Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks

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Time: 10:30 PM ESTVenue: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, CA, 95113

After ending the longest point streak in the NHL this season, the San Jose Sharks will try to maintain one of the best offensive stretches in team history when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

The Sharks (23-13-7) are coming off a 5-2 win Saturday night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, snapping their 16-game point streak. San Jose was without injured defensemen Justin Braun (knee), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (wrist) and Radim Simek (concussion), but still held the league’s highest-scoring team to 20 shots on goal.

San Jose has won four of five overall, and scored at least five goals in four straight games for the second time in franchise history.

The Kings (17-23-3) are coming off a 4-0 win against the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Los Angeles held Edmonton to 16 shots on net, its fewest since allowing 15 shots against the Arizona Coyotes on April 2, 2017.

“Two points and now we move on,” said Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. “We’ve got another game, we go to San Jose, so there’s another division game, another team we’re chasing. Got to get ready for that game now.”

The Sharks and Kings have played twice this season and each won 3-2 in overtime.

San Jose forward Evander Kane scored in the first meeting on Oct. 5, his first game against the Kings since he was traded from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 26. He has been one of the hottest Sharks lately.

Playing on the third line with Tomas Hertl and Joonas Donskoi the past five games, Kane has six points in a four-game point streak, including three goals in the past two games.

“Tommy Hertl and Donskoi have done a good job complementing him,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer told reporters after the win against Tampa Bay. “It’s given us three lines of depth and mismatches. When you can have a guy like that playing against a third pair or a third line, we can create some mismatches and we need those.”

Although the Sharks are short-handed on the back end, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson continue to be among the top defensemen in the league.

Burns had three assists against the Lightning to give him 40 on the season, tops among NHL defensemen. Karlsson has at least one assist in the past 12 games.

The Kings will likely pay close attention to Karlsson anyway. Karlsson did not receive a penalty for a violent center-ice hit on Los Angeles rookie forward Austin Wagner in their last meeting on Dec. 22, but he later received a two-game suspension from the league.

Wagner struggled to get off the ice after Karlsson’s hit early in the second period and he didn’t return for the overtime win. Wagner also missed a 4-3 overtime win at the Vegas Golden Knights the following day.

The two most tenured members of Los Angeles, forward Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, continue to be the only Kings who have reached double figures in goals.

Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, both 30-goal scorers in recent seasons for the Kings, have had subpar offensive seasons, but each scored against Edmonton on Saturday.

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Fueled by in-state tensions, Los Angeles Kings-San Jose Sharks games are some of the most aggressive in the entire Southwest region. Make sure you’re in on the action by snagging your cheap Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks tickets today!

A tale of two California cities

The tension between the two started in the early 1990s, when two key events took place. First, the Los Angeles Kings signed on Wayne Gretzky in 1988, a move that would take hockey in California to the next level. Second, the San Jose Sharks franchise was launched in 1991. Despite being a young team, the Sharks proved their relevance early with a shut out against the Kings, emerging victorious with a 6-0 score. In 2011 the in-state rivals met in the first round of the Stanley Cup Tournament. The two traded wins throughout the series, including a dramatic Game 3 where the Sharks went from trailing 0-4 to clinching the game in overtime. The Sharks emerged victorious in the series, though they were eventually kicked out of the playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks. However, in 2012 the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the Sharks from the playoffs on their way to their first Stanley Cup. The San Jose Sharks managed to reclaim some dignity in the 2015-2016 season, when they defeated the Los Angeles Kings on the way to the conference championship.

So whether you hail from Northern California or swear your allegiance to Southern California, you can make sure you’re at the rink, cheering on your team, by getting your cheap Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks tickets here!

College Football


Clemson vs Alabama : It is Monday morning at San Jose’s SAP Center. The home of the Sharks, at the moment, is the home of the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

“I guess the only comparison is the Rocky movies,” he said. “I know after three it’s a trilogy. But what’s four?”

It’s a good question, though it’s doubtful Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney have spent much time researching it. The on-field questions, however, deserve plenty of attention.

Sure, this is a matchup between two teams that know each other pretty well by now. Alabama came back to beat Clemson for a national championship to cap the 2015 season. Clemson returned the favor in 2016. Last season, the Tide topped the Tigers in the Allstate Sugar Bowl before upending Georgia for another title. And there are plenty of holdovers from those three, from Wilkins to the coaches to the undeniable heavyweight fight comparisons. But a lot has changed, too, and so we’re digging into the details — and hopefully avoiding too many Rocky allusions — to find out who has the advantage in Part IV of college football’s biggest rivalry.


Alabama X factor: Safety Deionte Thompson will have his hands full with all of Clemson’s receivers, but Hunter Renfrow is another animal. Thompson can ask his predecessor, Minkah Fitzpatrick, about that. Fitzpatrick, a first-round pick and perhaps the best defensive back ever to come through Tuscaloosa, was torched by Renfrow in the team’s three previous playoff matchups, where he caught a combined 22 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns, including the winner in 2016. This game — barring an 18th year of eligibility — will be Renfrow’s last chance to hurt the Tide, and it’s up to Thompson to stop him on those pivotal third downs and red zone opportunities where he has been particularly effective.

Clemson’s X factor: Renfrow seems the obvious answer here given his history against Alabama, but that success means he’ll already have the Tide’s attention. So instead, turn your attention to the defense, where Isaiah Simmons blossomed into the Tigers’ leading tackler during the regular season and will be tasked with slowing down Alabama’s slot receivers in the national championship game. Dorian O’Daniel was a key to Clemson’s defense last season at the nickel/strongside linebacker spot, and Simmons has done admirably filling that hole in 2018, but this will be his biggest challenge of the season.


Alabama’s breakout star: He gets overlooked, with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and fellow wide receiver Jerry Jeudy dominating the postseason awards circuit, but Henry Ruggs III could be a real problem for a shaky Clemson secondary. The sophomore from Montgomery, Alabama, can take the top off a defense with his speed. This season, he has averaged 16.4 yards per catch. All told, he has 45 receptions for 738 yards and 11 touchdowns. If the focus shifts too much to the Biletnikoff Award winner, Jeudy, don’t be surprised if Ruggs shows off his wheels and hands against the Tigers.

Clemson’s breakout star: Justyn Ross was already a known commodity even before demolishing Notre Dame’s secondary in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, but this game comes with even bigger stakes and an even bigger spotlight. Then there’s the little matter of Ross being from Alabama and a top Tide target on the recruiting trail. The freshman has been a force in a backup role for Clemson all season, with 847 yards and eight touchdown grabs, but if he has a big game against his home-state team, you can be sure it’ll put his name into headlines well outside of Clemson.

