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OBJ Expected to Make Rams Debut Vs. 49ers

Plus, Bulls and Lakers face off at Staples Center, and Dončić battles Jokić.

From Cam Newton’s return in style to the Panthers to Patrick Mahomes’s big-time performance last night, it was an eventful Sunday in the NFL. We’ll wrap up Week 10 tonight in Santa Clara with an NFC West clash that could double as Odell Beckham Jr.’s debut. Plus, there’s a pair of key early college hoops games in the state of Wisconsin, and the Bulls look for a sweep of a back-to-back swing in Los Angeles.

Here’s what I’m watching today.

MUST WATCH

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers

odell-beckham-jr

The short-handed Cardinals’ blowout loss Sunday to the Panthers has opened the door for the Rams to move back into a tie for first in the NFC West. Los Angeles, who made yet another splash when it added Odell Beckham Jr. last week, needs a win tonight to join Arizona atop the division. OBJ is expected to make his Rams debut in a marriage that, while unexpected, might be the best fit possible for both sides.

On the other side, the 49ers could really use a win to make their playoff hopes more than a glimmer. With a lighter schedule coming up, a win could catapult San Francisco back into the conversation … but it won’t be easy against this dynamic L.A. offense.

8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV

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LINEUP

  • New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning | With just two games tonight in the NHL, this one should be fun. The Lightning are coming off a huge OT win over the Panthers, which have been the league’s best team in the season’s first month. 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
  • Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks | These two teams have been tough to get a real feel for early in the NBA season. The Mavs have played better lately after a bumpy start under Jason Kidd, while the Nuggets are winners of five straight. 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV, watch on fuboTV
  • Men’s college basketball: Providence at Wisconsin | In college hoops, it’s never too early to start thinking about the bubble. Both of these teams just missed the cut in SI’s preseason bracketology, but this game provides an opportunity for a quality win in the nonconference slate that could go a long way come March. 9 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV
  • Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers | The Bulls continue a long trip out West in a showdown with the Lakers, looking to complete a sweep of the Los Angeles teams on back-to-back nights. It was the Chicago defense, which SI’s Chris Herring spotlighted last week, that keyed the win over the Clippers yesterday: The Bulls limited L.A. to 90 points after the Clips scored 110 or more in five of their last six games. 10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV, watch on fuboTV

HIDDEN GEM

MBB: Illinois at Marquette

There’s plenty of intrigue in this one to wrap up college basketball’s first week, as an Illinois team with high expectations gets its first real test of the year in what should be a raucous atmosphere in Milwaukee. The Illini will be without one of the best players in the sport in Kofi Cockburn, who is completing a three-game suspension by the NCAA for selling team-issued gear before NIL legislation was passed on July 1. That puts even more pressure on guard Andre Curbelo, who is one of the sport’s biggest breakout candidates in 2021–22.

The game also marks the first big showdown of the Shaka Smart era at Marquette. Smart, the former VCU and Texas coach, took over this spring in Milwaukee after the firing of Steve Wojciechowski.

7 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV

Think we missed something worth watching? Reply to guide@si.com and let us know what we should be looking out for and why.

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