The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 4, 2023

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:00 am
Alabama A&MMississippi Valley St.9.3
Alabama St.Arkansas Pine Bluff3.6
CampbellGardner Webb-3.7
Charleston SouthernLongwood-8.0
DavidsonLoyola (Chi.)4.6
DaytonSaint Joseph’s14.9
East CarolinaCentral Florida-7.0
East Tennessee St.W. Carolina5.1
ElonUNC Wilmington-11.6
FloridaTexas A&M6.8
FurmanThe Citadel12.0
Georgia TechMiami (Fla.)-5.4
High PointUNC Asheville1.3
Illinois ChicagoBelmont-5.1
Illinois St.Indiana St.-5.4
Little RockLindenwood3.6
MassachusettsSaint Louis-2.4
MichiganPenn St.2.8
Missouri St.Evansville15.2
Murray St.Bradley-4.7
NevadaColorado St.5.5
North CarolinaWake Forest10.4
North Carolina A&TCharleston-9.3
North Carolina St.Duke-2.2
OklahomaIowa St.2.6
Prairie ViewSouthern0.6
RadfordUSC Upstate9.2
Rhode IslandFordham2.0
RichmondGeorge Washington8.9
South FloridaTemple0.4
Southern IllinoisDrake1.4
St. BonaventureGeorge Mason0.1
Stephen F. AustinNew Mexico St.0.7
Texas A&M-CCIncarnate Word12.7
Texas SouthernGrambling1.1
UNC GreensboroChattanooga1.1
ValparaisoNorthern Iowa-4.1
Virginia TechClemson5.6

November 2, 2022

PiRate Picks–November 3, 2022

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:12 pm

This has been an upside down season for these picks in this weekly feature. In most years, we start out below .500 and then climb upward as the season continues. October and early November are usually our best weeks in most years. This year, we began as hot as can be with a 16-5 start against the spread. Since then, a steady decline has led us to try exotic options that we have not relied on in years. Last week, we incorporated a teaser parlay in our picks. It was a winner. 10 years ago, we had a successful season by relying on teasers. So, without further adieu, we try one 7-point teaser parlay and three 10-point teaser parlays. As always, please use these choices for entertainment purposes only. So, you should get a good laugh from these selections and thank your lucky stars (and intelligence) that you do like us and do not wager real money on the selections.

Selection #1: 2 team, 7-point Teaser (-130)

North Carolina – 1/2 vs. Virginia

Tulane – 1/2 vs. Tulsa

Here you can see us playing the numbers more than the teams. Lowering a spread from 7 1/2 to 1/2 gives us a free point, as the game cannot end in a tie, so 1/2 is merely a pick for an outright win.

Selection #2: 3 team, 10-point teaser (-120)

Duke + 1/2 vs. Boston College

TCU + 1/2 vs. Texas Tech

Kentucky + 8 1/2 vs. Missouri

Again, the point numbers are more important than the games. We’d prefer to move down to – 1/2 instead of + 1/2, but we expect both Duke and TCU to win, but using a Money Line would not give us good odds. As for Kentucky, moving them from a small favorite to an underdog of more than a touchdown looks promising, even though Missouri looked much better beating South Carolina while Kentucky was being demolished against Tennessee.

Selection #3: 3 team, 10-point teaser (-120)

Virginia Tech + 7 1/2 vs. Georgia Tech

Middle Tennessee + 7 1/2 vs. Louisiana Tech

Mississippi State – 2 1/2 vs. Auburn

The first two games in this parlay are obvious numbers’ plays allowing us to move two short favorites to underdogs of more than a touchdown. The third leg of this parlay goes against the 2022 tide. All the teams playing under an interim head coach the week after the head coach was fired have played their best game of the year the next game. However, none of these teams were in the SEC. Carnell Williams will have a rude awakening going up against Mike Leach. Our guess is the Bulldogs will win this game by 10-14 points, so moving the number to less than a field goal looks good to us.

Selection #4: 3 team, 10-point teaser (-120)

South Carolina + 3 1/2 vs. Vanderbilt

UCLA – 1/2 vs. Arizona St.

