The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 27, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 17–January 1, 2012

It Will Be A Happy New Year For Fans Of…

The playoff races are quite easy to figure out as we enter week 17.  In the NFC, the winner of the Giants-Dallas game wins the East Division and earns the number four seed.  The Giants would earn the spot in the event of a tie.

 

Atlanta and Detroit will be the wildcards, and if they finished tied at 10-6, the Falcons will be the number five seed, and the Lions will be the number six seed.

 

San Francisco holds the tiebreaker over New Orleans for the number two seed, so the only way for the Saints to earn a first round bye is to beat Carolina and hope the 49ers lose to the lowly Rams, a team that will be fighting for the overall number one NFL Draft pick.

 

In the AFC, Denver and Oakland are tied for first in the West Division, but the Broncos hold the tiebreaker over the Raiders in the event they finish tied at 9-7, 8-7-1, or 8-8.

 

Houston is guaranteed the number three seed no matter what they do this week in their game against Tennessee.

 

New England, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh all have a shot at the top seed in the AFC.  If the Patriots win, they earn the spot.  If the Pats lose, Baltimore will take it away with a win over Cincinnati.  Pittsburgh can take it if both New England and Baltimore lose, and they beat Cleveland.

 

As for the Steelers and Ravens, Baltimore holds the tiebreaker edge.  The team not winning the North Division will be the number five seed.

 

The big story involves the final wildcard spot.  Cincinnati has the best percentage chance of taking the final seed.  If the Bengals beat Baltimore, Cinti is in the playoffs.  Should the Bengals lose, they could still earn the number six seed if the Jets lose or tie to Miami and only one or no AFC West teams finish 9-7.  If both Oakland and Denver win, then the Bengals will miss out on the playoffs if they lose to Baltimore.

 

Oakland has the next best chance at earning the wildcard.  The Raiders must beat San Diego.  Of course, if Denver loses, the Raiders would win the West Division.  If both Oakland and Denver win to finish 9-7, the Raiders will earn a wildcard spot if the Jets beat Miami and Tennessee does not finish 9-7.

 

Denver cannot earn a wildcard spot, because if they win this week, they are the West Division champions.  If the Broncos lose, they can still be the West champs if Oakland loses.

 

The Jets have a somewhat remote shot at making the playoffs if they beat Miami and the Bengals lose.  Tennessee would have to lose to Houston, and either Oakland or Denver would have to lose or tie. 

 

Tennessee has the least likely chance of earning a wildcard spot.  If the Bengals lose, and the Titans beat Houston, there are two ways they can earn the final spot.  The first way would be for the Jets to lose to Miami while both Oakland and Denver win their games.  The second way would be for the Jets to Win while either Oakland or Denver fail to win their games.

 

Here is our look at what we think will happen:

 

NFC

The Giants beat Dallas to earn the number four seed.

Atlanta beats Tampa Bay to earn the number five seed.

Detroit becomes the number six seed.

Both San Francisco and New Orleans win, giving the 49ers the number two seed and the bye.

 

AFC

New England beats Buffalo to sew up the number one seed.

Baltimore edges Cincinnati in a near-empty Paul Brown Stadium to earn the number two seed.

Houston already owns the number three seed and rests its starters, but their defense shuts down Tennessee, knocking the Titans out of the playoffs.

Denver comes through in the final minutes to beat Kansas City and win the West, while Oakland handles San Diego to finish 9-7.

Miami beats the Jets to knock them out of the playoffs, thus giving the Raiders the number six seed.

 

Wildcard Round

#6 Detroit at #3 New Orleans

#5 Atlanta at #4 New York Giants

#6 Oakland at #3 Houston

#5 Pittsburgh at #4 Denver

 

Divisional Round

#3 New Orleans at #2 San Francisco

#5 Atlanta at #1 Green Bay

#6 Oakland at #1 New England

#5 Pittsburgh at #2 Baltimore

 

Conference Championships

New Orleans at Green Bay

Baltimore at New England

 

Super Bowl

Green Bay vs. New England

 

Champions

Green Bay

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Philadelphia Eagles

104.3

103.9

103.5

2

7

8

0

362

318

New York Giants

102.2

101.8

102.0

1

8

7

0

363

386

Dallas Cowboys

100.8

101.0

101.0

3

8

7

0

355

316

Washington Redskins

94.0

94.3

92.9

2.5

5

10

0

278

333

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

111.9

111.5

109.7

3.5

14

1

0

515

318

Detroit Lions

104.1

104.3

103.3

3

10

5

0

433

342

Minnesota Vikings

95.0

94.8

93.8

3

3

12

0

327

432

Chicago Bears

94.1

95.5

98.5

3.5

7

8

0

336

328

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

112.5

111.9

106.2

5

12

3

0

502

322

Atlanta Falcons

104.2

104.0

105.7

3.5

9

6

0

357

326

Carolina Panthers

100.2

99.9

99.6

2

6

9

0

389

384

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

89.1

89.3

91.3

3

4

11

0

263

449

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

106.4

106.5

105.6

3.5

12

3

0

346

202

Seattle Seahawks

100.8

100.7

102.1

2

7

8

0

301

292

Arizona Cardinals

97.5

97.5

99.0

3

7

8

0

289

328

St. Louis Rams

90.3

90.0

87.7

2.5

2

13

0

166

373

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

109.5

109.3

107.9

1.5

12

3

0

464

321

Miami Dolphins

103.2

102.7

102.7

3

5

10

0

310

296

New York Jets

101.6

101.4

99.9

3.5

8

7

0

360

344

Buffalo Bills

94.8

95.0

100.3

4.5

6

9

0

351

385

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Pittsburgh Steelers

107.3

107.1

105.2

4.5

11

4

0

312

218

Baltimore Ravens

104.9

104.9

106.2

4

11

4

0

354

250

Cincinnati Bengals

98.9

99.0

103.7

2

9

6

0

328

299

Cleveland Browns

94.9

95.0

94.6

1.5

4

11

0

209

294

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

99.6

100.8

102.5

1.5

10

5

0

359

255

Tennessee Titans

99.3

99.0

99.1

1.5

8

7

0

302

295

Jacksonville Jaguars

96.9

96.5

90.9

3

4

11

0

224

316

Indianapolis Colts

92.5

92.3

91.6

3.5

2

13

0

230

411

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

102.1

101.9

101.1

3.5

7

8

0

368

351

Oakland Raiders

97.5

97.4

98.4

1.5

8

7

0

333

395

Kansas City Chiefs

96.3

95.9

95.5

2

6

9

0

205

335

Denver Broncos

94.6

94.8

98.8

1.5

8

7

0

306

383

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads

Home Team in CAPS

Vegas Line as of Tuesday, December 27, 2011 @ 3:00 PM EST

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

PHILADELPHIA Washington

12.3

11.6

12.6

9   

46 1/2

ATLANTA Tampa Bay

18.6

18.2

17.9

13   

47   

San Francisco ST. LOUIS

13.6

14.0

15.4

10 1/2

35 1/2

MINNESOTA Chicago

3.9

2.3

-1.7

-1   

40   

GREEN BAY Detroit

11.3

10.7

9.9

-3 1/2

46 1/2

NEW YORK GIANTS Dallas

2.4

1.8

2.0

3   

46 1/2

NEW ORLEANS Carolina

17.3

17.0

11.6

9 1/2

55   

HOUSTON Tennessee

1.8

3.3

4.9

-3   

40 1/2

Baltimore CINCINNATI

4.0

3.9

0.5

2 1/2

38   

Pittsburgh CLEVELAND

10.9

10.6

9.1

7   

36   

JACKSONVILLE Indianapolis

7.4

7.2

2.3

4   

37   

MIAMI New York Jets

4.6

4.3

5.8

1 1/2

41 1/2

NEW ENGLAND Buffalo

16.2

15.8

9.1

11 1/2

51   

San Diego OAKLAND

3.1

3.0

1.2

-3   

49   

Kansas City DENVER

0.2

-0.4

-4.8

-3   

37   

Seattle ARIZONA

0.3

0.2

0.1

-3   

41   

 

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December 20, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 16–December 22-26, 2011

Still Some Excitement In Playoff Races

Three of the four wildcard spots are all but assured, but there is still plenty of excitement left in the NFL playoff races.

 

In the NFC East, the Eagles now have a legitimate shot at sneaking in the playoffs as division champions with an 8-8 record.  If Philly beats Dallas and Washington in the final two games, while the Giants lose to the Jets and beat Dallas, then there will be a three-way tie for first at 8-8.  Philadelphia would win the tiebreaker.

 

If Dallas beats Philadelphia this week, and the Giants lose to the Jets, the Cowboys clinch the division title.  If the Giants win out, they will top the Cowboys in the tiebreaker.

 

If for some weird reason the Saints lose to the Falcons this week and the Panthers next week, while Atlanta beats Tampa Bay next week, Atlanta would be the division champion, while the Saints would be a wildcard team.  Don’t count on it happening.

 

In the NFC wildcard chase, the Lions and Falcons grab the spots with one win each.  In the event they both lose out to finish 9-7, then Dallas trumps everybody if the Cowboys finish 9-7 and does not win the NFC East (by virtue of the Giants finishing 9-7).

 

Atlanta would earn a wildcard spot at 9-7 if Dallas does not do so or wins the East over the Giants.

 

Arizona and Seattle can still get in, but only one team can do so—the winner of their game next week.  For the winner of that game to make it, both Atlanta and Detroit must lose out, or Dallas must either win their division or lose out.

 

New England has clinched the AFC East and has the easiest path to homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.  Houston has clinched the AFC South.  Baltimore and Pittsburgh have clinched playoff spots, and the Ravens would clinch the AFC North in any tie.

 

The AFC West is still up for grabs, and all four teams are still alive.  Kansas City would win the tiebreaker if all four teams finished 8-8.  That is the Chiefs’ only chance.  Denver clinches the division with two wins or one win and an Oakland loss.  Oakland clinches the division if Denver loses to Kansas City, and the Raiders win twice.  San Diego clinches the division if the Broncos lose twice and the Chargers win twice.

 

As for the final AFC wildcard spot, if the Jets win out, it is theirs.  In multiple 9-7 ties, Tennessee would win a tiebreaker with the Jets and Bengals.  However, if the Raiders finish at 9-7 as well, Oakland would win this four-way tiebreaker.  Oakland would win a three-way tiebreaker with the Jets and Bengals.  Should Oakland win the West and Denver finish 9-7, the Broncos would edge out a 9-7 Jets and 9-7 Bengals team in a three-way tie.

