On paper, it’s a dream match up featuring two of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. In reality, the AFC Championship game could come down to the respective rushing attacks. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are set to visit Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with a Super Bowl berth on the line this Sunday afternoon. Manning is coming off an outstanding statistical season in which he broke a number of records previously held by Brady, but none of that will matter nearly as much if he and the Broncos don’t pull through this online sports betting weekend. Brady has won 10 of 14 all-time match ups against Manning, including a 2-1 mark in the postseason.
AFC Championship Game
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Sunday January 19, 2014 – 3:00 PM ET
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
NFL Sportsbook Reviews Line: Denver – 5.5
Brady also came out on top in a dramatic comeback win earlier in the year, winning 34-31 overtime after trailing 24-0 at the half. Ironically, it was the run game that led the way for New England in last week’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, including 166 yards and four touchdowns from LaGarrette Blount.
NFL Betting Preview: New England Patriots
The Patriots have always done an excellent job of dissecting the weaknesses of opponents and exploiting them under head coach Bill Belichick, and that won’t change this week. New England will rely on its rushing attack to set the tone and control the possession game again this week, and that should open up room for Brady to go over the top after he torched them in the second half of their regular-season win over Denver. The Patriots’ defense rallied in that win over the Broncos, holding them to just a single touchdown. They will need to play at a high level again this price per head week to slow down Manning, especially since they are the visiting team this time around.
NFL Betting Preview: Denver Broncos
The Broncos would like to move the ball on the ground with more effectiveness this time around, and whether or not they are able to will have a major impact on this game. Manning has more weapons than ever before, but his offense stalled against New England during the regular season, and must find a stronger balance in order to keep the pressure off of the pocket. The Denver defense will also need to step up, especially when it comes to slowing down the rushing attack that was so dominant for the Patriots last week. The possession battle will be key to the outcome of this game, which means that the longer Manning is on the sideline, the less likely the Broncos’ chances of winning.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
Denver enters this game with the record-setting offense, home-field advantage, and a quarterback that actually still has something to prove given his .500 postseason resume. However, the Broncos weren’t able to finish New England off after being spotted a 24-0 lead during the regular season, and it will be tougher this time around if they don’t jump out to an early lead. The Patriots have everything they need to go in to Denver and pull out the straight up live betting win, so it makes sense to take the points in this situation.
NFL Betting Pick: New England Patriots + 5.5