Author Archives: Jon DeLotell

About Jon DeLotell

Diehard everything Cincinnati.

Final YACS Bracket

Updated: 3/17 FINAL
Columbia, SC (Fri & Sun) San Jose, CA (Fri & Sun) Hartford, CT (Thurs & Sat) Columbia, SC (Fri & Sun)
1 Duke 1 Gonzaga 1 Virginia 1 North Carolina
16 Prairie View A&M/NCCU 16 North Dakota St 16 F.Dickinson/Iona 16 Bradley
8 Oklahoma 8 Washington 8 Seton Hall 8 Iowa
9 Minnesota 9 Louisville 9 Ole Miss 9 Utah St
San Jose, CA (Fri & Sun) Salt Lake City, UT (Thurs & Sat) Salt Lake City, UT (Thurs & Sat) Des Moines, IA (Thurs & Sat)
5 Villanova 5 Marquette 5 Kansas St 5 Virginia Tech
12 Liberty 12 Oregon 12 New Mexico St 12 Murray St
4 Auburn 4 Florida St 4 Wisconsin 4 Kansas
13 UC Irvine 13 Vermont 13 Northeastern 13 Yale
Tulsa, OK (Fri & Sun) Hartford, CT (Thurs & Sat) Tulsa, OK (Fri & Sun) Jacksonville, FL (Thurs & Sat)
6 Mississippi St 6 Cincinnati 6 Buffalo 6 Iowa St
11 Temple/NC State 11 St. Johns/Ohio State 11 TCU 11 St. Marys
3 Texas Tech 3 Purdue 3 Houston 3 LSU
14 St. Louis 14 Old Dominion 14 Georgia St 14 Northern Kentucky
Des Moines, IA (Thurs & Sat) Jacksonville, FL (Thurs & Sat) Columbus, OH (Fri & Sun) Columbus, OH (Fri & Sun)
7 Nevada 7 Maryland 7 Wofford 7 UCF
10 Florida 10 Baylor 10 Syracuse 10 VCU
2 Michigan 2 Tennessee 2 Kentucky 2 Michigan St
15 Montana 15 Abilene Christian 15 Colgate 15 Gardner Webb
Breakdown by Conference
ACC: 8 B10: 8
AAC: 4 MWC: 2
B12: 7 P12: 2
BEast: 4 SEC: 7
A10: 2 WCC: 2
Last Four Byes: Baylor, VCU, Syracuse, TCU
Last Four In: St. Johns, Ohio St, Temple, NC State
First Four Out: Clemson, Arizona St, Texas, Belmont
Next Four Out: UNCG, Xavier, Indiana, Creighton


YACS Bracketology – 3/12

Updated: 3/12/19 11:00 AM
Hartford, CT (Thurs & Sat) San Jose, CA (Fri & Sun) Columbia, SC (Fri & Sun) Columbus, OH (Fri & Sun)
1 Virginia 1 Gonzaga 1 Duke 1 Kentucky
16 Prairie View A&M/St. Francis 16 Gardner Webb 16 Norfolk St/Iona 16 Bradley
8 Washington 8 Oklahoma 8 Ole Miss 8 Louisville
9 Iowa St 9 Seton Hall 9 VCU 9 Baylor
San Jose, CA (Fri & Sun) Des Moines, IA (Thurs & Sat) Salt Lake City, UT (Thurs & Sat) Hartford, CT (Thurs & Sat)
5 Villanova 5 Florida St 5 Kansas St 5 Marquette
12 Florida/Texas 12 Liberty 12 Temple/Creighton 12 Murray St
4 Nevada 4 Kansas 4 Wisconsin 4 Virginia Tech
13 New Mexico St 13 Hofstra 13 UC Irvine 13 Vermont
Tulsa, OK (Fri & Sun) Salt Lake City, UT (Thurs & Sat) Jacksonville, FL (Thurs & Sat) Des Moines, IA (Thurs & Sat)
6 Mississippi St 6 Cincinnati 6 Maryland 6 Buffalo
11 Ohio St 11 Syracuse 11 St. Johns 11 Clemson
3 Texas Tech 3 Purdue 3 Houston 3 Michigan
14 Yale 14 Old Dominion 14 Georgia St 14 Wright St
Columbus, OH (Fri & Sun) Tulsa, OK (Fri & Sun) Jacksonville, FL (Thurs & Sat) Columbia, SC (Fri & Sun)
7 Auburn 7 Iowa 7 Wofford 7 UCF
10 NC State 10 Utah St 10 TCU 10 Minnesota
2 Michigan St. 2 LSU 2 Tennessee 2 North Carolina
15 Montana 15 Sam Houston St. 15 Colgate 15 Omaha
Last Four Byes: Ohio St, St. Johns, Clemson, Syracuse
Last Four In: Florida, Temple, Creighton, Texas
First Four Out: Arizona St, Belmont, Indiana, UNCG
Next Four Out: Alabama, St. Mary’s, Georgetown, Xavier
Breakdown by Conference
ACC: 9 B10: 8
AAC: 4 MWC: 2
B12: 8 P12: 1
BEast: 5 SEC: 7

