As the NFL celebrates its 100 anniversary, the league welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. The Chiefs, 1.5-point favorites in Super Bowl 54, won Super Bowl 4 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings as 12-point underdogs. Their opponents, the San Francisco 49ers have won five of six Super Bowl appearances but none since a 1995 victory in Super Bowl 29.
College Football Conference Previews: Big Ten
Odds To Win The Big Ten
Ohio State 1–2
Michigan State 13–4
Penn State 15–1
Most Likely Team To Win: Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes’ enter the 2015 season with a problem all other NCAA programs would be envious of, three high-quality starting quarterbacks. While one is likely to transfer before the season starts (most likely the senior Braxton Miller), the remaining two will be in fierce competition to start. Whoever wins the starting job will be a favourite to win the Heisman, along with Buckeyes running back Ezekial Elliot. The Buckeyes’ roster features another talented player primed to make a serious run at a prestigious award. Defensive end Joey Bosa was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) in 2014, but had to settle for the runner-up spot. He enters 2015, not only as a front-runner for the award, but could even land himself a spot in the top-5 in the 2016 NFL draft. The Buckeyes have a large percentage of their championship roster returning and are not just gearing up to win the conference but have a spot in the National Championship once again.
A Sleeper Team That Could Surprise: Minnesota
Even though it is very unlikely any team challenges the Buckeyes for the conference title, some teams can over perform and get a chance to play in a more meaningful bowl game. One of those teams is the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
After exceeding expectations in 2014, the Gophers look to take another step forward and challenge for the Big Ten West title. The strength of the unit, its talented and fast striking secondary, has 4 seniors returning, including All-Big Ten cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. The pass rush of the Gophers, averaging over 2 sacks a game in 2014, will help generate pressure and force poor passes into the strong secondary. The keys for the Gophers’ to get over the hump will be better pass protection and higher production in the passing game. Junior quarterback Mitch Leidner, a competitor with legendary toughness and strong running skills, will need to be more efficient in the passing game and take fewer hits. The passing game will gain the service of 4 red-shirt freshmen to help Leidner increase his numbers from 2014. The offensive line will remain the big question mark on the team.
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Over the years, the NHL All-Star Game has gone through many format changes but in the past few years, the league appears to have hit on a formula that works via its division vs division three-on-three tournament. Pitting the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific Divisions in a quick free-for-all, 20-minute mini-games has created an exciting tournament for fans and TV viewers, and a much better wagering environment for sports bettors.
It's been a half century since the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. In fact, it's been 50 years since the Chiefs went to the Super Bowl. But Kansas City is favored to get there this year. The Chiefs go into the AFC Championship Game as 7.5-point favorites over the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers are seven-point favorites over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
Conor McGregor is poised to make his return to the octagon and to UFC. The former lightweight world champion is slated to fight Donald Cerrone in a welterweight bout as part of UFC 246 on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas. The Irish fighter hasn't been in a bout since he lost via submission to UFC lightweight (155 pound) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Cerrone, normally a lightweight, lost his last two fights.