Carr Talk: Get to know Raiders star on ‘Football Night in Kansas City’

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What drives Raiders star Derek Carr? The question seems especially relevant before sunrise on a chilly morning as he drives to work in a pick-up truck with two child seats in the back.

The MMQB’s Peter King joined Carr on his 40-minute commute to the team’s practice facility for an in-depth feature that will air Thursday on Football Night in Kansas City (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC) prior to Oakland’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. King learned that Carr burns to be great, both on the field and off. He’s not just the quarterback of arguably the most exciting offense in football, and a key leader of the Raiders’ resurgence, he’s a devoted family man who takes pride in setting a strong example for those around him.

Read more: Peter King’s Ride Along with Derek Carr

“This is every day,” Carr said of his early commute. He added, “My character will rub off on my work ethic and the weight room and the film study and all those things, but when it comes down to excellence, I think about it off the field. I want people to think of my life, I want people to watch this and see me and know that that’s who I am.”

Watch Raiders vs. Chiefs live on NBC, online and on the NBC Sports App

King and Carr went in depth about Carr’s budding stardom, the pressure that comes with winning and the struggles of Carr’s brother, David, who entered the league as the Houston Texans’ first-overall pick in 2002. Derek Carr waited until the second round to be drafted but says he doesn’t think his brother’s star-crossed career affected his own draft position. In fact, he says it made him more attractive to the Raiders.

“We’re two completely different people, two completely different situations,” Carr told King. “I know that [GM] Reggie McKenzie didn’t feel that way and I think that is what fired me up the most is when they would talk about that situation they thought it was the biggest positive ever. Because they’re like, ‘You’ve already been in the NFL for 12 years, you’ve already seen it, you’ve already experienced the highs the lows, all the experience that you’ve gained is nothing but good. And when they said that, I was like, I want to go here so bad.”

For King, if a short drive to work was any indication, Carr has already arrived.

Marcus Mariota can’t even explain his historic touchdown catch

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A touchdown pass to … yourself?!

That’s exactly what happened to Titans QB Marcus Mariota in Tennessee’s incredible 22-21 Wild Card victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs were up 21-3 entering halftime and appeared to be well on their way to advancing to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, but then Mariota made history with one of the craziest plays you’ll ever see:

With the six-yard touchdown, Mariota became the first player in NFL history to record a passing and receiving TD in a playoff game.

NFL Wild Card Weekend betting lines reflect recent favorites trend

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Wild Card Weekend has been ruled by favored teams recently – on the field, if not on the board. Favored teams are 10-2 straight-up in wild card games over the last three seasons. At the sportsbooks – and this seems germane with the home teams each laying at least six points this weekend – favorites are a more modest 7-4-1 against the spread.

The 2017 playoffs saw home teams go 4-0 SU and ATS in wild card games. Eighteen of the last 28 wild card games have gone under the posted total, with one push.

The Kansas City Chiefs are listed as 9-point favorites against the Tennessee Titans with a 44-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in a Saturday matchup. The Chiefs are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, but QB Alex Smith has had a stronger second half of the season than Marcus Mariota, his Titans counterpart.

Tennessee, which is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against the Chiefs, could be compromised offensively if DeMarco Murray (knee) is unable to play and spell off team rushing leader Derrick Henry. The total has gone over in five of the Titans’ last seven games against the Chiefs.

The Los Angeles Rams are 6.5-point betting favorites against the Atlanta Falcons with a 48.5-point total in the late Saturday matchup. The Rams and first-time playoff QB Jared Goff are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. However, Los Angeles, which lost its regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, is 5-0 SU in its last five games after a loss.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan, whose team is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 night games, will not have his optimal offensive line in front of him as LG Andy Levitre (triceps) is out for the season. The Rams defense, led by DT Aaron Donald, has the third-highest tally of interceptions. The total has gone under in the Falcons’ last five games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are nine-point betting favorites against the Buffalo Bills with a 39.5-point total in a Sunday matchup between teams that had a combined 26-year playoff drought (since 1999 for the Bills; 2007 for the Jags). The visiting team is 5-1 ATS in the last six games of this matchup, but Buffalo will likely only stand a chance if RB LeSean McCoy (ankle sprain) is healthy enough to play; there is no way he will be 100 percent.

The Jaguars, who are only 4-13 SU in their last 17 home games against teams with winning records, must hope QB Blake Bortles has some recent regression out of his system. The total has gone over in the Bills’ last five games against the Jaguars.

And the New Orleans Saints are listed as seven-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers with a 48-point total in a late Sunday betting matchup. The Panthers and QB Cam Newton are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six tries against the NFC South rival Saints and also boast the NFL’s 28th-ranked passing attack while the Saints are fifth through the air (each team’s pass defense is right in the middle of the rankings).

New Orleans and veteran QB Drew Brees are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against divisional opponents, as well as 5-0 SU in their last five home playoff games. The total has gone over in six of the Panthers’ last seven games against the Saints. The total has also gone over in five of the Saints’ last six games in the wild card round.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.