The four teams that have been the best in the league all season long have made it to NFL Championship Weekend, which should make for two exciting contests Sunday. Both the AFC and NFC Championship Games feature betting lines of just three points in Las Vegas sportsbooks.
The New England Patriots are road favorites against the Denver Broncos, according to VegasInsider.com, as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning meet in the AFC Championship Game for a fourth time. The No. 1 seed Carolina Panthers are giving the visiting Arizona Cardinals a field goal in the final game before the 2016 Super Bowl.
Even though they are the No. 2 seed in the AFC, the Patriots have been considered the conference’s best team by oddsmakers the entire season. New England didn’t have much trouble defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in their divisional playoff game, while Denver barely escaped their second-round contest with the Pittsburgh Steelers, needing a fourth-quarter touchdown to avoid elimination.
New England was favored when they visited Denver in Week 12. But with Brock Osweiler at the helm, the Broncos came back from a 21-7 fourth-quarter deficit and won in overtime. The Patriots have -170 betting odds to win outright in Denver, while the Broncos are a +150 underdog.
The NFC Championship Game does not feature a rematch from the regular season. Carolina followed up their 15-1 regular season with a 7-point win over the Seattle Seahawks, shutting out the defending NFC champs 31-0 in the first half of their divisional playoff game. Arizona needed overtime to get by the Green Bay Packers.
The point spread of three points indicates that the NFC title game would be a pick’em on a neutral field. With both teams considered to have a good chance to reach Super Bowl 50, the Panthers’ moneyline is -170, and the Cardinals have +150 odds to win on the road.
The Patriots and Broncos allowed 36 total points in the divisional round, and the over/under for the AFC Championship Game is 44 points. Carolina and Arizona scored more points than any other teams in the regular season, and they have an over/under of 47 points.