New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos Expert Betting Picks for Best Props on Board
by Chris Vasile - 1/20/2016
This year's divisional playoff round was nothing short of entertaining. Exactly seven points decided three of the four games, and the other game was decided by a game-winning touchdown in overtime. New England showed its offensive prowess against a good Kansas City team that could not finish drives and had to settle for field goals. The late game saw Arizona edge out Green Bay in overtime thanks to a 75-yard catch and run by Larry Fitzgerald on the first play from scrimmage in OT. That would have not happened if it were not for Aaron "Hail Mary" Rodgers, who unbelievably connected on a 41-yard "Hail Mary" toss to Jeff Janis as time expired. That is Rodgers second hail mary completion for a touchdown this season.
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While Saturday was profitable on the props side of things, I had no action on Sunday. I watched both games though and was just as shocked as the rest of the world to see Carolina demolish Seattle (in the first half). Football is a game of four quarters, but more importantly two halves. Momentum swings are huge as was evidenced in the second half of this game. Seattle came out gunning and almost completed the comeback. Ultimately, they ended up losing 31-24 after Carolina recovered an onside kick, but kudos to the Seahawks for not mailing it in.
Denver and Pittsburgh were about as evenly-matched on this particular Sunday as you could get. They traded field goal after field goal as the Steelers went into the fourth quarter up 13-12. Both defenses played well, but it was Pittsburgh's that broke with three minutes to play in the game. C.J. Anderson scampered in for a 1-yard touchdown, which gave the Broncos the lead for good. One could only wonder what the outcome would have been if Antonio Brown had played and Ben Roethlisberger was 100 percent healthy.
I finished 2-1 with my prop selections for the Kansas City vs. New England game and 2-1 with props from the Green Bay vs. Arizona matchup.
Let's dive into some of the best prop bets for each game with some picks, predictions and analysis.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High, 3:05 p.m. EST. Jan. 24, 2016
Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Again.
I feel like this is one of those horror movies that has eight sequels and nothing is ever solved. The bad person lives, or disappears, or whatever, until he comes out from hiding and destroys again. This is sequel No. 16. Brady leads the overall head-to-head series 11-5. However, this matchup is 2-2 when it matters most; in the postseason. With so many other variables in this matchup, this Brady vs. Manning headline is old and boring. I am eager to find out how the Broncos plan (and probably fail) to stop Rob Gronkowski. Is the Broncos offense capable of going toe-to-toe with the Patriots offense? In previous years, the answer would have been a resounding "yes". This year, however, I'm not so sure.
Anytime Touchdown Scorer:
C.J. Anderson +140
If Denver is going to win this game, they are going to need the run game to step up in a huge way. The Broncos are coming into this game off rushing for 109 yards against a Steelers defense that was playing better towards the end of the year. They need that number to get up to about 180 if they are to win this game. A couple reasons for this are to run the clock and keep Brady on the sideline. If you win time of possession, you limit the amount of opportunities Brady has to hurt you. The second reason establishing the run is so important is to remain balanced and keep the Patriots defense honest. Yes, I know this is the game plan for all coaches, but Denver's passing offense has looked anything but amazing this year. You do not want Peyton throwing lame ducks into double coverage because the Pats are confidently only rushing three because of the lack of run game. I like C.J. Anderson's style, and down in the red zone he will get most of the touches over Ronnie Hillman.
Pick: C.J. Anderson +140
Denver by 6 or more +220, New England by 6 or more +120, Any Other Result +200
The line for this game is New England -3 -110. It's hard to picture this number moving up or down either way. If it does, my assumption would be it would be moving down to -2.5. If you are expecting a blowout, you would have to side with New England. Their offense seems to click no matter who is in the game as long as Tom Brady is calling the shots. We have seen Denver's offense sputter on more than one occasion this year, so they would be hard pressed to win going away. Both defenses are capable units that are playing well above their potential. Denver ranks first overall in total yards against (283.1 per game) and fourth in points allowed per game (18.5). New England's stop unit ranks 10th in points allowed (19.7) and ninth overall in total yards allowed per game (339.4). With two of the better kickers in the league playing in this one, field goals will be huge, and a push (-3) is probably the likeliest outcome.
Pick: Any Other Result +200
Time of First Field Goal Scored:
Score on or after 14:00 Elapsed -120, Score Before 14:00 Elapsed -120
We are going to pin this prop solely on the shoulders of Stephen Gostkowski and Brandon McManus. In the thin air of Sports Authority Stadium (I like "Mile High Stadium" better), two of the better kickers in the league should make their presence felt early. I hope that it is in a positive way by winning this prop for me and not missing an easy chip shot field goal (Still looking at you Blair Walsh). We are getting almost a full quarter of opportunity, and it would not be a shock to anyone if the Patriots won the toss, elected to defer (as per usual) and the Broncos marched down the field only to have their drive stalled because a receiver cannot catch a pass on third-and-four from the 25-yard line. Points are at a premium in the postseason, so any early opportunity to put points on the board, say under a 50-yard field goal attempt, coaches should jump at the opportunity.
Pick: Score Before 14:00 Elapsed -120
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