The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 1, 2022

PiRate Picks–September 1-5, 2022

You know what they say about a broken clock being accurate twice a day? The PiRate Ratings happened to hit the right time on our broken clock in week one. We began the season with three totals’ plays in Week 0, and by luck, all three won. So, we start the season 3-0 against the spread, but are our picks a broken clock that happened to get lucky and be broken on the right time, or did we legitimately begin the season on a winning note?

In most years, our picks begin seasons on a somewhat mediocre beginning and then hit a hot spot in October and early November. What are we to make of a 3-0 start, where if we had begun with an imaginary bank account of $1,000 and wagered $100 on each of the three picks, we would have $1,300 in our account today? Maybe, if we were smart enough, we’d cash in our winning 30% profit and go away for the season. Not many people can make a 30% profit on an investment in one year.

Ah, but here’s the rub. In actuality a 30% profit on $0 is still $0. We could lose every pick we make the rest of the season, and we will have the same amount of real money we would have if we won every wager the rest of the year, because out real investment in this is $0. We never wager real money on these picks, and please don’t do so either.

Some of you do wager for real. We hope this site is merely an addendum to your process.

We have chosen three more selections in Week 1 of the College Football Season, and the three selections involve three different types of wagers. We are going with one side, one total, and one Money Line Parlay with a potential payoff of 141.77%.

Selection #1: Florida + 2 1/2 vs. Utah

Utah probably has three key games this year, where if the Utes go 3-0, they might be 13-0 when the College Football Playoff Committee chooses the four big teams. This is one of those three. I’d really like to see this game move to 3 1/2 points, because about 1 of every 11 college football games end with a 3-point spread. However, this one is a game where we believe the wrong team might be favored. Florida was much better than their record last year. The Gators basically mailed it in the second half of the year, and Dan Mullen was shown the door. New coach Billy Napier has restored the faith at the Swamp. While this Gator team has some vulnerable areas, maybe on the offensive side of the ball, the thought here is that the defense will be fired up and play above their heads in Napier’s first game. While the average of the three PiRate Ratings show Utah to be more than a 6-point favorite in this game, the thought here is that the Gators will be a touchdown better than their real worth, and that makes Florida a slight favorite. Getting 2 1/2 points when the underdog looks like a 55% outright winner is enough to work and make this a pick.

Selection #2: Michigan and Colorado St. UNDER 61 1/2

The question here to us is, “Can Michigan score over 50 points in this game?” The reason we ask this is that Colorado State is likely to score 10 points or less trying to break in a new offense with a new coach and without the necessary players to make it work? Michigan figures to win this game by more than 4 touchdowns, more likely 5 touchdowns. A score of 45-10 looks about right here, and that’s 6 1/2 points less than the total for this game.

Selection #3: Money Line Parlay–3 games at +141.77

Pittsburgh over West Virginia

TCU over Colorado

Houston over UTSA

The Backyard Brawl to start the season is an incredible first game rivalry. Pittsburgh lost a lot of talent off last year’s team, but the Panthers had a good bit of depth. Meanwhile, West Virginia is slowly building up their talent level, but the Mountaineers have a long way to go. In fact, this could be the year where the game with Kansas determines which team finishes last in the Big 12. Pittsburgh looks 10-13 points better to start the season.

TCU starts a new era in Fort Worth for the first time since 2000. Sonny Dykes tries to give the Horned Frogs a little more offense and brings more of a passing game, air-raid style. After surprising some people in the 2020 Covid year and guiding the Buffs to four consecutive wins to start his tenure in Boulder, Colorado has since gone 4-10. This game looks like a 10-14 point win for TCU.

Houston figures to contend along with Central Florida as Cincinnati’s top competitors in the American Athletic Conference. While UTSA is a top of the food chain team in CUSA, they are not ready to stake a claim to second best team in the Lonestar State after Texas A&M. Even playing in San Antonio, the Cougars are at least a touchdown better than the Roadrunners.

Season to Date

Beginning Bankroll (not real): $1,000

Imaginary Investment Last Week: $300

Outcome 3-0

Imaginary return $600

New Bank Account: $1,300

August 28, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Football–Sept. 1-5, 2022

