The upcoming football conference playoff games promise to be thrilling, as some top teams in the league face-off this week, it would almost seem like the Super Bowl was being played twice. We have the rivalry of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, and two heavy hitters with the Cardinals at Panthers. Fans and sportsbooks have been trying to determine just which team will win straight-up, as well as against the spread.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
With the way the Patriots played last week, it is no wonder they are the road favorites; however, the Broncos do have the home advantage. The Patriots have an incredible offensive line-up, starting with their quarterback, Tom Brady. The reason Brady has been so successful this season, and playoffs, is thanks to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Gronkowski is his go-to guy, as he has been just phenomenal, already catching for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. Edelman is his other go-to receiver, catching for 100 yards. They may not have much of a rushing game, but with the options Brady has to throw to outweigh that.
The Broncos on the other hand will most likely be relying on their defense. Even with Manning as QB, their offense hasn’t been shinning as bright as their defense has, and Manning himself has said it best,
“I think our defense is guiding us, let’s make that clear. I am honored to be a part of it and looking forward to playing next week in the AFC Championship Game.”
All-in-all, it will be a tough match for both teams.
Pick: New England Patriots (-3.5)
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
This will also be a big game between powerhouse quarterbacks Cam Newton and Carson Palmer; both of which may end up getting voted as NFL MVP this season. Both QB’s are former Heisman Trophy winners, marking the first time in history that this will happen. The Panthers offensive line has been paramount for their victories this season, and tied in with their defense, they will give the Cardinals a run for their money.
However, the Cardinals defense can hold their own as well. Being ranked in the top of the league in pass and rush defense, as well as being great as blitzing. This will prove useful against the heavy rushing team that is the Panthers. It will still be difficult, as the Panthers did overcome the Seahawks number one rush defense.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals (+3)