AFC Championship Game: Trends, Points and Pick

The AFC Championship will be played on Sunday in Mile High City between the host Denver Broncos and the visiting New England Patriots.

The rivalry between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be renewed in this matchup, while odds makers have given the shortest price on Denver at home for the entire season.

The two quarterbacks are easily the focal point of this game. Their play could be the deciding factor of which team wins the AFC Championship and moves on to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots are 13-4 SU and 9-8 ATS, while the Broncos are 14-3 SU and 10-7 ATS.

This could and might be the last time the two face one another with so much on the line. Manning turns 38 next season, while Brady turns 37.

Denver is looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999, while the Patriots will attempt to reach their sixth Super Bowl during Brady’s tenure as quarterback.

The Patriots are 4-0 SU and ATS against Denver since 2011. The latest New England win was this past November 24, when the Pats came back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to defeat Denver 34-31.

Overall, New England has a record of 10-4 SU and 7-5-2 ATS during Brady’s starts versus a team with Peyton Manning at quarterback.

The current line at Bovada has Denver at -5. The total points on topbet and betonline are sitting at 56. On sportsbook.com, the line has moved from an opening of -6 for Denver to -4.5 and back up to its current -5.

New England has used its ground game of late behind LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley. Blount, the 250-pound powerful back had 166 rushing yards and four TDs versus Indianapolis last week.

However, the Patriots will also look to attack a weak defensive secondary for Denver. During the game in November, Brady threw for three touchdowns and 344 yards. Denver will be without Chris Harris one of its starting cornerbacks who tore his ACL last week versus San Diego.

Denver will look to throw first and run second against the Patriots. However, they will use their running game to keep New England’s offense off the field and eat up the clock. The Broncos were 9 for 13 on third down conversions last week.

However, Denver is a passing team and their biggest plays will come from Manning and his corps of receivers.

Trends

  • New England is 1-5 ATS over its past 6 games on the road.
  • New England is 0-5 ATS over its past 5 games played on grass.
  • New England is 0-4 ATS over its past 4 AFC Conference Championships.
  • Denver is 7-2 ATS in its past 9 game played on grass.
  • Denver is 7-3 ATS in its past 10 games overall.
  • The OVER is 8-2 in the past 10 games New England has played during January.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the past 5 games New England has played on grass.
  • The UNDER is 4-0 in the past 4 games Denver has played on grass.
  • The OVER is 4-1 in the past 5 games Denver has played in the postseason.
  • Head to head New England is 4-0 ATS over the past 4 games versus Denver, while the OVER is 4-0 over those same four games.

Pick: Denver 31-28

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