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AFC Conference Championship: Patriots vs. Broncos Betting

Patriots @ Broncos – 2014 AFC Conference Championship Preview

Start Time: Sunday, January 19th 2014 at 3:00pm ET
Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Station: Watch Live on CBS

The New England Patriots dominated the Indianapolis Colts (43-22) in the divisional round last week. The Denver Broncos built up a comfortable lead against the San Diego Chargers, but after struggling to end the game they only ended up winning by a TD (24-17).

Latest Betting Lines in NE vs. DEN

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Denver opened up as a –6 point favorite at home earlier in the week, but the Broncos have been bet down to –4.5 points. So far the action has been heavily titled towards NE (77%). The over/under opened at 54.5 points and has moved up a full point already.

Who Has the Edge on Offense?

This match-up has been dubbed the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Championship. These two QB’s are familiar with each other, but it’s clear that Brady has had the upper hand. The Patriots are 2-0 against the Broncos since Manning joined Denver in 2012.

Last season the Patriots covered as –5.5 point favorites (31-21) and in wee 12 this season they covered as –1 point favorites (34-31). I thought it was a bit surprising that the Patriots have done so well, but it should be noted that both of these wins were in NE.

Denver clearly has the edge on offense and this should be the year that the Broncos can beat the Patriots. Last week the Broncos top three WR’s (Demariyus Thomas, Wes Welker & Eric Decker) combined for 16 receptions, 124 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.

TE Julius Thomas pitched in with 6 receptions and he led the team with 76 receiving yards. The Pats are relying on Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman to keep this game close. Last week the two WR’s combined for 9 catches and 161 receiving yards against Indy.

I give the edge in the run game to the Pats, but we’ll see if they can get it going against a tough Broncos d-line. LaGarette Blount ran for 166 yards (4 TD’s) on 24 carries and Stevan Ridley ran for 52 yards (2 TD’s) on 14 carries against the Colts in the divisional round.

Who Has the Edge on Defense?

New England allows plenty of yards, but they don’t allow too many points. Part of the reason they keep the opposing offense out of the endzone is because of their 13th ranked red zone defense (53.85%) and because they average 1.9 takeaways per game (3rd).

Last wee they won the turnover battle 4-0 against the Colts and if they can force turnovers they’ll have a shot at the upset. Manning had 1 INT and the Broncos also had a fumble against SD. I don’t think they can afford any mistakes without Brady capitalizing on it.

I thought the Broncos defense played very well against SD. They only allowed 259 total yards, which is much better than what they were giving up during the regular season. Most of the action is on the over, but these defenses are both likely to play well again.

H2H Analysis

I want to take a quick look at how the week 12 H2H match-up with these two teams this season. Denver took a 24-0 lead into HT, but NE rallied and outscored Denver 31-7 in the 2H. Stephen Gostkowski kicked the game winning FG for the Pats in OT.

The Broncos rushed for 280 yards in the game while Brady threw for 344 yards. Manning had a poor game and only ended up having 150 passing yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT. In total the Broncos turned the football over 4X and the Patriots turned the football over 3X.

AFC Conference Championship Predictions

This point spread has been dropping and I’d wait to see if you can get closer to a FG by kick-off on Sunday, but I’ll be betting on DEN to cover at Mile High. The Pats are enticing because of their recent H2H record against Denver, but those games were in NE.

This won’t be a blow out and the Broncos have to ensure that the Pats can’t get their run game going. They utilized their power run game perfectly last week, but Denver will be prepared for that. I like the Broncos to win this game by a TD after making a late stop.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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