AFC Championship game: Sunday, Jan. 24, 3:05 p.m., CBSNew England Patriots at Denver Broncos
NFC Championship game: Sunday, Jan. 24, 6:40 p.m., FOXArizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers Both matchups promise plenty of excitement and betting opportunities, so let’s examine both contests and analyze some of the stats and possible scenarios surrounding these games.
NFC Championship Odds Preview:Both the Cardinals and Panthers will do the impossible to get to their second Super Bowl in team history. This will be a rematch of last year’s wild-card meeting in Charlotte, which the Panthers won 27-16 against a depleted Cardinals squad that didn’t count with Carlson Palmer. The matchup brings an interesting scenario for NFL betting fans. Both teams count with highly qualified defenses and a quarterback capable of leading their respective squads to victory. The Panthers are coming off a 31-24 home win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, building up a huge first half lead and then holding on to cover the 2.5-point spread. The Cardinals got past the Green Bay Packers 26-20 at home in overtime in their Divisional Round contest on Saturday, failing to cover the 7-point spread.
Game Odds:Carolina Panthers -3
AFC Championship Odds PreviewOn the other hand, veteran quaterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are back in the AFC Championship game that has become such familiar territory for both of them. The heated Manning-Brady rivalry has been a special one. The two veterans have played each other sixteen times, including four times in the NFL Playoffs. Brady leads the head-to-head series 11-5, with the post season meetings being split 2-2. Denver is currently listed as 3-point home underdog in the latest NFL odds. The Broncos faced the Pats on November 29, winning 30-24 as a 2.5-point home underdog. Manning was out in that game, with secondary QB Brock Osweiler throwing for 270 yards and a touchdown on the day. The Broncos enter this game fresh from a 23-16 home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on the Divisional Round, with Manning coming back to take the starting role after missing four games with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left heel. The Patriots managed to both win and cover against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, grabbing the 27-20 victory as a 6-point home favorite on the betting lines. Brady threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns, with Rob Gronkowski catching two TD passes.
Game Odds:New England Patriots -3.5
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