Across The Pond: NFL Playoffs, NHL, NBA & MLB - January 18, 2022

Across The Pond is a blog dedicated to the four major US sports leagues, rounding up all you need to know as the championship battles commence.

In this edition, we look at the NFL playoff picture going into the Divisional Round weekend, check out NHL teams that have been shining recently and dip into the NBA and MLB too.

The NFL Playoff  Picture

We have seen the Wildcard weekend come and go, leaving just eight teams in the NFL playoffs and across Saturday and Sunday, that will drop down to just four.

After a bye week, the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers join in the fun, anyone who wants to lift the Super Bowl has a simple job, win their next three games and the title is theirs.

All six winners over the weekend impressed in different ways, but the ones that really stood out for me were the LA Rams. They dominated the Cardinals, and once again showed that they have a very varied and unpredictable offensive group, anything can happen when they are on the field, including Odell Beckham Jr making throws!

Elsewhere, Patrick Mahomes was impressive for the Chiefs, the Bengals looked very good offensively, and the 49ers threw out all the tricks in the book during their game. Don’t forget the Buccs and Bills either, two more strong performances.

Here is how the weekend is shaping up

  • Saturday 9:30pm – Bengals @ Titans
  • Sunday 1:15am – 49ers @ Packers
  • Sunday 8:00pm – Rams @ Buccaneers 
  • Sunday 11:30pm – Bills @ Chiefs

With eight teams remaining in the hunt for the Super Bowl, here are the latest odds ahead of Divisional weekend.

Latest Super Bowl Winner Odds

Panthers and Avalanche Lead Conference Standings

While we still have more than half of the season to play, the NHL conference standings are beginning to take a little bit of shape.

In the East, it is the Florida Panthers who are leading the way, and they are full value for it. They have won eight of their last 10, and have been fantastic on home ice, winning 21 of the 24 home games they have played.

Away from home it’s not so good, with a 5-4-5 record, and they head out west over the coming days, as they look to improve that.

In the West, the Colorado Avalanche have ascended to the top of the conference, with a hugely impressive run, again, build on being good at home. The Avs have won 14 straight home games, they have won eight of their last 10 overall and their last three games.

They are healthy, star players are flying, and this team is showing us what they are all about.

The Start of the End for the Bulls?

Is the fairy tale run of the Chicago Bulls about to come to an end? They remain top of the Eastern Conference, but only just, and have lost their last four games, including one against their biggest challengers at the moment, the Brooklyn Nets.

The next week or two will determine how long the Bulls can challenge, but the feeling is that they are going to fade away. Of course, they can still make the playoffs, but in terms of winning the conference, that ship may have started to sail.

Spring Training to be Delayed?

While the MLB doesn’t really start to attract interest until the Super Bowl is over with, the potential for a lockout has fans looking over at the sport and worrying a little.

There has been very little movement between the league owners and the players on their differences, and it seems likely that we will see some kind of changes to the planned schedule. For now, that looks as though it will affect Spring Training only, shortening it as things start a little later than planned.

However, a long delay and that could spill over. The worst case scenario of no season at all seems a long way off at the moment, but if we are still talking about this in a month from now, we may have to discuss the possibility of a shortened season taking place.

Craig Jones

Craig Jones

US Sports lover and watcher of the EFL, Craig will guide you through the NFL, NHL and English football