Heading into the weekend, there was definitely a lot of football to be had. From the NCAA on up, fans had their pick of a number of great games and gamblers were ready to put their money on the line. Looking back at how things played out, some surprises may have tipped the needle into the red unless caution was taken when placing the wagers. Here’s how our SportsIntel picks fared this weekend:
The Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders took to the gridiron battlefield, but the outcome wasn’t too much of a surprise. It was in line with what we had expected, with the Raiders winning the contest. However, the Lions played steady and threatened the Raiders at every turn, scoring in each of the quarters. Two touchdowns in the fourth are what saved Oakland, with the game being decided by a single touchdown, 31-24 score.
The London fog must have gotten to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They were in the UK in the last game across the pond of the season to take on the Houston Texans and the Jags were actually seen as the expected winner. They have considerable experience playing in London – Houston has none – and JJ Watt wasn’t going to suit up for the Texans, giving Jacksonville an additional advantage. It didn’t work out that way, though, as the Jags apparently forgot to pack their talent as the prepared for the flight. They fell by a massive 26-3.
The Buffalo Bills were pretty much guaranteed to beat the Washington Redskins and they didn’t disappoint their fans. The Bills’ defense was on fire, stopping the ‘Skins at every turn. We said take the under on an O/U of 37. This is exactly what was expected, which is why the 24-9 blowout didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. However, despite the victory, the Bills showed some weakness in its offensive line and this could come back to bite them later on this season. Fifty offensive yards in a single quarter, like the Bills had in the third, is not a good way to win a football game.
In the NCAA, there were no surprises. The Michigan Wolverines, 6-2 before Saturday, were going to have to meet up against the Maryland Terrapins, a team with a dismal 3-5 record at the time. The Terps started strong when the season started, but seem to have lost all their juice. They had lost five of six before the weekend and the Wolverines were predicted to walk all over them. That’s precisely what happened, too, as the Terps fell 38-7. Their only score came in the third quarter, and that may have been a pity play on the part of Michigan.
The USC Trojans desperately hoped for a win against the Oregon Ducks and everything got off to a great start. 10 unanswered points in the first quarter gave the California team a good lead, but everything went completely upside down from there. The Ducks came back in the second quarter to score four touchdowns, following it with 2 in each of the last two quarters. The 56-24 final score was an embarrassment for the Trojans, but exactly what we had expected to see. With that, the Ducks are almost guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.