The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 15, 2022

Pac-12 Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:00 am

With apologies to William Shakespeare, Alas poor Pac-12. I knew the league, football lovers. No, this conference hasn’t been dead for many years like Yorick in Hamlet, but the league isn’t far from having last rites administered if it cannot find a way to partly replace UCLA and USC when the two most important members leave for the Big Ten.

San Diego State and Fresno State might stop some of the leakage. There has been talk that the league might go after Houston and SMU to get some of the Dallas and Houston markets, but neither team commands huge numbers of the two largest cities in the Southwest.

What this league must worry about is that potentially eight of the remaining teams could try to leave this league.

2022 might produce some irony. In recent seasons, there has been too much parity to produce one undefeated team. In fact, there has never been an undefeated Pac-12 team in the regular season, not even in conference play only. The last time a team ran the table in the league and in the regular season, the league was the Pac-10, when Oregon played Auburn for the National Championship in 2010.

There is a team capable of ending that 12 year drought. Read on to see which team it is. The other big news is that the league has eliminated the two divisions.

Preseason PiRate Ratings For Pac-12 Conference

U C L A108.5108.4110.1109.0
Oregon St.107.1106.5107.7107.1
U S C105.3106.1106.1105.8
Arizona St.104.0104.0105.3104.4
Washington St.100.9101.5101.7101.4

Pac-12 Official Preseason Media Poll

#Team1st PlaceOverall
5Oregon St.0246
7Washington St.0177
10Arizona St.0123

The PiRate Ratings are designed to look at just the next week’s schedule of games and not to use to look forward. Nevertheless, here are the predicted won-loss records for the league.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

Oregon St.5-48-4
Washington St.4-56-6
Arizona St.4-56-6

February 17, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Thursday, February 17, 2022

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:00 am
Eastern MichiganBuffalo-9.5
Penn St.Minnesota4.7
UNC WilmingtonTowson-4.7
Appalachian St.Troy3.8
Murray St.Austin Peay19.8
AkronNorthern Illinois13.3
South FloridaEast Carolina0.3
CincinnatiWichita St.2.9
Florida InternationalMiddle Tennessee-4.2
MarshallOld Dominion0.5
Florida AtlanticNorth Texas-2.9
St. Francis (PA)Long Island-1.5
Sacred HeartWagner-10.0
Mount St. Mary’sSt. Francis (NY)7.0
MerrimackFairleigh Dickinson8.4
BryantCentral Connecticut13.5
Youngstown St.Illinois Chicago4.8
Robert MorrisIUPUI15.3
Georgia St.Georgia Southern6.6
Coastal CarolinaSouth Alabama-0.4
ChattanoogaUNC Greensboro10.0
William & MaryDrexel-10.4
CharlestonJames Madison4.3
ArizonaOregon St.26.7
Louisiana TechUTEP8.5
Sam HoustonAbilene Christian1.5
UL MonroeLouisiana-1.9
BelmontEastern Illinois27.7
Southern Miss.UTSA1.9
Western KentuckyCharlotte7.8
Nicholls St.McNeese St.8.3
UT ArlingtonLittle Rock10.0
Texas St.Arkansas St.4.1
North DakotaKansas City-7.0
South DakotaSt. Thomas8.8
South Dakota St.Western Illinois13.0
North Dakota St.Oral Roberts-0.2
Tennessee TechSoutheast Missouri St.5.1
Tennessee St.SIU Edwardsville2.6
Texas A&M-CCSE Louisiana4.9
Incarnate WordNorthwestern St.0.3
HoustonCentral Florida14.8
New MexicoColorado St.-7.1
Arizona St.Oregon-3.6
Weber St.Sacramento St.14.4
Idaho St.Northern Colorado-7.7
Eastern WashingtonMontana St.-0.8
High PointLongwood-3.2
Saint Mary’sSan Francisco3.8
UC RiversideCal St. Bakersfield7.3
UC San DiegoHawaii-3.3
Cal St. NorthridgeLong Beach St.-6.2
UC Santa BarbaraCal St. Fullerton5.6
Portland St.Northern Arizona6.7
PortlandSan Diego1.0
Loyola MarymountSanta Clara-5.6
UCLAWashington St.9.7
San Jose St.Nevada-8.0