Clemson vs Alabama 2019

No. 1 Alabama with face off with No. 2 Clemson in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight season. Monday’s showdown in Santa Clara will mark the third time the Crimson Tide and Tigers have squared off in the National Championship Game since 2015.

Alabama has a 2-1 edge in the series and a 2-1 edge in NCAA titles in the playoff era, and 2018’s dominant 14-0 campaign has made the Tide a six-point favorite. But Clemson is riding the kind of hot streak that’s caused the air surrounding the Tigers to combust, and if there’s any team who could throw a wrench into Bama’s plans for perfection, it’s Dabo Swinney’s unit.

Back in September, Clemson played a closer-than-expected game against a solid Syracuse game, winning 27-23. The Tigers apparently took this as an insult to their football skill, because they spent the next three months burning their opponents to ashes. In the nine games since, the closest any opponent has gotten to Clemson was in a 20-point loss. The team’s average margin of victory in that span was 37 points.

Alabama, on the other hand, has dealt with more of a struggle — although Nick Saban’s team had to play a top five Georgia team in its conference title game and not the random event generator that is Pittsburgh football. The Tide needed a comeback win to claim the SEC championship, then held off Oklahoma’s comeback in an 11-point win to punch their ticket to (/checks notes. Ugh, really? /signs) …Santa Clara.

That leaves the world in the familiar position of watching Clemson-Alabama for the fourth straight year. And even if that’s a stale matchup, jaded fans can take comfort in the fact these teams turned in a pair of instant classics the last two times they met with a national title on the line.

Clemson vs. Alabama prediction:

The S&P+ prediction machine crunched the numbers and sees Bama as the better team — but not by much. Clemson finished its season on a heater tearing through a disappointing ACC and then crushed an overachieving and undefeated Notre Dame team, pushing the Tigers into Alabama’s stratosphere. The Tigers will also have the confidence of knowing they’ve beaten the Tide on the world’s biggest stage before … but betting against Alabama rarely pays off.

Lawrence was the highest-rated recruit in Clemson history, and he hasn’t needed much time to leave his mark in South Carolina. He’s developed into one of the nation’s top passers in just his first season on campus, compiling a 27:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a true freshman thanks in part to an offensive line that’s only allowed him to be sacked 11 times. That includes a 327-yard, three-touchdown, zero-interception performance in the playoff semifinal against Notre Dame.

He’ll need to be just as good when he goes up against Tagavailoa Monday night. The Alabama quarterback spent most of 2018 as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner before a light slump and Kyler Murray’s torrid finish forced him to runner-up status for college football’s highest honor. The big Hawaiian answered any doubts about the status of his injured ankle by carving up Murray’s Sooners in the semifinal, throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns in an 11-point win.

Between them, Lawrence and Tagavailoa combined for 645 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and zero interceptions in the first round of the College Football Playoff. Each will have to face a much stronger defensive challenge in the national title game, but Monday’s championship could come down to which side can dial up the more powerful aerial attack.

Clemson vs Alabama

Clemson vs Alabama Live Stream,Alabama and Clemson can be watched or listened to online as part of ESPN’s College Football Playoff MegaCast on Monday, Jan. 7.Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Clemson vs Alabama Live

Alabama and Clemson meet again Monday night in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game for the third time in five years. Kickoff is 8 p.m. from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Everyone from average Joes to professional bettors will lock in picks against the spread and on the total. The Crimson Tide are 5.5-point favorites and the over-under for total points scored is 58.5.

But there’s another popular way to make a profit from the game. Prop bets are picks made on individual events and milestones throughout the National Championship. For example, one sportsbook is offering odds on whether the longest touchdown of the game will be longer or shorter than 52.5 yards. You can also wager on whether Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completes more than 21.5 passes. Before you make any College Football Playoff National Championship pro bets, you have to see what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.

A Nevada-based college football expert, Nagel has won multiple handicapping contests in his career and is coming off a season in which he nailed 60 percent of his point-spread selections for SportsLine members. He also has an incredible track record making prop picks. He has a record of 9-2 on props for the past two title games.

Last year, Nagel advised SportsLine members that the top prop bet was the “yes” on whether either team would score at least three consecutive times. This cashed in the first half of Alabama’s 26-23 overtime win, as the Bulldogs scored three consecutive times to go up 13-0 at halftime. For good measure, Alabama answered with three consecutive second-half scores during its rally.

Now, Nagel has again locked in his favorite prop picks for Clemson vs. Alabama and he’s sharing them only over at SportsLine. Here’s one we’ll give away for Monday night’s game: Nagel believes the longest touchdown of the game will go Over 52.5 yards.

He noted that, in their 2017 meeting, the Tigers and Tide combined for four touchdowns of at least 25 yards, and Alabama clipped this number with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to O.J. Howard.

Nagel expects big-play offense will be a theme from two of the top five scoring teams in the country who combine to top 90 points per contest.

He’s also backing multiple props that pay close to 2-1, including one with “major value.” He’s only sharing what it is, and what to back, over at SportsLine.

So what other prop bets can you make with confidence in the 2019 national title game? Visit SportsLine now to see the top five prop bets for Alabama vs. Clemson, all from an award-winning handicapper who has hit 82 percent of his prop-bet picks in the last two national championships.

Alabama vs Clemson

Clemson vs Alabama : It is Monday morning at San Jose’s SAP Center. The home of the Sharks, at the moment, is the home of the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, who are still more than 48 hours away from their College Football Playoff Championship showdown. In rink-side seats, Terry and Donnie Whitcomb sit shoulder to shoulder.

The brothers are dressed in opposing football jerseys as they watch their teams go through the media day motions on the floor below. Terry, dressed in the crimson No. 12 of Joe Namath, says he started school at Alabama in 1964, when Namath led the Tide to a national title. Donnie, dressed in the orange No. 4 of Deshaun Watson — or, wait, he says it’s also for Steve Fuller — was a freshman at Clemson two years later. That fall, on Oct. 8, 1966, the Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa for the first time in 30 years.

“We beat their ass,” Terry brags, correctly using the Upstate South Carolina pronunciation of “ay-ice.” “We always beat you, right, Donnie? Then we stopped playing.”