Week 1 Picks and Best Bets

My favorite part of the NFL Season. Making my picks, both straight up and against the spread, and then comparing the guys on CBS and ESPN.

Thursday Night Football

Atlanta @ Philadelphia (PK) (O/U 44.5) – The season opener. The defending champs look to start their season off strong, but without Carson Wentz. Nick Foles won that SB, but hasn’t looked good in the preseason. Matt Ryan and co. should be much more comfortable in year two with OC Steve Sarkisian. Falcons take advantage of no Wentz and force Foles to poor decisions. Falcons 27-23.

Early Sunday Afternoon Football

Pittsburgh (-4) @ Cleveland (O/U 44) – It looks like LeVeon won’t be showing up. That is reflected in the line. That will hurt the Steeler offense and make this a tight one. Big Ben struggles on the road, but he owns the state of Ohio. Steelers 20-17.

San Francisco @ Minnesota (-6.5) (O/U 46) – The Kirk Cousins era begins in Minnesota and he’ll go up against Garappolo-mania, who hasn’t lost a game as a starting quarterback. He also hasn’t played against a defense like the Vikings. Vikings 24-16.

Cincinnati @ Indianapolis (-3) (O/U 48.5) – Andrew Luck returns after missing all of last season, but his blindside protector is going to miss the game. That spells bad news against one of the most underrated front fours in the league. Andy Dalton should be able to find AJ Green and others as well. Bengals 27-20.

Buffalo @ Baltimore (-7.5) (O/U 40.5) – Well, Nathan Peterman is starting. It can’t go worse than his lone start of  his NFL career did, when he was benched at halftime after throwing five first half INTs. It still won’t be pretty against a tough Baltimore defense. Baltimore 24-9.

Jacksonville (-3) @ New York Giants (O/U 43.5) – Odell Beckham v. Jalen Ramsey. That’s going to be a show. But, there is much more going on that just those two. Overall, the Jags are the more talented bunch. Bortles plays game manager and the Giants get beat at home. Jaguars 21-17. 

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-9.5) (O/U 49.5) – The first game since the Minneapolis Miracle for the Saints and they get a great matchup. Tampa Bay, without Jameis Winston, will struggle, especially with Mike Evans being shadowed by Marcus Lattimore. Brees should be able to spread the ball around and let his playmakers do what they do. Saints 34-17.

Houston @ New England (-6.5) (O/U 51) – Only one can hope this year’s game will be as good as last year’s when Tom Brady threw the game-winning touchdown with under a minute to go. Deshaun Watson is back, and might have some rust, but the Texans should be able to score some points to go back and forth with the Pats. But, they won’t have enough. Patriots 28-24.

Tennessee (-1.5) @ Miami (O/U 45) – I am not too high on either club, but Tennessee is the more talented group. However, it’s never easy for a first time head coach, especially on the road. The Dolphins make one more play. Dolphins 21-20. 

Late Sunday Afternoon Football

Kansas City @ Los Angeles (-3.5) (O/U 48) – The top two teams in the AFC West get to go to battle in week one. Kansas City takes a step back with key losses on defense as well as the transition to Pat Mahomes. The Chargers are primed for a big year behind their defensive line. Chargers will take advantage of Mahomes’ inexperience. Chargers 34-28.

