The AFC’s final four may be the most lackluster playoff bunch the NFL has seen in quite some time, but that is not to say that all the teams are weak. The 13-3 Patriots and the 12-4 Ravens are, obviously, quality clubs, and Houston is no slouch either, but Denver, not to belittle its Sunday accomplishment, drags the group down. That fact is reflected in the latest 2012 AFC Championship Game Predictions, which have the Broncos listed as a +2500 moneyline odds to reach Super Bowl XLVI.
No mystery here, the Patriots are the obvious choice to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. New England is a -170 moneyline favorite to win the AFC Championship while the other three remaining AFC squads are getting positive odds to earn a shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
The Patriots are vulnerable, though, due to their 31st ranked defense (411.1 yards per game allowed). New England’s once vaunted unit got the team in trouble on more than one occasion this season, but Tom Brady and the offense, in most instances, had enough firepower to bail it out. The playoffs are a different animal, though, a fact the Patriots know all too well after getting knocked off in their first postseason game each of the last two seasons.
The biggest threat to New England would seemingly be the Ravens. Baltimore’s suspect road play would make them an unlikely candidate to bounce the Pats, especially at Gillette Stadium, which is where the two clubs would meet. Yes, the Ravens did upset the Pats at home in a Wild Card game two years ago, but how many of you actually believe Brady is going to turn in another playoff performance like the one he did that day?
No, New England is not the same team it was in 2007, but it is the class of this group and probably the safest bet of any team left in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl.
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2012 AFC Championship Game Predictions: Provided by TopBet.com
New England Patriots -170
Baltimore Ravens +175
Houston Texans +1400
Denver Broncos +2500