NFL Week 5 GotW: Arizona @ Cincinnati (-3.5)

Arizona Cards Logo     Two winless teams, both looking for a brighter future.  Each of these teams have reason for optimism but success doesn’t come easy in the National Football League.  Arizona has high hopes for rookie sensation Kyler Murray and his playmaking ability while Cincinnati is leaning on the knowledge and prowess of new head coach Zac Taylor to escape the valley and climb to the peak!

The Arizona Cardinals come into this week’s game with an 0-3-1 record.  They have shown flashes of brilliance this season but not nearly enough to be relevant in the playoff picture.  The season is early, though, and there is still plenty of time to go on a run.  To make a run, the Cards will need to clean up their act as the passing attack is pitiful (21st) and the running game is worse (23rd).  If that wasn’t bad enough, the defense is second to last.  All of this is not surprising and is what was expected with a rookie quarterback and first year NFL Head Coach.  That doesn’t mean that things can’t change in Arizona, especially if the game slows down for Murray.

The Cincinnati Bengals (0-4) aren’t playing much better.  The one thing that you cannot have in the NFL is a one dimensional team and without injured star wide receiver AJ Green, the Bengals are just that.  This has allowed opposing defenses to stack the line and rendered the rushing attack to be less than pedestrian, averaging a meager 49 yards per game.  The poor offensive numbers, coupled with a -5 turnover margin, has put tremendous strain on the defense.  With the offense not producing, the defense has been on the field far too much each game.  Taylor is a quality coach and has won everywhere he has been so you can count on a turnaround before all is said in done.  AJ Green should be returning soon which could right the ship but it won’t be this week.

Both teams would love to begin a turnaround this week but only one can get the “W”.  In the “Battle for the Basement”, the Elldee Sports Formula says you can count on the Cardinals to stay within the spread and likely pull the outright upset.  This isn’t a must-win for either team but it is getting close to that point.  Until next time, good luck!

Arizona 20 – Cincinnati 14

Arizona +3.5 and Under 47.5

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NCAAF Week 6 GotW: Purdue @ Penn State (-27.5)

Big Ten Logo v1     As we enter Week 6 of the College Football Season, the elite teams have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.  One team that was overlooked in it’s own conference has started to rise, like cream, to the top.  The Penn State Nittany Lions enter this week’s Elldee Sports Game of the Week facing the Purdue Boilermakers.  Can the Nittany Lions continue their torrid run at home in Happy Valley?

The Purdue Boilermakers had high hopes coming into this season, especially behind the playmaking ability of Rondale Moore.  Quarterback Elijah Sindelar returned for his Senior season and is in his second year in the system.  The defense returned 9 starters, albeit from a weak unit.  All in all, there was much to look forward to heading into the season.  Well, here we are heading to Week 6 and things have not gone to plan as the Boilermakers have a 1-3 record including a loss to the Nevada Wolfpack, a Group of Five school.  To make matters worse, Moore and Sindelar are both injured and things look bleak.  Young coach Jeff Brohm is going to need to pull some magic out of his hat to prevent a tailspin and salvage some type of momentum going into the offseason.

Flip the coin over and you have the Penn State Nittany Lions.  When this season began, most experts pegged Penn State as a 3rd place team in the Big Ten East.  As the year has progressed, Penn State has played with the heart of…well, a Lion!  The Nittany Lions are 4-0 with 3 blowouts and also a tough rivalry game win over Pitt to show they can handle pressure.  With a #14 ranking nationally in both total offense and total defense, the meat of the schedule begins.  Head Coach James Franklin must prove that he can win the big matchups and get this team over the hump.

With the way that Penn State has been playing, coupled with the injuries to the Boilermakers starting QB and star WR Moore, this is going to be a tall task for Purdue to steal a win on the road.  In fact, the Elldee Sports formula is predicting a complete demolition at the hands of the Nittany Lions.  The best bet is to take the Lions and the over in this one.  Until next time, good luck.

Penn State 70 – Purdue 7

Penn State (-27.5) and Over 55.5

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NFL Week 4 GotW: Kansas City @ Detroit (+6)

Detroit Lions Logo     We have a wild one on tap for this Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Detroit Lions.  Heading into Week 4, neither of these teams have tasted defeat but barring a tie, looking at you Detroit, one of these two will lose.  Mahomes vs. Stafford looks to be appointment TV.

Kansas City has picked up right where they left off last season.  They are far and away the top passing team, leading the second ranked team by over 80 yards.  Patrick Mahomes has certainly not fallen off and is on the path to being one of the best ever statistically.  As long as Head Coach Andy Reid is there, the offense will never struggle.  The defense on the other hand is up and down, doing just enough to enable the powerful offense to win games week-in and week-out.  The defense appears to be getting better but it is early in the year and 2 of the 3 opponents, Jacksonville and Oakland, are not exactly known as offensive juggernauts.