Tennessee + 18 1/2 vs. Georgia

This is the more variable parlay. South Carolina failed miserably against Missouri last week after Missouri barely held on to beat Vanderbilt. The Commodores also got an extra week to prepare for this game, so the spread is only 6 1/2 points. USC must win this game to have a good shot at bowl eligibility, while Vanderbilt has not won an SEC game since before Covid. We’ll go with the Gamecocks getting more than a field goal. UCLA moving to 1/2 point is our favorite teaser number. As for the last game in this parlay, Georgia figures to have about a 55-60% chance on winning this game, but if this game becomes a blowout of more than two touchdowns, we would tend to believe the winning team would be the team that earned the top-ranking in the first College Football Playoff Poll.

January 4, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

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

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

South CarolinaAuburn-9.6
Kansas St.Texas-4.8
Wake ForestFlorida St.-0.3
Virginia TechNorth Carolina St.12.7
GeorgiaTexas A&M-7.0
ButlerSeton Hall-6.3
DukeGeorgia Tech17.7
Oklahoma St.Kansas-5.7
Colorado St.Air Force20.2

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.

January 24, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For January 24 , 2020













San Diego St.



Florida St.


Michigan St.

Seton Hall


West Virginia
















Penn St.







Wichita St.


Ohio St.











Texas Tech


Saint Mary’s



North Carolina St.

East Tennessee St.

Virginia Tech





North Texas




Stephen F. Austin

New Mexico St.




Loyola (Chi.)


William & Mary

Wright St.


Little Rock


Murray St.

South Dakota St.





Norfolk St.

Long Island

Prairie View


First Four Out






Next Four Out



Rhode Island

Northern Iowa






August 28, 2019

PiRate Ratings Picks For August 29-September 2, 2019

Last week, the PiRate Ratings did not make any selections on the two FBS games on the schedule, but our experimental Davey19 system made its first ever pick, and it chose a good one.  The computer program chose Hawaii at +11 against Arizona, and UH not only covered the spread, they won the game outright.

So, entering official week 1 of the college season, the PiRate Ratings stay at $0, while the Davey19 program sits at +$100.

With no NFL games for another weekend, we will jump into the water and stay in the shallow end of the betting pool this week with a minimum of plays.

PiRate Ratings Picks

#1: Money Line Parlay @ +189

SMU over Arkansas St.

South Carolina over North Carolina


#2: Money Line Parlay @ +146

Utah over BYU

Purdue over Nevada

Colorado over Colorado St.

Rutgers over UMass


#3: Money Line Parlay @ +182

Pittsburgh over Virginia

N. Carolina St. over East Carolina

Missouri over Wyoming


#4: 13-Point Teaser @ 10-14






U Mass


U Mass


Colorado St.



Virginia Tech

Boston College


Boston College

Florida St.

Boise St.


Boise St.


Davey19 Selections

Straight Selections Against the Spread





Virginia Tech

Boston College


Boston College

Florida St.

Boise St.


Boise St.

Southern Cal

Fresno St.


Fresno St.


10-Point Teaser @10-12













N. Carolina St.

East Carolina


North Carolina St.


10-Point Teaser @10-12










Middle Tennessee


Middle Tennessee








March 29, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Friday, March 29, 2019







Michigan St.






North Carolina









Virginia Tech










Tonight’s Schedule







Michigan St.

7:09 PM


Washington, D.C.


N. Carolina

7:29 PM


Kansas City

Va. Tech


9:39 PM


Washington, D.C.



9:59 PM


Kansas City

August 23, 2017

2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Preview

The folks around the Atlantic Coast Conference have a decent case to support in the statement that their league, and not the Southeastern Conference, is the supreme college football conference in the land.  Clemson bested Alabama in the National Championship Game.  The ACC went 4-1 against the SEC in bowl games, and the ACC won 10 of 14 games overall against the SEC in 2016.  Five ACC teams finished the season in the top 25.

The 2017 season begins with the SEC just a tiny hair above the ACC in PiRate Ratings averages.  Early games between Alabama and Florida State, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, and Clemson and Auburn will go a long way in determining conference supremacy, and season ending games between Florida and Florida St. Georgia and Georgia Tech, and Louisville and Kentucky will seal the deal if one conference dominates the other.

