The scenario was clear: if the Raiders and Chargers tied their Week 18 Sunday night matchup both teams would head to the playoffs. And after a grueling battle that is nearly exactly what happened. The Chargers mounted a late-game comeback to send the game into overtime, but the Raiders booted a 47-yard field goal as time expired in OT to seal the win. The kick marked the team’s fifth walk-off win of the season. In addition to the wild action on the field, sportsbooks around the country were on the hook for a huge payout in the event of an unlikely tie. With the victory, the Raiders secured a Wild Card spot and sent the Steelers to the postseason as well.
Players Across the NFL Secure the Bag in Week 18
Heading into Week 18, several players across the league were playing for some extra cash as they approached their incentive-based bonuses. With the clock ticking on the season, Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski took home an extra $1 million with seven catches ($500k) and 137 yards ($500k), which bumped him over 55 catches and 750 yards on the season. In Buffalo, Stefon Diggs hauled in 9 catches for 81 yards and a TD. With the catches, which put him over 100 on the year, Diggs increased his base salary for the next two seasons, totaling $1.55 million.
Eli Manning Dives into Private Equity
Following his storied career, the two-time Super Bowl champion has built a diversified portfolio of businesses and opportunities. From charitable work to the highly vaunted Manning Cast, Eli Manning stays busy in his second chapter. On Monday, the former Giants QB announced that he is linking up with Brand Velocity Partners to tackle a new challenge: private equity. BVP has an extensive network of sports and entertainment stars, which they link with affiliated companies to support their work.
New York Vaults to No. 1 in Sports Betting Transactions
Mobile sports betting in New York is live and popping off. Empire State bettors logged 5.8 million transactions in the first 12 hours, more than double the 2.3 million in the country’s second-busiest state, Pennsylvania. Sports betting kicked off in NY on Saturday at 9 am, with FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and Rush Street Interactive.
Warriors Deliver a W for Klay Thompson’s Return
The Chase Center was electric last night as the Dubs welcomed five-time All-Star Klay Thompson back to the lineup after 31 months away. In the first quarter, Thompson threw down a dunk that brought the entire arena, including the Warriors bench, to their feet and confirmed: Klay is back. Thompson played a total of 20 minutes – logging four separate stretches throughout the matchup – and scored 17 points in the 96-82 win over the Cavs.
Yankees Organization Makes Historic Hire with Rachel Balkovec
Rachel Balkovec will become minor league baseball’s first-ever female manager. The 34-year-old joined the Yankees organization in 2019 and will manage the team’s Low-A Tampa Tarpons this season. When Balkovec joined the team as a hitting instructor, she became the first female coach in minor league history. Prior to joining the Yankees organization, Balkovec had stints with the Cardinals, White Sox, and Astros.
Hurricanes Owner Going All in on Pickleball
The Carolina Hurricanes are a top team in the NHL, and their owner Tom Dundon is looking to cash in on an emerging sport. Pickleball has gone from a retirement community favorite to a national sensation over the last year, with an estimated four million players across the country. Dundon is reportedly in talks to buy pickleball’s two central organizations, Pro Pickleball Association and Pickleball Central, and is committed to enhancing technology to support the game’s continued growth.