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AFC Playoffs: Broncos and Patriots on a Collision Course

The Denver Broncos will take on the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday while the Houston Texans will visit the New England Patriots on Sunday in the AFC Divisional Round Playoffs. Now we are not suggesting the Ravens and Texans have no shot at winning this weekend, but pretty darn close.

Oddsmaker has the odds on these two games:

Baltimore at Denver- Baltimore is +10 -120 or +380. Denver is -10 even or -480. Over/under is 46.

Houston at New England- Houston is +9.5 -110 or + 360. The Patriots are -9.5 -110 or -460. Over/under is 48.

Ten point spreads in the NFL are fairly rare. To have spreads this big in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs is extremely rare. But in this case, they are justified.

The Broncos are red hot. They’ve won 11 games in a row and none of them have been nail biters. They have scored at least 30 points in all but two of them. They allowed 20 points in only four of them. Their latest victory was over the Kansas City Chiefs in a 38-3 blowout. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is having an MVP type year. Not only that but he also is in the running for Comeback Player of the Year as well after missing all of last season. The Denver defense is anchored by Von Miller and it is a good one. The last team to score 24 on them was the San Diego Chargers who got them all in the first half of the first game in the 11 game streak. The Broncos shut them out in the second half in a come from behind 35-24 win, scoring all 35 points in the second half. They’ve not looked back since.

The Patriots are led by Tom Brady, who if Manning doesn’t get the MVP, he will. The Patriots have been in every game this season. Their only losses were by seven points or fewer. Brady has been outstanding as has his number one target, Wes Welker who had over 1300 yards receiving. If you think the Pats are all offense and no defense like last year, then you’d be wrong. They are coming off an NFL rarity, a shutout. They beat the Miami Dolphins 28-0 in their season finale.

Both Houston and Baltimore stumbled to the finish line before winning in the AFC Wild Card games a week ago. Both lost three of their last four games, and in the Ravens case, four of the last five. So these two are about as close to a lock as you will get this time of year.

We will lay the points on both games and take Denver -10 and New England -9.5. We will also take the over in both games as we suspect Manning and Brady will both put a lot of points on the board. This will set up a familiar Manning vs Brady match-up in the AFC Championship Game, which we have seen before and would surely like to see again.


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