The Detroit Lions have been a bit of a surprise to Elldee Sports.  The offense has been slightly above the league average and the defense has been slightly below the league average.  That is no shock but the win-loss record is, posting a 2-0-1 through 3 Weeks.  Those two wins are over the Chargers at home and the Eagles on the road, not exactly pushovers.  Head Coach Matt Patricia, a Belichick disciple and defensive extraordinaire, will look to confuse Kansas City’s young quarterback.  Look for Detroit to slow the game down and expect Patricia to call his old boss for advice on slowing down the Chiefs.

Elldee Sports expects to see the Detroit Lions to jump to a quick lead and hang on for a victory.  If KC gets up early and forces pressure on the Lions, this could get out of hand in a very short amount of time, though.  The Elldee Sports Formula is calling for a close Detroit win in a high scoring affair.  While the Total and Money Line predictions are not over 80%, the determining line for Elldee Sports, the Spread is, so take Detroit and the points!  Until next time, good luck.

Detroit 31 – Kansas City 27

Detroit (+6)

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NCAAF Week 5 GotW: Virginia @ Notre Dame (-11)

ND Logo     Welcome to Week 5 of College Football.  There does not appear to be many high profile games this week but there are some hidden gems.  Additionally, the weeks without many top 25 matchups usually carry the most excitement to include potential upsets!  The biggest game on the docket for this weekend is the Virginia Cavaliers traveling to South Bend to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The Golden Domers second big game in as many weeks.

Taken on face value, the Virginia Cavaliers do not appear to have played the toughest schedule.  Dig a little deeper though.  The Week 1 opening win against the Pitt Panthers, once considered a pushover, looks much better after Pitt defeated the UCF Golden Knights last weekend.  Old Dominion has two close losses to the state’s flagship schools and may be better than they currently look.  The offense has been fairly stale but paired with the 30th ranked defense, Virginia has been able to average 36 points per game.  This is a team that leans heavily on their defense and discipline, a direct reflection of their Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall.  Expect this team to be prepared to play hard.

Notre Dame is an upper echelon team and they proved that on the field last week.  The Irish gave the Georgia Bulldogs all they could handle, dropping an emotional game on the road.  There is no doubt that this group is one of the best in the country and the statistics prove that.  The offense is about 60 yards per game and 3 points per game better than Virginia while the Defense is slightly worse but not as far behind as you may think.  The worry for the Fighting Irish is what the mindset will be following a draining road game.  South Bend is home sweet home but will that be enough to carry a weary team past a hungry Cavalier team?  Tune in this weekend to find out.

The crew at Elldee Sports think that home-field advantage, sheer talent level, and a great game-planner in Brian Kelly will be enough to propel Notre Dame to another victory.  The game will not be a cake walk though, as the Elldee Sports Formula is predicting a low-scoring slugfest with Notre Dame hanging on and winning late.  Until next time, good luck!

Notre Dame 9 – Virginia 8

Virginia (+11) and Under 50.5

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Week 4 NCAAF GotW: Oklahoma State @ Texas (-5.5)

Big 12 Logo     Time has arrived for College Football to go wholesale into conference competition.  I know, I know, there have already been conference matchups but starting this week, a majority of teams will play conference foes.  That is no different in the Big XII and one of the best games of the week for all of the NCAA is the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Texas Longhorns.  Let’s jump right in to this matchup.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys travel down from Stillwater, OK and bring one of the most potent offenses in the country.  In fact, they have the NCAA’s leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard, who also leads the country in rushing TDs!  The Pokes are not only a rushing team though.  They also throw for over 260 yards per game.  These numbers are good enough to account for 50 more yards per game than the Longhorns.  Even the defense is playing better than Texas, at least statistically, holding opponents to 30 yards less per game.  Add all of that in to fact that Texas has not beaten Oklahoma St. in 5 years and have not won at home in Austin in 10 and you can make a compelling argument for the Cowboys to steal another on the road.

Texas is having none of it though!  You can bring up a 4-game losing streak  to the Longhorn players and they will all say the same thing…this isn’t the same Texas.  They would be right, too.  This year’s Texas squad has higher expectations than any this decade and those expectations are realistic this time.  Sam Ehlinger leads the Longhorns and has proven to be adept at reading defenses that are much better than Oklahoma State’s defense.  Texas will be playing with a chip on their shoulder and have been tested once already this season.  Emotions will be high and the Longhorns are gonna be pumped up for this one!

