NFL playoffs 2018: Conference championship odds, point spreads

Underdogs are either 7-1 or 6-2 against the point spread in the 2018 NFL playoffs, depending on what spread bettors got in the Saints-Vikings game. The Patriots were the only favorite to cover handily. They routed the Titans in the AFC divisional round Saturday as a 14-point favorite.

Even though the weather in Philadelphia is expected to be excellent for the game (partly cloudy, high of 53 degrees, temps in the 40s during the game), the over-under is low at 38. The Falcons and Eagles combined for 25 points in their game, while the Saints and Vikings combined for 53 in Minnesota’s domed stadium.

After taking a hard fourth-quarter sack Sunday, Newton was helped to his feet but dropped to turf before reaching the sideline.

Newton missed only one offensive play after he was evaluated in the medical tent on the Panthers sideline and cleared to play.

SI’s 2017 Sportsperson of the Year: He Isn’t on the Field, but J.J. Watt Is Still Lifting Houston up
Sports become meaningful only when there is a bond between team and town that fortifies both. That bond for Altuve intensified on Sept. 1, the first day the Astros returned home after Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas. The greatest rainfall event in the history of the mainland U.S. dumped up to 60 inches over a four-day period, could end up costing close to $200 billion in damage and displaced more than 30,000 people from their homes, many of which were destroyed. About 10,000 of the displaced wound up downtown at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which was pressed into duty as a shelter. It is just two blocks from Minute Maid Park, the Astros’ home field.

With no game that day, Altuve, along with 15 teammates and staff members, visited the makeshift shelter. He wore a black T-shirt and gray pants. He had already pledged $30,000 to recovery efforts, and arranged for $25,000 worth of shoes from one of his sponsors to reach families in need.

Hurricane Harvey was nature’s cruel roulette wheel. Winning or losing was a matter of luck. Its torrents of rain and winds up to 130 mph spared some homes, such as the Altuves’, and ruined others. Moving among the unluckiest at the shelter and hearing their stories, as well as seeing information tables with signs taped to walls such as missing persons and free legal advice, Altuve felt a sense of purpose he hadn’t before, and this from a 27-year-old man who had fought his whole professional life to prove himself worthy.

I think I have two or three more good years in me, said Bryant, a father of seven who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The way I’ve been performing this year, I think it’s a good sign of that as well.

And as big as the Hollywood sign north of the Los Angeles Coliseum, where Bryant’s latest heroics transpired.

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