“For pretty much our whole lives, Clemson and Alabama never played,” Donnie adds, turning to his brother. “Now we play all the time — every January like clockwork, don’t we?”

“Yep,” big bro responds. “And we’re still gonna beat y’all’s ay-ice.”

Monday night (8 ET, ESPN) marks the fourth straight College Football Playoff matchup between Clemson and Alabama and the third in the national title game. The past five seasons, they have been the two best programs in college football, and that is inarguable. The winner of this latest round in their heavyweight bout might very well seize the upper hand in the “best team of college football’s most competitive era” debate. That is, at least until the next time they meet. Which will probably be one year from now.

“We do our work two different ways, but we always seem to end up right back here together in the big games, don’t we?” Todd Bates says. These days, he’s the assistant coach who oversees Clemson’s vaunted defensive line. But back in the day, he was the anchor of the D-line and team co-captain at Alabama. “I don’t care what team you root for, I think everyone knows that when these two teams in these two uniforms take the field together, that’s as good as it gets. That’s the biggest game in college football.”

Clemson versus Bama has indeed become the embodiment of the modern game. Both universities spend more than $110 million annually on athletics (Alabama is closer to $160 million). Both have dramatically increased their annual football recruiting budgets over the past decade. Both do their work in football facilities that are perpetual construction sites (Clemson’s still-new $55 million football building famously includes a giant slide, putt-putt course and whiffle ball field). Their records the past four seasons: Clemson 54-4, Alabama 55-3. The difference comes from Clemson’s two playoff losses to Alabama against Bama’s one playoff loss to Clemson.

In 2019, college football will celebrate its 150th season in no small part by looking back on the sport’s great, old rivalries: contests that have been played for a century or more, built on a foundation of annual clashes held in classically concrete on-campus coliseums. Highlights of the greatest moments in those series will be recalled via grainy newsreel footage and scratchy AM radio play-by-play calls.

Clemson versus Bama has none of that. The résumé of this rivalry has been written almost entirely within the tiny, five-year timeline of the College Football Playoff, with every game played in sparkling, neutral-site, state-of-the-art NFL stadiums and broadcast around the world via Ultra 4K HD Megacasts against a background of chattering social media commentary.

“You can’t work at Alabama or at Clemson and not have a real appreciation for the history of college football. I mean, look at where I go to work every day. It feels like a museum,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban says. “But it really is remarkable that these two teams haven’t played all that much. Really, hardly at all until now.”

Monday night will be only the 19th time the Tigers and the Tide have met on the field. That’s one fewer than Clemson has played Davidson College and two games shy of Alabama’s all-time series with Howard.

The first CFP meeting — Alabama’s thrilling 45-40 victory in the 2016 National Championship — was only the teams’ second contest since 1975. Prior to Alabama’s victory in September of ’75, they played four in a row in 1966-69 (Alabama won them all), four times in the 1930s (Alabama won all those too) and five times between 1900 and 1913. In the all-time series, Clemson won the first three games, in 1900, ’04 and ’05. The Tigers then lost the next 13, a slump that started on Oct. 16, 1909, Howard Taft’s first fall in the White House, and didn’t end until they won the CFP title game rematch on Jan. 9, 2017, a couple weeks before Donald Trump was sworn into the job.

Despite the sparseness of head-to-head competition, these two classically Southern teams have a football history that is intricately intertwined. Of Clemson’s past nine head coaches, five played for Alabama, including the school’s holy orange triumvirate: Frank Howard, Danny Ford and current head coach Dabo Swinney. Alabama’s perpetually bronzed legend, Bear Bryant, was Howard’s roommate when they played together for the Tide in the 1930s. Bryant mentored Ford when the 30-year-old former Bama player found himself Clemson’s head coach in 1978. Ford was thrust into that job when boss Charley Pell left Clemson for Florida. Pell also played for Bryant on the 1961 national title team. Swinney learned the game from Bryant disciple Gene Stallings as a player on Alabama’s 1992 national championship squad. The Alabama athletic director during those years was Hootie Ingram, who worked under Howard at Clemson and succeeded him as head coach for three seasons, trademarking the famous Tiger Paw logo before returning to his alma mater to work with Bryant.

If Alabama fans don’t believe that’s enough to call Clemson a rival, then perhaps this will do the trick: Clemson football was founded in 1896 by professor-turned-coach-turned-university-president Walter Riggs. He molded the new team, mascot, colors and even the layout of the Clemson campus based on his experiences at his alma mater, Auburn, aka Alabama’s archenemy.

“The ties run so deep between the two schools, it’s crazy,” Swinney says, revealing that he met Frank Howard — the man whose name is on the Death Valley rock that Swinney touches before leading his team down The Hill on autumn Saturdays — when he was 10 years old. In his office, he keeps a photo of Howard eating dinner with his family. “My wide receivers coach at Alabama was Woody McCorvey, who was at Clemson with all those great teams in the 1980s and came to Alabama with Coach Stallings. Woody is my right-hand man now [Clemson’s football administrator]. [Associate head coach] Danny Pearman played at Clemson and came to Alabama with Woody. A bunch of guys did that. If we start listing all the assistant coaches who have gone back and forth, we’ll be here all night. I always knew about Clemson, but those guys really taught me about it. They loved it. So I knew there had to be something to it. I just needed to see it for myself.”

The coach smirks a little as he continues. “The truth is, there are a lot of closet Clemson fans in Alabama and always have been. That was easy to pull off when we never played. Now we’re making life a little rough on them. We’re making them have to choose. And that’s fine by me!”

For example, Swinney’s “second father,” Gene Stallings, likes to drop in to visit his apprentice from time to time. When he does, he dons an orange Clemson jacket as he stands on the sideline at practice. Likewise, Danny Ford used to enjoy wearing the 1973 national title ring he earned as an Alabama assistant coach under Bryant alongside the ’81 ring he won as Clemson’s head coach. No one had a problem with those wardrobe choices six years ago. “If I do it now, people are like, ‘Well, what the hell, Danny?!’” says Ford, who still lives near campus. “It all changed when we started playing each other all the time.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t call it a house divided,” says Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn, who played with Swinney at Alabama, as did defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall. He grins as he continues, looking over at Hall, who is eavesdropping nearby. “I would call it many houses divided.”

“That’s the truth,” Hall responds. He was the leading tackler of the Tide’s legendary ’92 defense. This is his first season on his old teammate’s Clemson staff. “I won a ring at Alabama. Now I want to win one at Clemson. I love my alma mater. I always will. But there will be no split loyalties Monday night.”

