The moment that most NFL fans have been waiting for is here. The New England Patriots (13-4) will visit the top-seeded Denver Broncos (13-4) in the latest edition of Brady–Manning rivalry. The two veteran quarterbacks have met four times in the Playoffs, with the meetings being split 2-2. Three of the four matchups have been in the AFC Championship Game, with Manning having won two of the three, including two playoff games over the last 10 seasons.
Both players have impressive but distinctive resumes that have sparked many debates on who’s the best active QB in the NFL. Manning is looking to seal the ticket to his fourth Super Bowl, where he will try to add a second ring to to his long list of individual records and accolades, including all-time passing yards and TDs, and record five MVP awards. On the other hand, Brady, who still behind Manning’s career numbers, will try to beat his rival and look for a fifth Super Bowl ring, more than any quarterback, a feat that could also open the door for an unprecedented fourth Super Bowl MVP award.
But now the stakes get higher, and although the QB rivalry is a great incentive, there are other reasons why bettors should should keep an eye on this game. The AFC Championship is a rematch of the Week 12 matchup that ended up deciding the home-field advantage for this game. The loss still fresh and meant the first regular season reverse for Brady
The Patriots are currently 3.5-point road favorites to win this game, which puts the Broncos in a rare position. Only three times in the past three decades has a No. 1 seed been the underdog in the conference championship game. In all three of those instances, the favored road team ended up winning.
Who Has the Edge?
The defending Super Bowl champion counts with the talent and the experience to find a way to stop Denver. The winning combination of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady is the most effective in NFL history. Brady counts with 161 wins as starter, while Belichik has 14 consecutive seasons with winning record on one team.
Denver’s record isn’t that impressive, although the Broncos have a solid home record, winning 15 of their last 18 games, and are a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS in their past five matches as underdogs of 3 points or less.