 

San Diego has the tiebreaker edge in a three-way tie with the Bengals and Jets at 9-7, and the Chargers would also earn the wildcard if Tennessee went 9-7 in this scenario.

 

Here is how the PiRate Ratings project the playoff race this week.

 

AFC                                                                NFC

1. New England 13-3                                     1. Green Bay 15-1

2. Houston 12-4                                              2. New Orleans 13-3

3. Pittsburgh 12-4                                          3. San Francisco 12-4

4. Denver 10-6                                               4. New York Giants 9-7

5. Baltimore 11-5                                           5. Atlanta 10-6

6. Cincinnati 10-6                                          6. Detroit 10-6

 

Wildcard Playoff Round

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Baltimore at Denver

Detroit at San Francisco

Atlanta at New York Giants

 

Divisional Playoff Round

Baltimore at New England

Pittsburgh at Houston

Atlanta at Green Bay

San Francisco at New Orleans

 

Conference Championships

New Orleans at Green Bay

Pittsburgh at New England

 

Super Bowl XVI

Green Bay vs. New England

 

Super Bowl Champions: Green Bay

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Philadelphia Eagles

102.9

101.8

104.2

3.5

6

8

0

342

311

Dallas Cowboys

102.2

101.2

101.5

1.5

8

6

0

348

296

New York Giants

100.8

100.6

99.9

2.5

7

7

0

334

372

Washington Redskins

95.2

95.3

94.8

2.5

5

9

0

252

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

112.2

112.2

109.7

4

13

1

0

480

297

Detroit Lions

101.8

102.2

103.7

3

9

5

0

395

332

Chicago Bears

93.8

95.6

97.6

3.5

7

7

0

315

293

Minnesota Vikings

93.8

92.8

91.0

3

2

12

0

294

406

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

110.4

109.9

106.5

3

11

3

0

457

306

Atlanta Falcons

106.3

106.0

108.3

1.5

9

5

0

341

281

Carolina Panthers

98.0

97.6

98.0

4.5

5

9

0

341

368

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

91.3

92.4

93.5

2.5

4

10

0

247

401

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

106.6

106.5

106.6

3

11

3

0

327

185

Seattle Seahawks

100.6

100.4

101.7

2.5

7

7

0

284

273

Arizona Cardinals

98.0

98.9

102.0

3.5

7

7

0

273

305

St. Louis Rams

90.7

89.1

87.8

2

2

12

0

166

346

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

109.8

109.2

108.1

4

11

3

0

437

297

New York Jets

103.0

103.4

99.9

3

8

6

0

346

315

Miami Dolphins

102.9

100.6

101.6

1.5

5

9

0

286

269

Buffalo Bills

92.0

92.9

96.0

4

5

9

0

311

371

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.9

107.3

104.8

4

10

4

0

285

218

Baltimore Ravens

105.3

105.9

106.1

1.5

10

4

0

334

236

Cincinnati Bengals

98.4

98.8

100.8

2

8

6

0

305

283

Cleveland Browns

94.5

94.5

93.4

4.5

4

10

0

195

274

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

100.4

103.5

103.4

1

10

4

0

343

236

Tennessee Titans

99.0

99.5

98.2

3

7

7

0

279

278

Jacksonville Jaguars

97.2

95.6

92.8

3

4

10

0

207

293

Indianapolis Colts

91.7

90.2

90.6

1.5

1

13

0

211

395

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

104.4

102.9

103.3

1.5

7

7

0

358

313

Denver Broncos

97.4

99.4

101.0

1.5

8

6

0

292

343

Oakland Raiders

97.3

97.8

96.9

1.5

7

7

0

317

382

Kansas City Chiefs

96.5

96.3

96.4

3

6

8

0

192

319

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads

Home Team in CAPS

Vegas Line as of: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 @ 6:00 PM EST

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

Houston INDIANAPOLIS

5.7

10.3

9.8

6   

40   

KANSAS CITY Oakland

0.7

0.0

1.0

1   

42   

Denver BUFFALO

1.4

2.5

1.0

3   

42   

TENNESSEE Jacksonville

3.3

5.4

6.9

7 1/2

40   

CINCINNATI Arizona

1.9

1.4

0.3

4   

40 1/2

NEW ENGLAND Miami

8.4

10.1

8.0

9 1/2

49   

BALTIMORE Cleveland

14.8

15.4

16.7

13   

38 1/2

NEW YORK JETS NEW YORK GIANTS

2.2

2.8

0.0

3   

46   

WASHINGTON Minnesota

3.9

5.0

6.3

6 1/2

44   

CAROLINA Tampa Bay

8.2

6.7

6.0

7 1/2

48   

PITTSBURGH St. Louis

20.7

22.7

21.5

16   

37 1/2

DETROIT San Diego

0.8

2.3

3.4

2 1/2

52   

San Francisco SEATTLE

4.0

4.1

2.9

2 1/2

38   

DALLAS Philadelphia

2.8

2.9

0.8

1 1/2

50 1/2

GREEN BAY Chicago

21.9

20.1

15.6

12   

45   

NEW ORLEANS Atlanta

8.6

8.4

2.7

6 1/2

53   

 

December 13, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 15–December 15-19, 2011

How Things Stand With Three Weeks To Go

We have been projecting our playoff teams for several weeks, and there has been little movement.  So, beginning this week, we will show you where any possible moves may come from.  First, let’s reveal the legitimate play-off tiebreaking procedures.  There are more than what we show, but the chances that any of them will ever be used is infinitesimal.

 

To Break A Tie Within A Division:

1. Head-to-head record—if one team sweeps the other or goes 1-0-1, stop here.

2. Division W-L record

3. Common Games W-L record

4. Conference W-L record

5. Strength of victory (Combined W-L % of all teams defeated)

6. Strength of schedule (Combined W-L% of all teams played)

 

To Break A Tie For The Wildcard Between Two Teams (Different Divisions)

1. Head to head

2. Conference W-L record

3. Common Games W-L record (Must be at least 4 common games)

4. Strength of victory (Combined W-L % of all teams defeated)

5. Strength of schedule (Combined W-L% of all teams played)

 

To Break A Tie Of Multiple Teams For the Wildcard:

First, if any of these tied teams are in the same division, apply the division tiebreaker to come up with just one team per division.

 

1. Head-to-head sweep by one team over all the other teams in the tiebreaker

2. Conference W-L record

3. Common Games W-L record (Must be at least 4 common games for all teams)

4. Strength of victory (Combined W-L % of all teams defeated)

5. Strength of schedule (Combined W-L% of all teams played)

 

Here is a brief tutorial of all eight divisions after 14 weeks.

 

NFC East

The New York Giants currently hold the tiebreaker over Dallas, because of head-to-head.  Of course, they have to play Dallas in week 17.  Both are 2-2 in the division.  Dallas has a 5-4 conference record while the Giants are just 4-6.  Dallas has two other conference games prior to the finale with the Giants—at Tampa Bay and at home against Philadelphia.  New York hosts Washington this week and must win to have any chance to win the division if they lose to Dallas in week 17 and finish tied in the standings.

 

In the event that New York beats Washington and loses to Dallas, while the Cowboys lose to Philadelphia and beat Tampa Bay, the top two tiebreakers would push.  In common games, the Giants would win the tiebreaker.

 

The key game may very well be the Giants-Jets game.  If the Jets win, Dallas could win the East outright with a win in week 17.  The Cowboys are very much alive in the wildcard race, and at 10-6, their chances of getting in would be high.  There are still too many possibilities to go into all the different tiebreakers.

 

NFC South

New Orleans is up two with three to go, and the Saints will not lose three in a row.  Atlanta is leading in the wildcard race, holding the tiebreaker over Detroit.  The Falcons host Jacksonville and should pick up a ninth win this weekend.  In week 16, they face the Saints in New Orleans, and the Saints are tough at home and will be looking for the #2 seed.  A week 17 home game with Tampa Bay gives the Falcons an excellent chance to clinch the #5 seed.

 

NFC North

Green Bay has already clinched the division and has almost clinched homefield advantage to the Super Bowl. 

 

Detroit holds onto the second wildcard spot at the moment, while Chicago is one game back.  This is an interesting possible tiebreaker.  Both the Lions and Bears face the Packers in Green Bay.  For argument’s sake, let’s say the Packers win both.  Chicago finishes at Minnesota in week 17, and the Bears would have to win and hope the Lions lose to Oakland this week and San Diego next week, because Detroit would win the tiebreaker if they finished tied.  Basically, Chicago has to win out and have Green Bay beat Detroit to move ahead of the Lions.  That means winning at Lambeau Field.

 

NFC West

San Francisco has already clinched the division.  Seattle and Arizona have very slim chances at wildcard bids.  Either will have to win out to finish at 9-7 and then hope that three from among the NFC East runnerup, Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago fell to 9-7 or worse.

 

AFC East

New England has a commanding lead and would have to lose out not to win the division.  Forget that happening; the Pats are in.

 

The Jets were almost given up for dead a few weeks ago, after they fell to 5-5 with a loss to King Tebow and the Broncos.  Coach Rex Ryan’s troops have won three in a row to take over the second playoff spot.  The Jets have two pivotal games against the NFC East—The Eagles and Giants—before finishing at Miami in week 17.  If they drop one of these games and finish at 10-6, then they could lose out to Tennessee if the Titans close with three wins.  Tennessee has an easy closing three games and could run the table.

 

AFC South

Houston won its first division title with their win over Cincinnati.  They can still earn homefield advantage to the Super Bowl, and if it could play a direct role in determining the wildcard.  The Texans should dismiss Carolina and Indianapolis the next two week to move to 12-3.  They would then earn the top seed with a week 17 victory over the Titans.

 

Here is where things get interesting.  Tennessee has Indianapolis and Jacksonville the next two weeks and should be 9-6 when they close the season at Houston.  If the Jets have lost a game, then the Titans would earn the final wildcard spot with a win.  If Houston is playing for homefield advantage, the Texans would use all their regulars and should win.  If homefield advantage is not an issue, because the Texans have already clinched, or been eliminated, look for Tennessee to win against Houston’s reserves. 

