The AFC Divisional Playoffs are just a few days away. On Sunday, New England hosts Houston, but on Saturday, in the afternoon, Baltimore takes on Denver. Keep reading for a full breakdown on the Baltimore versus Denver matchup!
AFC ATS Playoff Breakdown
Baltimore Ravens 11-6 at Denver Broncos 13-3
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
When: Jan. 12 at 4:30 pm ET
Betting Odds: Denver -9.5
Here is a look at the latest Super Bowl Odds.
The Baltimore Ravens were one of the hottest teams in the NFL up to Week 12. At that time, the Ravens were at 9 and 2 and on the cusp of not only making the playoffs but battling for home field advantage throughout. Then, the wheels fell off and Baltimore dropped 4 out of their last 6 final regular season games. See below for the highlight victories:
44 to 13 victory over Cincinnati in Week 1 – – The Ravens throttled a tough AFC North rival in the first week of the season, setting the tone for the rest of the season.
31 to 30 victory over New England in Week 3 – – New England was supposed to beat Baltimore in that game, but the Ravens showed up big winning a tough contest with guts and determination.
13 to 10 victory over Pittsburgh in Week 11 – – Baltimore won a defensive game with LB Ray Lewis and CB Ladarius Webb on the bench. They also beat the rival Steelers on the road.
33 to 14 victory over New York Giants in Week 16 – – Both teams were struggling for a Playoff spot at that point with the defending Super Bowl champs having to beat the Ravens on the road in order to get back into the playoff hunt. Baltimore destroyed Eli and Co.
Before their Week 7 bye week, the Denver Broncos were at 3 and 3 straight up and didn’t look like a team that was going to secure a Wild Card Playoff spot much less win the AFC West Division. Peyton Manning and the Broncos won 10 straight regular season games after their bye week to not only win the AFC West but also to secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. See below for the highlights.
35 to 24 victory over San Diego in Week 6 – – At halftime, the score was San Diego 24 and Denver 0. Peyton and the Broncos’ D took over in the second half for a miraculous comeback victory.
34 to 14 win over New Orleans in Week 8 – – The Saints still had hopes of getting into the Playoffs. Not only that, but interim coach Joe Vitt and LB Jonathan Vilma had returned to New Orleans off of suspensions. Denver showed their class by holding Brees and Co. to only 14 points.
34 to 17 victory over Baltimore in Week 15 – – Not only did the win occur on the road, but it was a stunning destruction of the point spread since Denver was only favored by 3 in the contest.
38 to 3 win over Kansas City in Week 17 – – Denver needed the victory to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The team showed no signs that they were going to break by absolutely punishing Kansas City.
Baltimore Ravens: RB Ray Rice
Rice’s lack of touches is the reason that coach John Harbaugh fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron late in the season. Even with the lack of touches, Rice found a way to go for 1621 combined yards and 10 touchdowns. He also only fumbled once during the season and his average per rush in 2012 was 4.4 yards.
Denver Broncos: QB Peyton Manning
Peyton deserves to be the league MVP as well as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. His stats in 2012, after taking 2011 off due to a neck injury, are staggering. Peyton has thrown for 4659 yards and 37 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. He’s completing 68.7% of his passes and he posted a QB rating of 90 or better in 14 out of Denver’s 16 regular season games.
The Futures Market: Odds to Win AFC Championship
Baltimore Ravens: +900
At the odds, Baltimore is an underlay to win the AFC Championship. QB Joe Flacco, who has been in the league since the 2008 – 2009 season, is completing less than 60% of his passes and has an 87.5 QB rating. It’s time for Baltimore to give up on this guy.
Denver Broncos: +115
The odds are more than fair on Denver who not only thumped Baltimore earlier this season but is the hottest team in the NFL after having won their last 10 games. The Broncos have the full package, a hall-of-fame QB, a fantastic rushing game that averages 114.6 yards per game, and a defense that’s ranked second in total yards allowed, third in passing yards allowed, third in rushing yards allowed and fourth in points allowed. I like New England because they’re offering higher odds, but nobody can argue with football bettors backing the Broncos at +115 to win the AFC.
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos: Analysis
The betting trends, and 57% of football handicappers, are all over the Ravens in this matchup. After all, 9.5 points is a lot to lay in an NFL game much less one with so much on the line.
I’m not a believer in Baltimore, though. Yes, the Ravens’ defense shut down Indianapolis’s offense last weekend, but the Colts are a different team on the road and Baltimore still gave up 152 rushing yards and 267 passing yards to Indy. Think of what Denver is going to do that Swiss cheese Ravens’ defense.
Also, Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco has been garbage, just ridiculously bad, on the road this season. Save for a 121.4 QB rating versus Washington on the road in Week 14, Flacco was horrific. He posted a 66.8 QB rating on the road versus Philly, a 55.6 QB rating on the road versus KC, a 45.4 QB rating on the road versus Houston, a 75.5 QB rating versus Pittsburgh, and a 61.5 QB rating versus Cincinnati on the road in Week 17.
Denver’s defense is going to destroy Flacco on Saturday, making the Broncos an easy pick against the spread in this contest.
Free Pick: Denver Broncos -9.5