The AFC Conference game on Sunday will provide the AFC team for the New York Superbowl at the beginning of February and is a marquee match-up of two of the best Quarterbacks in NFL history and two high-powered NFL franchises. The game between the Patriots and the Baroncos is reviewed here

Recommendation

Denver Broncos -5.5 versus New England Patriots 10/11 Ladbrokes

The AFC Conference Championship this Sunday has been projected all week as a Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning showdown, the two very best Quarterbacks of their generation, both considered at the tail end of their careers. Another NFL title for one would mean so much to his NFL legacy.

This is the 15th meeting between the two high-profile QBs with Brady holding a 10-to-4 edge in their head-to-head match-up.

The last meeting came in Week 12 of the 2013 regular season when the Patriots beat the Broncos in overtime, 34-31, the Broncos having been 21 points up.

While Manning-Brady storyline will be the main focus for the fans, the coaches will not be forgetting about the running backs in this game.

For the Broncos, Manning’s arm is always a threat but Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball are dangerous on the ground. Moreno had a career-high 224 rushing yards vs. these same Patriots in November and Ball is second on the team in total rushing yards with 559 for the season.

For the Patriots, missing Gronkowski and from last season Welker, their superb coach Bill Belicheck has re-fashioned the Patriots as a run first smash mouth offense

The Broncos opened as 6 point favourites at home, money came for the Patriots and they were bid up to as low as 4 point underdogs. This would represent by far the lowest home supremacy quote for the Broncos this season. The quote has now settled at Patriots +5.5. Interestingly the points line is set at +/- 55.5, a very high quote and indicative that a high scoring shoot-out is expected.

The issue here is whether this re-fashioned Patriots offense can live with the Broncos, who undoubtedly are going to score a lot of points and certainly will not be playing as conservatively as they did against the Chargers at times last week

New England has won its the past four meetings with Denver and has covered the spread each time but this time I feel its advantage Broncos. The New England defense won’t contain the Broncos to less than 30 points. This i sthe NFL’s all-time highest scoring offense. Manning has an embarrassment of riches to throw to, as well as a deep stable of running backs behind him and assuming the Broncos do enough to keep New England in check on the ground, Tom Brady will be full on to match this with the team’s current receiving options.

Recommendation

Denver Broncos -5.5 versus New England Patriots 10/11 Ladbrokes