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Trevor Lawrence’s wife, Marissa, thanks Santa for a Jaguars Christmas win

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Christmas came early for Marissa Lawrence on “Thursday Night Football.”

Marissa, the wife of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, celebrated Jacksonville’s 19-3 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium, where she and her family and friends enjoyed the rainy matchup from a private suite.

“Thanks for the early Christmas Win Santa 🎅🏻,” Marissa wrote in an Instagram post, including a collage of photos that showed her kissing Lawrence after the win. The quarterback was pictured wearing an ugly Christmas sweater after defeating the Jets.

Marissa also shared the PDA snap to her Instagram Story, writing, “Couldn’t love you more if I tried.”

Marissa traveled to the game with her family and friends in a lit-up party bus after they spent the day in New York City — making stops at Central Park, Times Square and Krispy Kreme. The group also enjoyed a horse and buggy ride and took in a broadway play: “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Trevor Lawrence and his wife Marissa share a kiss at MetLife Stadium after a win over the Jets on “Thursday Night Football” on Dec. 22, 2022.
Instagram/Marissa Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence and his wife Marissa with a friend at MetLife Stadium after a win over the Jets on "Thursday Night Football" on Dec. 22, 2022.
Trevor Lawrence and his wife Marissa with a friend at MetLife Stadium after a win over the Jets on “Thursday Night Football” on Dec. 22, 2022.
Instagram/Marissa Lawrence

The former Clemson quarterback and the Anderson University soccer alum tied the knot at a chapel in South Carolina last April, weeks before the Jaguars selected Lawrence first overall in the NFL Draft.

Thursday’s game was a lopsided matchup between last year’s first two draft picks. Lawrence didn’t have his best performance, but still led the Jags to a Week 16 win amid their playoff surge.

Marissa Lawrence and a friend at MetLife Stadium for a Jaguars-Jets game on “Thursday Night Football” on Dec. 22, 2022.

Marissa Lawrence in Times Square in New York City on Dec. 22, 2022.


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Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his wife Marissa Lawrence kiss at MetLife Stadium after a win over the Jets on Dec. 22, 2022.

Marissa Lawrence at MetLife Stadium for a Jaguars-Jets game on Dec. 22, 2022.
Marissa Lawrence at MetLife Stadium for a Jaguars-Jets game on Dec. 22, 2022.


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Lawrence finished 20-of-31 for 229 yards and ran for 51 yards on seven carries for the Jags. Jacksonville has a 4-1 record since Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, couldn’t find his rhythm, which led to raucous boos by the home crowd. Wilson was benched late in the third quarter, replaced by practice squad QB Chris Streveler, after leading the Jets to only three points and fewer than 100 net yards.

“It’s just a big win,” Lawrence said after the game. “It shows this team is growing. We don’t have to have 40 points to win. We don’t have to have all these yards. Whatever it takes to win, we’re able to do. To be able to adjust was really good for us.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence  scrambles during the 2nd half of a game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 22, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence scrambles during the 2nd half of a game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 22, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
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“We understand the task in front of us. Every game is a must win for us. That’s how we’re treating it. We understand it and we love it.”

The Jaguars visit the Texans on Jan. 1.



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Knicks vs. Bulls prediction: NBA picks, odds

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The NBA’s longest win streak is finally over after the Knicks suffered their first loss in nine games on Wednesday. Expect New York to start a new streak Friday against a team it dominated the last time they faced off.

The Knicks were playing like the best team in basketball during their lengthy win streak, posting the league’s best net rating (+17.3) with six double-digit victories in that eight-game run. That included a 23-point beat-down of the Bulls exactly a week ago, when New York drained 17 3s and saw three players score at least 22 points in an easy win.

Knicks vs. Bulls (7:30 p.m. Eastern) prediction: Knicks -5.5 (Caesars Sportsbook)

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That game marked the worst offensive showing of the season for Chicago (91 points), which has struggled with chemistry and spacing issues all year long. The Bulls rank dead last in 3-point attempts per game (28.8) and third-worst in offensive rebounding rate (23.6%), which leaves very few easy scoring chances for one of the NBA’s worst offenses.

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It’s the opposite story for the Knicks, who boast three legitimate shot-creators and also rank among the league leaders in points in the paint. Julius Randle (31 points) relentlessly attacked this Chicago defense in their first meeting before allowing RJ Barrett (27 points) to lead the way in the second affair — his fourth of five straight games with at least 22 points. 

I don’t see this Knicks attack slowing down against one of the league’s most inconsistent defenses. And until Zach LaVine returns to his All-Star form, I’m skeptical of the Bulls’ offense showing up on Friday, too.

Knicks vs. Bulls pick: Knicks -5.5 (Caesars Sportsbook)

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Devils vs. Bruins prediction: Bet on New Jersey to end slide on NHL Friday

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After starting the season 21-4-1, it looked like the New Jersey Devils were going to run away with the Metropolitan Division as one of the very best teams in the NHL.

Not only were the Devils cruising, but their underlying metrics were elite. New Jersey was the best 5-on-5 team through the first quarter of the season.

Three weeks and one six-game losing streak later, and the Devils have fallen back to earth and are now two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Devils were able to get off the schneid with a win over Florida on Wednesday, but the task doesn’t get any easier with the league-leading Boston Bruins in town.

