With what is being billed as the most anticipated game of the year a mere few hours away I am unable ton contain myself. Every TV in my house is already tuned to CBS in giddy anticipation. I already have my free AFC Championship betting pick made up.
Tom Brady an underdog? No problem. He loves that role. Check it out: pic.twitter.com/pH10zVAMbi
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 16, 2014
That tweet says it all.
In November, the Patriots came from a 24 point deficit at halftime, and beat the Broncos 34-31 in overtime after a muffed punt recovery inside the 20 yard line that set the scene winning field goal.
That should strike fear in every bone in every Broncos player today. Along with Peyton’s questionable history in the playoffs and in the cold my AFC Championship free betting pick sides with Bill Belichick and his merry band of Patriots.
For those of you that meed some facts behind my betting pick: 8 of the 14 Brady Vs. Manning Bowls have been decided by 7 or fewer points, including 6 of the last 7, so the odds are in the favor of the Patriots covering the AFC Championship game spread of 5 points.
The stat that really backs up my AFC Championship betting pick is that Peyton Manning is 4-10 SU against New England in his career and 5-7-2 ATS, including 0-2 ATS in his two games as a Broncos quarterback.
Where Denver has the Edge:
The Patriots won’t have LB Brandon Spikes, who’s arguably the team’s best run stuffer. Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno ran for 224 yards with Spikes on the field in the aforementioned week 12 meeting. Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase will lean on Moreno early and often which will open up the Pats defense for Peyton Manning to use the play action to hit his bevy of wide receivers.
Pats cornerback Aqib Talib will have the difficult job of stopping WR Demaryius Thomas, while the rest defense will have their hands full with Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and former Patriot Wes Welker.
FACT OF THE DAY:
The Broncos were without breakout TE Julius Thomas in their week 12 loss at the hands of the Patriots.
Where the Patriots have the Edge:
This is a new Patriots team. The only household names are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Gone are the blue chip players Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
So why am I so bullish on the Patriots? One name. LeGarrette Blount.
Blount has found his game after floundering in his NFL career. The Patriots have a knack of finding players with talent that can’t cut it at the pro level. Need examples? Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and even Tom Brady whose NFL draft scouting report listed him as pasty, un-athletic and skinny. This is why every team passed on Brady repeatedly, why he fell to No. 199, why the Pats owner called him Kyle upon initially meeting him.
But lets move on from my Brady bromance. If the New England running back platoon is able to move the chains and protect the ball on Sunday, Manning will have less time to pick apart the New England secondary. But, if they fail, Manning will have many more offensive opportunities to rack up points, and Brady will have to rely more on trying air out the ball to his lackluster receiving corps.
Bill Belichick does not want this game to turn into a shootout.
In his past three games, Blount has used his bulldozer-like running power and solid burst to lead the league in rushing yards (145 rushing yards per game) and rushing touchdowns (eight). Simply put, Blount is capable of gashing the Denver defense and helping New England control the line of scrimmage and keep the ball away from the Broncos offense.
Now you have an idea why my AFC Championship free betting pick is siding with the every impressive New England Patriots to cover the 5 points.