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NFL Conference Championships, Pacio-Saruta and More to Watch This Weekend

B/R Live StaffContributor IJanuary 18, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2019, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the first half of the team's NFL divisional football playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts in Kansas City, Mo. The popular, record-setting quarterback shattered just about every franchise passing record in his first season as a starter, and his down-home style has made him a fan-favorite. The Chiefs play the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)
Ed Zurga/Associated Press

Must Watch: NFL Conference Championships

This Sunday, we'll see the four best teams in the NFL put it all on the line for a spot in Super Bowl LIII.

    

No. 2 Los Angeles Rams at No. 1 New Orleans Saints

Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET on Fox

Line: Saints, -3.5

If you thought the Superdome was loud last weekend, it will be absolutely chaotic this time around. History's on the side of the hometown Saints for three reasons:

  • Drew Brees and Sean Payton are a perfect 6-0 in home playoff games since joining New Orleans in 2006.
  • The home team in the past five NFC Championship games has won.
  • The top seeds in both the AFC and NFC have advanced to the Super Bowl nine out of 10 times since 2013.

The key for the Los Angeles Rams to stop a celebration on Bourbon Street is the run game, as they are only 2-3 this season when they don't hit the 100-yard rushing mark. This will be tough to do against the Saints' second-best rushing defense in the NFL, but the Rams do have running back and fantasy football behemoth Todd Gurley in their backfield.

They also have corner Marcus Peters, who wasn't happy with Sean Payton the last time these two teams met:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

We know Marcus Peters is ready for Sean Payton and the Saints 🍿 (via @LindseyThiry) https://t.co/kPsJrKgDKM

    

No. 2 New England Patriots at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET on CBS

Line: Chiefs, -3

Tom Brady and the Patriots put up over 500 yards of offense when these two teams played each other in Week 6, and the Chiefs defense is second to last in the league in passing defense and yards per run. However, if there's one coach who seems to get the better of Bill Belichick, it's Andy Reid. Since 2013, the Patriots have given up 40 or more points just four times. Andy Reid's Chiefs are responsible for three of those occasions. The home team in the AFC title game has also won 11 of the last 12 matchups.

Oddly enough, Patrick Mahomes' mother wants her son to be more like his counterpart:

Greg Bishop @GregBishopSI

Patrick Mahomes’ mom, Randi, to her son after he played New England earlier this season: I’ve gotta give it to Tom Brady. We’re the same age. I can’t imagine playing someone 20 years younger than me. Whatever he’s doing, you need to do.

It's also going to be ridiculously cold in Kansas City that night:

Ryan Maue @RyanMaue

AFC Championship game is in Kansas City --> Sunday evening. #ChiefsKingdom(-3.0) #Patriots 6-day weather forecasts are BRUTALLY cold -- and I mean very COLD. Game time temperatures from models range from -5°F to 10°F Arctic blast is centered right over Arrowhead Stadium https://t.co/if7MnZ3YDw

 

Watch This: ONE Championship: Eternal Glory, Pacquiao-Broner, Cejudo-Dillashaw

   

ONE Championship

The U.S. debut of ONE Championship, Asia's largest mixed martial arts promotion, starts off with a bang on B/R Live as Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio takes on Yosuke Saruta this Saturday in the main event of ONE: Eternal Glory.

Pacio takes on Saruta in his first title defense since becoming champion last September. At 23, Pacio is the youngest strawweight champion in ONE history. Saruta, who is a late replacement for the injured Hayato Suzuki, is competing in just his second match with the promotion. However, he is a 10-year mixed martial arts veteran with an overall record of 18-8-3.

Other notable bouts include Christian Lee vs. Edward Kelly and Alexi Serepisos vs. Mongkolpetch Petchyindee Academy in a muay thai match. The preliminary card begins at 6:30 a.m. ET on B/R Live, while the main card starts at approximately 8:30 a.m. Here is more information on ONE and what makes the promotion different from other mixed martial arts brands.