This league has a little more depth this year.  It may be tougher for any team to go undefeated, as the team with the best quarterback, Louisville with Lamar Jackson, has an average at best defense.  Florida State has the next best quarterback in Deondre Francois, and the Seminoles have a nice stable of running backs.  However, there are some questions at wide receiver, and there could be depth issues in the offensive line.  Clemson still has the overall best combination of offensive and defensive lines, but the defending national champions must replace Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman, and Mike Williams on the attack side.  Figure CU to average about 10-14 fewer points per game.

While the top three in the Atlantic Division have exceptional talent but with some questions, the other four teams could all be better than last year, especially North Carolina State and Syracuse.

The Coastal Division race should be quite interesting.  Miami, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and even Duke could challenge for the divisional flag.  The league could be just balanced enough so that no ACC team earns a Playoff bid.

Here is how the ACC Media voted in the preseason:

ACC Atlantic Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Florida St. 121 1,108 118
2 Clemson 37 1,007 35
3 Louisville 9 843 7
4 North Carolina St. 0 658 0
5 Wake Forest 0 415 0
6 Syracuse 0 362 0
7 Boston College 0 283 0
ACC Coastal Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Miami (Fla) 103 1,065 3
2 Virginia Tech 40 932 3
3 Georgia Tech 9 708 0
4 Pittsburgh 7 673 0
5 North Carolina 4 606 0
6 Duke 4 473 1
7 Virginia 0 219 0

The PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings still show Clemson to be slightly better than Florida State in the initial ratings of the season.  However, the margin is razor thin, and we expect a lot of shuffling early in the season due to heavy schedules.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 128.4 124.6 127.5 126.8
Florida St. 126.8 124.8 126.1 125.9
Louisville 116.6 115.7 117.0 116.4
N. Carolina St. 115.2 114.5 114.9 114.9
Syracuse 110.3 108.1 109.3 109.2
Wake Forest 102.7 102.2 102.0 102.3
Boston College 102.0 102.9 101.5 102.1
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 118.6 116.2 117.7 117.5
Virginia Tech 116.6 116.2 117.0 116.6
Georgia Tech 113.2 110.5 111.3 111.7
N. Carolina 109.9 108.4 108.3 108.9
Pittsburgh 108.8 108.8 108.0 108.5
Duke 106.3 105.1 104.9 105.4
Virginia 98.7 98.8 99.7 99.1
ACC Averages 112.4 111.2 111.8 111.8

Here are our unscientific won-loss predictions and bowl projections for the league.

Atlantic Coast Conference Projected Standings
Atlantic Division
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Florida St. 7-1 11-2 Peach
Clemson 6-2 10-2 Orange
Louisville 6-2 9-3 Belk
North Carolina St. 5-3 8-4 Sun
Syracuse 3-5 6-6 [Heart of Dallas]
Boston College 1-7 4-8  
Wake Forest 1-7 3-9  
Coastal Division
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Miami (Fla) 6-2 10-3 Music City
Virginia Tech 6-2 10-2 Camping World
Georgia Tech 5-3 8-4 Independence
North Carolina 3-5 7-5 Military
Duke 3-5 6-6 Quick Lane
Pittsburgh 3-5 5-7  
Virginia 1-7 3-9  
Florida St. to win the ACC Championship Game
Notre Dame predicted to take ACC’s bid to the Pinstripe Bowl
Syracuse’s bid to Heart of Dallas Bowl is an at-large bid

Notre Dame qualifies for any ACC Bowl other than the Orange Bowl, if the Irish are within one win of the next available ACC team.  For instance, if Notre Dame goes 8-4, the Irish can leapfrog any 9-3 ACC team in an ACC Bowl.

Notre Dame can also qualify for the Orange Bowl as the replacement for the Big Ten or SEC team.

Later today: We will preview the Southeastern Conference in the afternoon (Eastern Time).  Can a West Division team dethrone Alabama?  Can any team from the West challenge for the SEC Championship?  Can more than one SEC team make this season’s playoffs?  Check back later today.

Coming Tomorrow: It is game week!  There are only five total games involving FBS teams, but it is real, and it counts.  So, we will debut our 2017 PiRate College Football Forecast.  We will show you all 130 teams ranked predictively and retrodictively, give you the spreads for the five games, and give you all of our bowl projections.

