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After an NFL wild-card round that lived up to its name, the divisional round brought a little more convention — all four games were decided by at least seven points, and the only upset was courtesy of a Cincinnati team that nobody should be fading in January.
To that point, the Bengals find themselves as underdogs once again ahead of this weekend’s AFC Championship game against the Chiefs, while the Eagles are slim favorites over the red-hot 49ers in Sunday’s NFC title game. Here are the early odds for each matchup from BetMGM and our initial read on both games:
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NFL conference championship odds and predictions
San Francisco 49ers (-3, 45.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I’ve written plenty about how historically dominant these 49ers have been during their 12-game win streak and how they had overtaken the Eagles in the betting market after a strong start to the postseason. Still, I can’t help but feel like we jumped off the Philly bandwagon too soon after Jalen Hurts’ shoulder injury, which doesn’t seem to be hindering him much at all.
The Cowboys defense gave rookie Brock Purdy some issues last week, limiting him to 214 yards and zero touchdowns for the first time in his young career while nearly baiting him into a couple of critical errors. The issue for Dallas was an offense that couldn’t generate enough explosive plays and was plagued by two predictable Dak Prescott interceptions and some questionable offensive play calls.
I don’t have those concerns with this Eagles offense and with Hurts, who has 38 total touchdowns to just six interceptions in 16 starts and played a sharp game on Saturday. Philly’s offense has been the NFL’s most unsolvable puzzle all season long, and while the Giants’ defense was more of a roadblock than a real test, that win still quelled concerns about whether Hurts’ injury would rob us of what we had come to expect in the regular season.
We haven’t seen the Niners face a rushing attack quite like the one they’ll see on Sunday, and we haven’t seen Purdy slice up a defense as good as this one. You can make a compelling case for either side, but my early lean is on the host Eagles to extend their 8-1 home record under Hurts.
Betting on the NFL?
Cincinnati Bengals (-1, 47) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
I was shocked when the Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites at some books for a whole host of reasons — namely that Patrick Mahomes looked like a shell of himself after suffering a high ankle sprain in Saturday’s win over the Jaguars.
That alone is enough to have serious doubts about Kansas City’s ability to win this game against a Bengals defense that flummoxed Josh Allen on Sunday and allowed the sixth-fewest points in the regular season (20.1 points per game) against a brutal schedule. That’s to say nothing of the fact that Cincinnati has beaten the Chiefs in three straight meetings and is playing like a team that can adapt to any challenge on both sides of the ball.
This is a much bigger test than the one Kansas City faced last week, and it’ll take everything Mahomes has in him to match wits with Joe Burrow and Co. Based on what we saw last week, that may not be much, as the former MVP’s mobility was seriously hampered and his trademark escapability — the biggest scare for anyone fading the Chiefs — was sapped.
I’d expect the Bengals to throw the kitchen sink at Mahomes and take away the easy outlets (i.e., Travis Kelce) that ultimately buried Jacksonville in the divisional round. What’s left is a matchup that favors Cincinnati in just about every way, and one we’ve already seen play out on this exact stage with a much healthier Mahomes. The Bengals are 21-5 against the spread in their last 26 games and really ought to be favored in Sunday’s high-stakes rematch.
By: Ny Post
Volvo Cars braces for challenging 2023 after quarterly profit falls – One America News Network
By Marie Mannes
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volvo Cars said on Thursday 2023 was likely to be another challenging year, despite healthy demand for its vehicles, as the Swedish carmaker reported a fall in quarterly profit.
Volvo Cars, which is majority-owned by Chinese automotive company Geely Holding, said its fourth-quarter operating profit dropped to 3.4 billion crowns ($322.2 million)from 3.7 billion crowns a year earlier.
Profits were hit by high lithium prices, and having to buy semiconductors and logistics in the spot market, which can be more expensive than under long term contracts.
Volvo Cars and its peers have faced lingering chip shortages over the past year that have periodically hit manufacturing, with the Sweden-based company forced at times to halt production at some factories temporarily.
Other supply chain issues, the energy crisis and red-hot inflation have also made life tougher for the company.
“While 2023 looks to be another challenging year, we are hopeful that the COVID-related supply shortages from China are behind us and that we continue to see steady improvement in the supply of semiconductors,” it said in a statement.
“Despite the global turbulence, uncertainty and our recent price increases, we continue to see healthy demand for our cars,” Volvo Cars said, adding it expected a “solid” double-digit growth in retail sales during 2023.
However, Volvo Cars reaffirmed its mid-decade targets, which include selling cars at an annual run-rate of 1.2 million, with half of them electric. Some analysts had said ahead of the report that target was too ambitious.
“We remain doubtful whether the company will be able to achieve these targets before 2027 and think the company will have to significantly stretch its definition of ‘mid-decade’,” Bernstein said.
