Two of the greatest quarterbacks the game has ever seen will meet one more time as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos square off for the AFC Championship in Denver Sunday afternoon.
Early odds at online book Bovada see Manning and the Broncos tabbed as 3.5-point home underdogs for the meeting. The total is currently off the board.
Sunday’s contest at Mile High will be the 17th meeting between the two Canton-bound quarterbacks and while Brady has the straight up edge in previous meetings, the spread results are just a touch better than middling.
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Brady has posted a 11-5 SU record heading into Sunday’s game but has the ever-so-slight edge at the betting window, going 9-6-1 against the spread.
That said, the betting edge in these contests can clearly be found in OVER/UNDER markets. In the 16 previous Brady-Manning games, the OVER has gone 11-5 – good enough to cash at a 68.75 percent clip.
While the Broncos and Patriots met in Week 12 of the 2015 regular season, it was Brock Osweiler that was featured under center for the Broncos who went on to win 30-24 in overtime as 2.5-point home pups. That leaves the Week 9 meeting in 2014 as the last time that Brady and Manning have met. That contest was all Brady and Co. as Tom threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns in a 43-21 romp as 3-point home dogs.
Brady completed 28 of 42 pass attempts for 302 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Patriots to a 27-20 win as 6-point favorites in their Divisional Round game versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, Manning completed 21 of 37 pass attempts for 222 yards and zero touchdowns in Denver’s 23-16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers as 7-point home chalk.
While there is little doubt that Manning has lost something when looking at his passing numbers, he still led the Broncos to nine wins in 11 games played this year.
We still don’t know what Manning will do with his career when the Broncos’ season comes to an end, but if Denver falls to the Patriots and Manning does decide that he has taken his last snap, it will be fitting that his last game was against his main adversary.