So how are these teams going to fare against each other this week?  The Elldee Sports Formula is calling for a high scoring affair, with the Oklahoma State Cowboys ultimately coming out on top.  Texas has shown that they are vulnerable in the secondary after giving up just under 500 yards through the air vs LSU.  Oklahoma State is known more for passing than LSU.  The problem is that the Longhorns cannot load up on DBs with Chuba Hubbard waiting to gain 8 yards a pop!  Don’t worry about Texas, though.  They have the offensive fire-power to keep up in this matchup.  Until next time, good luck.

Oklahoma State 52 – Texas 47

Oklahoma State (+5.5) and Over 73

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Week 2 NFL GotW: Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans (-3)

Indy Colts Logo     Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL season.  The excitement of a fresh season is beginning to wear off and it is time to get to the nitty-gritty of hard-nosed football!  The Elldee Sports Game of the Week for the NFL is the Indianapolis Colts at the Tennessee Titans.  After the Titans dismantled the Browns last week 43-13, the Las Vegas book makers are backing Tennessee to win this divisional matchup.

None of the experts knew exactly what they would get with the Colts this season after the shocking retirement announcement from All-Pro Quarterback, Andrew Luck, just days before the season began.  While watching the first half of last week’s game, I am not sure if the Colts themselves knew what to expect.  They started slow against the LA Chargers before coming alive in the second half but ultimately losing in Overtime.  Once Indianapolis settled in they didn’t look all that bad.  Jacoby Brissett looks like he can lead this team to the playoffs going 21-27, 190 yards, and 2 TDs.  Not bad for a player who didn’t expect to play until 2 weeks ago.

One of the most hyped teams in the offseason was the Cleveland Browns and all of their young talent.  The Tennessee Titans didn’t care what the newpapers had said and proceeded to thoroughly handle the young team by 30 points.  Looks can be deceiving though, statistically speaking, as the Titans are 22nd in passing and barely cracked the top 10 in rushing.  Derrick Henry did not break 100 yards last week and QB Marcus Mariota finished the day with a 53 QBR.

Regardless of stats or surprise starts, this is a divisional game and the competition will be fierce.  The Elldee Sports Formula is calling for a 16-7 Indianapolis victory.  Many times, recency bias can create a fog when thinking about who will win from week to week.  The fact that the Colts lost and are without a star QB while the Tennessee Titans hammered a team that was a pick to be much improved has caused the public to believe that Tennessee is better than they are and worthy of being 3-point favorites.  Don’t count on it.  Until next time, good luck!

Indianapolis Colts 16 – Tennessee Titans 7

Colts (+3) and Under 44

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Week 3 NCAAF GotW: Stanford @ UCF (-7)

PAC-12 Logo     The Elldee Sports Game of the Week for College Football is the Stanford Cardinal at the Central Florida Golden Knights.  Stanford must travel from the friendly confines of Stanford Stadium, 2,800 Miles, to sunny Orlando, Florida.  A prominent Power Five school going on the road to a Group of Five school is not usual but this is not a usual Group of Five school.

The Cardinal (1-1) are coming off of a humiliating 45-20 loss to conference rival USC.  To make matters worse, they were leading early 17-3 before being outscored 42-3 for the rest of the game.  The reason for the drubbing may have been due to the fact that K.J. Costello, the starting quarterback, was out with a head injury.  The good news is that he has been cleared and will be back this week, the bad news is that even when he played in Week 1 against Northwestern, the offense struggled.  UCF is not known for defense so this may be just what the doctor ordered for the floundering unit.

The UCF Golden Knights (2-0) have not had the problems that Stanford has on the offensive side of the ball.  They are averaging 55.0 points per game but have not faced anywhere close to the competition as the Cardinal, playing against FCS foe Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic.  Although the competition was weak, they handled the opponents exactly as they should have, winning by 62 and 34 respectively.  The biggest question for the Golden Knights is who their starting quarterback will be, as they have rotated between the experienced transfer in Brandon Wimbush and the explosive freshman, Dillon Gabriel.

So who wins out?  Tradition or Johnny-Come-Lately?  Power Rushing and defense or Flashiness and Speed?  Stanford or Central Florida?  Playing in Spectrum Stadium, aka “The Bounce House”, gives UCF a decided advantage.  The Golden Knights have won 17 consecutive matches at home and look to extend that this weekend to 18.  The offense is proven and this team is confident.  That should be enough to propel them to victory.  The Elldee Sports Formula is calling for a 37-8 Golden Knights victory.  That final score lends itself to taking UCF -7 and under the total of 58.  Until next time, good luck!

UCF 38 – Stanford 7

UCF -7 & Under 58

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