THE WEATHER REPORT

How winter conditions could impact select NFL, college football games

Winter is coming to football. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This weekend a blast of winter will envelop the Central and Eastern parts of the country making for some very cold football games.  Due to this I have expanded the coverage to include notable college games this weekend. With the NFL slate there are not any games that will be affected by the usual suspects of rain, wind or snow – however I am including a few games where the cold may have an impact only because the visiting team will be somewhat of a fish out of water.  Lets dive in:

Saints @ Bengals (noon Sunday) – Temperatures in Cincinnati will be in the mid to low 40s for this game. I am only mentioning it due to the fact that as a southern dome team the Saints are not accustomed to playing in these conditions.  However, the Saints seem to be such a well-oiled machine with a formidable ground game that the impact of temperatures will likely be negligible.

Falcons @ Browns (noon Sunday) - The temperature will be hovering in the upper 30s with the windchill right at 30 degrees for this game in Cleveland.  Similar to the game I mentioned above the Falcons, like the Saints, are not accustomed to these conditions. However the fact that they are playing the Browns may help offset some of the detriment of the cold temperatures.

Dolphins @ Packers (3:25 PM Sunday) – This is the ultimate fish out of water game.  The tundra of Lambeau will be living up to its name with game time temperatures in the mid to low 30s with a small chance of snow.  Due to these conditions and the Dolphin’s talent level I believe the cold will have a real impact here.  To Aaron Rodgers these conditions are likely downright refreshing, but for the Dolphins it will likely be quite a shock to the system. Look for the Dolphins to try to keep it on the ground as much as possible, especially with Osweiler under center.

College Special

I have highlighted too many games here to give individual breakdowns but below you will find a summary of the notable conditions so that you can make or adjust any wagers accordingly. Take note – wind will be an issue at many games on Saturday.

TCU @ West Virginia – Mid to low 30s. Slight chance of snow. Wind 14 MPH gusting to 25 MPH.

Ohio State @ Michigan State – Low 30s. Chance of snow early in the game. Wind 17 MPH gusting to 30 MPH.

Wisconsin @ Penn State – Mid 30s. Wind 15 MPH gusting to 40 MPH.

Baylor @ Iowa State – Temperature in the upper 20s with a windchill in the upper teens.

Virginia Tech @ Pitt – Mid 30s. Chance of snow. Wind 16 MPH gusting to 35 MPH.

Purdue @ Minnesota – Temperatures in the upper 20s with a chance of snow late.

Temple @ Houston – Low 50s with rain.

Florida State @ Notre Dame – Temperature in the mid 20s.

Texas @ Texas Tech – Mid 40s. Wind 14 to 20 MPH.

Clemson @ Boston College – Upper 30s. Wind 15 MPH gusting to 45 MPH.

If you are looking for information on any other games feel free to reach me on Twitter @stephenuzick.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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