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NFL Conference Championships Betting Analysis

It’s time to separate the men from the boys as we head into the NFL Conference Championships and four teams battle it out in the quest to crown themselves as champions of Super Bowl 50. 

Keep reading to get our take on how it all could play out in these games, as well as to get two free picks. 

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos

  • Time: Sunday, January 24, 2016 3:05 PM ET
  • Place: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
  • AFC Championship Odds: New England Patriots -3; Over/Under 44

It’s been one heck of a ride for these two teams, but once again it’s going to be a classic battle between two great quarterbacks that will try to commandeer their offenses towards victory. However, because there can only be one winner it’s going to be due or die for them both. 

Keep in mind, it’s not the first time these two elite quarterback match their strengths in the postseason; and, it’s New England that leads the series 3-2, though the Broncos did win the latest game back in 2013. Granted, things have changed since then and perhaps the Patriots could have the advantage this time around. 

The Patriots’ offensive line looks nothing like it did back then. In fact, all of its players have now gone; also, wide receiver Julian Edelman has taken front and center as Brady’s target of choice and he has stepped up for the challenge. Edelman did not play when the Pats lost to the Broncos on November 29th and he’ll be a factor in this game which could turn the tide. 

The greatest factor which could influence this game, is Peyton Manning. Though no one could argue he’s one of the league’s elite quarterbacks, you could also say that this hasn’t been his year and probably even go so far as to say it might be his last season. If the Patriots’ defense can cut through Denver’s offensive line and get to Manning, he’s liable to commit costly turnovers (just this season he’s turned the ball over an unheard of 17 times). 

The Broncos strategy will likely steer away from Manning’s passing game and more towards the ground game with C.J. Anderson leading the way. Anderson was instrumental when they won back in November, putting up 113 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries. If Denver controls the clock, they could win the game despite Manning’s troubles at the pass. 

Denver also has an edge in defense, ranked in the top spot both in total defense and passing defense, and could rattle Brady and Edelman enough to get the Patriots offense off the field quickly and allow Manning to do his work. 

Betting Trends 

  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of New England's last 7 games when playing Denver
  • New England is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Denver
  • New England is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Denver
  • Denver is 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
  • Denver is 15-3 SU in its last 18 games at home
  • Denver is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing New England

Free Pick: The Patriots will cover, take them at -3.

Arizona Cardinals vs Carolina Panthers 

  • Time: Sunday, January 24, 2016 6:40 PM ET
  • Place: Bank of America Stadium 
  • Odds on the NFC Championship: Carolina Panthers -3; Over/Under 47.5 

There’s no arguing that it’ll be a heck of a thing to once again watch Manning and Brady play their gridiron chess. However, it’s the Cardinals vs Panthers that takes center stage this weekend. 

Though it wasn’t exactly easy for the Cardinals to beat the Green Bay Packers and get to this game, they did get the job done albeit having done it in overtime. And here they are, ready to face the Panthers. One could even argue that a win such as the one over the Packers could give the Cardinals enough drive to stick it to the Panthers on their home turf. Wins such as that tend to pump players up with motivation and grit. 

Of course, much of how the Cardinals play will be up to whether Carson Palmer has it in him to take it upon his shoulders to drive the offense to victory. There’s no denying that he’s perfectly capable of doing so and he’ll be hungry to make it to Super Bowl. 

On the other side, the Panthers had a reality check in their win over the Seahawks last Sunday. Having squandered a 31-0 halftime lead, would given even the best of teams something to think about. It doesn’t matter how good of a record they have amassed this year; if they play as they did in the second half of that game, they’ll lose. 

Of course, Cam Newton is probably the best quarterback at this time and he’ll likely pull things together to get the job done. He’ll have also paid attention at how Aaron Rodgers cut through Arizona’s secondary and likely take a similar approach in this game. There’s also the fact that running back Jonathan Stewart is back, which gives the Panthers an extra weapon in the running game that will aid Newton even more. Along with having home field advantage, Carolina has everything they need to win this game. 

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Arizona's last 9 games on the road
  • Arizona is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing Carolina
  • Arizona is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Carolina
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Carolina's last 8 games
  • Carolina is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
  • Carolina is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina's last 6 games at home

Free Pick: Carolina will head to the Super Bowl, take them to win SU.