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:07 am

This Week’s Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
TennesseeBall St.33.532.033.5
PittsburghWest Virginia13.712.613.3
PurduePenn St.4.74.14.0
MissouriLouisiana Tech26.725.127.2
MinnesotaNew Mexico St.42.039.043.1
Oklahoma St.Central Michigan28.224.024.4
IndianaIllinois0.3-0.8-0.7
Old DominionVirginia Tech-9.0-9.4-6.4
Michigan St.Western Michigan29.826.926.2
DukeTemple5.85.85.0
ColoradoTCU-7.3-7.6-6.6
Ole MissTroy25.723.522.8
FloridaUtah-7.0-3.5-8.6
South FloridaBYU-12.9-12.5-14.0
SyracuseLouisville-2.9-3.3-3.5
Ohio St.Notre Dame14.214.115.2
MarylandBuffalo30.127.428.0
MichiganColorado St.38.235.037.4
Appalachian St.North Carolina-10.0-8.4-6.7
Boston CollegeRutgers2.25.15.0
James MadisonMiddle Tennessee4.04.77.7
Coastal CarolinaArmy-2.8-2.1-1.2
KentuckyMiami (O)23.521.221.9
South CarolinaGeorgia St.13.113.39.3
North TexasSMU-10.5-10.4-9.3
OhioFlorida Atlantic-0.80.41.4
East CarolinaNorth Carolina St.-16.3-15.7-15.6
WyomingTulsa-10.1-6.3-8.8
USCRice27.128.529.0
UCLABowling Green23.825.026.3
Oregon St.Boise St.4.14.63.8
WashingtonKent St.19.817.820.8
San Diego St.Arizona6.46.46.9
NevadaTexas St.9.210.58.1
Georgia (Atlanta)Oregon21.419.823.8
Southern Miss.Liberty-7.8-9.3-10.3
AlabamaUtah St.37.235.538.0
OklahomaUTEP37.236.637.4
Mississippi St.Memphis20.618.019.0
TexasUL-Monroe32.030.331.0
ArkansasCincinnati7.56.56.2
UTSAHouston-5.9-7.4-7.9
TulaneMassachusetts25.924.327.8
HawaiiWestern Kentucky-18.5-16.5-20.2
LSU (New Orleans)Florida St.3.43.33.5
Georgia TechClemson-21.7-21.5-24.4

FBS vs. FCS Games

FBSFCSPiRate
AkronSt. Francis (PA)8.3
Central FloridaS. Carolina St.29.5
Florida Int’l.Bryant8.8
ToledoLong Island39.0
Wake ForestVMI31.7
Northern IllinoisEastern Illinois28.0
UABAlabama A&M28.8
Arizona St.Northern Arizona26.1
Fresno St.Cal Poly SLO31.3
San Jose St.Portland St.12.7
Eastern MichiganEastern Kentucky13.2
CharlotteWilliam & Mary3.8
KansasTennessee Tech25.1
Air ForceNorthern Iowa15.3
New MexicoMaine4.6
Texas A&MSam Houston27.7
ConnecticutCentral Connecticut13.0
IowaSouth Dakota St.16.7
NavyDelaware18.1
VirginiaRichmond22.1
Iowa St.SE Missouri St.33.2
NebraskaNorth Dakota21.1
Miami (Fla.)Bethune-Cookman38.6
MarshallNorfolk St.28.1
CaliforniaUC Davis18.6
South AlabamaNicholls St.9.7
Georgia SouthernMorgan St.28.6
AuburnMercer28.2
VanderbiltElon17.2
Kansas St.South Dakota23.2
WisconsinIllinois St.31.3
LouisianaSE Louisiana18.1
BaylorAlbany38.5
Arkansas St.Grambling21.8
StanfordColgate30.3
Texas TechMurray St.30.0
Washington St.Idaho25.7

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia130.5
2Alabama129.1
3Ohio St.128.3
4Michigan123.0
5Clemson120.0
6Oklahoma119.1
7NC State118.1
8Michigan St.117.7
9Wisconsin117.6
10Oklahoma St.117.5
11Notre Dame116.8
12Utah116.6
13Purdue115.9
14Arkansas115.3
15Tennessee115.1
16Pittsburgh115.0
17Iowa114.7
18Miami (Fla.)114.7
19Penn St.114.6
20Texas A&M114.3
21Mississippi St.113.9
22Minnesota113.6
23Baylor113.5
24Kentucky112.7
25L S U112.5
26Ole Miss112.2
27Florida St.111.6
28BYU111.5
29Cincinnati111.5
30Oregon111.3
31Auburn111.2
32Louisville111.0
33Kansas St.110.3
34Texas110.2
35Maryland110.0
36U C L A109.1
37South Carolina109.1
38Iowa St.108.7
39North Carolina108.2
40T C U107.8
41Nebraska107.6
42Oregon St.107.2
43Texas Tech106.7
44Florida106.7
45Boise St.106.0
46U S C105.9
47Houston105.5
48Wake Forest105.4
49Washington104.9
50Syracuse104.8
51Arizona St.104.5
52UCF104.4
53Illinois103.8
54Missouri103.7
55Virginia103.6
56Fresno St.103.5
57West Virginia103.3
58Stanford102.2
59SMU102.0
60Washington St.101.5
61Air Force101.4
62Northwestern101.2
63Boston College101.2
64Indiana100.9
65Georgia St.100.1
66Rutgers100.1
67East Carolina99.8
68Virginia Tech99.7
69Army99.0
70California98.3
71N. Illinois98.2
72Tulane98.2
73U A B98.1
74Appal. St.97.8
75San Diego St.97.7
76Colorado97.6
77Kansas97.3
78Memphis97.2
79Liberty97.0
80Louisiana96.9
81W. Kentucky96.7
82U T S A96.5
83Tulsa95.5
84Vanderbilt95.4
85USF95.4
86Utah St.95.2
87Georgia Tech95.0
88Central Mich.95.0
89Toledo94.5
90Arizona94.1
91Coastal Car.94.0
92Miami (Ohio)93.5
93Western Mich.93.1
94Navy92.2
95Marshall92.1
96Troy91.2
97North Texas90.4
98J. Madison89.5
99Old Dominion89.4
100Colorado St.89.2
101Florida Atlantic88.6
102Eastern Mich.88.5
103Kent St.88.4
104U N L V88.1
105Nevada87.8
106San Jose St.87.4
107Bowling Green87.1
108Ga. Southern86.6
109Middle Tennessee86.5
110Ohio85.9
111South Alabama85.8
112Southern Miss.85.3
113Ball St.85.1
114U T E P85.1
115Buffalo84.5
116Wyoming84.1
117Duke84.1
118UL-Monroe82.1
119Temple81.1
120Texas St.81.0
121Arkansas St.80.8
122Rice80.7
123Charlotte80.7
124Louisiana Tech80.4
125New Mexico80.2
126Akron78.5
127Connecticut78.2
128New Mexico St.75.3
129Hawaii74.8
130Massachusetts74.7
131Florida Int’l.67.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati111.3110.4112.9111.5
Houston105.1104.8106.6105.5
UCF103.9104.6104.7104.4
SMU102.3101.4102.4102.0
East Carolina99.699.2100.599.8
Tulane98.797.898.098.2
Memphis97.197.697.097.2
Tulsa95.994.995.895.5
USF96.394.895.295.4
Navy93.092.291.492.2
Temple81.083.578.781.1