 

AFC North

Pittsburgh and Baltimore are tied for first and both headed to the playoffs.  The Steelers have a crucial game at San Francisco this week.  They host the Rams next week before finishing at Cleveland in week 17; that is a trap game if there ever was one.

 

Baltimore has its own trap game.  The Ravens go to San Diego this week, and the Chargers are playing like they were supposed to all along.  Baltimore has been stung on three road games this year, and this one has them travelling three time zones to the West Coast.  The Ravens close with Cleveland at home and Cincinnati on the road.  We expect the Bengals to be out of the race by that time, so Baltimore should be okay for that road game.

 

If the Ravens and Steelers finished tied, Baltimore wins the tiebreaker by virtue of better division record.  Either way, the runnerup will be the #5 seed.

 

AFC West

Can anybody stop the Tebow Express?  Yes, and it will happen this week, when New England wins by more than a touchdown.  However, the Broncos close with Buffalo and Kansas City, two teams the Broncos can beat.  So, let’s figure Denver to finish 10-6.

 

San Diego is 6-7 and thus would be eliminated from the race if that happens.  Oakland is 7-6, so what happens if the Raiders were to win out and finish 7-6?  Denver would still win the tiebreaker based on a better conference record.

 

So, what if Denver goes 9-7, losing at Buffalo in week 16, while Oakland and/or San Diego finish 9-7 as well?  Denver wins all tiebreakers again.  The only way for either Oakland or San Diego to win the division is to pass Denver in the standings.  It looks like Tebow will play in January.

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New York Giants

102.3

101.4

102.8

1.5

7

6

0

324

349

Dallas Cowboys

101.5

101.5

101.4

3.5

7

6

0

317

281

Philadelphia Eagles

101.1

99.8

99.8

2

5

8

0

297

292

Washington Redskins

93.7

95.0

94.4

3

4

9

0

229

290

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

114.0

113.2

109.8

3

13

0

0

466

278

Detroit Lions

101.7

103.5

103.1

2.5

8

5

0

367

305

Chicago Bears

95.7

96.6

100.2

4

7

6

0

301

255

Minnesota Vikings

94.6

94.3

92.6

4

2

11

0

274

364

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

109.6

108.9

105.8

5

10

3

0

415

286

Atlanta Falcons

105.0

104.2

106.0

3

8

5

0

300

267

Carolina Panthers

96.4

96.9

98.2

2

4

9

0

313

355

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

92.0

92.9

94.5

2.5

4

9

0

232

370

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

105.3

106.0

104.7

3.5

10

3

0

307

182

Seattle Seahawks

98.7

99.4

99.9

3

6

7

0

246

259

Arizona Cardinals

98.2

97.8

100.9

2.5

6

7

0

253

288

St. Louis Rams

90.9

90.1

88.0

2

2

11

0

153

326

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

109.2

108.4

107.8

1.5

10

3

0

396

274

New York Jets

104.8

104.5

102.7

3.5

8

5

0

327

270

Miami Dolphins

102.2

101.0

100.2

3

4

9

0

256

246

Buffalo Bills

92.7

95.5

98.8

4.5

5

8

0

288

341

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Pittsburgh Steelers

108.2

107.6

105.4

4.5

10

3

0

282

198

Baltimore Ravens

106.9

107.1

107.2

4

10

3

0

320

202

Cincinnati Bengals

98.2

99.2

101.7

2

7

6

0

285

270

Cleveland Browns

94.3

95.1

94.1

2

4

9

0

178

254

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

102.0

103.3

103.9

1.5

10

3

0

330

208

Tennessee Titans

100.7

100.9

100.6

1.5

7

6

0

266

251

Jacksonville Jaguars

98.5

97.1

94.6

3

4

9

0

193

252

Indianapolis Colts

90.0

88.1

86.3

2

0

13

0

184

382

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

102.8

101.3

100.7

2.5

6

7

0

324

299

Denver Broncos

98.0

98.8

102.4

1.5

8

5

0

269

302

Oakland Raiders

97.4

97.5

99.2

1.5

7

6

0

290

354

Kansas City Chiefs

94.7

92.7

92.3

1.5

5

8

0

173

305

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads

Week: 15—December 15-19, 2011

Vegas Line as of December 13, 4:30 PM EST

 

Home Team in CAPS

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

ATLANTA Jacksonville

9.5

10.1

14.4

11   

42 1/2

Dallas TAMPA BAY

7.0

6.1

4.4

7   

46 1/2

NEW YORK GIANTS Washington

10.1

7.9

9.9

7   

45 1/2

Green Bay KANSAS CITY

13.8

19.0

16.0

14   

45 1/2

New Orleans MINNESOTA

11.0

10.6

9.2

7   

50 1/2

CHICAGO Seattle

1.0

1.2

4.3

3 1/2

35 1/2

BUFFALO Miami

5.0

1.0

-3.1

1   

42 1/2

HOUSTON Carolina

7.1

7.9

7.2

6 1/2

46   

Tennessee INDIANAPOLIS

8.7

10.8

12.3

6 1/2

41   

Cincinnati ST. LOUIS

5.3

7.1

11.7

6   

38 1/2

Detroit OAKLAND

2.8

4.5

2.4

1   

47 1/2

New England DENVER

9.7

8.1

3.9

6   

45 1/2

PHILADELPHIA New York Jets

1.7

2.7

0.9

2 1/2

44   

ARIZONA Cleveland

6.4

5.2

9.3

6 1/2

37 1/2

Baltimore SAN DIEGO

1.6

3.3

4.0

2 1/2

44   

SAN FRANCISCO Pittsburgh

0.6

1.9

2.8

2   

40 1/2

 

December 6, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 14–December 8-12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:06 pm

It Can’t Work, So Now Look For More Teams To Try It

How many weeks in a row have you heard some NFL pundit proclaim that Denver’s option offense cannot work, even with the great Tim Tebow running the team and with two excellent running backs in Willis McGahee and Lance Ball?  Throw in a healthy Knowshon Moreno, assuming he will come back full strength from his knee injury in 2012, and this offense could put up more rushing yards than the old Miami Dolphins Super Bowl Champion teams in 1972 and 1973.

 

With Tebow as starting quarterback, Denver has averaged 200 rushing yards per game on 40 attempts for a 5.0 average per rush.  The 1972 Dolphins averaged 211 rushing yards per game (with Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris both topping 1,000 yards rushing) on 44 attempts (4.8 avg. per rush).  The 1958 Cleveland Browns, with the greatest running back ever in Jim Brown, averaged 211 rushing yards per game on 40 attempts (5.3 avg per rush).

 

Let’s address some of the issues these so-called experts drag up every week.

 

1. You cannot win if you don’t have a top passing quarterback.

First of all, Tebow’s QB passer rating is 87.9.  That would place him 10th in the league if he had enough attempts to qualify.  He is ahead of Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Cam Newton, Phillip Rivers, and Jay Cutler this season. 

 

Second, Tebow’s stats are not the liability experts believe them to be.  With him at QB, Coach John Fox has relied on longer passing plays, ala the old days of the American Football League.  Tebow’s numbers look like an old AFL quarterback’s stats.  He is completing 47.5% of his passes, which is about what Joe Namath completed.  He is averaging 14.1 yards per completion, which is what Namath and Daryle Lamonica averaged when the Jets and Raiders led the AFL in offense.  Best of all, Tebow has tossed 10 touchdown passes against just one interception, something that speaks more of Bart Starr at his peak with the Packers.

 

2. Tebow is going to get hit so many times, he will never withstand it and miss several games.

 

Tebow is 6-3 and 245 pounds, and he carries the ball about 10-12 times per game on average.  Arian Foster is 6-1 and 224 and carries the ball about twice that much.  Tebow stands just as much if not more chance of getting hurt standing back in the pocket than when he is on the move, and by being on the move, his momentum makes him more like Csonka and Brown, or like Joe Kapp or Tobin Rote, quarterbacks from the 1960’s that were known to throw their powerful bodies at smaller defensive backs.

 

Did the pundits of the day question Vince Lombardi when he moved quarterback Paul Hornung to running back and give him the ball 15 times a game? 

 

3. Defenses can stop this offense by putting 8 or 9 in the box.

 

All NFL teams put 8 or 9 in the box in short yardage situations and near the goalline, yet teams still convert for first downs and touchdowns.  Most teams have just one running threat, and defenses can key on that one back, and yet the backs frequently find success.

 

Denver has two and sometimes three backs that can threaten the defense on a play.  If the defense overreacts to the threat of the first runner, they could be burned if he is only being used as a fake.  Throw 8 or 9 defenders to the line and make the wrong move, and any back can burn a defense for a long gain. 

 

Also, when Tebow throws, he often goes deep or at least 5-10 yards longer than most teams go these days.  Just one long completion is enough to turn a game around.  Tebow may throw deep 5 or more times in a game, and if he completed just one, that usually will be enough to force defenses to put only 7 in the box.  Just the threat of the deep pass is enough in itself.  He may not be Aaron Rodgers, but he isn’t Jimmy Clausen either.

 

This new option offense being used by the Broncos may be so impossible to succeed in the NFL, that by next year, you could see two or three more teams trying it out.

 

The truth is that any offense that threatens to stretch the field horizontally and vertically has a chance to succeed if the blocking is good enough.  Yes, it is the offensive line that really determines how good an offense will be.  Tebow will succeed or not succeed based on how the five Horses up front perform.

 

Let us take a look at one other team from the past—the 1976 New England Patriots.  Coach Chuck Fairbanks had come to the NFL from Oklahoma, where he made the Sooners the most lethal running team of all time.  His 1971 team averaged over 470 yards rushing per game.  Prior to 1976, the Patriots had failed as a passing team with Jim Plunkett manning the controls.  Fairbanks turned to youthful Steve Grogan to pilot the Pat Attack.  He had Andy Johnson and Sam “Bam” Cunningham as his principle backs in a split backfield.  The Patriots surprised everyone by running to an 11-3-0 record and earning a wildcard berth.  They penned the only loss on the Raiders, blowing Oakland off the field 48-17.

 

In the playoffs, the Patriots faced the Raiders at Oakland in the opening round.  They led 21-10 at the start of the fourth quarter and were leading 21-17 late in the game when Oakland faced a crucial third and long.  Quarterback Ken Stabler dropped back to pass, and fired off target bringing up fourth and long—except, the referee tossed a flag.  He called a roughing the passer penalty on the Patriots and every camera on instant replay showed there was no roughing.  The penalty gave the Raiders a first down, and they scored the winning touchdown in the final moments. 