Volvo Cars shares fell over 3% at the market open, but were flat at around 0954 GMT.
CEO Jim Rowan defended the targets in an interview with Reuters, saying demand, new models and the easing of supply constraints would make it easier for the company to hit them.
He also said the company did not plan to reduce the price of its vehicles, despite other electric carmakers such as Tesla doing so.
Toyota Motor, which also reported results on Thursday, cut its annual manufacturing target in November and again on Thursday. This, like Volvo, is despite its vehicles sales rising.
December was the strongest month ever in cars produced for Volvo.
The company once again proposed not paying a dividend, but confirmed in a call to analysts that it would pay a bonus to its employees this year, and that it had no plans for job cuts
“If you look at our electrification journey and our growth ambitions … we’re going to be pretty comfortable in keeping our people busy,” Rowan said.
(Reporting by Marie Mannes, additional reporting by Agata Rybska; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)
Kenya Barris served by his sister at ‘You People’ premiere
Hot Hollywood director Kenya Barris’ latest film, “You People,” is all about family drama — but the “Black-ish” creator had some of his own at the film’s star-studded premiere.
“You People” stars Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill in what Netflix calls an “outrageous romantic comedy” with “a seemingly endless supply of family land mines.” And things got a bit explosive off-screen at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., we hear, when Barris’ sister served him with court documents during his big moment.
A source said that after the screening, when Barris was basking in the adulation of the audience, he was surrounded by photographers snapping his picture. However, one of the seeming paparazzi skulking around was actually a process server, we hear, who hit Barris with court docs and said, “You’ve been served.”
Also at the red carpet premiere was Murphy, along with costars Nia Long, Lauren London, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny. Guests also included Elliott Gould, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, rapper Yung Miami and more.
Court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court show Barris was served at the Westwood movie theater on the night of the premiere, Jan. 17, at 9:54 p.m.
The papers stem from a legal dispute between Barris and his sister, Colette Barris.
In court docs seen by Page Six, Colette has accused Kenya of “breach of contract.”
Her court filing says that on Feb. 22, 2021, the siblings entered into a legal agreement, adding, “The parties in pertinent part agreed ‘not to communicate any disparaging remarks about each other or about any matters that led to this Agreement.’”
The papers go on to allege, “In or around June 2022, [Kenya] stated to a third party that (1) Plaintiff was a ’70-year-old no talent hack’ and (2) Plaintiff had not earned the ‘right to be a show creator’ but instead ‘ wanted to go to the front of the line.’”
However, the bad blood stretches back further, as they’ve reportedly been in at least one previous legal dispute.
A rep for Barris did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment, and Colette’s rep did not comment.
Kenya’s credits also include the hits “Grown-ish,” “Girls Trip,” “Coming 2 America” and the Disney Plus reboot of “Cheaper By the Dozen.”
By: Ny Post
Chrishell Stause shares pic from hospital bed after removing ovarian cyst
Chrishell Stause spent her Wednesday in a hospital, revealing she underwent a “minor surgery” to have an ovarian cyst removed.
The reality TV star, who is best known for starring in the hit Netflix show “Selling Sunset,” shared a snap from the hospital bed shortly after the operation took place.
Stause told her 3.6 million Instagram followers that the cyst had caused her major discomfort, forcing her to have it removed.
“Had minor surgery today and had a large ovarian cyst removed,” the 41-year-old wrote on her Instagram Story. “Thank you Dr. Hakakha for taking such good care of me.”
Stause went on to issue a suggestion to her fans, urging them to get a check-up if they experience “bad, unexplained cramps.” She went on to tell followers, “Don’t ignore it.”
The “All My Children” alum added that she was “feeling good” and was “being looked after by my 💜,” possibly in reference to her partner, G Flip.
Stause revealed in May 2022 on a reunion episode of the hit Netflix show that she was in a relationship with G Flip, 28, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.
The pair first laid eyes on one another at a Halloween party in LA in 2021 but reconnected at another gathering months later.
Stause – who was fresh off her breakup with her “Selling Sunset” boss and co-star, Jason Oppenheim – said she shared a kiss with G Flip at the bash, but initially didn’t think much of it.
The lovebirds later had the chance to get to know each other while filming a steamy music video for G Flip’s single “Get Me Outta Here.” Stause played G Flip’s love interest in the clip.
After sparks flew, the pair decided to go public with their romance on the “Selling Sunset” Season 5 reunion.
Days after Stause went public with the relationship, G Flip got a tattoo on their leg of the song’s title.
As well as her ill-fated romance with Oppenheim, Stause was previously married to “This Is Us” star Justin Hartley. The pair tied the knot in 2017 but called it quits just two years later.
By: Ny Post
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