February 6, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Sunday, February 6, 2022

Ohio St.Maryland9.3
Purdue Fort WayneGreen Bay8.1
Missouri St.Loyola Chicago0.5
Saint Peter’sMarist4.0
Cleveland St.Milwaukee10.4
San Diego St.Nevada11.2
Miami (O)Akron-0.7
Fresno St.Wyoming2.0

September 1, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 1-6, 2021

Last week, we explained what our PiRate Picks are all about. We even gave you a sample Money Line Parlay that included Illinois beating Nebraska, UTEP beating New Mexico St., and UCLA beating Hawaii. This parlay had payout odds of +341, which meant if you wagered $100, and the teams all won, you would receive $441 in return. But, we made sure you understood that this was a sample and not official.

As of Monday afternoon, three people had notified us that they had played a little real currency on this parlay and were quite happy with their return.

How many times can we state this? Please do not bet real money on our just for fun selections! Okay, so one of you wagered $20, one of you wagered $50, and one of you wagered $100 on this parlay and won money. These same people could just as easily have lost this wager, and there is no guarantee that this week’s two selections have a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning.

We strongly urge you to look at these selections as mathematical entertainment and nothing else. If you are going to wager real money on sports, please do your research. Don’t rely on this site as your substitute for research. We use mathematical factors and not actual research to make these selections.

That said, we have two actual Money Line parlays this week, involving five games. If you did not read last week’s tutorial, or if you are a long-time follower of this site and need a refresher course, our expertise is the Money Line Parlay. The Money Line is a number, plus or minus. If the number is a minus, then you must wager this number of dollars against the book’s offering $100. So, a -145 means you the bettor must put up $145 to win $100 from the book. If you bet $145 on this game and won, you would receive $245 from the book ($100 + your investment money). If the number is positive, for every $100 you wager, the book offers the amount of the the positive numbers in dollars. So, a +170 means that if you wager $100 and win, the book will give you $270 ($170 + your investment).

When you wager on the money line, all that matters is that your selection wins. They can win by one point or 100 points; it doesn’t make a difference.

Obviously, if you want to wager on Alabama against Louisiana-Monroe, expect the Money Line to be about -100,000. You would have to wager $100,000 to win $100. If you wagered $100 on this parlay, when Alabama wins, you would receive one dime in profit, and the book would possibly not accept this one wager.

Obviously, it is much easier to bet a favorite to win, but you will receive less than even money odds. A -240 favorite equates to the team having a 70% chance of winning the game. If you believe that team has a better than 70% chance of winning, it might be worth your while to wager on it. If you win 75% of the time you wager on a -240 money line, you will turn a small profit.

The problem with wagering on favorites is that it is quite difficult to maintain the percentage needed to make a profit. Betting on 20 different teams at -240 and winning 13 of 20 means a loss of $380.

If you wager on a bunch of underdogs, there is also little chance that in the long run you will come out ahead. The answer to this is to bundle a group of favorites into a parlay that returns better than even money odds. For our purposes, we look for parlays of +120 and higher. At +150, we break even if the teams we wager on to win all win more than 40% of the time. At +200, if the parlay has a better than 33.3% chance on winning, we turn a profit.

It looks easy. Try it yourself without wagering. Look at the Money Line odds and make a parlay. There are free parlay calculators online to show you your odds. Try it with 10 parlays and see if you can win enough to make it work. You will find that the books know what they are doing. They build billion dollar mega-structures in the desert, because they know how to vacuum your money into their accounts.

Here are our two selections for Week 1 of the College Football Season. Remember, these are just for fun. We have a bottomless pretend bank account to repeatedly wager $100 on every selection.

Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaBoise St.

Must WinOpponent
North CarolinaVirginia Tech
Kansas St.Stanford
PurdueOregon St.

February 19, 2021

PiRate Ratings Bracketology


1GonzagaBaylorMichiganOhio St.
3OklahomaVirginiaWest VirginiaHouston
4Florida St.USCTexasTexas Tech
5KansasVirginia TechTennesseeCreighton
7RutgersColoradoBYUOklahoma St.
9OregonUCLASan Diego St.Indiana
10Boise St.Loyola (Chi.)North CarolinaSeton Hall
11MinnesotaColorado St.DrakeVCU
12BelmontWestern Ky.StanfordSt. BonaventureConnecticutSaint Louis
14Wright St.S.F. AustinLibertyUNCG
15VermontS. Dakota St.SienaGrand Canyon
16James MadisonE. WashingtonTexas St.WagnerPrairie ViewN.C. A&T

Last 4 Byes: Seton Hall, Minnesota, Colorado St., Drake

Last 4 In: Stanford, St. Bonaventure, Connecticut, Saint Louis

First 4 Out: Xavier, Maryland, Wichita St., St. John’s

Next 4 Out: Utah St., Ole Miss, Syracuse, Georgia Tech

Note: After careful perusal of the mock top four seeds released a week ago, we have discovered some new tendencies that the Committee gave more weight to than they usually do when there is a lot more interconference play. Thus, expect our bracketology to change a little next week showing seeds in somewhat different order from what they are this week. For instance, we believe that a team like Colgate may be drastically underrated, while a team like 23-1 Belmont may be overrated a bit even after winning their 20th consecutive game last night.

February 18, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:22 am

February 18, 2021

Wichita St.Houston-9.2
Penn St.Ohio St.-4.5
Fresno St.San Diego St.-14.2
Oregon St.Utah-3.5
Washington St.California4.1
GonzagaSaint Mary’s22.6
Santa ClaraSan Diego5.1
San FranciscoLoyola Marymount4.0

Coming Later Today: Is your team safely in the 68-team field, close to being a sure thing, on the good side of the bubble, or on the bad side of the bubble? We’ll break it down by conference.

February 15, 2021

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:36 pm


1GonzagaBaylorMichiganOhio St.
3VirginiaOklahomaIowaWest Virginia
4TennesseeTexas TechTexasFlorida St.
5USCKansasMissouriVirginia Tech
7FloridaOklahoma St.PurdueArkansas
9MinnesotaBYUSan Diego St.LSU
10Loyola (Chi.)North CarolinaBoise St.Oregon
11Seton HallDrakeSt. BonaventureUtah St.
12BelmontWinthropColorado St.IndianaStanfordConnecticut
13ToledoWestern Ky.UCSBWright St.
14LibertyUNCGS.F. AustinColgate
15VermontSienaTexas St.Grand Canyon
16James MadisonS. Dakota St.E. WashingtonPrairie ViewMt. St. Mary’sN. C. A&T

First 8 Teams Out

70Saint Louis
74Wichita St.
75Georgia Tech

February 12, 2021

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:01 pm


1GonzagaBaylorMichiganOhio St.
3VirginiaWest VirginiaIowaTennessee
4Texas TechWisconsinUSCTexas
5MissouriOklahomaFlorida St.Kansas
6CreightonColoradoVirginia TechRutgers
8Oklahoma St.LouisvilleClemsonMinnesota
9Loyola (Chi.)North CarolinaBYUIndiana
10San Diego St.ArkansasSeton HallLSU
11DrakeSt. BonaventureBoise St.Utah St.
12BelmontToledoOregonStanfordColorado St.VCU
14NavyUC-IrvineS. F. AustinGrand Canyon
15South DakotaNortheasternSienaCleveland St.
16Texas St.UMBCE. WashingtonBryantN. C. A&TPrairie View

Bubble Contenders

69Saint Louis
72Western Kentucky
73Penn St.
75St. John’s

February 10, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:30 pm

February 11, 2021

KansasIowa St.12.3
Air ForceFresno St.-5.3
Boise St.UNLV10.1
ArizonaadoOregon St.10.1
Arizona St.Oregon-2.4
Washington St.UCLA-5.5

An answer to a frequent question: Will you have Bracketnomics this year?