AAC98.698.398.598.4

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson119.8119.6120.6120.0
NC State118.4117.4118.6118.1
Florida St.112.1111.4111.3111.6
Louisville111.8110.6110.8111.0
Wake Forest105.9105.2105.2105.4
Syracuse105.9104.3104.2104.8
Boston College100.6102.6100.3101.2

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Pittsburgh116.0114.7114.3115.0
Miami (Fla.)115.2113.8115.0114.7
North Carolina108.3108.5107.8108.2
Virginia104.1104.3102.4103.6
Virginia Tech100.4100.897.999.7
Georgia Tech95.795.693.795.0
Duke84.386.881.284.1

ACC107.0106.8105.9106.6

Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma119.4118.2119.8119.1
Oklahoma St.118.3116.4117.7117.5
Baylor114.2112.9113.4113.5
Kansas St.111.2109.8110.0110.3
Texas111.2110.0109.5110.2
Iowa St.108.7108.6108.9108.7
T C U108.9107.3107.3107.8
Texas Tech107.1105.6107.5106.7
West Virginia103.8103.6102.5103.3
Kansas99.296.995.897.3

Big 12110.2108.9109.2109.5

Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.128.7126.7129.6128.3
Michigan123.7121.9123.5123.0
Michigan St.119.0117.4116.8117.7
Penn St.115.1114.6114.1114.6
Maryland110.3110.1109.8110.0
Indiana102.1101.599.1100.9
Rutgers101.4100.598.3100.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Wisconsin118.1117.4117.1117.6
Purdue116.8115.7115.0115.9
Iowa115.9114.4113.9114.7
Minnesota113.7113.1114.1113.6
Nebraska108.1108.1106.8107.6
Illinois104.3104.8102.3103.8
Northwestern101.4102.599.6101.2

Big Ten112.8112.0111.4112.1

Conference USA
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U A B97.497.699.298.1
W. Kentucky96.095.698.696.7
U T S A97.295.496.796.5
North Texas90.289.591.690.4
Florida Atlantic88.089.688.188.6
Middle Tennessee85.786.886.986.5
U T E P85.284.685.385.1
Rice81.380.780.280.7
Charlotte80.481.780.080.7
Louisiana Tech80.382.078.880.4
Florida Int’l.67.170.265.467.6

CUSA86.386.786.586.5

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame117.5115.5117.4116.8
BYU112.2110.2112.2111.5
Army98.699.399.299.0
Liberty95.497.598.097.0
Connecticut78.680.176.078.2
New Mexico St.74.877.174.075.3
Massachusetts75.376.072.774.7

Independents93.293.792.893.2

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)91.694.694.493.5
Kent St.87.490.287.788.4
Bowling Green87.886.586.987.1
Ohio84.387.086.585.9
Buffalo83.185.884.884.5
Akron78.379.377.978.5

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
N. Illinois97.998.398.498.2
Central Mich.93.195.496.495.0
Toledo93.594.795.494.5
Western Mich.92.293.593.693.1
Eastern Mich.88.489.088.188.5
Ball St.84.786.084.885.1