New Jersey is a slight +102 home underdog against Boston starting at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and the NHL Network.  

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Tomas Tatar #90 of the New Jersey Devils
Tomas Tatar #90 of the New Jersey Devils
NHLI via Getty Images

Bruins vs. Devils prediction

Even though the Devils have struggled to get results over their last 10 contests, their underlying numbers don’t suggest there’s all that much wrong with how they’re playing. New Jersey isn’t posting the pace-setting numbers it did through Thanksgiving, but it’s still skating to the fifth-best expected goals rate and high-danger scoring chance rate in the league over its last 10 contests.  

Those numbers should help ease any sense of panic that New Jersey could continue to fall back further into the pack as we head toward the New Year. 

So if New Jersey is still tilting the ice in the right direction, what is the issue for the Devils? 

For one thing, the Devs are struggling to find the back of the net like they did when they were rolling. New Jersey has scored just nine goals in its last five games, and four of those tallies came in a 4-2 victory over Florida on Wednesday. Over their last 10 games, the Devils rank 25th in the NHL with a 6.56% shooting percentage. 

Additionally, the Devils are not getting the goaltending needed to stabilize them. New Jersey’s netminders were always thought to be the team’s biggest weakness, and that has started to show lately as the Devils rank 23rd in the NHL in 5-on-5 save percentage over the last 10 games.

Hampus Lindholm #27 of the Boston Bruins
Hampus Lindholm #27 of the Boston Bruins
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The Bruins, meanwhile, continue to roll. Boston is 7-1-2 over its last 10 contests and ranks third in the league over that span in expected goals rate and fourth in high-danger chance percentage. The Bruins pace the NHL with a +54 goal differential, which is 25 goals better than the team in second (Toronto). 

But as impressive as Boston has been over its first 31 games of the season, the Bruins are playing on a back-to-back on Friday, while the Devils were off on Thursday night. 

The Bruins are the better team in a vacuum, but this is a good buy-low spot on the Devils, who are still playing solid hockey but are just not getting the results.

Devils vs. Bruins pick

New Jersey Devils +102 (FanDuel)

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At the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, a Female Crew of Two

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Kathy Veel has come a long way since 1989, when she first sailed in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with an all-female crew on the Belles Long Ranger.

“It started off with four of us women — we figured, let’s give it a shot,” said Veel, 70, a retired teacher who lives in Bullaburra, about 60 miles west of Sydney, Australia. “We didn’t have a boat. We didn’t have any money. It was a real start from scratch. No one took us seriously.”

Not anymore. Veel is now back for her third Sydney Hobart, which starts on Monday, this time also breaking ground. She will be part of the only all-female crew competing in the race’s two-handed division on the Currawong, at 30 feet long the second smallest boat in the fleet. She will be sailing with Bridget Canham, 62, of Sydney, a veteran of several Sydney Hobart races.

Veel said that in 1989, there were doubts the crew of women could handle the grueling conditions of the race.

“We were kind of a token gesture,” she said. “There were a lot of people who didn’t think we were up to it. They would ask, what we were going to do when it’s blowing 30 knots and the boat is swamped? We’ll be doing pretty much what they’ll be doing — putting up sails and racing the boat.”

Their goal was to simply finish the race, which they did. “It opened the door for us,” Veel said.

“Women in sailing have come so far,” she said. “Most boats these days have got women on them. And that’s great.”

Canham, a retired nurse who volunteers as an emergency boat pilot, said sailing had indeed changed.

“Sailing is more of an integrated sport now,” she said. “Now, it’s just by coincidence that we are just two women on a boat. We’re just sailors. We don’t think of ourselves as anything different.”

The two-handed division, where a boat is raced by two sailors — as opposed to a large crew ranging from 6 to 25 — is now in its second year at the Sydney Hobart. For Veel and Canham, the draw of two-handed racing is access.

“Having a fully crewed racing yacht was way outside of my resources,” Veel said. “I’m retired. But now that they have the two-handed, we can do the race. It gives people the opportunity to sail in the race who aren’t on a fully crewed yacht.” Yearly maintenance on two-handed boats might be $10,000, while much larger yachts require millions of dollars to maintain.

Canham also said the sailors in the two-handed division were a tightknit group. “The two-handed community is just so supportive; it’s like we are all on the same team,” she said.

Veel and Canham generally split duties on the boat, taking turns on the sails and at the wheel, with Canham focusing on sails and Veel on navigation and race tactics.

“Bridget knows the wind and is good at getting the best out of the boat,” Veel said. “She’ll have every sail tweaked and tuned. She never takes her eye off the ball. She’s also extremely gutsy and strong-minded and determined.”

Veel and Canham have prepared for the event by sailing in four other races this year. Over that time, they realized the boat, a Currawong 30, built in 1974 with beaten 20-year-old sails, needed upgrades, but they’ve accepted its limits.

“We’ve been able to test out our boat in these previous races, but it really has felt that 90 percent of this race has been just getting to the start line,” Veel said. “We’ve just been focused on getting the boat ready. Now that we are there, and there are no more obstacles between us and the race, that’s when I’m starting to wonder what have I got myself into. Now it’s real.”

Canham heads into the race committed, but knows their limitations.

“No one is expecting us to do anything,” she said. “But I don’t think they realize just how determined we are.”

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