By KENT ELOLA
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… I don’t know about you, but those ESPN college football bowl commercials ring true to me every season. We love this time of year at Kent Elola Sports!
Between now and the college football playoff games on January 1, we pretty much have wall-to-wall nonstop football for the next two and a half weeks. And that means plenty of opportunities to stuff your stockings with some hard earned CASH from King Kent’s winners.
The numbers continue to pile up at a ridiculous rate: Six straight winning weeks with a cumulative against-the-spread record of 30-10-1 in the NFL during that time for our clients. It doesn’t take a math wiz to tell you that’s a scintillating 75% winning percentageagainst the spread, nearly unheard of over such a large sample size. But we’re just getting warmed up, as bowl season is our favorite and best time of year!
With the holidays upon us, we’ll offer Aces Golf readers a tremendous present: This entire weekend of winners (through the Atlanta-Tampa Bay Monday Night game) for just $150 flat. Call me direct at 510-209-0730 or message me via text or at http://www.facebook.com/kentelolasports and I’ll personally give you the selections that are going to enable you to put a few extra gifts under the tree this month.
The college action kicks off with plays on ALL SIX bowl games Saturday. Additionally, we have a rare Saturday NFL doubleheader, with the Chicago-Detroit and LA Chargers-Kansas City games each having huge playoff implications.
As we all know by watching last weekend’s games, the race for the NFL championship is wide open this year. My personal favorite to win the title, the Philadelphia Eagles, lost quarterback Carson Wentz (who would have run away with the MVP had he stayed healthy) for the rest of the season to a torn ACL in his knee after getting crunched in the end zone by the Los Angeles Rams. A day later, the de facto favorite New England Patriots looked absolutely pedestrian in a surprising outright loss at Miami (the Pats were 11-point road favorites going into the game).
The results leave us with more possible Super Bowl winners than I can remember this late in the season. Let’s take a quick look at who is still alive for postseason football.
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) Big Ben and the boys have now won eight in a row and can wrap up home-field advantage in the AFC with a win over the Patriots on Sunday. Much easier said than done, as Brady and Belichick are deadly coming off a loss and have a great track record against Pittsburgh.
New England Patriots (10-3) Brady looked lost without tight end Rob Gronkowski in Miami. Gronk will be back this week and the Pats can make everything right again with a win in Pittsburgh, reclaiming the No. 1 seed in the AFC. If not, New England falls into serous jeopardy of not even earning a first-round bye.
Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) Should the Pats slip up again, the Jags would leapfrog them with a win due to better conference record. Jacksonville has an All-Pro defense and running back (Leonard Fournette), it’s the quarterback (Blake Bortles) we’re still very unsure of in a big game.
Tennessee Titans (8-5) Probably the team with the best record that absolutely nobody thinks has a chance to make a serious Super Bowl run. Including me. Marcus Mariota is good, but he’s not great yet. And there’s not enough around him to be a real threat.
Kansas City, Buffalo, Baltimore, LA Chargers (all 7-6) The math says there is room for two of these four to make the playoffs. That number could increase to three if the Titans collapse down the stretch. What we know for sure is Saturday Night’s game between the Chiefs and Chargers gives the winner a huge step up toward winning the AFC West and the home field playoff game that comes with it.
Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins (both 6-7) Livin’ on a prayer. Either team would need to win out (unlikely considering their highly inconsistent seasons) and still hope for outside help.
Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) The good news is the Birds are still in great shape to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC and have one of the best backup QBs in football (Nick Foles). But Wentz is a next-level talent, up there with Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson when it comes to making constant impact plays on a game. The Eagles lost a lot when he tore his ACL, probably including their chances of hoisting the franchise’s first-ever Lombardi Trophy this season.
Minnesota Vikings (10-3) It was a slip-up last Sunday in Carolina for the Vikings, but not an awful one. They are well-rounded and built for January football. With at least one home playoff game just about clinched already, Minnesota will believe it has a serious chance to become the first team to ever play a Super Bowl on its home field (the big game is in Minneapolis February 4).
LA Rams, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers (9-4) Each of these teams should qualify for the playoffs and they are all currently tied atop their divisions. The Rams have a massive game at Seattle on Sunday which will leave them as either sure-fire division champs (with a win) or possibly on the outside of the playoff picture with just two games left. The Saints and Panthers each play Atlanta over the final two weeks of the season in games that will determine the NFC South champ.
Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks (both 8-5) While not having the records they would have hoped for at this point in the season, these two playoff regulars still control their own destinies. Atlanta plays its entire division over the final three weeks and the Falcons know if they can sweep Tampa, New Orleans and Carolina they would win the South. For the Seahawks the task seems much easier: Beat the Rams in Seattle this Sunday and the ‘Hawks will have swept the season series and hold the West division tiebreaker over Los Angeles (each would be 9-5) with just two games left.
Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers (all 7-6) The talent of these three teams (when healthy) is astounding compared to some of the “contenders” in the AFC. Aaron Rodgers is back for Green Bay and Ezekiel Elliott soon will be for Dallas. But is it too late? To have any realistic chance at cracking into the NFC playoff field one of these teams will have to run the table. Possible? The way this season has gone so far, I wouldn’t bet against it!
But what would I bet on? That’s for you to find out by calling/texting me NOW at 510-209-0730 to get my entire weekend of selections for just $150. Let King Kent make your holiday season even more joyous than usual by blessing you with the gift of football winners!