There will be no Money Line Parlay suggestions this week with so few games, but when we debut this feature next week, look for it on Friday morning.


November 3, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–November 3-7, 2016

Time to Punt
We thought we would be a bit clever and go with a slate of longshots that if just one selection won, it would be a big “fake” payout last week. Alas, we came up a game short in every selection, and none of the parlays cashed a winning ticket.

We also decided not to play any NFL parlays last week, and as luck would have it, most of the favorites won, and almost any parlay we might have played would have won. Such is life. But, even had every parlay we selected won last week, our bank account would have remained the same. As we try to make sure everybody reading this weekly entry, we do this just for fun and never wager a penny. These days, when it is almost time to ask, “Brother can you spare a dime,” betting anything on anything would be quite foolish. And, when happy days were here again way back when, we didn’t want to part with any of that hard-earned money. Thus, the only real advice we can give is, “work hard, be frugal, and save for the future.”

In past years, we have offered our predictions about a once-every-four-year event that happens the day following the first Monday in November. We are totally unsure of what will happen, next Tuesday, so we will not go there this year. Our hope is that whatever happens Tuesday, that the nation will come together and realize that we all must pull the rope from the same side and not against each other, or else we might lose what took 240 years to put together.

Now, returning to football and mathematics, here is what we are going with this week.

College Selections
We decided to select a couple of underdogs to win outright this week, but we did not bundle them together for the almost 6 to 1 odds. We’d rather guarantee a small profit if just one wins rather than a windfall requiring both to win.

1. Oklahoma State +133 vs. Kansas State.
Our members here believe this is a 50-50 tossup, so getting better than 13-10 odds is a plus in this game. Oklahoma State seems to play up to its competition, while Kansas State has been quiet this year and has not really played what many believe could be its best game. Also, when a team pulls off a big upset at home one week and then goes on the road to face a quality opponent the next week, the opponent usually has a better chance to win. That is why we believe the Money Line odds are so high, and because we believe this Cowboys’ team knows the Big 12 Championship is possible, we believe OSU will overcome the trend and win this one outright.

2. Arkansas +174 vs. Florida
Everything we just said about Oklahoma State could apply to Florida this week. The Gators come off a big win over rival Georgia and now go on the road to face a quality team. There are two differences in this selection from the selection above. Arkansas had a bye week last week, giving the Razorbacks two weeks to prepare for this game. Also, Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen is expected to be near 100% for this game after suffering a knee injury against Auburn two weeks ago. Arkansas needs an upset win in November to guarantee bowl eligibility, and we believe a team like Florida is vulnerable in this game. An Arky loss could mean the Hogs would be 5-6 when they go to Missouri in the final game.

3. 3-team parlay @ +121

Wyoming over Utah State
Colorado over UCLA
North Carolina over Georgia Tech

Wyoming beat Boise State last week in Laramie, and the Cowboys now have the Mountain Division title in their crosshairs after being the consensus choice to finish in last place. Coach Craig Bohl might be positioning himself to be a top candidate for some Power 5 conference job openings. In the past, numerous former Wyoming coaches have gone on to bigger and better things, because winning on a state with miles and miles of open space and few high school football programs says that this coach is a great recruiter, great organizer, and great leader.
Just down the road in Boulder, Mike MacIntyre has the Colorado Buffaloes within striking distance of winning the Pac-12 South Division. UCLA is a wounded bear and limping to the finish with what looks like a losing record this year. Josh Rosen’s season-ending injury seems like Deja vu for the men from Westwood, as just about every great quarterback since Gary Beban seems to have suffered an injury at some point. We’ll go with the Buffs to win big in Boulder in a prime-time Thursday night game.
North Carolina had an extra week to prepare for Georgia Tech’s spread option offense. That is worth an extra 7-10 points to the Tar Heel defense, and UNC doesn’t need that many extra points to make this a comfortable win for Coastal Division co-leader.

