Dancing in France

December 15, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

We\’ve got our World Cup final set in stone. France is gearing up for a historic back-to-back. Plus, we\’re eyeing the NFL postseason and dipping into the early Western Conference race in the NBA. Holidays approaching…

Programming: The Sportsletter will not be sent between December 17 to January 2 with the exception of three individual editions.




France Dances Into Final


France Ends Morocco’s Dream Run (2-0) to Meet Argentina in World Cup Final


The Morocco miracle is over, and the French are aiming for back-to-back history. Wednesday’s second World Cup semifinal pitted two countries on opposite ends of the spectrum — the European favorites and the African underdogs. Morocco gave it their all with a great performance by dominating possession (62-38) and keeping pace with France on the shot chart (13-14), but their attempt to become the first African nation to reach the World Cup Final fell short. Theo Hernandez gave France an early lead (5’) with a rebound goal off Kylian Mbappe’s shot. Morocco desperately fought to get one back, but Randal Kolo Muani (79’) put the match out of reach late in the second half.


Fun Fact: France is looking to become the first country to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil (1958-1962). They won it all twice (1998 & 2018), and they finished runner-up one other time (2006).


Watch: France Shuts Out Morocco (2-0) to Reach World Cup Final


It’s the PSG superstars in Kylian Mbappe (France) and Lionel Messi (Argentina) going head-to-head for all the marbles on Sunday (10:00 am ET).


Additional Storylines

B/R: World Cup 2022: Early Guide for Argentina-France Finale

The Guardian: France Bring Morocco’s Adventure to An End & Reach World Cup Final



World Cup Final: Sunday (10:00 am ET)



Lombardi Odds


Playoff Picture & Super Bowl Odds Entering the Holidays


As the holiday break nears, the NFL playoff picture and Super Bowl odds will certainly shift over the next two weeks. Today, we pause to take a look at the current playoff outlook and Super Bowl odds for 18 teams. The Eagles are the only team to officially clinch a playoff berth, but we can expect the playoff to be made up of 14 teams from the list below. With four games left, the Bills, Eagles, and Chiefs hold the best odds. The 49ers, Cowboys, and Bengals make up Tier 2. But as we know, it’s one-and-done and the Lombardi Trophy is anyone’s to take once the playoffs kick-off. Here’s how the postseason looks with an odds breakdown:


NFL Playoff Picture & Super Bowl Odds



1. Eagles (12-1) | Odds: +450

2. Vikings (10-3) | Odds: +2200

3. 49ers (9-4) | Odds: +800

4. Buccaneers (6-7) | Odds: +2800

5. Cowboys (10-3) | Odds: +800

6. Commanders (7-5-1) | Odds: +8000

7. Giants (7-5-1) | Odds: +15000


In the Hunt

Seahawks (7-6) | Odds: +7000

Lions (6-7) | Odds: +10000



1. Bills (10-3) | Odds: +350

2. Chiefs (10-3) | Odds: +475

3. Ravens (9-4) | Odds: +2000

4. Titans (7-6) | Odds: +5000

5. Bengals (9-4) | Odds: +1000

6. Dolphins (8-5) | Odds: +2500

7. Patriots (7-6) | Odds: +10000


In the Hunt

Chargers (7-6) | Odds: +4500

Jets (7-6) | Odds: +10000


Full NFL Playoff Picture

*Odds via Caesars Sportsbook


Additional Storylines

B/R: NFL Playoff Picture: Official AFC, NFC Clinching Scenarios for Week 15

CBS Sports: NFL Playoff Picture: Here Are the 14 Teams Projected to Make the Postseason



Nikola\’s Nuggets Rising


Nikola Jokic (43-14-8) Carries Nuggets to 3rd Straight Win as Denver Climbs Western Conference


The Denver Nuggets are finding their stride after another monster night from Nikola Jokic (43 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals) as they poured in 141 points on the Wizards last night. Jokic has now gone for 30-plus in three straight games, including one triple-double. He’s flirted with a triple-double in every game this month. And in the year of Jamal Murray’s return from injury, the revamped Nuggets have reeled off three straight wins to climb to 17-10 and within one game of the top spot in the West. Murray only had five points in an off night — his lowest of the season — but he’s gone for 30 twice this year as he works his way back to form. The Pelicans and Grizzlies may be 1-2 in the West, but the Nuggets could be the team to watch if their star duo gets rolling.


Watch: Jokic Pours in 43 as Nuggets Win 3rd Straight


Other Top Performers

Fred VanVleet (TOR): 39 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals

Steph Curry (GSW): 38 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds

Damian Lillard (POR): 37 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds

Tyler Herro (MIA): 35 points,

Donovan Mitchell (CLE): 34 points, 4 assists


NBA Scores & Highlights

Pistons def. Hornets (141-134)

Pacers def. Warriors (125-119)

Magic def. Hawks (135-124)

Kings def. Raptors (124-123)

Knicks def. Bulls (128-120, OT)

Heat def. Thunder (110-108)

Blazers def. Spurs (128-112)

Cavaliers def. Mavericks (105-90)

Nuggets def. Wizards (141-128)

Clippers def. Timberwolves (99-88)



\"🏈\" NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft order is ever-evolving as the 2022 season winds down. Three of the five “bottom” teams in the league already traded their top-5 picks. Here’s a look at who is picking where and what players they might be targeting. (CBS Sports)


\"🏀\" NBA Stock Watch

Another week, another NBA Stock Watch. Joel Embiid is asserting his dominance, and Zion Williamson is rising like a shooting star. Here are the players and teams around the league that are trending upward, and… the opposite direction. (FOX Sports)


\"🏒\" Ovechkin Joins Elite 800 Club

One of hockey’s great legends is approaching the pinnacle of the record books. As Alexander Ovechkin joins the elite 800-goal club, we break down the highlights, numbers, and moments along his journey — and what comes next. (ESPN)