MAC88.590.089.689.4

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.106.1105.0107.0106.0
Air Force101.0100.9102.4101.4
Utah St.94.895.295.695.2
Colorado St.88.689.989.189.2
Wyoming82.885.684.084.1
New Mexico80.481.179.180.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Fresno St.103.3102.6104.6103.5
San Diego St.97.597.597.997.7
U N L V89.086.588.688.1
Nevada87.289.387.087.8
San Jose St.86.987.388.087.4
Hawaii74.175.674.974.8

MWC91.091.491.591.3

Pac-12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Utah116.5115.0118.4116.6
Oregon111.7111.4110.9111.3
U C L A108.6108.5110.2109.1
Oregon St.107.2106.6107.8107.2
U S C105.4106.2106.2105.9
Washington104.2105.0105.5104.9
Arizona St.104.1104.1105.4104.5
Stanford103.8101.0101.8102.2
Washington St.101.0101.6101.8101.5
California97.798.199.198.3
Colorado98.596.797.797.6
Arizona94.194.194.094.1

Pac-12104.4104.0104.9104.4

Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia130.6128.7132.2130.5
Tennessee115.2114.9115.3115.1
Kentucky112.1112.8113.3112.7
South Carolina109.5108.8108.9109.1
Florida105.9108.0106.3106.7
Missouri104.0104.1103.0103.7
Vanderbilt95.696.893.895.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama129.0127.7130.6129.1
Arkansas115.9113.9116.1115.3
Texas A&M113.4114.8114.8114.3
Mississippi St.115.2113.1113.5113.9
L S U113.0112.2112.2112.5
Ole Miss113.4111.4111.8112.2
Auburn112.1110.6110.9111.2

SEC113.2112.7113.1113.0

Sunbelt Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia St.99.398.5102.6100.1
Appalachian St.96.298.199.097.8
Coastal Carolina92.894.295.094.0
Marshall91.492.892.192.1
James Madison87.289.192.189.5
Old Dominion89.489.489.589.4
Ga. Southern86.686.087.186.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana95.996.398.596.9
Troy90.790.992.091.2
South Alabama85.385.686.585.8
Southern Miss.85.185.685.285.3
UL-Monroe82.282.781.582.1
Texas St.80.481.381.481.0
Arkansas St.80.181.780.680.8

Sun Belt88.889.490.289.5

Conference Rankings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern113.0
2Big Ten112.1
3Big 12109.5
4Atlantic Coast106.6
5Pac-12104.4
6American Athletic98.4
7Independents93.2
8Mountain West91.3
9Sun Belt89.5
10Mid-American89.4
11Conference USA86.5

The Best TV Games This Week

Thursday, September 1
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
7:00 PMESPNPittsburghWest Virginia
8:00 PMFoxPurduePenn St.

Friday, September 2
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
7:00 PMESPNMichigan St.Western Michigan
8:00 PMFS1IndianaIllinois
10:00 PMESPNColoradoTCU

Saturday, September 3
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
12:00 PMABCMichiganColorado St.
12:00 PMESPNEast CarolinaNorth Carolina St.
12:00 PMESPNUAppalachian St.North Carolina
12:00 PMFS1IowaSouth Dakota St.
3:30 PMCBSSan Diego St.Arizona
3:30 PMESPNArkansasCincinnati
3:30 PMABCGeorgia (Atl.)Oregon
3:30 PMFoxOklahomaUTEP
7:00 PMESPNFloridaUtah
7:30 PMESPNUMississippi St.Memphis
7:30 PMABCOhio St.Notre Dame
7:30 PMSECNAlabamaUtah St.
10:30 PMESPNOregon St.Boise St.
10:30 PMFS1WashingtonKent St.

Sunday, September 4
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
7:30 PMABCLSU (New Orleans)Florida St.

Monday, September 5
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
8:00 PMESPNGeorgia TechClemson

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

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Utah116.4114.9118.3116.5
Oregon111.6111.3110.8111.2
U C L A108.5108.4110.1109.0
Oregon St.107.1106.5107.7107.1
U S C105.3106.1106.1105.8
Washington104.1104.9105.4104.8
Arizona St.104.0104.0105.3104.4
Stanford103.7100.9101.7102.1
Washington St.100.9101.5101.7101.4
California97.698.099.098.2
Colorado98.496.697.697.5
Arizona94.094.093.994.0
Pac-12104.3103.9104.8104.3

Pac-12 Official Preseason Media Poll

Votes
#Team1st PlaceOverall
1Utah26384
2Oregon2345
3USC5341
4UCLA0289
5Oregon St.0246
6Washington0212
7Washington St.0177
8Stanford0159
9California0154
10Arizona St.0123
11Arizona086
12Colorado058

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

Pac-12ConfOverall
Utah9-013-0
Oregon8-110-3
UCLA7-210-2
USC6-38-4
Washington5-47-5
Oregon St.5-48-4
Washington St.4-56-6
Arizona St.4-56-6
Stanford3-64-8
California1-83-9
Arizona1-82-10
Colorado1-81-11