4. 4-team parlay @ +180

South Carolina over Missouri
Virginia Tech over Duke
Temple over Connecticut
BYU over Cincinnati
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was barbecued for his job at Florida, and a lot of fans and media thought his hiring at South Carolina was a mistake. The Gamecocks were picked to finish in last place inthe SEC East and overall by many sources, yet it looks like USC will become bowl eligible rather than settle in last place. To get to six wins, a win over struggling Missouri is a must, and we think the Gamecocks are not too cocky approaching this game coming off the upset of Tennessee.

Virginia Tech probably must run the table in the ACC in November to win the Coastal Division, because North Carolina might not lose another conference game. The Hokies hold the tiebreaker, but it probably won’t matter if they are 6-2. Duke can still get a bowl bid, mostly because they hold the number one spot in APR scores and would be the first team in the 5-7 sweepstakes if 5-7 teams are needed to fill bowl spots (expect at least 1 if not 3 to 5). Tech is plain better in this game and should win by double digits.

Temple coach Matt Rhule is one of the 10 best college coaches in America, and a bigger fish will eventually offer him a large payday to become their coach. It could be that Rhule will hold out until a certain big state school in the Keystone State has a job opening (for awhile that appeared to be ready to happen in 2017). The Owls are back in control of the AAC East with wins over the top three contenders in the division. A win at U Conn this weekend basically wraps up the division title for the second consecutive year.

BYU travels to the Queen City to take on a Cincinnati team that has dissension, and when a team is not on the same page, they suffer results similar to what the Bearcats are experiencing this year. We’ll go with the school playing as a team to beat the maybe more talented team on their home field.

4. 3-team Parlay at +117

Penn State over Iowa
Old Dominion over Marshall
Tulsa over East Carolina
Penn State is still alive for the Rose Bowl! Who could have imagined this a month ago when Coach James Franklin was on a very hot seat and not looking all that happy to be in Happy Valley? A win over Ohio State was a major shot in the arm for this once great program trying to find its way back from purgatory. If the Nittany Lions run the table, which they are capable of doing, and if Michigan wins out and makes the College Football Playoffs, the Rose Bowl could easily select Penn State as its substitute. Of course, this means that the home team must defeat a so-so Iowa team that hasn’t played consistently well this year after a great 2015 season.

Old Dominion has not been to a bowl in its short time in FBS football, but that is going to change this year. The Monarchs need just one more win to become bowl eligible, and their schedule is very favorable for as many as nine wins overall and almost assuredly eight. Marshall is suffering through a rebuilding year at 2-6 and still must play the four best teams in the division. We like ODU to become bowl eligible this week.

Tulsa was a dark horse candidate in the AAC West in the preseason–not to win the division, but just to become bowl eligible for a second year in a row after finishing 6-7 last year. Having to face Ohio State, Houston, Memphis, Navy, and Central Florida on the road would leave the Golden Hurricanes in a precarious position where they would have to all their home games just to guarantee a repeat of 6-6 in the regular season. Coach Phillip Montgomery has quietly installed the spread offense he brought from Baylor and has TU in line to win the West after the Hurricanes knocked off Memphis at the Liberty Bowl last week. The closing schedule is difficult, and the big game at Navy looms next week. In order for that game to really matter, Tulsa must win this week over a rebuilding East Carolina team that will give TU all they can handle, because ECU still holds very slim chances of becoming bowl eligible, and at 3-5, they must win this game. We’ll go with the home team and their big play offense.

6. NFL 3-team Parlay at +178

Kansas City over Jacksonville
Dallas over Cleveland
New Orleans over San Francisco
The 2016 version of the NFL does not allow us (or anybody else) to state matter of factly that any team is a sure thing to beat their next opponent. So, we will not tell you that these three favorites are so much better than the underdogs they are playing that this is almost free money this week. With the way things are going in 2016, chances are rather high that one of these weaker underdogs will win at home.

Jacksonville looked like an expansion team against Tennessee a week ago, so the Jaguars will probably play their best game of the season this week. However, the Chiefs are starting to resemble their teams in the last couple years where they get better and better every week, and their defense is creating a lot of offense with their takeaways.

Dallas is only a slim favorite against winless Cleveland, even though the Cowboys currently hold the number one seed in the NFC! The only sure thing in Cleveland this year is that the Browns will use as many quarterbacks as Terry Francona used pitchers in the World Series.

