I absolutely love playoff baseball. I will admit I can be a bit of a fair weather fan when it comes to the regular season but the playoffs always draw me in regardless of who is playing. Since I was in high school (early 2000’s) I remember being glued to the playoffs every year. Baseball playoff games take on an intensity that I argue is unmatched in any of the other major sports. There is suspense with the lead up to every pitch and every hit, even if its just a bloop single with no one on in the 2nd inning, brings an explosion from the crowd. Watching playoff baseball also brings back a level of nostalgia to me. I remember watching live the emergence of the rally monkey, the Bartman foul-ball and subsequent Cubs collapse, the Aaron Boone home run against the Red Sox, the Red Sox coming back from an 0-3 hole the following season, the Pujols moon shot that destroyed Brad Lidge’s career as an Astro, and the Astros’ first appearance in the World Series. Finally, watching playoff baseball also reminds me that it is finally Fall. I am hopeful that the cold front coming to town Sunday afternoon/evening will bring an end to our 90+ degree temperatures once and for all until next spring. Now on to the football…
This week the Misery Index is going to complete the Florida trifecta. The past two weeks have seen both Tampa and Miami as winners of the Misery Index and this week the prize goes to Jacksonville. The Jaguars play the Rams in a rare late afternoon start for the Jags. I’m not sure if this is due to the surprising success of both the Jaguars and Rams or if it has more to do with the Rams making the trip to the east coast. Even with the later than usual start conditions will still be nasty. Game time temperatures will be in the mid to upper 80s with the heat index being about 10 degrees warmer. Despite the relative success these teams have seen this year they are still arguably two of the most boring franchises in the league. I bet most average NFL fans can’t name any players of significance for either team other than their starting quarterbacks and running backs. I am curious to see if the hot and humid conditions provide the Jags an advantage though, as the Rams are likely not acclimated to those kind of conditions. On the whole conditions really aren’t that bad across the country this week as a nice cold front will be pushing through so even this game won’t be totally miserable.
Misery Index Rating:☹
GAMBLING/FANTASY WEATHER REPORT
There area couple of items to keep track of this weekend. First, as I mentioned above there will be a cold front pushing across the nation Saturday and Sunday which could lead to some adverse conditions for a few college games (mostly across the central plains). Second, smoke from the devastating fires in northern California could impact a couple of college games as well as an NFL game. Below are some of the games that could see weather/fire impacts:
#6 TCU @ Kansas State (Saturday 11am): The aforementioned cold front will be very near Manhattan Kansas at game time and may even push through during the game if it moves a bit faster than forecast. The result will be that thunderstorms are quite possible during this game, particularly in the second half. Depending on how strong those storms get a lightning delay may even be possible. In addition to rain it will also be rather windy. At kick-off winds will be rather steady out of the south at 15-20 mph. As the front gets closer gusts could increase to 30-35 mph or possibly even over 40 mph. Something to keep in mind if you are looking to bet the point total.
#9 Ohio State @ Nebraska (Saturday 6:30pm): Rain showers may be around at the beginning of the game but after those move out winds will really crank up. The passage of the cold front will bring 15-25 mph winds but wind gusts may approach 40 mph by the later stages of the game. Temperatures should be in the mid to low 50’s.
#21 Michigan State @ Minnesota (Saturday 7:00pm): Michigan State will be dealing with soggy conditions for the second week in a row as rain looks to be present for almost the entirety of this game. Though it shouldn’t be quite as heavy as what fell during the Michigan-Michigan State game last week it will still make for a very wet game. In addition to the rain temperatures will be in the upper 40s with a cold north wind blowing 10-12 mph with gusts up to 20mph. This is going to be a chilly raw one.
#8 Washington State @ Cal (Friday 9:30pm) AND Oregon @ #23 Stanford (Saturday 10:00pm): Both of these games could possibly be impacted by smoke from the fires burning nearby in northern California. The schools and the NCAA are still deciding whether these games will be played as scheduled as there is a serious concern about air quality for both players and fans in the stadium. If you plan on betting these games keep an eye out for a decision on this.
Chargers @ Raiders (Sunday 3:25 pm): This game could also be impacted from smoke from the fires nearby. The Raiders have had to shorten their practices this week and some players were even wearing masks under their helmets due to the smoke in the air. At the time I am writing this the NFL is still considering its options which include possibly moving this game. A move to the 49ers stadium is being considered but the air quality likely wont be much better there. In an interesting twist the NFL is reportedly also considering moving this game to San Diego. I am not sure the NFL wants to open that can of worms but I personally would love to see that train-wreck.
If you have any other fantasy/gambling weather questions please feel free to reach out. You can find me on twitter @stephenuzick