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Patriots Quickly Lose Underdog Status in Fluctuating Vegas Line

Championship Sunday gave us two wild overtime games with the winners set to meet in two weeks at Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.

On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Rams opened as slight one point favorites, which would have had Tom Brady and the New England Patriots play the underdog role once again. The line quickly shifted to a pick 'em game. This feels like the most accurate reflection of the game's odds. While the Rams finished with a better regular season schedule, Brady and the Patriots are playing in their third straight Super Bowl and it would be tough to call them true underdogs.

As Monday progressed, bettors started shifting the line in favor of the Patriots, likely to reflect early bets. Many bettors probably saw taking an underdog Patriots team as an easy bet. The line could go even deeper in New England's favor, or perhaps balance out closer to a pick 'em. Realistically, the line won't favor either team by more than 1 or 2 points, making it essentially a pick…

Rams Win 26-23 in Overtime, Advance to Super Bowl 53

The NFC Championship game came down to the wire, needing an overtime period to break the 23-23 tie. Despite the Saints striking first and never giving up the lead in regulation, the Rams won in overtime in a game filled with drama and a comeback sparked by a questionable pass interference non-call on Los Angeles.

23-year-old Jared Goff becomes the youngest quarterback to advance to the Super Bowl, over 40-year-old veteran Drew Brees and the Saints. The Rams advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001 and await the winner of the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots.

The Saints defense dominated the first quarter, holding the Rams without a first down. A fake punt pass yielded Los Angeles their first first down of the day in the second quarter. But in the final three frames, Goff was able to find his receivers to complete long drives and put points on the board. With under 6 minutes left, the Saints defense denied C.J. Anderson at the goal line and the Rams tied the …

NFL Conference Championship Picks

With no road upsets in the divisional round of the playoffs, we have a stacked final four teams remaining to play for the Super Bowl. The #1 and #2 seed from the AFC and NFC will square off Sunday with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

Both games tell a similar tale: an established team with a veteran quarterback taking on a high flying offensive team led by a young signal-caller. Tom Brady has been to the AFC Championship just a few times (this will be his 13th). Patrick Mahommes is capping off his first season as an NFL starter. Drew Brees plays in his 3rd NFC title game, with an even 1-1 record so far. Jared Goff has taken the Rams further in each of his three seasons (two full seasons.)

All four offenses can light up the scoreboard, which should be a treat for fans on Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs led the league in scoring (35.3 PPG) with the Los Angeles Rams right on their tail (32.9 PPG). The New Orleans Saints could've been in the 34-35 PPG game range, but a couple late sea…

Irving, Smart Out as Celtics Face Nets

The Boston Celtics (25-17, 5th in the East) will be short-handed as they take on the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. Looking to bounce back from two road losses in Florida, point guard Kyrie Irving is out with a right quad contusion.
The Celtics expect him to be available for Wednesday's matchup with the Toronto Raptors. Marcus Smart (illness) has played in all 42 games for the Celtics this season, but will also miss the Nets game. This will be Irving's fifth missed game of the year. Boston is 3-1 in games where Irving hasn't played.
Brooklyn is 21-23 and has won four of their last six. A home victory would narrow the gap between the Celtics and Nets to 4.0 games.
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NFL Divisional Round Reactions
NFL Divisional Round Picks
NFL Wildcard Weekend Picks
The West is Wild and the Regular Season Matters Again

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NFL Divisional Round Reactions

The second round of the NFL playoffs told a different tale than Wildcard Weekend. After home teams went 1-3 in the playoffs opening weekend, they won, often in impressive fashion, going 4-0 in the Divisional Round.

Four home teams, four favorites, four high-scoring offenses. The Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, and New Orleans Saints all held 6-2, 7-1, or 8-0 home records in the regular season, and they carried the home-field advantage into the playoffs.

In my personal picks, I went 3-1, incorrectly predicting the LA Rams would slip up and allow the Dallas Cowboys to advance. The most exciting and close game was between the Eagles and Saints, with New Orleans winning by a score and Nick Foles nearly pulling off a game-winning drive.
My Playoff Week 2 Picks#Chiefs over #Colts#Cowboys over #Rams#Patriots over #Chargers#Saints over #Eagles

Last week’s record: 3-1
Playoff record: 6-2 — Sak Sports Blog (@SakSports) January 14, 2019 The Patriots rolled to…

Top Five Potential Super Bowl 53 Possibilities

With eight teams remaining, there's a calculated amount of Super Bowl matchups remaining. Sixteen possibilities exist, and almost every one would be a breathe of fresh air for the NFL.

Except for, of course, a rematch of last year's Super Bowl. Three other rematches of Super Bowl's since 2000 exist, and the New England Patriots are implicated in three of these four matchups. If Tom Brady wins two home games and advances to the Super Bowl, it would be the outcome closest to the norm.

But with four close games expected in the NFL's Divisional Round, any matchup could become reality with some upsets along the way. For my picks in those four games you can read my preview and predictions.

The top five potential Super Bowl 53 possibilities weighs the potential excitement for the big game coupled with the likelihood of the matchup occuring.
5. New England Patriots Vs. Philadelphia Eagles We haven't had a Super Bowl rematch in back-to-back seasons since 1993 and 1994, whe…