Four teams remain in the hunt to win Superbowl 50 and they meet in the NFC and AFC  Conference Championship games this weekend

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New England Patriots -3 at the Denver Broncos 10/11 BetVictor

Carolina Panthers -3 versus the Arizona Cardinals 10/11 Coral

The games feature the top two seeds in each conference, all-time great quarterbacks meeting for possibly the last time and punishing defences. Two close games lie ahead

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos (Sunday 8pm GMT)

The Patriots reached their fifth straight AFC Championship game with a 27-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Four-time winning Super Bowl quarterback Brady combined with Rob Gronkowski for two touchdowns as the reigning champions ended the Chiefs’ winning streak at 11 games and set up a Denver showdown.

The Broncos needed Manning to lead them to a late touchdown drive to secure a 23-16 victory over the injury-hit Pittsburgh Steelers.

Denver and New England met on November 29, with the Broncos winning 30-24. This should be a close game. In Denver’s favour they have the top defense in the league and a solid running game. Against them their passing game was rarely in synch against the Steelers, with Manning and his receivers struggling to mesh. Against Brady and the Patriots they will likely need more than defense and a rushing game to score enough points to keep pace. They also have to contend with Belichek’s game planning. Against the Chiefs and their pass rush Brady had the ball out of his hands almost immediately and the quick passes worked well

New England are 3 point favourites in a game expected to produce 44 points. I expect New England to win and cover.

Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers,( Sunday 11.40pm GMT)

The Panthers, top seeds in their conference with the best regular season record in the division, won through with a 31-24 victory over 2013 champions and last year’s finalists Seattle Seahawks. Cam Newton threw for 161 yards and a touchdown while Jonathan Stewart ran for two scores.

They will meet Arizona in the NFC Championship game after the Cardinals’ 26-20 win over the Green Bay Packers. Carson Palmer passed for 349 yards and three touchdowns in the dramatic overtime victory in which the high octane Arizona offense didn’t really click until the dramatic 75 yard reception to Larry Fitzgerald on the first play of overtime.

The major challenges here for underdogs Arizona are to improve their run defense, so critical against the Panthers and for their offense to make the big plays they are renowed for against a tough defense. The match-up thouh should favour Carolina at home

Carolina are 3 point handicap favourites in a game expected to produce 47.5 points. I will be backing Carolina -3.

Recommendations

New England Patriots -3 at the Denver Broncos 10/11 BetVictor

Carolina Panthers -3 versus the Arizona Cardinals 10/11 Coral