Monday night was a fluke.  Will the team show up for Todd Bowles and give him a chance to keep his job?  Just a normal effort would be enough to lead NY to victory over a 49ers team that may be weaker than Cleveland at the present time.

 

We are throwing the Patriots into this parlay to bring the odds up over +200.  Baltimore will not lay down in this game and allow New England to win going away, and the Pats will have to bring their A-game without Gronk.  However, we believe (hope) the Pats realize they are now in a dogfight for the #1 seed and understand that this is a must-win game.

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–December 2-5, 2016

Throughout this season, our college parlay picks have been our bread and butter until last week.  Last week, we made six parlay selections, four with college teams and two with NFL teams.  We won with one of the three college parlays but we won both the NFL Parlays to finish the week with a tidy profit.

For the week, we invested $600 imaginary dollars, and the three wins returned $755 for a profit of $155 and a return on investment of 26%.  For the year, that moved our total ROI of 7% on a profit of $407 on an investment of $5,500.

With the number of college games dwindling down, we will only issue three parlay selections this week.

December 2-5, 2016
1. College Parlay at +362
West Virginia over Baylor
W. Kentucky over La. Tech
Wyoming over San Diego St.
 
2. College Parlay at +269
South Alabama over N. Mexico St.
Troy over Georgia Southern
Oklahoma over Oklahoma St.
Idaho over Georgia St.
Clemson over Virgina Tech
 
3. NFL Parlay at +122
Denver over Jacksonville
Green Bay over Houston
New England over Los Angeles

November 23, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–November 24-28, 2016

Tiny Profit

After a week in which we won two of our five selected parlays, our profit for the season has fallen to a slim margin, but it is a profit.  For the year, we have invested $4,900 in imaginary dollars, and our return has been $5,152.  The $252 in imaginary profit gives us a return on investment of 5%.

This week, we are going with six parlay selections.  One of these is a five-game parlay, and we have not yet won a five-gamer this year.  We have won multiple four-game parlays this year.

November 22-28, 2016
1. College Parlay at +175
Oregon over Oregon St.
North Texas over UTEP
 
2. College Parlay at +126
Bowling Green over Buffalo
Maryland over Rutgers
Penn St. over Michigan St.
Miami (Fla.) over Duke
Alabama over Auburn
 
3. College Parlay at +173
Arkansas over Missouri
North Carolina over NC St.
Arizona St. over Arizona
 
4. College Parlay at +183
Louisiana Tech over Southern Miss.
Wisconsin over Minnesota
Colorado over Utah
South Florida over Central Florida
UTSA over Charlotte
 
5. NFL Parlay at +189
Detroit over Minnesota
Tennessee over Chicago
 
6. NFL Parlay at +140
Buffalo over Jacksonville
New Orleans over Los Angeles
N.Y. Giants over Cleveland

September 21, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 22-26, 2016

After improving a bit last week and losing only $23 of our imaginary bank roll, we have decided to expand our plays to include a couple of underdogs we believe can win outright. Thus, two of our four chosen plays this week will return big payoffs of imaginary cash should they come through with winners.
First, we must take care of official business. Last week, we played five parlays, winning $277 and losing $300. For the year, we have now wagered $1,200 in imaginary money, and have a loss of $442 to date, meaning still no return on our unreal investment. We warned you that Money Line Parlays can be really tough, but we love to play them, especially since it costs us nothing.
Here are our picks for this week. Remember, don’t actually wager on these. This is just for fun, and we would never put a dime of real money on these plays, even if it returned over 40% on investment last year. It’s doing squat so far this year.

1. College Parlay at +450
Army over Buffalo
Tulane over Louisiana-Lafayette
Arkansas over Texas A&M

Arkansas is the underdog in this parlay and the reason it offers a return of 4.5 times the amount invested. The Razorbacks have been slowly developing a balanced offense with an improving defense. Winning at TCU is enough to show us that the Hogs are on the way back to great things. Texas A&M has struggled in their two wins over quality opposition, and we believe the Aggies are due for continued struggles.