January 10, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Football Final 2021-22 Ratings

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:15 pm
RankTeamRating
1Georgia138.1
2Alabama132.8
3Ohio St.129.7
4Michigan124.3
5Utah121.9
6Oklahoma St.121.8
7Notre Dame121.6
8Oklahoma121.1
9Clemson119.3
10Baylor118.7
11Texas A&M118.6
12Cincinnati118.5
13Iowa St.118.1
14Arkansas117.4
15Wisconsin116.5
16U C L A115.0
17Minnesota113.5
18Ole Miss113.5
19Kentucky113.2
20NC State112.7
21Penn St.112.2
22Purdue111.7
23Tennessee111.6
24Kansas St.111.4
25Auburn111.2
26Michigan St.111.1
27Pittsburgh111.1
28Wake Forest110.4
29Texas Tech110.3
30Arizona St.110.3
31Miami (Fla.)110.1
32Louisiana109.6
33L S U109.4
34Nebraska109.3
35Iowa109.2
36Houston108.9
37Oregon108.2
38Texas107.5
39Washington St.107.3
40Western Kentucky107.1
41West Virginia107.0
42Maryland106.9
43BYU106.6
44Oregon St.106.5
45Boise St.106.4
46Mississippi St.105.9
47North Carolina105.4
48South Carolina105.4
49Florida St.105.3
50Louisville104.9
51Florida104.6
52California104.6
53Liberty104.4
54Air Force104.3
55Georgia St.104.1
56Coastal Carolina104.0
57Central Michigan104.0
58UCF103.7
59U S C103.6
60Appalachian St.103.5
61Virginia103.4
62Utah St.103.3
63Washington103.1
64Fresno St.103.0
65T C U101.8
66SMU101.8
67Illinois101.6
68San Diego St.101.5
69U A B101.4
70Army101.2
71Western Michigan101.2
72Missouri100.3
73East Carolina100.0
74Boston College99.3
75Miami (Ohio)99.2
76Tulsa98.7
77Nevada98.7
78Colorado98.6
79Syracuse97.9
80Toledo96.6
81Virginia Tech95.6
82Tulane95.2
83Georgia Tech95.1
84U T S A94.6
85Memphis94.6
86Marshall94.4
87Stanford94.3
88Wyoming94.3
89Indiana93.3
90Middle Tennessee93.0
91Hawaii92.9
92Navy92.8
93Rutgers92.8
94Northern Illinois92.4
95Arizona92.3
96Northwestern91.9
97South Alabama89.8
98North Texas89.5
99Colorado St.88.9
100San Jose St.88.6
101Kent St.88.5
102Ball St.88.4
103Buffalo88.3
104Troy88.0
105USF87.4
106Georgia Southern87.0
107Eastern Michigan86.3
108Florida Atlantic86.3
109Ohio86.1
110Kansas85.7
111Old Dominion85.7
112U T E P85.6
113U N L V85.2
114Vanderbilt84.0
115UL-Monroe83.2
116Texas St.83.0
117Arkansas St.82.8
118Duke80.2
119Rice80.0
120Louisiana Tech79.7
121New Mexico78.0
122Southern Miss.77.6
123Bowling Green77.1
124Charlotte77.0
125Akron72.5
126Temple72.4
127New Mexico St.71.8
128Connecticut68.6
129Florida Int’l.65.9
130UMass64.1

October 13, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 16-17, 2021

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

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

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

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

Date:

October 14-18

Odds:+309.14
Must WinOpponent
South AlabamaGeorgia Southern
Northern IllinoisBowling Green
UtahArizona St.


Odds:+218.93
Must WinOpponent
Utah St.UNLV
Boston CollegeNorth Carolina St.


Odds:+185
Must WinOpponent
Virginia TechPittsburgh


Odds:+248
Must WinOpponent
Kent St.Western Michigan


Odds:+187
Must WinOpponent
Central MichiganToledo


Odds:+152.44
Must WinOpponent
MiamiJacksonville
DenverLas Vegas

February 26, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For February 26, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:55 am

Wednesday’s Games

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Abilene Christian

Sam Houston St.

3.8

Air Force

New Mexico

-1.4

American

Lafayette

2.6

Arkansas

Tennessee

5.5

Army

Holy Cross

11.7

Boston College

Notre Dame

-5.1

Bucknell

Colgate

-4.8

California Baptist

Utah Valley

7.7

Citadel

Mercer

-6.0

Connecticut

Central Florida

8.3

Florida

LSU

3.4

Fordham

Rhode Island

-12.8

George Washington

Richmond

-8.7

Houston Baptist

Nicholls

-8.9

Illinois St.

Bradley

-3.8

Lamar

Incarnate Word

12.9

Lehigh

Boston U

-6.0

Long Beach St.

Cal St. Northridge

0.7

Louisiana

Arkansas St.

