Here we go again. For the 17th, and quite possibly last time in their illustrious careers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will faceoff, and a trip to Super Bowl 50 is on the line. The Patriots come into Denver opening as 3-point favorites, but the real story might be the O/U total, as OVER trends are at an eye-popping level.
With the total sitting at 44, O/U bettors will want to give strong consideration to the OVER. The Patriots have posted a record of 8-3 O/U this season in games with a total of less than 50 points. Digging even deeper, over the past five seasons, the Patriots have gone 18-5 O/U when facing a total of 45 or lower, averaging 30 points in those games. The Patriots also tend to put up big numbers in revenge situations, as the total has gone OVER in an amazing 15 straight Pats games after they lost the previous game in a matchup. Even more—these teams have gone OVER in six of their last seven games against each other. As always when betting totals, keep an eye on the weather as the game approaches.
As for the 3-point spread—that’s a number the Patriots haven’t responded well to. New England has lost three straight games both SU and ATS as a favorite of 3-points or less, with each of those games being on the road. The 3-point mark might be a magic number for the Broncos, however, as they’re a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games as an underdog of 3-points or less.
The Broncos got the better of the Patriots in a Week 11 game in Denver—30-24. For better or worse though, the Broncos will look like a much different team this time around, as Brock Osweiler filled in for Manning under center in the game. Denver’s offensive attack was highlighted by 29 carries between C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman who rushed for a combined 172 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite being the top seed in the AFC, the Broncos have been a team to stay away from at the betting window, as they’ve now failed to cover the spread in five straight weeks, going 0-3-2. Unfortunately for Patriots backers, they also have an ATS trend working against them, as they’ve gone 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.
Looking for an edge based on the history of Manning vs Brady? Brady’s gone 11-5 SU and 9-6-1 ATS vs Manning in their careers, while they’ve split four playoff games against each other, both SU and ATS. For more on Brady vs Manning, check out our breakdown of their head-to-head matchups.