Welcome to Weather Wagers! This is a new venture that I, along with Meteorologist Dan Tomaso, are starting to connect our love of the atmosphere with our love for sports and sports wagering.

Weather affects everything in our lives on a daily basis and it can have a big impact on sports, too. Wind, rain, and even heat can play a crucial role in the outcome of football, baseball, and other open-air outdoor sporting events. Our mission is to use our expertise in meteorology and combine that with our knowledge of sports to help predict the outcome of games.

We are hoping to bring you a fun and fact-filled program each week across multiple platforms that you can watch or listen to and hear our take on the latest games and the latest forecast. While we certainly cannot guarantee we will be accurate 100% of the time, it is our hope that we give you some extra pieces of the puzzle to think about while wagering and predicting the outcome of specific games.

We are passionate about both the weather forecast and sports – so we figured why not combine those passions into a weekly show? This is the idea that came to life. This is Weather Wagers.

Each week we will focus on several games where weather will be a factor. These will be our “Games of the Week”. Both Dan and I will pick these games and give our forecasting factors that make them stand out.

We will also highlight an “Under the Radar” game that not a lot of people are talking about. This could be an intriguing matchup or have a forecasting element that could really make the game challenging.

Finally, we will each pick a subset of games that we personally feel confident about going into the week based solely on a wagering perspective. “Brett’s Best Bets” and “Doppler Dandies” will be our personal highlighted picks. We will keep track of our record throughout the football season and make it a friendly competition between the two of us and we also want to be transparent with you so you can get a feel for how we are doing.

In addition, we plan to discuss the latest sports topics and news throughout the program each week with topics we find interesting. While the show is launching in conjunction with the start of the college and NFL football seasons, we plan to dabble with other sports too, including checking in with Major League Baseball once the playoffs start.

We start this week with our “Games of the Week.” Everybody will be watching the big one this week, on Week 0 – Nebraska and Northwestern traveling overseas to Dublin, Ireland.

It’s a big year for Scott Frost who faces constant criticism for underperforming as the prodigal son. Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern is also hoping to get some momentum back after finishing 3-9 last season. It’s a big opener for both teams on a big stage. The weather may be just about perfect in Dublin for this one: partly cloudy, temperatures in the 60s, and just a slight breeze. That sounds like football weather to me!

Frost’s squad is favored by double digits in this contest with Nebraska sitting at -12.5. That is a big number for me, although I like Nebraska to try and make a statement in this one. Mark Whipple comes on board as offensive coordinator, who spent last season in Pittsburgh with quarterback Kenny Pickett. The question I have is whether Frost can stay out of Whipple’s way and let him have at the offense. If he can, Whipple and new QB Casey Thompson, who transferred in from Texas, should find a way to win. Northwestern’s team scoring defense was ranked 89th last season out of 130 teams. Not great. While both teams should have a bounce-back season, Nebraska has more to prove as Frost coaches for his job. I like Nebraska but double digits is too steep for me. Given the fact that this game is very early in the season and requires travel, I’ll take the under (50.5) as both teams try and find their footing.

Next up, we head to Champaign, Illinois. Bret Bielema kicks off his second season with the Illini and his hard-nosed approach with running the ball and dominating the line of scrimmage should work well in this opener. I still can’t shake the 9 OT loss last year where this team ran up and down the field on Penn State’s defense. Full disclosure here: I’m a graduate of Penn State and a lifelong fan. I’ll make no secret of that in my musings on this show. Like it or hate it, that’s what makes sports fun! Back to Illinois now: I like this team. The quarterback won’t be the most important position for Bielema, but rather it’s the offensive line as a group that will likely lead to wins or losses. If they can run the ball well, they will win games this year. I think this will be one of those games. Wyoming has Craig Bohl back for a ninth season with the Cowboys. This program is always one I keep an eye on, especially because strange things often happen in Laramie. This game is on the road though and this team hasn’t been an offensive juggernaut as of late. This is a new season, of course, and things could change, but I like where Bielema is with his squad a lot better. I expect Illinois to run the ball a lot and to run it well. With a mostly sunny day in store and highs in the upper 80s, I don’t expect Wyoming to compete offensively. I’ll lay the 10 points with Illinois here.

Finally, Charlotte travels to Boca Raton to take on the Owls of Florida Atlantic. This game will have some weather to it with passing showers and thunderstorms. It will also be hot and humid with temperatures in the upper 80s and that thick Florida air to contend with during the heart of the play. It’s not like these two clubs are known for their football prowess, but both are used to heat and humidity. I don’t think Will Healy’s 49ers will be threatened by the August weather in Florida. In fact, after a 5-7 record last year, I think they will want to kick off things in a big way. Florida Atlantic is coached by Willie Taggart who landed there after disastrous campaigns at Oregon and Florida State. I’ve seen Taggart’s act before, and I say – no thanks. Charlotte will be able to hold their own in this one even with some raindrops falling on their heads. I’ll take the points here. Give me Charlotte +7.