2.0

Maine

New Hampshire

-2.8

Manhattan

Marist

6.3

Marquette

Georgetown

7.2

Massachusetts

VCU

-6.8

McNeese

Southeast Louisiana

10.0

Minnesota

Maryland

-0.2

Navy

Loyola (MD)

3.4

New Orleans

Texas A&M-CC

2.0

Northern Iowa

Evansville

18.4

Omaha

North Dakota

4.6

Penn St.

Rutgers

6.3

Pittsburgh

Syracuse

0.4

Purdue Fort Wayne

Denver

6.2

Quinnipiac

Siena

-2.8

Saint Louis

Saint Joseph’s

14.3

South Carolina

Georgia

5.8

South Florida

East Carolina

8.6

Southern Illinois

Indiana St.

0.4

St. Bonaventure

Duquesne

1.4

Stanford

Utah

9.6

Stephen F. Austin

Northwestern St.

15.6

Stony Brook

Hartford

9.7

UMass Lowell

Albany

1.9

UMBC

Binghamton

10.0

UNC Greensboro

Furman

4.0

UNLV

Boise St.

0.5

Vanderbilt

Missouri

-1.5

Villanova

St. John’s

10.4

Virginia Tech

Virginia

-0.3

VMI

Chattanooga

-2.9

Western Carolina

Samford

11.4

Wofford

East Tennessee St.

-4.0

 

Key TV Games on Wednesday Night

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

7:00 PM

BTN

Penn St.

Rutgers

7:00 PM

ESPN+

UNC Greensboro

Furman

8:30 PM

FS1

Marquette

Georgetown

8:30 PM

SECN

Arkansas

Tennessee

9:00 PM

BTN

Minnesota

Maryland

9:00 PM

ESPN2

Florida

LSU

10:00 PM

Pac12

Stanford

Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 16, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For February 16, 2020

Sunday’s Games

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Boise St.

San Diego St.

-6.8

Boston College

North Carolina St.

-5.0

California

Arizona St.

-5.8

Connecticut

Memphis

1.9

Drake

Evansville

9.9

East Carolina

Cincinnati

-10.6

Fordham

Duquesne

-8.2

Indiana St.

Missouri St.

5.2

Iona

Marist

7.1

Loyola (MD)

Colgate

-6.9

Maine

Albany

-3.7

Michigan

Indiana

6.3

Minnesota

Iowa

2.0

Niagara

Monmouth

-2.4

Northern Kentucky

Illinois Chicago

9.9

Omaha

Denver

9.4

Oregon

Utah

12.3

Rider

Quinnipiac

6.5

Saint Peter’s

Fairfield

6.6

Siena

Manhattan

6.4

South Dakota St.

Purdue Fort Wayne

12.4

Temple

Villanova

-6.0

Wichita St.

Tulane

15.9

Wright St.

IUPUI

17.8

 

Sunday’s Key Games *

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

1:00 PM

FS1

Minnesota

Iowa

1:00 PM

CBS

Michigan

Indiana

2:00 PM

ESPN3

Siena

Manhattan

4:00 PM

CBSSN

Boise St.

San Diego St.

* When we refer to these as key games, this is when both teams are fighting for a conference championship or contending for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

 

Coming Monday–Updated Ratings, Monday’s Games, and New Bracketology.

 

 

 

January 23, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 23, 2020

Games Being Played Thursday

Home

Visitor

Spread

UNC Asheville

Radford

-4.4

Ohio St.

Minnesota

7.7

Hofstra

Delaware

6.7

Stetson

NJIT

-0.1

Kennesaw St.

North Alabama

-6.1

William & Mary

James Madison

10.2

Cleveland St.

Green Bay

-3.1

Detroit

IUPUI

7.0

Winthrop

USC Upstate

16.3

Northeastern

Drexel

7.4

Oakland

Illinois Chicago

5.7

Youngstown St

Milwaukee

3.6

Murray St.

Belmont

-1.1

High Point

Gardner-Webb

-6.5

Old Dominion

Florida Intl.

3.0

Central Connecticut

Sacred Heart

-13.4

Merrimack

Fairleigh Dickinson

7.4

Long Island

St. Francis (PA)

0.6

St. Francis (NY)

Robert Morris

-3.2

North Florida

Liberty

-4.9

Charlotte

Florida Atlantic

4.9

Bryant

Wagner

8.7

Hampton

Campbell

-2.3

Elon

Towson

-5.8

Lipscomb

Jacksonville

2.2

Charleston Southern

Presbyterian

5.9

Middle Tennessee

Louisiana Tech

-12.0

North Texas

UTSA

10.1

Rice

UTEP

-2.0

Arkansas St.

South Alabama

0.2

Omaha

Western Illinois

11.6

South Dakota

Purdue Fort Wayne

7.1

Utah

Washington

-3.4

North Dakota

Denver

9.3

UAB

Southern Miss

8.7

Indiana

Michigan St.

-3.4

Austin Peay

Tennessee St.

7.5

Missouri St.