Answer: We plan to introduce an updated, new Bracketnomics edition this year. We actually hoped to have this debut last season, but obviously, the nasty virus ended the basketball season just before the NCAA Tournament brackets were chosen.

Another Question from many of you: Where have you been? You have not produced what you normally have.

Answer: Our basketball ratings were delayed because the ratings are based on advanced statistical metrics produce too much variance until about 3,500 total games have been played. Many teams have played too few games to lower the variance.

Additionally, we have been working many hours creating an advanced sabermetric tabletop baseball strategy game, one that includes many factors that other games do not have. We hope to be ready to debut this game in March. Stay tuned to this page for information on the new game and its website.

November 29, 2020

Sunday Morning Musings

Roger Goodell Playing Favorites

Those of you coming to the PiRate Ratings expecting to see the updated college ratings, you will have to wait until Tuesday afternoon before they can be updated, because there is a game scheduled for Tuesday morning between Charlotte and Western Kentucky. We will update the ratings within 90 minutes of the finish of that game. Such is reality on Planet Covid.

The NFL also has a Tuesday game, this one to be played in primetime on NBC between rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson is in the Covid Protocol, as are other players, and the game, originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night, was moved to Sunday and then to Tuesday. The reasoning must have something to do with the fact that both teams are in the playoff hunt and fighting for the AFC North title.

Head West to the Mountain Time Zone, flyover country to the elites in Manhattan, like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Denver Broncos have not one quarterback, but all the quarterbacks on their roster unable to play today against New Orleans. Is their game postponed until Tuesday to give at least one of the quarantined players a chance to get enough negative tests to play, or for Denver to sign a free agent QB and attempt to install a couple of series for him? Goodell apparently does not care as much about the Broncos as he does the Ravens. Not only is the game scheduled to be played today, he would not allow the Broncos to activate their one offensive assistant coach young enough to play, Rob Calabrese, and also competent enough to run the offense. Goodell nixed the precedent-setting move that would allow teams to “hide” players as basically extra practice squad members.

Calabrese is not a ringer. He is 30 years old and a one-time part-time starting quarterback at Central Florida. He actually was moved to wide receiver for his final year at UCF. In his college career, he threw a total of 254 passes, completing just 46% of them and averaged a measly five yards per attempt. These are not stats of a “ringer.”

You might say that Denver is headed to the basement of the AFC West this year, so it doesn’t matter that they are forced to play almost a Single Wing offense today without any single wing series to take much advantage of the added running strength. In the NFL, this in essence makes for a walkover game for the New Orleans Saints. And, that is the problem. How fair is this to Tampa Bay? The Bucs did not get a walkover game on their schedule. New Orleans gets a free win.

How can Goodell gift New Orleans a win like this, and then he gives Baltimore five days extra to get ready for their game with Pittsburgh? The two games have comparable issues, but the ruling is 180° different.

What would happen if Denver announced today that they were unable to play and would have to forfeit the game? Goodell would be in hot water, and he’d be forced to take some additional type of action. If he backed down and moved the game to Tuesday, it would usurp his power and establish precedent for future caving in with the Commissioner’s office.

Goodell earns a salary near one million dollars a week! He certainly hasn’t earned that million this week.

Reverse Gold Rush

Santa Clara County, California, has issued a ban on contact sports (and almost everything else) inside the county for the next three weeks, as Covid numbers rise, leading to a potential emergency with unavailable hospital beds in the county. The San Francisco 49ers play their home games in Santa Clara, and they have two games scheduled inside this ban window. Where will the 49ers relocate for two games and three weeks?