Here's the full card:

ONE: Eternal Glory Match Card
ONE: Eternal Glory Match CardONE Championship

Boxing

Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring on Saturday for the first time since last July to take on Adrien Broner for the WBA welterweight title. According to OddsShark, Pacquiao is a -300 favorite as Broner has looked shaky his last two matches. You can watch on Showtime for $74.99. The event begins at 9 p.m. ET with the main event expected to begin around 11:30 p.m.

   

UFC

Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw attempts to become the fourth two-weight champion in UFC history when he goes up against Flyweight Henry Cejudo for his title. Dillashaw is listed as a -210 favorite.

Another notable matchup includes Greg Hardy vs. Allen Crowder in a heavyweight bout. Hardy, who is a former NFL Pro Bowler, is making his UFC debut with a 3-0 MMA record. Main card coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET with the main event expected to begin around 12:30 a.m.

     

Three more things to watch

1. After unranked Syracuse pulled off the upset last Monday, No. 1 Duke must bounce back quickly as they take on their toughest test of the season against No. 4 Virginia in a major ACC matchup. When Syracuse hit this shot, you got the sense it was destined to be a special night for the Orange and a forgettable night for the Blue Devils. Watch Duke vs. Virginia on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.

ESPN @espn

FROM THE OTHER 3-POINT LINE!! (📍 @TysonBrand) https://t.co/K35n0Epvft

   

2. DeMarcus Cousins makes his highly anticipated Golden State Warriors debut on Friday night, as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Although many are eager to see a full strength Warriors side, Boogie is still playing with a massive chip on his shoulder:

Warriors Wire @TheWarriorsWire

DeMarcus Cousins: 'We're the most hated team in sports' https://t.co/N7L6yin0fF


You can also catch every NBA League Pass game right here on B/R Live for free through Sunday, including the Boston Celtics vs. the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Kyrie Irving has grown as a leader since leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers, so much so that he called former teammate LeBron James to say sorry:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Turns out it was more difficult than Kyrie envisioned... https://t.co/JOwhcJyfuR


Here's how to sign up to watch on B/R Live and here's the full NBA schedule.

   

3. The Australian Open continues as No. 16 Serena Williams faces Dayana Yastremska in the third round. Williams has won many trophies over her illustrious career, but the one she holds most dearly is the one sister Venus gave to her. Watch Williams in action on Friday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The Undefeated @TheUndefeated

The only trophy that 23-time Major champion @SerenaWilliams has held on to over the years? One that her sister Venus gave her when she was 8 years old. https://t.co/fGjsrROfw6

    

Quick Catch Up

1. James Harden is on a historic tear, having scored at least 30 points in his last 18 games. The Beard is averaging over 41 points per game over his last 20 games, becoming the fifth player in NBA history to do so in that span. Not only that, Harden has scored at least 55 points in his last two games, putting him in elite company, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

James Harden has scored at least 55 points in each of his last 2 games. He joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history with back-to-back 55-point games. https://t.co/37KgdklwP6

   

2. Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts both shook up the college football world over the week, as Murray decided to enter the NFL draft even after being selected 9th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft while Hurts transferred from Alabama to another national powerhouse in Oklahoma. Could Hurts join Murray as an Oklahoma Heisman winner soon enough?

ESPN @espn

Baker Mayfield Kyler Murray Jalen Hurts Not a bad run of QBs for Oklahoma 😳 https://t.co/JTRuvH41UH

   

3. Adam Gase was introduced as the new head coach of the New York Jets. During the press conference, people were far more curious about what he was doing rather than what he was saying:

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband

It took Adam Gase 0 minutes to become a New York sports meme. https://t.co/6Or4qm38NF

Aah, that explains it.

Yahoo Sports NFL @YahooSportsNFL

Simple explanation for new @nyjets HC Adam Gase and his wandering 👀's: 🌮 (via @ManInTheHoody) https://t.co/LwN9FREcv3

    

4. This is Lionel Messi's dog. His name is Hulk. He is probably bigger than you. He is a very good boy.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Messi’s dog is literally the biggest member of his family (via leomessi/Instagram) https://t.co/tfTOKW5J62

   

Odds and lines via OddsShark.

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