Valparaiso

3.4

SIU-Edwardsville

SEMO

0.8

Tennessee Tech

Morehead St.

-3.2

Eastern Illinois

UT-Martin

8.9

Jacksonville St.

Eastern Kentucky

8.8

Grand Canyon

Seattle

1.6

Idaho St.

Montana

-1.8

Weber St.

Montana St.

0.2

Houston

UConn

9.1

Colorado

Washington St.

12.8

Loyola Marymount

Portland

5.6

Santa Clara

Pepperdine

3.8

Cal St. Bakersfield

Utah Valley

6.2

 

Interesting Analytics

Every year at this time, the PiRates begin looking at some of the advanced analytics that we have used to gauge potential NCAA Tournament success.

Our R+T Rating ™, is our personal creation that attempts to predict how many more opportunities to score a team might have in a game as compared to an average team.  It relies on rebounding margin and turnover margin with an added emphasis on steals and protecting the ball from being stolen by the other team.  It attempts to estimate the potential extra points available to the team due to the “hustle stats.”

In the past, when a team has an R+T of 15.0 or better, that team has the ability to score on enough extra opportunities to go on a big spurt and put another team away.  When UCLA was the dominant basketball team during John Wooden’s runs, their R+T stats were always at the top of the nation.  When they had the 1964 small lineup that went 30-0, the 2-2-1 zone press created turnover after turnover by the opponent with a lot of steals.  These extra opportunities prevented the other team from scoring, but they also led to easy fast break points, and the Bruins had incredible scoring spurts in every game, the most famous being the incredible 16-0 run in just over two minutes before halftime that put NCAA Championship Game with Duke out of reach.

The Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton years saw the Bruins totally dominating on the glass while still getting a nice number of steals and forcing turnovers.  These UCLA teams frequently had 20 extra scoring opportunities a game, and with Jabbar and Walton both hitting better than 60% from the field, the Bruins were unstoppable.

Long after UCLA won those 10 titles, the ability to get extra scoring opportunities has remained consistently and vitally important in NCAA Tournament games.  To get to the Big Dance, teams must display an ability to play very tough defense, and teams with good offenses and little else become pretenders when every opponent they face will play much better defense than the average opponent in the regular season.  Thus, the ability to create extra scoring opportunities and the ability to prevent extra scoring opportunities take precedence over just being able to shoot the ball more accurately than the opponent.

Obviously, we do not throw the baby out with the bath water.  Shooting is still quite important.  After all, the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket more than the other team.  If a team gets 10 more chances to put the ball in the basket, but they shoot like our Captain trying to putt at Pebble Beach, 30 more chances might not be enough to overcome the inaccurate marksmanship.  Obviously, shooting ability and ability to prevent made shots remain important.

Then, there is the third key factor.  If State only plays Southeast Northwest Community College and similar teams, they will inevitably end up with impressive stats.  If Tech plays Kansas, Duke, Maryland, Oregon, and Kentucky out of conference, it is going to be difficult, make that impossible, to end up with stats as impressive at State.  Thus strength of schedule must play as important a roll as the other two stats.  Think of schedule strength in the same vein as class in thoroughbred horse racing, where a winner of a claiming race is not going to compete well against the fifth place winner from a Grade 1 Classic race, even if in the last two races, their times for 1 1/8 miles were about the same.

Let’s put all three key stats together and look at a sampling of teams that are producing quality numbers across the board.

 

Team

R+T

TS%

SOS

Baylor

19.1

5.8

55.1

Butler

15.2

8.8

57.2

UC-Irvine

20.2

5.6

50.4

Duke

21.5

8.4

55.7

Gonzaga

27.7

10.1

49.0

Houston

25.5

4.2

54.4

Illinois

22.2

6.2

55.4

Indiana

20.6

3.2

54.7

Kansas

18.5

10.9

62.7

Kentucky

16.2

8.3

52.2

Liberty

15.9

12.6

43.4

Louisiana State

16.9

6.6

54.4

Maryland

16.7

5.2

58.4

Michigan State

21.6

10.2

57.7

New Mexico State

18.3

4.3

49.3

Oral Roberts

16.3

2.1

53.6

Rutgers

19.7

6.2

55.7

San Diego State

18.4

9.9

49.6

Southern Utah

15.7

8

48.2

Stephen F. Austin

22.5

2.9

42.7

Utah State

20.8

6.5

52.3

West Virginia

21.7

5.9

58.8

What you see above are the R+T ratings for 22 teams in column 1.  The formula for R+T is:  (R * 2) + (S * .5) + (6 – Opp S) + T, where R is rebounding margin per game, S is steals per game, Opp S is opponents’ steals per game, and T is turnover margin (Opponents Turnovers minus Teams’  Turnovers divided by games played).

