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Chiefs move to early Super Bowl favourite – TSN

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LAS VEGAS — Even the bookies are having a problem figuring out a favourite in the Super Bowl.

Odds opened at pick ’em Sunday at many Las Vegas sports books, though the Kansas City Chiefs quickly moved to 1-point favourites over the San Francisco 49ers. Early bettors favoured the Chiefs in a game that will almost surely set new legal betting records.

The combination of an attractive matchup, close odds and the spread of legalized sports betting means hundreds of millions of dollars will exchange hands over the next two weeks.

Bettors at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook got an early start after they were offered the pick ’em odds at halftime of the NFC championship game. Oddsmaker Jay Kornegay said about 80 per cent of the early money was on the Chiefs and the line moved to Chiefs minus-1.

The over/under total started at 51 1/2 and was at 53 after a bettor put $110,000 on the over.

Odds and point spreads can fluctuate up until the kickoff Feb. 2 in Miami, largely because of heavy bets on one side or the other.

At the new Circa sports books, the game was pick ’em with a 52 total to open. Sports book director Matthew Metcalf tweeted that bettors could bet up to $100,000 a side on Sunday with limits of $500,000 a side beginning Tuesday morning.

Most books limit bets early to see if the point spread moves while being tested by so-called sharps.

Legal betting in Nevada’s 200 sports books was down last year at $145.9 million after setting a record the year before with $158.6 million in bets. A big percentage of Super Bowl betting is in so-called prop bets, which have become increasingly popular as they multiplied in recent years.

Books will begin releasing hundreds of different prop bets during the week, from who will win the opening coin flip to how many penalties each team will have.

Kornegay said he expects a new record to be set in Nevada on the game, largely driven by a good economy. Bets are now legal in 13 other states, too, though not in the home states of either team or in Florida.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Canadian Milos Raonic advances to third round at Australian Open – Sportsnet.ca

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Milos Raonic is heading to the third round at the Australian Open, keeping Canada’s hopes alive in singles at the season’s first Grand Slam.

The No. 32 seed from Thornhill, Ont., beat Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday, needing one hour 37 minutes to complete the match.

The 29-year-old Canadian served up 19 aces on his way to victory.

Raonic will face No. 6 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round. Tsitsipas got a walkover into the third round at Melbourne Park when Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their scheduled match because a muscle strain.

Raonic was the only Canadian to survive the opening round.

No. 13 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal and Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver all lost on the men’s side, while qualifier Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., dropped a first-round women’s match.

Top Canadian Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., didn’t play because of a knee injury.

Raonic breezed through the first round, crushing Italian lucky loser Lorenzo Giustino in straight sets in a match held over two days. Rain postponed play Monday with Raonic one game away from winning his first match since October.

The second-round match pitted Raonic, ranked 35th in the world, against the player directly below him in the rankings.

Garin, 23, has yet to make it to the third round of a Grand Slam in his career.

Raonic has been plagued by injuries in recent years, missing large portions of the second half of last season with a back issue.

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Canadian Milos Raonic advances to third round at Australian Open – TSN

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Milos Raonic is heading to the third round at the Australian Open, keeping Canada’s hopes alive in singles at the season’s first Grand Slam.

The No. 32 seed from Thornhill, Ont., beat Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday, needing one hour 37 minutes to complete the match.

The 29-year-old Canadian served up 19 aces on his way to victory.

Raonic will face No. 6 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round. Tsitsipas got a walkover into the third round at Melbourne Park when Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their scheduled match because a muscle strain.

Raonic was the only Canadian to survive the opening round.

No. 13 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal and Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver all lost on the men’s side, while qualifier Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., dropped a first-round women’s match.

Top Canadian Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., didn’t play because of a knee injury.

Raonic breezed through the first round, crushing Italian lucky loser Lorenzo Giustino in straight sets in a match held over two days. Rain postponed play Monday with Raonic one game away from winning his first match since October.

The second-round match pitted Raonic, ranked 35th in the world, against the player directly below him in the rankings.

Garin, 23, has yet to make it to the third round of a Grand Slam in his career.

Raonic has been plagued by injuries in recent years, missing large portions of the second half of last season with a back issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2020.

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Japan's women defy odds to become first Asian team to win an Olympic ice hockey gold – Olympic News – Olympics

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Japan completed a fairytale run to win the women’s ice hockey title at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games on Tuesday, coming from behind to beat defending champions Sweden 4-1 in the final.

Both sides had been unbeaten on the road to the final, but up against a team who won the last two Youth Olympic titles, the Japanese went in as underdogs.

In defying the odds they also made history by becoming the first Asian team to win gold in an Olympic ice hockey competition.

“I’m so proud and so pleased that this is the outcome of our teamwork,” said Noro Rio, who was assisted by twin sister Riri in scoring her team’s second goal. “My team really wanted to win gold today.”

Japan turned the game around in the second period as they posted eight shots on goal while Sweden had none. The line combination of Kamada Minami, Shimomukai Hina, and Ito Makoto formed a particularly potent attacking trio.

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“Sweden did better in the first period, but after that we tried to fight back,” said Shimomukai, who scored two goals and assisted one. “At the beginning our team was very nervous, but we communicated more with each other.”

By the time Shimomukai added an empty net goal with less than two minutes to go, her teammates – and a packed arena backing the Japanese – celebrated the imminent triumph.

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Defeat for the Swedish stung. Many left the ice sobbing, the shimmer of a silver medal around their necks providing little consolation.

“We had a great start, but lost it in the second and third period,” said Linnea Adelbertsson (SWE). “We didn’t fight enough. I don’t have any feelings left.”

Sweden captain Nicole Hall, who scored her side’s only goal in the last minute of the first period, said: “The Japanese are very fast and strong, and better than us today. It doesn’t feel good.”

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In the women’s bronze medal match, Slovakia fought back from 1-0 down to beat Switzerland 2-1.


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The hosts had taken the lead through Nina Harju (SUI) in the second period, before Slovakia responded with two goals scored within two minutes through Nina Hudakova (SVK) and Nikola Janekova (SVK).

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Alessia Baechler (SUI), who was in the penalty box when Janekova scored the winning goal in the second period, was crestfallen.

“We had a lot of chances to score but we didn’t take our chances,” she said. “It was very close. I’m very proud of everybody and it’s so sad that we didn’t win bronze.”

Janekova said she was proud of her team after a tough game. “It was very hard for us to play this,” she said. “It was definitely worrying [that Switzerland scored first]. I have goosebumps.”

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In the men’s tournament, the USA booked a place in the final after beating rivals Canada 2-1 in the semifinals.

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Frank Nazar (USA) and Isaac Howard (USA) scored in the second period.

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Canada surged back following Nate Danielson’s (CAN) goal early in the third period, but the USA kept them at bay.

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The defending champions will meet Russia in the final on Wednesday, after they beat Finland 10-1 in their semi-final.

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