— NFL playoff nuggets for this weekend:
Rain/wind expected for the Seahawks-49ers game; last two years, #2-seeds are 3-1 SU/ATS in this round. 49ers ran for 189/170 yards in their two wins over Seattle this year. Both QB’s are making their first career playoff start.
Both QB’s in Chargers-Jaguars game are also making their first-ever playoff start. Last six times #5-seed was favored in this round, they went 5-1 ATS. Jaguars waxed the Chargers 38-10 at SoFi back in Week 3. Chargers’ WR Williams (back) is out.
Dolphins are starting #3 QB Thompson (1-1 as an NFL starter) this week; they lost five of their last six games, beating Jets 11-6 last week. Miami hasn’t won a playoff game since 2000.
Last five years, #6-seeds are 9-1 ATS in this round.
Despite being 13-4, Vikings have been outscored 427-424. Giants are 13-4 ATS this season, 5-2 as a road underdog. Kirk Cousins is 1-2 in playoff games; both head coaches are first-year coaches, so obviously, this is their first playoff game.
Cincinnati won its last eight games (12-2 ATS last 14). Bengals won AFC title last year; before that, their last playoff win was in 1990. John Harbaugh is 11-8 in playoff games, 1-3 since 2015.
In his career, Tom Brady is 41-20-2 ATS as an underdog; this is first time he has been a home underdog in a playoff game. Dallas is 0-8 in its last eight road playoff games; their last road playoff win was in 1992.
In overtime games this season, both teams will get the ball at least once, unless there is a defensive score on the first series in OT. This is different than the regular season rule, where a TD scored by the offense on the first drive ends the game.
— In Michael Jordan’s last season in the NBA, at age 40, he played in all 82 games, and averaged 37 minutes a game.
— 11 years ago this week, Dwight Howard scored 45 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in a win over the Warriors; he was 21-39 on the foul line. In his career, Howard shot 56.7% on the foul line, missing 4,094 free throws. He scored 19,485 points in his career; would’ve been nice to get over the 20,000 mark.
— If a team trades for Raiders’ QB Derek Carr, here is what they’ll pay him:
— Baseball stuff:
Pirates signed OF Andrew McCutchen for one year, $5M.
A’s signed P Shintaro Fujinami; he’ll make $3,250,000 this season.
Padres/Juan Soto avoided arbitration; he’ll make $23M this year.
— Some random baseball stats from last year:
Chicago White Sox were outscored 416-331 at home last year, but they outscored opponents 355-301 on the road.
Mets’ opponents hit .224 at Citi Field LY, scoring 266 runs in 81 games. Opponents scored 340 runs when the Mets were on the road, hitting .248,
Colorado hit .283 at home, scored 456 runs; on road, they hit .225, scoring 242 runs.
Last year, Cincinnati Reds scored 365 runs at home, only 283 on the road.
Over last three years, there have been 852 doubles hit in 193 games at Fenway Park; in the Red Sox’ 191 road games during that same span, only 664 doubles were hit. As for home runs, there were 472 hit at Fenway, 442 hit in Red Sox road games.
Last year, Seattle’s lefty hitters hit only .196, which helps explain why Jesse Winker, Fernando Toro were traded away this winter.
Last year, Arizona Diamondbacks ht 71 home runs at home, 102 on the road. Opponents hit 79 homers in Phoenix, 112 in Arizona road games.
Tampa Bay Rays hit .242 at home, .237 on road, not much difference, but Tampa’s opponents hit .249 in their own home ballparks, only .216 in Tampa Bay.
— Butler 79, Villanova 71— Wildcats trailed 40-30 at halftime, then went on a 14-0 run to start the second half, but Butler shot 68% inside the arc and improve to 11-8, 3-5 in Big East games. Villanova has lost five of its last six games, is 2-5 in conference play.
— VCU 63, Dayton 62— Dayton had ball twice in last minute with a 4-point lead, still gagged the game away in regulation. VCU wins despite going 3-8 on foul line; they were down 14 at the half. VCU has won eight of nine games, is 4-1 in the A-14.
— Warriors 144, Spurs 113– 68,323 fans saw Golden State crush the Spurs in the Alamodome, the largest crowd ever for an NBA regular-season game.