By Marc Lawrence — NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal feels the NFL’s two conferences feel so different entering the Divisional Round. In one corner, the AFC’s young guns have taken over. Three members of the vaunted quarterback class of 2018 (Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield) are joined by the NFL’s defending champion, Patrick Mahomes, Class of 2017. FYI: Baker Mayfield is the elder statesman. In the other corner, three of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers) are joined by a defense-first Rams team that doesn’t neatly fit with article-topping introductions. Three of the longest playoff-win droughts were ended during the inaugural Super Wild Card Weekend, with the Browns, Bills and Bucs ending 67 combined years of frustration. They are joined by teams like the Packers, Saints and Chiefs, for whom playoff wins are the starting point in negotiations for so much more. Mahomes was sacked 12 times in his last six games, while 11 of the 15 sacks Kansas City managed in the second half of the year came in three games. The tape shows the Chiefs’ lines routinely losing on both sides of the ball. In theory, this team is dominant. In reality, the Chiefs are beatable, just like the rest of the top of the NFL. To learn the Top 5 Keys for each team in this weekend’s games click here.
Is an NBA bubble in the offing? With four games called off this week already and more teams dealing with virus-related issues, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association enacted additional rules Tuesday in the hope of keeping the season going safely. Among the new policies: for at least the next two weeks, the league and union said, players and team staff will have to remain at their residence when in their home markets and prohibited from leaving their hotels or having outside guests when on the road. Many of the new rules are similar to what existed in the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World in Central Florida last year. “I feel like I’m living my life in a box,” said Portland guard Damian Lillard. “I go to practice, I go back home, I don’t go anywhere else.” Welcome to the world in which we live, Damian.
Grinding Out The Profits
From this week’s Playbook Midweek Alert Football Newsletter: AFC No. 1 seeds in Divisional Round games are 19-11 SU and 12-17-1 ATS. NFC No. 1 seeds in Divisional Round games are 26-4 SU and 19-11 ATS.