Packers vs Seahawks

Packers vs Seahawks: Odds, TV Schedule, Predictions for NFC Championship Game

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Packers vs Seahawks

When the Green Bay Packers travel to CenturyLink Field to play the Seattle Seahawks, football fans will be treated to one of the most intriguing NFC Championship Games in recent memory.

The most interesting battle on the field in Sunday’s matchup will be Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers squaring off against Seattle’s stout pass defense. The old adage talks about what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, and the NFL will find out when the Packers play the Seahawks.

Here are the latest odds, television schedule and predictions for the 2015 NFC Championship Game.

NFC Championship TV Info, Odds and Predicted Winner
Date Time (ET) TV Odds Predicted Winner
Jan. 18 3:05 p.m. Fox SEA (10-31), GB (14-5) Seattle
Source: NFL.com and OddsShark.com.

There are few who will question Rodgers’ place among the top five quarterbacks in the league, but the NFL star will face his toughest test of the year against the vaunted secondary of Seattle.

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Despite dealing with a calf injury, Rodgers helped Green Bay secure a first-round bye in Week 17 and knocked off the red-hot Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round. Unfortunately for the Packers QB, the Seahawks proved in their 36-16 Week 1 victory that they have what it takes to shut him down.

Even hobbled against Dallas, he went 24-of-35 for 316 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. With a passer rating of 125.4, Rodgers proved he can perform in an elite fashion against even the most difficult situations.

When asked about his injury and how it changes his approach by 540 ESPN (h/t Tom Pelissero of the USA Today, Rodgers said:

Nothing changed in the approach. There was some apprehension on getting out of the pocket and doing some of those things that stayed with me the entire game.

But I was, for whatever reason, able to move to my left a little bit easier hopping on my right (foot) as I threw the ball to Richard (Rodgers) for the (go-ahead) touchdown and not having to put a lot of pressure on the left foot. … It was about being smart and playing within my restrictions.

The tenacity Rodgers has shown will be put to the test against the hard-hitting Seattle defense. Through the regular season, the Seahawks managed to finish first against the pass (allowed 185.6 yards per game) and third against the run (allowing 81.5 yards per game.)

With bona fide stars such as Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and others protecting the secondary, Rodgers will have to be at his best. There will be no room for errors on Sunday, especially with the ball hawks on the Seattle defense.

Rodgers will also need a little help from his friends. Between wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, as well as running back Eddie Lacy taking the pressure off the pass attack, the Packers will need every player on the offensive side of the ball to bring their A-game.

The Green Bay defense will also have a major say in whether the team advances to the Super Bowl, but most fans will have their eyes glued to the matchup between Rodgers and the Seahawks secondary.

England vs USA

England vs USA, live score and latest updates from Wayne Rooney’s farewell match

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England vs USA

As I’m sure you are all aware by now, Rooney will wear the captain’s armband and England No 10 shirt for the last time on a celebratory night that Gareth Southgate believes befits one of the country’s best ever players.

The Three Lions’ all-time top scorer and most-capped outfield player will come on for his 120th and final international appearance in tonight’s friendly against the United States.

Rooney is set to be joined by his children during a pre-match guard of honour that will end with him collecting a memento from Football Association chairman Greg Clarke, before returning to the field in the second half as skipper.

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The way his record-breaking international career is being recognised in the Wayne Rooney Foundation International has divided opinion, which Southgate believes highlights the lack of appreciation for the DC United forward.

“I think that has been clear this week – it has been disappointing to see him almost have to defend his inclusion in the game but that is where we are.

“The more important thing is that within the England group we value what he has done, when you are in the dressing room and share the dressing room with someone you know.

“The hardest thing in football is to cross the white line and it is incredibly hard when you are the person who is expected to deliver.

“Very few people in the world can appreciate what that feels like, very different to run of the mill players like me who played for England.”

Southgate intends to experiment with Sunday’s Nations League encounter against Croatia looming large, with Callum Wilson, Lewis Dunk and Alex McCarthy set to make their debuts.

Joe Gomez will not be risked with Sunday’s match in mind, while Luke Shaw will be assessed due to a minor complaint.

Germany vs Russia

Germany vs Russia: Time, Live Stream and Odds

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Germany vs Russia

Germany will hope to rediscover some positive form when they host Russia in an international friendly at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig on Thursday.

Die Mannschaft need to get back to winning ways ahead of facing the Netherlands in League A Group 1 of the UEFA Nations League on Monday, November 19.

Coach Joachim Low’s team is entering Thursday’s game on a dismal run of three defeats from the last six. By contrast, 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts Russia are unbeaten in their last six matches, having taken three wins and as many draws in that time.

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Even so, Germany are favourites among the oddsmakers, while a slew of injuries in attack could hamper Russia.

Germany remaining firm favourites with the oddsmakers despite recent struggles is a testament to the quality in the squad, even if more than one notable star won’t feature:

Real Madrid playmaker Toni Kroos isn’t the only big name set to miss out. Paris Saint-Germain forward Julian Draxler has also since been given dispensation for “compassionate leave,” per Goal’s Nick Howson.

Meanwhile, Karolos Grohmann of Reuters (h/t Daily Mail) reported how Low noted a foot injury will keep Borussia Dortmund ace Marco Reus out and also leaves him a doubt to face the Netherlands.

Russia’s defence will still be tested by the pace and perceptive movement of wide forwards Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane. Manchester City ace Sane possesses the flair and eye for goal to turn any match his nation’s way.