Maybe not on the sideline or in the Conn, Hall, Bates and Swinney homes. But the homes and hometowns of some of the players might be in for an internal tug-o-war. Three players on Alabama’s roster hail from South Carolina, and six Clemson players grew up in the Yellowhammer State.

“My mom and my dad are Clemson people, and I grew up wearing Clemson colors, but I’m in crimson now,” says Stephon Wynn Jr, who grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, the town everyone drives through to get to games in Death Valley. His father, Stephon Sr., played in that stadium as a tight end for the Tigers. “I know they are rooting for me on Monday night, but some of my other friends and family, I don’t know, man.”

That’s the same song recited by many others, such as James and Jacob Edwards, twin brothers from Birmingham suburb Vestavia Hills. In fact, five of the six Alabama-to-Clemson defectors are from the greater Birmingham area, just like the head coach who recruited them. “Most of our family supports us,” says James Edwards, placing extra emphasis on the word “most.” “We’ve managed to convert most of our family. The friends have been harder to bring along.”

Edwards says he made the switch to orange early in his high school days, when Clemson caught his eye with its on-field performance against, yep, Alabama. The story was the same for Alabama freshman punter Skyler DeLong, who grew up in Fort Mill, South Carolina, which sits just below the North Carolina border. “Growing up where I did, you either liked Clemson or South Carolina, but I didn’t root for either one,” he says. Alabama caught his eye, in no small part because of its success against his least favorite of the two state schools. “Now I hate Clemson. I get sick of hearing about them. I want to beat them so bad, just so I go home and talk smack to my friends I grew up with.”

One of those friends is Clemson placekicker B.T. Potter. DeLong and Potter were middle school soccer teammates. When both were cut from their opposing high school soccer teams, they took up kicking. They had the same kicking coach, so they worked out together. As they worked out and their teams played separate schedules, they talked a lot of smack. When graduation came last spring, they chose opposite sides of college football’s greatest new rivalry. This week, the freshmen have been trading smack once again.

As with all things in this new age of Clemson versus Alabama, it comes with considerably higher intensity.

“I think that in order to truly prove that you are a great team, you have to have someone who will push you there,” Saban says Saturday as the Whitcomb brothers watch and listen. “I think about the greatest teams I can remember, and they almost all had someone who was right there with them. That’s why you play or coach football or any other sport: to face the best.”

Ali had Frazier. The Yankees had the Dodgers. Magic had Bird. The Beatles had the Rolling Stones. Alabama has plenty of SEC rivalries to keep it on its toes. But it’s the Tide’s newest nemesis that takes them to the next level each and every January.

“Iron sharpens iron, right?” Swinney says. “Well, if you want to be mentioned in the same sentence with Alabama, you better be pretty dang sharp. I don’t know about making history and all that stuff, but if we have the kind of game Monday night that we’ve had on this stage before, then I think one day people will have to look back on Clemson versus Alabama as one [of] the great ones. I hope we give them the kind of game that makes people have to say that.”

Chargers vs. Ravens 2019

Ravens vs Chargers ; Perhaps the most intriguing game of Wild Card Weekend is the early Sunday afternoon showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers. The game represents a fascinating contrast in styles, with the Ravens playing a throwback brand of football on both offense and defense, and the Chargers employing a modern scheme on both sides of the ball.

Ravens vs Chargers Live

CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW

Wild Card Weekend rolls along on Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens kick off at 1:05 p.m. ET from M&T Bank Field in Baltimore. This will be the second time these teams have met in three weeks after Lamar Jackson and a dominant defensive performance led the Ravens to a 22-10 victory in the first matchup. However, Philip Rivers has had weeks to go over film and find areas where the Chargers’ offense can make gains. This time around, Baltimore is a three-point favorite with the total at 41.5 in the latest Ravens vs. Chargers odds. Both teams have nearly identical against the spread records and point differentials this season, so before you lock in any Ravens vs. Chargers picks and NFL predictions, make sure to see what SportsLine’s resident Vegas legend, Micah Roberts, has to say.

Roberts has worked in the Las Vegas sportsbook industry for 20 years, including a 13-year run as Station Casinos’ book director. Armed with an unmatched network of sources, Roberts is on a 47-36 run on NFL picks and has been especially adept at picking games involving the Chargers and Ravens, going 14-6 on all games involving L.A. and hitting on four of five matchups involving Baltimore. That’s 18-7 overall in NFL picks against the spread, and anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Roberts is dialed in on Ravens vs. Chargers (stream live on fuboTV). He’s locked in a strong spread pick you can only see at SportsLine.

Roberts knows that since Lamar Jackson took over for the Ravens on Nov. 18, the game plan has been simple: Use Jackson’s athleticism to enhance the run game, control the tempo, and play lights-out defense as they have all season. The formula has worked, as Baltimore finished with wins in six of its last seven while rushing for nearly 230 yards per game and allowing just 18.1 points on average.

As a passer, Jackson has been asked to throw the ball just 23 times per game since taking over as the starter. However, he also bears the burden of being a primary ball carrier, running an average of 17 times per outing. Baltimore covered with ease against the Chargers already, winning by 12 on the road as a four-point underdog. All told, the Ravens have covered four of their last six.

But just because red-hot Baltimore won by two scores just a few weeks ago doesn’t mean it will cover the Ravens vs. Chargers spread this time around.

For the Chargers, Rivers has been vintage this season, tying a career-high 105.5 passer rating in the regular season while also posting a 68.3 percent completion rate. That’s the second-best mark of his career behind a 69.5 percent season in 2013. And he’s been able to put up those numbers because the Chargers have surrounded him with a solid group of playmakers.

Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen were both playing through injuries during their first matchup against the Ravens and both players should be much healthier this time around. That should give Rivers more weapons offensively with Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates all also making contributions. Considering that Baker Mayfield and the Browns just put up 376 yards through the air by spreading the wealth (five different Cleveland receivers had at least three catches for 45 yards), getting productivity from all those options in the passing game could wind up being the key to Los Angeles covering in this rematch.

We can tell you Roberts is leaning toward the over, but he has uncovered a major x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing what it is and who to back at SportsLine.

So who wins Chargers vs. Ravens? And what major x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Ravens vs. Chargers spread to jump on, all from the former Vegas oddsmaker who is a profit-making 18-7 run on games involving the Chargers and Ravens.

