The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 19, 2019

PiRate Ratings Picks For December 21-24, 2019

Not Much, You?

As bowl season commences in college football, in most years, we would be gung ho to issue a multitude of picks against the spread and via the money line.  This is not the case this year.

 

In past years, public momentum has swung wildly to the favored teams enough to move the spreads well past what the favorites could consistently cover.  Both the spreads and money lines moved enough points to make betting the underdog late in the week or nearest the day of the game so much more advantageous.

It is only a hypothesis, but maybe since gambling has basically been legalized in the entire country, and because globally more people are seriously interested in trying to make a quick buck, the public no longer wagers  throws away money to the Sharps like they did in past years.

Normally, we would have quickly seen patterns where Team A opened as a 4 1/2 point favorite and after four or five days, the spread was up to 7 1/2 points.  Money Line favorites opened at -205 and inflated to -325.  At the same time, we rated the games close to a toss-up, so taking the points and wagering on the underdog at inflated money line odds made the outcome over the course of bowl season very profitable.

That just isn’t the case this year.  Almost all the games have been wagered on by the public in a much more reasonable manner.  It’s obvious that people are more apt to do their homework these days, and with the Internet offering volume after volume of information, the smart amateurs have wagered using intelligent strategies.  Thus, there just isn’t a lot of value in the first week of college bowl games.  We have only selected two bowl games out of the first week (through Christmas Eve).  On one of those two bowls, we are playing it two ways, but there is not a heavy dose of confidence in either bowl.

The NFL can be tricky in Week 17.  The teams that have little to play for may begin substituting more freely or even changing their lineups.  Teams near the bottom of the standings needing Joe Burrow in 2020 might see their personnel decisions change just enough to “tank” and lose.  Personally, our motto applies to the 2021 Draft, where some NFL team will “Be clever and tank for Trevor,” because Trevor Lawrence is a once in a generation superstar.  The team that can go 1-15 in 2020 might become a future New England Patriots if they can draft and acquire free agent quality offensive linemen in 2020 and then take Lawrence with the first pick in 2021, while stocking up on receivers to complement him.

That does little to nothing to help us this week, as Cincinnati can already print “Burrow” with the number “1” on a Bengal jersey.

There are a few serious playoff implication games this week, but for the most part, there are few “extra oomph” reasons to locate a lot of value.

The key playoff games this week include:

Tampa Bay vs. Houston–The Texans can clinch with a win over the Bucs, or a loss by the Titans to New Orleans.  Tampa Bay is a hot team finishing the year and has a chance to end up with a winning record.  Houston is in a sandwich situation having beaten the Titans in Nashville last week and having to face them again in Houston next week.

Tennessee vs. New Orleans–The Titans must win their final two games to clinch the AFC South, but they can still get in the playoffs as a Wildcard at 9-7.  For Tennessee’s situation, this is a must-win game.  New Orleans is playing for home field advantage, as they are locked in a tight race for best record in the NFC.  The Saints played on Monday night and now must play on the road.

New England vs. Buffalo–This game really won’t have much effect on the playoffs.  If Buffalo goes to Foxboro and wins, the two teams will be tied in the standings, but the Patriots hold the tiebreaker.  Only if New England then loses to the lowly Dolphins in Week 17, while Buffalo beats the Jets can the Bills win the AFC East.

Seattle vs. Arizona–The Seahawks are playing for both the NFC West title and a first round bye against a Cardinals team that cannot get the first pick of the draft and has little other to play for.  Of course, the entire world sees this and has moved the line appropriately.

Philadelphia vs. Dallas–This is the key game of the week.  Dallas is all of a sudden the darling of the football world after destroying the Rams last Sunday night.  Philadelphia may be the most overlooked playoff contender.  The winner of this game most likely earns the division title, because they both have relatively easy season finales.

Minnesota vs. Green Bay–The Monday night game will go far in determining the Black and Blue Division champion.  Depending on what happens on Saturday and Sunday, Minnesota could still be playing for their Wildcard life if the Rams beat the 49ers.  Green Bay could be playing for a first round bye and even home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.  Think of the difference in an NFC Championship Game in January being played at Lambeau Field, The Superdome, Levi’s Stadium, or Century Link Field.  There is quite a difference.  Lambeau could be 20 below zero.  Century Link could be deafening with new record decible levels.  The Superdome will be 72 degrees with a Brees but not a breeze.  Yours truly has kicked field goals of more than 50 yards inside the Superdome.  Depending on the outcomes of Saturday and Sunday, this game could have no considerations by Sunday night.

Now that we’ve given you reasons not to wager based on our selections, please read it one more time:  DO NOT wager real money on our selections that are only meant to entertain the reader.  We NEVER wager real money on our selections–we are math nerds and not Nevada Sharps.

 

PiRate Picks

Bowl Games

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Buffalo

Charlotte

7

Charlotte

SMU

Florida Atlantic

3

SMU

 

 

Money Line Upset Pick at +205

Winner

Loser

Charlotte

Buffalo

 

 

NFL Week 17 Selections

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Houston

Tampa Bay

3

Tampa Bay

LA Chargers

Oakland

7

Oakland

Dallas

Philadelphia

2.5

Philadelphia

 

 

Money Line: 2 Legs at +150

Winner

Loser

Miami

Cincinnati

Seattle

Arizona

 

 

Money Line: 3 Legs at +201

Winner

Loser

Pittsburgh

N. Y. Jets

Kansas City

Chicago

Atlanta

Jacksonville

 

 

 

January 2, 2016

PiRate Ratings Selections For NFL Week 17–January 3, 2016

Week 17 often can be a tough puzzle to solve in the NFL.  Which teams that have clinched a playoff spot might fail to show up?  Which teams that have clinched a losing season have already mentally begun their off-season?  How important is getting the #5 seed or #3 seed compared to the #6 seed of #4 seed if a team has already clinched a playoff spot?  Will a certain team already know their fate when they kick off in the 4:25 PM game due to what happened in a 1:00 PM game?

 

This and many other variables come into play when looking at the last game of the year.  added to the difficulty this year is that multiple teams still playing for something do not have a legitimate NFL starting quarterback healthy enough to play.  They are going to play their most important game of the year with what could be called a replacement player.  Can these teams win by running the ball 70% of the time?

 

The other predicament we have is trying to play the money line parlays by avoiding any chance of going .500 and losing money.  That basically means picking three different parlays, and we have been making hay by choosing parlays with odds of better than even money.  There are 15 games with money lines this week, so in order to pick three parlays with better than even money odds, we had to dig deep and make selections in 2/3 of the games in order to get those parlays.

 

Since there will be little chance to find value in the playoff games, this will be our final week of parlays.  They have done rather well with a return on investment of 50.82% through today.  We are hoping to close out on a high note and keep that ROI over 50%.

Straight Selection

1/3/2016      
Favorite Underdog Line Our Pick
New York Jets Buffalo 2 New York Jets

Money Line Parlays

Money Line Parlay 3 Teams at 1.74 to 1   $274 Payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
New York Jets Buffalo   New York Jets
Pittsburgh Cleveland   Pittsburgh
Arizona Seattle   Arizona

 

Money Line Parlay 4 Teams at 1.77 to 1   $277 Payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
New England Miami   New England
Houston Jacksonville   Houston
Kansas City Oakland   Kansas City
Denver San Diego   Denver

 

Money Line Parlay 3 Teams at 1.91 to 1   $291 Payout on $100
Favorite Underdog   Must Win
Carolina Tampa Bay   Carolina
New York Giants Philadelphia   New York Giants
Green Bay Minnesota   Green Bay

 

 

 

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