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Super Bowl LV: Expert picks and predictions – Sportsnet.ca

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It seemed in doubt so many times, but we made it — the big game has arrived.

With Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs set to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, Sportsnet’s expert panel is ready to weigh in on who will win the day, and who will walk away empty handed.

The panel includes editors Geoff Lowe and Craig Battle, fantasy analyst Andy McNamara, and staff writers Donnovan Bennett, Emily Sadler and Mike Johnston.

So who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy?

Donnovan Bennett
The Pick:
Kansas City Chiefs
The Score: 34–22
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes

The Breakdown: Eighteen years, 45 days. That’s the age difference between the starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, the largest discrepancy in NFL history.

Patrick Mahomes is looking for his second championship, and first since turning 26. Brady is looking for his seventh, and first since turning 40. Mahomes’ teams are averaging 34.1 points per game in his playoff starts, the highest ever with a minimum of five games played. Mahomes has won his last 12 starts going back to mid-October, and is 26-1 going back to Week 11 of last season.

Not only is the Baby Goat better than the GOAT at this point of their careers — his team is better also. The final passing of the torch to the Mahomes era will officially take place Sunday.

Mike Johnston
The Pick:
Kansas City Chiefs
The Score: 30–26
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes

The Breakdown: My 2021 Superb Owl pick is the Northern Hawk Owl, known for using its short and pointed wings to fly/glide close to the ground at high speeds… sort of like how Tyreek Hill manoeuvres his five-foot-10 frame around a field unlike anyone else in the sport.

That’s partly why my 2021 Super Bowl pick is the Chiefs. Hill can burn you by himself or can be used as the most effective decoy in football — either way, it’s to KC’s benefit.

Andy McNamara
The Pick:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Score: 32–28
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady

The Breakdown: Like Hulk Hogan versus The Rock at WrestleMania 18, this Super Bowl showdown is also a battle between the GOAT (Tom Brady) and current top star (Patrick Mahomes). The game is essentially a pick’em with Kansas City as a 3.0-point favourite, but I think Tom Brady has that immeasurable drive — the “it” factor to prove the world wrong — that will push him over the top.

Brady is a rhythm quarterback, which means timing is vital to the offence operating successfully. The last four games of the regular season and into the playoffs we saw Tampa Bay really gel.

Think about what TB12 had to overcome to get back to the dance: He had next to no off-season with his new teammates; his star receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin battled injuries early on; Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski had to shake off rust. The Bucs worked through it all to the tune of a 19-4 TD-INT ratio for Brady in his last seven outings.

Of course, Mahomes and his plethora of weapons are lethal against any defence, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Bucs try to pressure the reigning Super Bowl MVP as they lead the league in post-season sacks.

I would be shocked if SBLV was decided by more than a single score. In the end, Brady slaps Father Time in the mouth one more time and holds off the Chiefs’ emerging dynasty run.

Emily Sadler
The Pick:
Kansas City Chiefs
The Score: 32–28
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes

The Breakdown: A shootout in the first half between the GOAT and the heir to the NFL throne could put this matchup on pace to be the highest-scoring Super Bowl in history.

At least, that’s what we want to happen.

More likely, though, it might be a slow start for Mahomes & Co. — something we’ve seen from this club quite a bit this year and last. Up against a dangerous defence, the Chiefs’ offence could be forced to toil its way up the field and grind things out… until late in the game, when Mahomes exploits a tired Buccaneers front four and takes hold of this game like we all know he can.

The result will be a defensive battle that blossoms into an offensive affair late in the third quarter and a thrilling finish that sees the Chiefs defend their title against King Brady in his own castle.

Geoff Lowe
The Pick:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Score: 24–20
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady

The Breakdown: It’s hard to bet against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offence after the deadly display we all witnessed in the AFC title game against the Bills, but the Buccaneers have two things going for them that Buffalo did not: 1) Tom Brady under centre, and 2) a dominant defensive line that can take advantage of a Chiefs offensive line built mostly of backups.

Stopping Mahomes altogether is seemingly impossible, something Tampa knows all too well after losing to Kansas City earlier this season. Containing Mahomes, however, could build a path to victory for the Buccaneers if their defensive line is able to get the best of the banged-up Chiefs offensive line – something the Bucs were able to do against the Packers in the NFC title game that led to five sacks of Aaron Rodgers.

With that in mind, we set the scene for Sunday night:

Tampa’s defensive line does its job in limiting Kansas City to one of its lowest point totals of the entire season, and then it’s Brady’s time to shine.

Despite keeping Mahomes and the Chiefs offence largely in check, the Bucs face a three-point deficit as time winds down in the fourth quarter. Brady and Tampa’s offence get the ball down 20-17 with sights set on snatching victory from the hands of Mahomes. TB12 leads the Bucs down the field methodically, including a couple of tight third-down conversions, and with the game on the line and less than a minute on the clock, Brady finds – who else? – his old pal Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone to complete the game-winning drive, Brady’s seventh on the Super Bowl stage.

Another chapter is added to the legend of Tom Brady, as the GOAT wins his seventh Super Bowl title and first without Bill Belichick by his side.