 

That Patriot team was good enough to win the Super Bowl.  They were definitely better than the Super Bowl Champion Raiders.  New England could not throw the ball at all.  Grogan’s passer rating was a paltry 60.6.  However, he could run the ball, and he averaged better than six yards per attempt.  Overall, the Pats rushed for 211 yards on 42 attempts (5.0 avg per carry).  They averaged only 125 passing yards per game, more than 25 yards less per game than the Broncos when Tebow starts.

 

PiRate Ratings For The Week

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Dallas Cowboys

102.2

103.1

104.5

3.5

7

5

0

283

244

New York Giants

101.6

100.5

102.7

2

6

6

0

287

315

Philadelphia Eagles

98.6

98.5

98.1

2.5

4

8

0

271

282

Washington Redskins

92.9

94.0

93.6

3

4

8

0

202

256

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

113.3

112.3

109.3

3

12

0

0

420

262

Detroit Lions

102.0

104.9

102.3

2.5

7

5

0

333

277

Chicago Bears

95.5

95.1

99.0

4

7

5

0

291

242

Minnesota Vikings

94.3

94.5

91.6

4

2

10

0

246

330

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

109.8

108.7

106.4

5

9

3

0

393

269

Atlanta Falcons

104.9

104.0

105.6

2.5

7

5

0

269

244

Carolina Panthers

96.5

96.6

98.9

2

4

8

0

290

324

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

94.0

94.6

97.5

2

4

8

0

218

329

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

106.0

106.6

104.9

3

10

2

0

288

161

Seattle Seahawks

98.2

98.9

96.9

3

5

7

0

216

246

Arizona Cardinals

97.5

96.4

100.3

2.5

5

7

0

232

269

St. Louis Rams

91.4

90.4

87.8

2.5

2

10

0

140

296

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

110.0

109.6

108.1

1.5

9

3

0

362

247

Miami Dolphins

104.7

104.1

104.4

4

4

8

0

246

220

New York Jets

103.6

103.7

100.5

3

7

5

0

290

260

Buffalo Bills

93.7

97.0

100.7

4

5

7

0

278

304

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Pittsburgh Steelers

108.6

108.1

105.0

5

9

3

0

268

195

Baltimore Ravens

107.2

107.7

107.0

4

9

3

0

296

192

Cincinnati Bengals

98.2

98.9

102.5

1.5

7

5

0

266

250

Cleveland Browns

93.9

94.8

94.8

2.5

4

8

0

175

240

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

102.0

101.3

101.6

1.5

9

3

0

310

189

Tennessee Titans

100.5

100.8

102.5

2

7

5

0

249

229

Jacksonville Jaguars

96.5

96.1

93.0

2.5

3

9

0

152

238

Indianapolis Colts

89.7

88.4

85.9

2.5

0

12

0

174

358

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

101.8

99.9

100.1

2.5

5

7

0

287

289

Denver Broncos

98.2

97.8

101.0

1.5

7

5

0

256

292

Oakland Raiders

98.1

99.2

99.9

1.5

7

5

0

274

308

Kansas City Chiefs

95.9

93.6

93.5

1

5

7

0

163

268

 

PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads For This Week

Home Team in CAPS

Vegas Line as of: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 5:00 PM EST

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

PITTSBURGH Cleveland

19.7

18.3

15.2

14   

39   

BALTIMORE Indianapolis

21.5

23.3

25.1

16 1/2

41   

Houston CINCINNATI

2.3

0.9

-2.4

-3   

37 1/2

GREEN BAY Oakland

18.2

16.1

12.4

11   

52 1/2

NEW YORK JETS Kansas City

10.7

13.1

10.0

9   

36 1/2

DETROIT Minnesota

10.2

12.9

13.2

7   

48 1/2

New Orleans TENNESSEE

7.3

5.9

1.9

4   

48 1/2

MIAMI Philadelphia

10.1

9.6

10.3

3   

44   

New England WASHINGTON

18.6

17.1

16.0

8   

48   

Atlanta CAROLINA

6.4

5.4

4.7

2 1/2

48   

JACKSONVILLE Tampa Bay

5.5

4.0

-2.0

-1   

37 ½

San Francisco ARIZONA

6.0

7.7

2.1

3 1/2

39 ½

DENVER Chicago

4.2

4.2

3.5

3 1/2

35 ½

SAN DIEGO Buffalo

10.6

5.4

1.9

6 1/2

47 ½

DALLAS New York Giants

4.1

6.1

5.3

3 1/2

49   

SEATTLE St. Louis

9.8

11.5

12.1

6 1/2

39 ½

 

This Week’s Playoff Projections

We have some changes in this week’s projection.  The Chicago Bears continue to slide with the loss of Jay Cutler and now Matt Forte.  We show the Bears missing out of the playoffs, and there will be a real dogfight for the final playoff berth in the NFC.  Once thought to be out of the race entirely, teams like Arizona and Seattle have something to play for, as 9-7 just might be good enough to finish with the final wildcard spot.  The Detroit Lions could also fall to 9-7, and this would throw both wildcard spots up for grabs.  For now, we will let the Lions keep one and give the other to the Falcons, even though they are limping along.  A 2-2 finish ought to be good enough for Atlanta.

 

In the AFC, we have made only a minor adjustment by moving Pittsburgh ahead of New England for the top spot.  We believe the Steelers have a great chance to win out and get homefield advantage.

 

A F C

1. Pittsburgh 13-3

2. New England 13-3

3. Houston 11-5

4. Denver 10-6

5. Baltimore 11-5

6. Cincinnati 11-5

 

N F C

1. Green Bay 16-0

2. San Francisco 13-3

3. New Orleans 13-3

4. Dallas 9-7

5. Detroit 9-7

6. Atlanta 9-7

 

Wildcard Round

Cincinnati over Houston

Denver over Baltimore

New Orleans over Detroit

Dallas over Atlanta

 

Divisional Round

Pittsburgh over Cincinnati

New England over Denver

Green Bay over Dallas

New Orleans over San Francisco

 

Conference Championships

Pittsburgh over New England

Green Bay over New Orleans

 

Super Bowl

Green Bay over Pittsburgh

November 29, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 13–December 1-5, 2011

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:18 pm

The Ratings And QB Injuries

Most computer ratings base their formulae strictly on the score of games played.  It matters not how team A beat team B 35-21, only that team A won 35-21.

 

The PiRate Ratings are not quite the same as most ratings.  Thus, when Houston suffers the loss of Matt Schaub and then Matt Leinart, forcing T.J. Yates into the starters role, it caused something to happen to the PiRate Ratings.

 

Our ratings are predictive in nature.  We do not rely on average scoring margin combined with strength of schedule to forecast games.  Yes, scoring margin and strength of schedule are part of our three formulae, but we have a different way of looking at the games.

 

First, we do not take a 35-21 Team A win over Team B as strictly a two touchdown win.  We look at how the game played out.  How effective was Team A’s offense against Team B’s defense?

 

Let’s say Team C also beat Team B 35-21 a week earlier, and both games were played at Team B’s home stadium.  What if:

 

Team A gained 400 total yards and could have scored two more touchdowns than they did.  They chose to run the clock out at the end of the game after driving 75 yards to Team B’s 3 yard line.  Earlier in the game, they drove 75 yards to Team B’s 3 and then they chose to go for it on 4th and 2 and came up 3 inches short.

 

Team C gained only 200 yards and scored on an intercepted screen pass and a punt return.  Additionally, Team B gained 200 more yards against Team C than they did against Team A.

 

Are Team A and Team C equal when looking at their games against Team B?  According to most computer ratings, they are.  The PiRate Ratings would estimate on the games played that Team A is about 6 points better than Team C.

 

Because Houston played a good part of their last game with Yates at quarterback (and the same goes for Chicago with Caleb Hanie), we can modify the ratings to show how much weaker the Texans (and Bears) are compare to when they had Schaub and/or Leinart (as well as Cutler).  So, in this week’s ratings, you will see how the loss of quarterbacks has affected our predictions.

 

On the other hand, if Peyton Manning miraculously returned to action this week for Indianapolis to play at New England, we would not have any 2011 data to base his effectiveness.  We could only estimate how many points he would be worth for the Colts, but, we do have a mechanical system in place to account for this.  Indianapolis would be 16 points better off if a healthy Manning was under center; unfortunately, the Colts would still be expected to lose by double digits at Foxboro. 

 

Since all of our ratings have a mean of 100, with every point or fraction thereof we take away from Houston (and Chicago), we have to divvy it up among the other teams.  And, voila:  we have ratings that reflect each team’s current strength and/or weakness.

 

Remember, a rating of 100 is average for a team.  If a team is rated at 106.4, they are 6.4 points better than average, and if they are rated 93.6, they are 6.4 points weaker than average.