Seattle @ Denver (-3) (O/U 42.5) – How times have changed since these two met in the Superbowl a few years back. The Seattle defense is a shell of its self, and Denver hasn’t figured out a post-Peyton plan. Both offenses should struggle, therefore it should come down to defense. Denver’s is better. Broncos 17-13.

Dallas @ Carolina (-3) (O/U 42.5) – Another 3-point spread between teams with playoff aspirations. These two teams are fairly even, but Carolina has the slight edge on defense. Normally Dallas’ offensive line could make up for some of their imperfections, but they aren’t the same and banged up. Cam Newton should be able to make enough plays. Panthers 23-21.

Washington @ Arizona (-1) (O/U 44) – Both teams have significant holes on their team which will keep them from being real contenders for playoff spots, but they should have a competitive hard nosed battle. Sam Bradford is still healthy and should be able to control the clock with more weapons than Alex Smith has. Cardinals 28-23.

Sunday Night Football

Chicago @ Green Bay (-7.5) (O/U 47.5) – Aaron Rodgers back, and Khalil Mack now lining up on the other side in one of the NFL’s oldest rivalries. Mack will be on a pitch count, which hurts Chicago’s chance to win. Rodgers is going to find ways to put up points, specifically by looking newcomer Jimmy Graham’s way. Packers 30-20.

Monday Night Football

New York Jets @ Detroit (-6.5) (O/U 45) – The youngest QB to start a season opener, Sam Darnold,, on Monday Night Football. Darnold has never seemed phased by the pressure, but he is turnover prone playing against a defense that takes chances. That might not end up well for the Jets. Lions 27-21.

Los Angeles Rams (-4)  @ Oakland (O/U 49.5) – Jon Gruden’s return. Not going to go well. The Rams are significantly better, and Oakland’s defense is a disaster without Khalil Mack. A snoozer wraps up week one. Rams 38-17.

Lock of the Week: Cincinnati (+3) at Indianapolis

Other Best Bets:

Under in SF-MIN

LAR (-4) at OAK

ARI (-1) v. WAS

2018 NFL Prediction

Football is back! Here is my picks for the 2018 NFL year.


AFC East

  1. New England Patriots 12-4$
  2. New York Jets 6-10
  3. Miami Dolphins 6-10
  4. Buffalo Bills 4-12

AFC North

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6
  2. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7*
  3. Baltimore Ravens 8-8
  4. Cleveland Browns 4-12

AFC South

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 11-5$
  2. Houston Texans 9-7*
  3. Tennessee Titans 7-9
  4. Indianapolis Colts 6-10

AFC West

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 10-6
  2. Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
  3. Denver Broncos 7-9
  4. Oakland Raiders 6-10


NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 11-5$
  2. Dallas Cowboys 8-8
  3. Washington Redskins 7-9
  4. New York Giants 7-9

NFC North

  1. Minnesota Vikings 11-5
  2. Green Bay Packers 10-6*
  3. Chicago Bears 7-9
  4. Detroit Lions 6-10

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons 11-5$
  2. New Orleans Saints 10-6*
  3. Carolina Panthers 9-7
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-11

NFC West

  1. Los Angeles Rams 10-6
  2. San Francisco 49ers 7-9
  3. Seattle Seahawks 7-9
  4. Arizona Cardinals 6-10


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Superbowl XLIII

New Orleans Saints v. New England Patriots

Subpar defense. Lack of offensive weapons. It doesn’t matter. The AFC is so diluted that the Patriots do not need to have a superb team to get back to the big game. Rolling through with wins over the Texans and Chargers has them matched up with the Saints, who is the lone survivor of the brutal NFC Playoffs. Drew Brees, who will break multiple NFL records this season, gets back after winning it 9 years ago. Two of the greatest going at it. Both 40+ years old. A pretty crazy concept. Who wins? Lets take a look at each facet of the game…

Passing Offense – Patriots
Rushing Offense – Saints
Rush Defense – Saints
Pass Defense – Saints
Head Coach – Patriots

In a game with two of the greatest, the game actually comes to down to neither. It will come down to who can run the ball better. The combination of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram might be the best duo in the league and they bring the title back to the Big Easy.