Craig Battle
The Pick:
Kansas City Chiefs
The Score: 34–23
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes

The Breakdown: Tom Brady is an ageless wonder, and Tampa is a good team on a nice roll. But they caught every possible break in the NFC Championship Game — including a once-in-a-lifetime screwup by the Packers secondary at the end of the first half and a series of gaffes from the Green Bay coaching staff — and it still went down to the wire.

Meanwhile, Kansas City is a dynasty in the making. They’ve barely lost in the past two years, and just thoroughly outclassed a very strong Bills team two weeks back.

It’s one game, anything can happen, I wouldn’t be shocked if the ball bounced Tampa’s way, and I don’t like betting against Brady. But one of these teams is the best in football, and the other isn’t.

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All is set for the 2022 Women Africa Cup of Nations!

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Casablanca, Morocco– From tomorrow the 2nd to the 23rd of July, 2022, 12 African teams will be tussling for the ultimate title of the Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).

The 14th edition of this year’s WAFCON tourney will also serve as the African qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the top four teams qualifying for the global tournament which is set to take place in Australia and New Zealand, while two more teams will advance to the Inter-Confederation play-offs.

“The 2022 TotalEnergies African Women’s Cup of Nations will be held in two of the world’s most famous cities (Rabat and  Casablanca).

For three glorious weeks of football, these two fantastic cities will play host to the battle for the African women’s football crown.

Visitors to Morocco can be assured of a warm welcome, magnificent landscapes, a cosmopolitan culture proud of its rich history and all the ingredients to ensure an unforgettable stay.

While Rabat is Morocco’s administrative capital and city of cultural heritage, Casablanca is its vibrant economic hub and a bustling metropolis that is constantly on the move.

The world-class stadiums of Rabat’s Prince Moulay Abdellah and Prince Moulay Hassan Stadiums and Casablanca’s Mohamed V Complex will play host to the WAFCON’s 28 games.

Hosts Morocco will kick off the tournament in Rabat against Burkina Faso at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Complex at 21h30. The tournament’s finale takes place at the same venue at 21h00 on 23 July,” read a communique from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019, the biannual tourney had to be suspended leaving Nigeria as the current defending champions after having won it in 2018.

Group A:  Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda

Group B:  Cameroon, Zambia, Tunisia, Togo

Group C:  Nigeria, South Africa, Burundi, Botswana

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Serbia’s Nikola Jokic secures largest contract in NBA history at US$303 million

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Denver, United States of America (USA)- Serbian-born, Nikola Jokic, who plays for the Denver Nuggets has secured the largest contract in NBA history.

Jokic, the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP), is now secured to the Nuggets for a total of six seasons for US$303 million.

The deal includes a player option and a trade kicker. The contract will kick in during the 2023-24 season at US$46.6 million and climb every season until 2027-28 when Jokic is set to make US$61.5 million.

Jokic, 27, averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 74 games for the Nuggets last season, to win the league’s top individual honour for a second straight season, becoming the 15th player to win at least two MVP awards in his career and the 10th to win them in back-to-back seasons.

“I don’t know what else you can say about Nikola at this point. He has consistently improved his game, he has consistently proven people wrong when they doubt him and he is consistently the best player on the floor night in and night out. I have said it many times before, I am extremely grateful to coach Nikola Jokic and just as grateful for the bond that we have built off the court in our seven years together,” said Nuggets coach, Michael Malone.

Jokic, who was born in Sombor, Serbia, was the No. 41 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He came to the league a year later and quickly made himself an essential part of Denver’s plans before blossoming into an All-Star for the first time in the 2018-19 season.

Now a four-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, Jokic has become arguably the greatest passing big player in the history of the NBA.

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Sports in Canada – How to Get Your Sports Interest Awakened

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If most of your friends all love sports, but you feel more or less left out because the interest is just not there, it might just be that you haven’t found the right sport yet. There are so many different sports out there, that many people are simply surprised. If there’s one sport you don’t really like, there might just be another one more suitable for you.

 

Maybe you have checked out some NFL predictions and placed some bets but never tried the sport for yourself? Even if you’ve learned a lot from reading different sports news and checking NFL expert picks, it is never the same as trying out the sport yourself. Once you do, chances are you’ll instantly fall in love with it.

What are the most popular sports in Canada?

To find the right sport for you, you will have to do a bit of research. First of all, you have to figure out which sport may catch your interest. Next, you will have to figure out which sports options are available in your area. In Canada, the most popular sports include ice hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and cricket. There are, of course, many other types of sports to choose from in this beautiful country, but these are just the most popular ones. Outdoor sports are very popular in Canada, and you may be able to try out rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding, depending on where you live.

Try it out for yourself

Reading about and watching different sports can be very informative, yet it’s not the same as trying them out yourself. What you might want to check is if there are some trial sessions you can do in your local area.

Take a mate with you

Sometimes, it’s much easier to try out new things if you’re not doing them alone, but with a friend instead. If you’re missing some motivation, it can be very helpful to bring a mate, as you will feel more obligated to go. Maybe the sport you decided to try out will bring you and your friend even closer together.

Team sports or individual sports

There are many benefits when doing team sports. Not only will you make new friends, but you will also learn a lot about working together with other people. But if you’re better at being on your own there are many individual sports to choose from.

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