Death, taxes and the New England Patriots making it to the AFC Championship Game.
After the AFC and NFC divisional round games on Saturday and Sunday, only four teams remain in the NFL playoffs – and they’re exactly the teams you’d expect.
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds from each conference reigned supreme over the weekend, setting up two matchups for the ages this upcoming weekend: the Patriots, last season’s runner-up, will travel to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, while the New Orleans Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams.
According to Vegas Insider, Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta will feature the top seeds from each conference. The Rams, once the league’s last-remaining undefeated team, are suddenly at the bottom of the pack looking up, and the Patriots are relishing their new role of “underdog.”
On Sunday, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn will head to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, to coach his second-ever NFL playoff game.
Bill Belichick will be showing up for his 40th.
That discrepancy, according to Elias, is the biggest in league history, and it wouldn’t be outlandish to think Lynn may be intimidated by the experience of his Patriots counterpart.
“He’s not going to be intimidated by Bill Belichick, and a lot of coaches are,” Ryan said. “But Anthony is not intimidated by the devil.”
Each game during this weekend’s divisional round is bound to be exciting, but some matchups are expected to be closer than others.
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds from each NFL conference will return this weekend to host the winners of Saturday and Sunday’s wild card games. In the AFC, the No. 6 seed Indianapolis Colts will visit the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs, while the No. 5 seed Los Angeles Chargers will visit New England to face the Patriots.
Last season’s Super Bowl champion Eagles hold the No. 6 seed in the NFC and will play the Saints in New Orleans as the No. 4 seed Dallas Cowboys visit the No. 2 seed Los Angeles Rams.
With several offensive powerhouses returning from bye weeks, fans can expect a captivating two days of games. According to FiveThirtyEight, however, if you want to watch a close game, you should tune into Patriots vs. Chargers. New England is still largely favored to win, but Los Angeles appears to be the underdog with the best shot at an upset.
And then there were eight.
A chaotic spate of wild card games has whittled the NFL postseason field down to four exciting matchups for this weekend’s divisional round.
The Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots will return from their bye weeks to take on lower-seeded opponents who reigned supreme during wild card weekend.
Contrary to the last set of Super Bowl odds, the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles are no longer this postseason’s largest underdog – and even the top of the list saw a bit of a shake-up.
Take a bow, Mookie Betts – and then another, and another.
As if his World Series ring and American League Most Valuable Player trophy weren’t enough, a ranking by FiveThirtyEight has named the Boston Red Sox right fielder the best athlete of 2018 across the NBA, MLB and NFL.
Betts’ success is largely summed up by the 10.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR)that he posted, just outdueling Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout. The young superstar became only the fifth player since 2000 to crack 10 WAR in one season.
Also among the top players of the year were National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Houston Rockets guard James Harden – twice.
The Golden State Warriors may have secured dynasty status with their third NBA title in four years, but that didn’t make them the best team of 2018.
Other championship teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Villanova Wildcats and Alabama Crimson Tide, were in the conversation but fell short of that honor, as well.
Based on a ranking by FiveThirtyEight, the best team across (almost) all sports in 2018 was none other than the 108-win, World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Somewhat surprisingly, 2018’s No. 2 team also hailed from the MLB – the Houston Astros, who fell to the Red Sox in this year’s ALCS, came in just behind the champs.
Well, it took until the last game of the season, but the NFL playoff picture is finally set.
Several familiar faces, including last year’s Super Bowl champion and runner-up in the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, have once again reached the postseason. However, there are also some surprise teams making playoff appearances, hoping to knock off the powerhouse rosters they’ve been staring up at all season long.
According to Vegas Insider, it’s crowded at the top of the playoff picture. The Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs may be the most heavily favored, but the Chicago Bears and ever-present Patriots aren’t too far behind.
The beautiful thing about sports is that “there’s always next year.” And for some, 2019 will be that year.
A fresh calendar means fresh opportunities, a clean slate and history that has yet to be made. Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait long – 2019 in sports starts almost immediately with the College Football Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson on January 7. (We’ll spoil that one for you right off the bat: Alabama is favored to win.)
According to betting odds from Vegas Insider and projections by FiveThirtyEight, 2019 is going to look a heck of a lot like 2018 did, with several repeat champions across the major American sports.
It’s not an exact science, of course, and some of these predictions will surely be wrong, but it’s still fun to think about.
The past year was largely a joyous one in sports, with the world coming together for both the Winter Olympics in February and the FIFA World Cup over the summer.
However, the sporting world also faced multiple tragedies and endured the deaths of several iconic figures, as well as young athletes lost in their prime.
From World Series champions to iconic coaches and record setters, click through below to remember the athletes and personalities who passed away in 2018.
In 2018, the Houston Astros fell short of repeating as World Series champions. According to Las Vegas, the Boston Red Sox won’t have that problem.
Of course, anything can happen between now and the 2019 Fall Classic. We’re still in the midst of what figures to be a busy offseason, with free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still on the market. The Red Sox spent big bucks to secure pitcher Nathan Eovaldi for the next four years, but likely won’t be keeping star closer Craig Kimbrel around.
With so much movement still anticipated around the league, it’s silly to try to predict the future — but we miss baseball, so why not? Check out every team’s odds of winning the 2019 World series below, courtesy of Vegas Insider.