Former Arsenal player Gnabry is beginning to live up to his potential with Bayern Munich, having helped himself to a goal and a pair of assists in the Bundesliga this season.

Russia boast a credible scoring threat, but the squad will surely miss the influence of skipper Artem Dzyuba. The Zenit Saint Petersburg striker has been ruled out with injury, per Phil Kitromilides of Goal.

AS Monaco playmaker Aleksandr Golovin is nursing an ankle problem, while winger Denis Cheryshev, a star at the World Cup, has a leg injury, according to Marca.

The injuries make Russia’s task in Leipzig harder, especially with a trip to Sweden in the Nations League on Tuesday looming. Expect Germany to get back on track with a two-goal win.

Croatia vs Spain

Croatia vs Spain: Time, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Odds

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Croatia vs Spain

Spain are in Croatia on Thursday for their final UEFA Nations League group game and know that a victory in Zagreb will see them reach the finals of the tournament.

Luis Enrique’s side top League A Group 4 by two points from England but will need to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat to the Three Lions last time out.

They can take confidence from their last meeting with Croatia. La Roja beat the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists 6-0 in September, condemning Zlatko Dalic’s side to the worst defeat in their history.

Yet Spain’s defeat by England has left the group open. Victory for Croatia would move them level on points with England ahead of the two teams’ final match at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

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Enrique has recalled Jordi Alba to the Spain squad for the first time since replacing Julen Lopetegui in the hot seat.

The Barcelona full-back’s return should be a big boost to the squad. He has been in superb form this season, contributing six assists and two goals for the Spanish champions.

Spain remain without the injured quartet of Dani Carvajal, Koke, Thiago Alcantara and Diego Costa, while Marcos Alonso, Nacho Hernandez, and Paco Alcacer have all been left out.

Enrique’s side began the tournament well with good wins over England and Croatia. However, their defeat in Seville, where they were 3-0 down at half-time, will have given the new manager plenty to think about.

Meanwhile, Croatia have struggled for form since making it all the way to the World Cup final in July.

They have won just once, a 2-1 friendly win over Jordan, and need to win both of their final group games to top their group.

Croatia will once again look to star man Luka Modric for inspiration. He has not been at his best for Real Madrid so far this season and has said he’s been affected by their World Cup exploits, per Jose Felix Diaz and Pablo Garcia of Marca. 

“I feel better. Mentally the World Cup cost me, but it was important for me to have a break during pre-season,” he said. I was playing a month after playing the World Cup final and I need a pre-season. Now I am better, the legs, the head, everything is better now.”

Croatia will want to make amends for their thrashing at the hands of Spain and salvage some pride from what has been a poor Nations League campaign. The team proved their quality at the World Cup and could look to take advantage of the defensive vulnerabilities Spain showed against England.

Belgium vs Iceland

How to Watch Belgium vs Iceland: Live Stream, TV Channel, Time

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Belgium vs Iceland

The top two teams in Group G battle for first place on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET in the 2018 World Cup. England and Belgium have both secured their spots in the round of 16 and enter this match with nearly the same World Cup odds. England is +145 on the money line for its final group fixture, meaning you’d need to bet $100 on a English victory to win $145. Belgium, facing several injuries, is +225, while a draw is +195. The over-under on total goals scored in this 2018 World Cup match is 2.5. England is 8-1 to win the World Cup after opening at 25-1, while Belgium is a 13-2 World Cup favorite after opening at 15-1.

Before you enter your 2018 World Cup picks, you need to see what European football expert David Sumpter has to say. Sumpter is an applied mathematician who wrote “Soccermatics,” a book that explains how math works inside the sport. Together with other experienced analysts, Sumpter developed the powerful Soccerbot model.

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The Soccerbot reads current odds and all team performance data, calculates key metrics and predicts upcoming matches. In nearly three seasons since its inception, the Soccerbot is up an incredible 1,800 percent on bookmakers’ closing odds.

The Soccerbot already has nailed draws for Argentina-Iceland (+385) and Brazil-Switzerland (+360). It also correctly predicted Iran upsetting Morocco at +275 and Saudi Arabia stunning Egypt at +345, just to name a few of its big calls. Anyone who has followed it is way, way up.

Now, the Soccerbot has digested the film, crunched the numbers and broken down every single player — starter and reserve — on Belgium and England’s rosters. The model has released a very strong money-line pick, which it’s sharing over at SportsLine.

Sumpter knows Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (four goals) and captain Eden Hazard (two goals, assist) sustained injuries in the 5-2 win over Tunisia. Afterward, manager Roberto Martinez promised “major changes” against England. Both stars will likely sit on Thursday and rest for the 2018 World Cup knockout stage, which begins Saturday.

Their potential absence opens up a spot for striker Michy Batshuayi, who came off the bench to score against Tunisia and led all players with six shots. Martinez also can choose from experienced reserves like Thomas Vermaelen, Kompany and Marouane Fellaini.

Sumpter also knows England needed a late goal from Harry Kane to secure a victory over Tunisia in its opening match. The Three Lions then went on to defeat Panama, 6-1, in their second match thanks to a hat-trick by Kane.

This is only the third time since 1950 that England has won its first two matches at the World Cup. And this will be the third meeting between England and Belgium at the World Cup, with England unbeaten in the previous two. The last meeting came in 1990 in Italy, with England advancing to the semifinals in extra time.

So which hungry nation wins Thursday? Or does it end in a draw? Visit SportsLine now to see the strong Belgium-England money-line pick, all from a European soccer expert whose powerful model is up 1,800 percent in less than three years.