Chargers 2019

Ravens vs Chargers ; Perhaps the most intriguing game of Wild Card Weekend is the early Sunday afternoon showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers. The game represents a fascinating contrast in styles, with the Ravens playing a throwback brand of football on both offense and defense, and the Chargers employing a modern scheme on both sides of the ball.

Ravens vs Chargers Live

CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW

Ravens vs Chargers Live

That’s not all there is to contrast these two squads, either. Baltimore has a rookie quarterback in Lamar Jackson, as well as several inexperienced contributions in the running game (Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon) and portions of the passing game (pretty much all of their tight ends). The Chargers are led on offense by 13-year starter Philip Rivers, fourth-year starting running back Melvin Gordon, and sixth-year wideout Keenan Allen.

The teams’ defenses are similar strong and balanced against both the run and pass, but where the Ravens use a hybrid 2-4-5 defense for many of their snaps and send rushers from almost everywhere, the Chargers are in a more standard 4-2-5 alignment most of the time and play things straight up more often than not, even while they are built to stop modern pass offenses.

Which of these two styles prevails will go a long way toward determining who advances in the AFC postseason, and could set the stage for the rest of the playoff run. Let’s break it down.

Watch Saturday’s night game and Sunday’s games on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream all the CBS games on CBS All Access.

You’ve probably already heard this elsewhere, but it bears noting once again that since Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback the Ravens have been running a style of offense not seen anywhere in professional football since the mid-1970s. According to Sharp Football Stats, Baltimore has called for a run on an astronomical 64 percent of its plays since Week 11. The league average during that time was just 42 percent. In a league where passes are far more successful than runs, this style of play is basically unheard of.

Of course, the Ravens are not like any other team in football: they are quarterbacked by Jackson, who just may be the most dynamic running threat in the league right now. With Jackson under center, Baltimore’s success rate on running plays was 55 percent, up four percent from their 51 percent success rate with deposed former starter Joe Flacco at the helm. Though their rate of pass plays has plummeted from 64 percent with Flacco to just 36 percent with Jackson, their pass success has not dropped off nearly as much as one might think, and that’s why the boost in their run game has proven so meaningful.

The biggest difference in the Ravens’ run game, apart from the sheer volume of runs they now call, is their rate of explosive plays.

Excluding runs by Jackson himself, Baltimore had just five rushes of 15 yards or more while Flacco was the starter. That’s five out of 178 non-Jackson carries, a rate of only 2.80 percent. Since Jackson took over, three different players have more than five rushes of 15 yards or more. (Jackson has eight, Gus Edwards nine, and Kenneth Dixon six.) The Ravens as a team have 24 such runs, on 316 carries. That’s a rate of 7.59 percent, a massive leap from where they were with Flacco under center.

If you take out Jackson’s rush attempts, the rate is even higher, as 16 of 197 carries by Baltimore running backs since Week 11 have gained 15 yards or more. That’s a rate of 8.12 percent, nearly three times as high as their 2.80 percent rate prior to Jackson’s ascension to the starting lineup. It will be fascinating to see whether the Ravens can create explosive runs against this Chargers defense, which allowed only 20 carries of 15 yards or more all season. (Again, the Ravens had 24 such carries just from Week 11 on.) Their rate of 5.06 percent of carries gaining 15 yards or more was 13th-best in the NFL.

Those long-gaining runs have been fueled by two things: excellent blocking and the ability to make defenders miss and create yards after contact. The Ravens ranked ninth in the NFL this season in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards, which assigns credit to the offensive line in the run game based on a percentage of yards gained. Perhaps more indicative of the offensive line’s success is the team’s stuff rate, which measures the percentage of their rush attempts that were stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. Baltimore excelled here, getting stuffed on just 14.6 percent of rush attempts, the third-lowest rate in the league.

Since Jackson took over, the rate was even lower. Excluding Jackson’s 14 kneel-downs, the Ravens had only 24 runs that were stopped either at or behind the line of scrimmage. Out of 302 non-kneel running plays, that’s a truly remarkable rate of only 7.9 percent. The Chargers’ defense ranked only 18th in stuff rate during the regular season, and it seems likely they will not be the first defense to truly muck up the Ravens’ dynamic rush offense come Sunday.

Listen to Pete Prisco, Will Brinson, Nick Kostos and R.J. White pick all the Wild Card Weekend games on the Pick Six Podcast:

Additionally fascinating in this game will be whether the Ravens’ ball-carriers can create yards after contact, an area where they excel. Gus Edwards had 324 rushing yards after first contact from Week 11 through 17, the seventh-most in the NFL, per Sports Info Solutions. Jackson, meanwhile, ranked fourth in broken-tackle rate out of 36 players with 50 carries or more during that time, breaking at least one tackle on 21 percent of his carries. The Chargers, though, allowed only 1.87 yards after contact per attempt during that same time period, which just so happened to coincide with Joey Bosa’sreturn to the lineup. That figure was the single stingiest in the league.

Baltimore’s zone-heavy running scheme forms the basis of its offense, but they might want to incorporate more power runs in this particular matchup. The Chargers allowed 3.97 yards per carry on zone running plays this year, per Sports Info Solutions, a figure that ranked 11th in the NFL. They allowed 5.71 yards per carry on power plays, though, a figure that ranked just 26th in the league. (They were even less effective against power runs after Bosa came back, allowing 3.72 yards per carry on zone runs and 6.67 per carry on power runs.) Edwards is Baltimore’s best option on power plays, having carried 20 times for 118 yards and a score on those plays. That’s a healthy 5.9 yards per carry, even better than the figure the Chargers allowed.

And all of this is just about the Ravens’ designed run offense. Jackson is also a threat to take off with the ball when his protection breaks down or the coverage doesn’t allow anybody to get open in the passing game. He had 17 scrambles for 120 yards down the stretch of the season, an average of 7.1 yards per scramble. The Chargers did a pretty good job of limiting scrambles throughout the year, including against Jackson in Week 16, but there’s no guarantee they can keep him contained again.

Were it not for the existence of the Chicago Bears, the Ravens would likely be seen as having the best defense in the NFL. Baltimore finished the season having allowed the fewest yards in the league and the second-fewest points (just four more points than the Bears), while ranking third in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. Along with the Bears, they were one of only two NFL teams that ranked inside the top six in both run and pass defense DVOA. By some measurements, this unit was even comparable to the 2000 Ravens defense, which is one of the best in NFL history.