Saints 31
Patriots 28

SB MVP: Alvin Kamara

Season Awards

MVP: Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

OPOY: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

DPOY: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

OROY: Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

DROY: Bradley Chubb, DE, Denver Broncos

COTY: Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Game-by-Game Predictions

Two straight losing seasons. 13-19-1. No playoff win since 1991. Marvin Lewis gets extension. Wait, what!?? How could this be? The Cincinnati fan base had had enough. Many claimed to “never support again.” They were just “the same old Bengals.” But this off-season WAS different, believe it or not. A new defensive coordinator, an offensive coordinator that was taken off the “interim” tag, which means a both new coordinators. Seven new coaches, including firing a coach that was here for 23 years. Cutting veterans, such as Adam Jones, George Iloka, Ryan Hewitt, and recently signed Chris Baker. These are things that this franchise hasn’t done in the past. It’s another restart, which is exactly what Joe Goodberry wrote about this weekend. The fourth one of the Marvin Lewis-era. The three previous, 2003, 2009, and 2011, produced records of 8-8, 11-5, and 9-7, including two playoff appearances. The national narrative is rather somber about the Bengals hopes this season, mainly because of the Coach-QB combo. However, there are a few that actually believe in them, such as Peter King. Restarts are good, especially when the team has as much young talent as this team does.

Week 1: September 9, @ Indianapolis

The best time to play this Colts team is early, no question about it. Andrew Luck hasn’t played in a regular season game in 616 days come Sunday. He’s missed 26 games over the last three seasons. There is bound to be some rust. On top of that, the Colts weaknesses are matched up against the Bengals strength. Indy struggles to pass protect, and this Bengals front has a chance to be one of the best in the league. The Bengals have protected Andy in preseason, while the Colts secondary is one of the worst. I think the Bengals get off to a fast start and that will be too much to put on Luck this early. Bengals 27-20. Record: 1-0. 

Week 2: September 13, vs. Baltimore (TNF)

I can’t seem to wrap my head around the Bengals getting to the postseason without winning the first two. While it certainly doesn’t guarantee that they will get there if they win both, it puts them in position early. The Bengals have been blessed with another Thursday night game at home. That makes it 5 straight years. It hasn’t been to their advantage, as they are just 2-2 in those games. Baltimore is going to be fired up after the Bengals kept them from getting to the postseason a year ago. But in this game, I think the short week benefits the Bengals and AJ Green should have a field day against the a Ravens secondary that won’t have Jimmy Smith. Bengals 19-14. Record: 2-0.

Week 3: September 23, @ Carolina

The Bengals will get the long week to prepare for Carolina and the fanbase will be behind them big time at 2-0. This isn’t a good matchup for Cincinnati, though. Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey spear head their running attack, which will give the Bengals defense fits. They never have fared well against mobile signal-callers. Of the two straight on the road, this one is more winnable, but a late drive and field goal gives them the first loss of the year. Panthers 23-20. Record: 2-1.

Week 4: September 30, @ Atlanta

Back to back, on the road, out of conference. That’s brutal for the men in stripes. It makes it worst that traveling to Atlanta will be one of the two toughest games all year. Look for Mohammad Sanu and Calvin Ridley to step up with William Jackson following Julio, while Vic Beasley gets after Dalton on the other side of the ball. This is the biggest deficit of the season for Cincinnati. Falcons 30-14. Record 2-2.

Week 5: October 7, v. Miami

The Bengals finally get their first Sunday home game in week five as the Dolphins come to town. Coming off two losses, a momentum swing is much needed. Without weapons on the outside, Ryan Tannehill will struggle to move the ball, similarly to the 2016 Thursday night game in Cincinnati. It is my feeling that this will be the John Ross coming out party, as he goes deep for two big scores. Bengals 31-16. Record: 3-2.

Week 6: October 14, v. Pittsburgh

The big matchup. If the Bengals want to win the division, a win (or two) over the Steelers is necessary. Vontaze Burfict should be much better in his second week back from suspension, not to mention how ready he’ll be following last seasons hit he took from JuJu Smith-Schuster. As much as the Bengals will need this game, I cannot with confidence think that they can go out and beat Pittsburgh with the youth that they have. Steelers 27-17. Record: 3-3.

