We all love sports for one reason or another…or many reasons combined. I may not like the Dodgers very much but the scene before Game 2 of the World Series was everything that sports, fandom and the World Series should represent.
Soon-to-be 90 year old Vin Scully, the greatest sports broadcaster of all-time, thrilling the Dodger Stadium crowd and millions of fans around the world with a five minute introduction to the game and the ceremonial first pitch.
If this doesn’t give you chills and or tug at your heartstrings, I’m certain you don’t appreciate the greatness of sports.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 26, 2017
And as annoying as their fans are on social media, the Dodgers, despite choking away Game 2, will win the World Series in six games.
If you missed my Wednesday football predictions, click here.
-I made my feelings on both of Arizona and Arizona State’s football games very clear in Wednesday’s Bold Prediction:
This year’s most surprising Pac-12 storyline adds another chapter; the state of Arizona continues to impress with two upset victories at home this weekend. Last season Washington State beat a punchless Wildcats team, 69-7 in Pullman. In what should be one of the best games of the weekend, neither defense has an answer for the other team’s offense…UofA wins at the final whistle on a Josh Pollack field goal. In Tempe, USC is emotionally drained after getting drubbed at Notre Dame and is in desperate need of a bye week which isn’t on their schedule. The Sun Devils take advantage and grab the win like their neighbors down south. Both teams move into the AP Top 25 come next Sunday morning.
But there’s one more important thing to note. To the fans in Tucson and Tempe: SHOW UP THIS WEEKEND! SUPPORT. YOUR. TEAMS. It’s Homecoming in both places…there is no excuse not to be there. If you live in this state and are a fan of one of these teams, you should be at Arizona Stadium or Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday evening. Anything short of two sellouts is an embarrassment to the programs and the jobs their players and coaches have done this month.
-One more tidbit on UofA…lose to Washington State and it’s conceivable that the Wildcats will be underdogs in 3 of their final 4 games the rest of the way. Assuming Oregon State is a cinch win at home in two weeks, the Wildcats should be bowl eligible at that point…but a win on Saturday against the ranked Cougars opens up the postseason aspirations a bit.
-One thing I got right in my preseason Pac-12 predictions was the downfall of Colorado. I would hardly be surprised if Cal won in Boulder on Saturday.
-Coming off a stunning loss to ASU followed by a bye week, don’t be surprised if Washington takes their frustration out on poor UCLA.
-Oregon’s season has gone down the drain since their loss to ASU and an injury to QB Justin Herbert the following week. If the Ducks lose at home to Utah, their bowl hopes may be in some jeopardy.
-Stanford did its best to try and lose at Oregon State on Thursday night. Fortunately for them, without star RB and Heisman Trophy candidate, Bryce Love, they squeaked out a one point victory. If anyone ever doubts the unpredictability of college football, please show them tape of this game…
-NC State has been impressive thus far this season but Notre Dame has blown away my expectations. Win out and a berth in the College Football Playoff is a near certainty for the Irish. Unfortunately for them, I just can’t imagine winning at both Miami and Stanford in November.
-Iowa State has been a nice story thus far, beating Oklahoma as a giant underdog and sustaining only one loss thus far. Unfortunately TCU will put the smackdown on the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa this weekend. The Horned Frogs are a worth top-5 team right now.
-The game formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” between Florida and Georgia usually produces some zany results. Don’t be surprised if the heavy underdog Gators make it much closer than Bulldogs fans would like.
-We didn’t pick this one on Wednesday but we should’ve…I think West Virginia upsets Oklahoma State in
Charleston Morgantown. Mountaineers QB and former Florida transfer Will Grier will light up the Cowboys secondary in what should be a classic.
-And finally…one of the games of the year…Penn State at Ohio State. No outcome would shock me here – a blowout on either side or an incredibly tight game. If Penn State wins, can we please just give its RB Saquon Barkley the Heisman now and end the suspense. If not, the race gets a lot more interesting. I picked the Nittany Lions in the CFB Playoff at the start of the season despite having predicted then that OSU wins this weekend. Can’t wait to see how this one plays out!
On to best bets where back-to-back 4-1 weeks have put me solidly over .500 on the college side…
College Football Week 9 Best Bets
Last Week: 4-1
Notre Dame -7 vs. NC State
Wisconsin / Illinois Over 49 Total Points
West Virginia +7.5 vs. Oklahoma State
Texas A&M Pick’em vs. Mississippi State
Wyoming +2 vs. New Mexico
Yet I’m exactly .500 in NFL Best Bets with a couple of giant underdogs on the palate this week…
NFL Week 8 Best Bets
Last Week: 3-2
49ers +13 at Eagles
Colts +10.5 at Bengals
Colts / Bengals Over 41 Total Points
Seahawks -5.5 vs. Texans
Cowboys -2 at Redskins
-The Cardinals placed QB Carson Palmer on injured reserve Thursday afternoon. The earliest he would be able to return is on Christmas Eve, in Week 16 against the Giants. Therefore it’s safe to say that his season and quite possibly career ended last Sunday.
-My 1580 The Fanatic colleague Craig Fouhy reported earlier this week that Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will step down at the end of the season. Arians dramatically refuted the report on Twitter as did his son. I’m siding with Fouhy on this one…I’d be very surprised if Arians was coaching the Cardinals on opening day 2018. The team is about to go through a rebuild and I doubt he wants any part of that.
-This week we got Dolphins-Ravens on Thursday night followed by Bills-Jets next week. Two games I haven’t / won’t be watching intently.
-Speaking of Thursday Night Football…what the hell was that Miami? I liked the Ravens -3.5 a lot…but for the Dolphins to not even show up…geez! Meanwhile if you have the Baltimore defense on your fantasy teams, you’re thanking your lucky stars and counting your likely Week 8 victory about now.
-Week 8’s fantasy football portion of the column:
PPR HERO (an underrated player who will finish in the top-10 at his position this week):
Season Record: 2-5
Week 7: Alvin Kamara (RB, Saints) (LOSS-11th)
Week 8: Joe Mixon (RB, Bengals)
PPR ZERO (a top-15 player who will finish outside of the top-20 at his position this week):
Season Record: 6-1
Week 7: Larry Fitzgerald (WR, Cardinals) (WIN)
Week 8: DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Texans)
KICK IT TO WIN IT (A likely waiver wire kicker who will end up in the top-10):
Season Record: 2-5
Week 7: Mason Crosby (Packers) (LOSS)
Week 8: Adam Vinatieri (Colts)
PUNT OF THE WEEK (the team I think will punt most frequently therefore upgrading the other team’s fantasy defense…aka turning them into a top-10 fantasy D for the week):
Season Record: 6-1
Week 7: Baltimore Ravens (vs. Minnesota Vikings) (WIN)
Week 8: Cleveland Browns (vs. Minnesota Vikings)