San Francisco looked terrific in week one, shutting out the hapless Los Angeles Rams. Since then, they have looked worse than Cleveland, while the Rams find themselves in contention for the playoffs. New Orleans began the year looking the exact opposite–like a team destined to lose double-digit games and maybe bring on regime change in the Crescent City. Now, the Saints are breathing down the Falcons’ necks, and it figures that Drew Brees and company should win this game by double digits.

August 29, 2013

PiRate Football Picks For August 29 to September 2, 2013

PiRate Picks For August 29 to September 2, 2013

PiRate Business Card Picture 

Welcome back to the most popular weekly publication of the PiRate Ratings.  Last year, anywhere from 585 to 1,734 readers came by to peruse our picks, as we have become known for playing sweetheart teasers and moneyline parlays.


Our percentages were down a bit last year, but it was hard to go up after we cleaned up in 2011, winning the prestigious Prediction Tracker title for best record against the spread for our NFL games.  Our ratings are meant to be predictive in nature and not retrodictive, and we use these ratings as a starting point when we make our selections.


We did charge for these picks at one time, but in the last few years, we have made these available for free.  Remember, you get what you paid for, so if you have to mortgage your house to cover your losses, it is your fault and not ours.  Truth be told, none of us here ever bet on football games.  Our only wagers in the last ten years have been at horse tracks, where we concentrate on plain, everyday claiming and allowance races—never the big stakes and classics.


While we tend to gravitate toward 10 and 13-point sweetheart teasers and moneyline parlays, we also usually have a weekly theme based on certain trends we have noticed.  Obviously, this is the first week of actual games that count in the standings, and we leave preseason NFL games alone.  So, it is difficult to notice any trends.  Well, normally, it is difficult to notice any trends.  However, we have noticed what we believe is a major mistake in the opening games.  It is difficult to find much of a mistake, because smart money usually controls the movement of the lines.  The public usually then moves that line in the wrong direction, and the smarts profit from their ignorance.  Their specialty is playing both sides of a line that has moved by 2 points or more.  With a 10% vigorish, if you play both sides in a moved line, you only need to hit the middle ground one time in 19 to profit.  Here is how it works.


Let’s say Oklahoma opens as a 19-point favorite over Kansas.  The smarts believe this line is way too low and takes OU -19 placing truckloads of dough on the Sooners.  The line moves to -21 ½ a couple days later and stays there through Friday night.  Now, the smarts place the same amount of truckloads on Kansas +21 ½.


If the spread falls outside the 19 to 21 ½ range, the smarts win one wager and lose one wager.  They lose 10% vig only.  If the spread is exactly 19, then they win one wager and push on the other.  They turn a nice profit.  If the spread is 20 or 21 points (a frequent event), they win both wagers and bleed the books for multiple truckloads.  It is impossible to lose both wagers.  So, the possible results are 2-0, 1-0, and 1-1.  The only possible problem is if the line does not move in the direction they want it to move, and the result is still a 50-50 proposition (either win or lose the single wager).  So, if you want to be a success at this, look at the opening line and look at your favorite games where you believe the line will move.  Play ½ of what you plan to play on that game.  Then, watch that line.  If it moves in the direction you believe and crosses over the number 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, or 21, then play the other ½ of your amount on the other side


We believe we have noticed one line that is off to start the season.  It is not off by enough to play the game straight as a side.  No, where we like this game is in the money line.  Just like keying a horse with multiple horses in an exacta wager, we believe we can key this game with other games in multiple money line parlays.


The game in question is Colorado State versus Colorado.  Our ratings show that the Rams are vastly improved this year and should challenge for bowl eligibility under second year coach Jim McElwain.  CU starts over from scratch with new coach Mike MacIntyre.  We believe MacIntyre will turn things around in Boulder, but not in year one.  CSU won this game last year by five, and we believe they are a clear favorite with a 90% chance of winning.  The money line number is CSU -145, CU +125.


We only play the money line when we can get the number on the favorite side down to -120 or lower.  Obviously, -145 is too much of a gamble, but if we combine that game with other sure wins up to -1175 will allow us to play a 2-game parlay at -120 or lower.


We have chosen six different parlays this week where you can get -120 or better odds using Colorado State as one of the two money line winners.  If you play all six, you are taking a large risk.  We are showing the six that we like. Only choose what you can afford to risk.