Week 7: October 21, @ Kansas City

For the second straight week, the Bengals take on a playoff team from last season . The new look Chiefs will be a much different test than what they’ve had in the past. The west coast style that Andy Reid perfected with Alex Smith is going to go vertical with Pat Mahomes behind center. The Chiefs need to outscore teams to win and I think their home-field advantage is the difference here. Kansas City 28-23. Record: 3-4.

Week 8: October 28, v. Tampa Bay

The crossroads of the season. At 3-4, the Bengals face a must win game before the bye week. Jameis Winston will be back at this point, but the Buccaneers offense looks very one dimensional with their situation at RB. The Bengals defensive line should be able to force Winston to make poor decisions, something he has been prone to do in his career. Cincinnati heads into the bye week with a big win. Bengals 24-14. Record: 4-4 

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: November 11, v. New Orleans

Much like beating the Steelers is a necessity to win the division, beating a team at home that they shouldn’t is also needed to make the playoffs. The bye week at the midway point of the season should help the team get healthy, and they will need everyone to take down the Saints. Andy Dalton has had success against the New Orleans in the past, and I think that happens again. Tyler Boyd and the RBs will be crucial in the passing game, as the Bengals upset the Saints. Bengals 23-21. Record: 5-4.

Week 11: November 18, @ Baltimore

Andy Dalton and AJ Green have won three of the last four matchups in Baltimore, with 18 having big games. I think the Bengals are also better than the Ravens, but not by leaps and bounds. Because of this, I think it will be really hard to sweep them, something that was done in ’14 and ’15. Ravens 17-13. Record: 5-5.

Week 12: November 25, v. Cleveland

Six games left in the season and the Bengals haven’t played the Browns yet! That should bode well despite Cleveland being much improved this year. Tyrod Taylor may or may not still be the starter under center at this point in the season. This very well could be the beginning of the Baker-era, as Cleveland comes in off their bye. Regardless, the Bengals have dominated the Browns (other than the UGLY TNF game), and that won’t change in these teams first matchup. Bengals 34-16. Record 6-5.

Week 13: December 2, v. Denver

Heading into 3 of the last four on the road, the pressure will be on the Bengals to hold strong when Denver comes to town. John Elway’s ever-longing search for a quarterback has landed on Case Keenum, who did “lead” the Vikings to the NFC Championship last season. I believe it was more fluke than talent. The Broncos defense should be great once again, but there is nothing out there that says they should be markedly better offensively. Cincinnati went to Denver last season and beat the Broncos, and they should make it two in a row in a nail-biter. Bengals 21-20. Record: 7-5.

Week 14: December 9, @ Los Angeles Chargers

The beginning of the final stretch begins out west taking on the LA Chargers, a sneaky pick for the Superbowl. Andy Dalton and company have won 3 of the their four matchup against LA, including 3-0 in the regular season, but this is a different club. Philip Rivers has a reliable running game, but more importantly a dominating defense. Two of the best DLs will battle in this game and I just can’t seem to believe that the Bengals will be able to block them. Dalton will be running for his life, as the Chargers take it. Chargers 27-17. Record: 7-6.

Week 15: December 16, v. Oakland

Jon Gruden returns to Ohio for the first time since taking the job back in Oakland, but this game looks much different now than it did a week ago. Oakland has the oldest roster in the NFL, while the Bengals have the youngest. With Khalil Mack in Chicago, Andy Dalton should have more time to carve up the questionable secondary. Bengals 24-19. Record 8-6.

Week 16: December 23, @ Cleveland

Baker Mayfield should no doubt be starting at this point in the season, as this game will mean much more to Cincy than their counterparts up by Lake Erie. But, like so many times before when these teams play, the Bengals front seven dominates. Geno, Los, and Carl Lawson should be all over Big Game Baker. Bengals 27-20. Record 9-6.

Week 17: December 30, @ Pittsburgh

Here it is. Exactly what the NFL wants. Pittsburgh 9-6. Cincinnati 9-6. Meet in Pittsburgh to end the season. Winner take all. We’ve seen this before. 2005, 2006, 2015. Now 2018. One thing they all have in common. Pittsburgh winning. As the youngest team in the league, many of the Bengals haven’t experienced this type of atmosphere, and none of them have won in it. The Killer Bees sting again. Pittsburgh 34-31. Record 9-7.

Will this be good enough to make the playoffs? Check back tomorrow to find out!