Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NFL and NCAA Basketball Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Sunday sports card features the second-leg of the NFL Super Wild Card Weekend triple-header in addition to action in the NBA and college basketball.

The NFL card kicks off at 1:05 PM ET Baltimore visiting Tennessee on ABC and the ESPN networks. The Ravens have won five games in a row after defeating Cincinnati on the road by a 38-3 score last Sunday as a 13.5-point favorite. The Titans won their third game in four contests with their 41-38 victory at Houston as a 7-point favorite last week. Baltimore is a 3-point road favorite with the total set at 54.5 (all odds from BetOnline).

New Orleans hosts Chicago at 4:40 PM ET on CBS. The Saints won their final two games of the regular season after beating Carolina on the road last week by a 33-7 score as a 6-point favorite. The Bears backed into the playoffs despite losing last week at Green Bay, 35-16, as a 4.5-point underdog, which snapped their three-game winning streak. New Orleans is a 10.5-point favorite with an over/under of 48. 

Cleveland plays at Pittsburgh in the nightcap at 8:15 PM ET on NBC. The Browns ended their 17-year playoff drought last weekend with their 24-22 victory over the Steelers as a 10.5-point favorite. Pittsburgh had the luxury of resting some starters, including Ben Roethlisberger, after being locked into the third seed in the AFC playoffs. 

A pressing concern for the Cleveland organization this week has been managing the COVID outbreak in their organization. Quarantine guidelines will prevent first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski from being on the sidelines and communicating with his team and coaching staff during the game. Special teams coach Mike Priefer will serve as the acting head coach with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will call the plays. The Browns were able to get back to the practice field on Friday after quarantining for most of the week. 

The Browns will be without eight players on their COVID list, including Pro-Bowl guard Joel Bitonio, cornerback Denzel Ward, and safety Ronnie Harrison, Jr. The Steelers are a 6-point favorite with a total of 47.

The college basketball card tips off at 11 AM ET with Xavier hosting Providence on Fox. The Musketeers ended a two-game losing streak on Wednesday with their 69-61 win against St. John’s as a 6.5-point favorite to raise their record to a 9-2 mark. The Friars felt 7-4 last Saturday with their narrow 67-65 loss at home to Creighton as a 4-point underdog. Xavier is a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 140.5.

Cincinnati travels to Wichita State on ESPN2 at 4:30 PM ET. The Bearcats ended a five-game slide on Thursday with a 76-69 upset victory at SMU. The Shockers' five-game winning streak ended on Wednesday in a 70-63 loss at Houston as an 11-point underdog. Wichita State is a 2.5-point favorite with the total at 140.5.

Colgate defeated Boston University yesterday by an 86-79 score as a 3.5-point road favorite. The CBS Sports Network has the rematch at 6 PM ET.

Loyola-Illinois plays at Indiana State at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN2. The Sycamores lost their fourth game in a row last Sunday in a 76-66 loss at Missouri State as a 3.5-point underdog. The Ramblers won their fourth straight game last Saturday with their 57-49 win against North Texas as a 7-point favorite. 

The NBA has eight games on the docket starting at 3:05 PM ET, with Utah visiting Detroit as a 7.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 216. The card concludes with Golden State hosting Toronto at 8:35 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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