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Dallas Cowboys

102.8

104.3

104.8

3.5

7

4

0

270

225

Philadelphia Eagles

101.2

100.3

101.3

2

4

7

0

257

251

New York Giants

100.3

99.5

102.2

1.5

6

5

0

252

277

Washington Redskins

93.9

95.4

95.3

3.5

4

7

0

183

222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

114.2

113.7

110.2

2.5

11

0

0

382

227

Detroit Lions

102.3

105.2

103.9

2.5

7

4

0

316

246

Chicago Bears

96.8

97.0

97.4

4

7

4

0

288

232

Minnesota Vikings

94.6

94.6

91.6

4.5

2

9

0

214

295

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

109.4

108.6

107.0

5

8

3

0

362

252

Atlanta Falcons

105.6

104.4

106.2

2.5

7

4

0

259

227

Tampa Bay Bucaneers

97.1

96.9

98.5

2

4

7

0

199

291

Carolina Panthers

93.6

93.8

97.3

2.5

3

8

0

252

305

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

104.9

107.0

104.8

3

9

2

0

262

161

Arizona Cardinals

96.8

95.2

97.4

2

4

7

0

213

256

Seattle Seahawks

95.6

96.6

93.4

2.5

4

7

0

185

232

St. Louis Rams

92.5

90.7

88.7

2.5

2

9

0

140

270

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

112.3

111.7

109.2

2

8

3

0

331

223

New York Jets

102.6

102.5

100.9

3

6

5

0

256

241

Miami Dolphins

102.1

100.9

99.9

3.5

3

8

0

212

206

Buffalo Bills

94.0

97.7

100.6

4

5

6

0

261

281

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Baltimore Ravens

106.6

107.8

108.1

4.5

8

3

0

272

182

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.2

106.2

105.3

4

8

3

0

233

188

Cincinnati Bengals

100.2

101.1

103.1

1

7

4

0

259

215

Cleveland Browns

94.4

95.4

97.1

2.5

4

7

0

165

216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

100.9

99.8

99.6

1.5

8

3

0

293

179

Tennessee Titans

100.2

100.6

101.2

2

6

5

0

226

212

Jacksonville Jaguars

99.2

98.1

94.5

3.5

3

8

0

138

200

Indianapolis Colts

88.4

85.8

84.4

3

0

11

0

150

327

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Oakland Raiders

100.1

100.4

102.9

1

7

4

0

260

274

San Diego Chargers

99.4

98.5

99.1

3

4

7

0

249

275

Denver Broncos

97.8

98.3

99.9

2

6

5

0

221

260

Kansas City Chiefs

94.9

91.7

94.1

1.5

4

7

0

153

265

 

PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads For This Week’s Games

Week 13: December 1-5, 2011

 

Vegas Line as of 11/29/2011  @ 5:00 PM EST

 

 

Home Team in CAPS

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

Philadelphia SEATTLE

3.1

1.2

5.4

3   

44   

Tennessee BUFFALO

2.2

-1.1

-3.4

-1 1/2

43 1/2

CHICAGO Kansas City

5.9

9.3

7.3

7 1/2

36 1/2

MIAMI Oakland

5.5

4.0

0.5

3   

43   

PITTSBURGH Cincinnati

10.0

9.1

6.2

6 1/2

42   

Baltimore CLEVELAND

9.7

9.9

8.5

6 1/2

37 1/2

New York Jets WASHINGTON

5.2

3.6

2.1

3   

38   

Atlanta HOUSTON

3.2

3.1

5.1

2 1/2

39   

TAMPA BAY Carolina

5.5

5.1

3.2

3   

48 1/2

NEW ORLEANS Detroit

12.1

8.4

8.1

9   

54 1/2

Denver MINNESOTA

1.2

1.7

6.3

Pk

37 1/2

SAN FRANCISCO St. Louis

15.4

19.3

19.1

13   

37 1/2

Dallas ARIZONA

4.0

7.1

5.4

4 1/2

45 1/2

Green Bay NEW YORK GIANTS

12.4

12.7

6.5

7   

53   

NEW ENGLAND Indianapolis

25.9

27.9

26.8

20 1/2

49   

JACKSONVILLE San Diego

3.3

3.1

-1.1

-2 1/2

39   

 

Playoff Projections

There are some changes to this week’s playoff projections.  Detroit has been removed from a wildcard spot, while Atlanta has been added.  Chicago has dropped back to the #6 seed in the NFC with a couple extra losses figured into their finish.

 

In the AFC, Denver is now expected to finish in a tie with Oakland for the West Division title and win the playoff spot based on tiebreakers.

 

Houston is expected to plummet with a 2-3 finish, but the Texans are comfortably ahead of second place Tennessee.  It will cost the Texans a spot in the seedings.

 

N F C

1. Green Bay

2. San Francisco

3. New Orleans

4. Dallas

5. Atlanta

6. Chicago

 

A F C

1. New England

2. Pittsburgh

3. Denver

4. Houston

5. Baltimore

6. Cincinnati

 

Wildcard Round

New Orleans over Chicago

Dallas over Atlanta

Denver over Cincinnati

Baltimore over Houston

 

Divisional Round

Green Bay over Dallas

New Orleans over San Francisco

Pittsburgh over Denver

New England over Baltimore

 

Conference Championships

Green Bay over New Orleans

Pittsburgh over New England

 

SUPER BOWL

Green Bay over Pittsburgh

November 22, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 12–November 24-28, 2011

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:31 pm

Let’s Talk Turkey

This is not a food blog, but we here at the PiRate Ratings have to tell you our favorite method for cooking a turkey.  It is the easiest way to cook it thoroughly and yet have a moist and tender turkey with lots of delicious gravy.

 

First, purchase an already brined turkey.  We prefer hens to toms because they are more tender and flavorful.

 

We place the brined turkey in a Nesco 18-qt. Roaster, but you can use any type as long as your roaster has a tight-fitting lid.

 

Rub your turkey with your favorite seasonings.  We use an organic, no salt seasoning that has garlic, rosemary, sage, savory, and other seasonings.  Place your turkey in your roaster and then add enough water until the water is about 1 ½ to 2 inches in depth.

 

Add two quartered yellow onions into the water.  Insert a meat thermometer in one of the turkey thighs.  We love our Oxo instant read digital thermometer, so we can always easily read the temperature without opening the lid.  If you have a temperature alarm, set it for 165 degrees.

 

Fasten the lid on the roaster and roast at 350 degrees.  In about two hours, the thermometer should show 165 degrees in the thigh.  It is almost done.  When you reach 165, turn the roaster temperature to 200 degrees.  Watch the meat thermometer closely.  When it reaches 175, your thigh is done, and so is your turkey.  Immediately remove it from the roaster and set on a carving block.  Unlike dry-roasted turkey, it will not rise another 10-15 degrees after removal from the roaster.

 

You will have a juicy bird that is tender enough for grandma and her false teeth.  The turkey is steam-cooked, and so the breast will not be dry and overcooked.

 

Take the cooking liquid and place it in a saucepan.  Heat it and add either milk or a milk substitute (almond milk is an excellent choice and what we use) with a little arrowroot powder or quinoa flour for thickening.  You have delicious gravy.

 

Back To Football

Three excellent games are scheduled for Thanksgiving Day.  Green Bay faces Detroit in what many are comparing to Turkey Day 1962.  The undefeated Packers were on their way to easily taking their second consecutive NFL Championship, while Detroit was definitely the second best pro team.  The Lions sacked Packer quarterback Bart Starr 11 times and upset Vince Lombardi’s best team 26-14.  It was Green Bay’s only blemish, as the Packers were never threatened the rest of the season and then blew out the Giants in the Championship Game.  As for Detroit, the Lions finished 11-3-0 and in second place.  Their reward was a trip to Miami to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Playoff Bowl.  Detroit won 17-10.

 

Dallas hosts Miami, and while the Dolphins are not in the playoff hunt, they are capable of upsetting the Cowboys.  Miami has won three games in a row, and they could be 7-3 instead of 3-7.

 

The primetime game would be great even if it was not a battle of the Harbaugh brothers.  Baltimore is as good as Green Bay when playing at home and as weak as Tampa Bay when playing on the road.  San Francisco could make a case for being a legitimate Super Bowl contender if they can knock off the Ravens.

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Dallas Cowboys

102.7

103.2

104.3

3.5

6

4

0

250

206

Philadelphia Eagles

102.4

101.3

103.2

2.5

4

6

0

237

213

New York Giants

102.0

100.9

102.5

1.5

6

4

0

228

228

Washington Redskins

91.3

93.0

92.4

4.5

3

7

0

160

205

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

113.0

109.8

109.7

2.5

10

0

0

355

212

Chicago Bears

107.6

107.8

108.4

3.5

7

3

0

268

207

Detroit Lions

102.3

104.9

107.7

3

7

3

0

301

219

Minnesota Vikings

93.8

96.5

92.7

5

2

8

0

200

271

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

106.5

106.0

104.2

4.5

7

3

0

313

228

Atlanta Falcons

105.2

104.2

105.2

2.5

6

4

0

235

213

Tampa Bay Bucaneers

96.7

97.2

99.8

2

4

6

0

182

268

Carolina Panthers

92.2

93.1

93.7

2.5

2

8

0

225

286

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

104.9

107.1

107.0

2.5

9

1

0

256

145

Seattle Seahawks

97.0

97.1

98.6

4

4

6

0

168

209

Arizona Cardinals

96.0

94.8

98.2

1.5

3

7

0

190

236

St. Louis Rams

92.1

91.0

88.3

3

2

8

0

120

247

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

109.9

108.8

108.0

2

7

3

0

293

203

New York Jets

102.4

102.4

98.9

2.5

5

5

0

228

217

Miami Dolphins

101.0

99.6

101.4

3

3

7

0

193

186

Buffalo Bills

93.0

96.0

98.0

3.5

5

5

0

237

253

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.4

106.0

104.8

3.5

7

3

0

220

179

Baltimore Ravens

105.4

106.0

104.8

4.5

7

3

0

256

176

Cincinnati Bengals

99.9

101.2

102.8

2

6

4

0

236

195

Cleveland Browns

93.5

94.2

94.1

2.5

4

6

0

145

193

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

110.0

109.1

108.1

1.5

7

3

0

273

166

Tennessee Titans

99.4

99.7

97.2

2

5

5

0

203

195

Jacksonville Jaguars

98.5

97.1

92.9

3

3

7

0

125

180

Indianapolis Colts

88.6

86.7

86.1

2.5

0

10

0

131

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

99.6

98.6

96.7

3.5

4

6

0

236

259

Oakland Raiders

97.7

98.4

101.1

1

6

4

0

235

254

Denver Broncos

96.4

96.9

99.4

2

5

5

0

205

247

Kansas City Chiefs

93.5

91.7

89.9

1

4

6

0

144

252

 

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads

Home Team in CAPS

Vegas Line as of Tuesday, 11/22/2011 @ 4:00 PM EST

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

Green Bay DETROIT

7.7

1.9

-1.0

6 1/2

56   

DALLAS Miami

5.2

7.1

6.4

7   

44   

BALTIMORE San Francisco

5.0

3.4

2.3

3   

38 1/2

Arizona ST. LOUIS

0.9

0.8

6.9

-3   

40 1/2

NEW YORK JETS Buffalo

11.9

8.9

3.4

8   

42 1/2

CINCINNATI Cleveland

8.4

9.0

10.7

7 1/2

37 1/2

Houston JACKSONVILLE

8.5

9.0

12.2

3   

37 1/2

Carolina INDIANAPOLIS

1.1

3.9

5.1

3 1/2

44 1/2

TENNESSEE Tampa Bay

4.7

4.5

-0.6

3   

42   

ATLANTA Minnesota

13.9

10.2

15.0

9 1/2

44 1/2

Chicago OAKLAND

8.9

8.4

6.3

-4 1/2

41 1/2

SEATTLE Washington

9.7

8.1

10.2

4   

37   

New England PHILADELPHIA

5.0

5.0

2.3

3   

50 1/2

SAN DIEGO Denver

6.7

5.2

0.8

6 1/2

43 1/2

Pittsburgh KANSAS CITY

11.9

13.3

13.9

10   

39 1/2

NEW ORLEANS New York Giants

9.0

9.6

6.2

7   

50 1/2

 

This Week’s Playoff Projections

 

Wildcard Round

#6 Detroit Lions @ #3 New Orleans Saints

#5 Atlanta Falcons @ #4 Dallas Cowboys

 

#6 Cincinnati Bengals @ #3 Houston Texans

#5 Baltimore Ravens @ #4 Oakland Raiders

 

Divisional Round

#4 Dallas Cowboys @ #1 Green Bay Packers

#3 New Orleans Saints @ #2 San Francisco 49ers

 

#6 Cincinnati Bengals @ #1 New England Patriots

#4 Oakland Raiders @ #2 Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Conference Championships

New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots

 

Super Bowl

Green Bay Packers Over Pittsburgh Steelers

September 30, 2011

PiRate Picks for College and Pro Football–October 1-3, 2011

Support Your Local Underdog

In our search for value, we have erroneously looked at several options so far this season.  Without our full team of value-seekers, our skeleton crew of two has been caught without much meat on the bones.