Further complicating matters is the fact that one of those two games will be a Monday Night game against Buffalo. What that means is that the substitute stadium must have sufficient stadium lighting to meet the NFL’s and ESPN’s standards for televising a night game. While a day game could be played in any neighboring county, that Monday Night Football game almost has to be played in a professional sports stadium. Then, there is the issue of the substitute venue needing to have the technological advances that allow for instant replay and the keeping of the official book of the game–all those stats that every team needs for their analytics’ departments.

It leaves the team with few options if it wants to stay in the Bay Area and not separate players from their families. However, just because a venue has adequate lighting, there is no guarantee that the venue can be ready to host a football game on such short notice. Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

Oakland Coliseum: The O.Co housed the Oakland Raiders until this season. The Raiders had already declined to play one more season at the mausoleum if their new digs in Las Vegas were not ready on time. It isn’t easy to bring in all the personnel needed to convert a hibernating baseball park into an NFL stadium on short notice. It is possible, but it may be a secondary option at best.

California-Berkeley Memorial Stadium: This venue is also in Alameda County, and it is football ready with adequate lighting. Of course, UC may or may not wish to share their football facilities with additional teams. The locker rooms would have to be shared, meaning next week, there would be a Saturday college game followed by a Monday night (5:20 PM locally) NFL game. What would the labor and materials cost be to thoroughly disinfect two locker rooms on 48 hours notice? The electronics and computer setup would take the better part of a day to ready the stadium for Monday afternoon football. This is probably not possible.

Oracle Park: The home ballpark of the San Francisco Giants baseball team has adequate lighting and technological availability. The NFL approved the site as a potential one year rental for the Raiders, but the 49ers vetoed Oakland playing on their side of the Bay. It is the perfect venue to quickly ready a football game on eight days notice, but it has one major liability: San Francisco is likely to impose the same contact sports ban that Santa Clara County has imposed. There would be no way to play the 49ers-Bills game if it were unable to play in San Francisco about 72-96 hours before scheduled kickoff time. It’s probably too risky.

Redwood Bowl at Humboldt State University: This is almost an impossible probability, as it does not have the electronics needed to house an NFL game without several hours of installation. Additionally, it is likely to be a college football host for either Stanford, San Jose State, or both teams. Those two teams also must relocated.

Aggie Stadium–Davis, CA: This site offers a little better quality than the Redwood Bowl, and it is closer to the San Francisco area than Humboldt. But, it still lacks the electronic needs, and the lighting may have to be amended with temporary wattage for Monday Night Football. It could be the best option if the team wants to stay close to home, but Commissioner Goodell has proven not to always make the best option his priority.

Outside of California: This is the worst option for the players and coaches, but it is the NFL’s best option. All the counties surrounding the Bay are likely to impose the same restrictions by the middle of this week, so the real options are either the smaller college venues far removed from the Bay Area or moving out of state to NFL venues.

There is the option of moving the Monday Night game to Buffalo, but this would be as unfair to teams competing against the Bills as Goodell’s Folly of giving the Saints a free win.

The Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys offer potential Monday Night venues that would satisfy everybody but the 49ers players and coaches. When all is said and done, expect Goodell to put their needs aside when he makes the decision of where to allow the game to be played.

Detroit Lions Have A Candidate In Their Backyard

He’s just about reached his expiration date in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh’s loss to winless Penn State yesterday may have sealed his fate with the Michigan Wolverines. At the same time, the Detroit Lions were issuing walking orders to coach Matt Patricia, yet another Bill Belichick disciple unable to replicate the Master’s success.

Would the Ford Family turn to Harbaugh? Personally, we do not see this being a good fit. Harbaugh’s smash mouth style of play is on the outs in college and pro football, and the Lions do not have the personnel to run that system. The Fords now have first dibs on hiring the best offensive mind available if he wants the job. Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy is the perfect candidate for the job. Harbaugh’s next job should be as a commentator for Fox Sports or CBS. He could be a second Tony Romo type for college or pro football.

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