Spanish Supercopa Recap, NFL Divisional Round Review, 2020 National Championship Preview, NBA Week 12, NHL Week 15

We witnessed another massive week of sports. A preseason Stanley Cup favorite got into a groove, Big Ten college basketball heated up, and the Lakers showed they can win without LeBron and AD. Also, LSU remains a favorite to win the College Football National Championship while the NFL AFC chalk fell in the Divisional Playoffs. Check out what happened this past week in sports!

Weekly Sports Update – January 13th Edition

Soccer: Real tops Atletico in Supercopa Final

Real Madrid and Ateltico Madrid battled to a 0-0 tie during regulation in the Supercopa Final. Earlier in the week, Real had dominated Valladolid 3-1 in the tournament’s semifinal match. Atletico beat Barcelona 3-2.

Real took the final on penalty kicks. But that’s not the real story. The real story is that unlike the English Premier League, where Liverpool has run away with the title, Real Madrid and Barcelona are tied atop the La Liga standings. Atletico and Sevilla are 5 points away.

The Supercopa has no bearing on the La Liga title. Still, Real’s victory is a testament to how they bounced back after the Ronaldo transfer. They’ve got a star on each level: Sergio Ramos in the backfield, Toni Kroos roams the midfield, and Luka Modric handles duties up top. Real Madrid is again one of the top soccer clubs in the world. Credit goes to management who didn’t blink after sending Ronaldo to Juventus a few years ago.

NHL: Lightning Now in Second Place in the Atlantic

The New Jersey Devils upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Sunday. But before the loss, Tampa had racked up 10 straight wins. The Lightning have played so great that they’re now at 58 points, 7 points behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division.

Tampa and Boston both offer +800 to win the Stanley Cup. The favorites are the Vegas Golden Knights at +700. We shouldn’t look past the Lightning’s move. Tampa failed in last year’s playoffs after a top regular season. That shouldn’t happen during this season’s playoffs. If anything, Tampa is on a different trajectory. They could peak in the playoffs.

NBA: Lakers Beat Oklahoma City Without LeBron and AD

The Lakers proved they’re much more than just LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Both superstars sat out Los Angeles’ January 11 battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder. All the Lakers did was dominate the Thunder 125-110.

Who picked it up for LAL? Kyle Kuzma scored 36 and grabbed 7 boards. Rajon Rondo dropped 21. Rondo dished 8 and had 12 rebounds. Dwight Howard, Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso, and Troy Daniels all scored in double-figures off the bench.

If the Lakers can win without LeBron and Anthony Davis, maybe they are the best team in the NBA. Rumors swirl about Los Angeles trading Kyle Kuzma. Based on his latest performance, LAL might want to hang on to their best young player.

College Basketball:  Purdue Makes Waves in Big Ten

One team in the Big Ten that hadn’t impressed on the hard court were the Purdue Boilermakers. That changed this past weekend. The Boilermakers dominated National Championship contender Michigan State 71-42.

Purdue provided the Spartans a historical loss. Michigan State shot 35.3% from the field and 12.5% from three. Purdue forced Spartans’ star point guard Cassius Winston into 9 turnovers.

The Boilermakers win brought them to 3-3 in the conference. Although they’re 10-7 overall, Purdue has a chance to win the Big Ten. Most teams in the conference do. Michigan State, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Minnesota, are all at .500 or better in the conference.

Penn State, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State are less than .500 in the conference. But all 4 of those teams are either 11-5 or 12-4 straight up. If this continues, the Big Ten could send 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament.   

NCAAF: LSU Remains Big Favorite to Win the National Championship

The National Championship takes place on Monday, Jan. 13. LSU remains a solid -5 favorite. Most college football handicappers feel Clemson won’t stop Joe Burrow. But Brent Venables runs Clemson’s defense.

Dabo Sweeney’s squad beat the Ohio State Buckeyes behind Venables’ game plan. Venables has had a couple of weeks to develop a strategy to contain Burrow. On the other side of the ball, Sweeney’s offense could control time of possession behind running back Travis Etienne.

Also, let’s not forget that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence rushed for 107 yards from 16 carries. Lawrence stepped it up in last season’s title game versus Alabama. He can step it up this season against LSU. The odds make Clemson an attractive play to make it back-to-back college football championships.

NFL: Ravens Fall, 49ers & Packers Advance

The Tennessee Titans made it 2 in a row against favored teams. A week after bouncing the Patriots, the Titans dominated the 1-seed Baltimore Ravens 28-12 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Tennessee heads to Kansas City to battle the Chiefs in the AFC Championship this Sunday.

How did the Titans beat the Ravens? They used some trickery, yes. But the real reason is because they punched Baltimore in the mouth. The Ravens had dominated teams during the regular season. Baltimore couldn’t believe the Titans were beating them up. So, like what Ravens’ cornerback Marlon Humphrey said, Baltimore “chocked” once they got down to the Titans.

Over in the NFC, the 1-seed and 2-seed advanced. San Francisco bat Minnesota 27-10 while Green Bay handled Seattle 28-23. Packers-49ers shouldn’t resemble the regular season battle that the Niners won 37-8. After that loss, Green Bay stepped it up on the defensive end. Expect a much closer game than the 7-points indicate.

Kansas City spotted the Houston Texans 24 points before providing a 44-point turnaround. Yep. The Chiefs beat the Texans 51-31 after getting down 24-0. Chiefs’ fans can thank Patrick Mahomes. He dominated the Texans. Although the Titans have had a good run, Mahomes should dominate Tennessee on Sunday.

Pencil in the Chiefs to win the AFC. Over in the NFC, it’s up to you to find the winner. It’s tough to go against San Francisco, but Green Bay hasn’t allowed a team to score more than 23 points in their last 7 games. Also, they’ve got a quarterback named Aaron Rodgers. So, the NFC Championship should be a classic.

Have a great week! 


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