Army is off to a great start, and the Black Knights now face a Buffalo team that has already lost to a FCS opponent. This could be the type of game that allows the Cadets to play their plebes. Coach Jeff Monken learned well from his mentor Paul Johnson, and the Army rushing attack looks like it could move the ball on most FBS teams this year. They should light up the scoreboard against Buffalo.

Tulane is also running the option under first year coach Willie Fritz. Fritz does not have all the pieces in place yet in New Orleans, but with his Texas ties, it is only a matter of time until the Green Wave are winning once again. For now, TU has an exceptional defense with a clock-consuming offense that allows that defense to stay fresh and strong enough to hold ULL to 10 points, which is few enough that we see the olive green and blue winning this week.

2. College Parlay at +126
Arizona St. over California
Cincinnati over Miami (O)
Minnesota over Colorado St.
Memphis over Bowling Green

Arizona State had to rally in the fourth quarter to win at UTSA, while Cal pulled off a nice home upset of Texas. With the Golden Bears playing in the heat in Tempe, and with ASU’s players more focused, we believe Todd Graham’s Sun Devils will play their best game of the season to date, while Cal has trouble with the heat and the speed of the ASU receivers.

Cincinnati should beat Miami of Ohio by 3 touchdowns, but even if the in-state rival underdogs play their best possible and the Bearcats stink up the joint, Cinti should win by at least 10.

Minnesota is a team flying under the radar. They win, but they don’t win convincingly and don’t win with flashy play. The offense is better than most think, and the defense is not shabby. This Gophers team is not yet the equivalent of the Sandy Stephens’ teams of the early 1960’s, but it could be as good as any in Minneapolis since Laurence Maroney and Bryan Capito were moving the pigskin.

This year’s Memphis team has not really been challenged yet, and Bowling Green is not the team to bring that challenge. The Tigers should have little problem disposing of the Falcons, as this is a different BGU team without Dino Babers at the controls.

3. NFL Parlay at +373
Indianapolis over San Diego
Oakland over Tennessee
Dallas over Chicago

Oakland is the second underdog we will use in our parlays this week. The Raiders’ starting offensive and defensive lines manhandled the Titans starting offensive and defensive lines in the preseason game. Preseason games don’t reveal a lot, but when you see one front consistently moving the opposing front in the same direction, it is a good bet that they will do so no matter the importance of the game. We believe the Raiders will score more points than the Titans are capable of scoring, and thus we go with the underdog.

Indianapolis faces a must-win scenario at home. Even with a sore Andrew Luck, we believe the Colts will find a way to eke out a small win. If not, then the AFC West is going to be one incredible 4-team race.

Dallas should handle the Bears with relative ease. Without Jay Cutler, Chicago will have to play conservatively and hope they can rattle Dak Prescott. We believe that the nifty rookie will continue to play brilliantly week after week and could be the odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

4. NFL Parlay at +143
Miami over Cleveland
New York Giants over Washington
Carolina over Minnesota

If Cleveland couldn’t win with RGIII and John McCown at quarterback, then how can they win with Cody Kessler, who wasn’t good enough to make the active roster when all the QBs were healthy. Miami is not playoff worthy at this point, but Adam Gase can design a game plan that will make Kessler’s debut a nightmare.

The Giants look like the Giants of old when Eli Manning had multiple quality receivers to throw to, and the defense came up with big stops. Well, Manning has multiple quality receivers again, and the defense is coming up with big stops. NY could be looking at a season where they are playing at home in January.

The Carolina-Minnesota match worried us for hours today. The Vikings will have to go without Adrian Peterson, but their defense looks as strong as it has looked since the days of Eller, Page, and company. Meanwhile, there is unrest in Charlotte, and it could carry over to the team. We decided that in the end, we would go with the home team to capitalize on the weakened running game and thus to slow down Sam Bradford.

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.

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