Our other favorite play, the 13-point sweetheart teaser requires a 4-team parlay where you get to move the line by 13 points in your favor.  In NFL games, we like playing totals this way, but we do not like this philosophy for college games.  What we like for the opening week is the favorite getting an extra 13 points to bring the spread down to a better number and a game underdog getting double digit points in a game where they are no worse than a 7-10 point ‘dog in our eyes.  Any time we can get a 13 ½ point favorite to a ½ point favorite; a 15 ½ point favorite to 2 ½ point favorite; a 5 ½ point favorite to a 7 ½ point underdog; and other games where moving the spread crosses a frequent outcome spread, we give that game extra notice.  If we can take a minor underdog and move it to better than +14, +17, or +21, we give that a lot of notice.  And, when we can take a short favorite and turn them into a double-digit ‘dog, we definitely look at that game, because upsets are rarely by double digits.


At the end of this article, we will reveal our official picks (7) for this week.  First, let’s show you the four Colorado State parlays that are not our official picks, but are nevertheless good values in our opinion.  We cannot take the risk of playing six of these, so these are the three that did not make the final cut.


1. Colorado State over Colorado and Minnesota over UNLV at +103

2. Colorado State over Colorado and North Carolina St. over Louisiana Tech at +101

3. Colorado State over Colorado and Florida State over Pittsburgh at +111


Any of these three games can be wagered and if won will return more money than wagered.  For instance, if you bet $100 on parlay number 1 above, you will win $103 if the parlay wins but lose $100 if it loses.


We also take note of the games in which all three of our PiRate Ratings (Regular, Mean, and Bias) are on the same side of the line by 2 or more points difference from that line.


14 of this week’s college games meet that criterion

1. Ole Miss -3 vs. Vanderbilt

2. Rutgers +10 vs. Fresno St.

3. Southern Cal -22 ½ vs. Hawaii

4. Michigan State -28 vs. Western Michigan

5. Miami (Fl) -32 ½ vs. Florida Atlantic

6. Buffalo +35 ½ vs. Ohio St.

7. Maryland -20 vs. Florida International

8. Notre Dame -30 vs. Temple

9. BYU +1 vs. Virginia

10. Kentucky -5 vs. Western Kentucky

11. Washington St. +15 ½ vs. Auburn

12. Nebraska -29 vs. Wyoming

13. Washington -4 vs. Boise State

14. Northwestern -6 vs. California


If we further a criteria to where the above situation is met plus the total spread of the game is 14 or less points (10 or less if it were NFL), we come up with these six games that meet the criteria


1. Ole Miss -3 vs. Vanderbilt

2. Rutgers +10 vs. Fresno St.

3. BYU +1 vs. Virginia

4. Kentucky -5 vs. Western Kentucky

5. Washington -4 vs. Boise St.

6. Northwestern -6 vs. California


Okay, now for our official selections this week.  We are going with three money line parlays using Colorado State with another game, and we are going with four 13-point teasers.


1. Money Line Parlay at -116

Colorado State over Colorado

Louisville over Ohio U


2. Money Line Parlay at -105

Colorado State over Colorado

North Texas over Idaho


3. Money Line Parlay at -119

Colorado State over Colorado

Alabama over Virginia Tech


4. 13-point Teaser

Minnesota – ½ vs. UNLV

Central Florida -9 vs. Akron

Utah St. +15 ½ vs. Utah

Ole Miss +10 vs. Vanderbilt


5. 13-point Teaser

SMU +18 ½ vs. Texas Tech

Maryland -9 vs. Florida Int’l

Notre Dame -16 ½ vs. Temple

Alabama -7 vs. Virginia Tech


6. 13-point Teaser

Western Kentucky +18 vs. Kentucky

Marshall -6 ½ vs. Miami (O)

Oklahoma St. + ½ vs. Mississippi St.

Nebraska -16 ½ vs. Wyoming


7. 13-point Teaser

Georgia +11 ½ vs. Clemson

LSU +9 vs. TCU

Colorado St. +10 ½ vs. Colorado

Florida St. +2 vs. Pittsburgh

Older Posts »

Blog at