With Melvin Gordon returning from his injury-related absence to carry 22 times for just 83 yards in the Chargers’ final two games of the season and with the Chargers unlikely to rely on Austin Ekeler or Justin Jackson as the basis of their game-plan against this Baltimore defense, it will instead likely be the responsibility of Philip Rivers and the perimeter weapons on hand to figure out how to move the ball against the Ravens. Baltimore has very few weaknesses in the air: the Ravens ranked third overall in pass defense DVOA, eighth against No. 1 receivers, second against No. 2s, eighth against the slot, and first against running backs. They ranked second against short passes and a respectable 16th against the deep ball, as well as second on passes to the left, fourth on passes over the middle, and 10th in passes to the right.

The one soft spot they had was against tight ends, where they ranked 22nd in DVOA. The possible return of Hunter Henry this weekend could be key there, as he provides a far more explosive option at tight end than Antonio Gates or Virgil Green. Henry was set to finally take over the full-time role as the Chargers’ No. 1 tight end this season, but was sidelined by a torn ACL suffered during OTAs. He’s been on the physically unable to perform list all season, but could be activated for Sunday.

Whether Henry’s in the lineup or not, the Chargers can’t count on him alone to carry the aerial attack. They’re going to need Keenan Allen, the Williamses (Tyrell and Mike), Travis Benjamin, as well as Gordon, Ekeler, and Jackson to chip in. Allen is obviously Rivers’ No. 1 target, and was the intended receiver on 26.8 percent of Rivers’ throws this year. Allen’s 136 targets were more than the next two closest players on the team combined (Gordon and Mike Williams, who had 66 apiece).

Allen primarily lines up in the slot these days, aligning there on 55 percent of his routes, per Pro Football Focus. That’ll match him up most often with Brandon Carr, who moves around but is most comfortable in the slot among the Ravens’ three primary corners. Carr ended up playing 135 snaps in the slot this year, allowing 13 catches for 180 yards on the inside. (Allen had a 47-528-2 line when in the slot.) Overall this season, he allowed the fourth-lowest passer rating among 76 corners who were on the field for 350 snaps or more. Marlon Humphrey ranked 14th on that same list, while Jimmy Smithranked 40th. Combined, the trio allowed just six touchdowns while picking off six passes. Humphrey (left) and Smith (right) tend to stick to their sides more often than not, which means they’ll each see a fair amount of Mike and Tyrell Williams, plus Benjamin and Allen on occasion.

The Williamses are Rivers’ primary targets when he wants to throw downfield. He threw 54 passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air this season, per PFF, and 28 of those 54 went to one of the Williamses, as did 13 of his 23 completions and five of his seven touchdowns on those throws. The Ravens have Eric Weddle patrolling the back end of the defense, and he was absolutely fantastic this season. On throws 20 or more yards downfield, the Ravens allowed just 26 completions on 71 attempts, for 834 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. That’s a passer rating of just 86.2, which would rank 21st among the 33 quarterbacks who threw at least 25 deep passes this season.

And the Ravens aren’t just tough to throw on because of their cover guys; they’re also one of the best pressure teams in the league. Baltimore created pressure on 38.5 percent of its opponents’ pass attempts this season, per PFF, a considerably above-average rate. They also blitzed far more often than the average team, sending extra pressure on 42.5 percent of opponent pass attempts, way above the 27.7 percent league average. When sending an extra rusher, the Ravens’ pressure rate spiked to 41 percent, which was considerably higher than Rivers’ average pressure rate of 35.3 percent.

Rivers, like pretty much all quarterbacks, is considerably more effective when throwing from a clean pocket than he is when under pressure. His passer rating dropped from 115.1 to 83.3 when defenders were in his face, while he threw 24 touchdowns and six picks from a clean pocket and just eight touchdowns and six picks when pressured. The best way for him to neutralize the Ravens’ rush is simply to get the ball out quickly, and lucky for the Chargers, that’s where he excels.

Ravens vs Chargers

Ravens vs Chargers ; Perhaps the most intriguing game of Wild Card Weekend is the early Sunday afternoon showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers. The game represents a fascinating contrast in styles, with the Ravens playing a throwback brand of football on both offense and defense, and the Chargers employing a modern scheme on both sides of the ball.

Ravens vs Chargers Live

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Ravens vs Chargers Live

That’s not all there is to contrast these two squads, either. Baltimore has a rookie quarterback in Lamar Jackson, as well as several inexperienced contributions in the running game (Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon) and portions of the passing game (pretty much all of their tight ends). The Chargers are led on offense by 13-year starter Philip Rivers, fourth-year starting running back Melvin Gordon, and sixth-year wideout Keenan Allen.

The teams’ defenses are similar strong and balanced against both the run and pass, but where the Ravens use a hybrid 2-4-5 defense for many of their snaps and send rushers from almost everywhere, the Chargers are in a more standard 4-2-5 alignment most of the time and play things straight up more often than not, even while they are built to stop modern pass offenses.

Which of these two styles prevails will go a long way toward determining who advances in the AFC postseason, and could set the stage for the rest of the playoff run. Let’s break it down.

Watch Saturday’s night game and Sunday’s games on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream all the CBS games on CBS All Access.

You’ve probably already heard this elsewhere, but it bears noting once again that since Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback the Ravens have been running a style of offense not seen anywhere in professional football since the mid-1970s. According to Sharp Football Stats, Baltimore has called for a run on an astronomical 64 percent of its plays since Week 11. The league average during that time was just 42 percent. In a league where passes are far more successful than runs, this style of play is basically unheard of.

Of course, the Ravens are not like any other team in football: they are quarterbacked by Jackson, who just may be the most dynamic running threat in the league right now. With Jackson under center, Baltimore’s success rate on running plays was 55 percent, up four percent from their 51 percent success rate with deposed former starter Joe Flacco at the helm. Though their rate of pass plays has plummeted from 64 percent with Flacco to just 36 percent with Jackson, their pass success has not dropped off nearly as much as one might think, and that’s why the boost in their run game has proven so meaningful.

The biggest difference in the Ravens’ run game, apart from the sheer volume of runs they now call, is their rate of explosive plays.

Excluding runs by Jackson himself, Baltimore had just five rushes of 15 yards or more while Flacco was the starter. That’s five out of 178 non-Jackson carries, a rate of only 2.80 percent. Since Jackson took over, three different players have more than five rushes of 15 yards or more. (Jackson has eight, Gus Edwards nine, and Kenneth Dixon six.) The Ravens as a team have 24 such runs, on 316 carries. That’s a rate of 7.59 percent, a massive leap from where they were with Flacco under center.

