If Sunday ends up being bettors’ last chance to place a wager Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, we all just need to take a moment and realize how lucky we’ve been to watch two of the best quarterbacks ever go head-to-head.
You’ve probably heard all about the numbers at this point. Tom Brady is 10-4 in 14 straight up in games against Peyton Manning and 7-5-2 against the spread. The New England Patriots are Peyton Manning’s kryptonite.
Personally, I’ve ended up on the winning end of most of my Brady vs. Manning wagers. I mean, it was hard to root against Brady the way he stuck it out at Michigan before finally getting a shot with the Pats. And then when you add Bill Belichick’s complex game plans and schemes into the mix, New England was really the only team that had a chance to beat Manning a lot of years. I may not have liked the Pats, but I certainly respected them.
On the flipside, my wagering relationship with Peyton Manning hit the rocks when his Colts beat the Bears in the Super Bowl and it’s been a bumpy ride since then. Still, time heals all wounds – even in sports betting. Manning’s comeback story in this second act of his career with the Broncos is nothing short of extraordinary.
Peyton insists he isn’t considering retirement at the end of the season, but I’m not so sure about that. He’s just put together the best numbers of his career and only needs another Super Bowl win to ice the cake. If his Broncos can’t get it done this weekend, will he have to drive and to come back for another kick at the can, even if his neck holds up?
I hope he does, but I can see him riding off into the sunset no matter what happens this Sunday or a few weeks from now after the Super Bowl. And if that’s the case, what a wild, strange trip it’s been.
Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a great endings to special stories, or maybe it’s because I’m blinded by the numbers Peyton Manning has put up, but either way, I’m not betting against him with the spread set less than a touchdown. Not doing it. Barely even considered the alternative when the line dropped from -6 to -5.5. Granted, this line could drop even lower in the next few days, but I’ll put my buck in the Broncos corner now anyway. Denver battled all season to get home field advantage and knew there was a good possibility it would be the Pats on the other sideline. Peyton and the Broncos won’t let this opportunity pass them by again after last year’s collapse.
Pick: Denver Broncos -5.5
To be perfectly honest, this game is basically a coin flip at this point in the week. Maybe I’ll have a better feel for it closer to the kick, but right now I can make a case for either side on the spread as well as the over and under. To me, this game hinges on Marshawn Lynch. If the 49ers can keep him from running wild, they should be in the mix in the fourth quarter. In this type of game, that’s really all you can ask for with an underdog on the road.
So, take this with a grain of salt, but I’m leaning to the road team despite Seattle’s defence and home-field advantage. If this line gets to 3.5, I’m all over the 49ers.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 1-2-1.