Another excellent formula that estimates extra scoring chances per game is the formula by the brilliant Jordan Sperber, creator of Hoop Vision.  Jordan’s formula is: (Team’s OEff)-((100.9/49.0)*(Team’s eFG%)),  where OEff is offensive efficiency, the number 100.9 represents the average Division 1 team’s offensive efficiency, the number 49.0 represents the average Division 1 team’s effective FG%, and eFG% is effective FG%.  The result represents the extra chances to utilize effective FG%, and like everything else Jordan does, it is a great tool.  By the way, Jordan has worked for my number one rated Mid-Major coach of last year (Eric Musselman), and my number one rated Mid-Major coach of this year (Chris Jans).  His analytics have helped both coaches strategize the way they coach.  Check out Jordan’s website at: https://hoopvision.substack.com

In column 2 above, you see TS%.  This stands for true shooting percentage, which in this case actually stands for the difference in the team’s offensive TS% and the defensive TS%.  To calculate TS%, the formula is: (100 * points scored) /  (2 * [FG Attempts + {.475 * FT Attempts}]) 

The final column represents strength of schedule.  50 is considered an average schedule strength.  55 is considered a strong schedule strength.  60 is considered a tough schedule strength.  Below 45 is considered too weak to consider a team a legitimate contender in the Big Dance.

Gonzaga has the top R+T rating in the nation at the present time.  Their TS% difference is in the top 10, so the Bulldogs should be considered a key contender to run the table in the NCAA Tournament this year, correct?  No, that is not correct.  Gonzaga’s strength of schedule (SOS) is too low.  At 49.0, the other two stats must be discounted.  Gonzaga’s remaining schedule will not give the Bulldogs enough increase in SOS to take their R+T and TS% stats seriously.  This does not mean they will lose to a 16-seed in the first game.  What it means is that when they get to the Sweet 16 and face an opponent with a better SOS and strong R+T and TS%, they will be ripe for the upset.

Baylor, Butler, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers, and West Virginia have the best resumes today.  They have excellent R+T, TS%, and SOS numbers.  It should be no surprise that the Big 12 and Big Ten are the two best conferences so far this season.  

Kentucky and LSU fall just short of the elites in this test.  Neither team has the important 55 or better SOS mark, although both teams could eventually get over that key number.

Among the mid-major teams to keep an eye on, there are four teams in the West that could be sleepers for the Sweet 16 if they make the dance.  UC-Irvine, New Mexico State, Southern Utah, and Utah State all have strong R+T and TS% numbers with SOS that isn’t totally weak.  Contrast that to Liberty and Stephen F. Austin, two teams where the schedule strength doesn’t cut it.

Then, there are two teams high in the rankings from the lower tier of major conferences.  Houston and San Diego State have excellent numbers, but their schedule strengths make them both on the outside looking in when compared to the power conference teams.  Frequently, teams like these two can make a run to the second weekend of the tournament, and once or twice a decade, they will sneak into the Final Four.  However, when it comes to cut the nets and hear “One Shining Moment,” the happy team is one that comes from one of the top 5 power conferences.

As of today, the top 5 power conferences are: The Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Atlantic Coast, and Southeastern Conferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 16, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 16, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:30 am

Power Conference & Top 25 Teams Playing Thursday

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Memphis

Cincinnati

4.7

Arizona

Utah

14.3

Arizona St.

Colorado

-1.7

BYU

San Diego

18.1

USC

California

11.0

Gonzaga

Santa Clara

18.4

Washington

Oregon St.

4.1

 

 

January 2, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 2, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:45 am

Power Conference & Top 25 Teams Playing Thursday

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Purdue

Minnesota

5.7

Michigan St.

Illinois

11.2

La Salle

Dayton

-11.3

Utah

Oregon St.

-0.1

Colorado

Oregon

-0.7

Portland

Gonzaga

-22.3

Washington

UCLA

10.3

Washington St.

USC

-2.8

Stanford

California

11.2

San Francisco

Saint Mary’s

-3.5

 

Note 1–We have been asked to explain the spread and when it is positive or negative.  When the spread is positive, the home team is favored by the amount shown.  When the spread is negative, the visiting team is favored by the amount shown.

Note 2–While we basically just issue spreads for games involving opponents from the power conferences or teams in the top 25 of the rankings, our ratings are easily usable for all Division 1 teams and all Division 1 games.  Simply subtract the visiting team power rating from the home team, and add 2 to 6 points for home court advantage.  For a typical mid-major or low-major team, the home court advantage will be 2.5 to 3.5 points. 

For a typical power conference team, the home court advantage will be 3 to 5 points.  For a team with an incredible home court advantage like Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Kansas, use 5 to 6 points.  These numbers can fluctuate based on the opponent.  For instance, if Kansas State visits Kansas, the home court advantage is reduced, because the trip is not taxing to the Wildcats.  To the contrary, if a school like Vermont hosts a team from the West Coast, their regular 3.5 point advantage might be moved to 4.5 or even 5 points.

Updated Ratings will be published Friday around Noon in the Eastern Time Zone.

Also, a new Bracketology list will be published Friday afternoon.

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