If you take out Jackson’s rush attempts, the rate is even higher, as 16 of 197 carries by Baltimore running backs since Week 11 have gained 15 yards or more. That’s a rate of 8.12 percent, nearly three times as high as their 2.80 percent rate prior to Jackson’s ascension to the starting lineup. It will be fascinating to see whether the Ravens can create explosive runs against this Chargers defense, which allowed only 20 carries of 15 yards or more all season. (Again, the Ravens had 24 such carries just from Week 11 on.) Their rate of 5.06 percent of carries gaining 15 yards or more was 13th-best in the NFL.

Those long-gaining runs have been fueled by two things: excellent blocking and the ability to make defenders miss and create yards after contact. The Ravens ranked ninth in the NFL this season in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards, which assigns credit to the offensive line in the run game based on a percentage of yards gained. Perhaps more indicative of the offensive line’s success is the team’s stuff rate, which measures the percentage of their rush attempts that were stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. Baltimore excelled here, getting stuffed on just 14.6 percent of rush attempts, the third-lowest rate in the league.

Since Jackson took over, the rate was even lower. Excluding Jackson’s 14 kneel-downs, the Ravens had only 24 runs that were stopped either at or behind the line of scrimmage. Out of 302 non-kneel running plays, that’s a truly remarkable rate of only 7.9 percent. The Chargers’ defense ranked only 18th in stuff rate during the regular season, and it seems likely they will not be the first defense to truly muck up the Ravens’ dynamic rush offense come Sunday.

Listen to Pete Prisco, Will Brinson, Nick Kostos and R.J. White pick all the Wild Card Weekend games on the Pick Six Podcast:

Additionally fascinating in this game will be whether the Ravens’ ball-carriers can create yards after contact, an area where they excel. Gus Edwards had 324 rushing yards after first contact from Week 11 through 17, the seventh-most in the NFL, per Sports Info Solutions. Jackson, meanwhile, ranked fourth in broken-tackle rate out of 36 players with 50 carries or more during that time, breaking at least one tackle on 21 percent of his carries. The Chargers, though, allowed only 1.87 yards after contact per attempt during that same time period, which just so happened to coincide with Joey Bosa’sreturn to the lineup. That figure was the single stingiest in the league.

Baltimore’s zone-heavy running scheme forms the basis of its offense, but they might want to incorporate more power runs in this particular matchup. The Chargers allowed 3.97 yards per carry on zone running plays this year, per Sports Info Solutions, a figure that ranked 11th in the NFL. They allowed 5.71 yards per carry on power plays, though, a figure that ranked just 26th in the league. (They were even less effective against power runs after Bosa came back, allowing 3.72 yards per carry on zone runs and 6.67 per carry on power runs.) Edwards is Baltimore’s best option on power plays, having carried 20 times for 118 yards and a score on those plays. That’s a healthy 5.9 yards per carry, even better than the figure the Chargers allowed.

And all of this is just about the Ravens’ designed run offense. Jackson is also a threat to take off with the ball when his protection breaks down or the coverage doesn’t allow anybody to get open in the passing game. He had 17 scrambles for 120 yards down the stretch of the season, an average of 7.1 yards per scramble. The Chargers did a pretty good job of limiting scrambles throughout the year, including against Jackson in Week 16, but there’s no guarantee they can keep him contained again.

Were it not for the existence of the Chicago Bears, the Ravens would likely be seen as having the best defense in the NFL. Baltimore finished the season having allowed the fewest yards in the league and the second-fewest points (just four more points than the Bears), while ranking third in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. Along with the Bears, they were one of only two NFL teams that ranked inside the top six in both run and pass defense DVOA. By some measurements, this unit was even comparable to the 2000 Ravens defense, which is one of the best in NFL history.

With Melvin Gordon returning from his injury-related absence to carry 22 times for just 83 yards in the Chargers’ final two games of the season and with the Chargers unlikely to rely on Austin Ekeler or Justin Jackson as the basis of their game-plan against this Baltimore defense, it will instead likely be the responsibility of Philip Rivers and the perimeter weapons on hand to figure out how to move the ball against the Ravens. Baltimore has very few weaknesses in the air: the Ravens ranked third overall in pass defense DVOA, eighth against No. 1 receivers, second against No. 2s, eighth against the slot, and first against running backs. They ranked second against short passes and a respectable 16th against the deep ball, as well as second on passes to the left, fourth on passes over the middle, and 10th in passes to the right.

The one soft spot they had was against tight ends, where they ranked 22nd in DVOA. The possible return of Hunter Henry this weekend could be key there, as he provides a far more explosive option at tight end than Antonio Gates or Virgil Green. Henry was set to finally take over the full-time role as the Chargers’ No. 1 tight end this season, but was sidelined by a torn ACL suffered during OTAs. He’s been on the physically unable to perform list all season, but could be activated for Sunday.

Whether Henry’s in the lineup or not, the Chargers can’t count on him alone to carry the aerial attack. They’re going to need Keenan Allen, the Williamses (Tyrell and Mike), Travis Benjamin, as well as Gordon, Ekeler, and Jackson to chip in. Allen is obviously Rivers’ No. 1 target, and was the intended receiver on 26.8 percent of Rivers’ throws this year. Allen’s 136 targets were more than the next two closest players on the team combined (Gordon and Mike Williams, who had 66 apiece).

Allen primarily lines up in the slot these days, aligning there on 55 percent of his routes, per Pro Football Focus. That’ll match him up most often with Brandon Carr, who moves around but is most comfortable in the slot among the Ravens’ three primary corners. Carr ended up playing 135 snaps in the slot this year, allowing 13 catches for 180 yards on the inside. (Allen had a 47-528-2 line when in the slot.) Overall this season, he allowed the fourth-lowest passer rating among 76 corners who were on the field for 350 snaps or more. Marlon Humphrey ranked 14th on that same list, while Jimmy Smithranked 40th. Combined, the trio allowed just six touchdowns while picking off six passes. Humphrey (left) and Smith (right) tend to stick to their sides more often than not, which means they’ll each see a fair amount of Mike and Tyrell Williams, plus Benjamin and Allen on occasion.

