1. Hurricanes, man
Hurricane Irma is a big, Atlantic storm that’s currently making its way to Florida, where it’s expected to make landfall sometime on the weekend. It shouldn’t directly affect college football events, as its arrival is likely closer to Sunday than Saturday, but football games require police and emergency services that will be otherwise engaged this weekend, as well as travel that can easily be interrupted by inclement weather. As a result: Miami cancelled its trip to Arkansas State; FIU is looking for an alternative venue for its Alcorn State game; FSU has moved its home game against Louisiana-Monroe to noon to allow ULM a better travel schedule; Florida pushed its game to noon; USF’s road game against UConn was pushed to 10:30AM; and UCF is now playing Memphis on Friday night.
On the professional level, the Buccaneers/Dolphins game has been rescheduled for week 11. Check your fantasy team.
Betting tip: Keep your eye on venue changes, cancellations, and weather conditions for any games in Florida or involving Florida teams this weekend. Strong ground games should be less affected than pass-happy attacks.
2. Ezekiel Elliott suspension upheld, kind of
Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension has been upheld by an arbitrator, as I’m sure your fantasy football app has already notified you. The rub of it is that Elliot will be allowed to play on Sunday night in the Cowboy’s season-opener against the Giants. Elliott is still suing the NFL in a federal labor court, and the NFLPA asked the court to delay Elliot’s suspension until that lawsuit is resolved. If he drops that suit, or if the NFL’s motion to dismiss is successful, Elliot will play in Week 1 and then return in time for the Cowboys’ Week 9 matchup against Washington.
The Cowboys were 3.5-point favorites against the Giants, but ticked up to four-point chalk when Elliott’s availability became clear.
Betting tip: The Cowboys are a public team. Their lines rarely reflect their real implied probability because the public backs them heavily, forcing sportsbooks to adjust the line and encourage betting on the other side. This Giants team held Dallas to 26 points over two games (both NY wins) last year. Getting four with the G-Men is decent value if Odell Beckham Jr. is healthy enough to play.