W-L-T record: 3-1
Playoff record: 6-2
Season record: 90-93-5
New England Patriots (+6) over Denver Broncos
It looks pretty good for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The weather isn't too bad (which helps, as his record is dubious in cold weather) and they have the home field advantage, plus Tom Brady is reportedly slightly sick and injured. Might as well notch this one a big W for Denver, right? Well, maybe. But keep in mind, the point spread has been as high as six points at the MGM (like when I jumped on it on Thursday evening.) And even if the rumors are true, a second-best Brady is still better in the playoffs than ninety percent of all QBs. Then remember this: Tom Brady is 10-4 lifetime in games against Peyton Manning. Only two of Manning's four victories were above six points. Betting on Manning would defy history, and I'm not going to defy history here.
San Francisco 49ers (+3 1/2) over Seattle Seahawks
The last two times the 49ers went into Seattle, they got blown out. Bad. But then, so have many other teams. And the Seattle Seahawks that blew them out aren't the same team they are now. Seattle, like many number one seeds over the past decade, seem highly uncomfortable in that role. It is a team with only three playoff games under its belt. This will be SF's eighth in the Harbaugh era. They are the playoff-rich team with a battle tested defense and an offense that finally seems in sync. Expect the Niners to go to their second straight Super Bowl.
To check Las Vegas odds, The Konformist recommends VegasInsider.com: