NFL Betting — It’s Brady vs. Manning and a Whole Lot More in AFC Title Game

Denver Broncos 2014
With a New England Patriots visit the Denver Broncos with the AFC championship at stake on Sunday (3 PM ET at Sports Authority Field in Denver), the NFL betting analysis is going to consist of a lot more than just Tom Brady against Peyton Manning. Certainly neither man’s credentials can be discounted; Manning threw for 5477 yards this season, which was an all time record for one season in the NFL, as was the 55 touchdowns that broke Brady’s mark. Brady has 4343 yards passing this season. In the previous meeting between the two teams, Brady threw for 344 yards to just 140 for Manning as the Patriots made a massive comeback after having been down 24-0 at the half, and winning in overtime 34-31. That game was played at Gillette Stadium; this is in a different locale and provides a different experience.

In the NFL betting odds that have been placed on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Broncos, playing at home, are the favorites:

Denver Broncos -4.5
New England Patriots +4.5

Over 56.5 points -110
Under 56.5 points -110

Brady is 18-7 straight up in the playoffs. That’s a lot of big-game experience, more than Manning, actually. And if you want to talk about “big” game, that’s how you’d have to classify the New England running attack based on its performance against the Indianapolis Colts last week. BetAnySports NFL betting customers saw them gain 234 yards on the ground, and that was led by the LeGarrette Blount and his 166 yards. He is now had 431 yards in his last three games, scoring eight touchdowns. When Blount isn’t in the game, Steven Ridley (772 yards) can carry the mail, and Shane Vereen (47 catches) it’s a lot of speed out of the backfield on pass plays.

With small receivers like Julian Edelman (105 catches) and Danny Hammond Dola (54 receptions), Brady will find receivers on short routes, but he will lack people to go down the field for big plays. Actually, tight end Rob Gronkowski supplied some of that, as well as a very potent weapon in the red zone. That’s missing from this game, and that is something for NFL bettors to consider.

On defense, these teams put together similar numbers. New England allowed seven yards per pass attempt, and they compiled 48 sacks, but they rank 29th in the NFL defending against the run. That has been a big burden for them to carry, but it is not unexpected, as this team has been missing three starters off the front seven, adding a fourth before the first playoff game with the Colts when Brandon Spikes went down. The Pats also allowed 4.5 yards per carry, and this has been one of the reasons opponents have been 42.2% of the down conversions. Listen to any interview with Peyton Manning, he stresses the importance of having favorable down-and-distance situations. These are the situations in which he thrives. If he gets them on Sunday, that spells a lot fo trouble for the New England Patriots.

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Charles Jay

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CHARLES JAY grew up around the gaming business, was raised in the boxing business, and along the way has developed a colorful background through a wide range of experiences. Jay was a veteran of almost two decades actively in the boxing industry, as a writer, publicist, matchmaker, booking agent, manager, and promoter. He was engaged as editorial consultant for USA Network's "Tuesday Night Fights" for seven years, and also did some on-air work for USA. He also served as color commentator for, among others, Sunshine Network and Prime Network, and has called more than a dozen world championship fights for national and/or international television. He has been the host of numerous radio programs, including "Sportswatch with Charles Jay" on KDWN in Las Vegas, "Total Action" on WAXY 790 in Miami, and "Charles Jay's Winning Edge", syndicated into 55 markets by the American Radio Networks. For the past 20 years, he has been a professional sports handicapper, and as a consultant to the casino industry from 1993-95, helped to launch Casino Magic in Mississippi as a major venue for sports promotions. Also, he's been a casino/sports gaming columnist for a number of leading publications, including Sports Form, Casino Player, Card Player, and The Gambler. In the 2000's, he became widely known as one of the world's leading proponents and experts on the subject of boxing reform, having been asked to appear on numerous panels and speak at officials' seminars. He was the author of "Operation Cleanup" and "Operation Cleanup 2: Unfinished Business" - two critically-acclaimed e-books that represent arguably the most comprehensive and in-depth examination of boxing reform issues ever put into publication. In 2004 he published a third electronic book - "Body Shots: Outside the Ring and Inside the Game of Pro Boxing". In 2003 he was the recipient of the "Dignity" Award, in the category of "Best Sports Writer," as bestowed by the Retired Boxers Foundation.

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