In Depth

NFL 2018-19 guide: London games, Super Bowl 53 predictions, odds, TV

Eagles win the final game of the Wembley series in front of a record 85,000 crowd

Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up the 2018 NFL London series with a 24-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in front of a record crowd at Wembley.

Carson Wentz overcame a slow start to throw three touchdowns as the Eagles held on in front of 85,870 spectators. And although the Jaguars are London’s adopted home team the crowd “was dominated by Eagles fans, who became louder as the game went on and their team came alive at the end of the first half and into the second”, says Sky Sports.

Wentz, whose first two drives ended with a fumble and an interception, eventually finished with 286 yards and three touchdowns. Opposite number Blake Bortles managed only one touchdown and could not marshal his offence to a key score as they trailed by six in the fourth quarter.

Defeat for the Jags comes after four players were “arrested on Saturday after allegedly trying to leave a London nightclub without paying a large bar bill”, reports the BBC.

On the other side of the Atlantic the LA Rams remain unbeaten after edging out the Green Bay Packers 29-27 on Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints also won.

NFL London fixtures

Sunday’s Wembley clash was the last of this year’s NFL London schedule. The line-up for 2019 is expected to be revealed early next year. Details will be announced on the NFL UK website.

Super Bowl 53

The Los Angeles Rams remain the early favourites to win the 2019 Super Bowl and lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. According to the bookmakers, the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints are also expected to be in contention.

Super Bowl 53 will be held at the home of the Atlanta Falcons – the Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on 3 February 2019.

Here we look at the London series results and fixtures, how to watch American football on TV in the UK, Super Bowl 53 predictions and betting odds. We also explain the season schedule in our NFL guide.

2018 NFL London results and fixture

  • 14 October: Seattle Seahawks 27 Oakland Raiders 3
  • 21 October: Tennessee Titans 19 Los Angeles Chargers 20 
  • 28 October: Philadelphia Eagles 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 18

NFL on TV in the UK

Sky Sports Action will be the home of Sky’s NFL coverage this season with a number of live matches every week. The BBC will again broadcast The NFL Show.

When is the 2019 Super Bowl?

It’s on 3 February in Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons.  

2019 predictions: who will win Super Bowl 53?

Greg Bishop, Sports Illustrated – Philadelphia Eagles: “I don’t see any reason why the Eagles can’t win again, other than no team has repeated in over a decade.”

Jenny Vrentas, Sports Illustrated – New England Patriots: “The Patriots no doubt have their share of question marks, from last year’s uncharacteristic in-house drama to a defence that gave up more than 500 yards in the play-offs. And that’s not mentioning the prognosis is historically not good for teams that lost the Super Bowl the year before. But, picking the Patriots also doesn’t require a lot of explanation, so I’m going to stop here.”

Sarah Hardy, SB Nation – Minnesota Vikings: “Well for one, they’re not the Patriots, who will probably end up here anyway, but I don’t want to put such negative energy out into the universe. Plus, the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl last season has me feeling bullish that another team will finally get its due.”

Will Brinson, CBS Sports – Atlanta Falcons: “You know what’s going to be fun? The Atlanta Falcons winning their first-ever Super Bowl title on their home field in Atlanta when Super Bowl 53 takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Dome. That’s right, folks, I’m taking the Atlanta Falcons to take home the first-ever franchise title just two years after suffering what is, in my mind, the most heart-breaking loss in Super Bowl history.”

Vinnie Iyer, SportingNews.com – New Orleans Saints: “New Orleans has been waiting nine years for the Saints to march back to the Super Bowl with quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton. Who Dat Nation’s wait will end in Super Bowl 53. Sporting News is picking the Saints to hoist the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy in February.”

2019 Super Bowl betting odds

Latest prices according to Oddschecker (as of 22 October).

Super Bowl 53 winners
  • Los Angeles Rams: 13/4
  • New England Patriots: 6/1
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 7/1 
  • New Orleans Saints: 9/1
  • Minnesota Vikings: 14/1
  • Los Angeles Chargers: 18/1
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 22/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 30/1 
  • Baltimore Ravens: 30/1

About the NFL: rules, teams, season schedule

How many teams are there in the NFL?

There are 32 and the winner is crowned at the end-of-season Super Bowl. As NFL.com explains, the league’s 32 teams are split into two conferences — the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The 16 teams in each conference are then split into the East, North, South and West divisions. Each division has four teams. 

How does the NFL season work?

The regular season lasts 17 weeks, during which time each team plays 16 matches. At the end of the regular season, the top team in each conference’s four divisions, plus each conference’s two teams (wild cards) with the next-best records, qualify for the play-offs. The 12 teams are seeded by their win-loss record. The Wild Card Round and Division Round lead to the Conference Championship Round, where the top two teams battle it out to become the NFC and AFC champions. The two Conference champions then meet at the Super Bowl.

How do the NFL teams line up?

If you’re new to American football a great place to start is by reading NFL.com’s beginner’s guide. According to the guide, the two teams line up in the following way: one 11-man team has possession of the football and is called the offence and the other 11-man team is the defence. A match is split into four 15-minute quarters, with a 12-minute half-time break. 

How are points scored?

There are four ways to keep the scoreboard ticking over: a touchdown is worth six points, conversions get one or two points, field goals are three points, and a safety is worth two points. The object of the game is to score more points than the opposition.

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