Patriots @ Broncos: Manning to lead Denver to Super Bowl

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is gearing up for a third straight AFC Championship game but his path to the Super Bowl will be blocked by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

New England came from behind to earn a 34-31 overtime victory against the Broncos in the last meeting between the two, but history suggests that Denver will avenge that defeat this time round and go on to contest the Vince Lombardi trophy.

At first glance, many could be tempted to back the Pats at an underdog price of 2/1, with Bill Belichick’s men winning five of the last six meetings with the Broncos.

New England are 6-1 from their last seven, have won 14 of their last 20 on the road and looked impressive when dismissing the Colts last time out.

However, a closer look at the head-to-head stats between these two reveals an 8-17 record for the Pats in 25 games against John Fox’s men, with 12 defeats from 15 outings at Sports Authority Field.

And, given the fact that the home side has won the last three postseason clashes between the two, it all points to a Broncos win, which can be backed at 2/5.

The spread has also been covered in each of those playoff ties so the 10/11 on offer for the Broncos to win despite the 5.5-point handicap also appeals.

Further encouragement for the home victory – were it needed – comes from the Broncos’ record of 21 wins from the previous 25 matches with just a single defeat coming in their last nine home games.

New England surprised many with their effective running game this season but the visitors could be tempted to pass the ball with Denver missing ACL victim Chris Harris at cornerback.

Brady’s three touchdowns and 344 yards in the week 12 win over the Broncos shows what he can do, but with Manning looking for revenge and Denver boasting better balance to their attack and a superior set of receivers it is the Mile High City residents that will march on to the MetLife Stadium.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.