This week because we have just two games for NFL Championship Sunday, thought we would continue with the theme of contrarian thinking and look into the two situations in the AFC title tilt.
In both cases we will go against the oddsmakers and or the public.
As most of you are aware, I enjoyed another terrific season at sportsbookreview.com, hitting over 63 percent on all selections for this article and video and look to close it out in style.
False Favorite: New England (-3) at Mile High
The one aspect of this line I cannot get over is the Patriots favored by three. I like you realize Peyton Manning is not the same quarterback he used to be, I understand that. Two months ago when these teams met in Denver, Brock Osweiler and the Broncos closed as 2.5-point home underdogs and won the game 30-24. Fast forward to this week and at least the moment, Denver is even a slightly larger underdog to the Patriots with Manning.
New England had no running game in last meeting (16 attempts for 39 yards) and the same was true last week with 38 yards in 14 carries. Part of this is obviously by design, because they do not have a feature back because of injury and running on Denver is not easy, since they led the league in fewest yards per attempt allowed at 3.3.
New England does have Tom Brady, but when he throws the ball more than 40 times, the Patriots are merely 3-3-1 ATS (1-3 ATS in last four). This could be playing into the Broncos hands, who are 3-1-2 ATS versus opponents who have chucked it 39 or more times this season. If Manning does do turn it over, Denver worth consideration for NFL picks.
Top Underdog - Bettors Calling for Bigger Score in Denver
At last look, over 60 percent of bettors have reviewed the NFL odds of 44 and wagered on the OVER. I am thinking the other way and here is why. Denver's game plan is to run the ball at New England, looking to keep Brady on the sidelines and controlling the clock. Though the Broncos are just middle of the road when it comes to rushing at 107 yards a contest at 4.2 yard per attempt, they are not going to beat New England with Manning attempting 40 or more passes.
Thus, Denver has to run the ball to shorten the game and with five of New England's front seven defensemen having legitimate injuries (as opposed to Ben Roethlisberger), they could have more success.
As you heard last week, the Broncos have one touchdown in their past 27 playoff drives, which does not sound like they will do much scoring. Plus, we have a pair of Top 10 scoring defenses (Denver 18.5, New England 19.7) and we have the unknown element of the weather, I will go against the public with UNDER call.