 

This week, we revert back to what has been the most successful for us over the years—UNDERDOGS!

 

We have isolated eight college games where we like the underdog to cover.

 

1. Northwestern +10 vs. Illinois

This decision is not about the return of Dan Persa.  Yes, the Northwestern Heisman Trophy contender is worth at least 7-12 points to his team—when healthy.  His ACL injury was a tough one, and he will be rusty.  Northwestern’s offensive line may not be strong enough to protect the much less mobile passer, and Persa may only play a limited amount in this game.

 

So, why are we playing the underdog here?  Northwestern has had an extra week to prepare for this game, and they have revenge on their minds after last year’s debacle at Wrigley Field. 

 

Additionally, we believe that Illinois is just strong enough to win ugly and not blow out any conference opponent.  We look for the game to be decided by seven points or less.

 

2. Tulane + 7 ½ vs. Army

There is an important caveat to this game.  A couple of services have this game at 7 ½ points, while the rest have it at 7.  You must seek out the 7 ½ point services to play this game.  We expect this one to be close with a chance of going to overtime.  Unless one team scores a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion in the third or later extra period and then holds the other team scoreless, the winner will not win an overtime game by more than 7 points.

 

Yes, the chance of a game going to overtime is slim, maybe 4%?  You have to give up 2.38% to the book as vigorish, and look at what that little amount does for the book.  4% can do a lot for you as well.  Throw in the fact that this game looks to us to be much closer to a tossup.  Army’s stellar desert swarm defense is not getting the job done this year, and opponents have been able to slow down their option offense.  We look for a game in the 24-20 range either way.

 

3. North Carolina State +10 vs. Georgia Tech

This is more of a system play.  The Wolfpack just plain stunk up the field against Cincinnati a week ago Thursday night, while Tech won a big game at home over North Carolina last Saturday.  State is not that bad, and they will recover and play a great game at home.  Tech will bounce a little in this road game.

 

We like the fact that NCST has enjoyed an extra couple of days in preparation time for this game, and we like the fact that Coach O’Brien has done well against option teams in the past.

 

We’ll call this one a small Georgia Tech win with a chance of a major upset if the Yellow Jackets put the ball on the ground a couple times.  We’ll predict a 31-26 win for the victor, with Tech having a 70% chance of being the winner and 30% chance of being the upset loser.

 

4. Washington +10 vs. Utah

This is an endorsement of Steve Sarkisian and a belief that last week’s loss at Nebraska will look better and better as the season progresses.

 

Utah had an extra week to prepare for this game, but they have not played UW before (last game came in 1979 before any of the players were even born).

 

We are a little concerned that if this game is a blowout win, it will only mean that Utah is the winner.  However, we cannot turn down getting double digits for this underdog.  Utah is not Nebraska, and the Huskies have the talent to win this game outright.  We’ll take the 10 and disregard the slight chance that Utah could do to UW what they did to BYU.  Call if a 34-27 win for the Utes at best and a UW upset at worst (for Utah).

 

5. New Mexico +1 ½ vs. New Mexico State

New Mexico finally cut ties with their big mistake.  Mike Locksley was fired after a tenure that brought more off-the-field police inquiries (3) than wins (2).  When AD Paul Krebs announced that he had regretted hiring Locksley, it was the equivalent of the Democratic Party leaders announcing they had regretted selecting George McGovern and Thomas Eagleton as their party nominees in 1972.

 

The Lobos deserved to be punished for forcing Rocky Long out four years ago.  They were not happy with all those seasons of six and seven regular season wins and minor bowl games.  Dennis Franchione and Marv Levy enjoyed their successes in different eras.  New Mexico is a basketball school.

 

Okay, rant over.  Now, let’s get to the facts pertinent to this game.  First, the Lobo players will play their best collective game of the season and probably the last three years.  This will not be the same team that lost on homecoming to Sam Houston State.

 

New Mexico State is the only team left on the schedule that New Mexico can beat, or one of two is you count UNLV as a winnable game.  The Aggies are also a basketball school, as the Land of Enchantment does not produce enough college football talent for one FBS school, let alone two.

 

We look for the Lobos to win their lone game of the season this weekend, and we look for it to be dedicated to their regrettable mistake.

 

6. Nebraska +10 vs. Wisconsin

Playing this game is not easy.  We will state up front, that the two remaining PiRates here are rabid Badger fans with lots of ties to the state of Wisconsin, the city of Madison, and the university itself.  If you go to our alternate webpage at www.piratings.webs.com, you will find a picture our founder took of Camp Randall Stadium as the banner for the page.

 

As another disclaimer, our founder has been avidly following Nebraska football since the Cornhuskers under coach Bob Devaney played Alabama in three bowls in a seven-year period, culminating with possibly the greatest college football team ever, the 1971 National Champions.  As a coach, our founder used the Nebraska option-I offense as his base offense and successfully taught junior high players how to run the zone blocking scheme and how to read the same option plays used by Tom Osborne.

 

Okay, now that we have gotten those tidbits out of the way, we look at this game as another value play.  How many times does an undefeated top 25 team get double digit points this late into the season, when they are not playing a dominant number one or two team?  We could see a double digit spread if Nebraska was visiting Alabama, but Wisconsin is regrettably not Alabama.  They are simple a little better version of Nebraska.

 

These teams are very similar, and thus, the game preparation for both will allow them to closely simulate their opponent.  They have comparable talent, and we do not see the home field advantage worth 10 points.  Wisconsin will be fortunate to escape with a win in this one, and we will take the Badgers to edge the ‘Huskers by a field goal—hopefully.  It’s really a 50-50 tossup game.

 

7. Duke + 3 ½ vs. Florida International

We are going with Coach Cutcliffe’s ability to get his team to move the ball and score points as the big reason for this play.  FIU showed us that they can be had by an offense that can move the ball and control the clock when they lost to Louisiana-Lafayette last week.  Duke has recovered from a 0-2 start with back-to-back wins over Boston College and Tulane.  This is a must-win game for the Blue Devils.  They can still get to bowl eligibility if they win this one, but they are headed to a crashing finish if they lose.  The players are smart enough to realize this fact, and they will play a top notch game against an opponent from a league that is a step below ACC-level competition.

 

We look for Duke to win this game by 7-10 points and will gladly accept the 3 ½ points.

 

8. Memphis +23 vs. Middle Tennessee

When is the last time a winless team from the Sunbelt Conference was favored by more than three touchdowns over any team from another FBS league?  If you said “never”, you are correct.

 

Memphis is the weakest of the 120 FBS teams.  Their roster would probably not win the Ohio Valley Conference championship, and the football program is a major mess, and it has been for some time.  Fans believe that AD R. C. Johnson is in over his head.  Johnson is a noted fundraiser, but fans blame him for the dismissal of Tommy West.  West left an ultimatum for the university to either fully support the moribund program or get out of football.  So far, the program has done neither, and the results have been dreadfully appalling.

 

Coach Larry Porter had no previous coordinator experience when he took this job, and while the team seems to be a little more organized, it does not appear to be fundamentally sound.  Porter was dealt a terrible hand, but he has taken that hand and discarded his ten and jack and left his four, seven, and eight of different suits.

 

In other words, this program is about on par with UTEP’s program from 1972 to 1985 when six coaches went a combined 21-136.

 

Still, this is not enough to justify a winless Middle Tennessee squad as a more than three touchdown favorite.  Memphis’s players realize that they are not much weaker than a bottom half Sunbelt team.  Look for this game to be decided in the fourth quarter, and Middle should win, but they won’t win by 20+ points.  Call it a 35-21 decision.

 

Moneyline Parlays

Fret not, you lovers of moneyline parlays.  Our parlays last week split at 2-2, giving us a 6-3 mark for the year.  We have isolated four more parlays under -130 that we feel confident with this week.

 

9. Moneyline Parlay (5 teams @ -112)

Michigan over Minnesota

Virginia over Idaho

Penn State over Indiana

Arizona State over Oregon State

Ohio U over Kent State

 

10. Moneyline Parlay (3 teams @ -129)

Cincinnati over Miami (O)

Notre Dame over Purdue

Southern Cal over Arizona

 

11. Moneyline Parlay (2 teams @ -104)

Northern Illinois over Central Michigan

Louisiana Tech over Hawaii

 

12. Moneyline Parlay (2 teams @ -122)

Texas over Iowa State

North Carolina over East Carolina

 

N F L 13-point teasers

Our luck ran out on these plays last week, as we suffered our first losing week with them to fall to 6-4 overall.  We look to get back on that horse with three parlays, all using the underdog theme.