The Williamses are Rivers’ primary targets when he wants to throw downfield. He threw 54 passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air this season, per PFF, and 28 of those 54 went to one of the Williamses, as did 13 of his 23 completions and five of his seven touchdowns on those throws. The Ravens have Eric Weddle patrolling the back end of the defense, and he was absolutely fantastic this season. On throws 20 or more yards downfield, the Ravens allowed just 26 completions on 71 attempts, for 834 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. That’s a passer rating of just 86.2, which would rank 21st among the 33 quarterbacks who threw at least 25 deep passes this season.

And the Ravens aren’t just tough to throw on because of their cover guys; they’re also one of the best pressure teams in the league. Baltimore created pressure on 38.5 percent of its opponents’ pass attempts this season, per PFF, a considerably above-average rate. They also blitzed far more often than the average team, sending extra pressure on 42.5 percent of opponent pass attempts, way above the 27.7 percent league average. When sending an extra rusher, the Ravens’ pressure rate spiked to 41 percent, which was considerably higher than Rivers’ average pressure rate of 35.3 percent.

Rivers, like pretty much all quarterbacks, is considerably more effective when throwing from a clean pocket than he is when under pressure. His passer rating dropped from 115.1 to 83.3 when defenders were in his face, while he threw 24 touchdowns and six picks from a clean pocket and just eight touchdowns and six picks when pressured. The best way for him to neutralize the Ravens’ rush is simply to get the ball out quickly, and lucky for the Chargers, that’s where he excels.

Eagles vs Bears Hd

Eagles vs Bears : The Chicago Bears (12-4) and Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) will meet in the final game of the opening round of the 2019 NFL Playoffs. It’s the defending Super Bowl champion against arguably the hottest team in the NFL

Ravens vs Chargers Live

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right now, as the Bears have won nine of their last 10 games. Kickoff from Soldier Field is set for Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET. The Bears, who are appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, are listed as a 6.5-point favorite in the latest Eagles vs. Bears odds, making them by far the biggest favorite of Wild Card Weekend. The total sits at 41.5, meaning oddsmakers are expecting a defensive clash and that can make things tough from a handicapping perspective. Before making any Eagles vs. Bears picks and NFC wild-card predictions, be sure to check out the picks and predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The advanced computer model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018, entering the wild-card round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now the model has dialed in on Eagles vs. Bears (stream live on fuboTV). We can tell you it’s leaning over, but it has also generated a strong point-spread pick that’s hitting nearly 60 percent of the time. You can only see that over at SportsLine.

The model knows that if the Eagles are banking on a return trip to the Super Bowl, they’re going to need to ride the strong arm — and sore ribs — of backup quarterback Nick Foles for a second straight postseason. Since Carson Wentz’s back injury put the kibosh on his 2018 campaign, Foles led Philly to victory at the Rams and home against the Texans before a thoroughly dominating Week 17 performance against the Redskins to push the Eagles into the playoffs. He’s completing 72 percent of his passes in relief.

But just because Foles has shined the past month doesn’t mean Philly will stay within the Bears vs. Eagles spread Sunday.The Bears have a gigantic home-field advantage in this one, having covered in 16 of their last 21 games at Soldier Field. And you can expect a raucous crowd in Chicago Sunday afternoon as the No. 1 defense in the NFL by a number of metrics looks to clear a major hurdle with the defending Super Bowl champions in town.

Chicago has the No. 1 scoring defense, the No. 1 rushing defense, and the Bears also force the most takeaways in the NFL. That starts with the ability to generate pressure with their front four, and while everybody knows about Khalil Mack’s 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, Akiem Hicks is an equally important part of their success. From an interior position, Hicks finished the regular season with 7.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 51 pressures while also being an integral part of Chicago’s aforementioned run defense.

The Bears only send an extra rusher on 21 percent of defensive snaps because of their ability to generate pressure on 36.9 percent of drop backs when rushing four, which is well above the league average. Given that Nick Foles boasts the best completion percentage (81.1) and passer rating (132.2) in the NFL against the blitz, rushing only four could wind up being the key for Chicago covering the spread.

Bears vs Eagles Live

Eagles vs Bears : The Chicago Bears (12-4) and Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) will meet in the final game of the opening round of the 2019 NFL Playoffs. It’s the defending Super Bowl champion against arguably the hottest team in the NFL

Ravens vs Chargers Live

CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW

Click Here To Watch Now Live

right now, as the Bears have won nine of their last 10 games. Kickoff from Soldier Field is set for Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET. The Bears, who are appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, are listed as a 6.5-point favorite in the latest Eagles vs. Bears odds, making them by far the biggest favorite of Wild Card Weekend. The total sits at 41.5, meaning oddsmakers are expecting a defensive clash and that can make things tough from a handicapping perspective. Before making any Eagles vs. Bears picks and NFC wild-card predictions, be sure to check out the picks and predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The advanced computer model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018, entering the wild-card round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now the model has dialed in on Eagles vs. Bears (stream live on fuboTV). We can tell you it’s leaning over, but it has also generated a strong point-spread pick that’s hitting nearly 60 percent of the time. You can only see that over at SportsLine.

The model knows that if the Eagles are banking on a return trip to the Super Bowl, they’re going to need to ride the strong arm — and sore ribs — of backup quarterback Nick Foles for a second straight postseason. Since Carson Wentz’s back injury put the kibosh on his 2018 campaign, Foles led Philly to victory at the Rams and home against the Texans before a thoroughly dominating Week 17 performance against the Redskins to push the Eagles into the playoffs. He’s completing 72 percent of his passes in relief.

But just because Foles has shined the past month doesn’t mean Philly will stay within the Bears vs. Eagles spread Sunday.The Bears have a gigantic home-field advantage in this one, having covered in 16 of their last 21 games at Soldier Field. And you can expect a raucous crowd in Chicago Sunday afternoon as the No. 1 defense in the NFL by a number of metrics looks to clear a major hurdle with the defending Super Bowl champions in town.

Chicago has the No. 1 scoring defense, the No. 1 rushing defense, and the Bears also force the most takeaways in the NFL. That starts with the ability to generate pressure with their front four, and while everybody knows about Khalil Mack’s 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, Akiem Hicks is an equally important part of their success. From an interior position, Hicks finished the regular season with 7.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 51 pressures while also being an integral part of Chicago’s aforementioned run defense.

The Bears only send an extra rusher on 21 percent of defensive snaps because of their ability to generate pressure on 36.9 percent of drop backs when rushing four, which is well above the league average. Given that Nick Foles boasts the best completion percentage (81.1) and passer rating (132.2) in the NFL against the blitz, rushing only four could wind up being the key for Chicago covering the spread.