Eagles vs. Patriots
Money Line (As of Jan. 25):
Eagles (2.70) Patriots (1.46)
Remember the report of a feud between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft? Remember the cut that required stitches to Brady's throwing hand, and the concern about how it would impact his play in the AFC Championship?
Those clinging to the hope that the Patriots and their future Hall-of-Fame quarterback would be done in by the drama surrounding them in the news cycle the past few weeks were served a reality check in that fourth quarter against Jacksonville, as New England came storming back to complete another come-from-behind win when the fate of their season was in the balance.
The Super Bowl, which will again feature the Patriots, isn't for another nine days. Football fans may, however, invest their time in the Pro Bowl this Sunday – if you're into that sort of thing.
Super Bowl Betting Breakdown:
But while the madness of Super Bowl week hasn't quite descended upon us, there was an interesting tidbit in a recent Sports Illustrated article: Brady's wife Gisele Bündchen tried to get friend and former NFL kicker Jay Feely to convince Brady to retire, with Feely quoted as saying "she was dead serious."
Brady will turn 41 years old in August.
He's a five-time Super Bowl winner.
The Pro Football Hall-of-Fame beckons.
Money probably won't be an issue.
But even at his age, is there anything about his game that signals retirement is on the horizon? The Patriots have played two games this postseason and Brady has shredded opposing defences for more than 620 yards passing and five touchdowns – oh, and not a single interception.
And it seems at any point when the Patriots appear down and out for the count, Brady gets back up and marches his team down the field for those clutch touchdown drives that already form his legacy and will do so for years and decades to come.
It's a good bet he'll be asked next week on media day about the possibility of retirement. It's a good bet he'll be asked about whether his family believes he should retire.
It's an even better bet he'll try to quickly move the conversation to the next game – once again for all the marbles, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Patriots opened this week as 5.5-point favourites versus the Eagles, who have been labelled the underdog in the previous two rounds of the NFL postseason despite being the NFC's No. 1 seed.
So far, that label hasn't fazed the Eagles. In fact, it seems they've fed off of it, deploying that stingy defence to topple both Atlanta and Minnesota.
But facing Tom Brady is another beast altogether. He, too, hasn't been fazed by his opponents. Or the noise going on around him.
$1 Million Super Pool returns!
The $1 Million Super Bowl Pool is back and all it takes to get in on the action is a $5 bet!
Pick a minimum of one outcome for each prop in the Pool. Pick all 25 outcomes correctly to win or share the $1 Million prize! If no entry features all 25 correct picks, the entry (or entries) with the most correct picks will win (or share) the final displayed Prize Pool. Sales cut-off is 2:55PM PT/4:55PM CT on February 4. Pool settled on February 5, 2018. Pool available to residents of BC and Manitoba.
Are the Raptors for real?
NBA Championship odds: 20.00 (As of Jan. 25)
No real surprise that the Golden State Warriors continue on as favourites to win the NBA Championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics all follow in behind, although LeBron James and his team have certainly endured their struggles in recent weeks.
Interesting, though, that the Toronto Raptors are fifth on that list (Odds to win it all as of Wednesday: 20.00). They were 1.5 games back of Boston for first in the NBA East as of the middle of this week, the gap closing thanks to the Celtics' four-game losing skid.
For the last four years, Canada's lone NBA team has been knocking on the door, a great regular season squad that hasn't been able to break through to the NBA Finals. Would anyone be overly surprised if this was the year they make it out of the East?
Hockey and winning in Las Vegas
Stanley Cup Odds: 10.00 (As of Jan. 25)
OK. This is getting scary. The Vegas Golden Knights are right now going stride for stride with the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the NHL's overall standings, one point back as of Wednesday.
We're at the point now, in late-January, when you can legitimately count the Golden Knights as a Presidents' Trophy contender, and a legitimate threat to win the Western Conference much later on this spring. Even if the thought seems crazy, and it certainly is, it must now be considered a real possibility.
In October, the odds for Vegas to win the Stanley Cup sat at 90.00. By late-November, that had moved to 28.00. As of Wednesday, the Golden Knights were second behind only the Lightning with odds of 10.00 to win the Stanley Cup.
An expansion team winning the Stanley Cup in its first year? Canucks fans would never live it down.