Now we move on to our “Under the Radar” game of the week. For this one, we head to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. I’m looking forward to watching this one as North Texas takes on UTEP. Everything is bigger in Texas and so are the temperatures. Expect sunny and hot weather with temperatures in the 90s at the kick. While no sensible weather will be at play, the heat is always a factor although both teams are certainly used to it. While the Mean Green have beaten the Miners in their last 5 meetings, I like UTEP and what they have returning this year. Gavin Hardison returns at QB for his third year and they have 4 returning starters on the offensive line. This could be the year they break the streak and beat the Mean Green of North Texas. Give me UTEP +1.

My only “Best Bet” this week, given the shortage of games, is UConn at Utah State. Jim Mora comes in as UConn’s head coach as they travel to Maverik Stadium and take on the Aggies. I’ve never been impressed with Jim Mora, or let’s face it, UConn football period. I do like Blake Anderson of Utah State and I have always been impressed with the Aggies offensively. They are coming off an 11-3 campaign last year. To me, there is only one play here: lay the points. And there are a lot of them. Utah State -27.5.

Here’s a summary of my picks along with other topics discussed on the show:

Games of the Week

  • Nebraska vs. Northwestern – UNDER 50.5
  • Illinois -10
  • Charlotte +7

Under the Radar Game

  • UTEP +1

Brett’s Best Bets

  • Utah State -27.5

Power 5 Conference Winners

  • SEC: Alabama
  • Big Ten: Ohio State
  • Big 12: Oklahoma
  • ACC: Clemson
  • PAC 12: Utah

Penn State Win Total: OVER 8.5

Notre Dame Win Total: OVER 8.5

College Football Playoff Picks

Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Oklahoma

Dark Horse Playoff Spot

Utah

We hope to deliver some fun, entertaining, and informative content each week about the sports we love to follow and the weather we love to cover. This is just the beginning. We hope to grow and learn and add and expand our conversation, our look, and our show each and every week. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Good luck this week. -Brett Thackara

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First, I would like to reiterate what Brett has said above. We are extremely excited to blend our love of sports and meteorology together. Many classic sporting events in history have been changed or altered because of the weather- if not become memorable! Here are my thoughts for our opening episode:

Nebraska and Northwestern come into Dublin, Ireland both looking to start off on the right foot. For both coaches, this may be a critical opening game. The fact this game kicks off their start to the Big 10 schedule also makes it extremely important to improve their conference standing. Ultimately, I think the test is too tough for Scott Frost’s squad and a new offense led by Casey Thompson. I take Northwestern outright to win. The weather should be great for this game and resemble a fall afternoon in the eastern United States!

My thoughts for the Wyoming-Illinois tilt in Champaign, Illinois are similar to Brett’s. We are both fans of Bret Bielema returning to the Big 10- except when his team beats Penn State in Happy Valley. Regardless, Illinois should be able to control the ball with a strong running game fueled by a powerful offensive line. The weather should be hot, but dry for Illinois’ opener.

For the third and final weekly game, we take a look at a game that may be influenced by thunderstorms. The FAU Owls host Charlotte in Boca Raton, Florida this Saturday. I don’t have a strong take overall on this game, but the weather could be the equalizer. A rain and/or lightning delay is possible and it is something to keep an eye on at any point in the contest. If a delay does occur, I think that easily favors the home team. I take FAU at -7.

Under the radar takes us to the offensive battle shaping up in El Paso, Texas. In this game, points should be easy to come by, so I like the over here. The weather should be hot and dry, which should only help the offenses stay on track and leave the defense tired. Monsoon rains are not that far off to the west, but that should not play a factor.

Finally, my Doppler Dandies pick of the week takes us to the tropical paradise of Hawai’i. Vanderbilt has the pleasure of starting their season across the Pacific Ocean, and I think they come on strong. This is Clark Lea’s second season at the helm for Vandy, and I believe this season could be the start of their turnaround. Look for Vanderbilt to take care of Hawai’i in this one, I take Vandy at -6.5.

Here is a summary of my picks:

Games of the Week

  • Northwestern outright
  • Illinois -10
  • FAU -7

Under the Radar Game

  • North Texas vs. UTEP- OVER 54.5

Doppler Dandies

  • Vanderbilt -6.5

Power 5 Conference Winners

  • SEC: Alabama
  • Big Ten: Michigan State
  • Big 12: Baylor
  • ACC: Pitt
  • PAC 12: USC

Penn State Win Total: UNDER 8.5

Notre Dame Win Total: OVER 8.5

College Football Playoff Picks

Alabama, Michigan State, Georgia, Baylor

Dark Horse Playoff Spot

Notre Dame

-Dan Tomaso

Join us again next Wednesday as take a look at the first large slate of games on the college football schedule!