 

13. 13-point teaser

Detroit +15 vs. Dallas

New Orleans +6 vs. Jacksonville

San Francisco + 21 ½ vs. Philadelphia

Cleveland +13 vs. Tennessee

 

14. 13-point teaser

Minnesota +10 ½ vs. Kansas City

Atlanta +8 ½ vs. Seattle

Green Bay +1 vs. Denver

New England +9 vs. Oakland

 

15. 13-point teaser

Buffalo +10 vs. Cincinnati

Carolina +19 vs. Chicago

Pittsburgh +16 ½ vs. Houston

New York Giants +12 vs. Arizona

 

Remember: We do not advocate using these picks for sports wagering.  We do not wager money on these ourselves; we are just numbers’ geeks looking to have some fun with numbers.  Also, there used to be six of us, and now there are just two.  Our past success of 62% against the spread over the prior nine seasons is no longer reproducible with just the two of us.

September 22, 2011

PiRate Picks for College and Pro Football–September 24-26, 2011

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:32 am

Following Some Early Trends

After three weeks in the football picking season, we have seen a few trends develop where we are going to try to find profitable value.

 

We have selected five college money line parlays and five NFL 13-point teasers.  Both have gone 4-1 for an 8-2 total.  80% is ridiculous, and we would be crazy to believe we can continue with that success.  However, the rest of our picks have been just plain lousy.  So, until otherwise proven to be incorrect, we are going to load up on college money line parlays and NFL 13-point teasers.

 

We have set limits when we play money line parlays.  We pick enough teams in each parlay to lower the odds under -130, or what we get from a 13-point teaser.  At -130, we must be correct more than 56.5% of the time, and 80% surely is better.  The average odds of the money line parlays we have played in the last three years has been -121, so the real break even point is actually 54.8% accuracy, or only a fraction over the odds for a straight 11-10 pick.

 

We believe there are two factors playing in our favor with theses selections.  First, in the college picks, there is a trend developing among the land dividing teams into two categories—haves and have-nots.  Just like with our nation’s Middle Class rapidly disappearing, college football is losing its middle tier of teams—the one’s that are always 6-6 or 7-5 every year (think Northwestern and Kentucky).  When a have, played a middle-tier, chances for an upset used to be about 20-25%, which was enough to kill a parlay of three to five teams.  When a have-not plays a have these days, chances for an upset are 0-10% depending on the degrees of have and have-not.  To get any players to wager on these games, we feel the money lines have been fudged a little lower than what they should be.  Combine four or five of these games, and it gives us a distinct advantage—or at least we hope it does.

 

If we can find four games in which the money line appears to be off by 5%, and we play them together in a parlay, the “fudge gain” improves by 18.6% in our favor.  Since we have determined that 54.8% accuracy is needed, this looks like a profitable pursuit.

 

Now, for the NFL 13-point teasers, we see the opposite effect from what is happening in college football.  There are fewer haves and have-nots in pro football.  Most of the teams are now middle tier.  You have the Patriots and Packers, and you have the Chiefs and Vikings, but for the most part, any team can defeat any other team at least three times out of ten.  The pointspreads must stay tight, because any outlier line will quickly be hit by the smart players.  Thus, the lines have to squeeze into the middle and stay conservative. 

 

So, if we move a line by 13 points, we are greatly moving it out of this narrow trading range.  A three-point favorite may beat their opponent 60% of the time, but the average margin of victory might by five points with a standard deviation below 7.  If we force that three-point favorite to cover at 16, they may only do so one time in 25.  Additionally, if we take the favorite and give them 10%, the underdog may only cover one time in 25. 

 

The same reasoning can be applied to the totals.  Teams that typically average 23 points per game and give up 20 points per game will seldom play in a game with a total of 28 points, unless the game is played in inclement weather. 

 

Remember our warning:  We do not wager on games and thus do not use these picks for that purpose.  We are number crunchers, and this is just an exercise for fun.  Additionally, in the past, when we were really accurate, there were five and sometimes six of us pooling our experience together to come up with a consensus.  Now, there are just two old codgers doing this.  Don’t lose your house because two gents old enough to remember Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas squaring off in the NFL Championship Game during the 1964 season are picking the games.

 

I. College Money Line Parlays

 

1. Money Line Parlay (3 teams @ -117)

L S U over West Virginia

South Carolina over Vanderbilt

Michigan State over Central Michigan

 

2. Money Line Parlay (4 teams @ -114)

Michigan over San Diego State

Oregon over Arizona

Ohio State over Colorado

Baylor over Rice

 

3. Money Line Parlay (3 teams @ -116)

Miami (Fl) over Kansas State

East Carolina over U A B

Iowa over Louisiana-Monroe

Florida over Kentucky

 

4. Money Line Parlay (4 yeams @ -112)

Illinois over Western Michigan

Alabama over Arkansas

Florida Int’l over Louisiana-Lafayette

Virginia Tech over Marshall

 Note: These four parlays break even at 53.4% success, but of course with just four parlays, we need to win three of them to make a profit.  The following seven 13-point teasers need 56.5% success to break even, so four victories will do that.  Combining the 11 selections, we need to go 7-4 to make money.  If we can maintain 80% accuracy on these picks, we need to be correct with 8.8 rounded to 9 of these picks.  Good Luck–Good Grief!

II. NFL 13-point Teasers

5. 13-point Teaser

San Francisco +16 vs. Cincinnati

San Francisco & Cincinnati OVER 27 ½

Miami +14 ½ vs. Cleveland

Miami & Cleveland OVER 28

 

6. 13-point Teaser

New England +4 vs. Buffalo

New England & Buffalo UNDER 66 ½

San Diego -1 ½ vs. Kansas City

San Diego & Kansas City UNDER 58 ½

 

7. 13-point Teaser

New Orleans +9 vs. Houston

New Orleans & Houston OVER 40

Atlanta +14 ½ vs. Tampa Bay

Atlanta & Tampa Bay OVER 32 ½

 

8. 13-point Teaser

Denver +19 ½ vs. Tennessee

Denver & Tennessee OVER 29

Jacksonville +16 ½ vs. Carolina

Jacksonville & Carolina OVER 29 ½

 

9. 13-point Teaser

Detroit +9 ½ vs. Minnesota

Detroit & Minnesota OVER 32

Green Bay +9 ½ vs. Chicago

Green Bay & Chicago OVER 32 ½

 

10. 13-point Teaser

Baltimore +9 vs. St. Louis

Baltimore & St. Louis UNDER 51 ½

Pittsburgh +2 ½ vs. Indianapolis

Pittsburgh & Indianapolis UNDER 52 ½

 

11. 13-point Teaser

Oakland +9 ½ vs. New York Jets

Oakland & New York Jets OVER 28

Seattle +16 vs. Arizona

Seattle & Arizona OVER 30

September 9, 2011

PiRate Picks for College and Pro Football–September 10-12, 20111

PiRate Picks For September 10-12, 2011

 

Note: We no longer charge customers for our picks.  We have decided to make these picks fun and not serious, because we no longer have the time to really peruse all the data we used to rely on when we were consistently more than 60% accurate.  So, you better not rely on these picks to win you a yacht and chalet.

 

We advise against using this information for illegal purposes. 

 

 

After last week’s opening flop with our fun picks, we are happy that the NFL season is beginning.  We are going with an angle here this week and using it to play two, 13-point sweetheart teasers.  Our angle has to deal with our hypothesis that the defenses in the NFL suffered by not having OTA’s and minicamps this year.  Quarterbacks and receivers can gel with minimal reps, but an 11-man defensive unit needs a lot more time to become cohesive.  An offense can click even if one player screws up.  If one defensive player screws up, an NFL QB will exploit the mistake for a big gain.

 

So, we are going to tease the OVER in two parlays to start out.

 

In this first one, we believe Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger will guide their teams to 20 or more points.  If the score is just 14-10, then we are in good shape.

 

Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler should begin the season with successful afternoons.  We believe the loser will top 20 points, so a total of 30 ½ looks really inviting.

 

Tennessee and Jacksonville do not really fit this blueprint in the way the first two games do.  The Jaguars cut David Garrard, and Luke McCown will start, while Matt Hasselbeck is not going to remind anyone of Warren Moon.  However, these teams cannot stop the run.  Chris Johnson cut go for 150-200 yards for the Titans, and Maurice Jones-Drew could go for 125-175 yards for the Jags.  Look for a lot of missed tackles by two inept defenses.

 

The final leg of this parlay involves two egomaniacal coaches that hate each other and would not think twice of running up the score on the other if the opportunity presents itself.  The 49ers have the talent to excel on offense, but Mike Singletary never had a clue how to use it.  Jim Harbaugh will.

 

1. 13-point teaser parlay

A. Baltimore and Pittsburgh OVER 23

B. Atlanta and Chicago OVER 30 ½

C. Tennessee and Jacksonville OVER 24

D. Seattle and San Francisco OVER 24 ½

 

 

In our second parlay, we believe Phillip Rivers will top 250 passing yards with multiple touchdown passes, and the Chargers will top 24 points.  The Vikings should be good for double figure points, and we only need a 17-13 game to cover.

 

The Giants are missing some key defensive personnel, and Washington does not have a lot of key defensive personnel.  Eli Manning should have a decent day, and the Giants should top 21 points.  Rex Grossman won’t pass for 200 yards, but we only need the Redskins to score one touchdown to cover if the Giants reach 20.

 

We cannot see the Patriots being held under 24 points at Miami.  The Dolphins will score a couple times, so we feel that a 24-10 score is the minimum for this game.

 

As for Oakland and Denver, we again believe that neither team has a credible defense.  The Raiders are at least five points weaker defensively with the loss of the top cover corner in the NFL.  The Broncos have a new defensive coordinator and a new scheme, and we do not believe they will be ready to stop Darren McFadden.

 

2. 13-point teaser parlay

A. San Diego and Minnesota OVER 28 ½

B. New York Giants and Washington OVER 25

C. Miami and New England OVER 32 ½

D. Oakland and Denver OVER 27 ½

 

3. Indianapolis +8 ½ vs. Houston

No Peyton means the Colts have to rely on their defense and running game a little more.  However, Kerry Collins is not some untested backup.  In the games he started for Tennessee last year, the Titans averaged 22 points per game with one of the weakest corps of receivers in the league.  The Colts averaged just 27 points per game with Manning.  We think Collins, in a first game of the season, can run the Colts’ offense.  If Manning were healthy, would the Colts be 3 ½ point underdogs?  No, and they should not be 8 ½ point dogs to a Texans team that is not world-beaters defensively.

