AFC Championship Game Preview: New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Sunday, 1/19/14, 3:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Denver -7
Current Betting Line:  Denver -5.5
Opening Total:  54.5
Current Total:  56.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Denver Broncos will try to move past the New England Patriots and advance to the Super Bowl Sunday

The Denver Broncos will try to move past the New England Patriots and advance to the Super Bowl Sunday

New England has won and covered the number in its last three games, including a 43-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts as 7.5-point home favorites in the Divisional Round last weekend, while going OVER the betting total for the sixth time in seven contests.  The Patriots are led offensively by quarterback Tom Brady, who has won 10 of 14 match-ups against Peyton Manning, which is important to consider when making your NFL betting picks.  New England is 4-4 SU and 2-6 ATS on the road this season.

The Patriots will play in their eighth AFC Championship Game in 12 full seasons with Brady under center, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NFL betting lines.  The future Hall of Fame signal-caller is 5-6 SU all-time against the Broncos—the only team that he has a losing record against.  The team has the ability to utilize a power running game led by LeGarrette Blount, who ran for 166 yards in last week’s win over the Colts.

Denver earned home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs by finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record, but one of its losses came in this series, as it suffered a 34-31 overtime defeat to the Patriots as one-point road underdogs on Nov. 24.  It’s important to point out that the home team has won all three previous playoff meetings in this rivalry, but Manning hasn’t been involved in any of those circumstances.  He was held to 150 yards and completed just 52.8 percent of his passes in Foxborough this season.  Denver is 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (2-2 Over/Under).

The Broncos should be able to establish a running game with Knowshon Moreno, who had a career-high 1,038 rushing yards this season, with a career-best 224 yards coming in the November meeting.  Denver is expecting the crowd to help its cause in this affair, as the atmosphere at Sports Authority Field clearly bothered the San Diego Chargers last week, while the venue sits at the highest elevation of any stadium in the league.

Sports bettors will likely back the Broncos due to the home team covering the number in five of the last six meetings in this series.

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Posted by on Jan 18 2014. Filed under Headlines, NFL. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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