Hello again everyone and welcome to the inaugural week of the Gildshire Sports Spotlight! Each and every week we will examine the best games coming up. We are thrilled to begin this new Gildshire venture, and can’t wait to share our passion for sports with you. There are lots of compelling games scheduled for Nov. 15-20. Let’s jump in!
College Football’s Key Matchups:
Syracuse Orange versus Notre Dame Fighting Irish, from Yankee Stadium: Game time, 2:30 pm eastern/11:30 am Pacific.
Dubbed the Shamrock Series, this game would seem to offer a home crowd advantage to the Orange. Don’t believe it! New York City has more Notre Dame alum than yellow taxis, and the alum will be on hand for this one. The 8-2 Orange are having a great season, but the Irish have bigger things in mind than one regular season game. Currently, the three-seed in the projected four-team NCAA Championship playoff, Notre Dame must continue to win to stay relevant for a National Championship. The Irish are favored by 10.5, and the Gildshire Sports Spotlight thinks they will win by at least that much, in a game seen nationally on NBC.
Iowa State Cyclones @ Texas Longhorns, from Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium: Game time Saturday at 8 pm eastern/5 pm Pacific.
This was to be a breakout year in Austin. After a 7-6 inaugural season, it was seen (especially by Longhorn fans) as about time for UT to become nationally relevant again. Was it reasonable to expect Texas to capture its fifth national title? Of course not, but when were college football fans ever accused of reasonableness? On the other hand, the Cyclones flew under the radar. Sure, Matt Campbell won the Big XII Coach of the Year Award last season, but they lost talent to the NFL. A re-tooling year, for sure. Instead, his team has overachieved. It’s Number 16 Iowa State at #15 Texas deep in the heart! The ‘Horns are a 2.5 point favorite. We like the Cyclones, plus the points, in a game seen regionally in the Texas and Iowa State home markets.
This Week in the National Football League:
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks, from Century Link Field: Game time Thursday at 8:20 eastern/5:20 Pacific.
There aren’t many elimination games between two good teams before Thanksgiving, but this one certainly has that feel. The 4-4-1 Packers are looking up at both Chicago and Minnesota, (more on them in a minute) and the 4-5 Hawks are looking WAY up at the Los Angeles Rams. One more loss will likely end the post-season hopes of these two proud franchises. For the Pack, it is all on the right shoulder of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks have turned the clock on offensive football back 30 years with their run-heavy scheme. Seattle is a 2.5 point favorite, commensurate with how difficult it is for a team to fly across the county (well, 2/3 of the country) three days after a tough Sunday game. The Gildshire Sports Spotlight likes the home-standing Hawks to cover the spread, in a game seen nationally on Fox and on the NFL Network.
Houston Texans and Washington Redskins from FedEx Field: Game time Sunday at 1 pm eastern/10 am Pacific.
Two first-place teams collide in this one, but these two teams have more in common than a winning record. Most experts came into this season with low expectations for both the Texans and the ‘Skins. Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson had major knee surgery last year, and the Redskins exchanged QB Kirk Cousins (seen as above average) for Alex Smith (seen as older and about average). Eleven weeks in, and here we are. Houston leads the AFC South with a 6-3 record, and Washington tops the NFC East with an identical 6-3 mark. Houston is a 2.5 point favorite, but in Alex we trust. Take the points on a team that could win outright, in a game seen regionally on CBS.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears, from Soldier Field. Game time Sunday at 8:20 pm eastern/5:20 pm Pacific.
Second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky is closing mouths and opening eyes all over the league. Predicted by many to be a bust, instead, Trubisky leads the team that holds the keys to the NFC North going into Thanksgiving weekend. That’s not bad in a division that contains Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford. But, the young QB who played collegiately at North Carolina faces a stern test in Minnesota, because the Vikings are tied for the league lead in sacks. The Bears are a 2.5 point favorite, and we’ll take the Bears and give the points in a game seen nationally on NBC.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Rams, from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Game time Monday at 8:15 pm eastern/5:15 pm Pacific.
*Venue Change Note* This game was scheduled for Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, but a Rihanna concert tore the field to ribbons. League officials decided Tuesday to move the game to Los Angeles. That’s unfortunate for fans of the NFL who happen to live South of the Border, Down Mexico Way, (Yes, Gildshire occasionally sets our inner Frank Sinatra free) because this is the showcase regular season game of the year. Chiefs’ phenom Patrick Mahomes versus Sean McVay, Jared Goff, and the L.A. Rams. High flying offense up and down the field all evening long. This has “one for the ages” written all over it, and the Rams are a 3.5 point pick. We think L.A. wins, but the Gildshire Sports Spotlight takes the 3.5 points, in a game seen nationally on ESPN.
That’s it for this week. Come back to the Gildshire Sports Spotlight next week and see how we did. Until then, enjoy the games! We can’t wait!