 

4. 5-team Moneyline Parlay  Plays at -130

A. Wisconsin over Oregon State

B. Ohio State over Toledo

C. Stanford over Duke

D. North Carolina over Rutgers

E. Virginia Tech over East Carolina

 

Here we have five prohibitive favorites that would be too expensive to play individually in a moneyline play.  By joining these five, we get it down to the same odds as a 13-point teaser.  We strongly believe all five teams will win by more than 10 points, so we like this parlay.  If all five win by any amount, we win.

 

5. Colorado +6 vs. California

Technically, this is not Colorado’s first Pac-12 game.  This game was scheduled as a non-conference game a couple years back before CU left the Big 12.  It will not count in the Pac-12 standings.

 

However, this is obviously a game against a conference opponent, and the Buffs will be up for this home game.

 

Cal is not all that deep, and they will have trouble adjusting to the altitude at Folsom Field.  As the game progresses, the defensive line will lose a lot of their effectiveness. 

 

We tend to believe that CU has a good chance to pull off the upset, so we will take them straight up at +6.

 

6. 13-point teaser parlay

A. Louisville +9 ½ vs. Florida International

B. Ohio State -5 vs. Toledo

C. North Carolina +3 vs. Rutgers

D. TCU +12 vs. Air Force

 

First and foremost, you must understand that we do not believe what others believe about not crossing zero when playing a parlay.  Yes, you lose the 0-point, but you also gain in changing the favorite to an underdog.  If you can move the spread from -2 ½ to +10 ½, we think it can be very successful.  So, by moving across zero in three of these games, we are going against the grain of many so-called experts.

 

7. 13-point teaser parlay

A. North Carolina St. +11 vs. Wake Forest

B. Purdue +11 vs. Rice

C. B Y U +20 vs. Texas

D. Arkansas -23 vs. New Mexico

 

8. 13-point teaser parlay

A. Connecticut +15 vs. Vanderbilt

B. Navy +3 vs. Western Kentucky

C. Iowa and Iowa State UNDER 56 ½

D. U T E P and S M U OVER 41

 

9. 13-point teaser parlay

A. Alabama and Penn State OVER 29

B. Arkansas and New Mexico OVER 40

C. Notre Dame and Michigan OVER 42 ½

D. Navy and Western Kentucky OVER 38

December 29, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 17–January 2, 2011

Did You Enjoy Your Christmas Gift?

Last week as our Christmas gift to you, we gave all our readers a free 13-point teaser parlay for you to play.  It was a winner!  Let’s take a look at it once again.

 

Pittsburgh – ½ vs. Carolina

Jacksonville +6 vs. Washington

Baltimore +9 ½ vs. Cleveland

Oakland +13 vs. Indianapolis

Thanks to an excellent QB draw by David Garrard, the Jaguars force overtime with Washington and lost on a field goal, which was okay for this parlay.  Oakland scored a late TD to prevent the Colts from threatening to ruin the parlay at the end of the day.  Pittsburgh and Baltimore were never in doubt.  Did you use this and win?

 

NFL Playoff Possibilities

NFC

East

Philadelphia

Clinched the division and will be the number three seed no matter what happens this week

 

New York Giants

Can get in as a Wildcard two ways

1. A win over Washington and Green Bay loses or ties

2. A tie with Washington and a both a Green Bay loss and Tampa Bay loss or tie

 

North

Chicago

Clinched the division and has earned a first round bye regardless of what happens this week

They can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win plus an Atlanta loss and a New Orleans loss or tie

 

Green Bay 

Can earn a Wildcard spot three different ways

1. A win over the Bears automatically gives them a Wildcard

2. If they lose to the Bears, they still qualify if both the Giants and Tampa Bay also lose

3. If they tie the Bears, they qualify as a Wildcard if both the Giants and Tampa Bay lose or tie

 

South

Atlanta

Has not clinched the division, but a win or tie over Carolina clinches it 

They also would clinch with a New Orleans loss or tie 

If they win the division, they will also clinch a first-round bye. 

Can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs if they win or tie or if Chicago and New Orleans both lose or tie

 

New Orleans

Has clinched a playoff spot 

If the Saints win and Atlanta loses, they would become division champions and earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs

 

Tampa Bay

Can still earn a Wildcard spot with a win over the Saints plus a Green Bay loss or tie and a Giants loss or tie

 

West

The winner of the St. Louis—Seattle game will clinch the division and earn the number four seed 

If they tie, the Rams win the division

 

AFC

East

New England

Has already clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs

 

New York Jets

Have clinched a Wildcard spot.

 

North

Pittsburgh and Baltimore have already clinched playoff spots

 

Pittsburgh

Can clinch the division and earn the other first-round bye three different ways

1. A win over Cleveland

2. A tie with Cleveland coupled with a loss or tie by Baltimore

3. A loss to Cleveland, coupled with a loss by Baltimore

 

Pittsburgh can be a #2 seed with a win, but they could fall all the way to #6 if they lose and both Baltimore and the Jets win.

 

Baltimore 

Can clinch the division and earn a first-round bye two ways

1. A win over Cincinnati coupled by a Pittsburgh loss or tie

2. A tie with Cincinnati and a Pittsburgh loss.

 

South

This division has not yet been decided 

The division winner will play in the opening week in the Wildcard Playoff round

 

Indianapolis

Clinches the division with a win or tie or a Jacksonville loss or tie 

 

The Colts would be the number three seed if they win and Kansas City loses and the number four seed if they win the division and Kansas City wins or ties

 

Jacksonville

Can clinch the division with a win over Houston and  Indianapolis loss to Tennessee 

The Jaguars would be the number four seed.

 

West

Kansas City

Has already clinched the division title and will play in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs 

If they win or tie or if Indianapolis loses or ties, the Chiefs would be the third seed 

If they lose and Indianapolis wins, the Chiefs will be the fourth seed

 

 Here is our projected Playoff bracket

NFC

#6 Green Bay at #3 Philadelphia

#5 New Orleans at #4 St. Louis

 

#2 Chicago hosts the better remaining seed that wins in the Wildcard round

 

#1 Atlanta hosts the worse remaining seed that wins in the Wildcard round

 

AFC

#6 Pittsburgh at #3 Kansas City

#5 New York Jets at #4 Indianapolis

 

#2 Baltimore hosts the better remaining seed that wins in the Wildcard round

 

#1 New England hosts the worse remaining seed that wins in the Wildcard round

 

Current NFL Standings, PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
Listed By PiRate Rating                  
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Philadelphia  10 5 0 426 363 105.9 104.0 104.7
NY Giants 9 6 0 377 333 103.6 102.5 102.2
Dallas  5 10 0 380 423 97.9 98.4 96.6
Washington  6 9 0 288 360 94.3 97.0 97.4
 

 

                   
NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Green Bay  9 6 0 378 237 111.2 109.2 106.8
Chicago  11 4 0 331 276 103.9 104.4 105.0
Detroit 5 10 0 342 356 98.4 100.5 100.1
Minnesota 6 9 0 268 328 97.4 98.1 99.4
                     
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
New Orleans 11 4 0 371 284 107.0 105.3 107.0
Atlanta 12 3 0 383 278 106.6 105.7 105.8
Tampa Bay 9 6 0 318 305 100.0 100.2 101.0
Carolina 2 13 0 186 377 90.2 88.4 88.3
                     
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
San Francisco 5 10 0 267 339 96.2 94.5 96.7
St. Louis 7 8 0 283 312 95.6 94.9 99.0
Seattle 6 9 0 294 401 92.0 91.6 94.1
Arizona 5 10 0 282 396 89.0 91.4 91.0
                     
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
New England 13 2 0 480 306 115.3 113.2 112.0
NY Jets 10 5 0 329 297 102.7 102.9 103.9
Miami 7 8 0 266 295 99.1 99.2 98.2
Buffalo 4 11 0 276 387 95.8 96.3 95.8
                     
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Baltimore 11 4 0 344 263 107.0 106.2 106.0
Pittsburgh 11 4 0 334 223 105.5 105.7 106.2
Cleveland 5 10 0 262 291 99.3 98.2 94.4
Cincinnati 4 11 0 315 382 97.9 97.9 95.3
                     
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Indianapolis 9 6 0 412 368 102.2 102.5 103.1
Jacksonville 8 7 0 336 385 98.7 97.7 98.4
Houston 5 10 0 356 410 98.0 97.7 96.5
Tennessee 6 9 0 336 316 93.9 98.3 95.8
                     
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
San Diego 8 7 0 408 294 104.3 105.0 102.2
Kansas City 10 5 0 356 295 100.9 101.8 102.7
Oakland 7 8 0 379 361 98.9 99.0 100.5
Denver 4 11 0 316 438 91.7 92.3 94.1

 

PiRate, Mean, and Bias Spreads
Home Team in CAPS          
Ratings Do Not Reflect Resting of Regulars by Teams That Have Nothing to Play for
Week 17: January 2, 2011          
Vegas Line as of 12:00 PM EST Wednesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
KANSAS CITY Oakland 6.0 6.8 6.2 3 1/2 43 ½
NEW ENGLAND Miami 19.2 17.0 16.8 3    43   
INDIANAPOLIS Tennessee 11.3 7.2 10.3 9 1/2 48   
Jacksonville HOUSTON 2.7 2.0 3.9 2 1/2 49 ½
Pittsburgh CLEVELAND 2.2 3.5 7.8 6    37   
BALTIMORE Cincinnati 12.1 11.3 13.7 9 1/2 43   
DETROIT Minnesota 5.0 6.4 4.7 NL NL
WASHINGTON New York Giants 6.3 2.5 1.8 4    44 ½
GREEN BAY Chicago 10.3 7.8 4.8 NL NL
PHILADELPHIA Dallas 10.0 7.6 10.1 NL NL
NEW YORK JETS Buffalo 9.9 9.6 11.1 3    35 ½
ATLANTA Carolina 19.4 20.3 20.5 14 1/2 41   
NEW ORLEANS Tampa Bay 9.0 7.1 8.0 7 1/2 47   
SEATTLE

St. Louis 0.4 0.7 -0.9 3    41 1/2
SAN FRANCISCO Arizona 11.2 7.1 9.7 6    38 ½
San Diego DENVER 8.6 8.7 4.1 3 1/2 47   
             

 

Note to our subscription clients:  We will not issue an “official” pick for this week’s games because we do not like any of the possible parlays; too many teams have nothing to play for, but at the same time, this does not mean they will not use their regulars for four quarters.

 

 We will only issue three unofficial picks.  We advise you to take everything off the table unless you want to speculate with profits.

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